People, Places & Events




Rotary Club’s celebrity waiter dinner set for Aug. 18
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–Event co-chairpersons Colleen Hinckley and Kim McClaskey have announced the theme for the 2007 Celebrity Waiter Dinner to be “Margaritaville, Escape to Paradise,” and the date as Saturday, Aug. 18.
The dinner will be held again this year at the Athens Country Club.
Cocktails will be served at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7:15 p.m. The live auction will begin at 8:30 p.m.
A silent auction will be going on from 6 p.m. through dinner.
“The committee is working hard to make the event event more exciting than ever before.
“Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite “Margaritaville, Escape to Paradise” costume and get your tickets early as they always seem to go fast.” Hinckley said.
This year’s list of celebrity waiters includes some favorites from past dinners, as well as some new faces.
The list includes David Holstein, Dr. Aaron Stephen, David Cain, Wade McKinney, Robert Render and Chris Pickens, Molly Pyle, Richard Sanders and Dr. John Loar.
Also, Judith McGilvray, Bud Henry, Mike Groom, Sue Cardin, Sue Stalcup, Charlie Arnt, John Jeter, Lana Mock, Sara McAtee, Dr. Mark Roberts and Jerry Scott.
Additional waiters include Linda Fernald, Mike Moore, David Riddoch, Scott McKee, Wade Gent and Raymond Schackleford.
Again this year there will be a live auction, with Kenny Odom conducting the auction.
According to Kim McClaskey, the list of auction items is outstanding.
For tickets or more information, please call Glenda Holbrook at (903) 498-7277.
Remember to make plans to attend and help the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake fund their goals to present scholarships to some deserving graduating seniors from Eustace, Mabank and Kemp high schools.
There were more than 30 scholarships presented this year. Local students as well as many other lake area organizations will be benefactors from the proceeds of the Rotary Club’s annual fund-raiser.
This year’s event marks the organizations 11th Celebrity Waiter fund-raiser.
Each year the club strives to come up with new, unusual and fun themes to keep it’s fund-raising event original and entertaining as well as a successful benefit affair.

Program speeds hip, knee surgery recovery
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–A new program is aimed at getting patients with hip or knee replacement surgery up and around more quickly than ever, the Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis club heard Wednesday.
Tyler-based Trinity Mother Frances Health System is inaugurating a new orthopedic program through its Joint Replacement Center, spokesman Mike Hines told the club during its weekly luncheon at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant.
Hines, as Mother Frances Health System’s administrative director for strategic development, travels the East Texas region meeting with physicians and patients to gauge how well the hospital does.
The Joint Replacement Center’s newest orthopedic surgeon, Dr. William F. Phillips III, was scheduled to speak to the Kiwanis members, but had an emergency procedure arise Wednesday morning, Hines said.
The new program at the Joint Replacement Center is geared toward making the patient both knowledgable about the surgical procedure and able to begin rehabilitation almost immediately, Hines said.
Surgeries are now scheduled on Mondays and Tuesdays, so the patient can go home by Thursday or Friday, he said.
“We try to do a lot of education before the surgery, and identify all the things they will be experiencing,” Hines said. “We try to take some of that fear of the unknown out of the procedure.”
Patients who have a knee or hip replaced usually are up and walking that same day, he said.
“We’re seeing patients leave the hospital happier,” Hines said. “This (program) certainly allows them to get in and out of the hospital quicker.”
Customer service is a major focus for Mother Frances, and part of that is getting the health care providers out into the region – trying to enable people to put a face with the name, Hines said.
“We’re recognizing the growth that’s going on here,” Hines said. “We’re trying to personalize our health care by taking all our new specialists out into the region and introducing them.”
Mother Frances Hospital is marking its 70th year with a number of new programs aimed at making health care easier to obtain, such as the Telecare Plus program.
Telecare Plus is a telephone hot line that enables anyone to speak with a health care professional at any time of the day or night.
“In most situations, they will be able to give you some alternatives that you can apply right there in your home,” Hines said.
A new cardiologist will be starting service at the Trinity Mother Frances Clinic in Canton next month, and a new neurosurgeon will be starting in Tyler July 16.
“His specialty is minimally-invasive brain surgery,” Hines added. “He just got back from Germany, where he trained on a one-of-a-kind microscope.”
Instead of “cracking open” the skull, the surgeon can use high-technology tools to reach a tumor through a natural body opening, such as the nose, making it possible to reach and remove formerly inoperable tumors, he said.
Starting July 1, physicians at Trinity Mother Frances Health Systems will now be on the United Health Care approved list.
The hospital system’s emphasis on customer service is one reason it’s ranked in the top 5 percent nationally in customer satisfaction, he said.
Every Monday, a group meets to review every customer service issue, Hines said.
“We have to generate an action plan – how can we make sure this won’t happen again?” he said.
For more information on the Joint Replacement Center, call the center at (903) 590-8673, or check the website at

