People, Places & Events



  Excite Realty hosts Business After Hours
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

SEVEN POINTS–A “Business After Hours” hosted by the Tool/Seven Points Branch of The Greater Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce began at Excite Realty.Com, May 15.
Progressing on to other named businesses, players picked up a card to be used toward a poker hand.

Approximately 55 members and guests of TGCCLACC showed up for the fun, fellowship, networking and prizes.

After getting instructions at the Excite Realty.Com office, players proceeded to the next stops: Lakeview Landscape, Westside Hardware, Complete Fitness, Dairy Queen and finally at Wings Over Seven Points.

The event was considered very successful.
“It shows when businesses work together, it benefits everybody. That was our intent,” B.G. Pierce, Excite Realty.Com owner said.
“We’re definitely going to be doing it again this summer,” he added.
Ronda Brown, with the Gun Barrel City closing office of G. Scott Damuth, was the big winner.
Brown received a $100 gift certificate from the Seven Points Brookshire’s.
She won with four queens.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Progressive poker players got instructions at Excite Realty.Com. Pictured are (from left) Chris Anderson, Excite Realty, Judy Pierce and B.G. Pierce, owners of Excite Realty instructing David Yanna, of Through the Glass home inspections.

Don’t price yourself out of the market or out of business
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Many entrepreneurs frequently struggle with setting a fee schedule for their work. While it’s tempting to set a low price and cut profit in order to lure customers, this strategy will almost always backfire.
Some customers may resist your attempts to increase prices later on, while others will be suspicious of what they are receiving for such a great price.
Trade journals and professional organizations often publish baseline rates and fees on a national, regional or local basis. Networking with other entrepreneurs can be instructive, although some may be justifiably reluctant to discuss their fees with potential competitors.
You also want to learn the rationale behind various price structures to arrive at appropriate rates for your customers.
A good starting point is to set an hourly rate. As you gain experience, you’ll be able to set flat fees, based on the amount of work, supplies and other resources that a job will require.
Often rates can reflect what a company would pay someone with your skills to do the same kind of work in house.
Say a comparable full-time position for your service pays $30,000 a year. Dividing that figure by 2,000 (approximately 40 hours a week for 50 weeks) results in $15 per hour of straight pay.
Next, add a percentage to cover the cost of fringe benefits that employers normally pay (such as Social Security and unemployment and health insurance).
Generally, fringe benefits equal one-third of an employee’s pay.
Then figure a percentage for your overhead costs: office space, equipment, supplies, vehicles and time devoted to business development and research. Fifteen percent is a common premium.
Next, consider your profit margin, such as 15 percent, for funding capital investments or future growth, and surcharges for time-sensitive assignments that may require extra effort or rescheduling on your part. Other variables that influence your prices may not become apparent until after you have been in business for some time.
Regardless of how you set a price schedule, make sure that you and your customer agree on the fee up front, especially if expenses and surcharges are involved.
If the customer wants to negotiate, weigh the pros and cons of a lower fee. Is this a one-time project or the beginning of a steady stream of work? Does the client have a reputation for reliability? Will you still be able to cover your costs of doing business?
By the same token, you may develop a strong enough relationship with your regular customers to confidently offer a discount in return for a larger volume of work.
Just be sure that this discount does not cut into your profit margin, and that the advantage of staying busy does not limit your ability to attract other, potentially more lucrative assignments.
For more help with planning a new business venture, contact SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 10,500 volunteer counselors who provide free and confidential advice to veteran entrepreneurs and those just starting out. Call (903) 887-3152.

