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) 887-6549.
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. There is a 2 p.m. Sunday meeting, also.
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 on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943, email,  or (800) 422-2260 or visit
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 Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant 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 the Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. Email bhanstrom@embarqmail  .com for more information. Everyone is welcome.
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.
Rainbow Girls, Masonic Youth organization meets on the second and fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Creek Masonic Lodge. For more information contact Donna Dean at
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) 675-7270.




How to turn a dinner with friends into a charitable event
Local food pantry gains when party is planned
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

TRINIDAD–How many dinner parties or barbecues do you host a year?
When you invite your guests, do they usually ask if there’s is anything they can bring?
The next time, you can answer, “There is something. We’d like you to bring a donation of nonperishable food or cash to be used by a local food pantry.”
While watching NBC’s Good Morning America last month, Johnette Betts saw how an organization called Feeding America had made a goal of providing a meal to nine million hungry people across the nation.
The segment solicited its listeners to plan a dinner party and collect money for the organization, instead of accepting cheap bottles of wine from their guests.
Betts was inspired.
“I want to do that,” she said. Then she called her friend and neighbor, Susie Helm, to help her make it a reality.
“We thought ‘we could give a party, and it could benefit the food pantry at church,’” Betts continued.
Five churches – Aley Methodist, First Baptist of Tool, Providence Baptist Church and St. Jude’s Catholic Church – cooperate to stock and run the food pantry housed at the Cedar Creek United Methodist Church.
Their idea evolved and grew until it became a H.O.T.D.O.G. party – Help Out To Do Others Good, coined by Betts.
Her husband, Gil, included an invitation to the party with his neighborhood newsletter. Helm and Betts talked it up to just about everyone they knew.
The result was 24 guests who either attended or sent money to help out.
Helm suggested a simple menu, including the kind of foods someone needing a food pantry’s help might eat.
So their guests arrived to Betts’ Treasure Isle home with grocery bags of food or money – or both – to sit down and enjoy the company of their neighbors and a humble hot dog and baked bean dinner with chips and a beverage.
Together, Betts and Helm collected 15 bags of food for the pantry and $303. Not bad for a first try.
In fact, on the day of the party, my husband stopped in at Brookshire’s to pick up a few items and also bought a $5 food bag Brookshire’s is kind enough to display/collect for the local food pantry. His cashier asked him if he was going to the party.
“Brookshire’s and its manager, Sandra Miller, are very good to the food pantry,” Helm commented. “Of course, we told them what we were doing.”
Helm has volunteered at the pantry since she retired three years ago.
“Brookshire’s lets us (the food pantry) place food orders at their cost,” Helm said.
When Brookshire’s employees make up new $5 bags for their customers to buy, “we’re often asked what items the pantry is running low on,” so they can include them, she added.
“Customers don’t even have to deliver those bags. Brookshire’s calls us to come get them when a bunch have been purchased,” Helm said.
“We’d like to get as many in the community involved in helping the food pantry as we can,” Miller told The Monitor. “The need is getting really strong.”
“The store has been a wonderful partnership with the church and other community organizations, as well,” Helm said.
Last Saturday was “Make a Difference Day.” Helm and Betts held their soiree on Friday.
But what if each week, someone on the lake hosted a similar party? What kind of affect might that have on the area food pantries? Imagine the possibilities.
Earlier this month, a Tool police officer told The Monitor about a break-in where nothing was taken except some food and change.
“Times are getting tougher.” Sgt. Rick Simmons said. For those on the edge, they may nearly be impossible.
Food pantries are reporting shortages.
There’s definitely a need – a need that continues year round. But now is a good time to start making a difference.


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