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.
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
Adkison was soon joined by more than 100 bikers who participated in the
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
The number of motorcyclists also increased to about 150.
The 2007 event is expected to bring in even more participants and
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
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
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,
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
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
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
“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.
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
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