Hamburger and barbecue cookoff set
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–It’s time to go back to basics with the Uncle Fletch Burger and Bar-B-Q Cook-off Saturday, June 9.
That means not just a sanctioned IBCA burger and barbecue cook-off, but a festival with arts and crafts, pony rides and petting zoo, kids games, live entertainment, and an Amateur Only Hamburger Cook-off for those not wanting to participate in the sanctioned event.
Now that state Rep. Betty Brown has gotten HB 15 passed, “officially” declaring Athens as home of the original hamburger, it’s time to celebrate with a big festival.
The Central Business Association presents the Uncle Fletch Burger and Bar-B-Q Cook-off and Festival Saturday, June 9, at Lake Athens Marina on Farm-to-Market 2495, with some events taking place next door at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Gates open at 10 a.m.
The IBCA-sanctioned cook-off teams will compete in four categories: chicken, brisket, ribs, and, of course, hamburgers.
Entry fee is $125, and participants are located at the RV area of Lake Athens Marina.
Judging will be determined in the three IBCA categories, and the hamburger will be used as a tiebreaker if needed.
Deadline for entries is 5 p.m. Friday, June 8.
Trophies will be awarded in each category for first, second and third places, and cash prizes given.
Anyone interested in participating on IBCA sanctioned Cook-offs teams or needing more information on rules can contact Michael Neill at (903) 675-5165.
The Amateur Hamburger Cook-Off will be held on the area near Lake Athens Marina Restaurant.
Entry fee is $25. Judging will be 60 percent taste, 20 percent presentation and 20 percent originality.
Several local celebrities, including Uncle Fletch’s great-nephew, Jim Allison, will judge just burgers, cooked on home-style grills.
Teams can consist of 1-5 people. Contact Pam Burton at (903) 675-5131, or Tere Lawyer at (903) 676-2023 for more information.
Ponies and Pals will be set up for kids to ride ponies and enjoy a petting zoo.
Cost will be $5 for pony rides and $3 for the zoo.
Along with these two areas, there will be hamburger-related games for kids and adults.
Bun stacking, bun tossing, and a ketchup slide are being planned, as well as a hamburger eating contest. A bounce house, face painting and other items are also planned.
Live entertainment will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, with Saving the World playing pop and punk rock music.
From 3-6 p.m. local group Past Tense will provide classic rock and roll, and the headliner will be Gary Kyle and The No Standard Band, playing new country starting at 7 p.m.
Anyone wanting to participate in the Arts and Crafts this year will enjoy the setting of the new Education Building at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Set up can be after noon on Friday or at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Booth space is $50 for a 10x10 space.
Contact Mary Lou Williams at (903) 677-1639 for more information.
Food booth participants are also needed.
Lake Athens Marina will have a hamburger booth, but drinks, snow cones and other festival-type foods are welcome.
Cost is $50. Contact Peggy Gould at (903) 677-1917 for further information.
Athens earned the title of “home of the original hamburger” back in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair.
Before his death in 1984, newspaper columnist and folk historian Frank X. Tolbert researched the history of the hamburger.
He traced the beginnings of one of America’s few authentic gastronomical delights to Athens at the turn of the century.
Athenians of that era were so impressed with Uncle Fletch Davis’ innovation, they raised funds to send him to the 1904 fair.
There it was introduced to the world. Tolbert featured the hamburger story in his Tolbert’s Texas book, published in 1983.
He attributed his research to the archives of the late Dallas millionaire businessman Clint Murchison.
It seems that “Old Dave” began experimenting with different sandwich ideas during the late 1800s.
He discovered the right mix – “ground beef between two slices of bread spread with mayonnaise and mustard, then garnished with a big slice of Bermuda onion and sliced cucumber pickles.”
To further give the story credence, the historians at the McDonald’s Hamburger University researched the story and claim the inventor of the hamburger was “an unknown food vendor at the St. Louis Fair of 1904.”
Several towns in America have tried to dispute Athens’ claim, but so far, have not succeeded.
There is an historical marker on the north side of the square in downtown Athens, that states: “On this site in the late 1880’s, Café owner Fletcher (Old Dave) Davis (1864-1944) innovated and made the first hamburger sandwich.
“Encouraged by Athens’ enthusiasts, he introduced the sandwich at the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair. Dave’s nephew, Kindred Miller, Sr., Clint Murchison Jr, and the files of McDonald’s Hamburger University helped Frank Tolbert in research for this memorial.”
More recently, with the publicity created by Rep. Brown’s resolution, other relatives of Uncle Fletch have given the committee copies of the actual admission book with Uncle Fletch’s photo and signature at the 1904 World’s Fair – final proof that he was there and was the one a New York newspaper reporter referred to in his story.
The inaugural Uncle Fletch Davis Memorial World Hamburger Cook-Off was held in 1984 at the Cain Center.
It was moved to Central Park on South Prairieville in 1987 for a few years, and then was held in downtown Athens for a few years.
Since moving to the Lake Athens Marina three years ago, the event was just a cook-off until this year, when organizers felt it needed the festival feel again.
The event still supports making improvements in the Central Business District of our town. Anyone wanting to participate can find applications and more information at or call the Athens Visitor’s Center, (903) 677-0775 or toll free at 888-294-2847.

Cedar Creek Lake Library offers books to homebound
Special to The Monitor
SEVEN POINTS–The Library at Cedar Creek Lake has found a novel way to reach out and extend its services to a special segment of the population, the homebound.
Many people in our community do not have the mobility to go to the library and make use of its services.
Therefore, the library, in conjunction with the Meals on Wheels volunteers, have started taking books, both print and audio, to people who are temporarily or permanently confined to their homes because of illness, old age or physical disability.
Considering the human and financial resource constraints of the library, this is a rather radical approach.
Very few libraries in the nation provide such a service.
The idea for the new service came from Linda and Russ Rau of Eustace, who are both long time library and Meals on Wheels volunteers.
Wanda Shackelford, the director of Malakoff Meals on Wheels, enthusiastically supported it.
As a result, since March of this year, more than a dozen area residents have been receiving library materials through the Meals on Wheels volunteers.
Those who cannot read the book, for whatever reason, are given books on tape and a cassette player. People who have signed up for this program are very grateful to the volunteers for this very useful service because it helps ease their boredom and loneliness.
The library is willing to work with other Meals on Wheels programs in the lake area.
The staff will be very pleased to assist them with registering patrons and even selecting books for them. Therefore, all residents in the area are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.
The Library also needs volunteers who can deliver and pick up books. There is no question that these volunteers help make a difference in the quality of life of those homebound people in our community.
The Library at Cedar Creek Lake is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that depends on donations from businesses and individuals to keep its doors open.
The library has one full time and three part-time employees and a handful of volunteers.
The library will be holding an open house 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 19.
All lake area residents are invited to come and attend the open house.

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

ABOVE–My name is Lil Momma. I was brought to the shelter by animal control with a litter of new born pups. I am a wonderful momma and my pups are doing well. We are all up for adoption. I am very sweet but am a little shy until I get to know you. I am still in need of my shots and to be fixed. I am a wonderful girl looking for my new forever home. ABOVE–My name is Chasity. I am a very sweet girl. I was brought to the shelter by animal control so I have no history. So far I am a loving girl. I am your typical cat, I like to lay around and eat and be rubbed. I have been spayed and am current on my rabies shot. I am a wonderful girl looking for my new forever home.

ABOVE–We are flooded with kittens, kittens and even more kittens. For only $15 you could give a new baby a safe new home. We have orange, gray, black, white, tortoise shell and calico. We are all starting at around six weeks old and are in need of a wonderful new forever home.
ABOVE–My name is Tiny. I am a beautiful female adult Shepherd mix. I was brought to the shelter by animal control so I have no history. So far I seem to be very sweet, possibly housebroken, walk on a leash and seem to get along well with other male dogs. I don’t care for other female dogs. I have been started on my shots. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new forever 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