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Current Issue
July 24
, 2011






Clubs and Such

BNI (Business Network International) - Cedar Creek Professionals - meets every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at Comfort Suites, located at U.S. Hwy. 175 and TX 198 in Mabank. Larry Williams (903) 887-2847 or

Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. (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 Wednesday morning at the KC Senior Citizen Center, 405 W. Walnut in Mabank. (903) 887-6549 or (903) 887-1514.

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.

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. (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.

Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.

Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. (903) 887-4796.

Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. 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. Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.

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 #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Contact Kathey Brown email or (800) 422-2260 or visit

GriefShare Recovery support group meets at 7 p.m. each Tuesday at Cedar Creek Church of God, located at 142 Rodney Dr., Gun Barrel City. (903) 887-0293.

Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. (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. (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.

Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Kemp. 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. (903) 887-2781.

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. (903) 887-5252.

Mabank Garden Club meets at 1:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).

Mabank TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Mabank First Baptist Church. (903) 887-7700 or (903) 451-0126.

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. Donna Dean at ddean45@

Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. (903) 887-6201.

RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank.

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. (903) 498-2140.

Tamarack Ladies Club meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.

Trinity Valley Community College Band meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in the TVCC band hall. Group is open to any community member who plays an instrument. (903) 675-6222.

Trinity Valley Singles Support Group meets at 7 p.m. each Monday at Athens First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Lovers Lane. This is a support group for singles of all ages. Jean Love at (903) 451-4697 or Donna Stinson (903) 675-7270.


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Lake Life


Can you dig it?
Animals that dig meet children who dig reading
By Elisha Rivera
Monitor Staff Reporter

SEVEN POINTS–In keeping with the summer reading program theme: “Dig up a good book,” wildlife educator Allison Blakenship brought six animals that dig to motivate children to read more about them at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points recently.
All six animals from Zooniversity – the teaching zoo that comes to you, are nocturnal, which means that they sleep during the day and are active or hunt at night.

Monitor Photo/Elisha Rivera
Zooniversity owner and wildlife educator Allison Blakenship presents a timid Sahara Desert fennec fox named Tasha to library visitors. Her oversized ears are her “ear-conditioning” to transfer heat from her body.

All of Blakenship’s animals have been rescued from life-threatening situations and seem happy educating children under her tender tutelage. The library has been hosting special guest educators on Tuesday mornings throughout June and July to remind children that learning and reading are lifelong activities, not just reserved for the school year.
The children were asked to sit quietly while each rather timid and sleepy animal was introduced. Blakenship allowed four children to come up and pet each animal.
Nocturnal creatures can be found the world over, as were the animals featured on this occasion, which included a prairie dog, armadillo, fox, lesser tenrec, bullfrog and a sloth.
Miss Prickles is a lesser tenrec who hails from Madagascar and is a cousin to the hedgehog. She is four inches long and has spines that are completely harmless. She spends her nights hunting for bugs and hides from predators by digging. When Blakenship took Miss Prickles out of her cage, she smelled like “Corn Chips.”
Samson, a burrowing bullfrog, comes from Africa. This giant bullfrog is not limited to catching flies and bugs with his tongue, he’ll eat anything that will fit inside his huge mouth. Still a teenager, Samson measures seven inches across and has a girlfriend named Delilah. Frogs do not have upper palates, so they squeeze their eyeballs shut while swallowing their food. When he is full-grown, he will be the size of a dinner plate, Blakenship said.
Tuck, a three-banded armadillo, was rescued from South America. He weighs four pounds and rolls up into a tight ball when he feels threatened. While rolled up in a ball, Tuck is the size of a grapefruit with the color of a cantaloupe. He digs around for insects at night – grubs are a favorite.
A Texas native, black-tailed prairie dog named Doggie was rescued from an Air Force base in Odessa after the prairie that she lived on was poisoned. Doggie is the alpha female of her family back home at Zooniversity. Prairie dogs are Texas’ best digging animals.
A beautiful fennec fox named Tasha was next to be introduced to the children. Tasha hails from the Sahara Desert of North Africa and only weighs three pounds. An interesting fact about Tasha’s species is that the sun can kill them within hours, so they must burrow to hide from the sun and the heat of the desert. 

Monitor Photo/Elisha Rivera
A close encounter with a South American sloth takes place at The Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points July 12.

The fennec fox is the world’s fastest digger. She can dig a hole as tall as a two-story house in less than an hour. This fox is a carnivore and enjoys snacking on scorpions and snakes. Tasha can run at spurts up to 30 mph, so Blakenship had her on a leash. This little fox is famous for her petite body, her oversized ears, teeny nose and luscious fur. Tasha’s ears are actually “ear conditioners,” meaning that all the extra heat that is in her body goes “out” through her ears. Rabbits use their long ears in the same way.
A couple bought Tasha on-line for $2,000 when she was six weeks old. The baby fox tore up the couple’s new townhouse in a matter of hours.
Blakenship received a call to come get her within the next 24 hours. It is against the law for anyone other than animal rescuers or zoos to have a fennec fox in the state of Texas.
Baby Sid, a two-toed sloth, comes from South America. He was born in a rain forest. Sid is 1 1/2 years old and acts just like a toddler. Blakenship held him on her hip like a mother would carry her child. By the time he is full-grown, he will be three times larger than he is now, Blakenship said.
Sloths hardly move at all during the daytime. They climb up to the top of the tree and sleep for 22 hours a day. They come out after dark and eat fruits, vegetables and leaves. They move very slowly. Sloths also are very slow when it comes to digesting their food. It takes one month for the food to digest, and sloths go to the bathroom once every four to five days.
Blakenship’s Zooniversity is available for schools, libraries, scouts, events and birthday parties. For more information on this program, please call (972) 979-9847 or visit


























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