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Les Cockrell: Rehabilitation program to celebrate first anniversary

A program called Project Healing Waters of North Texas, dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of wounded military veterans through fly fishing, is about to celebrate its first anniversary.

The North Texas group is associated with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., which provides fly fishing, fly casting and fly tying instruction for disabled military personnel ranging from beginners to those with prior fly fishing experience and are adapting their skills to their new abilities, according to a program brochure.

Lew Duckwall, North Texas program leader, said the group began last May and has sponsored five fishing trips thus far and will have its sixth Tuesday through Thursday in Broken Bow, Okla.

Each of the three-day trips features about 20 hours of fishing and four or five hours of fly-tying instruction and is offered to the veterans at no cost. Lodging, food, travel, licenses and other expenses are covered, and there is a guide/mentor for every veteran.

“Everything is paid for by us,” Duckwall said.

The program provides many benefits for the veterans who participate, said Duckwall, who spent 23 years in the military and said the program was a great benefit to him.

“There’s a lot of healing going on,” he said. “It really turned my life around.”

Duckwall is originally from upstate New York and said he has been fly fishing all his life.

“It’s very cathartic to me.”

Donations are accepted to help support the program, which serves combat veterans of all branches of service. For more information, contact Duckwall at, 972-977-4234.

While initially focused on military personnel in the Washington, D.C. area, the program has expanded and offers its services to active military personnel and veterans in military and Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals across the nation. Currently, more than 100 programs have been established in the U.S. and Canada, according to the brochure.


Registration continues for Safe Haven program

Registration continues for the Safe Haven program offered by VNA Ann’s Haven, and families who register now can begin the program Thursday, according to an announcement from the agency.

The free program is designed for children and their families who are grieving the death of a loved one and is held at Trinity Presbyterian Church of Denton, 2200 N. Bell Ave. Additional sessions are planned each Thursday through May 8.

Safe Haven is open to children ages 5-18 and their family members who have experienced the death of a loved one. Adult professionals and volunteers lead small groups of children of similar age in appropriate activities and discussions on grief and coping skills. Adult family members meet in a separate group during this eight-week program.

As children learn more effective ways to express their feelings and to acknowledge the value of each family member, parents can share and reinforce those coping skills at home, according to the announcement.

Reni Parker, a licensed professional counselor-supervisor and specialist in grief counseling is the program director. Parker has more than 12 years of experience.

Registration is required by calling VNA Ann’s Haven Volunteer Coordinator Ginny Hudson at 940-349-5900 or 1-800-383-5435.


Forum planned on health care for older residents

A forum to discuss community support and services for Denton residents age 60 and older will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday in Room 115 of the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St. in Denton.

Residents of all ages are invited to share opinions and ideas about health care, including medical care, mental health and substance abuse services for older residents. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

Call Julia Wolfe at 940-784-3780 to register.

The free event is one of a series of meetings inviting locals to share views about the quality of life in Denton in various areas. The University of North Texas, in partnership with the North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, is seeking Denton residents of all ages to participate in the community forums.


Arc of Denton County planning pancake breakfast

The Arc of Denton County is planning an all-you-can eat pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 1200 N. Elm St. in Denton.

Tickets range in price from $5 for children ages 3-12 to $10 for adults. The menu will include pancakes or waffles, sausage or bacon, fruit, juice and coffee.

Proceeds will benefit programs offered by The Arc of Denton County, a nonprofit, volunteer organization committed to expanding opportunities for people with developmental disabilities through family support, public awareness, advocacy service and referral.

For more information about the organization, visit


Registration open for event benefiting learning area

Discounted registration for a race benefiting the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area is available through Sunday, according to a press release.

The 5-mile trail run is slated for April 26, with exclusive trail access through the forests, hills and prairies of the environmental learning area.

Adult registration is $25 through Sunday or $40 on race day. Children 12 and younger can register for $20 from now until race day, according to the press release.

Participants can register and find additional information at

Volunteers are needed on the day of the event to hand out water, monitor trails and assist with parking. Children as young as 10 can volunteer with a parent/guardian/scout leader. Anyone who wants to volunteer can e-mail

Sponsorships are available, and those interested can call Kristy McCorkle at 214-478-1064.


Area artists contribute to area fundraising effort

Ceramic artists Tony Merino of Lewisville and Kash Mistry of Roanoke are among hundreds of artisans creating bowls for guests to take home from the 12th annual Empty Bowls of Fort Worth fundraiser, according to a press release.

The event offers soups, dessert and handcrafted/hand-painted bowls and benefits Tarrant Area Food Bank and its partner charities in Denton and 12 other counties.

Both Merino and Mistry created bowls at the Lockheed Martin Recreation Association Pottery Studio in Fort Worth, the press release stated.

Proceeds from the event will benefit several charitable agencies in Denton, Argyle, Aubrey, Lewisville, Roanoke and other Denton County cities.

This year’s Empty Bowls fundraiser is set from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday in the Amon G. Carter Exhibition Hall at Will Rogers Memorial Center, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave. in Fort Worth.

Ticket information is available at or Worth or by calling 817-332-9177.

LES COCKRELL is interested in your input for Out & About. Help share information about Denton County events and people by calling him at 940-566-6887. His e-mail address is