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Plano East Varsity Baseball assistant coach Scott Castleman (L) looks on as Head Coach Jordan Byrd addresses the Plano East Summer Baseball Clinic.

The Plano East Baseball program is offering a Winter Baseball Clinic for boys currently in grades K – 6 on Saturday, February 4 at Plano East Senior High School Baseball Field, at 3000 Los Rios Boulevard in Plano.

The clinic for kindergarten thru third grade students will be 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Fourth thru sixth graders will be 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. The cost is $25 per student, which includes all clinic as well as a t-shirt. Non-Plano residents add $4.

The clinic will focus on fundamental baseball skills such as fielding, hitting, and base running. All activities will be led by Plano East Baseball players. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet the coaches and hear about the opportunities available in high school baseball.
 
Registration through the City of Plano is available on-line through Friday, February 3. You will need a Family Account PIN and an Individual ID Number, both of which can be obtained by calling a Plano recreation center (Liberty 972-769-4234, Muehlenbeck 972-769-4404, or Carpenter 972-208-8087). Once you have obtained these account numbers, go to www.planoparks.org and click on register here. Use the appropriate course code (Grades K – 3 #191010 – Grades 3 – 6 #191013) On the day of the clinic, the student can be registered via a phone call to a recreation center.

Athletic wear and shoes with baseball pants or sweatpants are preferred. Dress appropriately for the weather. Clinic will be held rain or shine and will meet in the indoor facility during inclement weather. No refunds will be given due to weather. Bring a bat and glove with all personal items marked with a name.

A parent or guardian of a student already registered must sign a waiver before the student can participate in the clinic. Waivers will be available at check-in on the day of the clinic. A parent must accompany the student to check-in at the concession stand west of the baseball field. Check-in begins 30 minutes prior to the clinic start.
 
The Plano East Baseball program is under the direction of Head Coach Jordan Byrd, Assistant Varsity Coach Scott Cattleman, Junior Varsity Head Coach Michael Martinez, Assistant Junior Varsity Coach John Lubow, McMillen Head Coach Cole McLean, McMillen Assistant Coach DeMarcus Mathes, Williams Head Coach Shane Kevlar and Williams Assistant Coach Efe Osawemwenze.  For more information, go to planoeastbaseball.com

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Dallas Cowboys cornerback, Leon McFadden took time during the holidays to help collect gifts for children in the hospital. McFadden joined Northwestern Mutual and TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation for a Santa Party where he accepted new toys that were donated to Children’s Health Dallas. McFadden is passionate about raising funds and awareness for all cancers, as several members of his family have battled cancer.  During the Santa Party, McFadden signed autographs and posed for photos with kids and encouraged guests to continue to serve the community.

Every year, more than 12,500 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children; yet the budget of the National Cancer Institute allocates less than four percent of its funds to pediatric cancer research. TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funding research projects to find a cure for all childhood cancers.   

For more information on TeamConnor, visit teamconnor.org

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TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation announced a $25,000 DFW Community Choice Grant that one hospital in North Texas will receive based on the community’s vote throughout the month of December. 

Voting for the TeamConnor DFW Community Choice Grant is open to the public from December 1 – 29, 2016.  All votes will be tallied and the winner will be announced by 5:00 pm on December 30th.  To vote, the community should visit TeamConnor.org/DFWCommunityChoiceGrant.

“We are committed to funding more research for childhood cancers and supporting patient programs at the best hospitals in the DFW area,” said Kathryn Copple, executive director of Dallas-based TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. “As one of the leading causes of deaths among children, childhood cancer receives very little government funding for research. TeamConnor has awarded more than $2 million in funding over the last eight years and wants to continue to fight childhood cancer and help our area hospitals with funding.” 

Every year, more than 12,500 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children; yet, the budget of the National Cancer Institute allocates less than four percent of its funds to pediatric cancer research. TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funding research projects to find a cure for all childhood cancers.   

TeamConnor hosts several events throughout the year to raise funds for childhood cancer research, including the Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot on December 8; the III Forks Golf Classic and Auction Dinner; Splash Out Childhood Cancer; Watters Creek National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Concert and Prayer Vigil; and the Color Me Green 5K, 10K and Caterpillar Dash. 

In addition, TeamConnor’s national program, Coins for Kids with Cancer raises funds in schools, churches, offices and organizations across the country to help fund childhood cancer research. More information about the program can be found at coinsforkidswithcancer.org.

For more information on how to impact the lives of those affected by childhood cancer, please visit teamconnor.org or find us at Facebook.com/TeamConnor.

