David Norman - Austin College Athletics
    David Norman, Austin College athletic director, talked about their program as well as Division III athletics.  Being an Austin College graduate he has a special devotion to his alma mater, however, he is more enamored with what Division III athletics stands for.
    Mr. Norman pointed out that we are always hearing about a coach or player getting caught for doing something they shouldn't at the Division I level and although it is great entertainment, what are they really accomplishing?  Division III in which Austin College is a part of, is the largest sports consortium in the world with over 450 institutions participating.
    David said it means Division III prioritizes athletics and keeps it in perspective by supporting the growth of their student athletes.  People has misnomers about Division III schools.  They believe they are just non-scholarship schools which is 100% false.  Mr. Norman pointed out that 98.7% of their student athletes have a scholarship.  They are all academic scholarships.
   AC has 400 student athletes this year which is more than they have ever had out of a total enrollment of about 1,200.  He said they get those student athletes not only because they are given a chance to play athletics, but because they are also able to attend a very well respected academic program.  Mr. Norman emphasized, "At the end of the day it's really about what you do four years afterwards." 
    All of the athletic activities at Austin College are outside of the academic schedules.  This means the students don't have to miss a class.  They do have to learn how to prioritize and manage their time.
    David said Division III is the purest form of athletics.  They encourage students to come to Austin College and discover something that's important to them.  When they find what's important to them David said they will help them develop it. Students at Austin College are balancing a very strict academic curriculum while playing in an intercollegiate program.  It is not for everyone.  "Anybody can play, not anybody can play," noted Mr. Norman, "it takes a special person to balance that.  Most importantly, they are investing very heavily in their education.  
    The graduation rates at Austin College for the NCAA is 91.2%.  This means that anyone that started program, whether they finish or not, is tracked.  For the last eight years, every student who has gone through their program for four years has graduated.  David pointed out that it is a true team effort.  
    They tell students not to use academics as an excuse why they can't be great in athletics and not to use athletics as an excuse to why they can't be great in academics.  They can be great in both!  When it gets right down to it, they tell all their students it's pretty simple.  Go to class, manage your time, get some sleep.
    They require all of their first year student athletes to wake up and have breakfast by 8:00 a.m.  This is done to encourage them to manage their day.  Their business day is from 8 am to 4 pm and then they go to practice.  They also involve all of their student athletes in four mandatory sessions within the first four weeks of school.  They are time management, how to talk to your professor, how to study for your test, and writing.  
    Reading, writing and interpersonal communicating are a top priority at Austin College.  Of the 400 student athletes at Austin College, the overall G.P.A. in the program is 3.125 out of 4.0, which is very good.  
    Austin College is home to 18 different sports.  During the September 15-16 weekend Austin College will be hosting the first ever NCAA intercollegiate water polo contest.  Austin College is the only college in the state of Texas that offers water polo at the NCAA level.  Also, all of the sporting events at Austin College are free to attend.
    Mr, Norman proclaimed that Austin College is special and it's only special because of the people that are there and the people that support them.  It's the people that support them not just in athletics but also academically.  It's the people who come to events or recommend a student attend Austin College and especially those who help them with the financial part of it.
Randy Truxal - GC Foundation
      Randy Truxal is the Executive Director of the Grayson College Foundation.  He has been with Grayson College going on five years but has 32 years experience in development and fund raising.  
     When it comes to scholarships for students, there is always a need, however, demand always exceeds supply.  Although Grayson awarded $619,000 in scholarships this year, there were students who were left out.
    Grayson offers three types of scholarships.  The annual scholarship is one where a donation is made on an annual basis and then awarded to a student within the criteria set by the donating party.  It is divided and applied to the student's first and second semesters.
    A second is the transfer scholarship. They have two endowments that are set up specifically for Grayson students that will continue their education when they transfer to a four year college of their choice.  It will pay $1,000 per semester for the next two years of their education.
    The third scholarship is an endowment.  Many donors wish to either establish a named or endowed scholarship in their own name, in the name of a local business or in honor or memory of someone else. Not only can you determine the name of the scholarship, you can also determine the recipient criteria. In addition to the basic standards established by the Grayson College Foundation (credit-hour enrollment each semester and minimum 2.5 GPA), donors may designate additional criteria, such as: major, graduate of a particular high school, etc. The Foundation Scholarship Committee makes every attempt to match the scholarship applicant with the appropriate scholarship.     Once the initial endowment level of $5,000 is reached, the Grayson College Foundation invests the principal balance, then after a full year they begin presenting annual awards of 4-5% of the corpus of the fund, (as long as our earnings allow).  The donor may then continue to “grow” the endowment to higher levels and subsequently increasing the amount of the annual award that is generated by the earnings on the investment.  An endowed scholarship will continue to give every year.
    Randy noted that many times a scholarship is the difference between a student going to school and not going to school.  Even buying books for a student could be the difference of whether the student stays in school or pays their electric bill.  Grayson will do their best to help all students in need.  It is important to realize that the majority of Grayson's students are first time college students.
    Another very good reason why it’s good to help Grayson students receive their diploma is that 50% to 70% of them move back into the Texoma area.
Jenifer Politi - Sherman High School Principal
    Jenifer Politi is the new Sherman High School principal.  Along with experience, she brings an awesome enthusiasm and dedication to do what is best for the students.
    Sherman High School will have a new home in a coujple of years, but in meantime there is a lot of work to do.  They are currently finalizing the master schedule to ensure the students are in the correct classes.  There are 1,920 students enrolled so far this year, which is 50 more than last year.  The classrooms are busting at the seams, the hallways are packed and the students are excited.
    Jenifer said she was happy to finally get the kids back on campus after getting all the procedures in place, having campus discipline ready for the future and ensuring their instruction is where it needs to be to keep the students engaged.  Their big push is to also make sure the teachers stay engaged and stay focused on why they are here for the right reasons.
    Before coming to Sherman, Jenifer the campus principal at New Diana for six years before working in the central office for a year.  Prior to that she worked ten years for Arlington ISD where she was assistant principal at Arlington High School the last four years.  Prior to that Jenifer worked for an international sports marketing firm as a creative director and graphic designer.
    The drive to work in education runs in her family.  Her grandfather was a principal in New York.  
    When is comes to discipline, Jenifer has implemented a progressive plan. She said it allows the students to make mistakes because they are kids.  During their four years on campus it allows them to learn from their mistakes.  
    Jenfier said her main goal is concentrating on making sure procedures are all kept up to date and working, along with safety.  She said she wants her teachers teaching and not having to worry about anything else.
Bob Rhoden - Four Rivers Outreach
    Bob Rhoden, Four Rivers Outreach executive director, shared a couple of many success stories.  The most recent occurred last week.
    A young man entered their program last year when he was 17, however Bob said they asked him to leave because he wasn't quite ready.  He returned a few months later at the age of 18.  
    Bob said the young man was in a little better shape to participate this time.  Previously, it was hard to get him to engage.  As it turns out, this man had been homeless more than once, had lived in a car with his mother and even lived under the stairwell of an apartment complex.  He had also developed a drug problem.  His mother took him to Four Rivers and asked for help because she couldn't handle him any longer.
    After some "milkshake therapy" as Bob called it, the conversation with this young man who was now 19 resulted in him getting enrolled in school so he could earn a diploma as opposed to a GED.  He set a very difficult goal for himself to graduate in May with the other high school graduates.  He surprised everyone by completing three and a half years of high school core subjects in about six months and graduated from Sherman High School in May.  
    He went on to complete the Four River program and graduated last week.  He has moved back to Fort Worth to live with his mother and is concentrating his efforts to help her.  He has also enrolled in Tarrant College.  He now has a bright future because he was able to find something he could hold onto and best of all, he is now drug free.
    During the graduation, Bob said they allow the men in the program or anyone who has worked with the graduate to say a few words.  It became obvious very quickly that this young man had also inspired everyone else by his dedication and hard work to achieve his goal of earning his high school diploma.  
    Bob noted that there are only 16 available beds at the facility and although they can theoretically graduate 16 a year, the reality of it is much less.  They have a positive rate of around 60% which is much better than most places.  The program completion rate of 15% at Four Rivers is much better than the 2% to 3% range on average.  
    Mr. Rhoden added that they are in the forgiveness business.  That is the only thing they have to offer and they give it out ever day.
    In a heartfelt tone, Bob said, "It's the toughest job I've ever had, but it's the greatest job I've ever had."  He also expressed his appreciation Rotary has given to Four Rivers over the years.
    Their annual fund raising event will be held on September 27th at the Hilton Garden Inn.  Rory Feek will headline the entertainment. 
    A true renaissance man, Rory Feek is known as one of Nashville’s premiere songwriters, entrepreneurs and out-of-the-box thinkers. He is a world class storyteller that crosses all creative mediums from music and film to books and Internet. 
    As a songwriter, Rory’s written multiple number-one songs and had dozens of other songs he’s written recorded by Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Reba, Waylon Jennings and many others.  As a recording artist, Rory is one-half of the Grammy winning country-music duo Joey+Rory. 
    For more information, contact Bob Rhoden at 903.870.4000, or by email at
Dr. Jeannine Hatt & Dr. Chuck Phelps - Race For Grace
Dr. Chuck Phelps, Kate Whitfield, Dr. Jeannine Hatt
    Dr. Chuck Phelps and Dr. Jeannine Hatt have been helping others worldwide for many years.  They first got involved in international volunteerism in 1990, and have since traveled to South America, Central America and Haiti.  
    They got involved because they thought it would be an interesting way to learn about a new culture, they could provide healthcare to those who had very little and especially wanted to be able to take their children.  Being physicians, what really drove them to get involved was the desire to help others, and in particular, children.  
    Dr. Hatt shared some shocking statistics.  Only 3% of the world's children live in the U.S.  Ninety percent of the children are born in resource poor countries.  In 1990, the under 5 mortality rate in industrial countries was less than 5/1000.  In least developed countries is was more than 100/1000.  The major killers include acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, malaria, measles and malnutrition.  These are simple diseases that are treatable here in our country.
    With that, Dr. Hatt said they didn't want to "just put a band aid on a big aching wound."  They wanted to get involved with an organization that was there all the time and empowered the local healthcare system which provided preventative healthcare as well as curative healthcare.
    In 2000, they were invited to visit a small children's hospital in Haiti.  Haiti shares the western third of the island Hispaniola, with the Dominican Republic.  Haiti has the reputation of being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere along with they highest infant mortality rate.  
    The International Child Care program started over 40 years ago when a U.S. couple on a cruise were in port in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  As they wondered off the beaten path they noticed children dying largely from tuberculosis.  When the couple returned home they raised money and started the Grace Children's Hospital.
    In 2010, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake destroyed Grace Children's Hospital.  Estimates claim 300,000 lives were lost and another 300,000 injured.  1.5 million citizens were displaced.  37,867 remain displaced as of September 2017.  There were 122 Americans confirmed dead.
    Fourteen years ago, Dr. Hatt & Dr. Phelps put together a Race For Grace cycling team to participate in the Hotter 'n Hell 100 event in Wichita Falls, Texas. They ride to raise money for the health programs of International Child Care for kids and families in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, including the flagship mission Grace Children's Hospital.  The HH100 event takes place the last weekend in August. This year's event will be Saturday, August 25, 2018.
    Dr. Phelps said they average around seventy riders and raise about $70,000.  To date they have raised over $500,000.  For more information visit their website at
Bill Slicker - Rotary International District 5810 Governor
Rotary International District 5810 Governor Bill Slicker's Official Club Visit.  He was introduced by Grayson Rotary Club President Stacy Braddock.
    Bill Slicker, Rotary International District 5810 Governor for 2018-19, inspired everyone during his official club visit last week.  John Moser, District Governor Nominee (Allen Sunrise) and Pete McLellan, Assistant Governor, (McKinney) accompanied Bill.
    "It's a great day to be a Rotarian," proclaimed DG Slicker.  "The good thing about Rotary is we just want to continue having fun while we serve our Rotary community.  Sometimes we hear criticism that we are an international organization and we don't do enough at home, but what we are doing in our communities is unbelievable."   What we are finding more and more is Rotary is working together with other organizations.  This is what makes Rotary so unique.  We do things worldwide.
    Thirty years ago when Rotary took on the task of eradicating polio, people thought we were nuts.  Although we did many things in communities all around the world, we didn't have a health background.  What we did though, was find the right partners.
    In other projects such as clean water, Rotary is changing their model some.  In years past, Rotary would see a need and give money to help.  Now, they are going to the communities and asking what they need most.  At that point, Rotary is asking the communities to invest as well so they have some buy-in.  This seems to be helping projects with sustainability.  
    Just recently, Rotary signed an agreement with Ghana, to provide 1 million flush toilets.  Local citizens will be trained to make the toilets.  These toilets only take one cup or container of water for flushing.  Although Rotary is funding this project, the people are asked to pay for it.
    In regards to polio, we are down to three countries:  Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.  Last March, 70,000 workers immunized 10 million kids.  Bill was involved in a National Immunization Day in India, in 2004, and shared his story of what it was like to administer the polio vaccine.  Although we are making great progress, Rotary still needs your support.
    Bill asked that each Rotarian give $120 per year ($10 per month).  He also wants us to give something to PolioPlus and to continue supporting their community.  
    DG Slicker thanked everyone for what we have done and continue to do.  Bill said, "It is a privilege and honor to be a Rotarian and if we can communicate that to everybody, we have done our job.  It's a great day to be a Rotarian."
    Bill joined the Dallas Rotary Club in 1999, having been a previous member of Roswell, Georgia since 1987.  He served as the Dallas Rotary Club's president in 2007-08, and their Foundation chair in 2008-09.  He was the Permanent Fund advisor for the United States and Canada from 2003-2005, and the District's Foundation chair in 2016-17.  Bill has participated in several Rotary initiatives including a 2004 National Immunization Day in India.  He is also the District's first Arch Klumph Society member.
    “Be The Inspiration.”
Brett Smith - Grayson County Criminal District Attorney
    Brett Smith was recently selected as interim District Attorney by the Commissioner's Court.  He is filling in for Joe Brown who left to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas.
    Brett has taken on the responsibility very seriously although he only has the job until January 1st.  He will, however, be running for the position of District Attorney as a Republican when elections take place this coming November.  Brett has already made improvements as the D.A.
    We use to have what was known as the County Attorney's office and District Attorney's office.  The County Attorney had jurisdiction over misdemeanors the District Attorney had jurisdiction over felonies.  All counties had their County Attorney but many smaller counties didn't have enough felony cases so the District Attorney would cover more than one county. Several years ago Joe Brown sought legislative permission to develop a Criminal District Attorney's office that would have jurisdiction over all cases.  
    Having been an assistant District Attorney and working in the system for the past 15 years, Brett has been able to see things he thought needed to be changed.  One of the first things Brett implemented is an after hours phone in which he keeps with him 24-7.  The special phone number has been given out to all law enforcement.  This shows law enforcement in the county that the D.A.'s office is here to support and help them at all times.  Brett noted that law enforcement isn't a 9 to 5 job, it's an around the clock job because it's all about law enforcement.
    Brett explained the Grand Jury selection process and responsibilities.  The selection process has changed in recent years.  In years past the jury was selected by the commissioners.  Grand jurors are now selected like regular jurors.  They are summoned in to serve on a jury and they may be thinking it's just for a day or two, but then find out it's for Grand Jury service which encompasses a couple days a week for six months.  
    The Grand jurors are then selected by a District Judge.  They will then go through a voir dire process to make sure they are qualified to serve on the Grand Jury.  The District Attorney will educate the jurors on what serving on a Grand Jury means.  The Texas Constitution says that before anyone gets indicted in the state of Texas, it has to go through a Grand Jury.  The Grand Jury is a panel of citizens that decides whether or not it is okay for the government to return an indictment against a person.  The District Attorney will present their cases to the Grand Jury who will then decide if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.
    Brett said they are testing a new process that will allow their investigators to present cases for law enforcement from the smaller towns to the Grand Jury.  Often times the smaller towns may only have one officer on duty.  When they have to come to Sherman to present their case they would leave that town without law enforcement for several hours.  Most of the time the Grayson County Sheriff's office will have an officer fill in but that reduces their resources.  This new process should be very helpful to the smaller communities as well as the Sheriff's office, but the ultimate decision will be on whether the members of the Grand Jury determine if it is beneficial or not.  So far, it seems to be working.
    Brett is also looking at bringing in a diversion court system.  A diversion program in the criminal justice system is a form of sentence in which the criminal offender joins a rehabilitation program, which will help remedy the behavior leading to the original arrest, and avoid conviction and a criminal record.  Initially, this will be for young, first time, non-violet offenders.  Brett said they will model their program after Tarrant County who has several very successful diversion programs.
    Now, when it comes to criminals, Brett is tough!  He has more life sentence convictions than everyone else is the D.A.'s office with the exception of Kerye Ashmore who was been prosecuting for 35 years.  When it comes to violent offenders or child abusers, Brett will put them away for good.
    Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt added that everything Mr. Smith has done and plans to do will significantly help with the jail population.  They have a great working relationship with the District Attorney's office.
Stacy Braddock - Grayson Rotary's 32nd Club President
    We came full circle once again for the 32nd time, but we weren’t alone for the most part.  You see, all 32,000 plus clubs and 529 Districts around the world as well as Rotary International itself undergoes a change of leadership effective July 1st each year.  
    This year, club past president Lisa Hebert (14-15) performed the installation of officers and directors for the Rotary Club of Grayson County.  She first reminded everyone of “The Object Of Rotary.”  The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:  First - The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; Second - High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society; Third - The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life; and Fourth - The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. 
    Cindy Brandt was installed as Club Administrator (8th Year).  Norman Gordon (4th Year) and Sarah Pierce (2nd Year) will continue as Membership co-chairs.  Terry Everett will continue as Club Secretary (9th Year), Bulletin Editor and Public Relations (23rd Year).  Kate Whitfield will take over as the Club’s Service Projects Chair.  She even proclaimed to be the Club’s Geriatric Athlete.  Mike Nix will serve as The Rotary Foundation Chair (2nd Year).  Steve Ramsey will continue as Club Treasurer (6th Year) through December and then Jim Walker (Treasurer 2008-12) will take over in January 2019, so that Steve Ramsey may prepare for his future Grayson Rotary role.  Cindy Brandt will take on a new office as the Club’s Sergeant-at-Arms.  Susan Whitenack will serve as our Fundraising Chair (2nd Year). 
    Stacy Braddock, Edwin Clark, Terry Everett, Lisa Hebert, Mike Nix, Steve Ramsey and Jim Walker will all serve on the Scholarship Committee.  Paul Manley will run our Flag Lease Program (2 Year). Edwin Clark will oversee New Generations (3rd Year).
    Steve Ramsey was installed as Club President-Elect.  Stacy Braddock was installed as Grayson County Rotary Club’s 32nd President.
    The members were then asked to support the Club’s Officers & Directors and the programs of the Club by their attendance, by participating in club activities, by paying their dues on time, by supporting all fundraising efforts, by being a good traveler, by singing with gusto, by volunteering to serve others and by living the 4-Way Test of the things we think, say or do.
    Jim Walker was then presented with a Past-President’s badge and thanked for a successful year.  Stacy was presented with a Club President’s plaque and the gavel to ring in the near year.  
    All officers and directors were presented with pins representing their office while they will Be The Inspiration for 2018-19.
Trish Wood - North Texas Young Professionals
    Trish Wood is the past chair of The North Texas Young Professionals.  She shared information on what they are all about and what they do.
    Founded in 2009, The North Texas Young Professionals have been developing Texoma’s future leaders by providing a forum for young professionals to build relationships, serve the community, promote local business, and engage with Pillars and business leaders in our community.
    With a diverse network of over 200 young professionals ranging from the mid 20’s to the mid 40’s, however, they have several members outside the age range as well. NTYP empowers future leaders to connect with other like-minded individuals who share the passion of networking, business development, philanthropy, and community.
    There are a number of ways to get involved in NTYP, including Quarterly Pillars Forum luncheons giving members opportunities to meet and hear from local leaders, networking happy hours to promote yourself and your business, and joining the Steering Committee. Our annual fundraiser, FIGHT NIGHT, is a USA Boxing sanctioned event held each May with dinner, drinks, and dancing. Proceeds benefit our chosen non-profit, North Texas Youth Connection, which serves runaway, homeless, and street youth to stabilize their living situation.
    The purpose of NTYP shall be to impact and influence our communities through innovative services to the membership in order to meet the following objectives:  1. To provide a forum for young professionals in the North Texas area an opportunity to establish and strengthen their business network. 2. To establish, interact with and maintain activities and organization available to young professionals.  3. To serve as an organizational framework for community service, networking, social, influential and educational activities.  4. To provide an opportunity for North Texas young professionals to obtain information and create and maintain the network and leadership skills necessary to serve family, profession and community.  5. To influence local and state government officials to remain diligent to promote local business and community interests.
    They have a "Happy Hour" networking event once a month for their members.  They also have networking luncheons throughout the year.  
    Every three months they have a Pillars Forum Luncheon.  Someone with experience in our community speaks on the do's and don't's of running a business to help the young professionals learn and be more productive within our community.  
    They also have fund raising evens throughout the year.  NTYP's charity of choice is the North Texas Youth Connection.  In addition to their fundraising events they have several service projects throughout the year as well.
    To learn more about NTYP or for more information on becoming a member visit their website at or check out their Facebook page at
Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt & Chief Deputy Sheriff Tony Bennie
    Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt and Grayson County Chief Deputy Sheriff Tony Bennie spoke on the the newly formed North Texas Criminal Interdiction Unit (NTXICU).  This is the first of it's kind not only in Texas, but in the United States.  
    So far, they have assembled a coalition on nine counties.  Grayson and Collin are the original signatory agents.  The other counties participating so far include Hunt, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, Wise, Smith and Wood.
    Texas, and more specifically the Rio Grande Valley, are the epicenter of illegal drugs and human trafficking entering the United States.  Tony displayed a map showing the drug flow into Texas and how it all flows through the DFW area with a huge portion coming right through Grayson County. Since NTXICU's inception on December 18, 2017, their results have been nothing short of incredible!  In the first quarter, they have seized $60,000 of hidden U.S. currency, 1,479 lbs. of marijuana, 5 lbs of cocaine, 61 lbs. of methamphetamine, 9 lbs. of heroin, 1/2 lb. of fentynal, 13 lbs. of THC products, 8 stolen motor vehicles and 4 automatic weapons.
    Better yet, they have made 57 arrests which includes two fugitives wanted for capital murder in Los Angeles, CA, and Little Rock, AR.  The deputies arresting the murder capital fugitive from Los Angeles, also recovered a missing female child.  On another unrelated traffic stop, NTXICU deputies rescued a missing child from Austin, TX.  
    Tony added that they will never be able to completely stop the flow of illegal drugs and human trafficking, but they will have a big impact.  He anticipates that as they become more successful, the cartels will eventually find another route.  Tony also believes they will bring more counties into the NTXICU as well as add additional units to the East and West.
   Deputies serving in the unit are authorized to make arrests in any participating county. All wear the same uniforms and drive cars with similar markings. Their goal: To stop the movement of illegal drugs and human trafficking on North Texas highways.
    Tony shared a video showing several success stories confiscating illegal drugs and someone wanted for murder.  We also saw some of the very creative ways they try to smuggle drugs into and throughout the country.  
    All currency that is confiscated goes back into the program to buy new technology or whatever they need to improve their success rate.  They have a special process in which the illegal drugs are destroyed.  The autos may be sold at an auction or possiblly used undercover depending on the condtion.  The firearms are either destroyed or sold at auction as well.
Sarah Pierce - Goodwill Industries of Northeast Texas
    Sarah Pierce, Marketing Specialist for Goodwill Industries of Northeast Texas, shared information on what Goodwill is all about and how they help the our communities.  The Northeast Texas Goodwill covers seventeen counties.
    Goodwill is a 501(c)(3) organization encompassing fourteen territories across Texas. Each territory is ran by an independent board of directors.  
    Sarah shared her heart and passion she has for Goodwill by explaining how they help so many people in our community.  Goodwill's mission is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities or disadvantages.  This is accomplished through education, training and placement in gainful employment.
    Sarah emphasized that their mission starts with you and their mission ends with you. What she means is that every time you make a donation and every time you shop in their store eighty-five cents of each dollar you spend goes back into their mission.  Fifteen cents of each dollar is used to pay the employees, whether it's in the office, the stores or the plant.  It is to improve the quality of life to those with disadvantages ranging from being born with physical or mental handicap to those who may have a felony record and have no place to go or know how to get help.
    It is their goal to provide an avenue where these individuals can develop a sense of self-worth, learn to believe in themselves and become productive citizens.  They will prepare and help place those with employment barriers into competitive jobs with other area companies. 
    Steve Avard pointed out that Goodwill was started in this community by Rotarians.  They have also supported Goodwill over the years. Steve served 16 years on the Goodwill board of directors.
    David Bayless, who has supported Goodwill for several years, added that one thing everyone should do is to attend their annual banquet.  You will then be able to witness all the great things the disadvantaged people are doing.  What these people have been able to accomplish and do for their own lives brings the spirit back to you of what Goodwill is doing by providing something for them to make them feel important as well.
    In Sherman back in 1958, John Sicks, a prominent member of the community, had heard of some disabled people that were struggling to make a living in a small building on Brockett Street. They had opened a resale shop and stocked it with merchandise they had dug out of the trash, or had been given. They took the items and refurbished them as well as they could, and put them out for resale. John wanted to help these people, but was not sure where or how to begin.
    John began by talking to others in the community he felt would be interested in helping the less fortunate and gathered information. He discussed his dream with Rev. Arch Tolbert and came to the conclusion that a Goodwill Industries type of operation might work in Grayson County, to provide employment for individuals with disabilities.
    During the next eight months he worked every day to make his dream come true. He talked to countless people throughout the county, wrote innumerable letters, and made many trips to Dallas to talk to the Goodwill Corporation leaders there. His patience and skills enabled him to solve each problem as it arose.
    Like Helms, he was determined to let no obstacle prevent the realization of his dream. When he had his information and plan ready he met with the Sherman Rotary Club Board. The Board, and later the entire Club, endorsed the idea of sponsoring the program for the disabled. The Rotary Club launched the program in 1959.
Eddie Brown - Sherman Chamber of Commerce
    Eddie Brown, Sherman Chamber of Commerce President brought us up to date on what the chamber was doing.  He began by expressing his appreciation of Grayson Rotary’s flag program.  
    When Eddie began with the Chamber seven years ago, he said their first item of business was to get out of debt.  With the help of the board and others in the community, that is now behind them.  Eddie said he learned that if you will just be honest with people they will work with you and that’s exactly what they did.
    They also wanted to get rid of any unnecessary expenses.  It took about nine months to take care of that.  Once that was done they were able to move forward with their growth plans.
    The third goal is to grow the Chamber financially and to leave it in good standing when the time comes for the next person to run the Chamber. They are doing a pretty good job of getting this done as well.
    The Chamber is thriving and growing including their membership.  The expect to grow between 60 and 75 members this year.  They have grown about fifty members a year over the past five years.  Sherman grew by about 1,000 people in 2016 which adds to the Chamber’s growth as well.  
    Not only do they want to grow their membership base but they want to grow leadership program, too.  They will host their 32nd leadership class this coming September.  They had 30 go through the leadership class last year and expect to have that many again this year.  If you are interested, contact the Sherman Chamber to hold your spot now before they are gone.
    The Chamber’s magazine also continues to grow.  This year’s is their largest with about 100 pages.  Not only has the size of the magazine grown, but so has the distribution numbers.  It has increased from 3,000 seven years ago to 20,000 this past year.  The magazines are distributed each January.  
    The are currently working on their maps that they produce produce every 18 months.  It is a map of Sherman on one side and Grayson County on the other.
    So you may be asking why maps because everyone uses their phone any more, but oh contraire.  They have grown this as well from 3,000 maps every 18 months to 7,000.
    They recently held their 7th annual golf tournment.  The have gone from about 50-60 golfers the first year to filling all 136 spots this year.
    About a month ago they held their first quarterly Women’s Networking Event. There were about 50 women in attendance.  They will have a different speaker each time.
    Most recently they held their first Lunch & Learn.  They sold all 60 spots in about 10 days.  The speaker talked about business etiquette ranging from handshakes to the do’s and don’ts of business table manners.  This will become a quarterly event as well.
    About 75% of all Chambes around the country are made up of small businesses.  The Chamber helps small businesses through networking. This is very important because small businesses don’t have the budget to do a lot of expensive advertising.  They help with legislative contacts if needed for any issues that may come up.  The Chamber also works closely with the Grayson College Small Business Development Center which offers free advice to small businesses.
Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt & Chief Deputy Tony Bennie -  Intelligence Led Policing
    Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt and Chief Deputy Tony Bennie are in the process of implementing a new intelligence system that is going to do a heck of a lot more than just take a bite out of crime.  If you are going to break the law, you might as well just make it easy on yourself and turn yourself in.
    Tom said there are two types of policing.  There is reactive policing which is the normal way to do things or there's proactive policing.  With proactive policing they will be able to identify those who are causing the most difficulty in the community and put practices in place to deal with them.  Tom experienced the intelligence led policing when he was with the Sherman Police Department several years ago and saw the advantages.
    Tony first experienced intelligence led policing in 2007, when he was promoted to lieutenant as a Texas Ranger.  His first duty as a lieutenant was to lead his company on border patrol in Laredo, Texas.  Tony was one of five lieutenants.  They other areas patrolled were El Paso, Marfa, Del Rio and McAllen.  Although they knew there was a huge drug problem, there was also an issue with undocumented children being sent across the border without any adult supervision.  
    As devastating as the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City was, it was more of a symbolic attack when you think about the nation's economy, noted Chief Bennie.  Within three hours of the Texas-Mexico border is the Texas Gulf Coast where 65% of the nation's oil is refined.  If they had attacked the refineries in South Texas, it would have really crippled this nation's economy.  
    Looking at the border, 50% of all criminal activity that effects this country derives from the Rio Grande Valley.  Seventy-five percent of the crimes coming in from Mexico to Texas, are in the Rio Grande Valley.  The benefits of intelligence led policing has led them to focus on a 94 mile area of responsibility (AOR).  Chief Bennie said they were so effective with intelligence led policing that a big portion of the illegal activity coming in from Mexico started coming into the U.S. in New Mexico, Arizona and California.
    Tony said they used their information to strategically place teams where they would be the most successful.  By using this intelligence they were quite successful in stopping the drug cartels and taking their drugs and cash away.  
    Of the five major thoroughfares going north out of Mexico, two of them go through Grayson County.  Not only are there a lot drugs passing through but other crimes including human trafficking are also finding their way through our area.  
    Chief Bennie added that what impressed him the most was being able to do all the work on the front end by gathering all the information to determine where they would be the most successful.  This is exactly what they are implementing now in Grayson County.
    This new way of policing will make the Sheriff's Department more efficient which in turn makes better use of the taxpayer's dollar.  Bottom line, it works!
Robin Bethel & Cheryl Vaughan - Child Protective Services
      Robin Bethel, Child Protective Services Supervisor, has been with CPS for 25 years.  Cheryl Vaughan is the Grayson County assistant district attorney who works the cases for CPS.  CPS is a governmental agency responsible for providing child protection which includes responding to reports of child abuse or neglect.
    Cheryl said that many of the cases involve parents using drugs.  The parents usually don't realize the effect it has on the kids even though they may not be using drugs around the children.  Sometimes the mother's may be using drugs while they are pregnant which can really cause problems later on.  Robin added that sex trafficking is now becoming more of an issue and something they are having to deal with.  
    When a referral is received it goes to Austin, Texas, for investigation.  It is then assigned to the county in which the family resides.  Priorities are placed depending on the situation with response times for each incident.  Investigators then have thirty days to complete their investigations. 
    Alternative Response is a relatively new approach giving CPS workers the flexibility to use different tools and strategies so respond to a range of situations.  For some families, CPS must use a traditional services response to investigate and determine if abuse or neglect occurred and to ensure child safety and well-being.  For many families, it's more appropriate for CPS to work collaboratively with families to identify concerns and find solutions that keep families together and give them the services and supports they need to keep their children safe.
    Robin shared some alarming statistics.  For March 2018, there were 123 intake cases with 82 being completed.  Of those, 13 children were removed from their home.  There were 185 children placed in substitute care.  Only 63 children remained in Grayson County while 122 were placed in subcare in another county.  Sixty-five children were placed in subcare in Grayson County from another county.
    It is a very traumatic experience for the child when they are removed from their home and then add that to everything they have already been through. Imagine if you were removed and taken somewhere else to live without being able to take anything with you.  Cheryl said child removal is a last resort measure.  They do everything they can to keep children with their own families.
    There are seventeen investigators, nine family service workers and ten conservatorship workers serving Grayson County.  Cheryl emphasized that we need more foster parents in Grayson County.  
    Robin shared a couple of stories with happy outcomes and noted there are many others as well.  
Drew Satterwhite - Greater Texoma Utility Authority
    Drew knows H2O! Drew Satterwhite is the general manager for GTUA (Greater Texoma Utility Authority).
    GTUA is a political subdivision of the state of Texas, created in 1979, by the request of Sherman and Denison. They were created for the purpose of assisting area water, wastewater and solid waste providers with
infrastructure, financing and operational needs.
    GTUA is ran by a nine member board of directors. The cities of Sherman
and Denison appoint three members each. One is from Gainesville, one from Anna and one other member representing general law cities. They have added 15 member cities since and so each city appoints a general law city member.
    Lake Texoma is a 2.5 million acre -foot reservoir. Half of it is for flood control. Thirty percent is designated from water supply and hydropower. The remaining 20% is the inactive pool at the bottom reserved for sedimentation.
    GTUA is currently involved in several projects that include the Sherman water treatment plant, the wastewater treatment plant and systems. They are also involved with the Krum water well, the Tom Bean well and pump station, the Ector wastewater treatment plant, the Princeton pump station, the Gunter wastewater treatment plant and water well and several more.
    In 1997, Senate Bill 1, enacted by the Texas Legislature, confirmed that "groundwater conservation districts . . . are the state's preferred method of groudwater management trough rules developed, adopted and promulgated by a district." In 2007, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a report advising one or more groundwater conservation districts would need to be created in the 13-county area of North Central Texas, including Collin, Cooke, Denton, Fannin and Grayson Counties.
    The Red River Groundwater Conservation District was created May 25, 2009, by Senate Bill 2529 for Fannin and Grayson Counties. There are seven board of directors, four appointed from Grayson and three from Fannin. The RRGCD entered in a management agreement with the GTUA to provide management and staffing for the District in 2011.
    The North Texas Groundwater Conservation District was created May 27, 2009, by Senate Bll 2497 for Collin, Cooke and Denton Counties They will have 3 directors from each county. They entered into a management agreement with the GTUA just like Red River. There are 100 confirmed groundwater conservation districts in Texas.
    Over 59% of Texas' water is groundwater. A large part of that is from the agricultural production. Grayson County uses over 50% groundwater to meet their needs as well. If it weren't for Sherman and Denison Grayson County would only use groundwater.
    GTUA must plan ahead so they will know how much water is needed in the future as the population grows. In 2010, the population of Texas, was 25,145,000. They predict an increase to 29,650,000 by 2020. Drew thanked the forward thinking leaders of our communities from a few years back who saw the need to get in on the Texoma water deal when it was available. Thankfully, we are in good shape when it comes to water needs of the future in North Texas, compared to many of the other areas around the state.
Shawn Coker - Grayson Central Appraisal District
    Shawn Coker, chief apopraiser for the Grayson Central Appraisal District, explained what they do.  He also told us what they don’t do.
    First off, the GCAD does NOT set the tax rate.  They don’t collect the money either.  They “do” however, determine property values as fairly as possible.
    Property taxes in Texas, are one of the biggest taxes we have.  Reason being, we don't have a state income tax, our sales tax is pretty typical with other states, and our consumption tax is less than a lot of states.  Texas ranks 4th highest when it comes to property taxes. mThat hasn't slowed down homes sales though, especially in Grayson County where homes sell very quickly.  Last year, there were approximately 2,020 sales.
    It's still relatively cheap to live in Texas.  People continue to move to Texas, because of the job market.  Grayson County has an unemployment rate of about 3%.  The federal government considers about 3% of our population unemployable, so that means most everyone in Grayson County who can work has a job.  Local industries are having a hard time filling all of their positions.  Shawn said that companies like Tyson and Ruiz are fighting each other for employees, so to speak.  
    The appraisal district is a political subdivision of the State of Texas.  Their duties include establishing and maintaining accurate property values for all real and business personal property.  The Texas Property Tax Code is the primary source of law and guidance for the Texas property tax system. 
    Property taxes are local taxes that provide the largest source of money local governments use to pay for schools, streets, roads, police, fire protection and many other services. Texas law establishes the process followed by local officials in determining the value for property, ensuring that values are equal and uniform, setting tax rates and collecting taxes.
    Local taxing units, including the school districts, counties, cities, junior colleges and special districts, decide how much money they must spend to provide public services. Property tax rates are set according to taxing unit budgets. Some taxing units have access to other revenue sources, such as a local sales tax. School districts must rely on the local property tax, in addition to state and federal funds.
    Taxation must be equal and uniform. No single property or type of property should pay more than its fair share. The property taxes you pay are based on the value of property you own.  Generally, all property must be taxed based on its current market value. That's the price it would sell for when both buyer and seller seek the best price and neither is under pressure to buy or sell.  Each property in a county must have a single appraised value. This means that the various local governments to which you pay property taxes cannot assign different values to your property; all must use the same value. This is guaranteed by the use of county appraisal districts.  
Leigh Walker - Family Promise of Grayson County
    Did you know that 2.5 million children and their parents in America will experience homelessness this year?  Family Promise is leading the fight against family homelessness.  Family Promise comprises over 200 affiliates in 42 states.
    Leigh Walker is executive director of the Grayson County chapter.  They will be open and ready to begin helping families May 6, 2018.
    When a family enters the program, Family Promise helps them begin to rebuild their lives.  They help them find housing and help them jobs as well as offer job training,  They help the find health care and even day care.  It is a very comprehensive program.  Nearly 75% of the families secure housing within nine weeks of entering the program.
    Sadly, over 700 kids within the Sherman ISD are homeless.  This represents the largest percentage of homeless kids In Region 10 which includes Dallas.  
    Leigh said the guests will stay in one of the Grayson County host churches.  They are looking to add a couple more host churches so they will have at least thirteen.  This will have each host church participating no more than four times a year.  They will transport the guests in the evening to the host church.  The host church will provide dinner and allow the family to participate in church activities in they so choose.  They host church will provide a private room for the family to sleep.  
    FPGC will be able to host up to four families of up to 14 people.  Breakfast is provided as well as supplies to make lunches to take with them.  The children are able to eat lunch at school.  In the morning, the families are picked up and taken to the Day Center where they can get ready for the day.  The children are picked up by their home school buses.  After one week, the family is relocated to another host church.
    The Day Center, which is located on Houston Street in Sherman, provides a homelike atmosphere for them from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Many of the guests are employed and will go to work.  Other guests work the the Network Director to find jobs and housing.  The Day Center has shower facilities as well as washers and dryers.  Children not old enough for school have a designated are at the Center.
    To learn more about Family Promise, visit: or  If you would like to volunteer or make a donation, please contact Leigh Walker at 903-271-1088 or write her at
Greg Howse - Sherman ISD School Pyschologist
    Many of us never heard  anything about autism when we were in school.  We hear about it quite often in today's society however.  Autism affects one in sixty-five children.  More children have autism than those with cancer.  Parents spend $60,000 plus per year for the care of a child who has autism.
    Greg Howse, licensed specialist in School Psychology at Sherman I.S.D., said that autism began to emerge in literature in the early 1900's.  It was used to describe people with a mental disorder known as schizophrenia.  
    It wasn't until two researchers, one in the United States in 1943, and another in Germany in 1944, began to describe these children who were having developmental disabilities.  American child psychiatrist Leo Kanner began using the term autism to describe these children.  German Hans Asperger described children with very similar developmental issues as Asperger's Syndrome, keeping his last name in the title.
    In the 1950's, research thought autism was more of an emotional disorder.  Parents were often blamed and especially mothers. They coined the term "Refrigerator Mother's" saying they were too cold with their child and didn't play or interact with them.
    It wasn't until the late 60's or early 70's that there was a genetic component behind that particular disorder.  Autism never made it into he diagnostic manual until the 1980's.  It was then called infantile autism.  It wasn't recognized in the schools until the early 90's as an educational disability when the federal government changed the law.
    When autism was first introduced in the diagnostic manual there were six criteria in which all had to be met.  There was a revision and you only had to meet eight of sixteen.  There was another revision and now it is called a spectrum disorder.  Greg said this means a person can encounter characteristics and difficulties with this particular disorder ranging from a very significant and severe impairment where you have almost no communication with people to one where a person is much more functional.  
    Researchers are looking into causal factors just like anything else we don't know much about.  We do know there are some genetic markers associated with autism but it doesn't account for everything.  Greg said we know a lot more about how to help the students than we do about how they got to where they are, so to speak.
    There are a couple of things to look at in regards to autism.  One is how they communicate with other people socially. Some may avoid eye contact or even refrain from talking to you.  Students with autism have a great deal of difficulty expressing feelings or even communicating non-verbally.  Many of us use our hands to communicate while we talk while autistic children do not.
    Autistic people don't pick up on facial expressions so they don't understand emotions or perhaps the same feelings we feel.  Language is very literal to them.  This is something that a student may possess a little or a lot of.  Some students have no language so part of the goal is to help them communicate with others.  
    Students with autism have a very difficult time getting out of their routine. They enjoy patterns and consistency. Greg added another area they help them with is adapting to change and transition.  
    Many students have certain topics they are interested in such as youtube, video games or super heroes.  They will know an exceptional amount of information on their preferred topic and will talk hours about it.  You can change the topic with them and they may temporarily go along with you but will quickly circle back to their topic of choice.
    Greg emphasized that the earlier they can detect a child with autism the better the outcome.  They work with Early Childhood Intervention and physicians to help determine if a child has autism.  A child can usually be diagnosed by the age of two, sometimes three.
    Greg proudly added that a girl had gone all the way through the Sherman school system and received a full ride at Austin College where she graduated with honors.  She still has some social difficulties though.  
Wanda Kauffman - Grayson County CASA
    Wanda Kaufmann just couldn't get enough of a good thing so she got even more involved.  She has been involved with Grayson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for ten years.  Wanda was a volunteer for five years before joining the CASA staff as their Volunteer Coordinator.  About six months ago she became their Program Director.
    CASA volunteers work with kids that have been removed from their homes by CPS (Child Protective Services).  They are considered as the children's voices in court.  CASA volunteers visit the children while they are in Foster homes.  Sometimes they continue their relationships when the kids go back to their homes.  They report back to the District Judges with what they have observed as well as their opinion on the situation.  Wanda said that sometimes they agree with CPS and sometimes they don't.  Their job is to look out for the best interest of the children.
    Last year, from October 2016-September 2017, CASA served 203 children with 65 volunteers.  Forty volunteers went through 30 hours of training.  They logged over 6,000 volunteer hours.  Currently, 72 supervisors and volunteers are covering 82 cases that involve 162 children.
    In 2017, CPS had 1,420 investigations.  They removed 406 children.  In February, there were 198 children in care.  These numbers are represented in just our community.
    To make matters worse, these kids are placed all over the state of Texas, because their aren't enough Foster homes locally.  Many are not only removed from their homes, but the are removed from their school and their friends.
    CASA volunteers are required to see the children at least once a month if they are within an hour drive.  If the children are within a three hour range they are required to see them at least once every three months.  For those over three hours away, they must see them at least once every 6 months.
    Cases usually last twelve months.  CPS can request an extension for an additional six months.  CASA volunteers will stay with their assigned kids the duration of the case.  Often times, they are the only constant in these kids' lives.
    Exactly what does a CASA volunteer do?  CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court and other settings. The primary responsibilities of a CASA volunteer are to:
    Gather information: Conduct thorough research through review of documents and records, and speaking with children, family members and professionals in their lives.
    Document findings: Provide written reports at court hearings.
    Appear in court: Advocate for the child’s best interests and provide testimony when necessary.
    Recommend services: Ensure that the children and their family are receiving appropriate services and advocate for those that are not immediately available. Bring concerns about the child’s health, education, mental health, etc. to the appropriate professionals.
    Monitor case plans and court orders: Check to see that plans are being followed.
    Keep the court informed: Update the court on developments with agencies and family members.
    To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, call 903-813-5400.  You must be at least 21 years old.
     April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Wanda asked everyone to wear blue during the month of April.   
David Cortinas - The Carmelita Torres Story & Bath Riots of 1917
    David Cortinas, Grayson Rotary past president (2012-13) shared some very timely, yet practically unknown Texas history with respect to Women's History Month.  It is the story of Carmelita Torres and the Bath Riots of 1917.
    Most historians have forgotten about this obscure incident that took place on the border in 1917.  This took place during World War I. It was also during the Mexican Revolution.
    For decades, U.S. health authorities used noxious, often toxic chemicals to delouse Mexicans seeking to cross the border into the United States.  American authorities regularly forced all other working-class Mexicans to take a bath and be sprayed with pesticides at the Santa Fe Bridge whenever they needed to cross into the United States.  This didn't take place at any other port in America; just El Paso.
    During this time, Tom Lea, Sr. was the mayor of El Paso.  The mayor's good friend, Dr. Kluttz, had informed him that the typhus lice does not stick to silk, so Mayor Lea always wore silk underwear.  He was a clean freak in more ways than one.  Lea was also determined to clean up the city by getting rid of all the dirty and corrupt politicians.
    Tom Lea sent letters and telegrams to Washington officials for months asking for a full quarantine against Mexicans at the border.  The local Public Health Service officials viewed the mayor's request as extreme.  
    Instead of quarantine camps, Dr. B. J. Lloyd, the public health service official stationed in El Paso, suggested setting up delousing plants. Echoing the El Paso mayor's racist language, Lloyd told his superiors he was "cheerfully" willing to "bathe and disinfect all the dirty, lousy people who are coming into this country from Mexico." Lloyd added prophetically that "we shall probably continue the work of killing lice in the effects of immigration the Mexican border for many years to come, certainly not less than ten years, and probably twenty-five years or more." (If anything, Lloyd underestimated things. The sterilization of human beings on the border would continue for more than 40 years.)
    Before being allowed to cross, Mexicans were completely shaved and then had to bathe, strip nude for an inspection, undergo the lice treatment, and have their clothes treated in a steam dryer.  The baths and fumigations (DDT, Zyklon B, Kerosene and Gasoline were used) continued for decades, long after the Mexican typhus scare ended. In order to work in the United States this process was done every eight days.  
    History took a turn when a 17-year-old maid refused to go through the process.  The El Paso Times described the leader of the Bath Riots as "an auburn-haired Amazon."  She sparked an uprising against a policy that would change the course of the history in El Paso and Juárez for decades.  Some even consider her a fronteriza Rosa Parks, yet her name has been mostly forgotten. 
    The "Amazon" was Carmelita Torres, a 17-year old Juárez maid who crossed the Santa Fe International Bridge into El Paso every morning to clean American homes.  At 7:30 a.m. on January 28, 1917, when Carmelita was asked by the customs officials at the bridge to get off the trolley, take a bath and be disinfected with gasoline, she refused.  Instead, Carmelita got off the streetcar and convinced 30 other female passengers to get off with her and demonstrate their opposition to this humiliating process.  By 8:30 a.m. more than 200 Mexican women had joined her and blocked all traffic into El Paso.  By noon, the press estimated their number as several thousand women and men.
    The Mexican housekeepers who revolted had good cause to be upset.  Inside a brick disinfectant building under the bridge, health personnel had been secretly photographing women in the nude and posting the snapshots in a local cantina. 
    These forced sterilizations were so severe upon the Mexican laborers that it led to a new problem for the United States, illegal immigration.  The Mexicans decided they didn’t want to subject themselves to this ridiculous process so they would cross over into the United States in remotes areas of the river or desert.  
    There were so many illegal crossings that the government created the short-lived Mounted Quarantine Guard in 1921.  They were in charge of monitoring the 150 mile long stretch of the Rio Grande on horseback and rounding up all undocumented Mexicans.  They were phased out in 1924, when the U.S. Border Patrol came into existence.
    Jim Fry pointed out that Zyklon B was also used by the Nazi’s in the gas chambers in their concentration camps.  David said there is a letter where Adolph Hitler specifically praised the El Paso method of fumigating Mexican immigrants with Zyklon B. 
    At the start of WWII, the Nazis adopted Zyklon B as a fumigation agent at German border crossings and concentration camps. Later, when the Final Solution was put into effect, the Germans found more sinister uses for this extremely lethal pesticide. They used Zyklon B pellets in their own gas chambers not just to kill lice but to exterminate millions of human beings. But that's another story.    
Lindsey Manley - CBC Creative

    We recently learned that LKM is the new CEO of CBC Creative. Say what? Linday K. Manley is the new owner of CBC Creative, a local full service advertising agency. They are located right here in Sherman, Texas, and do it all!
    Branding is one of the services CBC Creative has to offer. Branding is the process of creating and disseminating the brand name. Brands are often expressed in the form of logos. It is a symbol that triggers a memory or thought in the consumer's mind about who you are and what you are about.
    CBC Creative has an entire team based around the execution of hand designed, in house developed, fully mobile friendly web design and development. The web is where 99.9% of consumers will first interact with your business so you definitely want to make a good first impression. CBC Creative works with clients to get them exactly what they want.
    They are fully engaged with video marketing. Videos are replacing ads everywhere. CBCwillhelpwithwebdisplays,TVcommercials,educationortraining.
    When it comes to advertising on TV, radio, social media or any other non-traditional venue you need an ad agency to help you because they have negotiating pull that can get your special discounts. CBC Creative helps your company make the decisions that make the most sense and then get them at a price to maximize the budget.
    CBC Creative is an Addy-Award winning agency. They can come up with an amazing design for any kind of marketing you desire. They design logos, websites, catalogs, magazines, signage, packaging, and a whole lot more. If you have an idea you want to promote or market but aren't sure what to do, give CBC Creative a call and they will take it from there.
    When you are ready to increase traffic to your business or perhaps market an incredible product that you have, CBC Creative can help you take your business to the next level. Plus, all of their marketing campaigns come with data and analytics, something many other digital advertising companies fear.
    CBC Creative worked with Sherman ISD on their Building Bearcats campaign. They worked with the new Emergency Center in Sherman from the very beginning to help them brand and market them-
selves. Most recently, you may have seen a copy of the new Chamber of Commerce magazine. That, too, is some of the creative work of CBC Creative.
    Their creative arsenal has experience working with everyone from Fortune 500 Companies to the small "Mom & Pop" shops.
    CBC Creative offers a full line of services to help you launch your brand and make it easy for your customers to find you everywhere! They are your creative solutions for your next big idea.

