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Les Cockrell: Organization seeks items for children in need

Some local families are stocking up on school supplies during the tax-free weekend to pack in shoebox gifts — along with hygiene items and toys — for children in need through Operation Christmas Child.

“While we’re buying clothes and school supplies for our families, we always stock up on a few extras for the shoeboxes we’ll send out to children in need later this year,” Scott Piekarski, Denton area campaign coordinator, stated in a press release.

A project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child has delivered shoebox gifts to more than 113 million children in more than 150 countries since 1993, according to the press release. Those involved in the effort hope to reach 10 million children this year.

This November, Operation Christmas Child volunteers such as Piekarski will support thousands of drop-off sites nationwide, where gift-filled shoeboxes will be collected and transported. Each shoebox will eventually be hand-delivered to a child in need.

For more information about how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 940-595-7976 or visit National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is Nov. 17-24.


Hikes at sunrise and end of day set at state park

A sunrise hike at the Isle du Bois Unit and a night hike at the Johnson Branch Unit should help visitors to Ray Roberts Lake State Park beat the heat on Saturday.

The sunrise hike will begin at 6:30 a.m., and participants should meet at the Elms East parking area of the Greenbelt Corridor off FM455 near Pilot Point, one mile west of Isle du Bois.

Hikers should bring water, a hat and wear hiking shoes for the two-mile trip along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.

The night hike will begin at 8 p.m. and participants should meet at the pavilion in the Dogwood parking lot at Johnson Branch.

The two-mile hike will be along a paved trail and hike participants should wear sturdy shoes and bring water and a flashlight.

Park admission is $7 for those 13 and older.

For more information about Isle du Bois events, call 940-686-2148.

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


Denton Elks Lodge sponsors blood drive Saturday

The Denton Elks Lodge is sponsoring a blood drive on Saturday, according to an announcement by Marty Kemp, secretary of Denton Elks Lodge 2446.

Carter BloodCare will be at the lodge, located at 228 E. Oak St., from 1:45 to 5:30 p.m., and residents are invited to make a donation.


Garage sale, cookout to aid homeless outreach effort

A garage sale and cookout is planned from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Baptist Student Ministry at 1111 Oakland St. on the Texas Woman’s University campus.

The event will feature music and food and is sponsored by Cross Church Denton to benefit outreach services to the homeless, an event spokeswoman said.

For more information, email


Lewisville police slate open house on Saturday

The Lewisville Police Department is celebrating 75 years of service to the community with an open house from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at 1187 W. Main St.

Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be provided. For more information, contact Jay Powell at or 972-219-3612.


Bereavement luncheon set for Tuesday in Denton

The next monthly VNA Ann’s Haven bereavement luncheon will be held at noon Tuesday at Denton Elks Lodge 2466, 228 E. Oak St.

The luncheon, which is open to the public, is designed to help members of the community who are grieving the death of a loved one.

Literature about grief and support will be available.

Guest speaker will be Wesley Phillips with Denton Funeral Home, who will educate attendees on “Getting Your Affairs in Order.” A catered lunch underwritten by First Christian Church in Lewisville will be provided at no charge.

For more information, contact Jerald Garner, VNA chaplain and bereavement coordinator, at 940-349-5900 or


Keep Lewisville Beautiful slates class on gardening

Keep Lewisville Beautiful will conduct a free class on fall vegetable gardening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kealy Operations Center, 100 N. Kealy St.

The class is part of KLB’s Garden Secrets series and will be taught by a representative from Texas AgriLife Extension, and a question-and-answer session will be included. The class is open to the public and Lewisville residency is not required.

Seating is limited and those interested should RSVP by Monday. For more information or to reserve a spot, call 972-538-5949 or email


Office of history and culture slates docent training

The Denton County Office of History and Culture is seeking volunteers to join its growing team of docents, and reservations for the next orientation and training session are due by Thursday, Aug. 14.

The “Lunch ’n Learn” docent training session will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, in the 1896 Room of the Denton County Courthouse on the Square.

Volunteers can help as museum greeters, tour guides, in educational outreach programming to the schools, in the research room and as amateur archeologists at the Taylor farm site. Hours and days are flexible.

All training sessions are free and open to the public. The courthouse is located at 110 W. Hickory St. and has handicapped parking and accessibility through the north entrance.

For more information, contact Gretel L’Heureux, tourism coordinator, at 940-349-2850 or Gretel.L’ or visit and click on “volunteers.”


Lewisville hospital to offer class on parenting skills

Medical Center of Lewisville will offer a class on parenting on Thursday, Aug. 14, as part of its HealthyU series.

Dinner starts at 6 p.m., and the presentation “We Raise You Right, Right?” will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Events in the series are offered monthly at no cost and feature physician speakers, health education, motivation and support.

The location is the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles St.

Tickets can be obtained online at For more information, call 972-420-7444 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