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Annual Christmas Tree lighting scheduled for November 19 in downtown Fort Worth


 
While North Texas waits for the cooler temperatures, Sundance Square is once again preparing for a magical Christmas and holiday season. A 57-foot blue spruce tree appeared in the center of the plaza Monday morning and throughout the week the tree and plaza are being adorned with holiday décor, creating a festive environment.
 
The official tree lighting ceremony will take place Saturday, November 19 with festivities starting at 4 p.m. and culminating with the lighting at 6 p.m. The evening will be filled with an official countdown for the tree lighting, holiday carols, a visit with Santa Claus, as well as numerous photo opportunities throughout the plaza.  The tree will remain in Sundance Square through January 3, and then it will be cut into lumber for a future Habitat for Humanity home in Fort Worth.
 
Holiday keepsake photos with Santa will be available for only $10 each (cash only) with the proceeds benefiting a scholarship fund established by the Fort Worth Sister Cities’ International Scholarship Fund. Santa will be in Sundance Square beginning November 19 through December 23. Check www.sundancesquare.com http://www.sundancesquare.com>  for specific times.
 
The XTO Parade of Lights is scheduled Sunday, November 20 at 6 p.m.  
Sundance Square shops and restaurants will be open for holiday shopping and dining throughout the day so visitors are encouraged to come early. Parking is plentiful and free on weekends.  Guests should plan to stop by Sundance Square Plaza for a visit with Santa and take in all the beautiful holiday decorations.  

Throughout the holidays, choirs from the Greater Fort Worth area schools will perform on the Sundance Square Plaza Stage during the weekday lunch hours. Please visit sundancesquare.com for the dates and times, as well as a list of area choirs.
 
ADDITIONAL HOLIDAY EVENTS

Bass Performance Hall will feature several holiday events including Cirque Dreams Holidaze and The Nutcracker. A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald will be featured for New Year’s Eve.  Visit sundancesquare.com for dates and times.
 
New Year’s Eve in Sundance Square will feature Hunter Sullivan as the headliner. The band will take the stage at 10:30 p.m. and will entertain guests thru the New Year’s Eve countdown. Check www.sundancesquare.com http://www.sundancesquare.com>  for more details.
 
Enjoy a holiday romance, thriller, or comedy at AMC Palace 9 in Sundance Square. It’s newly renovated and ready to deliver a movie-going experience like no other. Kick back, relax, and see the latest Hollywood production. Showtimes are found at sundancesquare.com/entertainment.
 
Voted Best Comedy, Four Day Weekend is a Fort Worth institution. The group has been called “Fort Worth’s Greatest Ambassadors.” They’ve been awarded the Key to the City, have performed for two U.S. presidents, and delivered a keynote address to the United States Congress. No trip to Fort Worth is complete until you attend this award-winning show in the heart of Sundance Square.  Shows are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Visit sundancesquare.com for ticket information.
 
Jubilee Theatre will debut The Gift of the Magi November 25. The show will run through December 24. Visit sundancesquare.com for dates and times.


PARKING IN SUNDANCE SQUARE

Parking is always free in Sundance Square after 5 p.m. on weekdays. Before 5 p.m., parking is free with validation from a Sundance Square restaurant or retailer.  Validation is good for 2.5 hours of dining or shopping, or four hours for weekday movies.  On weekends parking is free all day and evening.  
 
Guests also have the option of complimentary valet parking with validation of a purchase from a Sundance Square merchant. Just look for the giant red umbrellas in 10 locations within Sundance Square. You can even drop your car at off one location and pick it up at another location across Sundance Square.
 
Sundance Square is a vibrant, award-winning retail, entertainment and dining district spanning 35 blocks in downtown Fort Worth.  Attracting more than 10 million visitors each year, Sundance Square features restaurants, shops, entertainment, and a one-acre plaza. For more information about Sundance Square, visit sundancesquare.com or follow the multi-use development on Facebook.com/sundancesquare or Twitter@sundancesquare.

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Alaina Thompson was only five years old when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer.  After weeks of doctor’s visits, Alaina was sent for a scan, which revealed a primary tumor on her left adrenal gland and a secondary tumor on her chest and neck. The cancer had already spread to her bones and bone marrow and she was only given a 30% chance of surviving to remission.  In November 2015 at the age of 15, Alaina received her eight-year checkup with no evidence of disease, and has been officially declared “in remission” for the past three years.  

Alaina was the honorary hero at the October 6th Color Me Green 5k, 10k and Caterpillar Run benefiting TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. The event raised more than $40,000 for childhood cancer research.  Alaina, a student at Lone Star High School in Frisco, helped turn the Frisco Square into a sea of green to honor all the kids battling cancer and those who have lost their battle with cancer. 

“When you get a diagnosis that literally sucks the air out of you, you just want encouragement that there will be a tomorrow,” said Cindy Thompson, Alaina’s mother. “I find miracles every day we have Alaina in our life and how far we have come in our fight with childhood cancer.”

