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Current Issue
November 13
, 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.
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 Thursdays 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
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


Local puppies donated for wounded patriots
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Wounded veterans returning home have many challenges to overcome before they can begin to resume anything approaching a normal life.
It’s not just their physical scars and missing limbs that set them apart, the memories of friends lost in combat, even their own survival while others did not tend to isolate them in their own cocoon of despair.
Some of these find help and hope from an animal companion.
A service dog is often just the friend to break the barriers and open the doors to making new friends, who will begin to see them as valuable, heroic, courageous and the capable individuals they are - with just a little help.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Patriot Paws trainer Rhonda Lee (left) holds Labrador puppy Dakota, while Evelyn Harrell holds puppy sibling Hannah. Harrell purchased and donated Hannah to Patriot Paws for training as a service dog for wounded veterans in loving memory for her granddaughter. Dakota was also purchased by members of Aley Methodist Church, represented by Pastor Eston Williams in memory of another church member who died this year. The dogs were bred by church member and Sunnybrook Labradors co-owner Jan Flowers (right) and husband Larry (see bottom photo). Patriot Paws of Rockwall is also represented by volunteer Tracey McCormick. The puppies' mother, Babe, lies at their feet. The puppies were two of eleven in a litter.

That’s where Patriot Paws comes in. Founded by dog trainer Lori Stevens in 2006, the Rockwall-based organization was recently awarded the Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award for its work with inmates to help train and socialize the puppies that meet the stringent qualifications to become a candidate for training as a service dog for wounded warriors and to those seriously hurt under noncombat circumstances.
“I feel honored that two of our puppies were chosen by Patriot Paws to go into training as service dogs,” local resident and Labrador breeder Jan Flowers said.
Ten years ago, Jan and husband Larry started breeding Labrador retrievers just north of Mabank.
Today, Sunnybrook Labradors mostly offers dog-sitting services for owners of large-breed dogs who don’t want their dogs in kennels while their owners are traveling.
The Flowers both retired after a long career with the Mabank schools.
Earlier this year, Jan’s friend Evelyn Harrell learned about Patriot Paws and knew exactly how she would help a wounded veteran while expressing her love and memorializing the life of her granddaughter Hannah, who recently died of leukemia.
She asked Patriot Paws to evaluate the most recent litter born at Sunnybrook for a possible female puppy she would purchase and donate to Patriot Paws once the puppy was weaned or around 8 weeks old.
Patriot Paws sent someone out and selected one from a litter of Labrador retrievers.
Jan blasted out an e-mail with the news to all her friends and church members at Aley United Methodist Church.
“When our church heard about this, many of our members wanted to buy a puppy for the program,” Aley pastor Eston Williams explained.
Patriot Paws came out again and this time selected a male puppy, which the church purchased for donation to the program.
Jan brought the male puppy to church. He was an immediate hit with the members. At the time , the puppy was called Ernie after an Aley church member Ernestine Aechtenacht ,who had recently died. “You should have heard him sing the first hymn with us,” Williams exclaimed.
Dogs are carefully evaluated prior to selection and only the best of the best become candidates, graduate, and are certified. The Patriot PAWS’ selection process is extensive.
Harrell and two volunteers from Patriot Paws returned at the appointed time to collect the weaned puppies. At that time, the church also presented the organization with a check for $390 to aid in the dogs’ upkeep.
But the story doesn’t end here. These puppies spend their first weeks and months of training with select inmates in Gatesville.
Two TDCJ facilities are participating in the first phase of the program, and include the Lane Murray Unit and the Crain Women’s Correctional Unit in Gatesville.
The partnership is intended to provide help not only for disabled veterans, but opportunities for prisoners to have a job while serving their sentence, learning a career trade and giving back to the community.
The service dog training was initiated on Feb. 4, 2008. From the initial pool of 88 applicants, a total of 18 trainers were selected, and eight Labrador puppies were placed with the inmates.
The women live with their dogs in dormitory-like space in each unit, which include outdoor areas for the dogs. There is also a shared training facility on-site.
After six months, and demonstrating the program’s success, TDCJ approved adding six more women inmates to each unit and has asked Patriot PAWS to expand the program both at the current facilities and to other correctional institutions in Texas.
Eleven women have been paroled since the program began. Patriot PAWS has hired one of the parolees’ and at least nine others are working in dog related programs. At this time, the recidivism rate is zero.
Rhonda Lee is one of these. She completed her parole and now works with veterans receiving their dogs.
Of the initial 88 offenders, 20 have been released and 14 have found work in dog-related fields.
“We are all very proud of Rhonda and look forward to many more years of working together,” Stevens said.
Once fully trained, the dogs are able to assist physically disabled individuals to accomplish daily tasks that would otherwise be difficult or impossible.
There are 29 trained dogs in service currently, serving veterans around the nation.
Each dog is customized to the individual needs of its owner.
In addition to being trained through positive reinforcement, each dog chooses its owner.
Jan Flowers visited the Rockwall facility Monday and was amazed at what the dogs could understand and do.
“I saw dogs bring a wheel chair, pick up clothes off the floor, put them in a laundry basket, pull it with a rope to the washing machine and load laundry into the machine,” she said.
“They asked me to drop something and say ‘Oops!’ So I dropped my keys, said Oops, and the dog placed the keys in my hand.
“The trainer put her cell phone on a desk across a large room then told the dog to ‘get the phone.’ The dog found the phone and brought it to her. All amazing! The dogs have a huge receptive vocabulary,” Flowers exclaimed.
The dogs are trained to perform many services including:
• Get help in emergencies!
• Open and close doors and cabinets
• Provide bracing to stand, walk, and sit down
• Help with chores, such as laundry
• Take shoes and socks off .
Perhaps one of the most beneficial remedies is the unconditional love and devotion a dog can provide to their lifelong partners. Once a strong bond forms between the dog and the companion, the dog’s trust, devotion, and a desire to please will follow.
The cost to train a service dog is approximately $20,000 - $30,000. This expense represents 12 to 18 months training, housing, feeding, and health related costs. Patriot PAWS Service Dogs Organization specializes in using positive reinforcement to train its dogs.
“Our goal is to help disabled persons and their service dogs learn to work as a team toward the physical and emotional self-sufficiency.
Those interested in learning more about Patriot Paws can go to or call (972) 772-3282.










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