Scurry horse trainers chosen for Mustang training challenge
Special to The Monitor
SCURRY–Husband and wife horse trainers Steve Smith and Wendy Hilton-Smith, of Cornerstone Training, are two of only 100 trainers throughout the nation selected for participating in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, a training competition with $25,000 in prizes.
“We’ve just begun to get to know each other,” says Hilton-Smith of her competition Mustang, which she has named “Murphy.”
“Each day there is improvement, and each day I like this horse more and more. I think my favorite part about him right now is his curiosity.”
Smith calls his competition horse “Diago.” “He is still untrusting, but is actually doing well. He’s getting used to my training tools and used to leading out. I’m really trying to work on building his trust and confidence in me,” Smith said.
The Mustang Heritage Foundation, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the Nevada Wild Horse and Burro Commission brought 100 wild Mustangs gathered from the Nevada hills to holding facilities in Nevada and Oklahoma.
The Mustangs used in the competition are sorrel or bay and similar in size, age, and condition. Trainers who were invited to participate in the Extreme Mustang Makeover were assigned their horses by lottery.
The Smiths picked up their Mustangs at the Paul’s Valley holding facility near Oklahoma City, on June 6.
“We were both excited when we went to pick up our horses,” Smith said.
“We weren’t sure what to expect when we went to pick up our horses,” say Hilton-Smith. “We were excited, and at the same time I was wondering what I have gotten myself into. I’ve worked Mustangs before, and it is no easy task.”
“The second day was an eye-opener,” Smith says. “I got as far as having Diago turn to face me (as opposed to running away), and was able to touch his head. That’s it, and that was a lot for him.”
Trainers will have until Saturday, Sept. 22, to work with their horses. Then, they will compete with the other Extreme Mustang Makeover contestants at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth.
During the competition, the Mustangs will be judged on conditioning, groundwork, and their ability to navigate a mounted “horse course,” representing maneuvers and obstacles commonly encountered in recreational and trail riding situations.
“I’m really trying to not make it about the competition, but about doing what’s right for my horse,” Hilton-Smith said.
All Mustangs participating in the Extreme Mustang Makeover will be made available for adoption through an auction held at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center on Sunday, Sept. 23.
For a complete list of selected trainers, rules and regulations for the Extreme Mustang Makeover event, or more information about the Mustang Heritage Foundation, visit
For more information about Cornerstone Training, visit or call (903) 498-4724.
Regular updates on Murphy’s and Diago’s training can be found online at

Walk Across Texas challenge set in Canton
Special to The Monitor
CANTON–Excitement built Friday morning as the group of more than 75 people formed in front of the Van Zandt County courthouse.
As several businesses sent employees over to see what in the world was happening, it was evident that a fun and friendly competition was unfolding as County Judge Rhita Koches issued a challenge to Curves of Canton.
The challenge consisted of county courthouse employees challenging Curves of Canton participants to whom would walk the farthest.
It seems that Curves of Canton will wash courthouse windows if they lose, and the courthouse employees will wash the windows of Curves if they lose.
This is all part of a program called Walk Across Texas, which was created in 1996.
The program established by Texas Cooperative Extension is encouraged by Dee Lee Smith, Van Zandt County Extension agent, and instigator behind the walking frenzy.
“Everyone knows regular exercise greatly improves health,” she said. “Getting started is not easy.”
To help people get started and establish a habit of regular exercise, Walk Across Texas (WAT), an eight-week program kicked off in Canton this week on the courthouse steps.
Walk Across Texas uses friendly competition and group support to help people not only start exercising regularly, but also to continue exercising long after Walk Across Texas is over.
Walk Across Texas is a free program. All participants need is a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
Regular walking has a great impact on health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, gall bladder disease, falls and fractures, osteoporosis, depression, stress, obesity and even the risk of hospitalizations.
Regular walking at a moderate intensity level boosts immunity, too. A recent national study showed walking 30 minutes four to five times weekly and loss of 7 percent of body weight significantly lowered one’s risk for developing diabetes.
Walking is not the only way you can participate in the program.
Jogging, bicycling and many other activities are included activities that count towards mileage.
Look to the courthouse second floor hallway and Curves to find the progress of each group weekly. It will be updated each Monday.
Call the Van Zandt County Extension office for more information at (903) 567-4149.
Educational programs of Texas Cooperative Extension are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age or national origin.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Princess. I am a beautiful female Terrier mix. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far I am a little shy but I am also friendly. I have just been fixed and now current on my shots. I am a good girl looking for a wonderful new home.

My name is Happy. I am an older female Akita mix. I am a very happy girl with a very laid back personality. I do not have much history, however I am now current on my shots. I am a wonderful girl looking for my new wonderful forever home.

We are two Border Collie females. We are very active girls. We were brought to the Shelter by our owner who was not able to keep us. We are very playful and seem to get along well with others. We are two beautiful girls looking for our new forever home.

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, seem to be housebroken, I walk on a leash and seem to get along well with make dogs, I don’t care for other females. 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