Lori Holcombe - KinCare
    Lori Holcombe, caregiver specialist for Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG), spoke on the services they provide.  She facilitates support for the Parkinson's groups, the Alzheimer's groups and the KinCare Program. 
    The KinCare program helps grandparents who are taking care of their grandchildren.  Lori noted that although it is a very difficult thing to do, the grandparents never complain.  She thanked the Grayson Rotary club for supporting the KinCare program over the years.  
    The 2000 Census identified nearly 4,000 grandparents in the Texoma area alone who have legal responsibility to raise their grandchildren. Numerous issues confront these grandparents who have become "parents again", including legal, medical, educational, financial and psycho-social concerns.  The GAP Caregiver Support Group meets on the 1st Tuesday of each month and offers volunteer support, peer and formal counseling, and educational programs to assist grandparents and great-grandparents to successfully address their needs.
    Many grandparents have expressed their appreciation for helping them throughout the year.  They are especially thankful for the back to school program (KinCare).  
    Becky Burtner pointed out that many of the grandparents live on a fixed income.  Imagine what it would be like to have grandkids brought over to live with them now and need school supplies and clothing.  This is where Grayson Rotary comes in.  Many times they don't even have enough money to take the kids to the doctor.
    Almost 26 million family caregivers provide care to adults (aged 18+) with a disability or chronic illness, and 5 million informal caregivers provide care for older adults aged 50+ with dementia. TCOG's Monthly Caregiver Support program offers a monthly support group, monthly newsletter and resource center offering information, counseling and material to teach about how to manage caregiver stress in positive ways.
Steven O'Day - Austin College President
    Steven O'Day shared his vision for the the future of Austin College.  He came from Lebanon Valley College which is about 40 minutes from Harrisburg, PA.  Prior to that he was at Franklin and Marshall College which is in his hometown of Lancaster, PA, which is about 70 miles west of Philadelphia.
    Mr. O'Day is now a resident of Sherman and Austin College's 16th president.  He proudly admitted that it feels like home.  
    However, before all of this, Steven was an attorney and practiced law for about ten years.  At that time the thought never crossed his mind that he would go into higher education.  He became involved in a non-traditional way. 
    One day there was a posting in the local newspaper that Franklin and Marshall College was looking for a head coach for their women's soccer team.  This caught Steven's attention because he had just finished playing professional soccer after a few years.  He added that it wasn't anything to get too excited about because "it didn't even cover gas money," but he can say he played professionally.
    One day, in the local newspaper, it was posted that Franklin and Marshall College was looking for a women's soccer coach.  His wife encouraged Steve to apply for the position.  He quickly replied she was crazy because he didn't have time to coach.  With a little more encouragement he decided to apply for the job.
    Mr. O'Day said the athletic director called his bluff and hired him even though he had no coaching experience.  Once that got him on a college campus he said he immediately fell in love being able to work with college students.  Because he enjoyed this experience so much he told the athletic director he would be interested in a full time position if anything ever became available.  
    Not thinking he would ever hear anything, about six months later he was informed the full-time pre-law advisor position would be opening up on campus.  Now it was time to decide whether he would leave the law profession and make a career change.  Upon making that decision he has never looked back and has worked his way up through the administrative ranks.  He became Dean while still coaching, then eventually vice president and now president of Austin College.
    Steven pointed out that a college in a community can be a little bit of a mystery to those who live in the area.  People drive by and know it's there.  They may have even been on campus at a sporting even or watching a performance and have a general idea of what's happening at the college, but you may not know the finer details of what they are trying to do.
    What is the value of a college education?  It is expensive.  Is it really worth it?  
    The mission statement of Austin College is to prepare students for rewarding careers and for full engaged, meaningful lives.  So what does that mean today?  The world is changing, the work world is changing.
    Mr. O'Day said that unlike his dad who worked for Bell Telephone for almost 40 years and had no other job, he is now on his fifth job since law school.  His son Ryan, who graduated college in 2014, is already on his third job.  "It's different now!", exclaimed O'Day.  
    Studies tell us that 95% of new jobs created since the great recession in 2008-2009, require college level education.  Additionally, it is known that those with a college degree earn on average, $2.8 million more than those without a degree.  That is proof why college is indeed very much worth it!
    It is known that employers prefer people who are critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, collaborators, clear communicators and are adaptive.  We also know that the U.S. Department of Labor shows people will experience 10 to 14 jobs by age 38.  The world is different!         
    Looking forward, the vast majority of the jobs that will exist, 10, 15, 20 years from now, don't even exist yet.  Because of this trend, Austin College is not only preparing it's students for their ever so important first job, but they are also preparing them for their fifth, seventh, fourteenth job.  
    Austin College is also a business, but not in the traditional sense.  They are not here to make a profit.  They have a shared governing system which is a blend of governance among many constituencies including the board of trustees, the faculty, administration and the students, all of whom have some degree of voice in how the college works. 
    They function like a business in a lot of ways.  They have balance sheets, expense statements and budgets that need to be balanced.  They also have an impact on the local community.  They employ 359 full-time employees.  Their annual payroll is approximately $24 million.  The college pays over $20 million a year directly to local vendors.  Students and visitors bring in $7 million a year.  Their summer conferences bring in around $500,000 a year.  Core expenditures  equal about $40 million a year.  
    Austin College isn't just dollars.  They are very engaged in the community as well with many non-profit organizations.  The Austin College alumni also has a huge impact on the community.  Austin College students volunteer in excess of 16,000 hours each year.  
    On one last note in regards to those jobs that don't exist yet, Mr. O'Day asked who would've imagined twenty year ago that Sherman, Texas, would become the largest producer of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers?
    Austin College's future is bright!  Grayson County's future is bright!  Working together makes is even better!
John Rossfeld - Wilson N Jones CEO
    John Rossfeld came to Sherman about a year ago.  He is the Interim Chief Executive Officer for Wilson N Jones Regional Hospital.  
    Fate may have something to say about the interim part of his title though.  One of his sons has a dog named Sherman.  Better yet, their new grandson's name is Grayson.
    WNJ acquired by Aletco Healthcare out of southern California, in December 2014.  They own five other hospitals; two in California, two in West Virginia and one in Ohio.
    The emergency department at WNJ is a very busy one.  They have been exceptionally busy lately due to many patients having the flu.  They have made special provisions for patients with flu-like symptoms so they may be treated quickly.  
    WNJ is a Level III Trauma Center.  Just this past year, they brought in a new emergency department physician group who is very good.  The medical director in one of only fifty physicians who has done a fellowship in Emergency Medical Serivces (EMS) which relates to the transport of a patient.  Some of the elements of a Level III Trauma Center include: 24-hour immediate coverage by Emergency Medicine Physicians, quick availability of specialty physicians and surgeons and specially trained trauma nurses.
    They are a designated Stroke Center and have been for several years.  John emphasized that when it comes to a stroke you need to go to the nearest hospital because time is everything.
    The hospital has recently implemented a program they call "In Quicker."  This allows patients to check-in online for the emergency department.  By collecting some information ahead of time it cuts down on the wait time at the ER.  An interesting demographic shows the average age of those using the "In Quicker" check-in system is 23.
    WNJ has had a Wound Care center but just recently joined with Restorix Health and added HBO.  No, not the TV show, but equipment to offer Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy.  For most people, wounds heal relatively quickly and easily.  For others, wound healing is a complex medical problem requiring specialized care.  Staff at the HBO and Wound Care Center work in partnership with patients to develop a treatment plan to help speed the healing process.
    The maternity unit has been renovated so it resembles one's home more.  It is a larger room which allows more space for family members.  A mother may also stay in her room the whole time.  She can go through the delivery process without ever leaving the room. 
    Behavioral Health Services is a 12 bed unit located on the fourth floor of the hospital.  It features a variety of clinical and therapeutic approaches to help create a positive and hopeful outlook for the future of adults facing a behavioral disorder.  The Adult Program provides patients with ways to successfully cope with life’s challenges and facilitate recovery.  The Senior Program serves patients 65 years of age and older who are experiencing emotional problems.
     John noted that in addition to providing health care services they are very involved with several organizations in the community.  They are also working with Grayson College to put a clinic on the campus to serve students and staff.  This should be available sometime in March.
    John and his wife of 42 years have five children, eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  John was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, before moving to California.  He also understands all the good Rotary does.  He was a charter president of a Rotary club in southern California.
Dr. Jeremy McMillen - Grayson College's Future
    There are a lot of changes taking place on the Grayson College campus.  Dr. Jeremy McMillen spoke about the future of Grayson College.
    “Our future has everything to do with how we envision it,” expressed Dr. McMillen.  He added, “No matter what you think about where we are today, tomorrow is how we envision what we want it to be.”  He even signs every email with the “Onward” to keep everyone’s mind focused on the future.
    The strategic goals of the college are “Connect, Commit, Complete.”  They want to make sure the students are connected to the college enabling them to explore what they want to do and to finish what they’ve already started.  Being a Pathways College they want the students to connect to their career path as quickly as possible.  Just going to a junior college to get a few courses out of the way isn’t really a commitment.  Grayson strives to help each student plan for what they want to do after college.  They want to help each student complete their dream of either transferring to a university to complete a degree or even launch their career.  
    On average, it takes a student 86 hours to get their 60 hour college degree.  Many of the students who have extra hours over what it takes to graduate are nursing students and they will have more hours.  Although the 86 hour average is lower than the 93 hour state average, Grayson is working to help students take only courses that are in line with those needed for their degree.
    Most recently, the Board of Directors approved bringing back the men’s and women’s basketball programs.  The main reason they stopped basketball at Grayson was the lack of rooms to house the athletes.  They will have a new dorm ready in August.  Other programs being be added at Grayson are athletic training, pep band and cheerleading.
    The are going ot continue with the STEM Scholarships for those interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  This has been funded at the state level but since that is going away they will seek local support.  Dr.McMillen said they have seen more students enrolling in their engineering and advanced math classes and the STEM scholarship has been very beneficial.
    They recently broke ground on the Student Success Center.  It is located next the the administration building.  Their student testing facilities and math labs will be housed in the new Student Success Center.  
    They are expanding the Viticulture and Enology program.  As a result, they will be able to make brandy out of wine.
    They will soon have an advanced manufacturing program.  
    If everything goes as planned Grayon will offer a Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  They are well known for their Nursing program and will now step it up a notch.  They hope to be able to offer a B.S. degree in Nursing starting in the fall of 2019.
    All of these projects are being paid for with money the college aleady has.  When they are all said and done, Grayson will still have more money in their reserves than most community colleges in the state of Texas.
    Grayson is also proactive in keeping their current facilies properly maintained.  This will keep them from having to deal with unforseen issues down the road.
    Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  After hearing Dr. McMillen talk about the future of Grayson College, it is evident they are doing their fair share of changing the world. 
Dianne Helms - District Director, Senator Craig Estes
    Dianne Helms, District Director, shared information on District 30 and updated us on the last session for Texas Senator Craig Estes,  Senator Estes’s wife fell and broke her elbow so he went home to take care of her.  
    District 30 covers 14 counties in North Texas.  District 30 goes west to Wichita County and east to Grayson County.  It takes in portions of Collin and Denton Counties and goes as far south as Erath County around Stephenville.
    Senator Estes serves as chair of the Natural Resources & Economic Development committee.  Dianne said Texas is very competitive when it comes to economic development and pointed out that Sherman is doing a lot of great things as well.
    During the last Senate session a bill was passed for funding to provide bullet proof vests for all First Responders.  An addiitonal $563 million was provided for public education on top of the already $59.9 billion education budget.  More money was provided for dyslexia and austism grants.  $696 million was awarded for the TRS-Care program which provides health benefits for retired public education emplyees and their dependents.  The TRS-Care program is still going to require some attention during the next session.  $800 million was approved for border security.
    The Graduate Medical Education Expansion Grant was almost doubled during the last session.  This was done in hopes of keeping our medical residents in Texas, and encouraging them to remain in Texas.
    Dianne noted that although more money was awarded for mental health care, it wasn’t nearly enough.  She added that many of our mental health citizens wind up in jail instead of a mental health facility.  It cost about $70 a day to care for a prisoner in jail, but when they have mental health issues that total doubles to $140 a day.  But most importantly, they aren’t treated properly.  The state foster care system was reformed and second amendment rights were strengthened.  
    For more information you can check out the Texas Legislature Online at  You can even watch them when they are in session.
Mike Nix - The Rotary Foundation
    Our last program actually got its start in 1917 at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, when outgoing Rotary’s sixth president setting up an endowment  “for the purpoase of doing good in the world.”  That one idea, and an initial contribution of $26.50 by the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri, set in motion a powerful force that has transformed millions of lives around the world.
    That fund has become one of the world’s leading humanitarian foundations.  The Rotary Foundation was named the World’s Outstanding Foundation in 2016.  During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.
    Mike Nix, Grayson Rotary’s Foundation Chair and Paul Harris Fellow (PHF5+) gave us a better insight on what our money can do.  He took an empty glass and had several Rotarians pour just a little of their safe, clean water into his glass so he could help his children.  With several Rotarians giving just a little, Mike’s glass of safe, clean water was filled, while each of the Rotarians’ glasses still had plenty of water for themselves.  He was just symbolizing how giving a little by all of us can make a huge impact on those who need our help.
    The Foundation has two funds.  One is for PolioPlus.  The Bill Gates Foundation is helping by matching Rotary Funds 2-1.  Since 1985, Rotary has reduced the number of Polio cases in the world by 99.9%.  There were only 22 new reported cases in 2017.  The three endemic countries are Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
    Money given to the Foundation’s Annual Fund will be invested for three years before being distributed.  Profits from those investments are used to pay for administrative expenses.  After three years half of the money will go to the Foundation’s World Fund to help their six causes:  Promoting Peace, Providing Clean Water, Saving Mothers and Children, Supporting Education, Growing Local Economies and Fighting Diseases.  The other half is returned back to the contributing Rotary District to be used for local projects.
    The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.  Your donation makes a difference to those who need our help most.  More than 90% of donations go directly to supporting our service projects around the world.
    There are several ways to give to The Rotary Foundation.  You can give directly to the Foundation, have drafts set up on your credit card, leave money or securities in your will or make The Foundation of beneficiary of a life insurance policy.  
    You can also get a Rotary credit card and each time you use your card a percentage of the card’s fees is donated to Rotary.  Since 2000, $8.6 million has been given by Rotarians using the Rotary credit card.
    You become a sustaining member by giving $100 a year.  Once you reach the $1,000 giving level you will be recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF). You will be recognized for each additional $1,000 you give.  You will recognized as a major donor once you have donated $10,000.  
    You will become a Paul Harris Society member if you give $1,000 annually ($83.33 per month).  An Arch Klumpf Society member is someone who has given at least $250,000 over any period of time.
    You have until January 31, 2018, to get a your contribution matched with up to 500 PHF points.  You receive 1 point for each dollar you contribute.  This is a great time to become a PHF or step up to the next level.  See Mike Nike or Terry Everett for more information.
The Gold Standard -  The Avards & Campbells
         Being a Grayson Rotarian, you represent the "Gold Standard."  Thank You!  
      Thank you for supporting the Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP)!  In fact, the generous support of you and the club over the past eleven years has sent over $27,000 in support to the children of Guatemala.  
    Drs. Steve & Bonnie Avard and Dr. Larry and Sandy Campbell know the "Gold Standard" very well!  They have made the trip to Guatemala and personally delivered books to the children.
    The Guatemala Literacy Project is a network of individual Rotarians, Rotary clubs and districts, and the nonprofit organization Cooperative for Education (CoEd) with a common interest in improving education for underserved students in Guatemala. It is one of the largest grassroots, multi-club, multi-district projects in Rotary, with over 500 participating clubs throughout its 20-year history.
    After visiting the Education Center in Guatemala last summer, Ian Riseley, Rotary International president said, “The GLP is very well regarded in Rotary far beyond the borders of this one country. You have involved the parents and teachers in your project, worked with an exemplary organization in CoEd, and negotiated with all levels of government, which is often very hard. If you want to look for a project that meets the characteristics of Rotary, the GLP is the gold standard.”
    A video from a previous trip showed the excitement and gratitude of everyone involved, from the children to the parents to the teachers and especially the Rotarians.  We heard from Rotarians representing different clubs across the U.S.  There were many who make the trip every year.  But most convincingly, are the smiles of the children!!!
    In addition to the video, one of the photos taken at the headquarters showed the "Wall of Honor" which has The Rotary Club of Grayson County Texas inscribed.  The Wall of Honor displays all of the Rotary Clubs who have given to the program. 
    Sandy Campbell pointed out that when they did travel while Larry had his dental practice it had to be a special place.  Their trip to the Western Highlands of Guatemala was just that!  "Every trip is unique, but you will never find anything like we did in Guatemala," Sandy claimed.  You are delivering the books the the excitement is amazing!  She added that although they send a translator along, you don't need one, because the smiles tell it all.  
    Sandy highly recommends that if you ever get the chance to go on the Guatemala trip that you do so.  It is a very positive experience.  It is the one trip they came back from in which they felt they really did something for someone else.
    Dr. Campbell shared his gratitude of the things our club supports.  Of all the charities, this is one of the few where we can go and see what is going on.  He added that 100% of our money goes into the project.  
    These children have never owned a book.  In fact, many classrooms only have one book per class, not student.  These books are considered the most valuable thing in the house.  Steve passed around a couple books that had been used for seven years and they wer so well taken care of they looked almost like new.
    In addition to books, other supplies are taken as well.  Larry said they had different assignments each day.  One day they may also pass out athletic supplies.  Another day they pass out pencils.  Although pencils don't sound like much, well, they are a big prize over there.  
    Larry said that not only are these trips a lot of fun and you learn what your club does.  It really makes you appreciate all of the things we are doing.
Dr. Judy Cook - Destigmatizing Mental Health
    “Stigma:  A True Weapon Of Mass Destructio.” This is how Dr. Judy Cook labeled her presentation.  
    Less than 12,000 people died from ebola in 2014, although with all the publicity you would have thought millions had died.  In that same year, two million people died from suicide, 40,000 in this country.
    This year has been one of our worst ever hurricane seasons with three major hurricanes.  There have been less than 1,000 deaths recorded due to those three major hurricanes.  The damage ranges anywhere from $50 to $250 billion per hurricane, and yet in this country alone in 2016, about 100,000 Americans died from either suicide or accidental drug overdoses.
    It costs about $200 billion annually just for the medical care of mental illness and another $20 billion plus in lost wages.  It also impairs the function of businesses and increases the cost of law enforcement.  As you can see, mental illness in this country kills a lot more people and costs a lot more money than any major hurricane.  
    Dr. Cook said that in her forty years of practice she has never seen “just an alcoholic”, “just a drug addict.”  Underneath the addictions, there has always been big wallop of emotional pain.  Sometimes it was just too dadgum much pain to bring up.  Sometimes they just put an end to it.
    About 25% of the problems we have with cancer, heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, diabetes, etc., is caused or made worse by emotional problems.  With all of these problems we should spend more money for mental health research.  Annually we spend $1 billion on diabetes, $1.2 billion on heart disease, $5.7 billion on cancer, but only $400 million for emotional problems.  
    The problem is we stigmatize mental health and we stigmatize emotions.  We can talk just about anything except our feelings.  We have been doing this for centuries.  All the way back to biblical times when someone was considered mentally ill, they were recognized as being demon possessed, monsters, a blight on the face of humanity.  That still continues today as we minimize, demonize and stigmatize our feelings along with any problems that go with it.
    Dr. Cook admitted there was a lot of bias while she was in medical school.  It was very  oriented toward psychiatry.  It was when she went into pathology that she realized the connection between mental pain and physical pain.  
    During her medical residency in the 70s, Dr. Cook said they could still use placebos.  Not only did placebos work, they were cheap and didn’t have any side effects.
    There are a few exceptions, but for the most part the placebos worked almost as well and the medication.  People don’t get better by themselves. If they aren’t getting therapy, they are not healing the underlying problem.
    In real medicine, the main focus is prevention.  Vaccinations have been very effective in preventing many diseases.
    Emotional pain can wear on you and drag you down.  If you hide behind the shame of your emotions and not talk about it, you could die with your brain tumor or your diabetes or your thyroid problem unneccesarily.  That is reason enough to start looking at your feelings.
Gail Utter - Behavioral Health
    Gail Utter spoke on a subject that we all don’t like to talk about.  It is sort of taboo in a way.  We talk about all of the different physical illnesses but when it comes to mental health, we are afraid to talk about it.  Nine out of ten people say it is easier to talk about a physical illness compare to a mental illness.  
    Gail has been very instrumental in organizing a Behavioral Health Leadership Team.  The goal is to bring together all of the decision makers in Grayson County and getting them to understand the issues, to understand the benefits of developing a systematic approach so that all of the parties are communicating with each other.  
    Texas has the lowest funding per capita for mental health treatment.  This shortfall leads to $193 billion in lost wages annually and this doesn’t even touch the lost productivity.  
    Gail pointed out that mental illness of some form can strike at any time.  There isn’t any specific demographic.  Mental illness can affect any age, race, gender or socioeconomic standing.  There are no boundaries.  
    Mental Illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood.  Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day.  Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.
    A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event.  Research suggests multiple, linking causes.  Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition.  A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role as well.  Depression is the largest cause of disability in the world.
    Seventy-six percent of those responding to a National Alliance of Mental Illness survey said they knew someone that had a mental illness.  One in five adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in seventeen lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.  
    Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. The normal personality and behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition.  Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery.
    The second annual Dr. Don Rodgers Memorial Community Behavioral Health Conference will be held Friday, February 16, 2018, at the Hilton Garden Inn.  They have two great speakers lined up.
    Last year, Tommy Nelson, senior pastor of the Denton Bible Church told the story of his recovery from a burnout that left him physically and mentally exhausted to the point he had to seek both physical and mental health intervention.  He said battling a mental illness doesn’t mean one can’t be productive and successful.  
    Eric Nadel, voice of the Texas Rangers radio broadcast, talked about losing his friend Rusty Rose to a long fought battle with depression.
    In addtion to a person directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.
Britton Brooks - Jury Duty
    Britton Brooks, Grayson County assistant district attorney, shared some behind the scenes information about Jury Duty.  He explained what really happens behind the scenes during the jury selection process.  
    Between 60 and 100 possible jurors are seated at random for a felony or criminal trial.  The state attorney and defense attorney each get approximately one hour to speak.  Each side may strike up to 10 jurors for any reason they want with the exception of race and gender.
    As you enter the courtroom you may notice the attorneys are watching.  They pay attention to your appearance and how you are dressed.  They will usually ask if you have ever served on a jury before.  Depending on the circumstances this could be a good thing or a not so good thing.  The attorneys will usually ask what you do for a living.  Special attention is given to engineers, teachers, law enforcement and those in the medical field.  They will also ask if you know any of the lawyers.
    In addition to that, both sides have unlimited challenges for cause.  Most questions involve two issues:  Can you be fair and can you follow the law?  From the state's side, their job is to teach the jury the law, attempt to be likable and to protect jurors they think will be best for their cause.  
    The lawyers will want to know your opinion on four critical issues.  They will want to know if there is anyone in your family on the police force.  If you do, they will want to make sure that you don't hold them more accountable than anyone else.  
    They will want to know if you are okay with the defendant's right to remain silent.  You can't hold a defendant's right to remain silent against them.  
    Will you hold a bias toward someone because you have been the victim of a crime or maybe because the defendant has s criminal history.  Can you give the State and the Defendant a fair trial?  If you hate the crime that is being tried will you still be able to give a fair trial?  
    Will you be able to consider the full range of punishment?  This can be tough when you have to make a decision in a trial where there is child abuse, or sex abuse, or even a murder trial.  Would you be able to consider probation?  Would you be able to consider the minimum five year imprisonment time to life in prison in a murder trial?
    Once all of the questioning is done through the voir dire process, the first twelve that remain of the 60 to 100 potential jurors will now serve on the jury.  
Rudy Reynoso - A Morning Of Magic
    Now you see it, now you don’t!  This phrase applies to Rudy Reynoso in many ways.  
    A little over a year ago Rudy hired on at the Hilton Inn to run the front desk.  A little over a year later he has worked his way up to sales manager.
    Rudy was born and raised in Sherman, Texas.  His family moved to Sherman many years ago from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, to begin a new life. His uncle and aunt moved her as well. Rudy is the oldest of three boys.  His younger brothers attend the University of North Texas.
    While attending Sherman High School Rudy was president of his class during his Sophomore, Junior and Senior years.  He was also president the (Rotary sponsored) Interact Club at Sherman High School.  
    While attending the UNT, he became the first Latino student body president during his sophomore year going into his junior year.  During his senior year, he was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to represent the school system at the state level.
    After college, Rudy spent three months in the seminary. He traveled to Bogota, Colombia, and said it is one of the most humbling experiences he has ever had.
    When he returned to Sherman from Colombia, Rudy helped his dad prepare taxes.  His father, Rodolfo, has prepared taxes for over twenty years.  After a couple months, he started working at the Hilton Garden Inn in Denison.
    A few months ago, Rudy had the opportunity to visit China.  He said it was very eye opening to witness the eastern perspective of the world.  Rudy is now back in Sherman and ready to give back to the community.  
     One of Rudy’s many talents is that of a magician.  He definitely wowed everyone with many fascinating card tricks.
    Rudy became interested in magic at the age of seven when his father gave him a magic kit.  When he was twelve he saw David Blaine on TV with his close-up magic.  He had only seen David Copperfielld before that.  Rudy was very impressed with Blaine’s close-up, more personal style of magic.  It was at this point Rudy became very interested in learning the ins and outs of magic.  He has continued to study magic and even work on new ways to perform tricks.
Josh Stevenson - The Literacy Keyhole
    Josh Stevenson is the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Manager for the Grayson County Health Department.  Aside from his county job, he is hoping to also be more involved with the city.  He is running for City Council against Commie O. Linson.
    However, Josh talked about literacy in lieu of a campaign speech.  This was perfect for a club that focuses on literacy.  A friend of his and Midland Junior teacher John Wilkes had shared some very interesting facts in regards to literacy.  
    When scientists are tracking an asteroid in space and worried about whether or not it is going to hit earth, they look for it to pass through an area known as a keyhole.  If the asteroid misses this "keyhole", then rest assured the it isn't going to hit the earth.  On the other hand, if the asteroid passes through this keyhole then there's a very good chance it IS going to hit earth.   
    Josh explained the correlation of the "keyhole" in space to the literacy "keyhole" that affects kids.  There is a very critical "keyhole" that everyone passes through.  That keyhole is when a child is eight-years-old.  All the standardized testing over the years has proven the importance of this keyhole.  If a child passes through this keyhole they are twice as likely to go to college.  If they fail to go through this keyhole they are four times as likely to drop out of high school which means they are thirteen times more likely to end up in prison.  
    If a child reads at grade level when they are eight years old they will pass through this literacy keyhole and be on their way to bigger and better things.  If they miss this keyhole, statistics tell us they are far more likely to drop out of high school and if they drop out of high school they are much more likely to end up in prison.
    Josh pointed out that forty-one percent of all inmates are illiterate.  Studies by the American Education Research Association, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the University of Minnesota all show that a kid is learning to read up to the age of eight, then after that they are all reading to learn.
    If a child misses that keyhole school districts will spend a lot of money and time trying to get them back on track.  Unfortunately, the best success rates are only about 30%.  The best way to correct this is to make sure kids don't miss that critical keyhole in the first case. 
    Josh said the best thing people can do for their community is to make sure all kids learn how to read.  He said he has been asked a lot lately on how we can make our community better without raising taxes.  Simply, make sure we teach our kids to read.  This will result in better educated, better qualified, better citizens for our community.
    Early childhood literacy is the most critical factor in determining the rest of a child's life.  We have everything that we need to make this happen.
    Shocking statistics show that a kid that can't read on a third grade level is four times more likely to drop out of school than those who can.  Those living in poverty increase to 13 times more likely to drop out of school.  
    Josh said we must make the commitment of making sure we do everything possible to teach all the kids in Sherman how to read at grade level by the age of eight.  He said it isn't impossible, we just need to put in the effort.  Josh is willing to work with anyone that wants to help.
Bob Rhoden - Four River Oureach
    Bob Rhoden, executive director of Four Rivers Outreach, expressed his appreciation for what Rotary has done.  In 2008, Bob was very involved in putting together a grant to be awarded to only one organization in North Texas by Rotary District 5810.  His efforts helped secure the $100,000 grant that helped kick start Four Rivers.
    Although they seem to be in a never ending remodeling project, the facility continues to grow.  They have doubled their bed capacity from eight to sixteen over the past two years.  Bob was quick to point out that it wasn't because of him, but the efforts of Arthur and Jeannie Horn (previous executive director) and the local Rotary Clubs.  
    They have had a 54% graduation success rate.  That's quite an accomplishment considering it is a one year program to serve men who are trying to put their lives back together.  They have graduated three men so far this year with another one graduating soon.
    One of the things they do to help the men is provide opportunities for them to go out and make some extra money.  Many of the men have court costs or child support payments to make.  Four Rivers doesn't make payments for them but will help them manage their money.  They want to make sure the men keep current on their financial obligations.
    For those who have lost their driver's license, they have have huge fees to pay in order to get their license back.  Thanks to the State of Texas, there is an "Imaging" program that helps reduce some of the fees for those who qualify.  
    There are goals for the men who come to Four Rivers looking to get their life back in order.  They should be employed full time, have their driver's license, reliable transportation, auto insurance, a safe place to live, a balanced budget and at least $500 in an emergency fund.  
    Four Rivers Outreach is a faith-based organization providing programs for men and women who have life-controlling issues including substance abuse and homelessness.  Programs include Life Skill Classes, GED and Adult Literacy programs, Job Skills programs, Job Placement, 12-Step Spiritual Study Classes and many other opportunities to assist with recovery.  Housing is only available to men at this time.
Dr. David Hicks - Sherman ISD School Bond
    Dr. David Hicks, Sherman I.S.D. Superintendent and fellow Rotarian, spoke on the upcoming school bond issue.  He shared the facts supporting why the community should consider voting for the $176 million bond proposal.
    A seventy plus member Citizens Advisory Committee, including parents, staff, business leaders and community advocates spent nine months studying and discussing the most urgent needs of the school district.  The bond calls for upgrading the technology infrastructure, building a new Sherman High School on a new site, converting Sherman High School and Piner Middle School into two middle schools, grades 6-8, and reconfigure the elementary schools to grades K-5.
    Technology is the future.  Sherman students deserve having access to information and the teachers deserve the ability to design technology rich lessons.  It's been twelve years since the last technology upgrades.  Sherman students and teachers deserve better than that.  Technology is our future.
    The only feasible solution to address the overcrowding of Sherman High School is to build a new school at a different location.  Currently, there are 1,909 students enrolled.  The current high school has a capacity for 1,400 students.  Enrollment at the high school has increased 6.8% since last year.  Add the fact that Sherman I.S.D. has grown by about 1,000 students in the past 10 years and is projected to grow another 1,000 students in the next 10 years and that equals a very serious overcrowding issues that only gets worse.  
    The new Sherman High School would be built on a new site located at FM 1417 and OB Groner Road.  This site was selected to align with growth projections and building plans adopted by the city of Sherman.  Sherman and TXDOT have plans to improve FM 1417 and OB Groner making them key thoroughfares, connecting neighborhoods across our city and providing a high degree of visibility for the new high school.
    The new 450,000+ s.f. high school will have a 2,300 student base capacity with the flexibility to accommodate up to 2,600 students.  It will be equipped with the latest security and safety features to comply with the new state safety requirements.  This will include a portion of the high school being reinforced to house all students and staff in the event of a weather emergency.
    There will be new career, technology and science labs offering more advanced courses in manufacturing, engineering, health sciences, building trades and more.  It will have new fine arts facilities including larger practice and performance spaces for band, choir, theater arts and orchestra.  New tennis courts and athletic fields for all sports along with a track that will allow Sherman to host competitive meets again. There will also be a multi-purpose, indoor athletic training field.  It will take 3 1/2 years to complete.
    So here's the Sherman vs. Denison facts.  The beautiful Denison High School was built in 2012.  In today's dollars, the construction alone would cost $80.6 million and that doesn't include everything Sherman will have.  Sherman High School will likely bid today at $113 million.  The biggest difference between Sherman High School and Denison High School is the size.  The overall project cost is $157 million.  The $44 million difference is the cost of engineering, design, land, surveys, fixtures, furnishings, equipment, technology and inflation.
    The major difference between Denison High built in 2012 and Sherman High built in 2018, is largely construction inflation which has increased 44% with another 6% increase next year.  Sherman I.S.D. has 2,875 more students than Denison including 600 more in the high school.  Denison was built for 1,600 students compared to Sherman being built for 2,300 students, 44% more.  Denison High School as about 320,000 square feet.  Sherman will have 453,338 square feet which is 41% more space. 
    The current high school will be converted into a second middle school.  The old HVAC/Energy Management System will be completely updated.  Piner and the converted high school will then house two middle schools with grades 6-8.  The Elementary Schools will be reconfigured to grades K-5.  This will reduce the number of building transitions for the students.  This will result in extending the life of these buildings as well as meeting the growth of the middle and elementary schools.
    A bond is necessary to meet these needs.  So what does this mean to property owners?  It will equate to $17.42 / month or $210 a year per $100,000 of assessed value.  Property taxes for citizens age 65 or older, with a home exemption, will not see any increase.
    Early voting is October 23 to November 3.  Election day is November 7, 2017.  For more information,
Sara Tarvin - Children's Express
    Although Sara Tarvin has been retired from teaching going on three years now she still has a passion to help children. That comes from 36 years of teaching.  WIth that, she has become very involved with Children’s Express.  
    In 2012, a group got together to try to come up with a solution to feed the hungry children of Sherman, Texas.  Children’s Express is a program that functions under Grand Central Station’s umbrella.  It began in 2013, as a program to feed children during the summer months, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break holidays, to ensure that children in Grayson County do not go hungry.
    The started with Jefferson Elementary with an enrollment of about 250 kids.  That first year they fed about 200 kids.  The following year they added Washington Elementary and in 2015, began serving six of the elementary schools in Sherman.  Another group helps feed children at the other two elementary schools.
    Sara said board members began hearing stories from teachers about children having lunch at school on Friday and then returning on Monday not having anything to eat over the weekend. 
    They put the minds together and came up with a solution on feeding children over the weekends as well.  Even more impressive is how they are able to do so for only $3 per child opposed to the $5 cost they were told to plan for.
    In February 2016, they began feeding 120 children at Washington and Crutchfield with their Backpack Food Program.  By the of Spring Break 2016, they were feeding 240 children.  They continued adding the other elementary schools and by the end of the school year they were feeding over 420 children.  They are now up to 500 children this year.  
    The Backpack Food Program is one of Children’s Express’ major initiatives to ensure that chronically hungry children in need have balanced, nutritious food they need to learn and grow. Backpacks are stocked with nutritious, child-friendly, easy-to-prepare food and distributed to children on the last day before the weekend. GCS provides food storage space, and numerous volunteers give of their time weekly to help stock shelves, pick up donated food from various businesses and churches, purchase food, assemble bags, and transport filled bags to schools to be distributed discretely to children’s backpacks. The identities of the students who participate in the Backpack Food Program are always kept confidential; adhering to this policy ensures that no student is identified for any reason.             
    The goal is to ensure that children in our area do not go hungry. A bag of healthy food is distributed to children on a weekly basis during the summer months and as needed when school is not in session. Children targeted are those on the free or reduced lunch program in our schools.
    Their biggest purchases locally include canned chicken, canned fruit, bread and/or tortillas. They give out fresh fruit and vegetables as they become available from the North Texas Food Bank.
    Sara said they are very thankful of all the donations.  She added that although food donations are much appreciated, they are able to do more with cash donations as they are to buy food at a much reduced cost through the North Texas Food Bank.
Dr. Chase Machen - Pathways At Grayson College
    Dr. Chase Machen, Dean of Academic Studies at Grayson College, spoke on the future of colleges.  The new buzzword in the academic world is “Pathways.”  Dr. Machen noted that it is going to be unique to each college that engages in Pathways’ work.
    The visionaries of Grayson College had already put the process into action several years ago.  They were already looking at what they could do to ensure their students have a sequence of courses that would have the greatest possible success scenario in place for each student.  They wanted to create courses in programatic details that allows students to gain confidence as they progress through their program of study in hopes they don’t fall out so that they may retain the students.
    Dr. Machen said they looked at a lot of data but what caught their attention was that often overlooked by a lot of colleges.  That is the time to degree and accumulated credit hours.  For example, in 2014, Grayson College had an average time to degree for a two-year degree of 4.6 years and an average accumulation of credits for a 60 hour degree of 92 hours which is about the state average for a community college.  When you bring that up to a 4 year level it is almost the same percentages.
    Chase emphasized they were committed to do what was necessary to reduce those numbers for their students even if it meant having a negative budgetary impact.  So they began investigating what they could do and how could they do it.  They began researching Pathways.
    Dr. Machen pointed out there are three elements that must be performed at any institution that is serious about this.  They must provide clear roadmaps for students so when students start college they know what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and how they can get in and get out quickly and cheaply and staying with that student from point A to point B.  Provide strong on ramps for students out of high school. Working with workforce to bring in students that have skills and giving them credits for those skills and the same goes with adult education.  There must also be a robust advising process.
    Pathways has literally changed everything at Grayson College.  The main goal of these Pathways is to group students within like-minded fields of study and then over the course of time the undecided students will get advised by faculty peers and advisors to help them make good career choices.
    Grayson College has also revised their strategic plan to align with their Pathway work.  Beginning this year, their strategic plan is “Pathway to 2020.”
    The goal of Grayson College is to have 2,020 completers by the year 2020.  Their goal is “2020 X 2020.”  This would represent a 50% increase in completions.  
    In the summer of 2016, Grayson College sought and received membership into the Texas Pathways Association.  They are one of only eleven colleges in the state of Texas, selected to engage in the Pathways work and teach it to all the other colleges.
    Among the many improved changes at Grayson College they have chosen to go to an 8-week schedule in the fall of 2018.  This will require a complete overhaul on how the college operates.
    On top of all that, they have to ensure that the programtic studies they are putting their students in lead to employment and not just a degree to hang on the wall.
    In order to meet their strategic plan Grayson College must adhere to three principles:  Connect, Commit and Complete.  They must transform lives by connecting students to the college and career pathways.  They must build a community by inspiring student commitment and momentum toward timely achievement of pathway milestones.  They must also inspire pathway completion that launches successful career entry, career enhancement, or university transfer.
    Great things are happening at Grayson College and we are ALL going to benefit as a result.  Learn more at
Joe Hardt - Conscious Capitalism
    Joe Hardt, CEO of Presco Polymers, has the heart of a Rotarian.  In fact, he is a third generation Rotarian and past president of the Dallas Rotary Club.  
    Presco was founded in 1943, in Dallas.  They moved to Sherman in 1989.   
    Presco was owned by the McMackin family for 70 years.  In 1989, they decided to relocate.  Sherman Economic Development (SEDCO) made them an offer they couldn’t refuse with a building at 301 Montomgery.  Since then, they have purchased the building at 1201 E. Pecan and operate out of both facilities.  They are essentially a plastics manufacturer.  Products include marking flags, caution tape, barricade tape, iMax screens, tents, awnings, and much more.
    Joe was an attorney representing Presco in the early eighties, so he knew the McMackin family well.  Joe left his law practice in 1993 to go to work in the electronics industry.  In 2001, he was out of a job. Waymon McMackin, Presco owner, asked Joe to come to work for him.  In 2003, Joe made a minority investment in the company.  
     In a three week period in July 2015, everything changed.  The president of Presco was recruited away and then on July 27th Waymon died.  With a succession plan in place Joe became the owner of Presco.
    Joe spoke about the book Concious Capitalism.  It is written by Whole Foods owner John Mackey.  He says concious capitalism refers to businesses  that serve the interests of all major stakeholders, customers, employees, investors, communities, suppliers, and the environment.  
    There are four principles of Conscious Capitalism.  1. Higher Purpose:  While making money is essential for the vitality and sustainability of a business, it is not the only or even the most important reason a business exists. Conscious businesses focus on their purpose beyond profit.  
    We all need meaning and purpose in our lives. It is one of the things that separates us from other animals. Purpose activates us and motivates us. It moves us to get up in the morning, sustains us when times get tough and serves as a guiding star when we stray off course. Conscious Businesses provide us with this sense of meaning and purpose.  
    By focusing on its deeper Purpose, a conscious business inspires, engages and energizes its stakeholders. Employees, customers and others trust and even love companies that have an inspiring purpose.
    2. Stakeholder Orientation:  Unlike some businesses that believe they only exist to maximize return on investment for their shareholders, Conscious Businesses focus on their whole business ecosystem, creating and optimizing value for all of their stakeholders, understanding that strong and engaged stakeholders lead to a healthy, sustainable, resilient business.
    They recognize that, without employees, customers, suppliers, funders, supportive communities and a life-sustaining ecosystem, there is no business. Conscious Business is a win-win-win proposition, which includes a healthy return to shareholders.
    3. Conscious Leadership:  Conscious Leaders focus on “we,” rather than “me.” They inspire, foster transformation and bring out the best in those around them.
    They understand that their role is to serve the purpose of the organization, to support the people within the organization and to create value for the all of the organization’s stakeholders. They recognize the integral role of culture and purposefully cultivate a Conscious Culture of trust and care.
    4, Conscious Culture:  Culture is the embodied values, principles and practices underlying the social fabric of a business, which permeate its actions and connects the stakeholders to each other and to the company’s purpose, people and processes.
    A Conscious Culture fosters love and care and builds trust between a company’s team members and its other stakeholders. Conscious Culture is an energizing and unifying force, that truly brings a Conscious Business to life.
Hannah Sanza -  Camp RYLA
    Hannah Sanza is a senior at Texoma Christian School.  She was selected to attend Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) this past August.  Paige Pough was the club’s other participant but she was unable to make it last week due to a medical emergency.
    Hannah was very thankful for the opportunity to attend Camp RYLA.  Hannah said it wasn’t anything like she expected at all.  She admitted to being a little scared to go at first because she didn’t know what to expect nor did she know anyone that was there.  
    Once she arrived at Camp everything was okay.  She was surprised as to how family oriented camp was.  Camp is very focused on unity and keeping everyone together.  Hannah expressed how blessed she is to have an amazing family at home  but pointed out that some kids don’t have that.
    Hannah said her favorite part about camp was on the very first night when everyone had a board to break. Everyone had to write something on their board that was blocking them from becoming the leader they wanted to be.  
    Hannah had some reservations about trying to break her board because she had done something similar in the past and was unsuccessful at breaking her board.  This time was different.  With the encouragement and support of the others she was able to break her board this time.  Everyone was successful in breaking their boards.
    One thing Hannah took away from her camp experience was learning how to get along and work with others that were also leaders at their schools.  Hannah said she was use to being a leader at TCS because many of the students like to follow.
    There were about twenty campers in her cabin and they have all become very close friends since their time together.  Hannah said she has already met up with a couple of them, but they are all planning on a reunion sometime in the near future.  
    While at camp they all participated in some unusual, yet very fun, team building activities.  Although some of them were frustrating, they were fun and everyone learned something.
    After TCS, Hannah plans on majoring in theatre and would like to be a director.  Although she thought about becoming a lawyer or a doctor, she wants to do something she is passionate about.  She is currently the assistant director for Sweeny Todd at the Finley Playhouse.
    WHAT IS Camp RYLA?  Strong leaders are made, not born. Leadership principles are learned not inherited. Through Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), “Leaders of Tomorrow” have a forum for teamwork, communication, & consensus building in an environment that challenges personal and team responsibilities. This multi-day leadership skills summer camp annually provides over one hundred outstanding high school student leaders, opportunities to expand and hone their leadership skills through cabin activities, athletic events, educational workshops, and team building exercises.
    WHO PARTICIPATES IN RYLA?  RYLA campers are high school juniors who have excelled in one or more areas of high school involvement and who have proven leadership potential. Last year, all 64 clubs in Rotary District 5810, recruited from approximately 90 area high schools for camper scholarships. Interviews were conducted from over 1500 student applications. With so many quality candidates it is a difficult decision in filling the 180 spots in final attendance.
    RYLA objectives:  
+ To provide an atmosphere where future leaders will experience learning situations that will aid them in developing sound values.
+ To promote an environment that will provide each individual with a basis of insight and understanding for intelligent leadership.
+ To promote involvement that encourages participants to think through appropriate actions based on values and ethics.
+ To encourage students through cooperative activities and group dynamics to develop leadership skills that can be carried back to their high schools and be modeled by other students
Julie Rickey - Getting Ahead In A Just Getting' By World
    Julie Rickey is the founder and executive director of MasterKey Ministries.  It began in 2009, after Julie discovered many families wanted help with their children’s education as well as their own.  Many of the families were also in need of food assistance.
    Julie shared one story where some teachers gave a refrigerator to the family of one of their students.  After spring break the teachers were shocked when they learned the dad sold the refrigerator so the family could go to Disney World.  The family was back to using a cooler to keep things cold.  This is just one example of generational poverty.
    “Poverty isn’t just about the limitation of income,” explained Julie, “although that may be one factor.  It’s more of a limitation of resources as a whole.  It also causes an instable life.”
    There are two kinds of poverty:  situational and generational.  Situational poverty is generally caused by a sudden crisis or loss and is often temporary.  Events causing situational poverty include environmental disasters, divorce, or severe health problems.  
    Generational poverty occurs in families where at least two generations have been born into poverty.  These families are always facing a moment by moment crisis with problems that confront them all the time.  This has a negative affect on the children as well.  Studies have shown that because of these stress filled environments a child’s brain is going to be under developed.  It affects their memory which hinders their ability to learn.  As a result they have a difficult time in school.  
    The schools sometimes misunderstand what’s going on and often sees these children as being disrespectful.  They see them as having behavioral issues and learning problems.  Julie pointed out that half of the children in poverty have a treatable mental health position.
    Julie said there are two kinds of ways that we can do things.  We can actually fill the gaps for people that are needs’ based.  MasterKey Ministries helps change the quality of life for someone now.
    Julie noted that she wants to empower people out of poverty.  She added that our community is very strong with needs’ based support but we need to become empowerment based.  
    Their food assistance program is wonderful but it will never break the cycle of generational poverty.  They have begun an educational program to help break the cycle of generational poverty. It is called “Getting Ahead in a Just-Getting-By World.”
    It is a 16-week program where twelve people apply and are interviewed for a program.  They are called investigators.  They all learn together with the facilitator.
    MasterKeys just finished their first class.  The invetigators first learned what poverty was.  They then were required to take their income and determine what they could afford for housing. They all learned that applying the 30% rule for housing, they couldn’t afford to live anywhere without some assistance.
    They looked at the community through an economic lens so to speak in regards to low income, middle income and wealthy.  Each one has it’s own set of rules, its own language and its own motivations.  They had to learn how to speak the middle income language.
    They were also taught to investigate and how to find resources and grow their social capital.  It also taught them how to set goals.
    Nine of the twelve women graduated from the 16-week commitment.  Five received a promotion or an offer for a supervisory position.  One enrolled into college and two of them were able to improve their housing.
Sandra Dean - MasterKey Ministries
    Sandra Key is the Board of Directors president for MasterKey Ministries.  She first explained how they came up with their name.
    Sandra pointed out that we all come up against obstacles in our lives from time to time, doors that are closed, and someone comes along in our lives with a key to that door to open it up and help us either educationally, physically, financially, spiritually or however it is.  The idea of the key to helping other people is tied to the Master, our creator, hence, MasterKey Ministries.
    Beginning in 2008, Julie Rickey and her mother spent the next two years knocking on doors in East Sherman talking to people, finding out what their needs were and praying with them. Overwhelmingly, they found out what everyone wanted was to help their children succeed in school.  Sandra noted that if children have fallen behind by the third grade their chances of completing their education are slim to none, therefore, the poverty cycle continues.
    Julie began tutoring children after school. Today they have 65 children who come for tutoring Monday through Thursday after school. The children are tested at the beginning of the year and again at the end of the year and the results show significant improvement.
    Over the years they have discovered that the parents have educational and spiritual needs, too. As a result, they offer ESL (English as a second language) classes.  Julie also noticed these families were food insecure, so she started gathering food for them. Three years ago this October they opened a food bank and it is the only client choice food bank in Grayson County.  The people are allowed to shop for the items they want and not just have a box of food handed to them.  The food bank is open each Saturday and Sherman families are allowed to come shop once a month.  They are currently only able to serve families living in Sherman.
    On Fridays they give away fresh produce to everyone in Grayson County due to a grant from Catepillar.  Thankfully Harvest Time Church in Sherman hosts this event.  Sandra added that 85% of those who come for the fresh produce are elderly.
    Sandra said they like to help people today with their food needs, tomorrow with their educational needs, but most importantly eternally with their spiritual needs.  You can feed people today but if you leave them without hope for eternity you haven’t really done them any kind of service,” confirmed Dean.
    There are several opportunities to volunteer.  On Monday, Wednesday, or Friday each week from 9 am to noon they need volunteers who can lift 40+ pound boxes to help with their food bank. They also need help stocking the pantry from 10:30-12:30 on those days.
    On Fridays from 9:15 am to 12:30 pm they need help distributing fresh produce to Grayson County Residents.  On Saturdays you can help from 8:15 am to 1:30 pm is their food pantry day.  There are several different things to do on Fridays and Saturdays including signing people in, serving refreshments, helping in the kitchen, stocking, cleaning up, etc. Volunteers are also needed on Thursdays to help picking up food from the North Texas Food Bank and taking it back to MasterKey.
    Now that school is back in session there are several opportunities to help with after school homework Monday through Thursday each week from 3:30 to 5:30 pm.  You can volunteer just one day a week.  To volunteer, call 903-870-6014.
Rick Amsberry - Rotary District 5810 Governor
   Rotary District 5810 Governor Rick Amsberry, along with his wife Lisa, made their official club visit last week.  They are both members of the Park Cities Rotary Club.      Lisa is Director of Youth Services for Park Cities and Rick is the Youth Exchange Chair.  
    Governor Amsberry noted that each Rotary Club is made up of people of all ages with an vast array of backgrounds and educational eperiences, however, we all have a common thread. We all have the desire to give back, to help others.
    Rick said Rotarians, like himself, want to give back without any expectations of something in return.  He added that he has a job that he enjoys and a home with all the conveniences.  He has everything he needs.  He’s blessed.  He is grateful and as a result wants to give back.
    In 1911, Arthur Sheldon coined the phrase, “He profits most who serves best.”  Although this phrase leads us to believe we gain something from giving, we actually don’t other than the fact that we feel good by being able to help others who are less fortunate.  
    Governor Amsberry pointed out that we all gain a lot while doing our service projects.  For instance, while working our Flag Lease program, we engage other Rotarians, friends, familty members and other organizations such as the Boy Scouts.  Everyone feels better when they see the flags flying on the various holidays.  It makes our communities a better place to live.
    The stuff we do really matters.  “It Makes A Difference,” Amsberry proclaimed in referencing Rotary International’s 2017-18 theme: Rotary - Making A Difference.  Our three profit centers of serving through Rotary are making the communities in which we live better, enriching relationships with people and knowing the things we do really matters.  
    First Lady Lisa is asking for support of the Alzheimers Association.  In addition to money, she is inviting everyone to walk with her on Saturday, October 7 for the “2017 Greater Dallas Walk to End Alzheimer’s” event.  This is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.  The Dallas Chapter serves thirty-four North Texas counties including Grayson County.
MeLissa Eason - Sherman Public Library
        Maybe you haven’t heard about the incredible shrinking libary.  Maybe you haven’t heard that Sherman “has” a library.  MeLissa Eason, library services administrator for the Sherman Public Library, tells the true story.
        Yes, Sherman has a public library and due to a fire in April 2017, they have moved from a 19,000 sf space to a 1,100 sf space located at 1000 N. East Street in Sherman.  Thankfully, it’s only temporary while renovations take place.  
    Although they are in a much smaller space, they still offer most of the services they have before.  They just have to be a little more creative with such.  They have just finished their summer children’s readying program.
    They are currently doing a children’s story time and a baby story time  They have teen read sessions in the MLK building across the street.
    The participated in the Christmas in July program by giving children books. They plan on participating in the same capacity during Arts Fest this September.
    Beginning on August 28th the Sherman Public Library will start a vegetable garden.  Elementary aged children will improve their literacy skills while they learn how to take care of a garden.
    The Friends of the Sherman Public Lilbrary is a non-profit group of volunteers interested in helping to expand and improve the services of the Library.  They sponsor numerous programs such as Authorfest, Trick or Treat Village, the Summer Reading Club and Travel Video Brown Bag Lunches.  The sponsor a book sale each spring and fall.
    Friends of the Library also sponsor six Book Review Luncheons each year.  Currently the luncheons are being held at the Sherman Museum while the Library is being renovated.  The luncheons are on the first Monday of the month in October, November, December, March, April and May.
    Although the main service of the Library is to provide books, their role has changed over the years.  The Library is a community center where people can meet and to connect with people who have resources within the community.  This is why it is very important for the Library to work with other organizations.
    The Library focuses on programs for children because their goal is to get them started early and provide books for those who may not have books in the home.  The Library also offers programs for senior citizens and are looking to expand on them going forward.  
    They will be providing some new programs at the Senior Center such as teaching Facebook.  The will have a book club and music programs as well.
    MeLissa said they offer these programs to help level the playing field for those who don’t have access to the technology others have.  Some people don’t have a computer at home. Others may not have someone in their life that knows how to use them either so they can learn.
    The Library offers print books, large print books, e-books, audio books and down loadable audio books.  They have magazines, newspapers, DVD’s, computers with printing capabilities and fax servies.
    The Sherman Public Library has a Local History and Genealogy Department, which houses books and records, marriage licenses (1846-1911), Grayson County deeds (1846-1885), Grayson County tax rolls (1846-1910) on microfilm, obituaries, Sherman City directories, the Sherman newspaper, Grayson County Census records and Grayson County Cemetery records.
Dr. Jerry Lincecum - Chicken Expert
    Chicken expert Dr. Jerry Lincecum shared a coop-full of information about chickens.  Okay, so he may not be a chicken expert, but he is one of the best when it comes to telling a story.
    Jerry grew up on a farm where they kept a few laying hens and raised some fryers.  He said they ate lots of fried chicken back in the day, but he had no idea the of important role chickens play in our world today until he recently read a book by Noah Strycker called “The Thing With Feathers.”  It was the chapter on chickens that intrigued Jerry.  
    By the end of the 20th century, domestic chickens outnumbered humans by about four to one on this planet, distinguishing them as the most abundant bird species on Earth. Actually, chickens are the world’s most numerous reptile, amphibian, mammal, or bird, period. At any given time, the globe hosts about 20 billion domestic chickens, though most don’t live very long. The average North American eats more than 50 pounds of chicken a year (the equivalent of about 27 individual birds), which ranks, pound for pound, slightly less than beef and a bit more than pork.
    It was only in 1996, that chicken consumption passed that of beef and veal. It was at that time we were made aware of something known as “Bad Cow Disease.”
    In recent years, chickens have been genetically engineered to grow faster and bigger.  Today’s six week old chicken weighs six times more than those in 1957.  It also has about 10% more breast meat.  It has been observed that today’s broilers have such well-endowed breast, they can hardly walk, as demonstrated by Dr. Lincecum.
    Chickens are often dismissed as stupid, but they have taught us a great deal about ourselves.  This was illlustrated by a six-year-old Norwegian boy who studied chickens over one hundred years ago.  This boy made close observation of the agreesive behaviour in the chickens and came up with the concept we call today as “the pecking order.”
    That young boy, tending his mother’s chicken coop outside of Oslo, noticed something curious about the birds he fed every morning. When any two hungry chickens met at the food tray, one would always make way for the other, patiently waiting its turn. Instead of fighting like unruly teenagers over Thanksgiving dinner, the chickens usually formed an orderly line with minimal fuss.
    Furthermore, the order was utterly predictable. One particular hen was always the first to eat, followed by a second individual, then a third, and so on. At the water dish, their behavior was the same. If one tried to jump the line, it was barraged by pecks from the birds in front, and it quickly retreated.
    By the time he was 10, Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe (Thor) was keeping his observations in detailed notebooks. He’d discovered that the order of the feed line was based on aggression; certain hens, for some reason, always dominated others. So Thor began charting aggressive interactions among the birds in his mother’s chicken coop, hoping to figure out, scientifically, whether his ideas made sense.
    He discovered a clear pattern to his discovery.  The top bird, at various times, had pecked every other bird in the coop.  The second chicken had pecked all the other birds except the top bird.
John White & Britney Martin - Children's Advocacy Center
    John White is president of the board for Grayson County’s Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC).  He became interested fifteen years ago whey he sat on a Grand Jury and witnessed a five year old and a seven year old having to come into the Grand Jury room alone and be questioned by the attorney and members of the Grand Jury.  
    John said the board’s purpose is to support the CAC and help them get the things they need, especially operating resources.  They currently have the Cattleman’s Call which they started a couple years ago and their annual golf tournament.  The next golf tournament is coming up on Oct. 6th.
     Briney Martin is the executive director for the CAC.  She said their primary purpose is to bring all of the private and public entities together that work with child abuse.  
    When children come to them they are interviewed by a specially trained professional at the reqeust of law enforcement and Child Protective Services.  This Forsenic Interview process is designed to provide children the opportunity to disclose abuse to a neutral party in a child-friendly setting.
    They have family advocates on staff to walk the families through the process.  Not only do they explain the process, they will also go to court with them if needed.  They are there to offer famlies emotional support and make the proper referrals to help the families move forward.
    The difference between the Children’s Advocacy Center and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is CASA deals with kids that have already been removed from their homes and placed into foster care.  These children are mostly involved in the civil courts.  The CAC becomes involved when there are crimial charges involved.  
    Grayson County Children’s Advocacy Center offers both individual and group counseling to families referred to the counseling program. Therapy enables children who have been abused to develop a healthy self-image, learn to trust again, and identify ways to protect themselves from further victimization. Specially trained and licensed therapists work with child victims on complex issues stemming from their abuse such as trauma, shame, embarrassment, safety, and self-esteem.
    The purposes of the mental health services provided by the Grayson County CAC are to promote healing, to lessen the likelihood of revictimization and to decrease the ongoing and long-term social, emotional, and developmental outcomes of trauma. The CAC is committed to providing “best practices,” ensuring children and families receive culturally competent, developmentally appropriate, trauma-focused therapy. The CAC recognizes the profound importance of caregiver involvement in each child’s healing and provides the mental health services and support needed to assist parents and other family members build on their personal strengths and community supports as they respond to their child’s treatment needs. We offer specialized trauma-focused mental health services for child victims and their non-offending family members.  The CAC does not provide psychological or custody evaluations.
    Since its founding in 2004, the Grayson County Children’s Advocacy Center has provided prevention/community training to over 10,000 students and adults and counseling services to over 1,250 children.
Howard Berg - World's Fastest Reader
    If you could read twice as fast as you do now with increased comprehension, how would that affect your life?  Would you be able to get more things done during the day?  Maybe it would allow you more time to enjoy life and do the things YOU want to do?
    Howard Berg is considered the fastest reader in the world. "The Guinness World Record Book" recognized Berg in 1990 for his ability to read more than 25,000 words per minute and write more than 100 words per minute.  Howard has been featured on over 1,100 radio and television shows.  He shared some of his techniques with us last week.
    Howard shared five skills to help us double our reading speed, improve our comprehension, how to remember what we learned, some math magic and some emotional counter skills.  Mr. Berg has helped thousands read faster.  He has a student who passed the bar in California at the age of 19.  His 22 year old brother is also an attorney and a flight instructor.  Not to be outdone, their 15 year old sister is in her first year of law school and will be the youngest person in California to pass the bar.  The second youngest to pass the bar will be a 17 year year old, all who are using Howard's techniques.  
     Another student, Stephen T., graduated from UT-Arlington  at the age of 16 with a 4.0 g.p.a. majoring in Economics.  He went to Oklahoma University were he got his Masters in math at the age of 19 finishing with a 3.97 g.p.a.  
    Brad Voellar received his four year college degree in six months.  He learned Chinese in three weeks.
    Comprehension is more important than reading fast, however.  People don't want to read fast, they want to learn fast.  Howard said the trick to reading and learning is "schema."  Schema is the technical term meaning what you know already.  Schema is like the decoder ring.  Not only does it help you read faster, but it helps you slow down when you come across a new word that you need to know.
    Howard shared a technique to help everyone develop their emotional intelligence.  It is something we all can do every day.  He noted this is a good way to help someone when they are about to take a test and although they know the material, they become stressed and unable to do well on the test.  It helps create focus, concentration, relaxation or any state to help you be more successful.
    Mr. Berg shared some math magic.  He presented the simple math problem "103x107=?".  It is very easy to figure without a calculator.  Here's how.  3x7=21, Now add bilaterally 103+7=110 which is the same as 107+3.  They are always the same.  Now write down 11021.  The answer to the equation 103x107 is 11,021.  
    Howard then taught some memory techniques.  The Greeks discovered thousands of years ago a shortcut to memory.  Although there are many, one is taking what you are trying to learn and associating it to something you know.  1=pole, 2=shoes, 3=tricycle, 4=car, 5=glove, 6=guns, 7=dice, 8=skates, 9=cat (nine lives), 10=bowling pins.  
   Howard is donating his learning system to our current college scholarship recipients and our two RYLA campers.  Thank you Howard!  
   If you want more information about Howard's systems for you, your kids or grandchildren, you can check out his website at  You can call him direct at 214-952-9150 or email him at  Howard added that he is willing to give us personal one-on-one time or help.  He just wants to help people.
Grayson Rotary's 31st Installation Ceremonies
    Terry Everett, installation officer, explained Rotary as a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. The Rotary Club of Grayson County will be “Making A Difference” in 2017-2018 as it begins its 31st Year of Service.
    Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. For 112 years, Rotary members have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end.  We are “Making A Difference.”
    Our motto is: “Service Above Self.”  Ever since 1905, our guiding principles have been the foundation of our values: service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership.  These principles have been developed over the years to provide Rotarians with a strong, common purpose and direction. They serve as a foundation for our relationships with each other and the action we take in the world.
    Terry spoke on the four Objects of Rotary and the 4-Way Test of the Things We Think, Say or Do.  He then gave a brief synopsis of the five Avenues of Service:  Club Service, Vocational Service, Club Service, International Service (The Rotary Foundation) and New Generations Service (Youth).  
    Terry said your time, energy, and a passion to improve your world are all you need to get involved in “Making A Difference” with Rotary.  We are not a civic club or a breakfast club.  We are a Service Club!
    Officers and Directors for the 2017-2018 year were installed.  Edwin Clark was installed as Club Chaplain to “Make A Spiritual Difference” in our club.
    Peter Munson will continue as Song Leader.  He will be “Making A Notable Difference” by serving as the club’s Melody Master.
    Paul Manley has already began as Flag Master.  He will be “Making A Patriotic Difference” as he oversees our largest Service Project and Fund Raiser.
    Francis Campbell and Susan Whitenack will team and Co-Chair our Fund Raising events.  They will be “Making An Economic Difference,” this year.
    Belinda Spears will coordinate our Service Projects this year.  She will lead our club to “Make A Serviceable Difference” by improving the quality of life in our community.
    David Cortinas will serve a second year as The Rotary Foundation Chairtarian.  Our club will continue as an EREY (Every Rotarian Every Year) club as we support PolioPlus, the Guatemala Literacy Projec and the Wheelchair Foundation.  We will continue “Making A Supportive Difference.”
    Edwin Clark will continue a second term as our New Generations Chairtarian.  With youth as our future leaders, we will help them “Make A Difference” going forward.
    Sarah Pierce will team up with Norman Gordon as Co-Chairtarians of Membership.  This is Norman’s third year and with Sarah, they will continue “Making A Growing Difference” for Rotary and our club this year.
    Cindy Brandt will serve a seventh year as Club Administrator.  She will help guide our club to “Making A Positive, Citable Difference” in relation to Rotary’s three strategic priorities so we may do everthing possible to qualify for the Presidential Citation.
    Randy Langford will step into the role of Sergeant-at-Arms.  He will be “Making A Difference” each week as he prepares our room for meetings, maintains decorum and keeps the atmosphere where visitors will freely want to return.
    Steve Ramsey, will serve a fourth term as Treasurer.  He will by “Making A Financial Difference” by keeping all of our finances in order.  
    Terry Everett will continue to serve an eighth year as Club Secretary.  He will by “Making A Documentable Difference” by keeping track of attendance, filing reports to the District and Rotary International plus helping the Club President and Club Administrator as needed.  Terry will continue “Making A Writeable Difference” as he continues his 22nd consecutive year as Bulletin Editarian, Program Director and PR guy. 
    Stacy Braddock has been selected as Presdient-elect so she may serve as Club President in 2018-2019.  She will attend PETS (Presdient Elect Training Seminar) next March and coordinate our annual Awards Banquet.  
    Jim Walker will be “Making A Presidential Difference” as he leads our club through its 31st year of service.  With Jim’s leadership, we WILL be “Making A Difference” once again.
    The members then pledged to support President Walker, the officers and programs of the Grayson County Rotary Club by their attendance, their participation, paying their dues on time, supporting our fundraising efforts, selling more fruit and nuts, giving to the SHARE program, singing with Gusto, laughing a weak jokes, supporting our books’ game, doing a better job with the football parlay, volunteering to serve others, inviting more prospective members, living the 4-Way Test and by “Making A Difference.”
Billy Teague - Veteran Services
    Billy Teague is the Veteran Outreach Specialist for the Veteran Services Office at Grayson College.  Part of what Billy does involves the Department of Education Grants.  They are monitored by the Veteran’s Administration.
    There are many young men and women who have returned home from military service and only have a high school education.  It is very important that we help them get the education they deserve, otherwise their job opportunities are very limited.  The good thing is the military today is offering more benefits to veterans than ever before.
    Veterans who entered the military in Texas, served a minimum 180 days of active service, were honorably discharged or discharged under general conditions and discharged back to Texas, can qualify for the Hazalwood Act.  The Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does NOT include living expenses, books, or supply fees.  There are other programs that can help pay for living expenses.  
    These benefits are limited to just the veterans.  These benefits can be passed on to your spouse, your children or even your grandchildren.  There are certain conditions that apply, but it is definitely worth looking into.
    Let the advisors in the Veterans Services Office assist you to get in the right program, the right courses and receiving the right benefits.  Their advisors are also official School Certifying Officials and have direct contact to VA.  They are specially trained to make sure you maximize your benefits while in school.
    The College Credit for Heroes program seeks to maximize college credit awarded to veterans and service members for their military experience and training.  They help veterans and service members obtain their degrees and certifications more quickly and expedite their entry into the workforce.
    Grayson College has the Veteran’s Hub, an area for veterans to go and relax while on campus.  It is a place on campus where only veterans and military personnel can go to study, have a cup of coffee, watch a little TV and meet other veterans.  
    The Student Veterans Association offers an outlet to connect with other veterans, to serve the community and participate in campus activities.  They also have guest speakers and provide opportunites to meet visiting VA respresentatives.
