People, Places & Events




Choral concert with distinction
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell

ABOVE: The Mabank High School Varsity Treble Choir presented a moving rendition honoring our war dead in the singing of "Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones", preceding the entrance of guest choir the Plano Civic Chorus. The MHS choir is also performing in the school’s presentation of “GodSpell” starting 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 continuing Dec. 1-2. For ticket info call (903) 880-1600 ext. 2077.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
AT LEFT: Ralph Frederick Stannard directs the Plano Civic Chorus during a free concert at the Mabank High School Monday. The Chorus has more than 10 auditioned singers who have performed in cathedrals at Canterbury, Edinburgh and Dublin as well as Carnegie Hall. Songs offered included "Deep River", "Amazing Grace" and a rousing rendition of "America." The director's dad is a former resident of Payne Springs and is one of the reasons he brought the chorus to Mabank. His dad, now 92, as always was in the audience. "He's been going to my performances since I was a child," Stannard said.

Toy Run set for Dec. 8
Special to The Monitor
WILLS POINT–The fourth annual Butch Adkison Toy Run for Van Zandt County is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8.
Motorcyclists begin at Charlie’s Place, 335 Wingo Way, in Wills Point at noon and ride through Edgewood, Fruitvale, Grand Saline and Canton.
The ride ends at VFW Post 9171 on I-20 in Canton for the collection of toys and contributions.
There will be free hot dogs, chili and stew, picture opportunities with “Harley Santa,” live music, door prizes and on-site vendors.
U.S. Navy veteran and motorcycle enthusiast Butch Adkison began this toy run with the help of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9171 and the Ladies Auxiliary in 2004.
They bring toys and financial assistance to needy families in the county.
Adkison was soon joined by more than 100 bikers who participated in the first run.
In the summer of 2005, Adkison had to have both of his legs amputated above the knees and was unable to ride his motorcycle any longer but was determined that the toy run would go on.
He helped organize the second annual toy ride in December, 2005, and they raised more than $3,000 and 150 toys.
Sadly, Adkison passed away just weeks later.
Organizers began dedicating the toy run in his memory last year and they raised more than $4,000 and doubled the number of toys they received the year before.
The number of motorcyclists also increased to about 150.
The 2007 event is expected to bring in even more participants and donations.
Anyone wishing to contribute may bring an unwrapped toy or $10 donation to the Canton VFW.
Donations may also be made at Brookshire’s Grocery Stores in Canton, Wills Point and Grand Saline, and at Canton Motors and Jewel’s Restaurant in Canton.
All toys and financial donations go to assist needy families in Van Zandt County, including the families of soldiers in the armed forces.
For more information, call Marvonne Land at (214) 676-7282, Diane Farmer at (903) 833-5140 or Sam Sahami at (903) 288-6369.

Sent with love to troops
By Toni Garrard Clay
Special to The Monitor

ATHENS–Ruth Lang has the kind of face where a smile loves to live. Add to that the warm voice and the pink uniform jacket, and it’s pretty difficult to imagine her getting riled up about much. But she begs to differ.
“If you want to get this little, old ‘pink lady’ riled up,” she said, “say something against our soldiers.”
Lang is the mother of Navy Comdr. Mike Lang, who is assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq.
She is also the president of the ETMC Athens Auxiliary and, as such, has spearheaded a countywide project called “Treats for the Troops.”
Several weeks ago, auxiliary members set up a display near the hospital’s information desk complete with photos of soldiers and a plea for support in filling as many boxes as possible with goodies to send to Iraq and Afghanistan for the holidays.
“The response has been overwhelming,” Lang reported.
In addition to collections at the hospital, a number of banks joined in the effort. Churches across the county collected money and items for shipment.
A dentist in Malakoff donated toothbrushes and dental floss.
Hundreds of handmade Christmas cards were sent by second- and third-graders in Trinidad, Eustace, Chandler, Brownsboro and LaPoynor, as well as youngsters at the Methodist Children’s Center in Athens and the Methodist Angel Sunday School class in Carroll Springs.
“Thanks for fighting for our country,” read one card in crooked block letters. “We are praying that you get home safe,” said another. Yet another stated simply: “Fight! Fight! Win!”
Last Friday, dozens of auxiliary volunteers gathered in the ETMC Athens cafeteria, spread flat-rate postal boxes across several tables and packed them as densely as possible in preparation for delivery.
Thirty-eight of the boxes were addressed to specific soldiers, both men and women.
Many, many more – there were around 100 in all – were sent to general addresses where, hopefully, they will land in the hands of someone in need of a touch of home, even if that home isn’t their own.
“We hope that you can feel the love and admiration that is being sent to you,” wrote Lang in a letter included in each box, “and know that each and every one of you are in our thoughts and prayers.”
On the outside of each box is a sticker which reads eloquently: “Sent to you in loving memory, PFC Christopher Michael McCloud, Henderson County, Texas, Hero.”
Doris Harris, whose late husband served under Patton, and Margie McDaniel, whose husband fought in Korea, said the fact that many of the auxiliary volunteers can recall World War II, Korea and Vietnam makes them more sensitive, more eager to provide comfort for soldiers overseas now.
As they bent over boxes – placing in chocolates, books, games, toiletries, what have you, they reminisced about rationing during World War II (“We could only have one Coke a week”) and seeing bombing test runs overhead.
Everyone involved in the project describes the experience as an honor.
ETMC Athens Administrator Pat Wallace included a letter in each package. “It is our prayer,” he wrote, “that God protects you and gives your loved ones His peace.”
That’s what the effort is all about, really: a chance to give from the heart.
“There was a lady who saw our display and came to the front desk and said, ‘I don’t have much, but please take this and buy something for the soldiers,’” recalled Lang with emotion. “She handed us three one-dollar bills. It was all she could give.”
It was enough.



Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Hazer. I am a beautiful male Lab mix. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am now current on all of my shots, but I need to be fixed. I am a good boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Ben. I am a beautiful male Yellow Lab mix. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control so I have no history. So far I am a very friendly boy and I seem to walk okay on a leash. I am current on my shots. I am a good kid looking for my new forever home.

My name is MeMe. I am a beautiful female Heeler. I was dropped off at the Shelter with no history except for the five pups that were with me. I am a beautiful girl with lots of love. I also smile when I see you. I am a very good girl in need of a loving new forever home.

My name is Tanner. I am a beautiful male Chocolate Lab. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control so I have no history. I am a beautiful playful boy with a good personality. I am 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