People, Places & Events



  Experience night hikes at Purtis Creek State Park
By Linda K. Holt
Monitor Staff

EUSTACE–They came from as far as Kerens and Peeltown, the 20 or so adults and children to head into the woods and into the dark.
It was the first night hike of 2008, hosted by Purtis Creek State Park, Feb. 23.
Park officer Lisa Male lead the group along the hiking trail, around an inlet of the lake and introduced us to how it feels to get around in total darkness.
Well, almost total darkness. We were carrying flashlights – but turned them off for short periods.
The trick was to step where the path was lightly colored (sand) instead of where it was dark (tree root) while not walking into the person ahead, of course!
It was still a little too cool for much critter activity, but it was a lovely evening to be out under the stars.
And there were plenty of them, dusted thickly above our heads!
A couple of bug eyes were seen shining in the light from our electric torches.
Frogs created a nice chorus, serenading from within the marshes.
It was a big difference from walking the trails during the day.
We rely so heavily on our sight that most of us have forgotten how to use our other senses.
In the dark, hearing and smelling are key.
A whole different set of animals are about at night –except for raccoons. They are such opportunists around the park that they seek out meals anytime, day or night.
Male compared their seeking food to our heading for a fast food drive-thru,
“They just head for the campsites,” she said. A quick and easy meal that doesn’t require much effort is always preferred.
In the coming month, the park plans to host a stargazing party, backpacking seminar, canoe trips and other events.
A new bike trail is in the works and coming along nicely.
More information can be found at
Purtis Creek Activity Schedule
March 9 (today) - Lakeside Cleanup, noon-4 p.m. - Help clean up trash on the lake and along the shoreline. Canoes provided or bring your own. Open to all ages; children must be accompanied by parent.
March 15 - Kids Camp Crafts, 5-6 p.m - Make a rattlesnake, bluebonnet and a s’more using arts and crafts materials. Open to kids of all ages.
March 22 - Easter Egg Hunt, 10:30-12:30 a.m. - How many eggs will you find? Bring your Easter baskets and join in the fun. There will be hunts for three age groups, 0-5, 6-9 and 10-13. Sponsored by the Friends of Purtis Creek State Park.
- Full Moon Canoe Tour, 6:30-9:30 p.m - Paddle down Purtis Creek and then into the swamp and see nocturnal animals at work with only the light of the full moon and test your sense of smell and hearing. Open to all ages, children must be accompanied by an adult; space is limited. Life jackets required. $6 per person, free for children 4 and under; reservations required (903) 425-2332.
March 29 - Basic Canoe Skills, 4-6 p.m. - Learn new skills or improve current ones. This program focuses on safe canoe entry, paddling strokes and steering. Open to all ages; children must be accompanied by parent. $6 per person, free for children 4 and under; reservations required (903) 425-2332.
April 5 - Stargazing, 8:30-10 p.m - Explore the night sky and make a star wheel. Meet at overflow camping parking lot at dark.
April 12 - Campfire Building, 8-9 p.m. - Campfires are an enjoyable part of camping, but can be difficult to get started. Here is a chance to learn firebuilding skills using safe firestarters.
April 12, 26, - Interpretive Canoe Tour, 9:30 a.m.-noon - Canoe down Purtis Creek and through a natural marsh reservoir. See active beaver dams and native wildlife in their natural habitat. $6 per person, free for children 4 and under; reservations required (903) 425-2332.
April 19 - Full Moon Hike, 8-9 p.m. - Enjoy a leisurely hike in the moonlight and learn about some of the nocturnal animals that visit the park. Hike is about 1.5 miles. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, trail may be wet, bring flashlight and water. Small children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at trailhead parking lot.
April 20 - Earth Day Lake Cleanup, Noon-4 p.m. - Help clean up trash on the lake and along the shoreline. Canoes provided or bring your own. Open to all ages; children must be accompanied by parent.
All events are accessible for the mobility, visually and hearing impaired. Call park at (903) 425-2332.