    The Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success provides a single point of contact for all veteran-related services.  Everything veterans need to begin their educational pursuits can be accessed there, from admissions and registering for classes to financial aid, counseling, advising and veteran benefits.
    Grayson College and the Grayson College Foundation have embarked on a campaign to support student veterans at Grayson College.  The Boots to Books and Beyond Scholarship will support critical on-campus resources, services and activities.  These veteran only scholarships can help when other resources are just not enough.
Dr. David Hicks - Building Bearcats
    Dr. David Hicks, Sherman I.S.D. superintendent, shared information on how they are moving forward with “Building Bearcats.”  Dr. Hicks said the Citizens Advisory Committee has been working since last September to plan for the future and determine what is right for our community in terms of a bond election.  
    Their Charge remains the same.  They want a long range plan for the district to address growing enrollment and to make sure the facilities continue to improve to provide students the best educational opportunty.
    There have been about twenty additional members added to the Advisory Committee. They reached out to people that were either not involved in the formal conversation of the bond proposal or were actively not engaged in supporting the bond.  They did this because it is about what’s right for the community and not just for the school district.
    The meetings have already begun.  On June 13, they reviewed their Charge for the Building Bearcats Citizens Advisory Committee.  The looked at how they can gain consensus and make decisions.  The looked at the May 6, 2017 Bond Election results and what they learned so they can move forward and build for the future.  They toured the facilities on June 20.
    On June 26, they will address the Economic and Demographic Outlook for Sherman and Grayson County.  They will update Sherman I.S.D.’s demographic projections. They will update their assessment of the facilities.  They will also share their expectations of educational opportunities for students in the Shernan I.S.D.
    On July 11 they will identify, discuss, design and project possible costs of various projects.  On August 2, they will address SISD facilities, demographics, finances, educational learning, possible capital projects, and the Economic and Demographic outlook for the City of Sherman.  On August 3, they will come to a consensus on recommended projects.  They plan to have a special Called Board Meeting on August 7 to make recommendations on Building Bearcats for the future.
    The May 6, 2017 Bond Election was very close. There were 2,051 votes cast for the bond and 2,195 against.  Of the approximately 24,000 registered voters in the Shernan I.S.D., 4,257 citizens voted (18%).  The 2017 Bond Election percentage of registered voter turnout exceeded ALL but 2 Texas (Democrat & Republican) primary elctions over the past 17 years.
    The top three most significant statements that influenced voter decision to SUPPORT the 2017 Bond proposal were:  1.Sherman High School is overcrowded with more than 1,800 students in a facility built for 1,400.  A new high school would enroll up to 2,100 students with flexibility to increase to 2,400 students.  2. Sherman I.S.D. is faced with overcrowding and additing portable classrooms as a result of growing by about 1,000 students over the past 10 years.  3. Sherman I.S.D. schools are exceeding their useful life with 8 of the 12 facilities averaging 65 years in age and 44 renovations.  
    The top three most significant statements that influenced voter decision to NOT SUPPORT the 2017 Bond Proposal were:  1. The amount of the bond proposal was too high at $308 million.  2. The bond proposal would result in a tax-rate increase.  3. The projected cost of a new high school was too high.
    SISD 2017 Bond Election results show that building a new high school and renovating the old high school into a second Middle School was a big priority.  The same goes for upgrading the technology infrastructure at all campuses and across the district.  
Bert Garcia - Family Promise of Grayson County
   Bert Garcia spoke on a new organization that began forming in early 2016.  Family Promise of Grayson County is a non-denominational, non-profit 501(c)3 organization for families in transition.  They plan to start helping families by October 2017.
Why Family Promise of Grayson County?  "Because every child deserves a homel."
    They are one of over 200 Networks across the United States.  There are over 4,500 congregations within the Networks that provide their space for up to seven consecutive days.  There are 17 affiliates in the state of Texas, with the closest being in Collin County.
    Is there really a need here?  Yes, there are over 1,100 homeless family members in Grayson County.  There are only 69 available beds for homeless families in Grayson County.  There are hundreds of homeless children in our school systems.  Statistically, children who change schools 3 times in a school year have only a 23% chance of graduating high school.
    There are six components to Family Promise:  Host/Support Congregation, Day Center, Transportation, Funding, Social Services & Volunteers.  The Host Congregation will provide overnight lodging, meals and hospitality for one week at a time.  Support Congregations may not have the physical space to host, but they can provide much needed volunteers, supplies and finances.
   The Day Center is the hub of the Network.  Each day the guests are brought to the Day Center where they are provided with a homelike atmosphere from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Many guests are employed and will go to work.  Others will work with the Network Director to find jobs and housing.  The children will go to school.  Those who aren't old enough to go to school will have a designated area at the Center.
    Transportation will be provided to transport guests to and from the Host Congregation.  They will also provide transportation to employment interviews, housing searches, medical/dental appointments and to social service agencies.
    Funding from both financial and in-kind will be sought after.  Money will be needed to pay for a Network Director, as well as provide insurances, utilities, furnishings and a number of other  necessary items to make the program a success.  Bert said they estimate it will take $125,000 to operate the first year.
    In regards to Social Services, Family Promise feels it is imperative to collaborate with local agencies.  They are not looking to duplicate a service if it is already available.
    Volunteers are the lifeblood of the program.  Volunteers provide a variety of services such as cooking and serving meals, playing with children or helping with homework and staying overnight.  There is an opportunity for the while family to volunteer on some level.  It will take between 35 and 50 volunteers per week. 
    In 2014, National statistics showed 53,322 individuals had been served to date.  Of those, 58% were children with 43% of the children under the age of 5.  The average length of stay is 64 days with a 74% success rate.  Success is defined as finding housing.  There have been 180,000 volunteers that have helped 700,000 clients or about 50,000 annually.  
    In 2016, for the fourth year in a row, Family Promise was rated a four star charity by Charity Navigator.
    Currently, there are twelve participating churches.  Visit their website at for more information or contact them by email at
Eddie Brown - Sherman Chamber of Commerce
    Eddie Brown has been president of the Sherman Chamber of Commerce for six years.  It's an exciting time to be in Sherman with all the growth going on.  The Chamber is experiencing a lot of growth as well. 
   Eddie noted that a lot great things are happening around Grayson County.  Every Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m., Sherman, Denison and Pottsboro Chambers have a networking breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn.  
    A year-and-a-half ago, Sherman held their networking event on Tuesdays while Denison held theirs on Wednesdays.  Since they have teamed up, the group has grown from about 15-25 a week to 50-60 people each week.
    The Sherman Chamber has averaged 40-44 new members a year over the past five years.  So far this year, they have already added 31 new members.  Currently, there are just over 500 members.
    Information will be coming out soon on the Chamber's annual New Teacher Luncheon which is set for Friday, August 4th.  The last couple of years Sherman I.S.D. has added about a hundred new teachers and they anticipate about the same number this year.  
    Leadership Sherman is a great opportunity to learn about what goes on within the city, the county and area businesses.  The purpose of Leadership Sherman is to provide an in-depth education of the various services of local, county and state government, local business and industry, educational institutions, civic organizations, and social service agencies. The program furnishes leadership skills training that equips the candidates and benefits the city of Sherman and the county of Grayson.
       They just graduated their largest class of twenty-six leaders.  The next class will begin in September.  They will begin taking applications in late June or early July.  You can contact the Chamber for more information.
    The Sherman Magazine has really grown as well.  It is published every January.  They will begin working on next January's edition in August.      
    They just wrapped up their 6th annual golf tournament on May 5th.  It also continues to grow.  They had over 100 golfers this year.  The best part is each year they are able to raise more money.  They use the proceeds to help fund some of their events such as the New Teacher Luncheon and Leadership Sherman.
    The Sherman Chamber of Commerce is an important resource for advocacy, information and marketing exposure.  The Chamber promotes the economic success of the individual member businesses and the collective strength of our community.
    Eddie announced that he has been asked to serve on the Texas State Chamber of Commerce.  
    Congratulations Eddie!!!
Sharon Watson - North Texas Youth Connection
    North Texas Youth Connection got its start in 1976, with the primary mission of serving runaway, homeless and street youth and their families.  Sharon Watson, who has been the executive director since June 2012, shared how the center began and what they do.
   It was when a Piner middle school teacher noticed a young boy was coming to school who wasn't very neat or clean.  She discovered he was living in a Goodwill box located on the school grounds.  
   He said he had nowhere to go and was getting in trouble for staying out on the streets.  Because school was the one place where he felt he safest, he made his home within the security of the box.  At the time, the only alternative that homeless youth had to living on the street was being labeled "delinquent."  Since there was no place for the children to stay they were incarcerated with adult offenders.
    This was a state-wide problem, not just one for Grayson County.  Sharon noted she was working for the Dallas Morning News at the time, and there were efforts to change the status of these homeless children changed to a non-delinquent status.  For this .to happen, they had to have a place to live.
    Some local women decided to fix that problem and established what was known as Grayson County Juvenile Alternatives.  This is how North Texas Youth Connection is incorporated.  They decided to change the name several years ago because they were being confused as a juvenile detention center.  They are licensed to house up to fourteen kids aged 10 through 17.  
    Several years ago, they lost some of their federal funding which forced them to drop some of their programs.  At the time, they were serving fifteen counties in North Texas.  
    Since then, they have had to regroup.  Grants from the Munson Foundation, the Oliver Dewey Mayor Foundation, the Sherman Service League in conjunction with community donations and help, have allowed them to completely remodeled the facility.  Most recently, they have remodeled this kitchen.  Sharon said it looks more like a lodge now than a shelter. 
    The kids that come to the facility don't have any boundaries.  They have been raised in broken homes where there has been drug addiction, mental and sexual abuse.  Sharon emphasized these kids are really, really broken, so they place boundaries on these kids and help them start putting their lives back together.
    Most kids stay with them for 90 days.   Some kids will be graduating high school but staying longer because they have no place to go.  Sharon added that what she has found in the five years she has been there is, the older kids aged 14 to 17, who have been through foster care time after time, simply don't have any place to go.
    Sharon noted they have become known throughout the state as a facility that will take in older kids and work with them on finishing high school.  It's not unusual for a child to be several years behind in their studies.  Sharon pointed out, "We are not just a place where you drop off kids."  The staff is very, very caring and will do everything they can to help these kids graduate from high school.  
    In addition to the administrative staff, they have youth advisers that stay in the shelter with the kids.  They have three shifts and are open 24-7.  The youth advisers are required to go through forty hours of training before they work with the kids.
Leland Samuelson - Final Preparations
    Leland Samuelson spoke on a subject last week that we all don't like talking about.  Although we don't like talking about it, the subject becomes of more and more importance every day.  Sooner is much better than later because at some point you will have to do more than just talk about it.  Funeral Planning.
    Mr. Samuelson knows all about Funerals and planning.  He has been a minister for over 30 years and has been heavily involved in the funeral business over the past twelve years.
    Leland explained that we do funerals, mostly all wrong.  Hundreds of questions need to be answered when planning an funeral service and unfortunately, most of the time this has to be done within about 72 hours.  Lots of information has to be gathered and decisions need to be made on things that many have never thought about before.  To make things even more difficult, we now have to make many decisions during some of the worst few hours of our life.  
    Why do we do it way?  Is it because we don't know there is a better way?  Is it because we are just too afraid to talk about it?  Are we so superstitious that we think if we plan ahead for it that we are just planning for ourselves to die sooner?  Whatever the excuse may be, it isn't good enough. 
    Planning final arrangements ahead of time are a lot easier when you can remove the loss of a loved one from the conversation.  Most of the things that have to be done when a loved one passes can be done before.    
    By planning ahead you can look around and find a nice cemetery plot that meets your needs if you don't already have one.  They all have different prices and your planning professional can help you find one.  Perhaps you have been to a funeral where you really like a certain aspect of one or maybe there was something that you just would not want to take place at yours.  By planning ahead, you can work all of these decisions out.
    Don't rely on life insurance as your plan.  You still need to have a plan in place.
    By planning ahead, it removes the emotional, as well as financial, burden so family members won't have to wonder if they did the right thing.  It allows you to control your own celebration so it truly reflects who you are.  It organizes data so your family doesn't worry about locating vital information.  It shows your sense of responsibility for family by making decisions, so others won't have to - saving them from potential disagreements.
    Leland emphasized that if you don't have any life insurance you need to talk to someone (Terry) about getting some.  However, just because you have life insurance, it isn't a plan.  It helps, yes, but it isn't a plan.  It is just a way to fund your funeral.
    Planning is free!  A planning professional will use a guide to help you record all of your choices.
    If you choose to purchase a service, they can also help with that.  Purchasing a service is not planning, it is the result of planning.  
Cary Wacker - Austin College Provides Regional Prosperity
    Cary Wacker is Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement & Director of the Center for Community & Regional Development at Austin College.  She spoke about the "Regional Prosperity" Austin College has offered since it moved to Sherman 140 years ago.  They have been committed to a mutual contribution and involvement to the surrounding communities.  
    The college is looking for meaningful ways to commit resources to the community.  One of the programs that has had a profound effect on the community is their Master of Arts in Teaching Community Scholarship Program.  There are over 100 graduates of that program currently working in the Texoma region.  
    Cary said Austin College received a $1.2 million Noyce grant to to provide scholarship support for eleven future STEM teachers beginning as early as their junior year.  The scholarship recipients must complete a major or receive a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) and pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching degree.  They will be awarded $12,500 for the junior year, $25,000 for the senior year, and $40,000 for the graduate year.  The scholars agree to teach in underserved, high need schools for the early years of their teaching careers.
    Cary then talked about the Sneed Prairie Farm Project.  For 20 years, Austin College faculty, staff, hundreds of students, volunteers and community members have been returning the land to its native state.  Since spring 2002, Austin College has hosted 37 schools from four counties, and more than 10,000 4th and 5th grade students.
    The Austin College student field trip leaders describe the plants, animals, and ecology of the tallgrass prairie, discuss the history of land use in our area, and explain our prairie restoration activities. Children learn about native grasses and plant seeds, observe the effects of intentional fires, see how plant roots prevent erosion, “discover” animal skulls, and have a chance to observe and handle large, local fossils. A pavilion with a covered seating area, restrooms, and water fountain allows classes to bring sack lunches. Additionally, the building is solar-powered and contains a rainwater harvesting system for drinking water. The sustainable design of the building is featured during the field trip.
    Grayson County Rotary, Sherman Rotary, Denison Rotary and Whitesboro Rotary provided grants to help build the pavilion.  It was a combined project for the Rotary clubs to help commemorate Rotary's 100th birthday.
    The Social Entrepreneurship for Poverty Alleviation (SEPA) program was initially put into place to teach students about grant writing.  Student interns pair up with local nonprofit organizations for eight weeks during the summer to write grants to help improve or increase the services these nonprofits can deliver.  Through 2016, they have had 76 students participate in writing over 55 successful grants for 50 unique nonprofits, totaling over $500,000.  
    The Austin College Service Station is their volunteer service center ran by a 20 member student force with one part-time staff member to handle the administrative duties.  They coordinate and facilitate all community service projects on campus.  For the past 25 years, they have provided over 15,000 hours of service every year.  
    Beginning this past January, AC students participated in a month-long experiential learning class, January Term CityLab, to help address community issues in a Texoma city. Students worked in one or two local cities on a defined project, helping strengthen communities through planning, applied research, and tasks that enhance the quality of place for residents
Dr. Andra Petrean - Cool Science at Austin College
    Dr. Andra Petrean, associate professor of physics at Austin College, shared a little information on some very cool technology.  It involves superconductivity, carbon nanotubes and thin films. 
    Superconductivity is the name given to a remarkable combination of electric and magnetic properties which appear in certain materials when they are cooled.  Conductors readily conduct an electric current and are used in power lines and magnets.
    The ability of conductors to carry current changes with temperature.  The cooler the conductor the lower the resistance resulting in superconductors having zero resistance.  Unfortunately, it costs more to cool the superconductors than the benefits received..
    Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, from Leiden University in the Netherlands, is known for the discovery of superconductors.  He had a laboratory that allowed him to cool matter to extremely cold temperatures.  In 1908, he liquefied helium and in 1911, he discovered superconductivity in mercury.
    From 1911 to 1987, different groups tried building their own materials to have a higher transition temperature.  Yttrium barium copper oxide (YBa2Cu3O7-x) was then discovered.  YBCO is known as a high temperature superconductor (HTS).  Although this superconductor works at a higher temperature than the others, it is still very cold.
    The advantage YBCO has over the other materials is its transition temperature of 77 K, which is the boilding point of liquid nitrogen.  (77 Kelvin equals -321 °F)  (This would keep your beverage cold for a while.)  Liquid nitrogen is a lot less expensive than liquid helium.
    There are still some challenges with these materials.  They have a tendency to lose their properties when you try to add more current.  Many applications require larger currents which leads Dr. Petrean to her area of research.  She is trying to increase the amount of current that can be put through these materials. 
    Dr. Petran showed a drawing of how a Type II, HTS Superconductor reacts.  When you add a magnetic field to these materials you will have loops of current that create vortices.  These magnetic vortices that are created repel each other since they are all north pole charged.  This results in all of the magnetic vortices moving around as they are trying to stay as far away from each other as possible which use energy causing the superconductor to lose its properties.
    Once you can make these magnetic vortices stay put, then you can increase the current.  In order to make them stay put you have to put defects in the material because the vortices would rather stay where the defects are.  
    Dr. Petrean talked a little about nano-technolgy which is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular or supramolecular scale.  Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers.  
   Nanoscience and nanotechnology are the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering.  Today's scientists and engineers are finding a wide variety of ways to deliberately make materials at the nanoscale to take advantage of their enhanced properties such as higher strength, lighter weight, increased control of light spectrum, and greater chemical reactivity than their larger-scale counterparts.
    Dr. Petrean then talked about the properties of thin films of gold at nanoscale.  We all know gold to be shiny, a shade of yellow (gold) and opaque.  She showed a picture of gold that had been sliced into different thicknesses.  The thinner the film of gold the more its properties changed.  In the photo, the gold even lost its color the thinner it was sliced.  Thin pieces of gold will melt at lower temperatures.  At some point, gold will lose its conducting properties and Dr. Petrean is wanting to find out at what thickness does gold lose its conducting properties. 
Mike Waterman - Glass Artist
    Once upon a time, Mike Waterman became very interested in women's fashions.  So interested, he began working for JCPenney in 1958, when it led him to New York where he was an assistant buyer in the catalog division.  
        A couple years later Mike became the head buyer of women's fashions in the Dallas office.  He bought dresses for about 700 stores.  What he enjoyed most was working with the designers.  He enjoyed working with the fashion experts so much he decided to get into the garment manufacturing business.  
    Mike would travel to New York five times a year working with designers and print makers.  He always enjoyed working with textures and colors.  Mike traveled throughout the country doing shows while working out of the Dallas office.  
    While working at the Dallas Apparel Mart one day, Mike met Alice.  Three years later they were beginning a new life together.  
    Alice is a very talented artist and because she loves art, she got Mike more interested in art.  So one day Mike decided to take a "clay class."  He enjoyed the class so much he decided to buy a couple hundred pounds of clay to set up a studio.
    So one day a friend of Mike asked him if he wanted to buy a kiln.  Knowing he needed a kiln Mike bought it.  When he got it home he realized it wasn't a clay kiln, it was a glass kiln.
    Since he now had a glass kiln, Mike donated all of his clay to Grayson College and started asking his friends for their empty wine bottles.  He started out making slumped wine bottles.  He then decided to start taking classes.  He has taken classes in Dallas, Sante Fe, Taos and Denver. 
    Mike claims it's actually the process he really enjoys. Glass is actually a liquid.  At 1,490 degrees glass becomes a puddle.  By raising the temperature to 1,700 degrees you can now manipulate glass.
    A quilt made by Mike's grandmother gave him the inspiration he was looking for.  He showed a piece of art he made as a result.  It is made up of four layers of glass that has been heated and cooled at certain temperatures.  
    Mike performed a demonstration of how he scores and cuts the glass before putting it into the kiln to heat it up so he can work with it.  As Mike held up a box, he pointed out that a glass artist never travels without bandages.  
    Mike had a Texas flag he made from glass.  He pointed out that everything he does, he personally cuts out himself.  Nothing is pre-cut or stamped.  The Texas flag consists of three layers of glass that have been heated and cooled to different temperatures before it is then put into a mold so it will hold its shape by a process known as slumping.
    He explained the process used to make some of the beautiful abstract pieces he had on display.  He added that not everything turns out like he wants and ends up going left into the trash or becomes a paper weight.
    Glass weaving is another process Mike has been experimenting with.  Although he hasn't done too much weaving he has created some very nice pieces of weaved glass art.  He said he likes layering the glass and mixing different colors together.
    It is very obvious that Mike has a great passion for his art.  He gets inspiration from people he meets, places he visits and something he may see such as the Texas flag.
SHS Interact 
    Four Sherman High School Interact members shared information about themselves and what they are doing.  Camrin Stephenson is co-president of the SHS Interact Club.  He noted the officers meet every two weeks and then all the members meet once a month.  As club president he prepares and runs the meetings plus helps recruit members.
    Having already been to Camp RYLA, Camrin Stephenson said he was already interested.  He concluded that Camp RYLA really opened his eyes to many things.  It changed his life.  Camrin still stays on touch with many RYLArians.
    Paige Pough, junior, is co-president of the SHS Interact Club.  She also helps prepare and run the meetings. Paige admitted she didn't know anything about Interact but upon doing a little research and learning they were focused on giving back to othere, she was in.  She helped come up with the shirts designs and as well.  Paige  thanked Grayson Rotary for the support.  Paige added they are raising money for much needed dog food for the Red River SPCA and will volunteer on April 8th to help the shelter.
    Lundun McBride is a very active member of the SHS Interact Club.  She reported that several students went to the Peace Symposium provided by District 5810 on February 4th.  Lyndon admitted it was very interesting and they all enjoyed the symposium.  She added that she was interested in being involved with Interact because her dad is a Rotarian.  
    Clarabell Prado, freshman, is secretary of the SHS Interact Club.  Her duties are to keep up with the members, record of attendance, and do all the required paperwork.  Clarabell attended the MLK Breakfast at Austin College and was very inspired by keynote speaker Dr. George Koonce, to help make her school and her community a better place. 
    Clarabell thanked Grayson Rotary for their support and added that although they are small right now, they are growing.  She also thanked Grayson Rotarians Susan Whitenack, Kate Whitfield and Belinda Spears for always being at the meetings and supporting them.  She expressed great thanks to Martha Stephens and Taryn Nejtek for being the faculty sponsors of the club.
    Leadership is an essential aspect of Rotary—and we offer both clubs and programs to help emerging leaders develop their skills. Through these groups, participants strengthen their leadership skills, serve their communities, increase their world understanding, build friendships, and more. 
    Interact is a club for youth ages 12-18 who want to connect with others in their community or school. Interact club members have fun while carrying out service projects and learning about the world. Interact clubs organize at least two service projects a year: one that benefits their community and one that encourages international understanding. While Interact clubs receive guidance from individual Rotary clubs, they govern and support themselves.
Dr. Jeremy McMillan - Grayson College 
    Dr. Jeremy McMillen, Grayson College president, has worked at other colleges, but pointed out that Grayson has the most support.  Grayson is a 2 year, community college and will accept anyone who applies for admission.
    The average age at most community colleges is 28-29.  The average age enrolled at Grayson is 24-years-old due to the fact that they have many high school dual-credit students.  High school students may take dual credit courses which allows them to get high school and college credit with one course.
    Grayson College recently received a $2 million grant to increase medical training skills within our community.  Many times, a nurse needs more training in a specific area.  They will now be able to get the special training at Grayson through the use of this grant.  
    Grayson County is one of only two counties in Texas, with more than 3,000 patient beds and no local access to a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN program.  Cameron County in south Texas is the only other county without a similar program.
    A recent Institute of Medicine report calls for 80% of RNs to have a BSN by 2020.  Only 31% of the registered in Grayson County and 32% in Fanning County hold a BSN, compared to 44% statewide.  Upon graduation, 95% of Grayson nursing graduates intend to pursue their BSN, however, after 5 years, only 1 in 20 have done so.  Grayson County alone needs to add 1,000 more BSNs in the next three years.
    Grayson College's existing nursing program holds a national accreditation and program graduates consistently score higher on the NCLEX exam than many other BSN progams.  Our community is committed to helping the college succeed.  
    According to the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services, Grayson County is ranked 31st among 252 Texas counties in Medicare/Medicaid spending per capita.  Grayson County is ranked 81st among all 3,130 counties in the United States per capita.  High costs can be contained by providing better services through highly trained healthcare professionals like nurses.
    Grayson College promotes economic growth in Texoma in a variety of ways.  The College is an employer and buyer of goods and services, plus the living expenses of students from outside of Texoma benefit local businesses.  Grayson College is a primary source of education to Texoma residents and a supplier of trained workers to regional industry.
    In fiscal year 2012-13, Grayson employed 563 full-time and part-time faculty and staff.  Of these, 98% live in Texoma.  Total payroll at GC was $18.9 million, much of which was spent in the region for groceries, rent, eating out, clothing and other household expenses.
    In 2012-13, GC  spent $19.8 million to cover its expenses for facilities, professional services and supplies.  The total income that GC created during the analysis year as a result of its day-to-day operations was $34.4 million.  
    During this time, around 6% of the students attending GC originated from outside the region.  Out-of-region students spent $7.8 million to purchase groceries, rent accommodations, transportation and so on, generating $7.7 million in new income in the economy.
    Grayson College's biggest impact results from the education and training it provides for local residents.  Since the college was established, students have studied at GC and entered the workforce with new skills.  Today, thousands of former students are employed in Texoma.  During the analysis year, former students of GC generated $264.4 million in added income in the region. 
    The overall impact of GC on the local business community during the analysis year amounted to $306.6 million, equal to the sum of the operations spending impact, the student spending impact and the alumni impact.
    Fall 2015 enrollment statistics from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board show Community Colleges are the largest sector of Texas higher education enrolling 47.1% (700,892 students).  Public universities enroll 41.6%, private institutions 8.5%, public medical institutions 1.6% and technical / state colleges 1.2%.  Of all students who receive a Bachelors degree, 74% have some transfer credits from Texas Community Colleges.  
Randy Truxal - Grayson College Foundation
    Randy Truxal, Executive Director of the Grayson College Foundation, is no stranger to raising money. Prior to joining Grayson College in 2014, Randy was a vice president and wealth strategist at Landmark Bank in Sherman and an associate administrator at Texoma Medical Center (UHS) in Denison. His fundraising experience comes from leadership and development roles with the TMC Foundation, Baylor Health Affiliate Group Foundation Service Department, and Friends of Abilene Christian University.
    During his time at Grayson, Randy has raised $3.6 million and awarded $1.5 million in scholarships to approximatley 1,200 students.  Grayson's 2017 "Supporting The Dream" campaign has a $360,000 goal.  
    The Foundation does more than just raise money for students.  They have Endowed Faculty Chairs that allows faculty to participate in professional development training above and beyond the usual experiences, and to gather resources and tools to enhance their program.
    The Innovative Teaching / Learning Fund provides resources for new and creative teaching practices and/or learning concepts.  This fund enables Grayson College colleagues to be creative in their respective field in implementing innovative teaching strategies that support student success.
    The Military Veterans Program "Boots to Books and Beyond" will assist the College's Veterans Affairs office to break down significant barriers and foster our warrior's success in higher education.
    Project "88 KEYS" helps with new instruments and equipment, professional instructors, and the expanded space for practicing and performances.  Funds raised will help this program continue to expand and enrich the community.  Grayson College is one of only two colleges to becoming a certified Petrof College.
    Randy pointed out that although they have adequate facilities for their baseball and softball programs, they are an elite program.  Their baseball team has three national championships and several more appearances in the World Series.  He invited everyone to attend a baseaball game.  
    Forty-five percent of the students at Grayson College receive some form of financial aid.  The Annual fund range in size from $250 to $2,000 and are awarded in their entirety.  
    When an individual, business, organization or foundation makes a large contribution of a least $5,000, the principal balance of the fund is invested.  The annual earnings from the investment enable the College to award various levels of funding to students and professors.
    Endowments can be funded with a one-time payment or cash or stock securities, over a multi-year period, and even through gifts from multiple donors.  
    Gifts that create a lasting legacy are created through the inclusion of the College in a will or as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
    Your dollars can be designated toward a program or another idea you may have.  Your contributions can be pooled with others' or can be set aside to create a named annual or permanently-endowed fund.
John Mabary - IRA Changes
    John Mabary, financial advisor for Edward Jones, brought everyone up do date on the recent Department of Labor (DOL) changes.  Everyone has probably hear about the DOL and that there are some changes coming, but very few know how the new laws are going to affect them.
    The DOL issued new rules that take effect April 10, 2017, which will impact all retirement accounts at all financial institutions and all financial advisors offering retirement services.  The rules require financial advisors to operate under a new standard called a “fiduciary standard,” which generally means they must be able to demonstrate they are acting in the best interest of their clients.  
    John said these are probably some of the biggest changes we have seen in our lifetime.  Additionally, these changes won’t make much sense unless we understand how they come about.  If you recall, the banks had to be bailed out in 2009, by the U.S. government to the tune of $787 Billion.  In effort to assure they wouldn’t ever have to do that again, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Law.  
    The DOL has supervisory jurisdiction over implementing changes to retirement accounts.  It took them seven-and-a-half years and three separate attempts to implement the new law.  Last April, they rolled out their final 1,023 page set of regulations.  These new laws go into affect April 10, 2017.  
    If you have an IRA account, you are going to have to make some choices going forward.  John explained the three options.
    If you have a commissioned based IRA, it will turn into a “Grandfathered IRA” on April 10th.  Grandfathered IRA’s are going to have some significant restrictions on them.  First, no new contributions can be made unless you are doing a monthly bank draft which must be set up before the end of March.  You will never be allowed to increase your contribution, but you can decrease it.  Also, whatever investments your monthly contribution is purchasing inside that IRA can never be changed.
    The second option is a “Fiduciary Style IRA.”  There are no commissions to buy or sell.  It is strictly a fee-based account.  This allows the financial advisor and client to hand pick a stock, bond,  or mutual fund.  Your portfolio can now be custom built to fit your risk threshold and return expectations.  
    Financial advisors can now monitor a client’s account to make sure their goals stay on track.  If changes are needed, there is no charge.  The client only pays a monthly money management fee to the brokerage firm.
    The third option for an IRA is a Best Interest Conract (BIC) IRA.  These are allowed for commissioned based trades and will have a lot of restrictions.  You will not be allowed to hold mutual funds in this type of IRA.  
    John noted this is just the beginning and there are going to be more changes, some of which affect 401K plans and other retirement accounts.  
    FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and the SEC (Securities Exhange Commission) are also working on a “fiduciary standard.”  It will not be the same as the DOL which is very frustrating because that means there will be a different set of rules for IRA’s and non-qualified money.
Grayson County Rotary's 29th Annual Awards Banquet
    In the true spirit of Rotary in its founding days, Grayson County Rotary Club’s 29th annual awards banquet rotated locations.  Lots of fellowship kicked off a grand evening as guests arrived.
    After a fabulous meal catered by Feast On This, club president Cindy Brandt welcomed everyone.  She recognized the organizations we presented money to this year which includes KinCare, Children’s Express, Broken Heart Ministries, SHARE, Child Protective Serivces, the Guatemala Literacy Project, the Boy Scouts and the Grayson County Rotary Scholarship Foundation.  She noted other organizations we help as well such as the Foster Parents Appreciation Dinner, the Veteran’s Day Blood Drive, the Loy Lake Christmas Lights and many more.
    Cindy introduced Bill Slicker, Rotary District 5810’s Foundation Chair.  Mr. Slicker presented Paul Harris Fellowships to:  Melida Ailshire, Stacy Braddock, Francis Campbell, Edwin Clark, David Cortinas, Lisa Hebert, Steve Ramsey, Jean Sorensen.  A PHF+2 was presented to Cindy Brandt and a PHF+4 was presented to Terry Everett.  A Paul Harris Fellowship represents $1,000 given to The Rotary Foundation.  Each additional $1,000 contributions are represented by +#.  
    Kitty Richardson was presented a plaque by Cindy for the Grayson Rotary Club’s 2016-2017 Community Service Award.  Francis Campbell was presented a plaque for being selected as Grayson Rotary’s Club Service Award winner.
    A very special Grayson County Rotary “Thank You” goes to Laura Ramsey of Glazer’s Disributors for supplying the wine for the evening.  A “Thank You” also goes to her father Steve Ramsey for his help and making sure everyone had plenty to drink throughout the evening.
    Club president elect Jim Walker and his lovely wife Leigh did an outstanding job decorating and having everything ready for the standing room only crowd.  Thank you Jim! Thank you Leigh!  You two made the evening spectacular!!!
    One last “Thank You” goes to the Sherman Serivce League for the use of their beautifully renovated Service League room.    
Kitty Richardson - Wilson N Jones Regional Medical Center
    Kitty Richardson, Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center Administrator, shared information on the improvements of the hospital.  In 2014, the hospital celebrated its 100th anniversary.  There is a dedicated historical marker near the north end of the hospital.
    Although WNJ is over 100 years old and has had a few face lifts along the way, she is holding up very well.  There have been several improvements recently including the front lobby and Women's Services.  
    Keeping the hospital up to date and in good condition is of great importance, but not nearly as important as taking care of the patients.  Kitty emphasized, "As it always has been, our main focus is and still remains on providing passionate, quality care to those in our communities that we serve."
    WNJ primarily serves Grayson County.  Occasionally, they see patients from Oklahoma, and the surrounding counties.  They employ around 650 with about 250 medical staff members.  They have 80 to 90 volunteers in their Auxiliary program.
    Within the last six months, WNJ was the only hospital in Grayson County to receive a three star rating for the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services.  WNJ is also a Level 3 Trauma center.  Kitty noted that a hospital must recertify every two to three years and they passed with flying colors this past Fall.  
    WNJ is also a certified Stroke Center.  Hospitals must be re-certified every two years.  WNJ received their Stroke Center re-certification on February 6th.
    WNJ also offers Behavioral Health Services to meet the community's growing need.  The have an inpatient unit that is for adults and geriatric psych.  WNJ is the only one offering the geriatric psych.
    The Women's Services Center is where the ladies deliver babies and undergo gynecological procedures.  About three years ago the hospital spent about $1 million and transformed eight patient rooms into four large rooms to provide plenty of room for family members.
    A couple months ago, the hospital opened a new 10 bed unit to take care of patients that require a little more care than a regular bed unit but not quite as much care as an ICU bed unit.  
    Along with the improvements to the hospital they are always looking to bring in new, quality doctors.  They have recently added some Internal Medicine doctors to their staff.  Kitty said there is still a big need for Primary Care physicians.  A little over a year ago, WNJ brought in Dr. Cody Starnes, a general surgeon.  He will work with Dr. Kenton Schrank.  WNJ will continue to look for another surgeon to join the staff.  Pediatrician Dr. Sridevi Alapti began February 1st and works with Dr. Kaylene Griffin.  
    Kitty pointed out they now offer 24 hour security for everyone's safety.  They are also available to help the Police and Sheriff departments when they bring someone into the ER that may require security.
    The hospital changed groups they contract with the run the ER in October 2016.  This change has resulted in reduced wait times, increased patient flow and a more efficiently ran ER.
    WNJ works closely with the area nursing homes, assisted living centers and skilled nursing facilities.  The hospital now has a system in place in their ER unit to care for sexual assault victims.  
    WNJ is very involved in the community and work with non-profit organizations. Their community awareness continues to grow.
    Kitty emphasized it is the people and the quality of care they give that makes WNJ special.  They will continue to grow services for their physicians so they can continue to give personalized, compassionate care to their patients.
Dr. Tyson Bennett - Sherman ISD Bond Election
    Dr. Tyson Bennett, Sherman I.S.D. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, talked about the upcoming Bond Election that will provide money for necessary capital improvements around the school district.  Not only is the student population outgrowing the current facilities, but the facilities themselves are getting older.
    Eight of the District's twelve schools are 47 to 86 years in age.  The average age of District facilities is 47 years with over half of the schools exceeding their useful life according to architectural standards.  All of the older schools have marginal to inadequate site acreage with Douglas, Jefferson, Piner and Washington on completely inadequate sties.
     A snapshot of the school district reveals 7,359 students enrolled in the fourteen schools around Sherman.  The facilities cover 1.3 million square feet.  Sherman I.S.D. is the second largest employer in Grayson County with 1,234 employees.  Thirty-one languages are spoken in the Sherman Schools.
    Sherman I.S.D. was rated in the top 2% in the state for Academic Excellence from PreK to 12 grade.  Sherman High School ranked in the top 8% in the U.S. and the top 10% in Texas, on the 2016 list of "Best High Schools."  For the 10th year in a row, Sherman High School ranks as one of the best high schools in America for their commitment to preparing students for college. 
    Over the past 8 years, Sherman I.S.D. has strategically paid down debt for a cost savings to taxpayers of just over $28 million  SISD's total tax rate ranks in the bottom half of Grayson County schools.
    On January 17th, the Building Bearcats 2030 Committee recommended several projects to be considered.  First on the list is a new high school that will hold 2,100 students with the flexibility to increase it to a capacity of 2,400.  Next are technology upgrades for the District and Campuses.  Plans also include converting the old high school into a middle school and adding two new elementary schools.  The list also includes improving the Athletics and Fine Arts facilities.
    The Sherman Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $308 million bond referendum to be included in the May 6, 2017 election. It has been more than 11 years since the last Sherman I.S.D. Bond. 
    Texas public schools rely on the support of local taxpayers to fund construction and improvement of school facilities.  School districts borrow money in the form of bonds to finance design, construction, expansion and renovation of facilities.  This is similar to homeowners borrowing money in the form of a mortgage to finance a home.  Bonds are approved by voters in a bond election, then sold to investors in the competitive investment market to raise money to pay for capital needs.
    The estimated tax impact of the total 2017 bond proposal is anticipated to be $0.23 for a total tax rate of $1.67.  The projected annual maximum I&S tax increase for the average taxable value home in Sherman I.S.D. of $87,948 is $0.23 per $100 value, or $202.32 annually.  Estimated taxes are "net" of the State mandated $25,000 residential homestead exemption.  
    The State Property Tax Code allows for school property taxes on an individual homestead to be “frozen” at the age of 65. If you are 65 years of age or older and you have filed for the “Over 65 Homestead Exemption”, there is a ceiling on the amount of school taxes to be paid.  The only exception is if improvements are made to a home. As such, a tax increase from a new bond program cannot increase the applicable tax ceiling of a taxpayer that has qualified for the “Over 65 Homestead Exemption.”
    For more information, visit their website at
Stephanie Chandler - United Way Community Investment Director
    Stephanie Chandler has recently joined the staff of United Way of Grayson County.  She has a master's degree in Early Childhood Education.  Stephanie has been involved in helping the homeless prior to joining United Way.
    Stephanie brought up the fact that a lot of federal and state money available for our schools, jails and hospitals in the county is just sitting there.  For instance, the federal government gave the state of Texas $1.3 million for homeless solutions.  This is good for prevention funding, new construction, transportation and education.
    Only eleven agencies in the state went for that funding.  So now it's time to start opening doors so all agencies can apply for that funding. Stephanie pointed out that our schools and first responders are doing a great job helping with the homeless situation, but why not go after the money that is available to help them.  
    Stephanie shared a story of a 26 year old veteran with a wife and kids who is struggling with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). He is struggling with keeping a job due to PTSD.  He is working full-time currently.  They ended up losing their apartment, however.  Thankfully, his wife and kids were able to stay with some relatives.  He was living in his car to be near work.  As luck would have it, another car ran into his car while he was at work.  It was a hit-and-run.  He know has no place to live while trying to continue working, plus he needs to get his car fixed.  Thankfully, they were able to put him up in a hotel for a week.  This will allow him to work so he can pay to have his car fixed.  
    Stephanie noted there are 18,000 veterans in Grayson County and that many of them are homeless.  The good news is there is  a lot of support and help by Veterans' Groups, businesses, organizations and volunteers, but of course, they are always needing more.
Amy Porter - ReadyRosie Program
    The last time we got together for our regularly schedule program, we heard from Amy Porter about the ReadyRosie program.  Amy is the director of teaching and learning for Sherman ISD.  
    ReadyRosie is an early education tool that is currently helping schools and communities across the nation deepen and scale their parent engagement efforts by leveraging the power of video modeling and mobile technology to meet and equip parents where they are. ReadyRosie has hundreds of brief videos in English and Spanish that model everyday interactions in familiar environments with real parents.
    ReadyRosie is an online parent engagement tool. We send an email everyday that contains three-five videos. One video is in English, one in spanish, one child expert video, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays there are two baby videos (one in English and one in Spanish). It was created to give parents and guardian’s ideas of how to better engage their children at home, in the library, in the car, at the grocery store, or wherever they are spending time. We want to show the guardians that there is always an opportunity for learning and talking with their children and it doesn’t take hours of practice.
    Any child from age zero to six can participate in the Ready Rosie program.  Sherman ISD has purchased the program and made it available to anyone in Grayson County.  Children do not have to live in the Sherman school district to use the program.
    If you would like to see if ReadyRosie is available in your district just go to the website at: and type in your zip code. If a district pops up then you are free to register and will begin receiving the daily email the next weekday morning. When a district does not show up then ReadyRosie is not available in your area.  If you would like for ReadyRosie to be in your child’s school here is a letter, for you to send to your city leaders, school board members, teachers, or even superintendents.
    Amy encouraged everyone to spread the word about ReadyRosie.  She encourages parents, grandparents, babysitters, guardians, and anyone else that has direct contact with the child on a consistent level to sign up for the emails. 
    It's very easy to register and you can even do so on a smart phone or tablet.  Just go to and click on the Register Button.  After registering, download the mobile app for your iPhone or Android device.
Scott Bechtel - Car Wrap City
    About ten years ago Scott Bechtel started Texoma Wraps.  Scott was in the graphics printing business at the time and became very intrigued by the wraps as they started making an appearance.  He not only recognized a huge potential for an up and coming product but also saw many independent wrappers and sign shops doing it all wrong.
    Scott decided he could do it better.  He had a vision to be the best wrap shop around so he stopped making signs and banners to open up one of the first shops in the nation dedicated to just wrapping vehicles.
    His business began growing rapidly and they were soon wrapping vehicles across the in Oklahoma and all throughout Texas.  They now wrap vehicles all across the nation.  As a result, Scott said they needed to rebrand their name to a larger scale, so they chose CarWrap City.
    Everything is done in-house, right from the very beginning, to designing, printing and applying the wrap.  They will also remove the wrap.  Scott noted they use only the very best materials and certified, professional installers.  Quality is more important than quantity.
    Wraps go beyond just being some fancy design or advertisement.  If someone is tired of the color of their car and want to change it, they don't have to get a paint job.  You can just have your car wrapped in a new color of your choice.  You may want to add stripes or a single accent.  That can be done, too.  Then perhaps, you really like the color of your car and just wish you could protect the paint from road chips, scratches or general fading.  For this, you can have a clear wrap installed on your car.  It will protect your paint and have it looking like new after four or five years when you remove the wrap.  Wraps are 100% reversible without damage to your OEM paint and it only takes one to two days to install in most cases.
    The team at CarWrap City can wrap anything, no matter how large or small.  They wrap buses for schools and teams including the Dallas Cowboys and the team buses for the Cotton Bowl teams.  They wrap motorcycles, boats, golf carts, ATV's, coolers, helmets, etc.  They even wrap airplanes!
    Wraps build brand awareness and help boost sales.  Parked or on the move, wraps catch the attention of tens of thousands of potential customers.  Vinyl protects vehicles from rock chips and minor abrasions and is much cheaper than repainting a vehicle.  Caring for wraps is simple.  You won't have to wax your car again!
    Check out their website at  You'll see a little bit of everything they do as well as getting practically any question you might have answered.
GCRC Officers & Directors - What Do They Do?
    What do our Rotarians do?  Grayson Rotary Club's officers answered that question last week.
    The Club President runs the meetings of course.  They also head up the board of directors and coordinate the activities of the club with the other officers and chairmen or chairwomen.  This year's current Club President is Cindy Brandt, who is also serving her second time.
    Cindy is also the Club Administration chair.  The main objective is to work with the club in order to do what is necessary to fulfill the requirements of qualifying for the annual Presidential Citation.  The requirements are a little different each year and are laid out by the Rotary International president.  Last year, the Rotary Club of Grayson County was one of only four clubs out of District 5810's sixty-six club to receive a Gold Presidential Citation.   Our club has qualified for the Presidential Citation every year.
    The President-elect is responsible for our annual awards' banquet which is held in February.  Jim Walker is currently looking for a place and a caterer.  Jim will also attend P.E.T.S. (President Elect Training Seminar) February 24-26, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency DFW. 
    The Club Secretary is responsible for keeping Club records and submitting the necessary reports to the District and Rotary International.  They also work with the Club Administrator in completing the requirements for the Presidential Citation.  The secretary keeps each member's information current with Rotary International including attendance reports.  Terry Everett is the Club Secretary.  He also keeps the website up-to-date . . . for the most part anyway.  The secretary is also responsible for recording and keeping the minutes of the monthly board of directors' meetings.
    Although not related to the job of the Secretary, Terry is also the bulletin editor (Editarian).  And although not necessarily related to the Editarian's job, he is in charge of the Club's publicity and submit's articles to the newspaper on an almost weekly basis.  And, just because it makes sense to do so, Terry is the Program Chair who coordinates with the member's, who will have their turn in bringing a speaker to share something of interest about their career, their favorite organization or topic or even about themselves.
    Steve Ramsey has one of the most important positions because it deals with our Club's finances.  He is our treasurer.  He is responsible to make sure each dollar goes where it's suppose to go, whether it is to Rotary International (RI) or the District for dues, the Rotary Foundation (TRF) that each of us contribute to or one of our organizations that we support.  We support many different causes ranging from PolioPlus, to the Guatemala Literacy Project, to the Wheelchair Foundation, to the Boy Scouts who help us with our Flag Lease Program, to many other local organizations.  Steve even writes the weekly check to pay for our breakfast!
    Steve makes sure everyone receives their quarterly statement for dues, meals and TRF giving on a timely basis.  And if that isn’t enough, he prepares a financial report for the board of directors each month.  
    Our Sergeant-at-Arms is Larry Campbell.  Larry said the main requirement is to come early and stay late.  He is responsible for having our room ready when everyone arrives by putting up the banners, dressing the head table, having the member badges ready for wear, and distributing the hymnals.  He then sticks around and puts everything away after everyone has left.
    Becky Burtner is our Service Project chairwoman.  She does an awesome job of having several projects for the club to get involved in.  We are currently having a "Diaper Drive" collecting baby necessities for the C.P.S.  We have a food drive each month to help feed the local homeless.  In January, we will be involved in the Martin Luther King Celebration at Austin College on January 16th.
    The Club's Foundation chair keeps track of each member's contribution to the Rotary Foundation.  David Cortinas emphasized we will be recognizing several Paul Harris Fellows at this year's awards banquet in February, possibly more than ever before.  Each $1,000 contribution to the Rotary Foundation is recognized by a Paul Harris Fellowship.  There is not time frame to reach this goal.
    A contribution to the Rotary Foundation is included in our dues.  The Foundation chair is also responsible for any grants we might request from the District or RI to help with projects.
    Norman Gordon is the Club's Membership Chair.  He is responsible for having a New Member Orientation twice a year or when the need arises.  Norman encourages everyone to invite others to visit our club.
    Shane Pruitt swings a big hammer.  He is in charge of our Flag Lease Program.  In addition to coordinating the Flag delivery with Boy Scout Troop XV, Shane takes care of new installations.  John Mabary co-chairs the Flag Lease Program and takes care of the annual billing.  
    Edwin Clark is the New Generations Chair.  He oversees everything that has to do with youth including Rotaract, Interact, Camp RYLA and the 4-Way Speech Contest.  Bob Cape and Jean Sorensen are in charge of the Austin College and Grayson College Rotaract Clubs respectively.  Belinda Spears, Susan Whitenack and Kate Whitfield are responsible for the Sherman High School Interact Club.
    Stacy Braddock and Francis Campbell co-chair our fund raising programs which includes the Nut Sales.  Stacy is working on a skeet shoot fundraiser for the Spring.  With the help of Kate Whitfield, we recently raised $440, with more to come, from the local Belk shopping event.
    With all of that in mind, perhaps you found at least one of those summaries of interest.  As we are always looking to grow our member base, we are also always looking for fresh ideas and new energy to help our Club continue to be one of the best!  No experience necessary.  Each and every position in our club is open to everyone, whether you have been a member of Grayson Rotary for only a month or have been around since the beginning of (Grayson Rotary's) time.
Nathaniel Lightfoot -  Texoma Community Center
    Nathaniel Lightfoot has been working at the Texoma Community Center for about a year now as their OSAR (Outreach, Screening, Assessment and Referral) coordinator.  Prior to that he investigated cases for Child Protective Services for eight-and-a-half years.
    In addition, to his OSAR duties, Nathaniel also does individual and group counseling at the facility.  He admitted, "There's a ton of people that need help and not very many able to get help."  Most of us know someone who has experienced some for a addiction in our lives.  The sad fact is if you don't have a lot of income or insurance, help isn't readily available.  
    Unfortunately, only about 4% of those in the state of Texas, who are trying to get into detox services actually get in.  Nathaniel said these are not the people who say they think they need to get off alcohol, or get on some prescription medication , but the ones that actually come into his office desperately wanting help.
    Nathaniel said they are doing everything they possible can to get these people help, but there just aren't any options.  There are only a couple facilities in North Texas that take in people with chemical dependencies.  One is located in Dallas and the other in Fort Worth.  They only have between 32 to 64 total beds with thousands of people looking for help.
    Nathaniel pointed out that many of these people with addictions are not what you might call a junkie or some drunkard.  Many are retired who have worked their whole lives that got hurt at some point and went to the doctor for help.  They eventually became addicted to prescription medications and feel as thought they are going to die if they didn't continue taking the prescription.  
    Treatment can help these people, but it takes money and time.  It can work if they have the support and follow through.  With a combination of in-patient treatment followed by some out-patient treatment, results are highly effective.  The problem is the treatments are just not available.
    Having the mind set that this person has a moral failure, a lack of judgement or they can't make good decisions is not true.  We all make mistakes.  Unfortunately, this person has something they need help with and if we continue to have the stigma they are just making a choice and should just say no, then they aren't going to get any better.  We need to build community support.  We need to build understanding.  
    Texoma Community Center has an out-patient treatment program on site.   They can do individual counseling and group counseling.  As far as detox options, sometimes the can get people in through Wilson N Jones or Texoma Medical Center if they have insurance.  If they only have Medicaid, the only way they can get treatment is if they are suicidal and say they are going to go kill themselves if they don't get help.  Otherwise, they go to the hospital where they are told they are not going to die and sent on their way.  
    Nathaniel emphasized the need to provide more education on addiction to everyone, especially in the schools.  Education needs to be an ongoing thing.  We need to make sure everyone knows there are options out there.  
Michelle Flemming & Brett Graham - Texoma Health Foundation
    The Texoma Health Foundation (THF) was created on January 1, 2007, from the sale of the non-profit Texoma Medical Center to the for-profit Universal Health Services.  Michelle Lemming was hired as the Foundation’s first executive director.  Michelle helped with the transition of the Foundation, as well as the construction of the THF offices and new Reba’s Ranch House.
    Michelle said that as soon as you walk into the Foundation’s office or Reba’s Ranch House, you can feel the love and care that is part of the organization.  It is truly a very unique characteristic.  By being a part of conferences all across the U.S., they hear many stories of what other foundations are doing and what we have here in our own backyard is truly amazing.  
    Michelle emphasized the Foundation has come a long way since it’s inception in 2007, because of people like Brett Graham, Board Chairman, the THF board of directors, and all the volunteers who have helped over the years.  
    The Foundation got started with $11 million from the sale of TMC.  Today, it has $55 million in assets. Mr. Graham said the most important thing they have done is invest the money, make sure they get a good return and then giving the money back to the community for health related causes.  
    Brett said they go out and solicit grants. Then their Grant Giving committee uses a very fair and equitable process to determine how the funds are dispersed.  
    Historically, the process was people would bring them grants and they in turn would decide who to fund.  Brett spoke about a shift occuring in the foundation world.  Foundations now have an objective or mission to where they go find the cause and then fund it.  This process is called “place-based philanthropy.”  
    Brett noted that Michelle has spent years studying place-based philanthropy and brought this new concept back to the THF board.  Ironically, as she was explaining this concept with no project in mind, they were simultaneously working on a health and wellness initiative.
    As they looked back over the years they realized they were funding grants to help people with disease.  They wanted to find a way to take their money and get ahead of disease.  They want to help prevent disease instead of only chasing it.
    So while they are having this health and wellness initiative discussion and while they are having this place-based philanthropy discussion, this park project all of a sudden falls into their lap.  This was the Foiundation’s launching pad to take on a huge project allowing them to change the way people in our community look at health and wellness and change the way their behaviors are.
    The park is now under construction.  It is the larget public-private collaborative in the history of Grayson County with a budget of $14 million.
    The park will be located in the new Gateway Village Development west of the U.S. 75 / Spur 503 Interchange in Denison.  It encompasses about 83 acres and yes it is a park.  It will also have walking/biking trails, baseball/softball fields, multi-use soccer fields, sand volleyball courts, green spaces for all types of excercise, and much more.
    However, Brett expressed there is something much bigger than that.  He said their health and wellness inititive has now become life activated.  It is bigger than the park. It is bigger than 83 acres.  It means they will now be strategically working with other parks and other communities on projects where the THF can help them build their own health and wellness initiatives into a more regional program.
Shea Seastrunk - The Rehabilitation Center
    The Rehabilitation Center in Sherman has been making lots of changes recently.  Shea Seastrunk, board member, shared those changes and the vision of the center.  
    They have created a new logo and are rebranding the center.  The also have a new website,
    The Rehabilitation Center has sort of been on the down-low for a while, but all that is about to change.  For the past 66 years, they have been treating people with occupational, physical or speech therapy needs within a four county area.  They treat patients of all ages, ranging from pediatric to geriatric.  The lion share of their patient load is with children.  Shea noted this is the reason she got involved. 
    The Rehabilitation Center was organizes to treat and support people with disabilities or disorders and their families in June 1950.  It got its start in a school house on Woods Street in Sherman.  In 1957, they were able to purchase a house on South Crockett.  In 1960, the Center was able to build a treatment facility at its present location at 1216 Hillcrest Drive next to Wilson N. Jones Hospital.
    The land for the building was given to the Center by WNJ.  The building was paid for by donations from individuals and organizations so there was never any debt. 
    The Rehabilitation Center has a fairly large Sponsor-Share Program.  This allows the center to provide therapy to those who cannot afford it.  No one is refused treatment. Some patients are able to pay all or part of the fee.  Some have insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, which covers a portion of their treatments.  
    The Center was able to add a speech and hearing clinic in 1966.  Services were enhanced with the addition of the Aquatic Center on Texoma Parkway in 1990, with renovations undertaken in 2006.  The Hillcrest location underwent major renovations and expansion in 1998.    
    The Center continues to meet the needs of the community.  Current services include occupational therapy, physical and aquatic therapy, speech and language therapy, sensory integration clinic, and an array of support and adjunct services.
    Rayce Guess is on the Board of Directors and serves as their marketing chairman.  He shared information on a couple of their upcoming fundraising events.
    On Sunday, November 13, from 3:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. they will have a Dine & Donate event at Texas Roadhouse.  Be sure to let the your server know you are there for the Rehabilitation Center and they will donate 10% of your total food purchases to the Center.
    Ribs4Rehab is their big fund raising event on Saturday, November 19th at Loy Lake Arena from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  You can enjoy a great Bar-B-Que meal with live entertainment and a silent auction.  Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the Jared Mitchell Band.  
    Auction items include autographed memorabilia from the Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Stars, and the University of Texas.  Other items include Denver Bronco Superbowl memorabilia autographed by Jordan Taylor, an autographed Kevin Hart Poster (1 of only 5 in the world), a Choctaw Concert Package, a signed Johnny Manziel Texas A&M jersey with awards and college highlights stitched in, a golf package with four rounds at four country clubs, and a whole lot more.
Grayson Rotary Club Inducts New Members
    Grayson Rotary's four applicatarians were inducted last week and are now official members of the Grayson Rotary.  Congratulations and a Grayson Rotary welcome goes to Tony Bennie, Brynna Harris, Shawn Teamann and Susan Whitenack.
    Tony is Grayson County's Deputy Sheriff and was introduced to Rotary by Tom Watt.  Tony lives in Bells with wife Michelle.
    Brynna works for American Bank of Texas in their marketing department.  She was invited to join Rotary by club president Cindy Brandt.  Brynna lives in Sherman with her husband Sean.
    Shawn is owner of the local Nautilus Fitness Centers.  Sarah Pierce brought Shawn to Rotary.  He lives in Sherman with his wife Randi.  Rumor has it they are expecting their first child.  Shawn is also a candidate for Sherman's City Council.
    Susan is assistant superintendent for Sherman I.S.D.  Her sponsor is Cindy Brandt.  Susan moved here from Allen this past summer and lives in Denison.
    Kate Whitfield was presented with her official blue badge from club secretary and installation officer Terry Everett.  Her sponsor is Jean Sorensen.
    President Brandt shared some District news, talked about the Rotary Foundation and membership.  Lisa Hebert and Cindy attended a District Foundation and District Membership meeting the previous Saturday.  
    During the membership meeting they stressed importance of inviting previous members back.  We all run across previous members from time to time, so the next time you do, please ask them to come back to Rotary.  Share Rotary with your friends, acquaintances, co-workers or co-volunteers in other organizations.
    Our Rotary District is going on a 7-day cruise April 23-30, 2017.  You can bring your family or friends.  There will be a couple service projects you can participate in if you want as well.  
    For each person you bring as a guest to Rotary you will receive one ticket for a drawing that will award a stateroom for the cruise.  For each invitee that joins Rotary, you will receive 10 tickets for the drawing.  So start bringing some guests and stuff the ballot box for yourself.  You will also help us grow our club which is a very good thing.  Look at all the great people who have joined our club.  We just keep getting better and better plus it allows us to do more things for the good of Rotary.    
    Did you know you can give to Rotary by doing things you do on a regular basis?  You can also get discounts and receive special offers on shopping, travel, business services, entertainment, etc.  There are 137 ways in the Sherman area alone.  Also, when you travel you can reap the same benefits there as well.  
    Go to, click on "My Rotary" on the upper right-hand side of the page and sign in. If you are a first time user, it is very easy to get started.  On the sign-in page just click on "Create Account" and fill in your name and email.  You do NOT need your Rotary ID #.  Check your email to complete the registration process.  Click on the link "Activate My Account" which will take you to a webpage where you will create a password and answer a security question.  Click "Continue" and you are all set.  You now have a "My Rotary" account.  
    Once you are signed-in to My Rotary you will see a Rotary logo.  Across from the logo on the far right hand side of the page you will see "Member Center."  Click on it.  You may have to scroll down a little depending on your screen.  In the middle column is "Rotary Global Rewards."  Click on "Explore Rewards" and you are all set to help Rotary and get some discounts.  
    2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of The Rotary Foundation.  Our club dues include $25 per quarter for The Rotary Foundation.  The District WILL recognize our PolioPlus giving which qualifies us to receive District Grants.  
    A $1,000 contribution to The Rotary Foundation will make you a Paul Harris Fellow.  A $1,000 per year contribution ($83/month) will make you a Paul Harris Society Member.  Once you have collectively reached $10,000, you will be recognized as a major donor.
Shawn Teamann - Sharing the Health
    Shawn Teamann continues to get more involved in our community in a multitude of ways.  He wants to give back to the community that has given him so much.
    Most importantly, Shawn is Grayson Rotary's most recent applicatarian and will soon become an official member.  For the past thirteen years he has owned the local Nautilus Fitness Centers.  As an extension of his fitness business, Shawn has become very involved in helping rid our community of the "Sitting Disease."  
    It hasn't made the news and you probably haven't ever heard of it before, but, you are probably a victim of this highly addicting disease.  It is  something that scholars and medical professionals are starting to recognize as a real problem.  An average person sits thirteen hours every day.  So when you add that to eight hours of sleep it adds up to a total of twenty-one hours of being still, or sedentary.  The Sitting Disease has become a country-wide epidemic.
    Most recently, they had a "Party In Pink" benefiting Women Rock.  It was held last Saturday, October 22nd.  They offered several exercise classes to the general public as a fundraising event.  Shawn noted that his staff volunteers their time and efforts to make it a successful event.  They also volunteer in many other events throughout the year.  
    Their primary focus is related around kids.  In fact, one of their major fundraisers each year is for the local Wishing Well Foundation.  The Wishing Well makes dreams come true for kids who are facing life-threatening or catastrophic illnesses.  Shawn said they are very honored to be able to help them raise money for the kids.  
    Shawn is also on the board of the Lamar County Coalition of Education, Business and Industry.  They bring school districts and industry together to help insure that students are successful graduates and fully prepared to enter the workforce and/or go on to higher education.  
    Last year, they started a new school program called "Fitness For The Future."  The purpose is to establish healthy lifestyle habits with children at an impactful age and to make fitness fun.  Their focus is on kids in grades one through six.  The goal is to make a difference in young children's lives by educating them about healthy lifestyle choices.  
    A Nautilus personal trainer will visit a school and work with the kids in a classroom setting.  They will discuss the importance of diet and exercise.  The trainer will read books, brain storm, and challenge the kids with fitness related topics and exercises.
    Shawn noted that overweight and obese children is becoming an epidemic.  From 1980 to 2012, the number of obesity rates in children has tripled in some age categories.  The younger kids did okay, but the six to eleven age group doubled.  The twelve to nineteen age group tripled, going from 7% obesity to 21% obesity.  
    Research has shown that children who are overweight or obese have a 230% greater chance of developing some type of health problem and even dying early.  Being overweight and obesity in children begins around the age of two and has lasting effects for the rest of their life.  Kids today sit on average, anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours a day as a result of video games, the internet and television.
Laura Ramsey - Mascot Trivia
    It was collegiate mascot trivia day last week presented by Laura Ramsey.  Laura awarded special spirited prizes to the few who knew the most.
    Before her presentation everyone had one minute to write down, in order, the top 5 college mascots according to weight.
    We will rank the 129 FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) mascots beginning with the lightest.  It is the Georgia Tech Yellowjacket barely tipping the scales at .0001 lbs.  The Ohio State Buckeye comes in second at .02 lbs.  The Ball State and Iowa State Cardinals weigh .09 lbs.  The Louisville Cardinal has human teeth to bring it up to .16 lbs.  The Kansas Jayhawk (a fictitious bird) looks to be a cross between a Blue Jay and a Kestrel so we will average those two weights to bring it to .21 lbs.  
    Syracuse Orange .4 lbs.  UTSA Roadrunner .84 lbs.  Maryland Terrapin .9 lbs.  TCU Horned Frog 1 lb.  Air Force & Bowling Green have a falcon at 1.95  lbs.  each.  Miami, OH is the Redhawk at 2.4 lbs.  Oregon Duck 2.5 lbs.  Iowa and UL-Monroe have a Hawk, 3.0 lbs.  Iowa Hawkeyes actually list a "Hawk" as their mascot.  Florida Atlantic, Temple & Rice all have an Owl, 3.1 lbs.  South Carolina Gamecock, 5.5 lbs.
    Four schools have an Eagle:  Boston College, Eastern Michigan, Georgia Southern & North Texas, 10.5 lbs.  Minnesota Golden Gopher is 15 lbs. (estimated weight of a life-size gopher statue made of gold).  Virginia Tech HokieBird (turkey-like, 16 lbs.  Wisconsin Badger, 16 lbs.  Arizona, Kentucky, Northwester & Kansas St. each have a Wildcat, 19 lbs.  Texas St. & Ohio have a Bobcat, also at 19 lbs.
    Michigan Wolverine, 38 lbs. UConn, Washington & Northern Illinois, Husky, 47 lbs.  Oregon St. Beaver, 47.5 lbs.  Cincinnati Bearcat, 48 lbs.  Four schools have a 58 lb. Bulldog: Georgia, Fresno St., Louisiana Tech, Mississippi St.  Arkansas St. Redwolf, 67.5 lbs.  Kent St. & Southern Miss have a Golden Eagle, 72 lbs. (weight of a life-size golden eagle statue).  New Mexico Wolf, 123 lbs.  
    Thirty-five colleges list some type of human, 137 lbs. (avg. weight of an adult human):  Appalachian St., Arizona St., Army, Central Florida, Central Michigan, Charlotte, Duke, East Carolina, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan St., Navy, Nebraska, New Mexico St., Notre Dame, Oklahoma St., Ole Miss, Purdue, Rutgers, San Diego St., San Jose St., Tennessee, Texas A&M, Troy, UL-Lafayette, UMass, UNLV, Utah, UTEP, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Wyoming.  Grayson College Viking fits this weight division. 
    South Alabama Jaguar, 167.5 lbs.  BYU, Houston, Washington St., Cougar, 170 lbs.  Florida International, Georgia St., Pittsburg, Panther, 170 lbs.  Penn St. "Nittany" Lion, 170 lbs.
    Akron Kangaroo, 100 lbs.  (Austin College, too!)  North Carolina Dorsett Ram, 250 lbs., Colorado St. Ram, 270 lbs.  Baylor & UCLA, Brown Bear, 349 lbs.  Clemson, LSU, Memphis, Missouri, Tiger, 436.5 lbs.  Old Dominion African Lion, 440 lbs.  Auburn has a Tiger and an Eagle, 447 lbs.  Arkansas Razorback, 500 lbs,  Florida Alligator, 500 lbs.
    California Grizzly Bear, 900 lbs.  NC State and Nevada, Pack of Wolves, 1,107 lbs.  Boise St., SMU, Western Michigan, Horse, 1,210 lbs.  MTSU has a Winged Horse, 1,250 lbs.  Colorado Buffalo, 1,300 lbs (Ralphie's weight).  Florida St., Texas Tech, USC, and Virginia have a human on a horse, 1,387 lbs.  Buffalo, South Florida, Utah St., Bull, 2,000 lbs.
    The top 10 heaviest FBS mascots are:  #10 Texas Longhorn, 2,300 lbs.  #9 Oklahoma Schooner (moderately loaded), 4,070 lbs.  #8 Alabama Elephant, 13,000 lbs.  #7 UAB Dragon, 13,001 lbs. (Everyone knows a dragon weighs exactly 13,001 lbs.  #6 Marshall Herd of Buffalo (100 per herd) 135,050 lbs.  #5 Toledo Rocket, 735,000 lbs.  #4 Tulane Green Wave (Ocean), 820,000 lbs.  #3 Stanford Redwood Tree, 1,600,000 lbs.  #2 Miami Hurricane, 108,000,000,000 lbs.  
    The #1 Heaviest FBS College Mascot in the country is the Tulsa Golden Hurricane!  It weighs in a 1,182,000,000,000 lbs., the estimated weight of an entire hurricane hurricane made of gold.
    Oh, if there are any Western Kentucky Hilltoppers out there, sorry.  We couldn't find any out there to weigh.
Katrina Coffman - Goodwill Industries of Northeast Texas
    Katrina Coffman is the Human Resources Director for Goodwill Industries of Northeast Texas.  She shared information on their history and their purpose.
    In 1902, Reverend Edgar J. Helms of Morgan Methodist Chapel in Boston, started Goodwill as part of his ministry.  Helms and his congregation collected used household goods and clothing being discarded in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired the unemployed or bereft to mend and repair them. The products were then redistributed to those in need or were given to the needy people who helped repair them.
    Goodwill operates as a network of 164 independent, community-based organizations in sixteen countries including the United States.  There are fourteen different Goodwill organizations in the state of Texas including Goodwill of Northeast Texas, locally.  
    The Goodwill of Northeast Texas mission is  to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities or disadvantages. Providing employment opportunities, job training and employment services, as well as job placement opportunities and post-employment support.  Each Goodwill organization may have a mission a little different than the others.  
    Katrina said one of the great things they do here locally is to help individuals that have disabilities to go to work.  When an individual comes to Goodwill with a disability, and it can be a wide range of disabilities, physical or mental, Goodwill is here to help them.  
    When someone comes and say they would really like to work for Goodwill, Katrina said they will find a position for them within the organization.  If they prefer to have a job in an office or another company, then they will try to find them a job out in the community.  They work with them training on work ethics, how to interview, how to dress for success, hygiene, etc.  They will then assist them in putting applications out in the community.  They will go with them to the interview and sometimes, if allowed, they will sit in with them during the interview.  
    Once they get the job, a job coach will go with them to help fill out any necessary paperwork.  While they are learning the job and what is required the job coach will go with them and work side by side with them to make sure they know what is expected.  They will make sure then know what time they need to be at work, how to dress properly for work and ensure they have a way to get to work.
    Katrina added they are responsible for them for the life of the job.  If at any time in the future they have some difficulty with the job, a job coach will go back out help them again.  They will do whatever they can to help the individual be successful.
    Many of those that come for help are receiving Social Security.  When they begin working again that benefit is either lost or reduced, so that is beneficial to the system and the economy.  They may be receiving food stamps or other government services, and those are great things when you need them, but Katrina said they are working to get them off those services and to the point where they can support themselves and their family.
    Donations are what keep Goodwill Industries open.  There are fourteen stores in the Northeast Texas organization.  They have stores in Durant, Oklahoma, down to McKinney and Allen area and from Gainesville over to Texarkana.  Katrina noted that the quality and quantity of donated items has fallen due to people keeping items longer and some opting to sell things online instead of donating them. 
    Goodwill is so much more than just a place where you can drop off your unwanted items and get a tax receipt.  Eighty-five cents out of every dollar sold in the stores goes back in to support their mission.  The currently employ around 200 individuals with significant disabilities.  In addition, they serve almost as many each year by placing them in jobs within the community.
    Goodwill doesn't receive any form of government funding.  They operate only from the items sold in their retail stores.
James Smith - Sherman ISD Percussion Band Director