At age 15 with no evidence of disease, Alaina continues to live her life to the fullest.  In her spare time you could catch her painting, drawing, playing the flute in her high school band or hanging out with friends. While undergoing treatments, Alaina decided she would like to be a doctor and plans to attend medical school. 

The treatments Alaina received during her fight with cancer are not without side effects. Alaina has to deal with hearing loss, leg pain, memory issues, kidney damage, non-functioning ovaries, early stage osteoporosis, growth and puberty issues, and diabetes. 

“We are humbled for Alaina to be our Color Me Green honorary hero,” said Joy Cruse, founder of the TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation.  “Connor fought neuroblastoma, too. In fact, he beat neuroblastoma, but developed a secondary cancer due to the radiation used to fight neuroblastoma. His secondary cancer proved fatal. Events like the Color Me Green are essential to bring awareness to childhood cancer and help in the race to find a cure.”

TeamConnor hosts several events throughout the year to raise funds for childhood cancer research, including the December 8th Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot, the III Forks Golf Classic & Auction Dinner, and the September National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Concert at Watters Creek. In addition, TeamConnor’s national Coins for Kids with Cancer ™ program raises funds in schools, churches, offices and organizations.

TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is the legacy of eight-year-old Connor Cruse of Frisco who lost his four-year battle with neuroblastoma in 2009. TeamConnor has awarded more than $2 million in funding for childhood cancer research and patient programs across the country since 2008.  

Worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes. In the United States, cancer kills more children every year than AIDS, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital anomalies combined. Yet, the National Cancer Institute allocates less than four percent of its funds to pediatric cancer research. TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is dedicated to serving families, building awareness, and raising funds for research to help cure childhood cancer.

For more information on how to join the fight against childhood cancer, please visit teamconnor.org or Facebook.com/TeamConnor. 

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In Frisco, 12-year-old cancer survivor and current 7th grader at Leadership Prep School, Ashley Piltz was joined by classmates Vaishnavi Nagalla, Ritu Lokaiah, and Carter Everidge to present a check for more than $6,000 to TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. Pictured with the students left to right are: Kathryn Copple, executive director at TeamConnor; Board President Carolyn Alvey, and TeamConnor Founder, Joy Cruse.

The students worked tirelessly in September, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, to raise money to help fund more research for kids battling cancer.

Leadership Prep participated in the Coins For Kids with Cancer® campaign, a national fundraising program that supports research across the country at leading hospitals for various childhood cancers through TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation.  Coins for Kids with Cancer teaches children how the simple act of collecting spare change can have a huge impact in the battle against childhood cancer.

For more information on TeamConnor, visit teamconnor.org.

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TEAMCONNOR GIVES TO COOK CHILDREN'S Photo from Left – Right: Carolyn Alvey, TeamConnor Board President; Grant Harris, Vice-President, Cook Children’s Health Foundation; Dr. Meaghan Granger, Head of Neuroblastoma and Stem Cell Transplant Program; Chris Vogeli, TeamConnor Board Member and Proprietor of III Forks Steakhouse; Kathryn Copple, Executive Director of TeamConnor; and Mark Morrison, 2016 III Forks Golf Classic Co-Chair.

TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation presented a check to Cook Children’s for more than $10,000, which will support the Creative Artist in Residence Programme (CARPE) within the hospital. The funds were raised during the 2016 III Forks Golf Classic Dinner.

In 2015, TeamConnor established the Art Box Program at Cook Children’s with the help of a grant from Northpark Center. This program support patients at Cook Children’s Hematology and Oncology Center. Children with severely compromised immune systems are often kept in the isolation unit for 30 – 75 days at a time with limited contact with family members and no in-person contact with friends.  

TeamConnor funds personalized boxes of arts & crafts materials, including paints, crayons, markers, coloring books, ipads, and other creative items to stimulate a child’s creativity and bring joy while they’re undergoing life-saving stem cell transplants.

Cook Children’s has found that the Art Box Program provides essential components of quality pediatric health care by supporting the child’s psychological and emotional needs while easing their feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

For more information about TeamConnor and its programs, visit teamconnor.org.

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Front Row, Left to Right: Chris Wied, TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation Malena Brown, III Forks Golf Classic Honorary Co-Chair and Childhood Cancer Survivor Joy Cruse, Founder, TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation Kim Brown, III Forks Golf Classic Honorary Co-Chair - Back Row, Left to Right: Kathryn Copple, Executive Director, TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation Mary Bown, Child Life Specialist, Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center Dallas Brent Christopher, President, Children’s Medical Center Foundation

TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation presented a check to Children’s Health for more than $10,000, which will support the Art Box Program within the hospital. The funds were raised during the 2016 III Forks Golf Classic Dinner held in May at III Forks Steakhouse.