‘A Night at the Oscars’ scheduled for March 24
Area resturants to serve up delicious samples
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The annual “Taste of Cedar Creek Lake” Awards Banquet is slated for Monday, March 24, at the new Mabank High School. This popular event is in its 13th year.
With a theme of “A Night at the Oscars,” ticket holders can expect glamour and fun surprises along with fabulous food.
The food vendors and dining tables will be set in the commons area of Mabank High School and the program portion of the evening will take place in the state-of-the-art auditorium, just a few steps away.
Dinner will be served from 6:30 until 8 p.m. and the program will begin at 8 p.m. and last until approximately 9 p.m.
Participating chamber of commerce member restaurants will provide a wide array of delicious samples for attendees’ dining pleasure.
Veteran “Taste” chair Bruce Easley of Capt’n “B” Florist is once again heading up the volunteer committee with Kathy Kendrick of Lone Star Maps calling on chamber member restaurants to ask for their participation.
Members of the Cedar Creek Lake Pacesetters Club, a group of area fund-raisers and event planners, are Bruce’s back-up team, and help ensure that all the many details are attended to.
In addition to participating restaurants, lake area businesses are donating table decorations and other amenities and services vital to the success of the 13th annual “Taste of Cedar Creek Lake.”
Traditionally, the beautiful floral arrangements that decorate the tables are given as door prizes during the event, adding to the excitement and fun of the evening.
Member businesses are invited to sponsor the table arrangements for $60 each (limited number available).
The much-anticipated awards presentation will once again be on the agenda for the evening, as the “Citizen of the Year,” “Jean Nichols Lifetime Service Award” and “Ambassador of the Year” are announced.
Recognition will also be given to winners of awards from the various branches of the Chamber, including “Teachers of the Year” from the Mabank Branch.
The awards are given annually to volunteers in the community who donate their time to worthy causes benefiting the entire Cedar Creek Lake area.
Look for some new awards and other surprises from the planning committee.
Tickets for “A Night At The Oscars” will be $15 each, with all tickets sold in advance getting reserved seating.
Tickets purchased in advance will entitle the holder to the same dinner spot all evening.
When the advance sale ticket is presented at the door, the holder will be given a card in exchange that they can place on the specially designated tables to “hold” their seat while they visit, get food, etc.
Tickets sold at the door will also be $15, but purchasers will be seated in the general seating area.
Those guests who purchase their tickets in advance will also be given premier seating in the auditorium for the awards program.
Watch your local newspapers for announcements of ticket sales locations, participating restaurants and entertainment details for “A Night At The Oscars.”
If you have questions, call CCLACC at (903) 887-3152 or email

Vote best hat; help pocket park
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Nine of the prettiest Easter Bonnets you’ve ever seen are on display at The Hydrangea House in Mabank.
They’re not there to decorate the coffee shop, either. They’re part of a contest to raise funds for the Mabank Garden Club to support its work of planting a pocket park on Market Street.
The park would fill the spot where one of the old buildings stood before a terrible 2006 fire burned four 100-year-old buildings.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
AT RIGHT: Mary Odom displays her hat featuring the home of the Easter Bunny, complete with vegetable garden and white picket fence.






Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
AT LEFT: A photo of Marzette Boehme wearing her hat accompanies her entry.

The ladies who designed the beautiful and creative hats are members of the garden club.
If they can do that to a hat, just think of what they could do with flowers in a park!
Each ballot costs $1 to cast, though you are free to spend more per ballot.
And a friendly, but fierce competition is in full force among old-time Mabank residents, with a strong campaign pulling for Mabank’s favorite citizen Opal Toney and her lace bedecked wide-brim straw sun bonnet.
Besides Toney’s hat, Tonya Roberts has a bird nest-hat entry. Alene Gibbs offers a hat festooned in purple feathers hiding a bunny at the top. Marzette Boehme entered her pink dream with pheasant feather. Other entrants include The Hydrangea’s Shannon Henderson, Nell Walker, Kathy Cryer and Cinda Smith.
The “votes” will be tabulated after the polls close Wednesday, March 19.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Alene Gibbs hat in purple sits in the window, and Cinda Smith’s green tint and lace hat graces the pillar.







Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at


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