    James Smith, percussion director for the Sherman High School band, bragged on his band students and rightfully so.  James said he was very lucky because he gets to teach band at three schools for Sherman ISD.  He teaches first period, 6th grade percussion at Dillingham Intermediate School, second and third period, 7th and 8th grade at Piner Middle School and then the last three classes of the day at Sherman High School.
    There are seven band directors who teach approximately 600 kids.  James said they are very lucky to have great students, great staff and especially great parents to help.
    The marching band performed in their first contest last Saturday, October 1, in Denton.  They performed their new competition piece at the Friday night football game for the first time.
    Mr. Smith announced they would be going to Atlanta, Georgia, performing in a competition through Bands of America.  They will be the only Texas high school band to perform there this year.  Schools from several other states will also be performing.  This will give Sherman a great chance to see where they stack up nationally.  With the support of the school district and the Band Booster Program, each student will be able to go to the Atlanta competition for only $25.00.
    The went to one of these competitions a few years ago in San Antonio, Texas, and although they did very well, it was made up of almost all Texas schools.  The competition in Atlanta will allow them to compete against schools they have never seen before.  They are very excited about this opportunity.
    As if the Atlanta competition isn't exciting enough, the percussion group has been honored with an invitation to attend a competition in Indianapolis, Indiana.  James entered the percussion program in this competition last spring before they knew they would be going to Atlanta.  In order to be invited, you must submit a recording of a concert performed by the band.  Three college percussion professors listen to all of the recordings submitted from bands all over the U.S.  They will then make a judges' report commenting on how each band can make their program better.  They will then pick the top 10 groups to perform in Indianapolis, Indiana, next March.  Of course, Sherman qualified in the top 10! 
    James said the students deserve to go.  They work very hard, practicing eight hours a week extra, outside of the school day.  The music they have to learn is also very difficult. He gives all of the credit to the students for working so hard.
    There are twenty-six students going to Indianapolis.  It will cost about $1,000 per student to go.  That's presents a problem because there are several students who will not be able to come up with that kind of money.  James said he is doing everything he can to help facilitate this trip for the students because every one of them earned the right to go.  He is asking for community donations to help the students take this trip.  
    They have started raising money for the trip but have a long way to go.  Lasting Impressions Photography sponsored one student by donating $1,000.  James added that anyone or group that donates $1,000 will get as much publicity as humanly possible.  He will have some TV and radio air time as well.  Every opportunity James gets, he will mention those businesses.  He is accepting donations of any size, large or small. 
    On their way to Indianapolis they will stop at the University of Central Arkansas, just outside of Little Rock, and perform.  James is looking to set up one more performance along the way.
    After they perform in front of a room full of other percussion bands in Indianapolis, a group of college percussion professors will come up on stage and work with the students as a group and individually.  James emphasized this is an incredible opportunity for the students.  While they are there they will watch other percussion bands perform and observe their interpretations of percussion.
    James said he plays the guitar and the trumpet.  He added that there is only one right way to play those instruments.  When it comes to percussion there are hundreds of right ways to play.  That's one of the unique things about their art form.
    Mr. Smith noted that he has most of his students for seven years, from 5th grade through high school.  His goal is to get every kid to go to college.
Bill Magers - Grayson County Judge
    We all like the thought of paying less taxes and for the residents of Grayson County that thought has become a reality.  Grayson County Judge Bill Magers told us why this has become a reality.  
    For years we have been talking about how the growth is moving in our direction.  Well, it's here.  Grayson County is growing and as a result it is changing our county and the way governmental entities add revenues.  This in turn, allows the county to lower our tax rates.  Judge Magers noted that Grayson County has some opportunities over the next decade or two that will allow them to provide some additional services while lowering the tax rate during this growth phase.  
    Judge Magers noted, "As this growth comes we are not going to take big bites out of the tax rates, but small bites."  Developing a long term plan is critical.  We need to have a long term plan for Grayson County as these changes come.  This was the first time in twelve years that Grayson County has lowered the tax rate.
    According to a chart going back to 2012 new property gains have contributed to increased tax revenues.  In 2012, we gained about $500,000 in new tax revenue, $400,000 in 2013, $500,000 in 2014 and then in 2015 we jumped to $1,000,000 due to the Panda Effect.  These are additional tax revenues created by new developments only.
    Property taxes are a lagging indicator, so as we came out of the recession in 2012, we actually had a decrease in the ledger.  Tax revenues were up $700,000 in 2012, $800,000 in 2013, $1,5 million in 2014, $1.8 million in 2015, and then had our tax rate remained at 49 cents this year, tax revenues would have increased $2.4 million.  This not only tells us that property values are increasing but the rate of increases are increasing.
    Of course, the county could have done nothing and stashed the the additional $2.4 million away in their coffers.  The Commissioner's Court decided on a 3.5% tax rate cute which still left them with an additional $1.1 million in new money.  You may ask why didn't they cut taxes more?  Anyone in business knows that you don't cut your income stream completely off.  
    So you next question might be, "What are they going to do with this extra money?"  They are going to put $1 million into a one-time capital improvement fund.  Some of the things that will benefit are much needed improvements to the Courthouse, inside and out.  This includes updating the courtrooms and especially updating technology.  This will help extend the life of the jail as well.  
    Other one-time expenditures will include $450,000 to ingrate the county's financial software, $1 million payment for retirement benefits, and $2.6 million for transportation improvements.  They will also centralize development services and engineering with no budget impact.
    The Sherman-Denison MPO's Metropolitan Transportation Plan includes $70 million in improvements over the next five years.  Included in these improvements are the widening of FM 1417 from FM 691 to US 75 with a continuous left turn lane at a cost of $17 million.
     A few of the other improvements include widening FM 131 from US 82 to Taylor Street ($5.07M), reconstruct the overpass at FM 131 & US 82 ($3.2M), a ramp reversal at US 75 and Crawford Street/FM 120 ($4.5M), construct a new 2-lane road with shoulders from FM 121 south to the County Line ($8.1M), add two lanes to FM 691 between US 75 and Loy Lake Road ($4.2M).  
Dr. Gil Bernabe - Iraq & It's Many Influencing Factors
    Dr. Gil Bernabe spoke on "Iraq and It's Many Influencing Factors" last week.  He prefaced his topic will a little bio on himself.  Dr. Bernabe graduated from the University of Santa Clara, with a History degree and earned a Master’s Degree and Ph.D in International a Relations from Claremont Graduate School.  He also earned a second Master’s Degree in National Security Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.
    When he was substitute teaching the students would always ask him what his was doing in their classroom with a PhD.  He replied that everything he had their parents paid for with their taxes while he served for 26 years in the U.S. Army and 17 years with the Department of Defense.   Gil emphasized that he is a public servant teaching was his way of giving back.  He is also very happy to speak when asked as well.
    Right out of college Dr. Bernabe's entered the Army and after his first assignment became Airborne and Ranger qualified.  He then went off to Germany.  He also served tours in Viet Nam, Korea and all over the United States.  
    Dr. Bernabe said one of the better tours he had was instructor duty for five years at the United States Army Command and General Staff College.  This is where we send our Majors and some Lieutenant Colonels to get smart before they move out to major commands and before they take command of a battalion or brigade.
    After that Gil went to the Army headquarters of the Pentagon where he spent four years as the senior adviser to the Army Chief of Staff.  After that he spent two years in the U.S. State Department during the first Gulf War and a little after the war.   When he became a civilian he began helping implement treaties they had worked with the Soviet Union now called Russia.  Gil also escorted the Russians when they came to the U.S. to check on various bases and research centers around the country.
    Dr. Bernabe performed as an operations officer after the first Gulf War in Iraq with UNSCOM (U.N. Special Commission)  He did this for five missions in Iraq.  As a civilian he did a number of teaching missions in Russia helping them understand how the United States implements their treaties.  He also did teaching missions in Bahrain, Jordan and Kuwait, under Central Command, principally on control of weapons of mass destruction and black market activities.  
    One of Dr. Bernabe's claim to fame is he trained all of the U.S. inspectors on weapons of mass destruction before they initiated the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  He was very adamant with the fact they would never find anything there in 2003, because everything had already been moved to Syria and buried in the desert.
    Dr. Bernabe talked on U.S. interests in the Middle East and included a discussion on how Iran, other Middle East actors, religion, and terrorism play an integral part in the life of Iraq.  He then perceived what we might see for the future of Iraq.  His remarks highlighted the fact that with U.S. security, a level of progress came to Iraq.  During this brief period, changes in Iraqi law favored political involvement for women in Iraq’s local and national level governments.  
    Professional training seminars, which the U.S. agencies taught, also supported women’s positive role throughout Iraq’s political and educational activities.  However, as terrorism gained a foothold throughout Iraq and security disappeared, such progress came to an abrupt halt.  Dr. Bernabe forecast that when peace and stability return to Iraq, then maybe the role of women in Iraqi society will mean more involvement in government and education; and make a more lasting and positive affect on Iraqi society.
Tony Bennie - Grayson County Chief Deputy Sheriff
    Yes, there's a new sheriff in town with Tom Watt, and he brings Tony Bennie back home where he belongs as his chief deputy.  Tom said two days after the election he met with Tony and asked him to be his chief deputy.  Their friendship goes back thirty years when Tom was a Sherman patrol officer and Tony was a Department of Public Safety trooper.
    Tony is a second generation.  His father graduated from DPS school in 1972.  Right after Tony got out of fourth grade in McKinney they moved to Sherman where is father was stationed.  He graduated from Sherman High School in 1980, which was the same year he me Michelle, now his wife of thirty-three years.
    They raised their two girls in Bells where Michelle also taught school.  Tony jokingly admitted he got his wife about as far out of Fannin County as he could since she grew up in Savoy.  He said Michelle is very happy to be back home as well and teaching once again in Bells.
    Mr. Bennie said growing up in the Department of Public Safety had him always feel that law enforcement was a calling for him.  However, when he met his future wife, he decided that being a highway patrolman didn't make enough money, so he hired on to Texas Power & Light.  Four-and-a-half years later, Tony said he realized that climbing poles was not a good way to serve the Lord.  
    Tony decided to pursue his career with the Texas Department of Public Safety and was hired in 1986.  After recruit school he spent two years in Kaufman County, Texas.  A highway patrol position was opened for him in Sherman where he spent the next nine years before he started testing to become a Texas Ranger.  He was promoted to a Texas Ranger in 1995, where he was first stationed in Hunt County.
    When former Texas Ranger and Grayson County Rotarian Johnny Waldrip retired in 1996, Tony returned to Sherman where he served as a Texas Ranger for the next eleven years.  He was promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to Tyler, Texas, where he spent the next four years.  He then made Captain and spent a year in Austin, Texas.  Tony was then promoted to Major and transferred at west to Lubbock.  He fell in love with Lubbock where he planned to retire one day, however, he admitted that he didn't factor in grandkids.  
    So about the time his oldest daughter had their first grandchild the Major in Dallas retired.  Tony took a command of Company B in Garland which just so happened to be the same one he got started with.
    Tony claims he has had a blessed life.  He is extremely blessed to be a part of the Grayson County Sheriff's Office.  He is extremely blessed to be back home again to serve the community he loves.  Welcome back home Tony!
Jud Rex - Denison City Manager
    Matt Henley, City of Denison mayor pro tem was scheduled to talk about the City of Denison and what they were doing, however, he was just the front man this time around.  He introduced Jud Rex, Denison's City Manager. 
    Jud was hired in January 2015 as the assistant city manager, but that didn't last long.  On May 9, 2015, he was appointed as the Interim City Manager.  Since Jud did so many incredible things for Denison, they quickly removed "Interim" from his title and made him their City Manager.  Before coming to Denison, Jud had been the Town Manager of Strasburg, Virginia, since July 2010.
    Jud was very appreciative of his reception by everyone in Denison and Grayson County.  He was very complimentary of Denison's city council.  One thing Jud pointed out was how Grayson County and Denison in particular had so much rich history with all their landmarks, buildings and famous people including President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  He added that many cities either hold on to their past and want to remain living in the late 1800's, or they forget about their past and just build on the future.  Grayson County and Denison, unlike most, not only recognize their wonderful heritage, but also move on to the future looking for great opportunities to come.  Jud said it is great how well Sherman and Denison work together.  
    Jud's first topic was the new Texoma Health Foundation Park.  Although it is located in Denison west of U.S. Hwy 75 at the Spur 503 Exchange, it will be a regional attraction for everyone.  Texoma Health Foundation is funding $8 million towards the park.  Gateway Village developer Tom Johnson is donating $3 million is services by putting in the roads, trails and all of the site work.  The City of Denison is picking up the tab for the remaining $3 million.  Groundbreaking will be September 9, 2016, at 9:00 a.m.
    The park will have five field baseball/softball complex.  The baseball infields will have artificial turf.  It will have a large pavilion with a concession stand and playground built within it.  There will be another playground with a splash pad, spray park, sand volleyball courts, and soccer/multi-use fields.  Initially, there will be 2.5 miles of 12 feet wide, concrete walking trails.  Along the trails will be some exercise stations built in as well.
    The streets in Denison have been getting improvements, too.  Denison will continue to budget funds in order to bring the City's streets up to par.  There isn't any one answer to the street issue but recently had every street surveyed and rated so they know where to start first and what to do.  
    Denison has three incentivized housing programs.  One is their affordable housing program where they give vacant lots in the older part of town, away to builders to build affordable homes on.  The homes are in the $100,000 range.  
    Another program allows builders to receive a three year city tax rebate on single family homes built outside the affordable home program or in other areas that are incentivized.  This includes the new Gateway Village Development.  The also receive reduced building permit fees and free trash collection.
    Construction has already begun on a 180-unit apartment complex located just behind the Hilton Garden Inn.  This is Denison's first market grade apartment complex in about thirty years.
    There are three single-family neighborhoods under construction in Gateway Village.  They will be named Saddle Creek, Greenway Parks and Fawn Meadow.
Dorothy McKee - The Sherman Museum
    Dorothy McKee has been volunteering and serving the Sherman community since 1977.  She currently serves on the board of directors for the Sherman Museum.  Dorothy was involved in the formation of Grand Central Station in 2010.  She was the Director of Health Services at Austin College for 13 years.
    Dorothy emphasized that the Sherman Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Sherman.  She noted they have recently adopted dinosaurs as one of their subjects, so the museum is more than just Sherman history.  This new addition has been very popular with families who have smaller children.
    The city of Sherman began the museum in 1976, as part of their bi-centennial project.  They city maintained ownership of the building and collections for many years.  
    The first museum director, Norma English, was a professional.  This was key in getting the museum off to a good start and kept everything moving in a positive direction.  The storage, the marking, and keeping track of the artifacts were all handled very well by Mrs. English.  When Dorothy starting volunteering in 1977, this became her duty.
    Dorothy said a group would go weekly to the museum to "catalog" the items.  Cataloging required them to mark each item and write it in a book.  They would note who they were from, who donated them and any history related to the items.  That collection has now grown to over 55,000 items.
    A volunteer group formed "The Friends of the Sherman Museum" organization.  It was known then as the Sherman Historical Museum.  Through the years the name changed to the Red River Historical Museum.  In 2005, they received ownership of the building along with the collection to take care of.  They then became a board of trustees.
    They museum has two buildings now, the second of which was the former Walnut Street Church of Christ.  Most of the activity occurs in the Carnegie Library building which was built in 1914.  A woman by the name of Maddie Davis Lucas, whose family was very prominent in early Sherman and whose descendants are still here today, was a part of the Sherman Civic League.  The Sherman Civic League organized fundraising to match Andrew Carnegie's contribution to build a library.
    Both buildings became a recorded Texas Historical Landmark in 1986.  In 1990, the Carnegie building was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
    One of the things that allowed the museum to gain those designations are three pieces of artwork (murals) done by Texas artist James Swann.  The three oil on wood paintings are the only examples of WPA (Works Progress Administration) art in Grayson County.  A lot of that art, as well as buildings, has been destroyed from that period.  These three pieces of art represent paintings, music and literature.  They are Grecian figures because at the time Sherman was known as the "Athens of Texas".
    Over the years, the museum has had professional and non-professional curators, but they have always taken good care of everything.  In 2011, they were able to hire current professional director, Dan Steelman.  Dorothy added that Mr. Steelman has done exactly what the board wanted.  In addition to taking good care of the collection he has increased awareness of the Sherman museum locally and across the state.  He is also president of the North Texas Museum Association. 
    Dan got the idea for what has become the museum's most popular exhibit, Dino Days.  It is a two month period during the summer when they are able to rent molds of dinosaurs and put them together for display.  This summer they even had a full-size T-Rex!  During the two months it was here they had over 3,000 visitors which represented 123 different zip codes from 21 different states.
    Dorothy added that the museum is much more than just about dinosaurs.  One of their permanent displays is a wall that gives the history of Grayson County.  Another wall tells the story of Olive Oatman Fairchild.
    Olive Oatman was captured by the Comanches and then traded to the Mojave Indians who tattooed her chin.  When she gained freedom from captivity she did a tour of the United States.  During that time she met John Fairchild who just happened to be from Sherman.  He brought Olive back to Sherman where they lived the rest of their lives.  Olive always wore of veil over the bottom half of her face because she was embarrassed of the tattoo.  Olive died of a heart attack on March 20, 1903, at the age of 65.  She is buried at the West Hill Cemetery in Sherman.
    The museum's major fundraiser "History Comes Alive In West Hill Cemetery", will be held on September 24th.  Although it is an unusual place to hold a fundraiser, they do so because this is where all the historical figures are located.  They teach history by visiting the various grave sites.  This year's event will be held on Sixth Street and Seventh Street.  Those two streets alone have the seven or eight people they will be honoring this year.
Bill Dendy - Rotary District 5810 Governor 2016-17
    Bill Dendy, Rotary International District 5810 Governor, made his official club visit last week.  Bill said he was very grateful to be at our club and see everyone cutting up with each other and having a good time.  It reminded him of the whole reason we are a part of Rotary.  One of the biggest reasons is the fellowship.  No matter how bad it gets out there, we can all come together, have a good time and then go out and do good together.  
    Bill complemented our club saying he sees that it is natural for us to have a good and notices all the great things that we do.  Unfortunately, there are clubs out there that have forgotten how to have a good time.  
    The 2016-17 Rotary year is going to be a great one.  There are a lot of great things planned out for the coming year.  One, the Rotary Foundation turns 100 years old.  They have done many great things over the past 100 years and they continue to do more and more.  The Rotary Foundation is recognized as one of the top five foundations in the world.  One reason is because the money always goes where it's suppose to go.  This is easy because Rotarians are on both sides of the equation. Another is its peace initiative which is especially important in this day and time.  
    Just recently, we had gone nine weeks without a single case of Polio being reported anywhere in the world.  There were two cases reported last week in Nigeria.  However, the good news is, we have never had a period of time since the 1950's with this low of a reporting of Polio cases.  When Rotary took on this project in the 1980's there were 1,000 cases  week being reported.  
    Growing up he said he always remembered seeing Rotary emblems in different cities around Texas when they would go on family vacations.  He always figured they did good things but never really knew.  One day, while in college, he met a student who had received a Rotary scholarship.  He quickly learned that Rotary does a lot of good.
    Governor Dendy talked about the time when we was introduced to Rotary about 20 years ago.  He said he thought you had to be a dignitary of some kind in order to be in Rotary.  One day he was invited to visit the Rotary Club of Dallas.  He was soon invited to join and got involved right from the start.
    Bill excitedly announced that Rotary's International Convention returns to the U.S. this year.  It will be in Atlanta, Georgia, in June 2017.  There will be between 30 and 40 thousand Rotarians from all over the world there.  He spoke about how magnificent the opening ceremonies are when they parade in all of the flags from around the world in which Rotary exists.   
    Bill is asking all of the Rotary Clubs in District 5810 to decide on how they would like to show off their club and he will have a professional videographer record their club.  It can be a service project, a fundraising event, a social event, or anything they wish that will show off their club.  Bill shared the Fair Park Rotary Club video.  It highlights their service project they do every year during the State Fair of Texas, where Rotarians volunteer at the Texas Discovery Gardens.  There are about twenty clubs so far that have had videos made.  They are all available on the District's much improved website,
    District 5810's District Conference will be held April 23-30, 2017.  It will be aboard the Royal Caribbean "Liberty of the Seas" ship.  It will embark out of Galveston.  Ports of call include Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica.  Service projects will be available in Cozumel and Falmouth for those who want to help.  For more information, visit or ask Cindy Brandt or Terry Everett.
Audrey Legg & Tyler Davis - Camp RYLA
    Audrey Legg and Tyler Davis just recently returned from Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award).  Audrey will be a senior at Texoma Christian School and Tyler will be a senior at Wylie East High School.  
    Audrey was very thankful for sponsoring her to attend Camp RYLA.  She said, "It really was one of the best experiences of my life and I definitely never will forget it."
    The best part for her about Camp RYLA was the people she met.  Audrey's cabin mates became more than just new friends.  In six short days they became a family.  Camp was held August 1-6.  Since leaving Camp they have already reunited and are planning another get together soon.
    There were many challenges during the week.  With everyone being a leader they all had to learn that they couldn't lead all the time but learned that  knowing when to follow was also a good characteristic of being a leader.
     Audrey learned many things while at Camp.  She learned that it doesn't matter what other people think of her.  Stepping out of her comfort zone is really a great thing.  She learned that people have different personality types and how to deal with that.  The ideal community is possible with like minded people. 
    Jerry Traylor was one of the speakers at Camp RYLA.  Jerry has cerebral palsey and has walked with crutches his entire life.  One day Jerry decided he wanted to run marathons.  Not only did he run marathons but he also ran from California to New York.  His story of running conveyed that you can do anything if you have the vision.  Continue to chase your dreams and don't let anyone drag you down along the way.  Make plans, not excuses.  Be a participant and not just an observer.
    On their last night at Camp, Audrey said everyone in her cabin cried because nobody wanted to leave.  
    Tyler wasn't able to be at our club so he sent a video.  Tyler was very thankful to Grayson Rotary for sponsoring him to attend Camp RYLA.  He said he learned a lot, had a great time and met tons of new people.
    One of the things he learned at Camp RYLA was to plan things before you execute them.  Tyler said he learned that you learns things from failure, not success.  He learned to persevere and never give up. 
    Tyler said he will grow and benefit from his experience at Camp RYLA for the rest of his life.  He added that if he is able to apply what he learned at Camp RYLA in the workplace and through school, and make good grades then he can accomplish his dreams of being a director for movies. He slyly noted, "I think that I really will be able to direct Star Wars Episode 26."
    Tyler said he would love to go back to Camp next year and be an assistant counselor.  Although it would be in a different circumstance, he will still be able to participate and be a part of the experience again.
Dr. David Hicks - Sherman ISD's Future
    Dr. David Hicks, Sherman ISD superintendent, returned to share information on where the school district is headed and what they are doing now.  Accompanying him was Dr. Tyson Bennet, assistant superintendent  for Academic and Student Services and Emily Parks, Director of Communications.
    Dr. Hicks thanked the Grayson Rotary Club for all they do in the community, with their recent school supply drive and everything they do to help kids get ready for school.  It is that time.  Some students are already back, including the band, football team, volleyball team and tennis team.  
    Two big events are on the horizon for Sherman ISD.  The first is the upcoming Tax Ratification Election (TRE) on August 27th.   It's purpose is to leverage additional funding in maintenance and operations and address the District’s strategic plan, without raising taxes.
    The Texas Legislature cut funding for public schools by $5.4 billion in 2011. Locally, Sherman ISD has maintained a fiscally conservative approach to financial planning with action by the trustees over the last eight years that has directly reduced the cost of long term debt obligations by more than $28.1 million. The Tax Ratification Election will continue this conservative focus by allowing the District to increase maintenance and operations revenue while simultaneously decreasing interest and sinking revenue, all without raising the tax rate. 
    The additional funding that will be available to Sherman ISD as a result of the TRE is revenue that has been generated through local property taxes but currently remains in Austin.  Bottom Line:  Sherman ISD gets to keep our tax dollars here where it belongs.
    This means the Sherman school district will get to keep an additional $4 million with no tax increase!  This funding will allow the district to address three community-endorsed strategic planning goals:  recruit and retain the very best teachers and staff, provide robust technology resources and infrastructure for learning, and increase college and career readiness for all students.
    A TRE election is required when a school district raises the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) tax rate above the rollback rate of $1.04. Voters will vote “for” or “against” approving a “tax swap” – increasing the M&O tax rate to $1.17 per $100 of valuation for the current year compared to $1.04 this past year. In order to prevent an overall tax rate increase, the SISD trustees have already approved lowering the Interest and Sinking (I&S) tax rate by 13 cents should voters approve the TRE proposition.
    The M&O tax funds school district expenses such as salaries, instructional programs, supplies and utilities. The I&S tax funds long-term debt from school district construction projects. State law prohibits the combination of funds so bond money allocated to the construction of new schools, for example, cannot be used to offset the state cuts to Sherman ISD’s M&O funds.
    One word of caution.  The ballot will show a tax rate of $1.57. The current tax rate is $1.44.  Legally, they are required to word the ballot to show the $.13 increase in the M&O rate, for a total tax rate of $1.57. However, the school board adopted a resolution June 2, 2016 to lower the I&S rate to $.27 should the TRE pass, for a total tax rate of $1.44, which is equal to the current tax rate.  Visit for more information.
    Once the Tax Ratification Election is over we will begin hearing about a bond election to be held in May 2017.  The Sherman school district is going to have to start planning for the future.  This will require them to look at many things including renovations, a new stadium, a new high school, etc.  How do they prepare for the future growth?  There are many, many things to consider before taking suggestions to the board of trustees in January who will determine whether to hold a bond election in May.
Anna Hicks - Director of Career Pathways & Initiatives for Grayson College
    Anna Hicks is the Director of Career Pathways and Initiatives for the Workplace Learning Center at Grayson College.  She said the long title means she gets to do just about anything asked to do.  
    Anna works on many different projects including one she is very excited about, the Middle Skills Project.  The key players include Sherman Economic Development Corporation, Denison Development Alliance, Workforce Solutions Texoma and Grayson College.  The goal of this project is to develop a talent pipeline of middle skills workers for advanced manufacturing and healthcare occupations in the Texoma region.  The average age of manufacturing workers in the country today are in their 60’s.  There isn’t a generation follow them.
    “Middle skill jobs are those that require more education and training than a high-school diploma but less that a four-year college degree, pay competitive wagers, and offer a tangible career path.”  Businesses are beginning to worry about the ability to grow and compete beause they cannot find workers with the right skills.  Manufacturing businesses could decide not to locate in the Sherman area if they don’t think there are enough qualified employees.
    With this project, Anna said they are able to take it to the schools and offer dual credit courses for students starting in the 10th grade.  Most dual credit courses don’t start until the 11th grade.  By the time the student graduates they will have completed one college certificate and one national certificate in manufacturing.  The only thing left to do at this point is a summer internship.
    Sherman and Denison high schools will start this program in the fall.  The first courses offered are “Technical Calculations” and “Precision Tools and Measurements.”  Starting next year they will have the capability to broadcast these classes into the school.  This will help with the smaller schools who might only have a few students interested but not enough to have a teacher teach the class.
    The classes are taken to the high school for the first year since most sophomores are only 15 and not able to drive.  Juniors and seniors will attend classes at the college due to the expense of all the machines required for training.  
    After graduation the student will complete one mini-mester class before their paid internship in the summer.  Once they have done this, they will receive their second certificate from the college.
    Hopefully, they will then be hired by the company they interned with.  If not, they now have their certificate and experience to seek employment at another plant.
    Anna said they are talking to everyone including kids and parents, educating them how the middle skills are different today compared to years past.  They also hold workshops where kids can get a hands-on feel.
    They have welding simulators that measures movement and allows them to simulate welding in different environments.  It is like a video game. Another hands-on project allows them to pour hot lead into molds to simulate die-casting.
    SEDCO and DDA will pick up the fees for any student taking these dual course classes.  Area plants will do the same for students in smaller schools where towns may not have an economic development board to fund it.
Dr. Fred Freeman & Anthony Nelson - SCP's 68th Season
    Magnifico!  Grayson Rotary has talent!  Everything was business as usual until the song.  Dr. Fred Freeman performed a glorious rendition of the Star Spangled Banner as we all sang along.  It’s was awesome!  He then played “Happy Birthday” as we all sang to Mike Waterman who celebrated his 80th birthday on July 22nd.
    Dr. Freeman will serve as Sherman Community Players’ Board President starting in September.  He emphasized there is always something going on at the theater.  There are twelve months of activity.  It is never dark.
    Theatricks stages three productions a year.  They also offer workshops twice a year plus have a traveling show that takes their show on the road to area schools throughout the year.  
    Main Stage recently closed their 2015-16 Season with the musical “Annie Get Your Gun.”  Main Stage produces five shows a year plus their annual fundraiser.  This year’s fundraiser is “A Grand Night For Singing.”  It open on August 5th.
    Artistic Director Anthony Nelson shared a little history of SCP.  It is the third oldest community theater in Texas. They began in 1926.  They were dark during the Great Depression and World War II.  The started back up in the 50’s.
    Before Anthony previewed SCP’s upcoming 68th Season, Dr. Freeman played a short rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”  Lisa Hebert added to the entertainment with her beautiful voice as she sang along.
    Anthony gave a preview of what we can expect for Sherman Community Players 68th Season.  Theatricks will open the 2016-17 Season on September 8th with the musical “The Little Mermaid.”  In March, they will stage “Robin Hood,” an original adaption by Theatricks’ Director Webster Crocker.  They will close their season next July with “Peter Rabbit And His Friends.”
    Main Stage will open their season in October with the third in a series of “Tuna” productions called “Red, White & Tuna.”  “Greater Tuna” and “Christmas Tuna” have both been done before on the Finley stage.  Darrah Dunn will return to perform his many roles and Aaron Adair will co-star.
    In December we will see “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”  They are considering “White Christmas” for December 2017.
    “A Trip To Bountiful” will open in February. It will be directed by Darrah Dunn.
    In April, we will see a western  “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”  Anthony said he is very excited about this play because he has always wanted to direct a western.  Gil Nelson will be the assistant director.
    SCP will close out their 68th season with the summer musical “Jesus Christ Superstar.”  Anthony added that he is very inspired to direct this musical.  It is a story about the last seven days of Jesus’ life as seen through the eyes of Judas.  
    For tickets or more information on their upcoming season, please visit their website at
David Plyler - Sherman Mayor
    There were lots of firsts last week.  Although it was officially our second week on the new fiscal year, it was our first week of the year to have a speaker.  That speaker was first term, first year Sherman mayor David Plyler.  It also just happened to be his first speaking engagement as Sherman mayor in front of a service organization.  
    The Mayor began by thanking Police Chief Otis Henry and all law enforcement for the work they do.  He encouraged everyone to support them as well.
    Mr. Plyler reported one of the projects the city has began working on is the water treatment plant.  This is going to allow the city to sell water to cities south of Sherman.  The city has budgeted more money for transportation next year than any recent years.
    Some of the areas they are going to work on is the entrance to Sam's.  They are going to line that up with Gallagher Drive to ease the congestion at that intersection.  This improvement will also result in widening Loy Lake Road.  David pointed out that there was a recent accident involving a construction crew but thankfully everyone is going to be okay.  He asked that we utilize extra caution around construction zones.  He also emphasized that they will suspend construction during the Christmas holidays.
    The Mayor reflected on the increased activity in downtown Sherman.  More and more people are beginning to visit downtown Sherman due to some new restaurants and shops opening their doors for business.  David also added he has noticed a new phenomenon.  Lots of people are walking around while watching their cell phones.  
    This is the result of a just released (July 2016), new game called Pokemon Go.  It is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality mobile game you can download onto your smart phone.  The game allows players to capture, battle and train virtual creatures, called Pokemon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world.
    The city has reached an agreement to purchase 26 acres of land for a new sports field expansion to Pecan Grove West Park.  The land is north of Carriage House Estates subdivision, west of Shady Oaks Lane and adjacent to Pecan Grove West Park.  It will be home to four multi-use baseball/softball fields on the west side, a 425 parking lot on the east side and four multi-use soccer fields in the middle, with a biking and hiking trail on the outside perimeter of the park.  It is estimated that the ball field layout will cost the city between $6 million and $9 million and take about two years to build.  They spent about $4 million on Old Settler's Park nearly 20 years ago.  The public is invited to their meetings for input.
    Speaking of firsts, Sherman will have a new first in the not too distant future.  Sherman has plans to install a roundabout on the west end of Taylor Street between Grant and FM 1417.  This is the most efficient way direct traffic as they are going to move Taylor over to connect with Washington Street.  We will eventually see a four-lane divided street extend over to Hwy. 289.
Cindy Brandt - Looking Ahead To Our 30th Year
    While our incoming club president Cindy Brandt is thinking about Rotary and planning what she wants to say in her upcoming address to the club; and while immediate past president Becky Burtner is unsuccessfully trying to put Rotary thoughts behind her knowing she had a very good year and wants to sleep-in for a change; David Bayless, along with his family and FastPasses in hand, is experiencing all the magic the mouse kingdom has to offer. However . . . David as usual was thinking outside the clubhouse box.  
    As we approach a third consecutive tiara-wearing club leader, Mr. Bayless recognized an even greater power of presidential portrayal.  Preempting Cindy's presidential address, David presented Cindy and Becky with the ultimate head dress - a pair of Minnie Mouse ears.  
    Charlie Chaplin said, "A day without laughter is a day wasted."  Wednesday mornings with all the great members of the Rotary Club of Grayson County will never, ever waste a day.
    In addition to her duties as club president, Cindy will also be an assistant district governor for the next three years.  Grayson Rotary will be one of her clubs.  District Governor Bill Dendy will make his official club visit on Wednesday, August 10th.  
    The Flag Lease Program has a new set of ring leaders and they have already been fully engaged.  Shane Pruitt and John & Trisha Mabary are the go to's regarding flags.
    Becky plans on having monthly service project opportunities for us all to be involved in.  We will continue with the SHARE program, the foster parent's appreciation dinner and Veteran's Day blood drive.  
    Cindy encourages everyone to become involved in a Rotary Action Group or Fellowship Group.  Action Groups include blood donation, literacy, peace, etc.  There are many Rotary Fellowships including groups for beer, bird watching, cooking, fishing, flying, golf, internet, lawyers, magicians, music, photography, police & law enforcement, scouting, shooting sports, singles, skiiing, tennis, traveling, wine, etc.
    David Cortinas will be in charge of all Foundation programs.  $25 per quarter, of each member's dues will go to PolioPlus.  We will also continue our support of the Guatemala Literacy Program.  
    Everyone is encouraged to become a Paul Harris Fellow.  This recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute or have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation.  Each additional $1,000 is also recognized.  You can also become a Paul Harris Society member by donating $1,000 per year(~$85/month).
    The District Conference will be April 23-30, 2017.  It will be aboard a Royal Carribbean cruise ship with a medical service project stop in Cozumel, a fun stop in Grand Cayman and an educational service project stop in Jamaica.  Costs start at $500 per person.
    Francis Campbell and Stacy Braddock will continue with fundraising opportunities.  Francis has already scheduled some days with Dickie's BBQ.  The first one is today, July 13th.  Stacy is working on a Skeet Shoot fundraiser for later in the year.  We will continue with our Nut Sales this fall.
    In June 2017, we will have a joint social with Wilson N Jones at the Finley Theater.  The show will be "Jesus Christ Superstar."
    Our Scholarship fund presently supports eight recipients.  Lisa Hebert will chair this committee.
    Edwin Clark is our New Generations chair.  This committee oversees all youth related activities.  He will be in charge of selecting Camp RYLA students for next year.  Bob Cape and Jean Sorensen will be our Rotaract liaisons for Austin College and Grayson College respectively.  Kate Whitfield will mentor the Interact clubs.
    Oh, and one last thing. Introduce someone to Rotary and bring them to a meeting.  "Rotary Serving Humanity"
Grayson Rotary's 30th Officer Installation Ceremony
       Another milestone has been reached for the Rotary Club of Grayson County.  We have our first 2nd term Club President.  Cindy Brandt will lead us in our 30th year.  The club will officially turn 30 on June 23, 2017.  Cindy first served as Club President in 2010-2011.
    Installation duties were performed by past president Lisa Hebert (2014-15).  She prefaced the installation of officers with a little information about Rotary.
    Jim Walker was installed at the Club’s president-elect.  He has previously served as club treasurer and was very instrumental in helping get our scholarship foundation set up as a 501(c)(3) organization.
    Escaping off to Coronado Island didn’t work after all. I understand that although I wasn’t there in person I shall continue on into my 7th year as Club Secretary.  And as I make up this story about what happened during officer installations it looks like I will continue my 21st year as bulletarian (bulletin editor) and PR chair.
    Although Steve Ramsey missed a couple meetings to take his family on a well deserved vacation, he returned just in time to be installed as the club’s treasurer for the fourth time. Rumor has it that he will be stepping up his commitment in the near future, but don’t tell anyone and please don’t say anything to Steve.
    Larry Campbell tried leaving the country and even switched condos in Grand Cayman but when he returns he will still be responsible for preparing the club for meetings.  He will also maintain, or at least try to maintain, the club’s decorum.
    In addition to her presidential duties, Cindy will continue her sixth year as the club’s administrator.  She will work with Terry to make sure we do everything we can to qualify for this year’s presidential citation.
    After nine years of serving as the club’s Foundation chair Steven Avard has stepped aside.  David Cortinas will begin his reign as Foundation chair.  He will make sure all monies and reports are filed with the Rotary Foundation.  
    David will also oversee RILI (Rotary International Leadership Institute) for our club and encourage members to attend.  He is a RILI facilitator.
    Norman Gordon will serve a second term as Membership chair.  He will encourage members to become more involved in club activities and to invite potential members.
    Becky Burtner will now proudly replace the presidential tiara for a P.P. pin.   As the club’s past-president she will also oversee our service projects.  She hopes to have one service project per month.
    The Flag Lease program has some new faces . . . and muscle.  John Mabary and Shane Pruitt have already been very involved. They took over earlier this year and have installed many sleeves.  John’s wife, Trisha, has taken over responsibilities for maintaining the database.  Now THAT is Service Above Self!  Thank you Trish!
    Stacy Braddock and Francis Campbell will continue a second term as co-chairs of fundraising.  We already have our first scholarship fundraiser set for July 13th.  
    Edwin Clark will be in charge of New Generations, which includes all our the youth programs including Camp RYLA, Rotaract and Intereact.
    Jean Sorensen and Bob Cape will oversee Rotaract at Grayson College and Austin College.  Kate Whitfield will be in charge of Interact.  She will re-establish Interact at Sherman High School and continue helping with the S&S Interact Club we co-sponsored 4 years ago.
Karl Weizenbach - Sherman-Denison MPO Director
     Karl Welzenbach is the director for the Sherman-Denison Metropolitan Planning Organization (SDMPO).  He has 22 years of experience in the field of transportation planning. Karl has worked for three different MPO's in three different states, Illinois, Florida and now Texas.
    The SDMPO is responsible for the planning and programming of all federal and state transportation funds for the Cities of Sherman, Denison, Pottsboro, Howe, Van Alstyne, and Gunter as well as a major portion of Grayson County. The SDMPO is the primary forum within which local governments and citizens voice concerns, identify priorities, and plan for improvements to all modes of transportation – roadway, bus, rail, airline, bicycle and pedestrian.
    MPOs were introduced by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962, which required the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area (UZA) with a population greater than 50,000. Federal funding for transportation projects and programs are channeled through this planning process. Congress created MPOs in order to ensure that existing and future expenditures of governmental funds for transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (“3‑C”) planning process.
    The three main products of the MPO are the Long Range Transportation Plan (20+ years), officially known as the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), the 4-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The  first two documents list the planned (MTP) and the approved (TIP) allocations of federal funds within the boundary of the Sherman - Denison MPO. The third document - the Unified Planning Work Program - identifies which planning efforts the Sherman-Denison MPO intends to undertake over a two-year period.  The current Metropolitan Transportation Plan was submitted to the Texas Department of Transportation and US DOT in December 2004.
    In 2014 and 2015, the voters of Texas approved Proposition 1 and Proposition 7 respectively which allocated a portion of the state tax on oil and gas drilling to the transportation trust fund.  Prop 1 allocates a portion of the state tax on oil and gas extraction to the transportation trust fund.  Prop 7 will allocate (beginning in 2018) a portion of the state sales tax to the transportation trust fund.
    There are three primary products produced by this process: the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  These three documents are interrelated, with each of the resulting products being a critical component of the other two products.  The MTP provides the plan for the region’s transportation needs, the TIP implements the projects and programs of the MTP, and the UPWP outlines the tasks necessary for the development of the MTP and the TIP.  The development of all three products is conducted in accordance with the MPO’s adopted Public Involvement Plan and each is approved by the MPO’s governing body called theTransportation Policy Board (TPB). 
    Karl said it typically takes about seven years from time a project is identified to the time it takes to begin the project. Local projects include the widening of FM 1417, FM 1417 & 691, Travis Street over to FM 131, Highway 121 near Van Alstyne over to Highway 5, and portions oh Hwy. 289.  They are working with TXDOT's Paris District on a master plan for U.S. Highway 75 from County Line to State Line.  It should eventually become a six lane highway and it will include the Hwy 75 & Hwy 82 interchange.
President Becky Burtner, Steve Avard & John Mabary
    Club President Becky Burtner admiited that Sherman Community Players’ theatrical production of Annie Get Your Gun was more enjoyable than anticiapted.  Although the play ran later than her usual bedtime, she was NOT about to leave at intermission because the show was just too good!  
    Becky resported that the club received a thank you card from Children’s Express for our donation helping them provide bags of healthy food for local children.  Last week they distributed 170 bags of food.
    The Club received an invitation from the Child & Family Guidance Center celebrating 50 years on June 7th.  Although the invitation came a little late, we were represented by Brian Gary and Kate Whitfield.
    Becky announced the recent passing of Dr. Wendell Hubbard.  He was a past member of our club and past Sherman ISD superintendent, passed.  The Grayson County Scholarship Fund was originally established in honor of Dr. Hubbard’s parents upon his retirement from Sherman ISD and his wife, Marjorie’s retirement from Grayson College.  
    Lyle and Sandi Froese made a donation to the scholarship fund in memory of Dr. Hubbard.  Lyle was our club’s charter president and Sandi was the club’s first woman president.
    Club Foundation chair Steven Avard reported Rotary International awarded a $464,292.00 grant to the Guatemala Literacy Project.  Grayson Rotary is one of 106 clubs who contribute to the GLP.  Grayson Rotary is one of the top contributors.  We give $2,500 annually to the project.  Steven & Bonnie Avard and Larry & Sandy Campbell have gone on some of the tours to help deliver books.
    John Mabary informed everyone they will soon be hearing about some new rules that will apply to your retirement plans which include 401K’s, 403B’s, 457’s, IRA’s, SEP IRA’s, all retirement plans.  Congress passed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2009.  The Act's intentions are to provide rigorous standards and supervision to protect the economy and American consumers, investors and businesses; end taxpayer-funded bailouts of financial institutions; provide for an advanced warning system on the stability of the economy; create new rules on executive compensation and corporate governance; and eliminate certain loopholes that led to the 2008 economic recession.    
    It also mandates a fiduciary standard for retirement plans.  Whoever is handling your retirement account must now act as a fiduciary on your behalf.
    The Department of Labor (DOL) who has jurisdiction over retirement accounts, are implementing these changes.  The studied these changes for about three years before publishing a 128 page document four years ago. They were going to allow the financial industry six months to give feedback.  Well, it didn’t last two weeks before the DOL trashed their recommendations.  About a year later they came out with Version II, which is about 156 pages of proposed regulations, however, it didn’t last six months either.  It only lasted about 4 weeks before they scrapped that proposal.
    Last year they came out with Version III, which is 258 pages long.  Although it lasted six months there are still several issues to fix.  
    One problem affects Fidelity and Vanguard, the two largest providers of 401K’s in the country.  If the new regulations were adopted as proposed they would be out of business within 24 hours. 
    The final regulations came out about 11 weeks ago.  It is 1,023 pages long.  So far they have found 22 contradictions.  They are trying to get clarifications on how to proceed before they start advising their clients.  John said they always want to do what is best for the client.  John added he will keep us updated along the way.
Rusty Weatherly - Culinary Arts School at Grayson College
    There are a lot of good things coming out of the Culinary Arts School at Grayson College.  The food is quite delectable. The service is impeccable. The most sought after commodity, however, are the graduates.
    Rusty Weatherly, Director of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts at Grayson County College, pointed out they have graduated 45 students with an Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts degree in the five-and-a-half years they have offered the program.  The classes continue to grow as this past May they graduated 11 new students.
    The best part is when they graduate, and usually before, they already have job somewhere.  About sixty percent of them stay in the local area.
    The Choctaw and WInstar Casinos employ some of the graduates. One student works at the Omni in Dallas.  One is employed at the "W" in downtown Dallas.  One graduate works at the Polynesian Resort at Disney World.  One student is interviewing with Carnival Cruise Lines.  One of the chef's that works for TJ LaRosa at Fulbelli's is also a Grayson Culinary graduate.
    Rusty said they are very involved with the high schools.  Just recently, he spoke to all 518 eighth graders at Piner Middle School.  Cassie Davidson, executive chef for Sherman ISD is another graduate from Grayson.
    With tuition costs at low community college prices, training is very affordable.  Rusty noted that college tuition has increased 1,014% over the past 20 years.  It cost about $1,300 a semester at Grayson College for tuition and fees compared to North Texas where it costs $4,700 for the same classes.  By the year 2020, sixty-five percent of all jobs in the U.S. will require some kind of college education.
    Classes continue to grow.  There are thirty-nine new students already enrolled for the Fall semester.  
    They will start serving lunch again on Wednesdays and Fridays in September.  Everyone is invited, however, Rusty highly recommends making reservations.  It only cost $10.00 for everything.  If you just show up, Rusty will try his best to get you seated, but it is best to call ahead so you won't be disappointed.
    In addition to their classes, Rusty said they are very involved in the community as well.  They help with the local soup kitchen, the food bank and the Boot Scootin' Ball.
    Rusty, in the sense any father will brag on his kids when they do something extraordinary, proudly expressed his appreciative heart to being invited to participate in the annual Sky Ball in Dallas three years ago.  Sky Ball is a fundraising event Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine puts on every year for his Wounded Warrior Project.  
    Along with four other groups, Grayson Culinary was invited to participate in this very prestigious event.  Last year, Grayson Culinary was the only group invited to participate.  Grayson Culinary was again invited to participate this year.  The best part, is the students get to work with Chef Robert Irvine.  While working the Skyball Gala, they serve a meal to 3,500 people.
    During the 2017-2018 school year, they are going to add "meetings and catering" to their curriculum.  They currently host meetings and events at the Culinary Arts Center.  For more information contact Mr. Weatherly at 903-415-2605.
Jonathan Cannon - Herald Democrat Editor
    Jonathan Cannon became the editor of the Herald Democrat in September 2013.  He isn’t new to the world of journalism however, as we was a report for the paper three-and-a-half years prior to becoming its editor.
    Jonathan proclaims that he isn’t a morning person or a public speaker even though he was ready to go at 7:00 a.m. Not only was he at our club’s meeting bright and early, he even brought his lovely wife, Kimberly.
    Mr. Cannon immediately assured everyone that the Herald Democrat is NOT going away anytime soon.  Millions of people around the world still like to see ink on paper.  
    Although technology has made it more of a challenge, the Herald Democrat is advancing right along with the changes.  It has also changed the way reporters tell their stories.  
    More and more people today read the news right off their cell phones.  They use their phones more than their computers.   
    When writing an article reporters have always been limited to how much they can report due to the limited space in a newspaper.  Many times they can’t add a picture.  With everything moving to the internet, reporters can now elaborate or give more indepth information.  Plus, they can publish lots of pictures.  With the presence of the two mediums, reporters will write a story for the printed newspaper and then tell a lot more with the online version.  
    The Herald Democrat is in the process of adding an online, interactive newspaper in addition to the printed paper.  Headlines will allow you to click on them and take you to other sources and pictures.  Police and court reports will allow you to click on names and take you to an interactive map.  
    They currently have an online version of the daily newspaper you can read.  This is an added benefit for all print subscribers.  Others can subscribe to it.
    The quality of the writing and the impact of the story are some of the determining factors on what makes the front page.  Jonathan said reader input was also a big help in determining what goes on the front page.  Those who take the time to call or write have the most influence and expressed his appreciation to those taking the time to do so.
    In addition to a thorough coverage of local news from around the Texoma area, you will also see a nice mix of state, U.S. and international news.  The newspaper publishes a little bit of everything from politics to religion to economics to general public interest articles.
    The Herald Democrat is a daily newspaper headquartered in Sherman with a branch office in Denison.  It was created on September 1, 1996, with the merget of the Denison Herald and the Sherman Democrat.  It is the largest newspaper between Dallas-Ft. Worth & Oklahoma City.  
    The Herald Democrat has a circulation of approximately 24,000 Monday through Friday, and about 27,000 on Sunday, according to the Audti Bureau of Circulations.  They do not publish a Saturday paper.
    Subsidiary publications include the Anna-Melissa Tribune, Prosper Press, Van Alstyne Leader, Lake Texoma Life, Grayson County Shopper, Cooke County Shopper, North Collin Shopper, Bryan County Shopper and Marshall/Johnston Counties Shopper.
Adell Wiggins - Lenoir-Sage Winery
    Adell Wiggins claims to be retired, however, it must  only be due to the fact that she doesn’t have to go somewhere and clock in.  She and husband, Michael, own Lenoir-Sage Vineyards in Bells, TX.  
    They got started in the vineyard business fourteen years ago.  About eight-and-a-half years ago they established the winery which includes a tasting room.  The name is derived from the matriarchs of their two joined families.
    Adell shared a story about one of their newest wines labeled “Red Stuff.”  She said about three years ago they needed a sweet, red wine for Grapefest.  Grapefest is an annual wine tasting event held in Grapevine, Texas.  Although they had committted to it, they hadn’t made an appriopriate wine and they were about two months away from the event.  She went out to her winery to see what she had.  She noticed she had a lot of merlots, a lot of moscatos and a lot of sugar. So, she decided to make a blended wine.  Red Stuff is a blending of merlots, moscatos and about 8% sugar. 
    As a result, Red Stuff is the sweetest wine they make.  She only made 5-1/2 cases.  She took four cases with her to Grapefest and left the rest at the winery.  When Adell returned she learned they had sold every bottle over the weekend.  Because of that, she figured it would be a good idea to keep it on the shelf.  
    Her husband is the guilty one for naming the wine, Red Stuff.  He claims that women always remember the fufu names but men only remember the color, hence, Red Stuff.  Adell emphasized that they do not have any “White Stuff” or “Pink Stuff” . . .  yet!
    Adell left Grayson County in 1969, and returned in 1997.  During that time she lived in Europe in the middle of wine country near the Germany border.  She said there was red wine on one side and white on the other.  She drank a lot of wine.  When she returned to the U.S., her intentions were to open a wine store.
    As she began looking into the wine business she met Roy Renfro who was the Viticulture & Enology Director at Grayson College.  Mr. Renfro talked Adell into going through their program.
    While going through the wine classes she changed her mind and decided to grow grapes.  She then decided to make wine.
    They began by making wine in their bedroom.  Adell does not recommend ever doing that because they had a batch of chardonnay blow up on them.  Upon returning home on day they opened the front door and realized what had happened.  As a result, Michael built a place in Bells, Texas, so they could make wine.
    They are involved in the whole wine making process from the crushing to the stemming, all the way to the bottling.  Everything is done by hand and they have a lot of fun.
    Adell educated everyone about the winemaking process and noted, “Wine is not made in the winery. Wine is made out in the vineyard.”  The reason being is it goes by the sugars.  The longer the grapes hand the high the alocohol level.  
    Between July and August Adell is in the vineyards daily measuring the sugar content.  When the right levels are reached they have about four days to pick the grapes.  She said she would like to go all organic, but that won’t happen in the North Texas climate.
Brenda Hayward - Child & Family Guidance Center
    The Rotary Club of Grayson County hosted a visit by Brenda Hayward, executive director of the Child & Family Guidance Center of Texoma, as she made a stop on her 2016 Appreciation Tour.  The Child & Family Guidance Center is celebrating 50 years of service.  The center began when Mrs. Alma Powell partnered with Dr. Don Freeman, Dr. Max Woodard, Lloyd Perkins and Patti Castleberry.
    Today, the Center provides outpatient mental health services to over 2,500 families.  Mrs. Hayward said it takes families a lot to call them for help.  It isn't an easy thing to do.  People accessing their services are truly in pain and facing a crisis.  Their lives are clearly not where they need to be. The kids aren't functioning well in school.  The parents aren't functioning.  Some of the kids are being raised by their grandparents.  There are parents who are incarcerated and some who have committed suicide.  There are students who are victims of sexual child abuse and live with foster parents.  
    Brenda added there is a severe shortage of foster parents.  They work with Child Protective Services (CPS) al ot and there are kids are who are taken from the home and placed into conservatorship with the state.  So there are places to put the children here in our county they are sent somewhere else around the state of Texas. 
    "What do we do?", asked Mrs. Hayward.  "We help rebuild lives.  We help provide hope."  
    Their clinical team are all licensed professional counselors.  In able to provide quality, professional services, it cost money.  Half of the Clinic's budget relies on donations, contributions, grants and fund raising.  Five years ago, they started their Starfish Benefit.  This year's event will be held October 1, 2016.   
    The Child & Family Guidance Center is also a Medicaid provider.  This is important because 26.2% of the children in Grayson County live in poverty.  Brenda noted that is a 12% increase since 2005.  She added it is even higher than the state average of 22%.
    The increase in poverty has resulted in an increase in therapy sessions.  In 2005, they provided 3,836 therapy sessions.  Last year, they provided 8,596 sessions.
    Due to the shortage of licensed therapists, Child & Family Guidance has become a licensed training facility for therapists.  Once students have completed their Master's Degree they can get a temporary license from the state of Texas.  At that point, they have to complete 3,000 hours of field experience time.  That takes about 2 years.  Sometimes more.  During the training process, the Clinic is not allowed to charge for their services, so, while the students are gaining experience, the clinic offers their services free of charge to the families.  This is a powerful advantage to the children, the parents, the therapist in training, the clinic, and everyone involved.  
    This year's Starfish Benefit offers many sponsorship opportunities.  There is also a Winner's Choice Raffle where the winner chooses the trip they want to take.  The five choices are: a Disney World Family Adventure ($10,470 value), a Fairmont Chateau Whistler Ski Getaway ($8,006 value), an Escape to San Francisco and Sonoma ($5,910 value), an Aerial Hunting Adventure ($6,940 value), or a New York Long Weekend ($6,152 value).  Tickets are $100.  For more information or to purchase tickets online visit  
Brandy Barnard - DAWG
    I guess you could say that Brandy Barnard has gone to the DAWGs, and she goes quite often . . . to volunteer.  DAWG is an acronym for the Denison Animal Welfare Group.  They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of pets in need.
    The adoption fee for dogs is generally $60.00 which includes spay / neuter surgery and vaccinations [Bordetella and DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)].  Dogs at the DAWG house are also treated for parasites, fleas, ticks and are microchipped.
    Cats have an adoption fee of $50.00.  It includes the spay / neuter surgery, FCVR, feline leukemia, and treatment for all internal and external parasites.
    The city of Denison does not have an animal shelter.  They only operate an impound facility through a private contractor.  
    The DAWG works out of the Southside Fire Station.  They just recently got their new trailer which will allow them to travel around the area and hold adoption events.  
    The DAWG receives no funding from any local, state or federal sources.  They rely on donations from caring, compassionate people and businesses.  They also apply for grants.  There is no paid staff.  All animals are cared for by volunteers.  All funds go to pay for veterinary care and fees associated with animal rescue.  
    They will hold a 5K DAWG Rescue Run and 1M DAWG Dash on June 11th at Waterloo Lake Park.  They will also have on-site adoptions from their new mobile adoption trailer.  For more information about their 5K Rescue Run or if you want to see some of the animals they have ready for adoption, visit their website at 
Duc Nguyen & Eden Llamas - Rome 2016
    Austin College Jan Term 2016 took place in and around Rome, Italy.  There were thirty-four students and three non-students, including Grayson Rotary's Becky Burtner & Bob Cape, who went on the trip.
    Duc Nguyen, senior math major, and Eden Llamas, sophomore biology major, were two of the students who made the three week trip.  They shared their story and some amazing photos of their trip to Rome.
    Duc said it was more meaningful to actually experience the culture than to just learn about it.  All the places they visited were deeply tied to Rome's rich culture and numerous leaders throughout its history.  Duc pointed out that the trip made him realize how ignorant he was about cultures outside of his own.
    The Ara Pacis, also known as the Alter of Peace, was built during a time when wars were resolved. Eden expressed how much more it meant to her by being able to see and walk through it after taking a classical mythical class the precious semester.  She said she never realized how amazing it was until actually being able to see it first hand.  "Reading about it doesn't do it justice," Eden emphasized.
    The Baths of Caracalla were much more than just a place for people to go get clean.  It was also a place for people to socialize.  There were many rooms in The Baths including a cold room, a double pool and a hot room.  They were all part of the process.
    In the Catacombs is a statue of Saint Sebastian.  There is a story of how he died and a statue was built on top of where he is buried.  
    Most of the time in Rome the class was on a schedule.  The last couple of days they were allowed some free time to explore on their own.  One place they visited was Florence and a Duomo.  A Duomo is a term used for an Italian cathedral or church.
    The Roman Forum was Eden's favorite part of the trip.  For centuries it was the center of Roman public life.  It was huge.  It was easy to get lost due to looking up and down and trying to see everything.  Although much of the Forum is missing, there is still a lot to see.  Much of it is buried in the ground.  
    The Gallery of Maps leads up to the Sistine Chapel.  The Gallery of Maps is located on the west side of the Belvedere Courtyard in the Vatican containing a series of painted topographical maps of Italy.
    The House of Borghese contains a lot of art.  They didn't get to see much due to the limited opening time.  Luc pointed out that the sculptures were huge.  He added it was apparent how much art meant to them due to the intricacies of each sculpture. The House of Borghese is home to many statues of people we have learned about.
    Their trip to Pompeii was Duc's favorite part.  He shared a picture showing the Temple of Jupiter with Mt. Vesuvius (an active volcano) in the background.  In 62 A.D., an earthquake shook the city of Pompeii, destroying much of the Temple of Jupiter. After this, the much smaller Temple of Jupiter Meilichios became the main seat of worship to Jupiter and the Capitoline Triad. The original Temple of Jupiter was still awaiting restoration when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79, burying the town of Pompeii in volcanic dust, ash, and pumice stones. The excavated temple can still be seen in Pompeii today.
    A Necropolis is a large ancient cemetery with elaborate tomb monuments.  Inside these tombs were elaborate paintings representing music and celebrations.  They saw death as a time when people were going to a better place.  It was a good time, a time to celebrate.
    The Pantheon was one of the first places they saw when the got to Rome.  It was also one of the most visited places while they were there.  It was a central point where everyone gathered.  The Pantheon was a house for the gods  Inside were different sections, each dedicated to something different.  Although The Pantheon looks like a normal square building, it is actually round with a portico of large granite columns.
    They shared a photo of the bronze sculpture of the She-Wolf.  The founding of Rome goes back to the myth of Remus and Romulus, twins who were abandoned and then nurtured by a sea-wolf. When they became adults they wanted to establish a city.  They fought over which hill to start a new city which led to Romulus killing his own brother.  Thus, Rome began.
    Being Catholic himself, Luc visited St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday.  He noted that it was much different experience than worship services here.  First, he didn't understand much of the language.  Nonetheless, it was still very beautiful.  Their class trip allowed them to climb to the top of St. Peter's where they could see much of he city and how busy it was.
    The Temple of Portunus is where people would go to offer their thanks for safe travel.  Travelers would pretty much offer everything they had for a safe journey.
    Of course, a trip to Italy, would not be complete without seeing the statue of David which is in Florence.  Duc pointed out the intricate details in the statue.
    Best of all, the trip was a huge success and they all learned a lot about Rome and it's culture first hand.
Club Assembly
     Although last week appeared to be just another episode in the continuing enlightenment of Rotary entertainment know as a Club Assembly, there was a special twist right from the start.  After that, it was what it was.
     The opening act of last week’s Club Assembly showcased Chuck Bealmear of the Rockwall Noon Rotary Club presenting a Paul Harris Society Certificate to our very own and soon to be first repreating Club President, Cindy Brandt.  A Paul Harris Society member is someone who contributes $1,000 or more each Rotary year to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus Fund, or approved Foundation grants.  Congratulations and Thank You Cindy!
    Cindy, club administration director and Club president-elect, announced we would attend the Wednesday, June 8th production of “Annie Get Your Gun” at the Finley Theatre. This will take place of our morning meeting.  District 5810’s District Conference will take place on Royal Carribean as they go on a seven day cruise April 23-30, 2017.  A $200 deposit is required by September 1.  They have a special Rotary rate of just $500 per person.  Ports of call include Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel where they would also have a medical service project.
    The Rotary Club of Grayson County is one of only four clubs in our District to acheive the top Gold level Presidential Citation for 2015-16.  Because so many clubs complained of how difficult it was to qualify for a Presidential Citation, Rotary International decided to add three levels of distinction:  Gold, Silver & Bronze.  Congratulations Grayson Rotary!!!
    Cindy announced that Edwin Clark will oversee our youth programs next year.  John Mabary and Shane Pruitt will run the Flag Lease program.  
    We have two campers selected for Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award).  They are Tyler Davis and Audrey Legg.  Stacy Braddock and Francis Campell attended that last RILI (Rotary International Leadership Institute).  David Cortinas is now one of the facilitators.
    Norman Gordon, membership director, admitted he thought his committee was just a committe of one.  However, he realized his committee was actually a committee of everyone because of everyone’s williness to share Rotary with others.
    We have added five new members this year and another is soon to join our club.  Our newest members include John Mabary, Shane Pruitt, Sarah Pierce, Tom Watt & Kate Whitfield.  Belinda Spears is interested in joining and will become a member soon.  Sponsoring Rotarians include Melida Ailshire, Terry Everett, Otis Henry, Steve Ramsey & Jean Sorensen.
    We may be a small club, but we have a place for everyone.  We are a premier club in the District doing many great things locally and internationally.  We also have a lot fun!  Norman also announced that a New Member Orientation will be scheduled for May.
    Steve Ramsey, treasurer, said 4th quarter dues’ statements have been sent out.  As treasurer, he takes care of our money.  He makes sure all bills are paid on time and appreciates everyone for paying their dues in a timely fashion.
    Steve Avard, Foundation Director, takes care of all The Rotary Foundation needs of our club and members which includes Paul Harris Fellow designations.  He also oversees the Guatemala Literacy Project that we have participated in for seveal years.
    Francis Campbell, Fundraising chair, is working on having one fundraising event a month throughout the year.  All monies raised go to our scholarship foundation.  Kate Whitfield has some great ideas for easy fundraising events for the future.
    Our next service project is the Foster Parents’ Appreciation Dinner in May.  Donald Johnston, service project chair, will have more information soon.
    Terry Everett, secretary, reported some of the Club’s history and things we have done over the years.  He also added that the club will match up to 500 points toward a Paul Harris Fellowship for those who have 5 years of perfect attendance.  Also, those who sponsor a new member are eligible for 100 points to be applied toward to a Paul Harris Fellowship.  Our dues include $25 per quarter for The Rotary Foundation.
Josh Stevenson - The Zika Virus
    Josh Stevenson returns to the Grayson County Rotary Club to educate everyone on what we can do to help prevent the Zika Virus from spreading.  Josh is the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Manager for the Grayson County Health Department.  He also acts as the public information officer and oversees several other programs at the Health Department.  
    The last time Josh spoke, Ebola was in the news.  Although it is a serious disease, the Zika virus is of more concern mostly because of its ability to be so easily spread.
    Recently, during a conference call with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) they said the Zika virus is unlike anything we have ever seen in the area of public health.  Zika is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.  In fact, most diseases that kill most people in the world are insect-borne diseases.
    The Zika virus was first discovered in 1947, and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda.  Prior to the Zika outbreak in Brazil in 2014, the virus had never caused birth defects.  However, seven months into the outbreak they started seeing an increase in birth defects and miscarriages.
    Only about 20% of people infected with the Zika virus show any symptoms.  This is what makes the disease so deadly.  When 80% of those infected don't know it and are bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito will go on to bite another 6 to 8 people during its lifetime.  Although a mosquito bite is mostly how the virus is transmitted, it can also be spread sexually.  Zika can live in the male system up to 90 days.  A third way the Zika virus can be spread is through a blood donation or transfusion.  
    The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
    Our job here in Grayson County is to kill all the mosquitoes before they can bite someone that is infected with the Zika virus.  The Health Department is working with local government to take all necessary precautions to kill all of the mosquitoes before they can bite someone and spread the disease.  
    Getting all of the mayors and city managers on board isn't enough.  The Health Department especially needs your help.  Josh wants us all to walk around our yards and properties after it rains and  look for any standing water.  Mosquitoes can bread in as little amount of water as it takes to fill a soda cap.  
    Josh asked for everyone to do everything they can this summer to prevent mosquito bites.  Wear insect repellent.  Wear long sleeves and pants.  Wearing shoes instead of flip-flops or sandals is a big help, too, because mosquitoes really like to bite feet.  
    If there are larger areas with stagnant water, treat it with a larvicide.  A larvicide is an insecticide that is specifically targeted against the larval life stage of an insect.  You can purchase larvicides almost anywhere that sells insecticides.  There are even larvicides are are pet-friendly.
    If you can avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, then you can make sure you won't be passing the Zika virus along.  Let's all do our part in killing mosquitoes this summer and helping the Health Department spread the word.
J. D. Martinez - Sherman High School Head Football Coach
    A new era has begun for the Sherman High School athletic program.  Coach J.D. Martinez is the new head football coach and athletic coordinator for the Bearcats.  Coach Martinez brings twenty-four years of coaching experience to Sherman.  This will be his first as a head coach.  It is something he has been striving toward for a long time and will give it everything he has to make Sherman a successful program once again.
    Coach Martinez expressed lots of enthusiasm and excitement about getting to know and build relationships with the kids and well as with the community.  In a half jokingly, half serious tone, he admitted that one of his biggest challenges was getting his family to buy in to the opportunity before them.  Once his wife visited Sherman she loved the community and was on board with the transition.  Although his eighth grade daughter doesn't want to move away from her friends she will be ready to make the move to Sherman High School starting next fall.
    In addition, Coach Martinez mentioned there may be a bond election in the near future as Sherman has been in the planing stages of discovery to build a new complex that would be home to the high school as well as the sports facilities.  It will be much better for the students as well as the public.  He added it is difficult as an athletic coordinator to oversee all of the sports when they take place on the same night but in different parts of the city.
     Coach Martinez has already begun the movement of bringing back the pride Sherman once had.  Their hashtag is "BringBack".  You will start seeing it around town on bumper stickers soon.  He and the coaches are working hard to bring back the pride and dignity that belongs in Sherman.
    Before coming to Sherman, Coach Martinez has been the offensive coordinator and associate head coach for Flower Mound Marcus since 2012.  Prior to that he coached at Corpus Christi, Keller Fossil Ridge and nine years at Hurst L.D. Bell.  
    Born in Brownwood and raised in Granbury, Martinez attended the University of North Texas from 1986 to 1991, winning three letters for Mean Green coach Corky Nelson. Sherman’s new head coach and athletic director considers Nelson, who passed away in 2014, a great influence on his coaching philosophy. 
Sean Burrage - Southeastern Oklahoma President
      Being the middle of March Madness, we were in the double bonus last week.  Dr. Bryon Clark, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Graduate Dean of Southeastern Oklahoma University, introduced Sean Burrage.
    Mr. Burrage became Southeastern Oklahoma's newest president on July 1, 2014.  Just prior to assuming the presidency of Southeastern, he was an Oklahoma State Senator for two terms.  During his second term he was the Democratic floor leader of the Senate.  Dr. Clark added there are three things very important to Mr. Burrage, the legal profession, community service and higher education.  In addition, he also a member of the Choctaw Nation.
    Mr. Burrage is no stranger to the Texoma area.  His new position as president is more of a homecoming because he was actually born in Durant.  He has some strong ties to North Texas as well.  Before Sean was born his grandfather owned Burrage Appliance store in Sherman  in the last 1950s and arly 1960s..  His father and uncle went to school at Fairview Elementary and his grandmother taught at Piner Middle School.  During that time they lived on Highland Street in Sherman.
    Durant is part of the Texoma area economy.  They are also at the northern tip of the Metroplex as far as economic growth is concerned.  This is why they give in-state tuition to Texans.  Of the 4,000 students enrolled at Southeastern, 20% are from Texas.  Thirty percent are Native American.  One awesome statistic documented this past December is that 50% of those who walked across the stage were first generation college graduates.
    Southeastern offers the traditional college experience.  Students can study for four years, live in the dorms, be in a fraternity, be in the band, etc., however, the average Southeastern Oklahoma student is 26 years old.  Sometimes, their biggest incoming class is made up of returning students.
    Southeastern has an excellent working relationship with Grayson College and Austin College.  They offer classes in teacher education at Grayson's Denison campus, and occupational safety and health classes at the Van Alstyne campus.
    Southeastern is a regional university founded in 1909 along with the other regional universities in Oklahoma.  Southeastern was founded as a teacher's college.
    One major factor that makes Southeastern different than the other regional universities is their Aviation program.  With that, they have a pipeline agreement with American Eagle allowing students to go right into their program.  
    The hottest thing going at Southeastern right now is their Occupational Safety and Health program.  Also, their business school has an AACSB accreditation.  That puts them right there with the big universities such as Oklahoma University, Oklahoma State University and the University of Texas.
    Southeastern has famous alumni, too.  They include country music star and actor Reba McEntire, and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dennis Rodman.
    Mr. Burrage confirmed the budget problems you hear about in Oklahoma are real.  They don't have a diversified economy like Texas.  In Oklahoma, they are too reliant on income tax and sales tax.  Nonetheless, Southeastern is going to do well.
