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 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 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. Call (903) 887-2781 for info.
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 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.


Family approach works for Tool students, teachers, Kiwanis hear
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–Using humor and treating everybody like family are two of the ways the Tool Elementary School has become one of the highest-rated campuses in the Cedar Creek Lake area.
Having high expectations for both students and teachers is the key to obtaining top results, Tool Elementary Principal Bill Morgan told the Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis club at its weekly luncheon Wednesday.
“Every student needs to know they can be greater than they think,” Morgan told club members. “Tool is not a school – it’s a community, where we treat everybody as family.”
Morgan invited club members to attend one of the school’s 7:55 a.m. assemblies, where students and teachers salute the U.S. and Texas flags, hear announcements and hear the word of the week.
“This week’s word is ‘curiosity,’” he said.
Curiosity about planets arising from a visit to the planetarium last year led students into rocketry, capped when 15 rockets were fired from the school grounds.
“We’re talking about science – not in the fifth grade, where there’s a big (TAKS) test, but in pre-K,” he said.
“We talk about building lives,” he added. “We want to empower kids about how great they are.”
Community members do the same thing, visiting the school to volunteer and help students understand and develop their sense of self-worth, Morgan said.
Four-year studies using recorders in kitchens and bathrooms showed children from wealthier homes know more words when they begin school, Morgan related.
Students from poor families were exposed to an average of 15 million words during the four-year study, while youngsters from middle-class families were exposed to approximately 30 million words, Morgan reported.
However, students from wealthy homes were exposed to an average of 45 million words, he said.
Approximately 90 percent of the students attending Tool Elementary qualify for the federal free/reduced price meal program, Morgan pointed out.
“Engagement is the key to all of this,” he said. “You’ve got to be 100 percent committed to the mission. If you’re not, people know, and kids pick up on that.”
Kiwanis past president Ralph Fortner recalled when he was in school, principals were always men, and they always wore suits and ties, which were intimidating.
Morgan said when he interviewed for the principal’s position, he told the school board members he did not intend to ever wear a suit and tie, because that look would make it difficult to talk to the majority of the parents he would be meeting.
A relaxed appearance also works to relax employees, he said.
“We’ve got to be a family,” he said. “I don’t know any other way to do it.”
A former Dallas police officer, who patrolled in Oak Cliff, Morgan said he found police work was education at the point of crisis.
“I wanted to be pro-active, and prevent stuff like that,” he said. “As a policeman, I would go into the worst situations time after time.”
As a principal, Morgan said, he has an opportunity to be the best person in the world to students and teachers.
“They have to know that they’re wanted,” he said. “No teacher, and no principal, is paid what they’re worth, so you have to make that up with the environment they’re in every day.”
One way to draw students into excelling is to find a way to challenge them, Morgan said.
“Last year, we did kiss the pig,” he said.
Morgan explained he agreed to kiss a pig, if students read at least 500 books during the specified period.
“So, they read 1,275 books,” he said. “Kids know how committed we are to them.”
Morgan was accompanied by school counselor Laura Smith, who is starting her first year at the school.
“Counseling is very hard to do,” Morgan said.
Morgan said he and Smith would be setting up Kiwanis-based programs, such as the BUGS (bringing up grades) and Terrific Kids, to prompt correct behavior.
“We’ll be pushing the Kiwanis part of the program,” he said. “What it means to do the right thing, and to do the right thing all the time, not just when you want to.”
In club news, members:
• heard past president Dr. Jeanne Caillet suggest supporting the distribution of Albendazole – a drug that kills intestinal and blood-borne parasites that can stunt a child’s physical and mental development – as part of Kiwanis International’s new worldwide project.
Two doses of the FDA-approved drug can be given to children each year. Each dose costs about 25 cents, and can keep children free of parasites, Caillet explained.
“We would raise the money, and the money would go to Kiwanis International, which would partner with UNICEF (for distribution),” she said.
• heard Caillet report on a recent district convention, where delegates heard the Texas-Oklahoma District lost 13 clubs and many members last year.
Gaining membership is the main focus for programs this year, she added.
The Texas-Oklahoma district governor will be visiting the division in January, and will be asking area clubs to contribute toward a scholarship fund.
Caillet suggested holding a “white elephant” auction during the visit to help raise funds, with Fortner volunteering to be the auctioneer.
“The auction will have four divisions,” she said. “First is, ‘ugly but functional,’ then ‘what the hell is that, and what does it do?’, along with ‘objects d’art’ and ‘ugly shoes.’”





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