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) 498-4351.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points.
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.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday and fourth Saturday 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 the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943 or Malisa Bilberry at (903) 340-7451, or email
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.
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 Tuesday at the Nutrition Center 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 Dairy Queen in Seven Points. Everyone is welcome. Email  for more information.
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.
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 more 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) 489-2259.


Funding a passion for refuge horses
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

LOG CABIN–There are few things more heartbreaking than the sight of an animal suffering from cruelty and neglect. And no animal moves the heart more than a horse that has been abused.
Those who have taken it upon themselves to nurture a horse in bad condition are never quite the same again.
Betty Bancroft and Jerene Thompson know this first-hand.
The two women took in a horse, weighing no more than 500 pounds, fed and nursed it back to health. Now he weighs about 1,200 pounds, and is aptly named Lucky.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Jerene Thompson with Lucky, a chestnut colored dun who will go to someone else equally lucky to get him come April 18. Lucky weighed just 500 pounds when he arrived and now weighs about 1,200 pounds.

“Once you see what you can do (to help these horses) and what you’ve done, you can’t back away from it,” Bancroft told The Monitor.
She’s seen it time and time again. Rescuing refuge horses has been a passion of hers for more than 15 years. People who’ve gotten to know her and help her with these hard-luck cases, often end up doing the same thing themselves.
Of course, her passion has also gotten her into trouble with landlords and neighbors.
She tells of her first time in Conroe. She took in three horses, and her neighbor immediately complained to Bancroft’s landlord, who came out to the property to look into the situation.
“When she saw those poor horses, she started crying,” Bancroft recalled. “‘How could anyone abuse a horse like this?’ she asked.”
It turned out that her landlady and husband owned 275 acres outside the city and begged to take the horses to their property, Bancroft continued.
“Today, they’re caring for refuge horses,” she said.
When the three original refuge horses regained their health, and it came time to sell them, the landlords would not let them leave, and ended up buying them.
Everywhere Bancroft has lived, she has done what she could to care for refuge horses.
She came to Log Cabin in August, 2007. Her dad had been a 30-year resident of the area, and she came to take care of him in his final days.
She thought she was familiar with the area, since she had come frequently to visit with her dad over the years, and quickly bought a few adjoining lots, so she could bring in some horses.
However, times had changed. The city no longer allowed horses within the city limits. She tried to negotiate with the city, but to no avail.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Egypt is not a refuge horse, but a 5-year-old Arabian mare, gray in color with white stockings on her rear legs. Come April 11, some lucky someone will get to take her home.

Then she noticed a small fenced field across the street from the city, leased it from Thompson and brought in a refuge horse in October.
Thompson, an animal lover, quickly became intrigued with how Bancroft worked with the poor animal, and offered to help when Bancroft was away. It didn’t take her long to become hooked.
Now the pair of them work with eight horses at Heaven Acres on Ranch Road 3054. Their work has not gone unnoticed.
“People who pass by often stop and tell us what a wonderful job we’re doing,” Thompson told The Monitor.
The horses are very visible from the roadway, and people are able to see their improvement, she added.
These horses come with a multitude of needs and health issues. The women treat them for worms, get a farrier to address their hoof issues and get a large animal veterinarian to see about other problems and administer antibiotics.
They get all the hay they can eat and receive a special high-calorie mash twice a day, which combines sweet feed, Pellet 10-8 and corn oil.
“I’ve found this combination the best for helping them get their weight back,” Bancroft said.
“They basically are taking horses that are malnourished and in pretty bad shape and nurse them back to health. They find new homes for them and hopefully recover some of their feed cost,” long-time Mabank veterinarian Dr. Darrell Kinnard said. “They do this from their love and concern for horses. It’s a long, hard battle.”
Kinnard said more and more horses, especially older horses, are being neglected, due to the falling market.
“They figure (older horses) are just not worth it,” he said.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Betty Bancroft walks away from a blue roan mare, who draws a lot of attention from those passing by as he has begun to pick up weight.

As might be expected, this is a costly passion. Thus far, the two of them have paid expenses through their personal earnings and benefits. (Thompson is on disability and sells Avon. Bancroft operates a home aid service called Caregivers with Heart.)
Occasionally, they’ve been able to place healthy horses with new homes and gained a few hundred dollars, which have gone to paying for feed and water, Bancroft said.
Now the pair is actively seeking donations through a giveaway. As they tell their stories throughout the community, they find people are willing to help. (See side-bar for locations of donation centers.)
A 5-year-old Arabian mare called Egypt will be given away Saturday, April 11. She is not considered a refuge horse and can be papered, Bancroft said. She is about 15 hands high and broken to the saddle.
A second horse is being given away Saturday, April 18. Lucky, a chestnut lineback dun, is 17½ hands high.
Bancroft and Thompson’s dream is big, and needs a lot of community support if it is to succeed.
Their ultimate goal is to be able to offer therapeutic horse riding, free of charge to sick children and adults, especially those battling cancer or autism.
“I think they (the horses) sense if someone’s having a problem or are sick, and are willing to befriend them,” Bancroft said.
Items needed to fuel their dream include:
• acreage with a pond
• an on-call veterinarian
• a barn and stalls
• riding equipment, and
• helping hands
“It’s a big dream, but it’s worth it,” Bancroft said.
Already she has received help from the Refuge Ranch near Waco and those who operate a horse auction in Elkhart.
Plans are in the works for an auction of farm and ranch equipment, with proceeds benefiting their horse rescue operation, Bancroft said.
Those with usable equipment, even gates that could be auctioned to other farmers and ranchers, can help by giving Bancroft a call at (903) 286-4696.
“I’ve been doing this for so long, and have always been able to buy property by my home to do this,” Bancroft said. “I believe the help will come. The word is spreading, and people are helping.”

Want to help?
The following are locations where donations and signups for the giveaway are being taken.

In Mabank:
Napa Auto Parts
Tri-County Ford

In Gun Barrel City:
The Tiger Exxon

In Caney City:
Diamond Shamrock

In Log Cabin
Heaven Acres, 6125 Ranch Road 3054

In Seven Points:
Buy Lo Auto Supply

In Eustace:
Hernandez Restaurant

In Malakoff:
Ochos Mexican Restaurant

In Athens:
Both Valero gas stations
Twin Oaks Exxon
Wulf Outdoor Sports
(Old West Steakhouse
Chopping Block)

In Murchison:
At the Chevron station
Bean and Burger

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