Jack Kennady - Johns Hopkins Research on Substance Use Disorder
    Austin College junior and Rotaract president Jack Kennady went to Johns Hopkins last summer to research public health issues.  He shared his presentation on substance use disorder and those who seek treatment by various demographics.  He is a public health major and plans to attend medical school.
    According to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a “substance use disorder describes a problematic pattern of using alcohol or another substance that results in impairment in daily life or noticeable distress.” As with most addiction problems, despite any consequences a person who has a problem with either alcoholism or drugs suffers, they will generally continue to use their drug of choice. They may make half-hearted attempts to stop or cut back their use, usually to no avail.
    Currently, in the United States alone, we have 22.7 million users.  That number has not changed over the past ten years.
    There are gender differences when it comes to substance abuse.  Not only are men more likely to suffer substance use, but they are also much more likely to not seek help.  However, gender isn't the only separation.  There are several other demographic variances such as income and race. 
    Lower economic individuals have a tendancy to seek treatment more than those in upper income brackets due to the fact that there are programs available to lower income clients that are not available to upper income clients.  However, there is a greater chance of incarceration for the lower income individuals.  A lack of insurance can also increase the chances of substance abuse disorder.
    Shockingly, 96% of young men with substance abuse disorder aged 18-25, are not receiving any treatment.  The three main reasons for not getting treatment are:  treatment being too costly, not wanting treatment, and not knowing where to go for treatment.
    Unfortunately, race plays a large role in the equation.  Statistics show that African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to be impoverished,  They are also less likely to seek treatment compared to their white counterparts even along the same economic scales.
    Jack did an exemplary job showing the varioius demographics with his presentation and how they were all related in one way or another.  His extensive research presented some shock value with conclusive evidence that we have an enormous problem here in America with over 22 million citizens afflicted with substance use disorder.
    As a conclusive reminder, substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. According to the DSM-5, a diagnosis of substance use disorder is based on evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and pharmacological criteria.
    Just because Jack’s research depicts how this horrible disease affects so many impoverished men and women here in America, it doesn’t express any favoritism, because it can and does spread amongst all income levels, all races and all ages.  And it’s not just living here in the U.S.  It stretches it’s ugly arms around the world.
Dr. David Hicks - Sherman ISD Superintendent
    Sherman Independent School District is under new leadership.  Dr. David Hicks became the school district's new superintendent in January.  We heard some of the who and why of Dr. Hicks.
    Dr. Hicks comes to Sherman from Denton where he was the superintendent of secondary academic programs at Denton Independent School District, one of the fastest growing school districts in North Texas.  He has been in education for 28 years. During that time he was a middle school history teacher, a high school assistant principal, helped open a new elementary school, a middle school principal, a high school principal, and then an assistant superintendent.  
     A personal mission of David is that he is a tireless advocate for public education.  He is a product of the Dallas schools and greatly compliments the teachers in his life.  He has five brothers and sisters and although his parents didn't finish college they made sure all six kids did.  Four of the six kids went on to become teachers.  
     His wife of 28 years is a pharmacist.  They have two children.  Their son works for Tyson and lives in Arkansas.  The daughter is enrolled at Oklahoma State with plans to go to medical school.
     Dr. Hicks noted that he tries to live his life by a quote that goes like this, "There is something about the world that is bigger than me.  It doesn't make me small but it makes me responsible."  He added that it is very much like Rotary's motto "Service Above Self."  David recounted he tries to make a difference each day no matter how small or how big.  He articulated, "My personal mission and my professional goal is to serve this community and make a difference for kids by supporting our teachers in the classroom."
     A Gallup's strength test tell a person their strengths and how to best utilize them.  It focuses on what people "can" do and not what they "can't" do.  In education, it works best by putting the right people in place so they will synergize and work together to capitalize on the kids' strengths, helping them achieve the things they can do. 
    According to Gallup, Dr. Hicks' is an achiever.  As such, David claims he wants what is best for himself as well as those for the people he works with or serves, and especially when it comes to ours kids and the community.
    Dr. Hicks says he is not stopping even when it doesn't look possible.  He will NOT take "no" for an answer.  If it is the right thing to do, then he will exhaust all his resources and all of his energy finding a way to get it done.  That may appear that he is just stubborn, but he doesn't mean for it to be.  He just wants to maximize achievement as an organization and for our kids.
    Another one of Dr. Hicks' strengths is being positive.  He always looks for the good in other people even when there is an initial conflict or they don't see eye to eye.  David tries to find a way to make the situation positive.  
    David is a believer of the future. Just like those who are involved in Rotary.  We are all involved to makes a difference in our community and around the world.
    Another strength of David's is being an "includer."  He jokingly admitted that gets him in trouble at times, whether it is a weekend cookout at home or in the business world.  Dr. Hicks noted that he likes to get input from others and get different points of view before making a decision.
    Dr. Hicks admitted that he picked Sherman because of it's incredible reputation and tradition.  When he first visited Sherman he talked with various citizens asking their point of view of the community and the schools.  He was truly inspired by the love everyone showed for Sherman and the school district.
    The Sherman school district is built around passion and excellence in everything they do.  They focus on achievement and college readiness for all students.  Sherman ISD exceeds state, local and nation accountability standards. 
    Sherman ISD consists of seven elementary schools, an intermediate school, a middle school, pre-K, a child development center, and a high school.  They provide additional services to kids from other counties through the boot camp.  They serves kids from age 2 to 18 and special needs kids up to age 25.
    There are more than 7,200 kids enrolled in Sherman with a growth rate of 11.5%.  Demographically, 38% are Hispanic, 38% anglo, 18% African American and the remaining consists of Asian, American Indian and other races.  Although Sherman ISD is very diverse in culture as well as languages spoken they serve every child.  They have programs to bring kids into the school system honoring their past, traditions and culture but still focusing on what they need in order to be college and career ready upon graduation.
    The Texas Education Agency recently published a list of 24 school districts out of more than 1,200 statewide that achieved the prestigious Postsecondary Readiness distinction for academic excellence. Sherman ISD made the list of twenty-four districts, which ranks the district among the top 2% in the state of Texas.  Sherman also ranks as one of the best high schools in America. They are ranked in the top 6% by U.S. News and World Reports and in the top 8% by the Washington Post.
Dan Griffin - The Rehabilitation Center Executive Director
    Dan Griffin is the executive director of the The Rehabilitation Center since 2013.  The Rehab Center began 65 years ago as the Easter Seals Society for Crippled Children and Adults.
    The Rehab Center treats children and adults providing care for a wide range of problems, from minor to complicated orthopedic conditions, neurological disorders, developmental delays, and many others. Their complete one-on-one method of therapy makes them your partner in rehabilitation.  The Center's philosophy of family-centered services is a major component of their program.
    The goal of therapy at The Rehabilitation Center is to enable every individual treated to perform at his or her greatest abilities.  Treatment may only consist of one service or be a combination of all disciplines.  The Rehab Center prides itself on the fact that it will not turn away any client due to financial limitations.  The Rehabilitation Center is a United Way Agency.
    One of their newest projects is opening an Open Play Sensory Integration Gym.  Dan said it is similar to Jump’n Land located at SherDen Mall that has ball pits and mats for the kids to jump around on.  The Rehab Center’s Sensory Integration Gym has some more specialized toys and tools specifically designed to help facilitate or inhibit certain behaviors, certain movements with special needs clientele, developmentally delayed individuals. 
    This has been used only for in-house patients, however, it is being opened up to the public.  This is a great opportunity for parents or grandparents to bring kids for some therapist led sensory integration playtime.  ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) has an area they can bring their clients for treatment as well.  It is also available to area pediatric home health agencies. 
    Other services include Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy.  All patients require a doctor’s referral.   
Kate Whitfield - Community & School Volunteer
    Kate Whitfield is an attorney by profession but she is better known as a community and school volunteer.  She currently serves on the Sherman I.S.D. board of trustees where she has served twice as board president.
    While in high school back in the seventies, Kate wasn't really sure what she wanted to be when she grew up.  She considered being an archaeologist, a research biologist or a child psychologist, however, she was persuaded to become a lawyer from watching a television show called "The Young Lawyers."  
    Interestingly, after receiving her law degree from Boston University School of Law, she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she became a television lawyer.  Not a lawyer on TV but a lawyer for the television industry.  She worked for Entertainment Tonight, CBS, Paramount and NBC.  
    When she moved to Grayson County with her husband in 1992, there weren't many entertainment law jobs available.  So in 1994, she then began her next career in "volunteering" while her youngest child was only six months old.  She began training for W.H.O. (We Help Ourselves), a child safety and empowerment program.  It all started with three inspirations:  Charlie, Emma and Parker, her three children.
    Twenty-two years later, she claims 7,192 inspirations to continue her kids' volunteering career.  That number is how many kids are enrolled in the Sherman school district.
    A couple years later, she was given the opportunity to work in her previous career as an attorney, part-time, in the Grayson County District Attorney's Office for Bob Jarvis. 
    Kate bragged a little about her proudest accomplishment during her time with the county attorney's office.  It was when she was able to convince Mr. Jarvis to adopt the W.H.O. program as their community service project.  This led to the attorneys presenting the W.H.O. program to grade school kids in Sherman. 
    Their most impactful event was to the fifth graders at Dillingham Intermediate School.  This was the first time they weren't using puppets to teach kids but were using the people who put people who hurt kids away.  This really helped the kids understand the purpose of the W.H.O. program.  It let the kids know that someone cares.  Many kids live in situations that we as adults would hide from if we were in that environment.  Many of these kids just don't know that the way they are living isn't suppose to be like that. 
    The W.H.O, program teaches the kids that it's not okay for someone to hit them.  It's not okay for someone to be touching what the W.H.O. program calls "your bathing suit parts."  It's also not okay to be bullied.
    They are taught to tell someone if these things happen.  Also, if that first person you tell doesn't believe you, doesn't listen to you, or if they don't seem to care, then you tell someone else.    Unfortunately, that program hasn't been available in Grayson County due to some red tape from the parent organization in Dallas.  They also want the schools to pay them for all the training.
    That didn’t stop Kate from continuing with her volunteering. She began reading to elementary kids.  As her kids got older she began giving presentations to fifth graders on different kinds of tea as well as snacks.
    When her oldest child was in high school and made the tennis she, Kate became the second suburban driver for the tennis team.  She help drive the tennis team to area matches for four years.  
    This inspired Kate to step up her kid volunteering and run for the Sherman ISD school board. She then became an elected kids volunteer in 2007 as a trustee of the board.  She still continued with her hands on volunteering.
    In 2009, she got involved with Kids Entertaining Kids. it’s an annual fundraising event to help ECI (Early Childhool Intervention).  They provide services to families with children from birth to 36 months old who have developmental delays and disabilities.
    She is involved with Girls On The Run Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence thorugh accomplishment.  Important social, psychological, and physical skills and abilities are developed and reinforced through the program.
    Kate still serves on the Sherman ISD school board.  She also continues to read to all the fourth graders at Wakefield Elementary.
Brian Aspell - Vice President of Champion Cooler
    Inspirational!  Energetic!  Compassionate!  Just a few of the words that describe Brian Aspell, vice president of Champion Cooler Corporation.  He is also a Rotarian.
    Brian is driven to do everything he can to make our community a better place to live.  Although he confesses to being a Yankee, he says he came to Texas as soon as he could.
    Brian was born and raised in Ohio.  He proudly admits spending time in the United States Air Force in which he claims saved his life.  Brian said he came from the streets.  Those were some rough times.  He was very abused as a child.  Brian went on to say that he was actually kidnapped by his own family.  He has a lot of stories to tell as a result.
    Mr. Aspell travels around sharing many of his stories inspiring people to overcome adversity.  Through it all, he has gained the desire to help people get engaged and have a better life.  
    In 2011, when Brian came to Denison to interview for the Champion Cooler position he was excited.  With all the plants in Sherman and the nice big hospital in Denison it appeared there were plenty of people he could inspire to help him with any changes that might need to be made while he took over Champion Cooler.
    Much to his surprise, when it came time to hire tradesmen, there weren’t any.  The ones that claimed to be tradesmen weren’t really skilled.  As he soon learned, there wasn’t even a program in place to inspire kids to become skilled tradesmen.
    Brian is on the Denison School Board and noted that we tell all the kids that the only way they are going to be successful is if they get a college degree.  Only 25% actually get their Bachelors degree.  As a result, we are sending the wrong message to the other 75%. 
    Brian helped set up a program so that when a kid graduates high school they will also have a one-year certificate as a skilled tradesmen in manufacturing.  Denison High School is already involved in the program,  Sheman is quickly working to get involved.
    Mr. Aspell acknowledged that fact that we as Rotarians want to make our community better.  Referencing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he points out that we must get back to the basics in order to help our community.  There are many people that don’t have the basic needs yet we expect them to be motivated and productive.  
    So how do we help them meet these basic physiological needs?  Maslow says that we all need air, water and food in order to survive.  If we don’t have those basic needs then we can’t go to the next level.
    We then need to feel safe.  If you don’t feel safe, you can never belong to something.  If you don’t belong to something you can’t be motivated.  If you aren’t motivated you can’t be self actualized or you can’t be a leader.
    Brian emphasized that if you really look at our community, there are many, many, many young people as well as older people who can’t meet the first two bottom levels of Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs.  Yet we wonder why we can’t motivate them to be better.  
    The great thing about Grayson County is we are in control, promoted Aspell.  We can bring in people once we fix that bottom level of needs.    
    The one thing that inspired Brian when he first came to Denison was potential.  There is a lot of potential here in Grayson County.
    Brian said there is one thing he has learned over time.  You have to be very careful of giving people what they want instead of making them earn what they need.  
    We have to start teaching these kids while they are young and not wait until they are adults.  We have to reach out to them and help them with the basic needs.  
    Brian is doing this.  He goes into the schools and connects with the kids.  He gives them hope.  He inspires them.  
    The moment we can engage them into something that they can be successful in, we will see a lot more motivated people right here in our community. This place will really begin to grow then. 
Ken Kerr - Hartford Regional Vice President - Advisor Consultant
    Ken Kerr, Hartford Regional Vice President, presented a program on "Beyond Investment Illusions - When it comes to your financial future, perception is everything." Ken distributed brochures to help everyone understand that the art of illusion takes advantage of our natural reactions.  Illusions create a false sense of the possible.    
    Ken added that if you listen to the news every day and read all the factual information online you will notice that everything hovers around your dollar.  He referenced the brochure as he talked about "Investment Illusion vs. Investment Reality."  
    "Illusions have a real influence.  While investing is considerably more complicated than most illusions, the market can also take advantage of our natural reactions.  In fact, the most important principles of investing are almost all counterintuitive by comparison."
    Mr. Kerr compared how the illusion that volatility must be feared to the reality that volatility should be expected.  Many investors forget that volatility represents the potential for gain just as much as it represents the potential for loss.
    Using a long-term growth chart and disregarding volatility, Ken showed how an investment of $10,000 in the S&P 500 index would have grown to $999,029 from December 31, 1974 to December 31, 2014.  He noted that if an investor had let the volatility over that time span play with their mind, they never would have made it to the $999,029 mark.  
    Ken posed a question, considering today's environment, are you an opportunistic or apprehensive investor?  He added they would say you need to be opportunistic.  He showed an illustration presenting two hypothetical approaches to volatility.  If the opportunistic investor had added $2,000 every time the market dropped 8% or more in a  month during the time period between 1974 and 2014 as described above, their investments would be worth $1,391,696.  During this time frame there were fifteen investment opportunities.  If the apprehensive investor moved $2,000 into a 30-Day U.S. T-Bill every time the market dropped 8% in a month, their investments would equal $663,608 in comparison.
    A second illusion is that fixed investments are risk-free.  The reality is every investment carries its own risk.  Inflation adjusted average income returns showed that equities grew at a rate of 8.02%, bonds 4.96% and cash investments at 1.04%; before taxes.  
    Taking into account the inflation-adjusted rates, it would take 9 years to double your money by investing in securities, 14 years investing in bonds and 67 years with cash investments.
    There is the illusion that Bulls and Bears are predictable.  The reality is timing the market is impossible.  Forty-six percent of the time, the best days of the market occurred during a bear market.  Another 26% of the market's best days occurred during the first two months of a bull market.  However, we don't really know whether we were in a bull or bear market until somewhere between 12 and 18 months later.  
    A fourth illusion is investing in winners is easy.  The reality is chasing winners is a losing battle.
    Having an investment plan can help investors stay on course because shifts in the market, either in the form of highs or lows, can cause investors to lose focus.  Investing in a diversified portfolio across a variety of asset classes may be a wiser approach than simply investing in the previous year's winners or losers, since the returns of poorly performing asset classes are often offset by asset classes that are performing well.
    Go beyond the illusions.  Don't go it alone.  Use a financial advisor to help you find suitable investments.  Make a plan.  A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages of how a well-diversified portfolio can help provide more balanced returns.  A long-term systematic investment plan provides several advantages.  
    You ask a professional (doctor) when you want to protect your health.  You ask a professional (insurance agent) when you want to protect your every day risks.  So when it comes to protecting your money, ask a professional financial advisor.  
Bob Roden - Four Rivers Outreach Executive Director
    Bob Roden is the new executive director at Four Rivers Outreach.  Although his position is new, he isn't new to 4 Rivers.  Bob worked with Four Rivers in a much smaller capacity while he was the Director of External Relations with Texoma Workforce Solutions.
    Mr. Roden thanked Rotary for being a big part of their history including the grant in 2006, that really helped them.  He also recognized Rotary for their continued assistance along the way.
    Bob said there isn't anything new to report about Four Rivers other than they continue to do what they have in the past.  Those things, however, work and they continue to work.
    As Bob began explaining the things they do at Four Rivers, he said there are three stages involved in recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.  The first one is typically detoxification. which is a medical procedure.
    Strangely enough, the most dangerous addiction is alcohol.  There are drugs that are more difficult to detoxify from, but alcohol is the most dangerous and usually takes three to five days.
    Following that is the treatment process.  Bob noted that it normally takes between 21 and 28 days to break a habit and in order to break the habit of drug addiction they must take the person and remove them from the surroundings they are accustomed to, separate them from the people they have been hanging out with and removed them from the circumstances they have involved with.  This will help the addict physically break the habit and retrain their brain to realize whatever it is  causing their addiction can be lived without.  Part of the process is to determine what the triggers are causing the addiction so when these triggers occur again they can figure out a better way to deal with them.
    The third phase is Recovery, which is basically the rest of that person's life.  A person that has been addicted to a substance always has the potential of going back to that substance or something similar for the rest of their lives.  Bob noted that is why you will always hear alcoholics refer to themselves as "recovering alcoholics" for the rest of their lives, telling you how long they have been clean and sober, because that risk is always there. 
    Four Rivers is not involved in the detox or treatment phase of addictions.  During those first two phases they are typically partnered with other locations in Dallas or Fort Worth.
    Four Rivers is in the recovery business.  They are in the "forgiveness" business.  Every day they help people find their way to forgiveness, forgiving themselves, finding others to forgive them and forgiving others so they can move forward with their lives and learn how to cope.
    People come to the center daily.  Some come to be a part of the recovery classes offered at Four Rivers.  Some may visit just for the opportunity to have a hot meal.
     Four Rivers offers a transitional living space available for men who have gone through the detox and treatment phase but now have no place to live.  They are allowed to come to the center to live up to nine months or a year.  Most of the time, an addict will stay in that behavior until they have to get out of it.  They stay until they have nothing else working for them.  
    Once this addictive behavior no longer works for them, they have burned all their bridges and have no place else to go.  Once they have gone through detox and are released from treatment, they have nothing.  They don't have a job or any money.  They have nothing.  They go to Four Rivers looking for help on how to get back on their feet.
    Four Rivers Outreach is a faith-based organization providing programs for men and women who have life-controlling issues including substance abuse and homelessness.
Kris McKinney - Regional Representative For Congressman John Ratcliffe
    Kris McKinney is the Regional Representative in the Sherman District office for U.S. Congressman John Ratcliffe.  She is a fourth generation Denisonian and a graduate of Austin College with a B.A. in Business Administration.  
    Texas’ 4th Congressional District is one of the largest in the United States.  Bordered by three states, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, it encompasses over 10, 000 square miles.  Only 10 cities in the District have more than 10,000 residents.  There are 63,000 Veterans in District 4.
    Kris shared some interesting trivia about Texas Distirct 4.  All hand grenades made in the United States are done so in District 4.  President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as we all know, was born in Texas District 4. 
    Texas has had at least four congressional districts since the state was readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.  Only four men have represented Texas District 4 over the past 100 years.  The district’s best known congressman was Sam Rayburn, the longtime Speaker of the House, served from 1913-1961.  Ray Roberts served from 1962-1981.  Ralph Hall served from 1981-2015.  John Ratcliffe took office on January 3, 2015.
    Congressman Ratcliffe serves on several committess.  He serves on the House Homeland Security Committee where he serves as chairman of the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies Subcommittee.  He also is involved with the Task Force on Combatting Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel and the Transportation Security Subcommittee.
    Mr. Ratcliffe serves on the House Judiciary Committee.  He is involved with the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee and the Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Subcommittee. 
    Some of Congressman Ratcliffe’s priority include defending the Constitution and ensuring proper separation of powers, securing our borders, reining in out of control spending, repealing and replacing Obamacare and reducing the regulatory burden.
    Congressman Ratcliffe’s office can assist people in the district that might be having problems with federal agencies. This includes the IRS, Social Security Administration, the VA and other agencies. One of his greatest accomplishments in 2015 was closing 582 cases that dealt with these issues.  
    Congressman Ratcliffe made over 40 visits to Grayson County in 2015 which included tours of local businesses and area nonprofits.  He also held meetings with local officials and constituents.
    Congressman Ratcliffe can be credited with several “Firsts” for District 4.  They include Insta-Polls by email, Telephone Town Halls in April, May & September, Hosted many Coffee with your Congressman / Town Hall events, Video statements which can be found on his website and Facebook page, a Military Academy Forum and he is the only Freshman Congressman to have all offices open on day one!
Laura Ramsey - Glazier's Distributors Regional Sales Director
    Laura Ramsey is a winer!  Winner, too.  Whiner, not so much.  Laura works for Glazer’s Distributors headquartered in Dallas, Texas.  
    Glazer's is a wholesale distributor of alcoholic beverages. In Texas, the company is the largest of its kind and one of the largest wine and spirits and malt beverage distributors in the US. Glazer's distributes Budweiser beer, Robert Mondavi wines, Brown-Forman and Bacardi spirits, and Diageo products. The business, part of the Glazer's Family of Companies, was founded in Dallas in 1909 as the Jumbo Bottling Company by Louis Glazer. Today, the third-generation family-owned business has operations in some 15 US states and Canada.
    Laura does claim to be a professional wine-o, however, she adds that there is a lot more “professional” involvement.  Laura has been in the industry for seven-and-a-half years.  Her team consists of 37 field reps, five district managers and two other management personnel.
    It hasn’t always been so glamourous, according to Laura.  After college, she knew nothing about the wine industry and started out as a grocery store sales representative in the mid-cities area between Dallas and Fort Worth.  
    She then moved to San Antonio when she was promoted into a management position.  After a couple years there, she came back to the Dallas area and began working for the winery directly for the first time as a FIeld Marketing Manager.  She worked with the sales reps designing wine lists, creating marketing strategies and growth percentage for the local market.      Laura then became a Portfolio Manager working with Gallo.  A little over a year later she moved into her current position as Regional Sales Director this past July.
    Wine is becoming more popular at sporting events.  We can thank Moscato for that.  Moscato has always been a grape, but hasn’t been made into a wine until 2008. 
    Since then, it has become quite a phenomenon.  For five or six years in a row, Moscato was the fastest growing white wine.  
    This is just one example of how Gallo has developed ways to increase wine consumption.  With the Moscato, their objective is to introduce wine to those who don’t drink wine.  They hope to get the beer drinkers to begin drinking wine as well.
     Gallo obtained a patent to use the luminescent dust used to make frosting shine on your favorite cake or the sparkle in rock candy.  They have created America’s first shimmery liqueur called Viniq.  Viniq is a combination of premium vodka, Moscato, natural fruit flavors.
    Laura admitted that the world of wines and liqueurs is always changing.  As a result, this is something that she really enjoys being involved in.
Dr. Scott Kornman - Laboratory Medical Director for WNJ
    Dr. Scott Kornman is a pathology specialist with more than 21 years of experience.  He is the new Laboratory Medical Director at Wilson N Jones Regional Medical Center.   
    A pathologist is a physician who examines tissues, checks the accuracy of lab tests and interprets the results in order to facilitate the patient’s diagnosis and treatment.  Basically, when you go to the hospital and have anything taken out, whether it’s liquid (blood, urine, spinal fluid), you have a polyp removed or maybe an organ such as your appendix that requires a biopsy, it goes to the lab for examination.
    Histology sample preparation prepares tissue specimens for sectioning, staining and diagnosis. The standard paraffin process (tissue processing) moves specimens through a series of steps so the soft tissue is supported in a medium that allows sectioning. The standard steps are: Fixation that preserves the tissue, Processing that dehydrates, clears and infiltrates the tissue with paraffin wax, Embedding that allows orientation of the specimen in a “block” that can be sectioned and is easy to store and handle, and Sectioning using a microtome to produce very thin sections that are placed on a microscope slide ready for staining.
    Dr. Kornman deals with the tissues.  Another area of the lab deals with the fluids.  
    Although Dr. Kornman comes to Sherman from Longview, he is coming back home in a sense.  He finished his premedical training at Austin College as a residence hall director for three years. After Dr. Kornman graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and began his residency, he became interested in forensic pathology.  Forensic, like others, is a subspecialty that requires additonal training.
    Since Uncle Sam paid for medical school, Dr. Kornman noted that he owed the Air Force four years of service.  He was trained as a forensic pathologist before he went on active duty.  
    Dr. Kornman spent his four years as a medical examiner for the Armed Forces living in Washington, D.C., from 1999 to 2003.  He recalled some very tumultuos events during that time.  They investigated the U.S.S. Cole, they responded to the deaths at the Pentagon during 9-11 and examined and identified the bodies of the astronauts killed during the flight of the Challenger.
Kelly Cassell - Grayson County HR Director
        Kelly Cassell is the director of Human Resources for Grayson County.  Although she has just reached her one year anniversary, she has been involved in human resources for over twenty years.  
        The job of the three Human Resource (HR) employees is to take care of the 550 Grayson County employees so the employees in turn can take care of the citizens.  One of the fun things HR does for its employees is to recognize those who have worked for the county at an annual banquet.  As each employee reaches a five year term, they are recognized at the banquet.  This year they will be recognizing an employee who has been with the county for 40 years!  They also will recognize a few 30 year veterans.
    In regards to the North Texas Regional Airport, Kelly noted there are fives candidates for the position of airport director.  They hope to fill the position soon as they are looking into  the federal aviation tower program.
    They are also looking to fill positions in the treasurer's office and the tax office.  Kelly added that not only is it a great place to work, but they have great benefits as well.  Plus they get off eleven times a year for federal holidays.
    One of the biggest differences in the HR world between the private sector and working for county government is privacy.  In corporate America, everything is kept confidential.  Not so with the county.  Everything in government is open to the public.
    The biggest concern with employees, whether it is in the corporate world or with the county, is benefits.  They want to know they will have medical benefits that are affordable.
    Kelly not only helps people on a daily basis, but she is also very involved in animal rescue.  She admits she is more of a cat person than a dog person, but when it comes to animals she holds no prejudices.  She presently has three chocolate labs that need a good home.  She is currently caring for fourteen cats.  Kelly is looking for adoptive homes because her inn is full.   
Magistrate Judge Christine Nowak
    Christine Adamson Nowak has returned home.  She is the newly appointed Magistrate Judge for the Sherman division in the Eastern District of Texas.  Not only is Christine a Sherman High School cum laude graduate, but she is also a Grayson County Rotary Club Scholarship recipient.
    Judge Nowak fills the spot left open when Judge Amos Mazzant was appointed to the empty seat at the Paul Brown Federal Courthouse in Sherman.  She received her official appointment in March.
    After high school, Christine went to Texas A&M University.  She is a 4th generation Aggie and jokingly added that her family came to the United States just to become Aggies.  Her great-grandfather actually came over from New Zealand to coach the Texas A&M swim team.   
    Christine graduated early from A&M with a bachelor's degree in business administration, cum laude, after just three-and-a-half years.  After graduating from Baylor Law School, cum laude, she spent the past decade working for  the national firm Hughes Luce, LLP (now called K&L Gates, LLP), and  Dykema Gossett, PLL, making partner there.  She primarily did complex, commercial litigation, saying it means that nobody really knows what she did, although did help companies fight over money.
    Christine said she applied for the position when she heard it was open because she and her husband knew they wanted to move their family closer to her parents in Sherman.  She added that she enjoys seeing people that she knows while out shopping.
    In the United States federal courts, magistrate judges are appointed to assist United States district court judges in the performance of their duties.  A magistrate judge has no independent authority.  While district judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate for lifetime tenure, magistrate judges are appointed by a majority vote of the federal district judges of a particular district and serve terms of eight years if full-time, or four years if part-time, and may be reappointed.  Since she is full time, Judge Nowak will have to go through the selection process again in eight years.
    Her jurisdiction flows entirely from the District Court Judge.  She predominately handles all pretrial matters, including criminal and civil.  Magistrate judges generally oversee first appearances of criminal defendants, set bail, and conduct other administrative duties.
    Judge Nowak was recognized by "Texas Monthly" as a "Rising Star" in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.  She was recognized for business litigation, general litigation, and estate and trust litigation.  
    Nowak's courtroom deputy is Keary Conrad.  Her law clerks are Melissa Broadway and Emileigh Hubbard.
Bill Magers - Grayson County Judge
    Grayson County Judge Bill Magers spoke on  transportation now and what to look for down the road.  Texoma Area Paratransit  System (TAPS) is the hot topic lately.   
    TAPS is in trouble, big trouble.  It is all due to gross mismanagement of finances over the past few years.  Just because you have checks doesn't mean you have money in the bank.  Bad record keeping has put TAPS about $4 million in debt.  Even worse, they owe the IRS over $1 million in back payroll taxes.  Before they can even think about trying to find a way to keep TAPS in business, they must pay the IRS first.  
    The Sherman-Denison Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is responsible for the planning and programming of all federal and state transportation funds for the cities of Sherman, Denison, Pottsboro, Howe, Van Alstyne and Gunter, as well as a major portion of Grayson County.  It is the smallest, yet toughest MPO in the state of Texas.
    Judge Magers talked a little about what has recently been going on with the area roads.  He talked more about what we can expect in the future.  
    Hwy. 75 and Hwy. 82 are the major focus of the current MPO funds.  They had $7 million budget to work with.  The Loy Lake Bridge project has finally come to an end.  Other current roads being completed include the expanded turn lane in front of Caterpillar on FM 1417, the new road and revised turn lanes just west of WalMart, the $9 million Denison Viaduct project, and the widening of Shepherd Road near the old J&J in south Sherman.  These project used the $7 million in MPO money plus another $19 million of TXDot money.  
    The MPO puts together a 4-year plan called the TIP (Transportation Improvement Program).  Safety and traffic count are two major areas they must consider when planning on future road improvements.  Looking back over the last five years, it too $26 million to fund the area road projects.  As they look further into the future, they are estimating it will take $230 million to expand and improve the area roads to keep up with the growth of Grayson County between now and the year 2040.    
    Judge Magers shared several maps detailing the planned improvements and changes over the next several years.  Although they have a plan of action, he emphasized there will be plenty of changes to the master plan before it is all said and done.    Future plans include tying onto the toll road near Celina and bringing it on through Grayson County.  FM 1417 will see improvements with better shoulders to help traffic flow as a result of the new WalMart being constructed near 1417 and Lamberth Road.  Hwy. 75 and Crawford Street in Denison will be improved as well.  Practically all of the major roads will see some sort of improvement.  Hwy. 691 may one day extend over to Hwy. 289.  Travis Street needs help but they will have to deal with limited space available for expansion plus the narrow bridge or Hwy 82.
    TXDot has it in their future plans to widen Hwy. 75 and bring it up to Interstate standards.  They must figure out a way to tie it on to I-45 which ends on the south side of Dallas.  The cities of Plano and Richardson don't wan't Highway 75 to become an Interstate Highway.  They are looking at bringing it up on the west side of Plano and Richardson and then over to Hwy. 75 and hopefully in cooperation with Oklahoma extend it all the way up to Big Cabin, Oklahoma.  Judge Magers emphasized that many big businesses will not consider an area that does not have an Interstate Highway nearby.
    These are just a few of the plans being considered over the next 20-25 years.  However, these plans are subject to change over the years, but at least there is a plan and it's better to have a plan and be ready for the growth that has already began in Grayson County.
John Plotnik - SEDCO President
    John Plotnik is the new president of the Sherman Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO).  He brings fresh ideas and forty plus years of experience in economic development and commercial real estate.
    John first posed the question, "What is economic development?"  Answering he replied, "Economic development is where local, county, state and federal people get together and they work in unison to bring businesses, jobs and investments into a community."  It starts locally, so they will start by talking with the public and private leadership here in Sherman and ask what their wants, needs and desires are.  They will also thank them for their investments within our community.  
    They will follow up by asking them what it is that keeps them from creating investments in our city.  What can SEDCO do to help them expand and grow?  They will then listen to what their ideas in Sherman are and how SEDCO can help.  They will continue by asking the existing industries what companies outside our city would be beneficial to them by being here.   
    What companies are there in the Dallas area that have grown tired of the congestion and are looking for a more business friendly area?  John said they are willing to go talk to anyone that might be interested.
    Mr. Plotnik pointed out that you will notice a lot of out-of-state license plates on cars in area retailers.  Why is that?  Toyota America recently announced 3,000 new jobs in Plano which can grow to 5,000.  Workers from California are use to driving and hour to an hour-and-a-half to their jobs.  If they lived in Sherman it would only take them about a half-an-hour to get to their job.  That's why homes in our area are being bought up so quickly.  There are no homes left in the McKinney, Richardson, Allen area.  They are coming to Sherman for the quality of life and homes that are available. 
    Growth is already coming to Sherman.  People are moving here.  We must figure out how we are going to develop our single and multi-family homes.  We need to plan on how we are going to build our infrastructure as far as water, gas, electric, security, police and education.  Growth is going to happen and it is going to come to Sherman because that is the natural migration.  It's the only way to grow because the Dallas area is full.  Growth is also going to add jobs and increase retail.  
    John ran down a list of local companies that have invested $733 million in our area within just the last three years.  As a result, it has added 1,167 new primary core jobs.  That growth has added 32% to the taxable value of the city of Sherman.  
    New home permits are up this year compared to last.  September year to date new values for the Commercial & Industrial sector are $23.3 million compared to $8.2 million last year.  1,000 new jobs have been created this year over last, too.  This is wonderful news!
    “We are not a suburb of Dallas, Dallas is a suburb of us,” John promoted.  He closed by quoting Waterman Ormsby,  a reporter for the New York Herald, who in 1858, was the first sole transcontinental stagecoach passenger of the Butterfield Overland Mail stage and landed here in Sherman on a stopover.  Mr. Ormsby said this about Sherman, “Sherman is a pleasant little village with about 600 inhabitants and is noted for its enterprising citizens.”  Mr. Plotnik quickly added, “And that’s what we are today.  We are enterprising citizens.”
Club Assembly
    Last week was our first installment of Club Assemblies.  If you missed it, no worries, there will be others in the future.
    Secretary Terry Everett said everything has been updated on all the websites (local, district & international).  All the requirements needed in order to receive the Presidential Citation had been entered. We now just have to fulfill our goals.  Grayson Rotary was one of only eight clubs to receive the Presidential Citation last year (2014-15).  One of the goals is to increase membership by a net of one member.  We are on track at the moment at least.  We lost one member who moved away but gained to new members:  John Mabary & Shane Pruitt.
    Membership chair Norman Gordon said he met with David Cortinas last week and they are planning on visiting area plants and businesses.  They are going to invite plant managers and business owners to visit our club.  
    Service Projects chair Donald Johnston announced some service opportunities that were coming up.  The next one is November 14th.  We will be volunteering for the Veteran’s Day Blood Drive.  It will be held at the Harley-Davidson dealership in Town Center.  It will begin at 9 a.m.  Donald is waiting to hear back on a time slot to work the annual Loy Lake Christmas Lights display.  He also added that anyone has any potential projects to let him know.
    Club Administrator Cindy Brandt reported that the next RILI had been postponed until January.  Stacy Braddock, Francis Campbell and Edwin Clark will be attending.  David Cortinas will be one of the facilitators.  Cindy will attend the Camp RYLA kick-off in January and get our packet so we can begin the process of selecting two RYLA Campers for next summer.
    The flag program is doing well.  The Scouts will be distributing door hangers throughout the neighborhoods we current serve so we can increase participation.
    As one of the requirements to earn the Club’s Presidential Citation this year, it is required that at least half of the membership register under “My Rotary” on the website.  
    In the absence of our Treasurer, Becky gave a brief summary of our finances and asked that everyone please pay their dues on time.
    Becky added that we are going to handle the billing for the annual Awards Banquet a little differently this year.  Sign-up sheets will be distributed and Treasurer Steve Ramsey will include the cost of the banquet on the 3rd Quarter’s dues prior to the event so we have money to pay Grayson College without having to dip into our reserves.
    We are supporting the Guatemala Literacy  Project again this year.  This is a very successful literacy project we have support over the years.  
    Becky also reported on our recent scholarship fundraising social at Buffalo Wild Wings.  We will be getting a check from Dickie’s soon, too.  We will also be getting $2,000 from the Regensberger Foundation. 
Ashby Porter - TCS Athletic Director & Head Football Coach
    Did you know there is a new football team in town?  Texoma Christian School has begun a football program this year. They also play 11-man football, not 6-man.
    Ashby Porter, athletic director and head football coach, noted they are playing area JV teams their first year.  The team is made up of mostly freshman players with just a few upper classmen.
    Coach Porter confirmed the heart behind the program is the ministry.  Everyone loves football.  The kids all have fun participating.  They want to play football.  They want to see if they can do it.  It is physically demanding and requires some toughness and some faith.  Football provides a great opportunity.  
    Ashby said they are stepping out in faith.  Although TCS has only 60 boys in high school, they wanted to get 25-30 to play and they have.  They have 19 middle school boys and 17 high school boys playing.  
    Coach Porter shared a story of the first touchdown made by TCS when they played Bonham junior varsity for their very first game.  Fellow Rotarian Brian Gary's son, Wyatt, will forever be in the TCS record books for catching a pass to score their first ever touchdown.
    Their first home game was Thursday, October 15th at the old Sherman High School practice field located on Center Street in Sherman.  The played Howe JV.  Next year they will join the TAPPS District and play 11-man varsity football.
    Coach Porter shared a brief story of his journey from being an outstanding high school athlete that allowed him to play football for TCU in the early 90's.  He became close friends with a couple of his teammates that were actually "Christ followers" and not just someone that goes to church.  This was a turning point in Ashby's life.  After college he coached at various schools.  Four years ago, Head of School Jeff Burley asked Coach Porter to start a football team at TCS. 
    Coach Porter accepted the offer because it wasn't based on how many wins he could get but how many disciples he could produce.  This is what got his attention.  This is Coach Porter's passion . . . making disciples of young men.  
Drew Satterwhite - GTUA General Manager
    Drew Satterwhite knows water!  Drew is the general manager for GTUA (Greater Texoma Utility Area).
    When it comes to talking about water, the first thing on people's minds it Lake Texoma.  Lake Texoma has a surface area of 89,000 acres, a conservation volume of over 2.5 million acre feet and a flood control volume of over 5 million acre feet.  It is also a source of hydropower, municipal supply and recreational use.
    An illustration of the storage behind the damn show water levels that are between 617 and 640 feet as flood control water. Of course, anything over 640', like this past spring, is water above flood control levels.  The conservation pool is from 617' down to 590' where the inactive pool begins.
    Drew showed an illustration of how Sherman gets its water from a 72" pipe that run from Lake Texoma down to just east of Howe.  He also explained how other towns around north Texas get their water.
    GTUA does a lot of financing and constructing for area water and waste water providers.  They currently have over $130 million debt portfolio.  That debt is backed by a contract from the revenues of the water usage.
    Some of GTUA's current projects include the Sherman waste water treatment plant where they will issue about $27 million in debt.  Some of the other projects include the cities of Van Alstyne, Gainesville, Krum and Ector.
    In 1997, Senate Bill 1 stated that groundwater conservation districts were the preferred method of groundwater management.  Unlike most other states in the union where the state owns the surface water and groundwater, Texas owns the surface water, but it is a private property right.
    In late December 2007, the TCEQ (Texas Commision on Environmental Quality) issued a report showing that a thirteen county region in North Central Texas had a water problem.  They need to form at least one groundwater conservation district or the TCEQ would do it for these counties.  Twelve of the thirteen counties, excluding Dallas County, has a groundwater conservation district.  There are currently 99 conservation districts across the state of Texas.
     The Red River Groundwater Conservation District was formed in 2009.  There Red River GCD consists of seven directors, three from Fanning County and four from Grayson County.  It has regulatory powers for groundwater in Grayson and Fannin Counties.  The North Texas Groundwater Conservation District was also formed in 2009 and serves Collin, Cooke and Denton Counties with three directors from each county serviing on the board.
    Conservation Districts are primarily designed to protect the rights of all land owners and provide a framework to allow availability of groundwater for future generations.
Beverly Nelson - Family & Protective Services
    Beverly Nelson began by thanking the Grayson Rotary Club for recognizing the local foster parents with an appreciation dinner each year.  She we on to say she proudly displayed one of our flags in her yard in support of our Flag Lease Program.
    Beverly said that she was not aware of child abuse and neglect while growing up in Dalhart, Texas.  She doesn't recall any of her classmates or anyone in town who were victims.
    Legend has it that the child protective service office in Grayson County was the first one established in Texas.  Mrs. Nelson added that she didn't know if that was true or not, but was sure that if it were not true, that Grayson County was definitely one of the very first.  She noted that there were laws to protect animals before there were laws to protect children.
    Beverly started her career with CPS thirty-six and half years ago as a caseworker.  Back then, they did everything from doing the investigations to working with the children that came to them to working with the families.  
    CPS is bound by the laws set by the state legislature as well as federal laws.  They are governed by the Texas Family Code.
    The local office has two investigation units.  They are responsible for investigating all reports of child abuse or neglect.  All information is held in strictest confidence.  It is released to no one unless instructed to do so by the courts.  
    There are between 100 and 130 investigations monthly in Grayson County alone.  There are currently 191 children who are placed outside their home.  They are placed in either foster homes, residential treatment centers if they have special needs or with relatives, which is ideal.  If the children can't be with their parents they try to at least arrange for them to be with other family members.  Once the children are returned to their parents, they are still monitored for a period of time. 
    CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is another organization that represents the child in court as their guardian.  The child is also assigned an attorney to represent them in court.
    Their office also houses family based safety services case workers.  They work with the children and their families when the children remain in their own home.
    The have one adoption prep caseworker.  They solely recruit for adoptive homes for children.  
    CPS basically works each case all the way from the initial report to the investigation process through family based safety services, or conservatorship cases, on up to returning the child to the home and monitoring that situation.  If that's not possible, then until they can either place the child in the home of a relative or if necessary, all the way through to adoption. 
    Mrs. Nelson pleaded that if anyone would like to become a foster parent or knew of anyone that would like to be a foster parent, to please contact Child Protective Services.  They are in great need of more foster parents.  If there are no local foster parents available, that means the children are shipped to another city across Texas.
Dr. Martin Wells - Archaeological Trips To Greece
    Dr. Martin Wells, Assistant Professor of Classics at Austin College, shared some of his archaeological experiences from his trip to Greece this past summer.  Dr. Wells is the Field Director for the excavation at Sikyon in Greece.  Although Dr. Wells has only been at Austin College for three years, he has already received a humanities division teaching award.
        Sikyon is about an hour-and-a-half drive west of Athens. It sits on a plateau that overlooks the coastal plains near the Gulf of Corinth.
    The excavation team consisted of Dr. Martin, two Austin College students, about ten Greeks and about ten Canadians.  The excavation was run by a Greek professor.  The site itself was first excavated in the 1930's by Greek archaeologist Orlandos.
    They are trying to purchase some of the land near the excavation site because the site itself is mainly where they did their business, exercised and were entertained.  They nearby land is where they lived.  The excavation team wants to learn more about how the people lived their everyday lives as well.
    In the three years they have been excavating the site they have uncovered an extensive 7th Century industrial complex.  Within the complex there were wine presses, olive presses, a wine kiln and a massive cistern in addition to all of the tools and artifacts that have also been discovered.
    The Austin College students are working right alongside the Greeks and Canadians doing everything from digging to cleaning.  Of course, when something is discovered everyone takes time to admire the newest discovery.  Dr. Martin showed a photo of four coins that were uncovered.  He added that within a few minutes they found ten more.  It's items like the coins, pottery, vessels and fragments of architecture and statues that makes it all worthwhile.  It's exciting to uncover ancient stuff that nobody has seen in 2,000 years.
    However, it isn't all work and no play.  There is plenty of time to visit the beach, swim, visit other sites, and learn more about the local Greek culture on a first hand basis.  They also get to tour other sites and hear first hand from the archaeologist that is working the site.  
H.S. Bert Garcia - Hagerman . . . It's Wild!!!
    It's Wild!  That's the name of the program that was presented by Bert Garcia last week about Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge.  More specifically, the program was more about the Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge and all the volunteer opportunities available.
    Hagerman is made up of five habitats:  forest, prairie, agriculture, wetlands and open water, lots of water.  At one point, over eighty percent of the refuge was water.
    Bert shared several photos showing some of the activities, classes and volunteer opportunities available both indoors and outdoors at Hagerman.  
    Beginning in August and going into December volunteers will travel around a 15 mile radius of Hagerman counting different types of birds.  This has been going on for 116 years.  Bert noted that last year he would get up at 4 a.m. and start counting birds.  They counted 14 owls last year, which are very hard to find.
    Starting in November and going into February, you have the opportunity to see thousands of geese.  You can drive in your own car or take a tour on their tram.  There are a variety of geese including Snow Geese and even some Canada Geese.  Bring your camera because there are countless photo opportunities.
    In the spring you can visit the new butterfly garden,  Not only is the garden a peaceful place to relax, it also serves as a great learning opportunity for visitors. The garden is composed solely of native plants and acts as a microcosm of the larger refuge. It allows visitors the opportunity to see aspects of the refuge that are otherwise off the beaten path, or hidden away amongst other habitat. The plants are labeled, and visitors can check out a book in the visitor center that gives more information about each plant.
    Mr. Garcia showed a photo of a pair of Golden Eagles.  He added that during the 1970's it was very difficult to find an eagle's nest in the state of Texas.  There are now between 20 and 30 eagle nests in Texas, of which 5 are located in Grayson County.
        Winter is also a great time to see pelicans.  Bert said he has seen two to three hundred pelicans in a group out at the refuge. 
    Summer is nest box time.   Beginning in March through mid-August the nest boxes are checked once a week.  Over the past six years, they have fledged over 1,000 baby birds.  About 80% of those are blue birds.
    Second Saturdays  are free nature programs held at the Refuge and are open to the public.  The format is a talk, accompanied by slides, and may include a brief field trip on the Refuge, depending on topic.  Presenters are experts in the presentation topic and are drawn from area colleges, nature organizations and professionals in the field of wildlife/biology.  They offer programs for children and adults.
    Hagerman is located at 6465 Refuge Road, Sherman, TX.  The refuge is open daily from sunrise to sunset and there is never any charge for admission.  The office is open from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  They are closed on holidays.  
    The visitor center is open during the same time as the office, however, it is also open on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  Their phone number is 903.786.2826.  You can also find a lot more information on their website at  
    Hagerman!  It's Wild!!!
Sharon Teague - True Options Pregnancy Center
    Sharon Teague is the executive director of True Options Pregnancy Center in Sherman.  They have been in existence for 23 years and located in their current location at 105 W. Pecan for fifteen years.   
    The True Options name was adopted about a year-and-a-half ago.  Prior to that, it was known as the Pregnancy Care Center.  "The reason for the name True Options, is because we basically exist to provide alternatives to abortion", promoted Mrs. Teague.  She added, "That is the main reason we are there."
    Their clients are typically between the ages of 16 and 22.  No matter the age, when someone comes to them about an unplanned pregnancy, they have three options:  Parenting, adoption or abortion.  They want to give them information on all three options.  They want to educate them on what each of the options look like.  
    They don't try to persuade the young women one way or another, but are their to educate them.  When someone inquires about abortion information they provide the information, but also educate them on the alternatives as well.  They also have the ability to perform an ultrasound at the center to determine the gestational age of how far along they are in their pregnancy.  
    It's very difficult to make good decisions in a time of crisis.  Sometimes that crisis is 24 hours, sometimes it's 72 hours, sometimes it's a week.  Sharon said if they can just get the girl to come in and talk through what is going on in their life, whether it's "my parents are going to kill me, they are going to  kick me out, I'm going to lose my scholarship to school, my boyfriend is going to leave me," or whatever the situation may be, then they can give her some support in making a good decision.
    Sharon said they never try to talk a girl out of having an abortion because it is her legal right to do so up until 20 weeks in Texas, but they want to give her accurate information so she knows exactly what is ahead of her.  Not only in regards to an abortion procedure, but what lies ahead after the abortion.
    All services provided by True Options are free and confidential.  These include pregnancy tests, STD testing and treatment for both men and women, limited OB ultrasound and accurate information on all your options.
    True Options also offers a mentoring program for those who wish to have the child.  Many of the girls don't have the support or family to help on how to parent.  The center educates and helps the girls with parenting skills and sometimes supplies for the baby up until the baby turns 15 months old.  Hopefully, by this time, they have the girls connected through other resources in the area to help them.  All supplies are donated by area churches and organizations.
    This past October, they purchased a mobile unit.  They can provide the sames services out of the mobile unit that they can do out of their physical location.  Realizing that many clients won't come to the center, they are now able to go to the client.  STD's is a huge problem and diagnosed more often than strep throat.
    True Options Pregnancy Center is a faith-based organization.  They are funded mainly by individual donations and churches.  They also apply for grants.  They don't receive any federal funding.
    True Options equips women and men to make empowered decisions about unexpected pregnancies and their sexual health. Over 58% of True Options’ clients live at or below the poverty level.
Danny Jones - Sherman Fire Department Chief
    Danny Jones, Sherman Fire Chief, said he isn't used to speaking in front of groups other than the youth at church.  He is a youth minister but never really thought that would be something he would do.  Danny is also licensed to minister.
    He said that God will sometimes lead you to things that is outside your comfort zone.  "Being the fire chief of Sherman, Texas, is one of those things", claimed Fire Chief Jones.
    Danny was born and raised in Denison, Texas.  He also graduated from Denison High School.  During the summer's, he would work with his dad at a meat packing plant.  After high school Danny went to work for Hitchcock Industries out at the airport.
    A couple years later he was working in McKinney.  After driving back and forth from Sherman countless days, he wanted something closer to home.  He read an ad in the newspaper that the City of Denison Fire Department was hiring, so he decided to apply and go through the process.
    Bill Taylor, who was Fire Chief at the time, called Danny a few days later and told him he had a job.  Danny recalled that during his junior high school years he took an occupation orientation class.  It was class that taught you the process of looking for a job.  One of his assignments was to pick out an occupation, go interview some of the people in that occupation, take some photos and then give a presentation to the class.
    Danny walked by the fire station on Chestnut Street in Denison everyday on his way to the stadium for football practice.  One day on the way to practice, he decided to stop by and take some pictures and talk to some of the guys. 
    Mr. Jones worked for the Denison Fire Department for four years before hiring on as a firefighter with the Sherman Fire Department.  He remained a firefighter for many years until he was promoted to an engineer's position.  As he went through the promotion process, he became Captain four years later.  He went on to become Battalion Chief and then Division Chief.
    In April of 2015, Sherman's Fire Chief had resigned.  The city manager called Danny to his office and asked him to become Interim Fire Chief.  Danny was okay with the Interim title.  He told the city manager he could do this for a few months until they found a new fire chief.
    Well, as of July 1, 2015, "Interim" was removed from Danny's title as he was appointed the new Fire Chief of the Sherman Fire Department.  He said he still can't believe he is the Fire Chief, but this is the path God wanted him to take, so this is what he will do.
    Mr. Jones was very complimentary of his administrative assistant.  He noted that the transition would have been almost impossible without her help.
    It is a chosen few that become firefighters, just like those in law enforcement.  "It isn't a job, it's a profession.  It is a profession these men and women love to do and I'm proud to be the leader of this special breed."  These men and women have dedicated their lives and their families have dedicated their lives to be servants for the city of Sherman.
Bill Patterson - Sherman High School Head Football Coach
    Bill Patterson, head football coach for the Sherman Bearcats, said that although school is about to begin, the boys have actually been preparing for this year's season since last November.  He anticipates a much better year than last year's 1-9 season.  
    The players have been putting in the time to be a better team.  Coach Patterson said he really appreciates the hard work the boys have put in.  He said not only have they become better football players, but they are good people as well.  These boys are not NFL players, they aren't college players, they are high school players that voluntarily come out because they want to play football.
    They had a scrimmage on Friday, August 21st.  Coach Patterson was looking forward to see what the team looked like before their game schedule starts on Friday, August 28th against Frisco Lone Star.  Frisco is a very good team with two Division I players on their team.  The schedule doesn't get any easier.  The play Sulphur Springs Setptember 4, who has played Sherman very tough over the years.  They close out their non-district schedule against Prestonwood Christian Academy.  They may be the best team Sherman plays this year.  They have won three state championships in the last 10 years.
    In District play, they open the season on September 25th in Prosper.  They come home the next week for homecoming against Lovejoy.  The travel to play McKinney High next and then return home October 16 to play in Texas' longest high school rivalry against the Denison Yellowjackets.
    Their next two games are away against Wylie and McKinney North.  They close out their district schedule at home against Wylie East.
    Coach Patterson introduced two of the team's captains:  David Bedgood, quarterback and Justin Nichols, defensive tackle.
    David is a great leader and excels in the classroom as well.  He is very successful on the baseball field, too.  David has spent a lot of time in the weight room during the off-season and as a result has added 35 pounds since last year.
    Justin also plays on offense.  He will also play some center.  Coach Patterson invited everyone to come out and watch #51.  Coach said he plays as hard as any kid he has ever coached.
    Coach Patterson has been coaching football for 33 years.  Twenty-three of those he has been a head coach.  He said that when a kid does well in the classroom they almost always do very well on the football field as well.
    Of the 1,789 students attending Sherman High School last year, 385 participated in athletics.  This includes boys and girls.
    Just because you participate in athletics in high school, it doesn't mean you will be successful.  Just because you play high school football, it doesn't mean you will go on to be a great person in life.  
    Athletics does, however, teach many skills that can make you a good and successful person in life.  It teaches kids how to communicate with others.  It teaches how to be a member of a team and work together.  It teaches organization, character and the importance of being on time.
    Coach Patterson said everybody can do two things.  Everybody can have a good attitude and give great effort.  It takes no ability whatsoever to that.  
    In addition to football, the coaches try to teach the kids how to be responsible, respectable and the life skills necessary to be a good person in life.  David and Justin are two of those who the kind of people you would want as your neighbor and friend.
    We wish the Sherman Bearcats a very successful season. Go Bearcats!!!
Daria Hauber & Aaron Paper - Camp RYLA
        Camp RYLA was the topic last week from two young adults who just returned from camp.  Daria Hauber, Texoma Christian School, and Aaron Pape, Pottsboro High School, shared their experience of Camp RYLA.
        Daria recalled hearing from a previous Camp RYLA attendee that it was life changing.  Five weeks before camp, Daria had spent a week in Guatemala.  Daria proclaimed, "I remember before coming to RYLA thinking nothing could come close to my experiences that I had in Guatemala, but boy was I wrong!"  
    There will be 14 students in Daria's high school graduating class which is about the same as the number of campers in each of the cabins at Camp RYLA.  It is set up so that every trusts each other.  
    Daria said she opened up more to her cabin mates than she has to classmates she has known since third grade.  She isn't sure why, but there is something special there at camp.  All Rylarians claim it can only be summed up to the RYLA magic.  
    Aaron said he didn't really have a way with words.  He always used technology to express his feelings.  He presented a video about his time at Camp RYLA.  It was a musical collage of fellow RYLA campers during their week at camp.  Aaron said it is amazing how you make life long friends in such a short period of time.  
    Daria talked about the board breaking event that took place the beginning of the week.  Everyone engaged in the experience.  They would write a barrier they wanted to break through on the board and then they all took turns breaking their boards which represented breaking through their barrier.  
    Everyone stayed up most of the night talking about the board breaking experience and what it meant to them.  They all talked about where they came from and some of the difficult things they have all had to deal with in life.  Although it was very revealing, it really brought them all close together by learning about others.
    Daria really like the obstacle course because it involved everyone working together.  She said it seemed as though many of the activities were set up for them to fail, but by failing it did make them grow.
    Aaron said coming up with their cabin yell was the most challenging.  In the beginning, when they were introduced to their sister cabin they had to come up with a cabin yell.  This was something they were unprepared to take on.  It taught them that in order to succeed they would have to work together if they were going to win any of the week's events.
Larry Webb - Rotary District 5810 Governor
    Larry Webb is Rotary District 5810’s District Governor for 2015-2016.  He is a member of the Rotary Club of Prestonwood-Dallas.
    When Larry and wife Pam attended the International Assembly for Governor-elects, they learned of Rotary‘s new theme for 2015-16: Be A Gift To The World.  “Our gift to the world as Rotarians is we are the world’s most humanitarian organization putting ‘Service Above Self’ and doing things in the world that other people have chosen not to do.”  We are Rotarians!  
    The Rotary Foundation is the vehicle we use to take care of projects around the world and to promote Peace and Conflict Resolution.  Economic and community development, water and sanitation, plus child and eternal health are the six areas of focus.  Larry noted the single most area we should concentrate on, because it drives all the others, is clean water and sanitation.  
    Clean water help solve disease issues.  It helps solve education issues.  It even solves conflct issues in regards to fighting over water sources.
    Of course, our signature project over the past 30 years is our PolioPlus Project.  It has been a tought battle and millions of dollars have been raised to help eradicate polio.  The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged their support to the cause.
    There is good news to report.  As of July 9th, Cameroon has been polio free, with no new cases, for one year.  July 24th, Nigeria, an endemic country, has been free from polio for one year.  Somalia will be polio free for one year on August 11th.  The entire continent of Africa will now be monitored for two years and will then be certified as having eradicated polio.  At that time, they will then go into maintenance mode.
    More good news has the prime minister of Pakistan pledging his government’s support to help eradicate polio.  Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries left in the world with new reported cases of polio within the last twelve months.  However, reported cases this year in those two countries are down 70%!
    When Nigeria recently had an outbreak of Ebola, they utilized the immunization infrastructure that has been put in place for polio and quickly stamped out Ebola.  Our efforts don’t stop there either.  We continue to make positives strides around the world in many ways.  
    We can be proud of who we are and what we are doing!  It is through our efforts that communities around the world have a better standard of living.
    Over the past 100 plus years that Rotary has been around the world has changed greatly.  We have seen cars and planes invented, we have been through two world wars and several other conflicts and we have even put a man on the moon.  Through all that change to our society, we have managed to adapt, we have managed to be flexible, we have managed to be innovative. Rotary is still here.  Our days ahead are going to be our best.
    DG Webb is challenging the Rotary clubs around the district to think outside the box.  Rotary International begins with, and ends with, its members.  
    Do projects that the members think will impact the community in a positive manner.  If it is good for the community, it is good for Rotary.  We are, and will continue to be the best humanitarian organization in the world.
     Pam Webb’s project this year is to  help fight against sex trafficking.  No community is safe from this horrible crime.  Prevention happens through educating adults and youth about the plight of sex trafficking in America and equipping them with practical ways to keep themselves safe.
    Larry is advocating the awareness of early prostrate cancer detection.  Being a survivor himself, he wants everyone to be aware how easily this disease can be cured with early detection.    
Ben Herman - Eisenhower State Park
    What does Rotary and Eisenhower State Park have in common?  Although most everyone has heard of both, they don't know too much about them.  Best of all, both are here to help everyone enjoy life more.
    Ben Herman, Eisenhower State Park Superintendent, shared a lot of information on the park's impact economically and recreationally.  He is very involved in updating the park facilities and expanding what it has to offer.
    Texas has 94 state parks covering 600,000 acres.  Eisenhower offers screened shelters, RV camping, a marina, Lake Texoma, hiking, fishing, nature study, swimming, camping, picnicking, etc. Unique to Eisenhower are the ATV trails over 10 acres.
    Eisenhower sits on the Preston Anticline.  An anticline is like a big hill under the earth.  It is a fold in layers of rock in the earth's surface which curves up.  This is why we have all the bluffs on the Texas side of Lake Texoma.  
    Ben shared a great piece of trivia.  Eisenhower State Park is NOT named for our country's 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was born in Denison, Texas.  It was, however, named for Five-Star General Dwight D. Eisenhower, before he was president.
    Eisenhower has the largest marina in the state park system.  They have 448 boat slips.
    There are 4.5 miles of hiking trails in addition to the ATV trails.  They are very challenging as a result of the bluffs adding a diverse hike for everyone.  They are also open to biking.
    Fishing is great around the Eisenhower banks.  They are known for small mouth bass around Eisenhower because of all the rocks.  There are several fishing events throughout the year.  
    All the state parks across Texas brought in $793 million in sales in 2014.  The parks add almost 12,000 jobs and $456 million in payroll to the state of Texas.  
    Added sales for Grayson County because of Eisenhower State Park is $1.67 million.  There are 19.5 jobs adding $400,000 of income to Grayson County.
    Ben said they are working hard to renovate and repair all the structures in the park.  The newest building in the park was built in the seventies.  When they can no longer repair the trucks they replace them with new ones.  
    One of the newest features of Eisenhower has been the addition of Wi-Fi.  
    They are in the process of adding another 40 acres to the park.  Ben said it is his intent to have a family-friendly atmosphere where people can come learn and ride ATVs.  He is not opening an ATV motocross park.  Eisenhower is the only Texas state park with an ATV trail.
    They are also in the process of converting some of their screened shelters over into mini cabins.  The large cabins have air-conditioning.
    Ben invited everyone to visit the park.  He said the best thing for him is attendance because the more people that visit the park the more his budget is for the park.  It cost $5 per person to enter the park.  A season pass is only $75 and is good for everyone in your car plus it is good at all the Texas state parks.  A season pass is good for one year.
    For those who want to go fishing and take their kids or grandkids, you don't have to have fishing license while you are in the park.  Better yet, if you don't have any fishing equipment they will loan you all the fishing gear you need.  
Sarah Walker Travels To Vietnam
    Although Sarah Walker will be going into her sophomore year at Hendrix College next year, she isn't your typical college student.  Hendrix College, located in Conway, Arkansas, isn't your typical small liberal arts school. either.  
    One thing that sets Hendrix College apart from the others is that they offer an odyssey program.  The odyssey program requires students to fulfill three not so normal activities in order to graduate.  Students might take a dance class, work in an animal shelter or even travel around the world. Sarah decided she would travel the world.
    Sarah recently returned from her trip to Vietnam of all places.  Not that traveling to a different part of the world was odd enough, she made it a little more odd by studying in Vietnam with five other students and a professor.
    They worked at a facility in central Vietnam that helped people in minority groups who were disabled or disadvantaged and taught them job skills.  This would allow them to be productive citizens so they could support themselves and support a family.  
    While there they painted bunk beds and the whole outside fence area.  Oddly enough, Sarah said they mixed gasoline with white paint to make it go farther, however, it didn't work very well.  It only made it more watery and noxious.
    They also helped make small figurines they would paint and sell later.  They took some telephone-like wire and made it into bracelets, rings or other types of jewelry.
    Sarah said they really enjoyed going to the beach.  They were beautiful.  In order to get around they would take buses.  
    The last night of their trip they participated in a cultural exchange program where they would do things such as play games or sing karaoke.  Sarah jumped rope with another boy as part of her cultural exchange.  They also played soccer.  Sarah noted that many of them were missing arms or legs due to the agent orange problem.  
    Every day they would ride their bikes to the Hope Center.  Sarah said this was a highlight of the trip because they got to be one of them (Vietnamese).  
    Unlike Americans who want to be as tan as possible, the Vietnamese were just the opposite.  Sarah pointed out that even though the weather was close to 100 degrees and the humidity almost as high, the women would wear parkas, hats, scarves and gloves in order to stay as white as possible.
    Although there were many, more than interesting foods available, Sarah said she didn't try any of them.  They had huge jugs filled with homemade rice wine that contained snakes or cobras or little baby animals inside.  Frog brains are a delicacy.  Sarah showed a picture of where they were roasting rats.
    One day they visited the tunnels of Vietnam. They are a huge underground complex that began sometime in the late 1940s over a period of 25 years during the war against the French.
    Sarah said she really appreciated the time they met up with another Hendrix professor who had been in Vietnam for three years. The professor had become friends with some local coffee bean farmers.  They learned all about the coffee process.  Sarah she never realized how complex the whole process was.  
    Sarah added how much she enjoyed being able to visit the homes of some Vietnamese families and see how they lived.  Overall, it was a very successful and educational trip in many ways.  
    So what's next on Sarah's oddity program?  Well, she is now off to South Africa.  
    They will be studying contextual bible studies.  After three weeks in South Africa they will return to Conway and continue with a contextual bible study class.  Once a week they will go into Little Rock and work with the homeless.  
Kitty Richardson - Wilson N. Jones CEO
    You can now go back to calling Wilson N. Jones Hospital, Wilson N. Jones.  Even though the name has sort of returned to it's original name it is officially known again as Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center.  To anyone that has lived around here for any length of time, it is still and always will be "Wilson N. Jones."  The previous "Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital-WNJ" name just didn't work.  Even then it was Wilson N. Jones.
    Kitty Richardson, chief executive officer of Wilson N. Jones, said WNJ is now one of four hospitals under Alecto Healthcare based out of California.  They also have two hospitals in California and one in West Virginia.
    The Alecto group not only knows that it's best to leave the name alone, but they are very community focused.  They are determined to get back into the community like WNJ was before.  Additionally, they are very focused on quality and service as far as patient satisfaction and employee satisfaction are concerned.  
    Kitty reminded everyone that the hospital celebrated it's 100th year anniversary last year.  They are looking forward to another 100 years as Alecto is investing capital dollars into WNJ.  All of the department heads are looking at things they need now and in the next few years. 
    They have recently purchased a C-Arm for the Emergency Room.  A C-Arm is a piece of radiology equipment they use in surgery. They have also done some minor things but are looking at what other needs the hospital has.
    WNJ has over 700 employees.  Of those, around 300 are medical staff personnel.  They have 80 volunteers who practice "Service Above Self".
    Wilson N. Jones serves Grayson, Cooke and Fannin Counties in Texas, and Bryan County in Oklahoma.  The Behavioral Health unit is located on the north side of what was once Community Hospital on Gallagher Drive in Sherman.  WNJ also partners with the County and Texoma Medical Center on the Grayson County Health Clinic which occupies the south side of the building that faces Gallagher Drive.    
    Wilson N. Jones is a Certified Stroke Center.  They just received their re-certification in February.  WNJ is a designated Level III Trauma Center, which means they are recognized by the State of Texas as having met the highest standards for treatment, staff and facilities. 
    Last year they spent approximately $1 million updating their OB / Women Services area.  They basically took eight rooms and turned them into four large rooms for the ladies to have their babies.  Once they deliver, the delivery bed is removed and a large queen size Murphy-bed comes down.  It is like a hotel suite allowing mom and dad to stay in the room.
    They are about to open their ground South unit.  It is located on the lower ground level where the gym is located.  This is where they have the Senior Passport program.  It is a real large, 20 bed unit.  They hope to open that area August 3rd for their Ortho, Spine and Surgical patients.
