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Les Cockrell: Texas Roadhouse event to benefit Special Olympics

Texas Roadhouse restaurants in the area will participate in the Tip a Cop event today.

During the fundraiser, Law Enforcement Torch Run members and Special Olympians will work the dinner shift for tips to donate to Special Olympics Texas, according to a press release.

Torch runners will greet and serve patrons and assist wait staff from 5 to 9 p.m., collecting donations to support Special Olympics Texas athletes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Patrons can purchase a Law Enforcement Torch Run T-shirt by making a donation.

Texas Roadhouse locations include 2817 S. Interstate 35E in Denton, 3811 Long Prairie Road in Flower Mound and 4125 State Highway 121 in The Colony, the press release stated.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the Special Olympics’ largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle.

To learn more, visit or call 1-800-876-5646.

Ribbon-cutting planned Friday for Girl Scout Gold Award project

A ribbon-cutting event for a Girl Scout Gold Award project is planned for 3 to 5 p.m. Friday at the Elm Fork Education Center, 1704 W. Mulberry St. in Denton.

Margaux Khosraviana, 17, has been working with Marti Lathrop at the center to provide free-access microscopes, pre-made slides and other science resources for area middle school students.

Tables will be set up at Friday’s event with local science resources from Permaculture Denton, Cardo’s Farm Project of Denton and Mad Science of Dallas. Admission is free.

In her project proposal, Khosraviani said Denton County had 4,500 middle school students and approximately 240 of them had microscopes. For home-schooled students like herself, there are fewer microscopes available, she wrote.

The project has taken 18 months, and Khosraviana has raised more than $1,500 by organizing fundraising projects including a chili cook-off, according to a press release. She also has conducted badge workshops and made presentations to middle schools about the project.

Khosraviani, a member of Local Service Unit 416, is in her 10th year as a Girl Scout with the rank of ambassador, the press release stated.

The Gold Award is the highest award within the Girl Scouts and is open only to girls in high school. For more information on how to join, volunteer or donate to the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, call 1-800-442-2260 or visit or

Texas Motor Speedway sets drive-in movie night

Big Hoss TV, the world’s largest high-definition video board at Texas Motor Speedway, will play host to a drive-in style movie night to benefit Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter on Saturday.

A screening of The Lego Movie will begin at 8:30 p.m., and the south tunnel will open at 7:30 p.m. to allow moviegoers access to the speedway’s infield parking area, according to a press release. To access the south tunnel, turn onto Allison Way off State Highway 114.

Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter will be charging $20 per carload. Moviegoers will be permitted to bring their own food and beverages, and Levy Restaurants will have concession stands open. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs if they would like to sit outside and watch the movie. Attendees will need to tune their FM radios to 97.7 for audio.

Another family film, The Little Rascals, will be shown Aug. 16.

Since 1997, Speedway Children’s Charities at Texas Motor Speedway has distributed more than $9.4 million in funding to nonprofit organizations in North Texas supporting children in need, the press release stated.

For more information, visit

Blood donations sought to prevent emergency

The American Red Cross announced this week that donors are urgently needed to help prevent an emergency blood shortage.

Blood donors of all types, especially those with types O-negative, B-negative and A-negative, are encouraged to give now.

Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected, according to the announcement. The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks.

Upcoming Denton County blood drives are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at Sanger High School, 100 Indian Lane in Sanger; and from 9 am. to 1 p.m. next Thursday at Retractable Tech, 511 Lobo Lane in Little Elm.

Call 1-800-733-2767 or visit to make an appointment or get more information.

Visual Art League of Lewisville plans exhibit

“Fresh Ideas,” the annual juried art exhibit sponsored by the Visual Art League of Lewisville, will open Saturday and run through Sept. 13 in the gallery at Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles St. in Lewisville.

The first-place winner of the exhibit receives a solo show in the MCL Grand gallery, and $1,200 in awards will be given during the opening reception, which will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday in the gallery.

The gallery is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and during public performances at the MCL Grand.

Class on using newspapers for genealogy research set

The Denton Public Library will offer a class on using newspapers in genealogy research at 3 p.m. Saturday, according to a press release from the city of Denton.

The class will be held at Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland St. To register, call 940-349-8752.

State park offers programs on frogs and mammals

Visitors to the Johnson Branch Unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park this weekend can learn about frogs and mammals and participate in a night hike.

The program on frogs will be offered at 8 p.m. Friday at the amphitheater located near the unit’s fishing pond. The program will offer information about frogs found at the park, including what they look and sound like.

A short frog-spotting hike will follow the discussion, and participants are advised to wear sturdy shoes and bring water and a flashlight.

A program titled “Fast and Furriest” will be offered at 6 p.m. Saturday at Pavilion 1. Participants will learn how to identify mammals found at the park.

A night hike on Saturday will close out scheduled activities at the park. Participants should meet at the pavilion in the Dogwood parking lot for the 2-mile hike, which will be held from 8 to 10 p.m. along a paved trail. Hikers should wear sturdy shoes and bring water and a flashlight.

Park admission is $7 for those 13 and older.

For more information about Johnson Branch events, call 940-637-2636.

Keep Denton Beautiful announces business mixer

Keep Denton Beautiful has announced its second annual business mixer, and area business owners or representatives are invited to attend, according to an announcement from the nonprofit.

The event, to be conducted and sponsored by Hannah’s Off the Square, will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served, and attendees will have an opportunity to network with other business leaders and learn about programs and resources that Keep Denton Beautiful Inc. offers for the local business community, the announcement stated.

Hannah’s is located at 111 W. Mulberry St. To make reservations, call 940-349-8739 by Tuesday.

Senior health program slated for Tuesday

Good Samaritan Society-Denton Village will conduct a seminar on senior heart health at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to a press release.

The topic of the seminar will be “Gadgets and the Heart: Explaining Pacemakers and Defibrillators,” and it will feature Dr. Kamran A. Rizvi, the press release stated.

The seminar is free. Good Samaritan Society-Denton Village is at 2500 Hinkle Drive in Denton. To register, call Tonya Hickman at 940-383-6345 or email

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 email address is