Lake Life

& Such

Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. For more information, call (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.
Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.
Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each week on Wednesday at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. For more info, call (903) 887-6549.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Thursday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405. There is a 2 p.m. Sunday meeting, also.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. Call for more information, (903) 432-3552.
Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce luncheon.
Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. For more information please call Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.
Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. For more information call (903) 887-4867.
Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. For more information, call Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.
Cub Scout Pack #333 meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For information, call Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.
Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943, email,  or (800) 422-2260 or visit
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.
Girl Scout Troop 2667 meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Aley United Methodist Church. For more information, please call Suzann Smith at (903) 887-3889.
Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. For more information, please call (903) 451-4221.
Henderson County Retired School Personnel meets at 2 p.m. the second Wednesday each month at the First United Methodist Church of Athens. Call (903) 451-3585 for info.
Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. For more info, call (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.
Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Kemp. For more information, please call Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.
Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.
Lake Area Democrats Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. Email  for more information.
Mabank Al-Anon Family Group meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at Mabank First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Families of alcoholics are welcome. Call (903) 887-2781 for info.
Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. Call (903) 887-5252 for info.
Mabank Garden Club meets at 2:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).
Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.
Rainbow Girls, Masonic Youth organization meets on the second and fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Creek Masonic Lodge. For more information contact Donna Dean at
Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. Call (903) 887-6201 for info.
RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank. The public is welcome to attend.
Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas Street in Kemp. For info, call (903) 498-2140.
Suicide Survivors Group for those grieving the loss of someone by suicide, meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mabank.
Tamarack Ladies Club meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meet at 6 p.m. each Monday at the First Baptist Church of Mabank. Contact Gaye Ward at (903) 887-5913 for more info.
TVCC Singles meet at 7 p.m. each Monday in the Nutrition Center at TVCC, located off Park Street near the Athens Country Club. This is a support group for singles of all ages and is supported by TVCC. For more info, call Hilda Anding at (903) 675-7270.

Firefighters: Volunteers at their hottest
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

PAYNE SPRINGS–In rural Texas, property wouldn’t be protected from fire or likely lives saved, if it weren’t for an army of volunteers putting in 15 to 30 hours a week, and sometimes more, as volunteer firefighters.
These men and women go through a battery of training, attend weekly meetings, maintain their equipment and spend their spare time raising funds through various events to support their community service.
Oh I forgot to mention, they also risk their lives, leave warm homes and beds in the middle of the night and often contribute money to those whose houses have been ravaged by fire and smoke.
Sure, we honor them.
Some organizations give them annual awards, even.
But how many have imagined what it must be like to do what they do and sacrifice what they sacrifice to get the job done?
Randy Harley represents just such men and women.
Sure, he has an advantage. When it comes to volunteering; his father was also a firefighter and his step son, Dylan Harbor, looks to follow in their footsteps.
He had a living example (Chuck Harley) to watch day in and day out, someone who showed him how it’s done.
But the passion for the work, Randy Harley developed himself.
“When you love what you do, the only thing that would make it better would be to get paid for it. It’s a passion, what can I say?” Harley told The Monitor.
Harley has been the fire chief for the Payne Springs Volunteer Fire Department off and on since 1993, before then he served in Gun Barrel City, where his dad was fire chief from 1979 to 1992.
“For us older guys (volunteer firefighters), it’s a dedication-pride thing. It’s what I know. We can’t get it out of our system,” Harley said.
Well, I guess if you’re going to be addicted to something, being a volunteer firefighter isn’t the worst addiction.
Harley works a full-time job as a safety engineer and quality supervisor for Schneider Electric in Athens, where he’s worked the last 26 years. Before that he served as an emergency medical technician with ETMC.
He says environmental safety has been the focus of his career for the past 14 years.
After work most days, he can be found at the Payne Springs fire station, where he leads 43 other volunteers and maintains 11 pieces of equipment.
“We act in a professional manner. We train and certify at or above standards,” he said
And over the last several years, the department has consistently answered 700 fire calls a year.
However, in 2009, it exceeded that number, answering 801 calls.
“It’s the people who make the difference. I have a great support staff of officers. Without them, it couldn’t be done. I can’t do it without them,” Harley said.
He has two assistant chiefs who help him oversee three divisions, each with their own captain. A safety officer and training officer rounds out his leadership team.
“We have a group of gals and guys who are dedicated and work to make it what it is today. It’s everybody going back to 1974,” Harley credits.
“Randy has the ability to motivate us and keep us together,” veteran firefighter Don Meckline chimes in.
Meckline served 25 years as a firefighter in El Paso, retiring as battalion chief. He’s another one who loves what he does and wants to keep on doing it.
“We all get along together very well,” Harley said.
As a team, the department has met every goal set in its 10-year plan, Harley said.
The department is also looking forward to receiving a new E-One fire truck in a few months, Harley said.
“We try to bring in new, good, state-of-the-art equipment whenever financially possible,” Harley said.
The quality of equipment and staff training is behind the district’s excellent ISO rating of 4 district-wide, Harley explained.
Emergency Service District No. 2 financially supports the Payne Springs and Enchanted Oaks fire departments from a 3 cent per $100 worth of property value. (Now that’s getting more than your 2-cents worth.)
Plans for this year, include raising the funds/grants needed to build a third larger station on State Highway 198.
With it, the residents and businesses within the department’s 36-square-mile district will be within 2 miles of a fire station, staffed with volunteers ready to answer the call.
“If you can’t see yourself volunteering as a firefighter, maybe you can contribute to the cause,” Harley suggested.

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