    Wilson N. Jones has recently hired to new physicians and are in the the process of adding more.  They work closely with all of the surrounding M.S. services.  They also work with about 25 nursing homes / Long Term Care facilities.  
Becky Burtner Begins Her Presidential Term
    This 29th year of the club got its start in 2000 when 2015-16 club president Becky Burtner first joined the Rotary Club of Grayson County.  Becky shared a little of what life has thrown at her until now.
    In 2001, Becky when through some very tough times.  She filed for divorce and although her finances told her she couldn’t afford to be a member, she was already hooked.  Becky talked about some of the very difficult situations she has encountered from being involved in other boards.  Becky described this club as an “oasis” for her during a long period of time when she was having to face a lot of stuff that just wasn’t that much fun.  She is very grateful for Grayson Rotary being something fun and different than what the real world was about.  Because of that, Becky is determined to make sure the club remains that oasis, because others may need it as well.  Sometimes it just isn’t all that fun being an adult, but the Grayson County Rotary Club makes it so much more fun.
    The great thing about Grayson Rotary is that we make money and give it away.  That is just perfect for Becky and that is why she loves this club so much. 
    Becky learned while attending PETS (Presidents-Elect Training Seminar) that she can run her club however she sees fit.  With that, she decided to implement the Pink Flamingo Award (PFA).  The first recipient of the Pink Flamingo Award was presented to Terry Everett.  He received a set of floating Pink Flamingo candles because “he always lights our way and keeps the club afloat,”  emphasized president Burtner.
    The day was extra special because Becky awarded two Pink Flamingo Awards.  For the past sixteen years Becky added that she has gotten more enjoyment out of our annual Christmas Party and weekly football parlays than one should get in a lifetime.  So with that, the second Pink Flamingo Award went to David Bayless who received a pair of Pink Flamingo Adult Beverage Stirrers.
    On the more serious side of things fundraising is a big part of the club so we can give it away and help others.  Becky said we should give the Selling of Nuts another year.  
    Stacy Braddock, fundraising co-chair agreed.  She said not only is it easy to do but the product is great!  
    Treasurer Steve Ramsey concurred with continuing the Nut Sales.  It nicely supplements our largest fundraising event which is the Flag Lease Program.
    In regards to service, Distirct 5810 as well as our club, strongly supports blood drives.  In years past, Grayson Rotary won the banner two years in a row for being responsible in collecting the most pints of blood.  
    Stacy added that there are many opportunities to volunteer throughout the year.  Also, if anyone knows of a business that would like to host a donor event or a spot they can park their bus they will make it happen.   She said it is always a struggle to keep blood on the shelves because they hospitals use it as fast as they can get it.
Grayson Rotary's 29th Officer Installation
    For the first in the 29 year history of the Grayson County Rotary Club we have our first back-to-back woman president.  Outgoing club president Lisa Hébert performed the installation duties.    
    Lisa prefaced the installation of officers by reminding everyone the Object of Rotary.  The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:  First - The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; Second - High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society;  Third - The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life; Fourth - The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. 
    Lisa then installed the officers for the 2015-2016 year.  Cindy Brandt agreed to continue as Club Administrator for the fifth time by helping the Club President with documents, proposals and completing the Presidential Citation application.
    Norman Gordon was installed as the Membership Chair.  He will encourage members to become more involvedin club activities and to invite candidates for membership.   
    Terry Everett was re-installed as Public Relations Chair and Bulletin Editor for the 20th time.  He will continue making the public aware of the Club’s activities through published articles and other media.
    Donald Johnston will serve as the Service Projects Chair.  This includes the scope of activities Rotarians undertake to improve the quality of life within the local community.  
    Steve Avard will serve as The Foundation Chair a ninth consecutive time.  He make sure all donations and reports are filed with the Rotary Foundation.  Steve will also oversee any international projects such as the Guatemala Literacy Project.     
    Steve Ramsey will serve as Club Treasurer for a third term.
    Terry Everett will serve a sxith term as Club Secretary.  He will keep accurate records of attendance and club business in addition to making sure all non-fiscal documents are available at all times.  He will also file all required reports to Rotary International and the District Governor.
    Larry Campbell will serve as Sergeant-at-Arms.  He duties include preparing the room for meetings, encouraging friendly interchange, maintaining decorum and keeping an atmosphere where visitors will clearly want to return.
    Stacy Braddock and Francis Campbell will serve as Fundraising Co-Chairs.  
    Peter Munson will continue to lead us in song each week.  
    The Scholarship Committee will consist of Cindy Brandt, Becky Burtner and Terry Everett.
    Cindy Brandt was installed as Club President-elect.  She will be our first recycled president.
    Becky Burtner was then installed as Grayson Rotary’s 29th Club President.  
    The membership then pledged their support of President Burtner and her officers for the 2015-2016 year.
Amy Hernandez & Julie Pryor - Second Chance Recovery
    Because You Only Sweat The Truth!  What?  
    Amy Hernandez and Julie Pryor, co-owners of Second Chance Recovery, explained how the PharmChek Drugs of Abuse Sweat Patch allows continual monitoring of drug-dependent clients.  The Patch is currently being used in Dallas County to monitor drug offenders that are on probation.  They have now brought this monitoring system to Grayson County.
    When people are on probation for drugs or alcohol they are given random urine tests.  There are many ways to pass a urine test.  
    The patch is different.  It is reliable and tamper-evident.  The patch is placed on the probationer's skin at their expense and it monitor's their system continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  
    The cost is $50 per patch application.  It falls on the responsibility of the person on probation that is court ordered to wear the patch.  The patch is removed after a period of 10 to 14 days.  It is then sent to a certified lab that only deals in patch results.  The results are then sent to the probation officer.
    The Sweat Patch acts as a collector for nonvolatile components of sweat, including drugs of abuse.  It consists of an adhesive plastic film that holds a pad in place against the skin.
    The adhesive film of the patch is a semipermeable barrier that allows oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor to pass through so that the skin can breathe normally.  Larger molecules (such as drugs) are trapped in the absorption pad portion of the patch.  Contaminants from the environment cannot penetrate the adhesive barrier from the outside, so the patch can be worn during normal activities, including bathing, swimming and athletics.
    Clinical studies have shown that drugs and drug metabolites contained in the pad are stable for days at room temperature, and months in a freezer.  The Sweat Patch is tamper-evident when applied correctly.  The adhesive plastic film cannot be reapplied once removed.  If there is evidence of tampering, the patch is considered dirty and probation is notified.
    A unique number is imprinted on each patch to aid with the chain-of-custody identification.  The Sweat Patch is also gender neutral and eliminates the need for same sex observations.
    The Sweat Patch specimen cannot be diluted, as a standard urine specimen can.  Because the patch is a visible sign of continuous drug monitoring, it can act as a powerful deterrent to continued drug usage.
    The Patch will test for cocaine, opiates, amthetamines, methamphetamines, PCP and marijuana.
    Julie and Amy demonstrated how the patch was applied, what it looked like while being worn and how easily it can be properly removed
    The Sweat Patch is fool-proof!  
Frank Budra - Pottsboro Mayor
    Frank Budra is the mayor of Pottsboro, Texas.  He’s done this before.  Twice before.  This is his third term as mayor, serving since 2004.  
    Frank recalled a winter evening in November, 1959.  He said it was tradition that all incoming airmen to Perrin Air Force Base make a quick trip to Fink, Texas, and have their picture taken next to the sign.  The sign also displayed the population of “3”.  Frank added he didn’t remember seeing Pottsboro on his way out to Fink.  
    There has been a lot of change to Pottsboro since his first visit on that cold, wintry evening in 1959.  Today, the city of Pottsboro has a population of about 2,200.  At one time, it was noted that the success of Pottsboro’s future was dependent upon Perrin Air Force Base.  They said if Perrin ever closed that Pottsboro would disappear soon afterwards.  Well, Perrin closed in 1972, but Pottsboro continues to thrive.
    Pottsboro’s 2015-16 budget will be approximately $3.5 million depending on the tax rate.  That’s a very nice budget for a town the size of Pottsboro.  Sales tax receipts are up 19% over last year due mostly to the new Brookshire’s grocery store, but other businesses have also increased their sales.
    Mayor Budra proudly noted that Pottsboro has three parks covering 45 acres.  They are The Ball Park, Friendship Park and the new James G. Thompson Park.  The Thompson Park was built from a $400,000 grant from Texas Parks & Wildlife with an additional $500,000 from the city of Pottsboro.  The have over $1 million invested in the park.  And the best part is it is all paid for.  There is no debt.  It has two ballfields completed with two more under construction.  The lighting to make it a complete daytime-nighttime park is laying on the ground.  They are just waiting for some dry weather.
    Pottsboro has recently become a “Certified Retirement Community.”  When someone contacts the state of Texas about retiring, they will get lots of information on Pottsboro.  
    In the past five years, they have repaved every street in the city.  While they were at it, they went ahead and upgraded all the water and sewer lines.
    Frank recalled in 1959, that most streets were unpaved.  FM 120 was just two lanes.  Now it’s four.    Mr. Budra bragged multiple times on the council and city manager.  He added that Pottsboro is able to use all of their grant monies for their intended purpose because they don’t have to pay an administration fee.  This is something that the city manager does as no cost.  He has plenty experience. He administered grants for Texoma Council of Governments before coming to Pottsboro as city manager.
    Pottsboro is building a 65-unit apartment complex.  When it comes to property taxes, they are right in the middle, compared to other local towns.
    Pottsboro has seen increased traffic with Hwy. 289, FM 120 and FM 1417 all leading right into Pottsboro.  FM 120 has been upgraded all the way to Denison.  FM 1417 has also been recently upgraded.  All roads lead to Pottsboro, Texas.
    The Pottsboro city council had the foresight recently to purchase 5,000 acre feet from Lake Texoma for future water consumption.  This allows them to draw up to 5 million gallons of water daily.
    Pottsboro currently purchases their water from Denison and supplement it with city wells.  They are looking at adding another well to reduce their dependency from Denison.  Almost everything Pottsboro has done, has been done with some foresight.
    Pottsboro ISD is growing, too.  They recently purchased 50 acres to ther west to build a new middle school.
Ryan Jenkins - Sherman High School Band
        Ryan Jenkins, Sherman High School Band Director, has a long history of Band Directing in his family.  His father and his grandfather were both high school band directors.  It sounds like Ryan's career path was set before he was born.
        Since his first year, 2006-2007, Mr. Jenkins has almost doubled the number of students in the program from 130 to 230.  He shared a video that was put together for their annual year end banquet.  It showed representation of their year from practicing to performing and everything in between.
    Mr. Jenkins shared a little of his thought process when it comes to selecting music for performances.  Many times while watching a movie he hears music that he wants to use in a future production.  What the public sees during football games on a Friday night is the final product of a three year process.  It takes countless hours of planning and practicing to produce the final award winning product of the SHS band's performance.  Not only do they perform on Friday nights during football games, but they also travel around the state performing in contests.
    When preparing for a production Ryan said they look for more than just notes and music.  They want something that is showstopping and will emotionally attach the crowd because that is what Sherman wants.  
    Ryan said all the kids form a special bond among themselves and that a marching band is an emotional activity much like a football team.  It is that special bond and friendship that has these kids wanting to get up at 7:00 a.m. on a July morning in the middle of the summer to put in eights hours of practice each day to be ready for the season.  In fact, the band is the first group of students to return to school.  They are even there a week and a half before the football team arrives.  
    The band is more than just about performing on a Friday night.  To do all the things they do and to travel to football games as well as competitions to perform, they have to raise money.  All these things cost a lot of money.  
    However, Mr. Jenkins said they don't go out and sell things to raise money, but they do events.  This summer they will run the fireworks stand out on East Hwy. 82 which allows them to earn a share of their profits.  They will also host a 5K fun run that will take place on March 5, 2016, and they are looking for sponsors and advertisers.
Steve Ramsey - Clever Test Answers
    With last week's meeting taking place on the last Wednesday of the month and in the absence of the club president, president-elect AND president-nominee, Steve Ramsey used his time as hostarian to share some brilliant test answers from some smartass kids.  Steve didn't say some of these answers were from some of his students, but he didn't say they weren't either.
    Some of these you just had to see in order to understand the answer, but I'll share some of the others.  "What ended in 1896?"  "1895". One question asked the student to name the quadrilaterals that where shown on the test paper.  They were named.  Their names were "Bob, Sam, Tedison, Cate & Hary (with one "r")."
    Briefly explain what hard water is.  "Ice"  What do we call the science of classifying living things?  "Racism"  
    The difference between 180 and 158 is____?  The student answered "22".  Good job!  However, they were then asked to explain how they found their answer.  The student responded . . . "math."  To change centimeters to meters you _____?  "Take out centi." 
    Where was the American Declaration of Independence signed?  "At the bottom."  What is the highest frequency noise that a human can register"  "Mariah Carey."
    What happens during puberty to a boy?  "He says goodbye to his childhood . . . enters adultery."
    Cause:  Tony practices the piano 20 minutes every day.  Effect:  "He is a big nerd."  The first cells were probably?  "Lonely."
    Miranda can't see anything when she looks down her microscope.  Suggest one reason why not.  "She is blind."  
    Draw a picture of what you will look like in 100 years.  In 100 years I will be ____ years old.  Warren drew a picture of a tombstone and wrote on it, "Warren - RIP."  
    When a child's answer to a question on a quiz or test is incorrect but clever, should they get credit for it?  The answers to these questions will definitely make you wonder what's better - the correct answer or the clever one.
Dr. John "Gil" Randall - Optometrist / Boot Maker
        If you want something done right, just do it yourself!  Dr. John "Gil" Randall did just that!  
    Dr. Randall said that he always had a difficult time finding boots that fit him comfortably.  This led him to searching for someone to make him a custom pair of boots. 
     The closest book maker he found is in Hugo, Oklahoma.  So Dr. Randall went to see him about making a pair of boots.  What he learned was that it was going to take a year.  Not wanting to wait that long he continued looking for a quality boot maker.
    He found a boot maker in Fort Worth and was told it would take twelve weeks.  Dr. Randall was okay with that, but when it came time to start, the boot maker said he was just too busy.  The boot maker in Fort Worth referred Dr. Randall to a lady in Caddo, Oklahoma.  
    She did make Dr. Randall a pair of boots but he wasn't happy with the toes.  They were too tight and didn't fit as well as he wanted, but they were better than what he had.  A few months later, he decided to have her make him another pair of boots.  When he tried calling her he learned that she had moved to somewhere in west Texas. Once he finally tracked her down she informed him that it would be at least a year before she could have another pair of boots for him.
    So, Dr. Randall began searching again.  Searching the internet, he found Lisa Sorrell from Guthrie, Oklahoma.  He called her and she encouraged him to take one of her boot making classes.  
    He wasn't able to take her class because he has his optometry business to run.  Mrs. Sorrell told him that she had a boot making video coming out so Dr. Randall bought the video and ended up making himself a pair of boots. 
    Of course, he had to buy the equipment to make the boots as well, but he is now on his second pair of boots.  
    Dr. Randall shared a YouTube video in which he was interviewed by Mrs. Sorrell.  In the video, she mentions that he is her first "How To Make Boots" video customer.  If you are so inclined to watch please search "It's a boots life #51" on  
    In addition to the video, Gil let everyone examine the pair of boots he is currently working on.  He said they are now ready to have the sole put on.
    So if you want a custom pair of boots made locally give Gil a call.  But remember, this is only a hobby he enjoys when he has a little free time and has been working on his own boots for a while as it is,  If you were able to convince him to make you a custom pair of boots, don't be surprised if he tells you it will be at least twelve months.  Not only does he have his optometry business to run, but his free time is used making himself a pair of custom made "Gil Brand Boots." 
Natalie Jamison - CASA of Grayson County
    Natalie Jamison worked as a social worker for CPS (Child Protective Services) in Sherman for "many, many years".  She said it seemed liked 100 years although it was only five.  She may be retired from being a social worker, but she continues to use her talents and knowledge as a volunteer recruiter and trainer for CASA of Grayson County (Court Appointed Special Advocates).
    Natalie says she was hired by CASA because they are experiencing a lot of growth, good and bad.  The good is their Chocolate Indulgence fund raiser has been sold out the past few years. The bad is that with the increase of population so does the number of kids that go into foster care.
    Just last year, in Grayson County alone, there were 584 confirmed cases of abuse and neglect.  Because the numbers continue to rise, Natalie emphasized the need for more volunteers and especially need more people to talk about what CASA does in the community.
    CASA doesn't get into the "ugliness" of why kids are removed from their homes.  CASA volunteers work with the families.  Their main goal is to find a permanent, safe place for these kids.  No matter how bad it is, kids don't want to be in a foster home.  All kids want to be with their families no matter the circumstances.
    Currently in Grayson County there are only two foster homes taking kids.  Almost all of the kids are being sent to foster homes outside of Grayson County.  When it changed from a county operated organization to a state run organization everything changed.  In the past, Grayson county kids were put into Grayson County homes, but now that everything is run out of Austin, kids are sent all over the state. These kids' lives are turned completely upside down.  They are no longer around their family, their teachers all change because they now go to a different school and they don't have any of their friends to play with.  Everything is changed.  CASA is their only form of continuity.  A CASA volunteer is assigned to only one family.  
    CASA got its start in Seattle, Washington, in 1977, when a juvenile court judge didn't think he was getting the whole story.  All he got were reports from CPS.  The judge formulated the idea that volunteers could be dedicated to a case and speak for children's best interests.
      CASA of Grayson County began in 1993, when Judge Lloyd Perkins brought some local citizens together to develop the local program.  All CASA volunteers receive a minimum of 30 hours of pre-service training before they are assigned to a family.  The training is twice a week for three weeks during the evening.  They are also required to take 12 hours of in-service training each year.
    Judge Jim Fry added that CASA is not only real important to the child, but they are REAL important to the court.  With CPS being overworked, it is very difficult for them to get all of the information needed.  CASA volunteers bring a whole different layer of information to the courts.  More information for the courts returns better decisions for the children.
    People from all walks of life are welcome to volunteer.  They simply want people who care about children.
Dr. Al Hambrick - Sherman ISD Superintendent
    Even before Dr. Al Hambrick, Sherman Independent School District superintendent, was involved in education, he was in education.  Prior to his 35 year career in education he attended Austin College on a basketball scholarship.  During his tenure, he has served as high school math teacher, high school head basketball coach, middle school principal, high school principal and assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.  He has served as superintendent of the Sherman Independent School District since 2006.
    There are thirteen sites within the Sherman ISD system including the Boot Camp at Perrin Field.  The Fred Douglass Early Childhood Center has about 380 students.  The three and four year-old Pre-K students attend half days.  The five-year-old students are usually special needs children.  
    Each of the seven elementary schools have around 400 students enrolled.  They are Crutchfield, Fairview, Jefferson, Neblett, Sory, Wakefield and Washington.  Dillingham Intermediate School and Piner Middle School have about 1,000 students each.  Sherman High School has approximately 1,700 students.
    Sherman ISD employs around 1,100, split between teachers and support staff of 550 each.  Their instructional program is a Comprehensive Education Program that offers all of the core courses.  Their $65 million budget is funded 38+% locally, 43+% state and 17+% federally.  There is 1.3 million square feet of facilities to maintain and clean.  They serve around 9,300 meals daily and transport over 2,000 students.  Sherman ISD has been growing at a rate of about 115-120 students annually.  There are 7,150 students enrolled in 2015, and they predict there will be about 7,500 students within the next three years.     At the high school there are 1,500 (88%) students enrolled in Career & Technology programs.  Over 22% take Advance Placement tests.  Thirty-six dual credit, college courses are offered at SHS.  Over 10% of the students are enrolled in Gifted & Talented (GT) Programs.  Seventy percent of the students are involved in the Fine Arts which includes theater, music, band, choir and orchestra.  Athletics is represented by thirteen sports as well as cheerleading and drill team.
    There are 4,800 (66%) economically disadvantaged students in the Sherman ISD according to state and federal guidelines.  This equates to about a 40% increase over the past 10 years.  Over 800 students receive Special Education Services.
    Over 1,500 (21%) of the students are English language learners which is a 50% increase over the last 5 years.  There are 28 different languages spoken at Sherman ISD.
    Dr. Hambrick proudly expressed that Sherman ISD has outperformed or equalled the state average in all state accountability indexes.  When compared to nineteen districts similar to SISD, Sherman ranked #1.
Daniel Thompson - Texoma Community Center
    The Texoma Community Center (formerly MHMR Services of Texoma) has changed its name and now with a new guy in charge is ready to change the community.  Daniel Thompson is new to the Sherman area but he is not knew to the world of helping people.  
    Daniel has spent the past 24 years as a bureaucrat with the state health department having worked in a variety of mental health roles.  Most recently he was a contract mananger with the Texas Department of State Health Services.  Daniel has dealt with the MHMR center many times over the years.  In 2006, while he was a regulator for the state he discovered that the Texoma MHMR was financially broke.  Working with the management team, they were able to pull themselves out.  That was a good thing, however, during that time they let the infrastructure go.  
    Although Daniel had retirement on the horizon, when the executive director position became available he wanted to bring his expertise and help.  He knew coming in that the services offered were good, but he also knew the infrastructure was in a world of hurt.  Many of the computers were out of compliance with federal law.  He also found 149 windows that needed to be replaced..
    Texoma Community Center offers services for the chronically and mentally ill.  They are the mental health and mental retardation authority which means they are the gatekeeper for all the state funded services.  The work with the local STAR Recovery Drug Program which is part of the early childhood intervention program.  They provide services for children from birth through the age of three who have developmental delays or may not be developing normally.  They want to get an early start and provide services including speech and physical therapy, They also look for children who may be autistic.  After age three through eighteen they qualify for their children and adolescent services.  Adult services are for those 18 and up.
    Just last year, they served 3,200 people in Grayson County.  Of those, 2,500 had some form of mental illness.  They had 2,816 crisis calls last year.  A crisis call is where someone calls up and says they are going to kill themselves or they are with someone that wants to kill themselves.  That led to 1,700 face-to-face contacts, typically in the hospital.
    Daniel said that through the department of state health services there are thirty-two funding streams that go out to one or more community or MHMR centers across the state.  Daniel added that when he arrived here he had to inform his board that they only receive funding from two of those sources.  The Texoma Center is only one of thirty-seven centers seeking funding.  He explained that the ones hollering the loudest get the funding.  So, Daniel is now hollering loud for the Texoma Community Center.  
    When the center opened in 1974, they were funded a a certain level that was tied to the county's population.  Today, they are still funded at the 1974 level, even though the population has increased.  Daniel is working to get that changed so they can receive equal funding compared to other centers.
Bill Magers - Grayson County Judge
    County Judge Bill Magers is having a blast.  He said he enjoys getting up each morning and going to work.  Judge Magers served as the mayor of Sherman for six years.  He noted that city government and county government are very, very different.
    Although his first 100 days in office have been relatively quiet and uneventful, there are plenty of things going on.  Judge Magers talked a little about the Panda power plant that is located on the south side of Sherman.  He added that it is a water-cooled, turbine fired facility that produces about 700 megawatts of electricity annually.
    Navasota Energy is building a "peaker" plant in Van Alstyne.  The Van Alstyne Energy Center is a 543 megawatt simple cycle, gas fired electric generating facility that will only operate during times when energy usage is at its peak.  The facility is expected to operate less than 1,000 hours per year.  When the weather gets hot in the summer and the demand for electricity is at its peak, this power plant will then generate electricity reducing dependency on older, inefficient power generation plants.
    Judge Magers spoke on the Sherman-Denison MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization).  He pointed out that it consists of the mayors of all cities and towns in Grayson County, the county judge and TxDot.  All metropolitan areas of over 50,000 population must have an MPO in order to spend federal dollars on transportation improvements.  The MPO is responsible for the promotion of transportation systems which embrace a variety of modes in a manner that efficiently maximizes the mobility of people and goods with minimal energy consumption, air and water pollution, and negative social impacts.
    Judge Magers talked about some of the areas the MPO has worked on including the streets to the east of WalMart in Sherman.  They will be looking what they can do for the Hwy. 75 & Hwy.120 intersection.  He added that Hwy. 75 and FM 691 near Texoma Medical Center will soon have a lot of activity as well.
    The MPO is going to be more pro-active with the areas they know will need improvement.  Plus, every year TxDot normally has a little money left over from their projects and they have to spend it.  They want to spend it on projects that are ready to go.  With that, the MPO ranks their projects and when TXDOT says they are ready to go, the local city must have everything in place as well as their portion of the funding which is usually around 20%.
    With the Hwy. 75 & Hwy. 82 area being the retail mecca of the county the MPO will be looking at ways to improve transportation there.  First, they plan to smooth out the dips at the intersections.  The dips were initially put in to slow traffic due to the 4-way stop at the time.  Next the will be looking at changing that whole intersection so traffic can move freely to and from Hwy. 75 & Hwy. 82 without having to stop.  Wooohooo!!!  That is a $120 million project however, so don't get too excited about that happening overnight.  
Robert Likarish - Ironroot Republic Distillery
    Frances Pelley introduced Robert Likarish who is the co-founder and distiller of the Ironroot Republic Distillary.  Robert is a graduate of Austin College and St. Louis University Law School.  
    After law school Robert decided he didn't want to be an attorney.  So he returned to his roots in Grayson County to adventure down a different path.  His journey into liquor, along with his brother Jonathan, began up in Spokane, Washington, during a family reunion.about five years ago.  They walked into a small distillery up there and the dream was born.  
    Ironroot is known as a craft or artisan distillery.  That means they are a small, independent distillery that actually makes their own product.  They are a bit of an anomaly in their own industry because they produce all their spirits from scratch.  Most small distilleries are going to have source spirits from other places.
    Unfortunately, most Texas vodkas and whiskies are made out of state and shipped in.  Robert said they decided early on that if they were going to put their label on it and say it was made in Denison, Texas, that they wanted to make sure the spirit actually came from Denison, Texas.  Because of that, they source 90% of their grain from with 60 miles of Denison.  They use a mill located in Muenster, Texas. to mill their grain and have it shipped to the distillery every two weeks.  The only items that don't come from local sources are barley and rye.  They just don't grow too well around here, so they have to outsource from the local area to get those.  They have negotiated with a local farmer to grow their rye in the coming year.  
    They make a wide variety of spirits at Ironroot, ranging from Bourbon to Single Malt Whiskey to Irish Style Whiskey.  They are making a grape Brandy.  It is the very first Texas, grape Brandy.  They also make Gin and Vodka.  The Gin will be coming out in May.
    They currently have over 50 barrels of Bourbon aging at the distillery.  The first batch will be ready in November.
    Thankfully, Texas passed a law just last year that allows them to sell Commemorative bottles from their distillery.  Other than that, they have to go through a three-tier system.  They must sell their product to a distributor who in turn sells to the retail establishments.  Robert said they are allowed to sell two bottles per person every 30 days and that he must keep detailed records of everything he sells.
    Ironroot Republic Distillery is open to the public on Fridays from 5-9 p.m. with a tour a 6:00 and on Saturdays from 2-9 p.m. with tours at 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00.  
Dr. David Whelan - The Adam Observatory
    Dr. David Whalen joined Austin College this past year as an assistant professor in the Physics Department.  He is a professional astronomer and studies celestial bodies such as black holes, moons, planets, stars, asteroids, comets, nebulae and galaxies, as well as Gamma-ray bursts and cosmic microwave background radiation. He is not an astrologer.  Dr. Whalen came to Austin College to use their telescope in his studies and teaching.  
    Did you not know that Austin College is home to the most powerful telescope in Texoma?   It is.  In fact, it is located in the Adams Observatory which sits on top of the roof the IDEA Center.  The domed observatory houses a 24-inch, state-of-the-art  telescope with an astronomical high-resolution image camera.
    IDEA stands for Inquiry Development Entrepreneurship Access.  The IDEA Center is the school's new science building.  The IDEA Center was awarded LEED® Gold in a rating system established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design)is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. The design of the IDEA Center incorporates green building standards including construction materials that support efficient energy consumption, ecologically friendly construction techniques, solar shading and natural light, and rooftop rainwater collection for irrigation of native landscaping, among other aspects.
    Before students are allowed to use this big, complicated piece of science technology, they start off by learning on an 8-inch telescope.  This telescope is a lot easier to learn.  Once they have mastered the first telescope, they move up to a digitally controlled telescope.  Once students have mastered using this telescope they are allowed to operate the big 24-inch telescope.  
    Although the big telescope is very similar in design, it is much more complex.  It is operated by a powerful computer system.  Instead of an eyepiece being used for observation, three separate cameras are attached that are ran by the computer.  Each camera is used for a different purpose. 
    Dr. Whalen emphasized that we are very fortunate to have such an amazing facility at Austin College.  You just don't find telescopes like this unless you are at a research facility.  David noted the reason he applied for the job at Austin College was because of this telescope.  This sets Austin College apart from other schools because it allows an incredible opportunity for students to study astronomy using state-of-the-art technology.
    About the only issues they have to deal with are the lights from the baseball fields at Old Settlers Park.  They have worked out a schedule with the city.  Other than that they just need a clear night full of stars or anything else they might discover.
Monte Walker - Beautifying Howe
    Howe, Texas, continues to get better with age thanks to the help of Monte Walker.  Monte is the Economic Development Director for the city of Howe.  He also owns the Howe Enterprise.
        Not only has Monte lived in Howe his entire life, but his family goes way back.  His parents graduated from Howe High School in the early 70's and his grandmother graduated in 1932.  His family arrived in South Grayson county in 1895 by covered wagon pulled by an ox from Missouri.  
    Monte's grandfather bought the Howe Enterprise newspaper back in the 60's and ran it for about ten years before he sold it to a family and ran it for 38 years.  Monte bought it back last year and revamped it.  The Howe Enterprise is no longer a printed publication.  It is now an electronic publication with about 7,000 readers.  
    Monte was coerced into heading up the "Keep Howe Beautiful" campaign about a year and a half ago by city council member Bill French.  They decided to research Howe's history and found some pretty amazing things.
    They discovered that in 1938, Mame Roberts, a Howe schoolteacher, would often listen to a Dallas radio station that would always talk about the big towns.  It got her dander up because they would never mention the small towns.  She began calling into the radio station to voice her opinion and they challenged her to make Howe the "Prettiest Little Town In Texas."  
    Mrs. Roberts accepted the challenge.  With the help of Howe's citizens and schoolchildren, Howe was recognized as the "Prettiest Little Town In Texas" in 1940, by Readers Digest, the Dallas Morning News and Life Magazine.  However, the June 1940 edition of "The Rotarian" magazine, had a three page story with photos about Mame Roberts and Howe, Texas, being recognized as the "Prettiest Little Town In Texas."  
    Howe's mission for 2015, is to make it the "Prettiest Little Town In Texas."  The are going to plant flowers all over the city and beautify the downtown area.  
    With the beautifying of downtown Howe, they will once again have a Chamber of Commerce.  They have recently purchased and about finished with the renovation of the building on the corner in downtown Howe where an old hardware store use to be.  It will be finished in time for their City of Howe Hall of Honor Ceremony on April 24th.
    There will be twelve inductees into first class of the Howe Hall of Honor.  They are Jabez Haning, W.P. Thompson, A.M. Ferguson, Mame Roberts, Charles R. Thompson, Arthur Boyle, Tony Brinkley, L.B. Kirby, Norma Wallace, Ray Bledsoe, Carrie Waller and Elmer Schenk.
    Jabez Haning was the founder of Summit, Texas.  It was called Summit because it is the highest point between the Red River and the Gulf of Mexico at 873 feet above sea level.  The name was changed to Howe because of the railroad back in the 1870's.  
    W.P. Thompson was mayor for 40 years.  A.M. Ferguson was the governor's brother and was the catalyst behind Howe being the largest grain shipping center in the state of Texas.  Mame Roberts made Howe the "Prettiest Little Town In Texas." 
    Charles R. Thompson was a long time Howe school superintendent.  He graduated from Howe in 1928.  He was a teacher, principal, superintendent and even drove the bus for the Howe football games.  
    Arthur Boyle was also a Howe teacher, coach, principal and superintendent.  Tony Brinkley was their first World War II casualty.  He left high school early at the age of 16 in 1941, just after Pearl Harbor to join the Navy.
    L.B. Kirby is Texas' most decorated living veteran.  He also has a Purple Heart.  Norma Wallace was a great civic leader.  She was a part of everything that went on in Howe.  Ray Bledsoe was the major for about 14 years and a civic leader.  
    Carrie Waller was Howe's first city councilwoman.  She also designed the city flag.  Elmer Schenk was Howe's band director who pretty much made the marching band an institution.  These twelve individuals will be inducted in the the Howe Hall of Honor on April 24th.  
    On April 25th Howe will hold its Annual Founders Day celebration.  There will be about 50 vendors set up around the downtown area.  There will be a free concert featuring a top 100 Texas Country Hit musician from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
    Development-wise they have a new 600 home project about to begin on the east side of Hwy 75 where Howe and Van Alstyne meet.  They are also constructing a water tower that will be dedicated to the cities.
    On the west side of Hwy. 75 they are under construction for a 64-unit Section 8, apartment complex.  It will benefit Howe with a $500,000 infrastructure.  
    Summit Hill is a development on the west side of town that went bankrupt back in 2008, when everything took a hit.  New construction has begun again and their will even more in the near future. 
    There have been discussions of bringing a WalMart Neighborhood Market to town as well as a new water park.  Hawaiian Falls would be a $14 million project for the city.  Howe is one city that has enough water.
    Howe has a population of 3,279 according to the 2010 census. Besides Howe ISD, MagniFab is the largest employer.
Randy Truxal - Grayson College Foundation
    The Grayson College Foundation "Supporting The Dream" Campaign needs your support.   Randy Truxal, the Foundation's Executive Director; Dr. Mack Broiles, Board of Trustees President and campaign co-chair; and Phil Roether, last year's co-chair teamed up to tell the importance of the Foundation and how it benefits the community.  They also shared a little history of the college.  Trustee Rad Richardson and Advisory Board member David Bayless were also in attendance.
    Phil Roether noted they raised just under $340,000 last year.  With about a month to go they are a little over halfway of reaching their $350,000 goal for 2015.  Grayson College has been around since 1964.  Grayson College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  There are approximately 5,000 students enrolled.
    Community College's are the most flexible of all the colleges.  You can either develop skills, learning a trade so you can enter the workforce, or prepare yourself for further academic achievement.  
    Grayson College has two campuses.  The main campus is located in Denison and their south campus is located in Van Alstyne.  Tuition and fees are approximately $2,000 per year.  Grayson is the only school besides Texas Tech University that offers a Viticulture program.
    This year's campaign has been expanded to offer benefits beyond just scholarships.  You may designate your contribution go to one of their priority projects.
    The Innovative Teaching/Learning Fund is a new project that will provide resources for new and creative teaching practices and/or learning concepts. This fund enables a Grayson College colleague to be creative in his or her respective field in implementing innovative teaching strategies that support student success.
    Project “88 KEYS” will help the Music Department purchase new instruments and equipment including new pianos. Funds raised will help this program continue to expand and enrich the community. 
    The Athletic Complex Improvements Fund will help improve spectator seating and other amenities to support the programs.  They are wanting to install a scoreboard for their baseball / softball program.  
    Academic Program Support Gifts received can support the academic or workforce training program of your choice. The Endowed Faculty Chairs Fund will allow faculty to participate in professional development training above and beyond the usual experiences, plus gather resources & tools to enhance their program.
    Dr. Broiles talked about their new "Boots to Books & Beyond" Campaign.  It is a new Military Veterans Endowed Fund which has been established to assist the College’s Veterans Affairs office to break down significant barriers and foster our warrior’s success in higher education.  
    Veterans come home and face a whole new set of challenges, including restoring their physical and mental health; finding employment; and navigating the complex network of benefits, services, and support (including educational) that is available to veterans. Increasingly, they are turning to community colleges to prepare for new careers and learn how to transfer military skills to the workplace. This growing student population has unique needs for which many colleges are underprepared.
    The Grayson College Foundation, Inc. was incorporated in March, 1992, as a 501(c)3, nonprofit, tax-exempt entity formed solely for the purpose of support of Grayson College.  Gifts and grants are needed beyond the scope of tax-based funding, thus providing a margin of excellence for the College's diversified program of learning opportunities.
Leon Deutsch - Grayson College Rotaract Club & Mentoring
        In the very near future, Grayson College will have a Rotarct club, thanks to the joint efforts of Dr. Jean Sorensen and Leon Deutsch.  Dr. Sorensen is an English professor and Mr. Deutsch is the Director of Training & Learning at Grayson College.  Jean joined the Grayson Rotary Club about six months ago to help start a Rotaract Club at Grayson.  Jean knew the perfect person to ask for assistance, Leon Deutsch.
    In addition to being voted Teacher of the Year in 2011, Leon also has some history with Rotary in helping with Interact Clubs at the high school level.  While in high school in West Texas, his teachers would often send Leon to Rotary Clubs to speak.
    Leon wants to incorporate a mentoring program within the Rotaract Club at Grayson.  He pointed out that many young college students today don’t have the support system we had.  However, Leon emphasized how a mentor program will be very beneficial to students of all ages.
    Mentoring increases motivation when a student knows someone that shares similar career interests.  Being able to ask questions and seek advice is critical.  Having a mentor can help keep a student on track by having an accountability partner.
    A Mentoring program provides a system of support that might not otherwise exist in the student’s life.  It will greatly assist in the college’s strategic plan and goals which includes student engagement and success.
    Mentors help young people set career goals and start taking steps to realize them.  Mentors can use their personal contacts to help young people meet industry professionals, find internships and locate job possibilities.
    Mentors introduce young people to professional resources and organizations they may not know.  Mentors can help their mentees learn how to seek and keep jobs.
    Leon said they don’t want to just get the students through the semester, they want to get them through their two years of college and on to where they want to go.  It might be to further their education beyond Grayson or perhaps just to find a job using their knowledge and skills.
    They are looking for mentors to help.  If you are intersted please contact Dr. Jean Sorensen for more information.  They will be having an orientation and a Meet & Greet at Grayson College soon.  Being a mentor includes a bi-weekly phone call, email or text with your mentee, a person meeting, lunch or worksite visit if you prefer once a semeser and keeping a log of contacts with your mentee.  It doesn’t require much time but it will mean a great deal to the students.  So become a Mentor and “Be A Gift To The World.”
    So what is Rotaract?      
    Rotaract (which stands for Rotary in Action) is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either community or university based, and they’re sponsored by a local Rotary club. This makes them true "partners in service" and key members of the family of Rotary. The first Rotaract club was the Rotaract Club of North Charlotte in North Carolina, founded on March 13, 1968. Since then, Rotaract has grown into one of Rotary's most significant and fastest-growing service programs, with more than 9,723 clubs in about 170 countries and geographical areas comprised of over 207,690 members.
    Rotaract clubs are part of a global effort to bring peace and international understanding to the world. This effort starts at the community level but knows no limits in its outreach. Rotaractors have access to the many resources of Rotary International (RI) and The Rotary Foundation. Rotary International provides the administrative support that helps Rotaract clubs thrive.
    Rotaract clubs do a variety of activities, from service projects to professional development to leadership development to fellowships. Events are organized and catered to the membership of the club, so it is not necessarily the case that one club does the exact same events as the other.
Andrew Snyder - GCC Viticulture & Enology Director
    Andrew Snyder is the new director of the Viticulture & Enology Department at Grayson County College.  He took over for Dr. Roy Renfro in September.
    He teaches all of the courses for Viticulture (grape growing) and Enology (wine making).  The courses are all designed for working adults so they are held on the weekends.
    The Texas Wine Industry was in the $400 million annually in the economic impact numbers from a survey done about five years ago.  There are over 150 wineries in the state of Texas.  Most of the grapes grown in the state for Texas wines are grown in the High Plains. 
    Andrew owns the Chapel Creek Winery in El Reno, Oklahoma.  He has owned the winery for the past eight years.  He also taught a very similar program at Redlands Community College in El Reno.
    Andrew completed the wine executive program at U.C. Davis.  He started his studies at Grayson about 10 years ago.  He noted that as he would drive back and forth from El Reno to Grayson College for classes he would pick up an Oklahoma City newspaper to read during his lunch break.  It was during one of his trips that he saw an ad for the Redlands Community College position which was only about fifteen minutes from his home.  He applied for the position and taught there for eight years.
    The business climate in Oklahoma is not as friendly to alcohol sales as it is in Texas.  They are unable to ship wines directly to consumers like we can in Texas.  They also don't have grocery store sales like have in Texas.
    Enology II was the latest class completed at Grayson.  They had the state-of-the-art ability to produce wine at the T.V. Munson Center.  They did so with some grapes that came from the Cedar Crest Vineyard located here in Grayson County.
    The students go through every step of the process hands-on.  The begin by running the grapes through a crusher & destemmer machine.  You then have a "must" which contains the seeds, skins, pulp and juice.  As they were making red wine Andrew said they must leave the skins on the grapes which give the wine its nice red color.  After six to eight days they will be ran through a press to remove the skins. 
    They get between 125 and 130 gallons of wine per 2,000 pounds of grapes.  This in turn will result in about 650 bottles of wine in a 750 ml bottle.
    They contract with growers to reach a certain sugar level.  They want the "brix" which is the measurement of the sugar in the grapes to be above 21 or 22.  By a calculation of .55 it will yield their desired alcohol content for a bottle of table wine. 
    You will notice that many Texas wines are in the 11% to 13% range of alcohol content.  Andrew said that if you look at the California wines you will often notice alcohol contents between 13% to 15% range.  In California, they are allowing an extended hang time which increases the sugar content.
    If you are thinking about starting your own vineyard there are a couple things you need to consider.  One, you need to grow grapes that are in a similar climate from which they originate, otherwise you won't get the wine you want.  Cost is a factor to consider as it will take about $5,000 per acre for start-up.  Once you get started it will take about three years to get a partial crop and five years to reach full production.
    You will need to make sure you have a least five feet of soil depth for the root stock to grow.  Grape vines don't like wet feet, so heavy clay soil is not good.
    All grapes grown in the world are grown between the 30th and 50th parallels in both the northern and southern hemispheres.  This allows for the right amount of sunlight to grow grapes. 
    If you would rather make the wine instead of growing the grapes you will need to invest between $75,000 and $100,000 for equipment to get started.  Very few people do both, grow the grapes and make the wine. 
Jack Kennady - Humpback Whales During Jan-Term
    Austin College Rotaract Co-President Jack Kennedy spent twenty-one days in Hawaii for Jan-term.  He spoke about his experience which primarily included studying humpback whales.  
        His class would observe and collect data on the humpbacks daily for four hours.  They would attend a lecture for two hours each evening.  In addition to their daily work they had a mid-term, a final exam and a research paper all due during that time.
    The Humpback Whale faced extinction in the 1980's when commercial whaling was still legal. Since this was outlawed the populations are slowly growing back.  Also, humpback whales are also affected by a boat's motor.  The sounds are that equal to standing near a speaker at a concert.  This has an affect on their breeding.
    Humpback whales are mammals just like us.  They have live births and feed their young with milk.  
    Males will serenade the females by singing.  Interestingly, every humpback whale in the world sings the same song,  Even more interesting is the fact that each year they all change their song at the exact same time to a different song.
    Humpbacks spend their summers in Alaskan waters, eating and putting on weight.  Their diet consists of krill, herring, capelin, sand lance, and mackerel- and they can eat over 1 ton of it in a day!  
    They have no teeth - instead they have 300-400 baleen which allows them to filter their prey when they eat.  In a process known as “filter-feeding” the whales will expand their ventral pleats to ingest the same volume of water it would take to fill a swimming pool.  They then use the plates of baleen to strain out any krill, plankton, or small fish which may have been caught up in the gulp.  The water passes through the baleen, and whatever food is left behind is consequently swallowed. 
    Like many human visitors, they enjoy a winter vacation in the warmth of Hawaii, for the whales it's usually about 4 months long. However, no luaus for Humpbacks, they do not eat while in Hawaiian Waters.  They concentrate on breeding and producing offspring.  The gestation period is about 11 months, so they will breed one summer and then return the following summer to have their babies.  A femail will typically breed about every three years.  The babies will migrate back and forth between Alaska and Hawaii until the third year when they separate and will never see each other again.
    Babies born in Hawaii weigh around 1 1/2 tons and are 12-15 feet long. They can consume up to 100 gallons of their mother's milk in a given day.  Whale milk is about 40% milkfat.  As a result the baby whales will grow between 7-10 pounds every hour!  They are all born in Hawaii.
    During spring and summer they migrate between their two places of residence.  They travel around 3-5 mph during migration.  Their journey to and from Hawaii takes them anywhere from 30 to 60 days.
    Humpback whales are the world’s 5th largest whales and can grow to between 40-50 ft.  When it comes to their weight, adult humpbacks weigh about one ton per foot.  
    Jack was able to do some other sightseeing while in Hawaii.  Jack shared a photo he took of a vary rare plant, the Silversword.  It is an endangered plant that lives only in the high elevations of Mauna Kea.      
    We also saw a picture of a nene, also known as a Hawaiian goose.  It is named after the sound it makes.  They are endemic to the Hawaiian islands.  It is the state bird and also the world's rarest goose.
    One early morning they got up at 4:00 am. and traveled up Haleakalā to watch the sunrise.  Although it was a cold 28 degrees, Jack said it was totally worth it.  He also shared a view the sunset they watched each evening from the balcony of their condo.
Tommy Henderson - Sherman Assistant Area Engineer
    Tommy Richardson, after graduating from Texas A&M Univeristy, began his TXDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) career in January of 2007 with the Dallas District as a designer in the McKinney area office.  He was the project manager for the State Highway 289 overpass at U.S. 380.  He received his professional engineering license in May 2011.
    In 2012, Tommy was hired by Dallas as the lead engineer of the design & build project of the reconstruction of an area on the west side of Dallas near I-35 and I-30.  In January 2014, he was hired by the Paris District to be the assistant area engineer of the Sherman area.  He oversees all construction in Grayson and Fannin Counties.  And yes, that includes the Loy Lake Bridge currently under construction.
    Tommy shared photos of several projects in progress around Grayson and Fannin Counties.  The Hwy. 82 expansion project between Bells and Bonham is a $26 million job.  It is about 86% complete. US 82 will become a 4 lane divided highway.  It should be finished in April 2015.
    The rehabilitation of Hwy. 902 between Tom Bean and Howe is a $4.3 million project.  It is 81% complete and should be finished by June 2015.
    Another rehabilitation project is on Hwy. 75 between FM 902 and Shepherd Drive.  This $8.3 million, one mile job is 64% complete and should be finished by March 2015.
    Another roadway rehabilitation project is taking place on FM 691 in two areas.  One is between FM 131 and US 75. The other area is between Theresa Drive and SH 91.  It will become a 4 lane divided highway between Pool Road and Theresa Drive.  It costs a little over $3 million.  It is 46% complete and should be finished by April 2015.
    And then there’s the Loy Lake Bridge project.  It cost $5.2 million to widen the roadway and build a new bridge.  Loy Lake Road will have two through lanes and a continuous left turn lane in each direction.  It is 75% complete and should be finished by April 2015.
    Some upcoming construction includes extending the freeway section of Hwy. 82 from SH 91 to FM 1417.  They will be adding a two-way left turn lane on FM 1417 from SH 11 to FM 691.  SH 5 will undergo shoulder rehabilitation from US 75 in Howe to the Collin County line.  FM 902 will also see some rehabilitation of roadway from US 377 to SH 289.
Tom Watt - Retired Sherman Chief of Police
        Tom Watt hired on to the Sherman Police Department on September 1, 1981, to help protect and serve the citizens of Sherman, Texas.  He served as a patrolman until March 1991, when he was promoted to Sergeant.  He moved up to lieutenant in 1995, and then to captain just eight months later.  Exactly 23 years to the day, he became the Chief of Police for Sherman.  He retired in 2013.
    After 31 years of making Sherman a better place to live, he still had the desire to serve.  He was elected to the City Council in 2013, where he currently holds the District 3 seat. 
    Sherman has an important election coming up in March 2016.  Tom addressed some important qualities voters should consider when voting for a candidate.
    Crisis Management is one of those qualities.  How are things handled when the bad things happen?  It's not so much the bad thing that one might be judged on, but how they handle the situation.
    Mr. Watt recalled a tragic incident that happened on August 8, 2008, when a north bound bus was traveling through Sherman crashed killing seventeen people.  Tom had to rely on his emergency management background and the relationships he had built over the years with those who could help. 
    Tom briefly talked about what all happened that evening.  He shared some of the things they had to deal with that many may not think about.  Only one or two of the passengers spoke English which really caused problems.  They passengers all spoke Vietnamese, so finding a translator was difficult.  Seventeen fatalities led to an issue with not having enough local funeral homes to help out.  They had to rely on funeral homes in neighboring towns.  Luggage was another issue they had to deal with because they didn't have storage space for all the luggage. 
    Tom added that this tragic event turned out to be a lot better than he thought because of the relationships he had built with other organizations and people.  It was very helpful to be able to reach out to connections he had in Dallas to get help with Vietnamese interpretors.
    Having trusting relationships with the press and media were also very valuable.  Mr. Watt shared some stories on how those relationships helped the police department over the years. 
Grayson Rotary's 27th Annual Awards Presentation
        Great Food!  Great Entertainment!  Great Wine!  Great Dessert!  Great Fellowship!  Great Service!  Great Evening!  Great Grayson Rotary Awards Event! 
        Why was everything so Great!?  It was because of our Great President-elect Becky Burtner who put it all together.  A special thanks to Misty Hebert and Brad Roberts for the GREAT musical entertainment! 
    Our Great Club President Lisa Hebert shared with everyone the many Great things we have done this year.  We have focused more on literacy and education by continuing our participation in the Guatemala Literacy Project which furnishes books and computers for school children.  We provide scholarships for students.  We give books to area school libraries.  We have given money to Texoma KinCare which helps buy school supplies for local children. 
    We work with the Boy Scouts through our Flag Lease Program which helps them raise money for the troop.  We match funds raised by the Austin College Rotaract Club to buy wheelchairs through the Wheelchair Foundation. 
    We provide scholarships for students allowing them to attend Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) and for adults and students to attend RILI (Rotary International Leadership Institute).  We sponsor a Foster Parents' Appreciation dinner annually.  We have become involved in the SHARE program which provides food to the homeless in Grayson County. 
    We gave to Women Rock who supports women with breast cancer.  We helped with the Alzheimer Walk and the United Way Walk.  We helped with the Holiday Lights at Loy Lake Park.  We participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Breakfast at Austin College.  the Grayson Rotary Club is one of the founding organizations for that event.
    We provide financial support for Broken Heart Ministries.  They help children, at risk youth and emotionally wounded people through equine therapy.
    Lisa presented this year's Community Service Award to Steve Black.  Steve is the director of Grayson College's art department.  Steve has lived by Rotary's motto of "Service Above Self" over the years and for that we thank him. 
    This year's Club Service Award was presented to a very surprised, yet very deserving, Becky Burtner.  Congratulations Becky!
Bert Garcia - Friends of Hagerman WIldlife Refuge
    Bert Garcia returned to Sherman, Texas, eight years ago after serving two years as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.  Since he liked being outside and enjoyed photography Bert decided to visit Hagerman Wildlife Refuge since it was a great place to do both.
        Eight years later Bert finds himself as Secretary for the Friends of Hagerman.  He also volunteers doing many other things for Hagerman.
    Hagerman Wildlife Refuge is about 12,000 acres of wilderness filled with all kinds of critters.  With that, are all kinds of opportunities.
    Bert introduced Puddles the Blue Goose.  Puddles has been the official symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System since 1936.
    The newest addition to Hagerman is the Butterfly Garden.  It isn't designed to attract new butterflies, but to offer the butterflies a place to live in a more concentrated area.  They are accepting donations to help with the continued growth and maintenance of the Butterfly Garden.
    The Butterfly Garden hours are from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Tours will be available starting this Spring.
    Bert also chairs the Nest Box Project.  Between the first of March and the end of August, twenty volunteers tend to 53 Bluebird boxes.  They make sure the boxes are in good shape and facing the right direction to attract Bluebirds.  You can either sponsor a Bluebird box or better yet, volunteer to help monitor one of the boxes.
    One of Hagerman's big and well known attractions are the geese.  There will be upwards of 10,000 geese calling Hagerman home around Thanksgiving each year.
    They have a battery operated tram (stretch golf cart) on which they give guided tours.  You can also drive around the Refuge in your own vehicle.  There are 17.5 miles of trails for you to see the Refuge and take photos.
    Bert encouraged everyone to visit Hagerman very soon.  Until then, you can at least visit their Facebook page - Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge.
Jason Wright - Sherman High School Head Baseball Coach
        Play Ball!  Baseball season will be here before you know it.  Sherman High School begins with intra-squad play on January 30th.  Their first tournament begins on February 26th.
        Sherman head baseball coach Jason Wright talked hard ball last week.  He has high expectations for the upcoming year and rightfully so.
        Jason in a native Texan, born and raised in Marshall, Texas.  He even went to college there where he played baseball for East Texas Baptist University.  He began his coaching career 20 years ago in Cleburne, Texas.
    Although he has coached varsity football each year, his true passion is baseball.  Jason really wanted to be a head baseball coach. 
    Five years ago he went to work coaching for West Mesquite High School where he met past Sherman ISD's athletic director and head football coach Gary Kinne.  Jason followed Coach Kinne to Canton, Texas, and then to Sherman.  He started in Sherman as the assistant baseball coach for two years before taking over as head coach.
    Coach Wright is very proud of Sherman's baseball program.  He pointed out that he doesn't have to deal with kids that have grade problems or discipline issues.  He emphasized that of the seven seniors on the team, six were nominated for Academic All-State.
    Baseball is completely different than all the other sports.  In order to win baseball games you have to have players no matter who the coach might be.  Just because a kid can run a 4.5, it doesn't mean he can play baseball.  It takes skills.  Coach Wright said you just can't take a kid off the street that has never played baseball before and make him a .400 hitter.  You can, however, take a .250 hitter and turn him into a .300 hitter.  Baseball is a very skilled game.  In addition, your nine best players are always the best nine players a coach can put on the field.
    Jason said his first year as head coach was tough.  They started District play at 1-7.  In spite of a bad start, the players were determined to win.  They won their final six games to qualify for District play.  They ended the season with a 9-17 record.
    Last year, Coach Wright was finally convinced to play four freshmen.  Although he didn't want to at first, they ended up doubling their win total from the previous year to 18.
    With practically every player returning this year, including the four freshmen, Coach Wright has high expectations.  He added that high expectations won't win you any games but they have worked hard to get ready for the upcoming season. 
    For the first time, they played fall ball this past year.  They continued working hard in the off-season.  Although each District game is going to tough with no easy expectations for wins they have their goals set to win the District Championship this Spring.  Good Luck!!!
GCRC Assembly
        It was all business last week as far as the program was concerned.  The Club's officers and directors brought the members up-to-date on the business matters of the club.
        Cindy Brandt, Club Administration Director, shared the financial aspects of the Flag Lease Program.  It is the Club's largest fund raising program.  She noted that we have increased the Scout's share of the proceeds since they also pull and replace the caps.  She added that there were several new installations acquired by the Scouts but many of them never paid.  When billing goes out next February we will drop those who do not bring their accounts current.
    In other Club Administration business Cindy gave a brief overview of the Club's scholarship recipients.  The Scholarship Committee meets twice a year and are working on streamlining the application process.  Just last week we received $3,000 from the Regensberger Foundation which will be used strictly for scholarships. 
    Another item that falls under the Club Admin category is the Presidential Citation.  The Club has done a lot this year so we should be in very good shape for receiving yet another Presidential Citation.
    David Bedgood  reported on our newest fund raiser.  As you know, we sold nuts and dried fruit for the first time.  He said Donna had recently made a trip back to Fort Worth to pick up nuts for some additional orders.  There are a few bags still available for anyone that wants more.  We don't have a final total yet since there are still some sales in process.  The top three nut salesarians are Melida Ailshire, 2nd runner-up; Becky Butner, first runner-up; and David & Donna Bedgood as the top nut sellers.
    Steve Avard, The Rotary Foundation Director, proudly reminded everyone that we are a 100% Sustaining Member Club.  That means that every Club member contributed at least $100 to The Rotary Foundation last year.  Also, there are a few members close to be a Paul Harris Fellow.  If you would like to know where you are just ask Steve.  He can tell you how close you are to becoming a Paul Harris Fellow or even reaching the next level.  A Paul Harris Fellow is someone who has given $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation.
    Becky Burnter, President-elect, confirmed the Awards' Banquet will be held on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, at the Grayson Culinary School.  Due to limited seating she will be passing around a sign-up sheet to get a count of attendees.  The cost will be $25 per person.
    During the Banquet we also recognize someone who does an exemplary job of  Community Service.  All nominations need to be turned in by December 17th.
    The Martin Luther King Breakfast will be Monday, January 19th at 7:30 a.m.  It will be held at Austin College in the Wright Center.  This year Becky wants all the Rotarians to split up and sit at different tables.  She is hoping to get similar cooperation from the Sherman & Lake Texoma Clubs.
    Becky emphasized the necessity to invite people to visit our club.  In order for our Club to grow we must add members.  We also need to step outside our comfort zone and ask people we don't know to speak throughout the year. 
    Steve Ramsey, Treasurer, gave a mid-year financial report.  Our dues pay for meals, Rotary International dues and District 5810 dues.  Any additional money from dues goes toward paying for things such as Camp RYLA, RILI and PETS.  All monies raised go to local organizations, the Guatemala Literacy Project and the Boy Scouts.
    Ashley Abraham and Jack Kennady, co-presidents of the Austin College Rotary Club gave their reports.  Ashley thanked everyone who helped with their annual wheelchair fundraiser and for those who also attended their club meetings.  Jack presented Steve Avard with the proceeds from the wheelchair fundraiser which will be matched by our club to buy wheelchairs.
    Terry Everett, secretary, reported we are at 28 members but will be adding one more soon.  Terry then recognized all current members who are charter members of the Grayson County Rotary Club.  They are David Bedgood, Larry Campbell, Jim Fry, Peter Munson and Jim Olin.
Cindy Brandt - WNJ & Alecto LLC
    It's official!  We can now go back to calling Wilson N. Jones, Wilson N. Jones or WNJ.  Alecto Healthcare Services completed the sale of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital-WNJ and have renamed it Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center.
        The focus of Alecto is to make WNJ a community based hospital.  They are putting a lot of money into the facility and buying needed equipment.  Corporate officers have been meeting with local officials letting them know the hospital's direction and desire to be one of the top 100 small hospitals in the country within the next three years.
    The OB Department has been very busy.  There were over 40 births in October and over 50 in November.  The psychiatric Department is also operating at full capacity. 
    WNJ is actively recruiting surgeons.  They are not shutting down any services currently provided for by the hospital.
    Vance Reynolds will continue as CEO.  There has been no changes in the hospital's management team.
    Alecto looks forward to working with the physicians, employees, volunteers, and the community served by Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center to ensure the continued success of the hospital.  Although WNJ has gone through some changes and owners in recent years, it now looks like they have owners that truly care about the well being of the hospital and the people it serves.
    WNJ is the fourth hospital Alecto now owns or manages in the Unites States. Alecto currently manages St. Rose Hospital in Hayward, California, and owns Olympia Medical Center, a 204-bed acute care hospital in Los Angeles, California, as well as Fairmont Medical Center, a 207-bed acute care hospital in Fairmont, West Virginia.
Glen Rowe - The Rotary Foundation
        Glen Rowe meets with Rotary Clubs of District 5810 and focuses on explaining the difference between Rotary and The Rotary Foundation.  Rotary is a 501(c)(4) entity.  501 is the internal revenue code for non-profits.  A 501(c)(4) is a civic organization.  It is people doing good in the world.
    A 501(c)(3) organization has no people in it.  It is money.  It is a charitable organization where you donate money.  The Rotary Foundation falls under this designation.
    When people give annually to The Rotary Foundation they are giving to the Annual Fund.  This money is the majority of the money Rotary has to spend.  When you give to the foundation it is invested for three years and then returned back to the District.  The money earned over the three years is used to pay for expenses.
    The PolioPlus Fund is used only for the eradication of polio worldwide.  This is a designated fund within The Rotary Foundation and all money donated to this fund is only used towards polio eradication.
    The Permanent Fund is funded by death benefit proceeds.  When you request in your will to give a portion of your estate, that money is then put into the Permanent Fund.  Only the earnings are used from this fund.
    You do not get credit for a Paul Harris Fellowship if you give money to the Permanent Fund.  You only get PHF credit when you give to the Annual Fund or to PolioPlus. 
    A Paul Harris Fellowship is awarded for each $1,000 in total giving.  It is accomplished by giving to the Foundation yourself, having someone else donate in your name, or having points transferred into your name.  You don't have to give the whole amount at once and there is not time frame.
    Two points are awarded for each dollar given.  One point assigned to the person giving the money and one point assigned to the Rotary Club.  A Rotary Club or District accumulates points that can be transferred to a person.
    Another program is the Paul Harris Society.  This is when someone commits to giving $1,000 annually to the Rotary Foundation.  This equates to $2.73 a day or $85.00 per month.
    The Grayson County Rotary Club was recently recognized as being a 100% Sustaining member club.  Grayson Rotary is one of only about a dozen clubs in the District with this distinction.
    Glen explained how the money given to The Rotary Foundation is used.  After three years, half of the money given from the members of the District is returned back to the District.  The other half is given to the World Fund. 
    The money that comes back to the District is then split in half.  Half is returned to the Clubs upon project requests and the other half is used for global projects of the District.
    Glen then explained the process in how Club's get their grant requests and how much they will get.  Clubs are all graded on their per capita giving amount.  Rotary International tells the District Governor what the average amount per Rotarian was given throughout the year.  Those clubs with a per capita giving equal to or more than the District's average are rated a Tier 1 club.  Those who give less are rated a Tier 2 club. 
    A Tier 1 club will receive 100% of their requested amount.  Whatever money is left is then divided up amongst the clubs in Tier 2 proportionately to their percentage of per capita giving.
    Glen is Rotary District 5810's Foundation Chairman.  He is also a member of the Waxahachie Rotary Club. 
Scott Ochoa - Internet Security
Scott Ochoa of Trust Computer Gurus talked about the threats we are all confronted with as we search the world wide web.  The biggest threat is a hacker. 
    We mostly hear about hackers in the media when there security breaches like that one Target had last year on black friday.  That one particular incident affected 70 million customers.  However, that wasn't the largest breach.
    The largest hacking incident involved Adobe, the software company.  Practically everyone has some form of Adobe software on their company.  Most people have Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Adobe's attack between 2013 and 2014 had 152 million records stolen.
    Ebay in the past year has had 145 million stolen.  JP Morgan-Chase had 76 million accounts hit.  Home Depot affected 56 million and America Online had 2.4 million accounts hacked.  Most of these involve customer credit cards.
    Most people think a hacker just goes through a firewall to gain access.  They usually gain access through a laptop that is brought in from outside the network.  Someone will bring in a laptop that has been hacked and when they connect to the company network they are giving access to the hacker. 
    This is how Target was hacked.  Target was in the process of building a new store.  Everything is pretty much computerized so when a heating/air conditioning technician was programming their system he brought in a laptop that had been affected on the outside.  When he connected to their network for internet connectivity he gave access to the hacker group.
    The virus went from the H/VAC technician's computer to the Point of Sale terminals of Target.  Every time they would swipe a credit card the virus would let the transaction take place and also copy the credit card information and send it back to the hacker group.
    Some hackers do it for fun.  It's a game to them.  Some do it just to see if they can.  Some, however, are very serious about it and they do it for financial gain.  Some do it to steal government or corporate records and secrets.  Some do it just for the purpose of denial of service.  Denial of service can cause companies a lot of money.  It can range from hundreds to millions of dollars.
    Here's some good news.  Because we live in Grayson County and because we don't have the best internet infrastructure and because oftentimes our internet service isn't as fast or as reliable as we would like it to be . . . well, that all actually plays into our favor.
    When a hacker wants to steal records they want to get in and get out as quickly as possible.  Slow upload speeds are not friendly to hackers.  Some companies have full time staff monitoring their networks and they will cut connections quickly when they notice a security issue.  So, hackers for the most part target big businesses in big cities that are on a really fast internet connection.
    Scott shared how our home and business networks are protected with a firewall.  A good firewall will transmit information out and match it with the information coming back in.  Every time you send out a request to access a web page, watch a video, download a song, etc., you want your firewall to match that request with the information coming back in.    
    If you happen to click on a link and the return information isn't matched or caught by your router, then you can be "spoofed."  This is when someone sends back the wrong thing and they can send back a virus or steal information.
    It's also good to secure your network.  You only allow access to your internet connection with a passcode.  So always use a passcode.  There is a level called WPA2 which is about as high of a level as one can get without having to use additional encryption equipment.
    Scott noted one policy he encourages his business clients to adopt is to not allow personal use of the internet.  This is where people get into trouble. 
    Most of the infections he gets called to resolve usually come from people accessing free gaming sites, free music sites, free software sites, and questionable content sites. 
    If you are doing stuff that is for your job such as ordering something for the business, doing banking transactions, etc., then you are okay.  If you are doing something this is "off-time" related then you are at risk.
    Scott added that if you want to keep your network safe then avoid gaming and free music websites, don't install any internet or computer optimizers, don't install  browser tool bars, file viewers, etc.  They may not cause a security breach, but they will cause your computer to run slower.
    Scott has a "Naughty" list on his website at  It is a list of programs, search engines, add-onsenhancers, tools, etc. that are known to cause computer and network problems. 
    One final word of warning.  Even though you may have virus software on your computer, you aren't always protected.  There are times when a pop-up will ask to optimize or speed up your computer.  They will ask for you to allow this and when you do then you can become infected, so never allow something like this from a pop-up.  If you aren't sure it is best to not click on a link or open an email.  Better to be safe and secure than sorry and infected.  Happy surfing!
Dr. David Tercero - Grayson College Music Department
    This week's story will not come anywhere close to adequately describing what happened last week.  If you missed last week, you REALLY missed a great program.  Yes, each week we have great speakers and we all learn something, but last week's was different.
    Last week we were entertained by some fabulous pre-show music as Dr. David Tercero, president of the Music Department for Grayson County College, played his acoustical guitar.  But wait, it gets better.  Dr. Tercero then played a Bach’s “Sarabande from the violin sonata in B minor BWV 1002” which was originally written for the violin.
    David's father had a Master's Degree in music, but he didn't see music as being the smartest career choice for himself.  He went on to take as many college courses in the Dallas Community College system as he could.  David also wanted to learn how to play the guitar.  He was required to take music theory, ear training and piano if he took guitar lessons.  Two years and 80 credits later he still wasn't sure what he wanted to major in. 
    David received a letter from SMU saying he met a profile for a full academic scholarship.  It didn't have anything to do with music, just academics.  So David accepts it and gets a full scholarship for five semesters.  There was a catch though.  He had to get into the guitar department.
    Well, the only problem with that, if there was one, is that David wasn't a serious classical guitarist.  He was just playing for fun.  Anyway, he played all three classical pieces he knew.  One of the pieces he played was on an album that he owned.  Ironically, the man he was playing for was the one who recorded the album, Robert Guthrie.  David admitted he was quite intimidated, however, he got into the SMU Music Department.
    David holds a B.M. from SMU, a M.M. and D.M.A. from The University of North Texas. He was awarded fourth prize at the Colubmus State University Solo Guitar Competition, first prize at the East Carolina University Solo Guitar Competition and was a top finalist in Siracusa, Italy, in an Italian International Guitar Competition. 
    Dr. Tercero has established himself as a respected performer and teacher in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and has performed for local organizations such as The Dallas Classic Guitar Society and The Fort Worth Guitar Guild.  He has played abroad at the Mendelssohn-Haus Musiksalon in Leipzig, Germany, in Mattinata, Italy and at the Seminari de Fine d'Estate. David was able to play in Europe as a result of musician collegues receiving a Rotary Scholarship to study abroad.
    He has now found his way to Grayson County College and is very happy with what he does.  Students have expressed their gratitude as well.
Rebecca Carson - WNJ Director of Respiratory Therapy
    Rebecca Carson, Director of Respiratory Therapy at Wilson N. Jones, presented a program on pulmonary rehabilitation.  She began by pointing out that Grayson County ranks number 2 in the United States with people who have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
    Contrary to popular belief, one doesn't have to be a smoker in order to get COPD.  One can get it from second hand smoke or breathing in chemical fumes.  Rebecca said they get a lot of people from the Veteran's service that were in Viet Nam and exposed to Agent Orange and other pollutants. 
    Dust or air pollution will cause many farmers to get COPD.  Cotton farmers are high risk as well as those who works in mills.
    Lung health is very important.  What most people don't realize is that your diaphragm is a muscle.  We keep it in good shape when we are up and moving around, but when he end up in a hospital or just don't move much, then we can get into trouble.
    The thing with smoking, however, is that there are many other complications.  It can cause wrinkles, complications with stroke, diabetes, heart problems, etc.  When you stop smoking you will see the benefits of it. 
    Within just twenty minutes of not smoking your blood pressure will go back down to where it was before you smoked.  Within eight hours of not smoking your carbon dioxide levels in your blood drop back to normal.  After twenty-four hours your chance of a heart attack decreases.  Within two weeks to three months your circulation improves and your lung function increases up to 30%.  After one year, your chance of having a heart attack is cut in half.  After five years, your risk of stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker.  After ten years, your chance of dying from lung cancer is about half of that of a current smoker.
    Rebecca said they work with people of all stages of COPD.  They work with them to help them get stronger and live a more productive life.  Not only do they help those to improve their heart but also to help them improve their breathing.
    In regards to vapor cigarettes, Rebecca said they are bad news because any kind of chemical you take into your lungs can cause problems.  Once the damage is done there is no going back.  You will have to live with the damage. 
    The American Lung Association reports that in 2011, 12.7 million Americans were estimated to have COPD. To date, it has surpassed stroke to become the third leading cause of death in this country. Statistics such as these make it extremely important to identify risk factors associated with COPD and seek early treatment if symptoms arise. Because most people are not diagnosed until they are in their late 50's, a decline in health can occur rapidly by this time. Recognizing risk factors and advocating lifestyle changes is the best way to maintain optimal health and prevent this devastating, life-threatening illness.
Jarrett Wilson - Social Media

    Social Media.  We hear those words all the time.  They are the buzz words.  They are here to stay. 
    Social media when I was a kid was having a home telephone party line.  When I began driving it was the CB radio. 
    Today, well, it's the in thing for sure.  It's how people communicate with each other socially and professionally.  It's the way one meets new friends and new business associates.  It has become a new way to gain customers in the business world.  It's a sure fire way to find, our be found, by those you were friends with as a kid or went to school with.
    It's the now and it's the future.  It becomes more and more popular every day.
    Jarrett Wilson presented the facts and stats on Social Media.  He also shared some personal information.
    Jarrett is the library assistant as Piner Middle School.  He received his BA from Oklahoma State University and his Masters from the University of North Texas.      
    Jarrett also pointed out the reason he talked slower than normal and why he didn't move around as well as everyone else.  He had a brain hemorrhage and surgery in May 2009.
    Jarrett pointed out that three-fourths of all internet users use social networking sites.  Nine out of ten age 18 to 28 use social networking sites.  Also, he noted that school age kids spend more than three hours a day on smartphone apps.
    By far, the largest social media platform is Facebook.  It has 1.11 Billion active users.  Once you connect with "friends" you can then see their comments, replies and status updates as well as those of their connected friends.
    Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called "tweets".  Twitter is another form of social media with 554 million users.  There are an average of 58 million tweets per day.
    With Twitter, you only see comments of those you follow, not vice versa.  Tweets can be commented on, liked (favorited) and shared (re-tweeted). 
    Google Plus allows you to connect with friends and family, explore your interests and see how all of Google gets better.  Contacts are divided in "circles" (friends, family, etc.).  Interactions are similar to Facebook, however, the content isn't mutual.
    Some 22% of adults are LinkedIn users.  As a platform geared towards professional networking, its demographics are unique.  LinkedIn usage is especially high among people with a college degree or higher and with an annual household income of $75,000 or more.  It is also the only social networking site for which usage among 50-64 year olds is higher than usage among those ages 18-29.
    Connections consist of professional contacts that you've worked with or are active in your field.  Users/organizations post networking/job opportunities.  Users can reply directly.
    Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms  Instagram allows one to capture and share the world's moments by posting pictures.  It allows others to comment  on the posted pictures.  There are currently 150 million active users.
    Pinterest users can upload, save, sort, and manage images known as pins and other media content (e.g., videos and images) through collections known as pinboards.  Pinterest acts as a personalized media platform. Users can browse the content of others on the main page. Users can then save individual pins to one of their own boards using the "Pin It" button, with Pinboards typically organized by a central topic or theme. Users can personalize their experience with Pinterest by pinning items, creating boards, and interacting with other members.  There are 25 million users.
    Nearly 60% of consumers bought a product they saw on Pinterst and one-third bought a product they saw on Facebook.  Social media users spend more than non-social consumers when they receive good customer service.
    The "number sign" (#) also referred to as a "hashtag", and the "at sign" (@) have become very popular in the social media world.  The  "hashtag" will expose your content to more people and gain more followers.  By adding #*topic*, other users interested in the same topic will see posts associated with that topic (e.g. #rotary).  The "at sign" (@) before a name (real or made up) designates a handle.  The idea is similar to the hashtag, but handles call attention to people (tagging). (e.g. @TerryEverett).

Josh Stevenson - Grayson County Health Department

    With the recent scare of Ebola getting too close to home, last week's program was very timely.  We heard from Josh Stevenson of the Grayson County Health Department.  He is the public health emergency preparedness manager.      
    Considering all things, Ebola isn't all that bad in realm of what is super infectious and what isn't.  It isn't like the measles or the flu that is airborne.  With Ebola you have to actually come in contact with the bodily fluid of some who has it.  Those who are ill from Ebola are very, very ill.  So, unless you are interacting with people who are very ill, the chances of you getting it are very, very low.
    Unless you have been to Africa recently, you have a very small chance of getting Ebola.  In regards to the two North Texas Ebola cases, they know every person who has come in contact with them. 
    The difficult thing about Ebola is that it has a long gestation period.  It can actually be anywhere from two to twenty-one days.  This is one reason why it is hitting Africa so hard.  People think they are okay even though they had been around a sick person because they are not sick so they go on about their everyday life. 
    Unlike many other diseases, Ebola is at its most contagious stage when the victim is at or near death.  Once the victim has succumbed to other diseases and died they are no longer contagious.  Ebola on the other hand is different.  The victim's body can still be contagious several days post mortem. 
    In Africa, they don't have undertakers or funeral homes.  They bury the bodies themselves.  The usually wash the body by hand before burial.
    Josh said they are educating everyone on what to do in regards to Ebola.  They are meeting with police and fire department personnel, doctors, nurses, medical personnel, emergency responders; everyone.  They want everyone to know what to do when the come across someone who has questions or concerns about Ebola.
    They ask a couple simple questions such as, "Have you been to Africa recently?"  "Have you been in direct contact with anyone who has it"?  If they answer no to both questions then they probably don't have the disease.  If a person doesn't have any symptoms they are not contagious.
    Josh added that the bigger story in Grayson County right now is West Nile Virus.  The just found three more positive traps.  It is all across Grayson County.  You just haven't heard about it much because of Ebola.  Ebola may get you although it is highly unlikely, however, West Nile is here and you have a much higher chance of getting the West Nile virus.  West Nile can kill you, too.
    Just last year you may recall the outbreak of Shigella.  The bacteria produces toxins that can attack the lining of the large intestine.  Symptoms include abdominal cramps, high fever, loss of appetite and painful bowel movements.  It can lead to convulsions, a stiff neck, a headache, extreme tiredness and confusion.  It can also lead to dehydration, arthritis, skin rashes and kidney failure. 
    D68 is another common virus that we need to be concerned about.  Discovered in 1962, and considered rare, it has been on the upswing across the United States.  There are kids getting D68 who don't even have fever.  There are cases where some are being put on ventilators.  It primarily affects kids under the age of 16.
    The best advice is for everyone to wash their hands.  Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.  Plus, if you are sick, don't get out.  Stay home.  If someone else is sick, don't make contact with them.  Now go wash your hands!

Arthur Horn - Four Rivers Outreach

    Arthur Horn brought us up-to-date on what Four Rivers Outreach has been doing and what their plans are for the future.  Arthur and Larry Watkins founded Four Rivers in September 2006. 
    They started out by renting a two bedroom house on Cherry street.  They housed two ladies, one with five children.  With that, Four Rivers got it's start.
    Arthur said one of the main things they do at Four Rivers is feed people.  They serve between 400 and 500 meals a week out of their kitchen.  They also have the capability to house 8 men.
    Arthur added their philosophy is although they are like to feed your tummy they also want to feed your soul.  They want to inject positive things into your life.  Their concept at Four Rivers is to change your thinking - change the way you think, change the way you do, change your behavior.  In order to do this, they offer several different programs.
    Unfortunately, they aren't always successful in changing people's lives for the better.  They have a memory wall of about 25 people who have moved on to a different dimension of their life.  Some of them have committed suicide. Some have overdosed, unknown whether intentional or not.  Some have died in automobile wrecks.  Some have died from cancer and various other diseases that they have. 
    Arthur said Four Rivers is a full service facility.  They will feed you, they will train you, they will marry you, they will bury you. 
    He is very proud of their career center.  They will train people to go to work.  They have job skill classes, job counselors, job placement and job coaching.
    One thing that accompanies addictions is mental health issues.  Eighty percent of their clients are dual diagnosed with substance abuse issues and mental health issues.
    Mental health issues are increased by drug use.  Some are brought on by drug use.  Statistics show that about 18% of the people living in America have some form of mental illness.  Three to four percent have severe mental illness.
    After four years, they finally opened their dental clinic at Four Rivers.  They have four volunteer dentists that come to their clinic and one in Denison who provides services at his dental facility.  They also have an oral surgeon that helps when they have critical issues.  They are looking for more volunteer dentists, as well as, dental assistants and dental hygienists.  
    They opened a thrift store on October 1.  It is located at 425 W. Lamar in Sherman.  They will use the proceeds to help fund their programs at Four Rivers. 
    Four Rivers will help you get your G.E.D.  They have an instructor based program offered by Grayson College.  It is on Monday and Wednesday from 8:30 until 3:00.  They also have a self-paced program you can take at Four Rivers.  Workforce Texoma Solutions provide the software.  Classes are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1:00 until 3:00.
    Arthur said they have about seventy-five people a day walk through their doors.  They have many success stories and there will be many, many more.
    Arthur's passion to provide a safe, loving environment for healing lives and restoring families and individuals to a productive lifestyle is changing our community.  Unfortunately, Arthur's work will never be done, but thankfully he is always there to help those who have life controlling problems such as alcohol, drug abuse and homelessness.

Donna Bedgood - Rotary Nut & Fruit Fundraiser

    It was a nutty meeting last week as David & Donna Bedgood shared how our upcoming Nut fundraiser will work.  Sales began September 17 and will run through October 17.
    Donna is a member of Epsilon Sigma Alpha.  This club will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2017.  Donna added that most of their members started close to the founding date. 
    The club began selling pecans in the early '80s.  They bought the pecans in bulk from a man in Denison and would bag them up.  When he went out of business they found another company to get their pecans.  Over the years they have added additional products. 
    In addition to pecans they sell a variety of almonds, cashews, macadamias, peanuts and walnuts.  They also have dried apricots, cherries, cranberries and a fruit and nut mix.  There are a few mixes that have a variety of nuts as well. 
    Donna pointed out that the nuts and fruits are always the current year's crops which you will seldom find in many stores.  They chose to have their sales this time of year because they wanted to allow the pecan crops to come in.
    Last year, Donna's club sold about 2,500 pounds of product.  Their membership is about the same size as our club.  They had a few members sell between 200 and 300 pounds each.
    Order forms and instructions were distributed to each member.  The order forms may be given out or mailed to potential customers.  Donna said this is not a door-to-door project, but one you can share with your friends and relatives.
    The packets all include a consolidation order form that is to be submitted to David at the October 22 Rotary Club meeting.  Keep a copy of the consolidation form.  You will then bring it with you when you pick up your order around the second week of November.  You will be contacted a few days before the product is ready to be picked up.  Once you get your order you should make sure it is delivered before Thanksgiving.
    Donna also said it works best if you will collect the money when you take their order.  Checks should be made out to the member taking the order but not cashed until the product is received.  When the club member picks up their order they will then write just one check.  This makes it a lot easier on the treasurer.  Please make sure that you put your name on the bottom of each order sheet.
    There will be a little extra product available after all order are submitted.  This is due to the rounding up of quantities to full cases.  There are 12 per case.

Lt. Stephen Dean - Use of Police Force

    Lt. Stephen Dean is currently the only patrol lieutenant on the Sherman Police Department.  This means that he is responsible for all of the patrol units on the streets.  Lt. Dean added that if you get a ticket and want to complain about it, he is the one to call.
    Stephen is also the police department’s use of force and defensive tactics instructor.  In addition, he also teaches at the Texoma Regional Police Academy.  
    Use of police force has been a hot topic lately with the incident that took place in Ferguson, Missouri, recently.  Ferguson is about half the size of Sherman and has about 40 police officers, which is about 20-25 less than we have here.  
    One might think this sort of thing only happens in large cities such as the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles, CA.  Lt. Dean pointed out that it also happens in small town America as well.  It could very well happen right here in Sherman tomorrow.
    Stephen addressed what they do to try to prevent something like that happening here.  First, they try to hire the best people they can.  They are currently recruiting new officers.  There are four in training and four more enrolled at the police academy.  “Training, training, training is the name of the game.”
    Lt. Dean spoke briefly on the racially charged situation that took place in Ferguson, MO, on August 9, 2014.  A young, black male approximately 18 years old, over six foot tall and well over 300 pounds robbed a store and happened to be walking the street when a young, white police officer spotted the suspect and confronted him.
    What happened after that is where the controversy begins.  Apparantly, there was some sort of struggle in the car and they wrestled over the officers gun. A shot was fired and apparantly the suspect tried to make an escape and then returned.  The witness statements are conflicting as they always are.
    One major issue is the Ferguson Police Department doesn’t have cameras in their cars.  Cameras in police cars came about a few years ago as a result of racial profiling.
    Lt. Dean stated that he read a fact where 93% of the time when a video is available a complaint against an officer is completely exonerated.  He said they record everything locally using video and audio.
    The Sherman Police Department is looking at using body cameras.  They currently have cameras in the cars and microphones on the officers, but once they walk away from the camera they can no longer see what is happening.
    A few yeasrs ago the police officers didn’t want cameras for various reasons, but now they are all begging for cameras.  They don’t want to get in a police car without a camera and are wanting body cameras so everything can be recorded.
    Another thing they do is document every time a gun is pointed at someone.  This serves a dual purpose.  
    It allows the public to see what took place that led the police officer to pull his gun.  It also allows the Police Department to see how an officer has done over a period of time, especially if they have to go to court.
    With lots of good training they must also have good policies in place.  They are doing everything they can to make sure the Sherman Police Department acts responsible and protects the public.

LuAnn Daniel & Janice Feltcher - Women Rock!

    LuAnn Daniel and Janice Fletcher talked about Women Rock last week.  LuAnn is the founder and CEO.  Janice serves on the board of directors.
    Women Rock was founded in 2010.  LuAnn was inspired by her good friend's courageous battle against breast cancer. 
    Women Rock in a nonprofit organization that is on a mission to save lives through increasing awareness and the early detection of breast cancer in North Texas and Southern Oklahoma.  They are focused on providing education on the importance of early detection and treatment.
    Women Rock provided 64 services their first year.  This past year they provided 304 services.  They began by providing assistance for obtaining screening mammograms, diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds and physician referrals. 
    Many women would return looking for help in paying their utility bills or rent, so Women Rock started another program called Provisions of Hope.  They are now able to help these women who are having to deal with financial stress while they are going through treatment for cancer.
    Janice is an eight year survivor.   Janis’ journey through diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and the many side effects of treatment that linger gives her the advantage of being able to offer support for women who are currently battling breast cancer.  Janis is passionate about raising awareness, supporting other survivors, and fundraising. 
    She said their are fifteen survivors at Women Rock who offer support to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  In addition to financial assistance, they also give emotional and spiritual support.

Steve Ramsey - Football Fun Facts

    Are You Ready For Some Football?  The cresendoing excitement of the members confirmed they were ready to prognosticate as David Bayless kicked off his 69th Annual Football Parlay.
    Steve Ramsey added to the excitement with a pop quiz on football trivia.  It was an interactive program on football history mixed with some additional collegiate football facts.
    Which school has the most college football championships?  No, it isn't Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma or any of those.  The school with the most championships is the Yale Bulldogs with 17.  Their last title was in 1909. 
    They are followed by the Princeton Tigers who have 15 championships.  They are also credited with the very first collegiate football championship title in 1869.  They haven't held the title since 1922.
    The rest of the top ten are Notre Dame (13), Alabama (12), Michigan (9), USC (9), Harvard (8), Ohio State (7), Oklahoma (7) and Minnesota (6).  Last year's national champion Florida State has three.
    The largest college football stadium belongs to the Michigan Wolverines.  It seats 109,901.  On September 7, 2013, more 115,000 showed up to watch Michigan beat Notre Dame.  It is the largest sports stadium in the U.S. and third in the world.
    Beaver Stadium, home to the Penn State Nittany Lions, holds 106,572 fans.  Kyle Field (Texas A&M Aggies) holds 106,511.  Others with capacities in excess of 100,000 include Ohio State, Tennessee, LSU, Alabama and Texas.
    The smallest Division I stadium belongs to the University of Idaho with 16,000 seats.  The next smallest is Bowling Green State with 22,000.
    Steve showed pictures of "Fair Catch Corby", "First Down Moses" and "Touchdown Jesus".  They are all Notre Dame landmarks.
    David Bayless shared a very popular rumor on how BEVO, the University of Texas mascot, got his name.  In 1916, four Texas A&M Aggies kidnapped the Texas mascot and branded him with "13-0", the score of A&M's win over Texas in 1915.  It is also rumored that some Texas students retaliated by changing the steer's brand to BEVO.  There have been fourteen BEVO's to date including the current one.
    Some mascots are more well known than others.  Some of the more well known include the Arkansas Razorbacks, the TCU Hornfrogs, the South Carolina Gamecocks and the USC Trojans. 
    While on the subject of mascots, Steve asked if anyone knew what a Nittany Lion was?  The Penn St. mascot refers to the mountain lions that once were fabled to roam near the school and to Mount Nittany, a local landmark.
    The Georgia Bulldogs play between the hedges.  Steve showed a photo of the Georgia stadium which is lined with hedges.
    Steve shared photos of some not so well known mascots.  These include the Concordia College Cobbers, the Delta State Fighting Okra, the Scottsdale CC Fighting Artichokes, the St. Louis Billikens, the Trinity College Trolls, the University of California Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, the Arkansas-Moticello Boll Weevils, the Webster University Gorlocks, and the Whittier College Poets!