In 2012, TeamConnor established the Art Box Program at Children’s Health to support patients in the Stem Cell Transplant Unit at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. These children have severely compromised immune systems, and they are often kept in the isolation unit for 30 – 75 days at a time with limited contact with family members and no in-person contact with friends.  TeamConnor funds personalized boxes of arts & crafts materials, including paints, crayons, markers, coloring books, ipads, and other fun items to stimulate a child’s creativity and bring joy while they’re undergoing life-saving stem cell transplants.

Children’s Health has found that the Art Box Program provides essential components of quality pediatric health care by supporting the child’s psychological and emotional needs while easing their feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

For more information about TeamConnor and its programs, visit teamconnor.org.

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Three North Texas Hawaiian Falls waterparks to open pools for pet lovers to swim with their dogs on last day of summer 2016 operations


Dog lovers, save the date! Splash in the wave pool with your furry friend. Take a lap around the Lazy River with your pup! There'll be lots of fun, contests and prizes. Doggie Splash Days are coming to three North Texas Hawaiian Falls waterparks:

Garland - Wags and Waves - 10 am - 4 pm Saturday, 9/10/16
Wags and Waves 2016 will be held Saturday, September 10  at Hawaiian Falls Garland benefiting Cat Matchers, Dallas Companion Animal Project, DFW Rescue Me, Feral Friends and Legacy Boxer Rescue.  Enjoy Costume Contests, Pet Tricks and vendors with specialty items. There will be separate activity areas for large and small breed dogs. Details and tickets are available at http://wagsandwaves.org

Mansfield - Hounds for Hawaiian Falls - 2 pm - 6 pm Sunday, 9/11/16
Hawaiian Falls Mansfield will host Hounds at Hawaiian Falls Sunday, September 11, benefiting MADE (Making Assistance Dogs Easy) in Texas Assistance Dogs.  Hounds at Hawaiian Falls will honor those who serve our country by providing free admission to veterans, active military and first responders. These heroes are welcome to bring up to two dogs each at no cost, or come out just to enjoy the day and let us honor you. Details and tickets are available at https://thedriven.net/cw/hounds-at-hawaiian-falls/

The Colony - Bow-Wow Luau - 10 am - 6 pm Sunday, 9/18/16
A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Colony Animal Shelter Injured Animal Fund. Concessions will be available for purchase. Limit two dogs per owner. For more information, please contact The Colony Parks and Recreation Department at 972-625-1106 or visit http://thecolonytx.gov/Depts/PARD/SpecialEvents.html

Since these are fundraisers for specific non-profits at each park, Hawaiian Falls passes are not valid for these post-season events. Be prepared to show proof of current vaccinations. Visit the website for the specific event at your park as rules and offerings may differ from park to park.

It’s your last day to splash and play at Hawaiian Falls this season. After the Doggie Splash Days, all pools will be drained and prepared for winter. So come out and bring your dogs to end the season with a big splash!

Celebrating more than a decade of bringing families closer together, Hawaiian Falls operates water parks in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke, Pflugerville and Waco.  Currently, the parks are open to the public weekends 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. thru Labor Day. More info at hfalls.com or facebook.com/hfalls.

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On October 1st, the Frisco Square will be transformed into a Green Square for childhood cancer awareness. The 5th Annual Color Me Green race benefiting TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation brings together childhood cancer patients, advocates, survivors, families and the community to raise awareness and funds to find a cure.  

The Color Me Green 5k, 10k & Caterpillar Dash kicks off with a 7:30 AM registration and pre-race warm-up, along with a ‘get green’ tent. The Caterpillar Dash one-mile fun run begins at 8 AM and the 10k at 8:30 AM, and the 5k at 9 AM. A Green Party and Awards ceremony begin at 10 AM with a video game truck, face painting, bounce house, and music.  Before, during, and after the race, runners and guests can enjoy learning more about healthy living at the Color Me Green Health Fest.  Sponsors will have tables set up to promote their healthy lifestyle businesses and products.  

To register or for more information about Color Me Green, visit www.colormegreen5k.org

Sponsors include Northwestern Mutual, Cross Development, Caldwell Banker/Kim McLaughlin, All My Sons Moving & Storage, Family Focused Care Health Fusion of Texas, Frisco Dentistry for Kids, Frisco Family & Sports Chiropractic, Athleta, QwikWash America, Tropical Smoothie Café, Altitude Pole Fitness & Serial Arts, Luke’s Locker, Market Street, @nerdvana, Soul Sisters For A Cause, Frisco Sports Center, Satterwhite Media, Market Street, III Forks, Dimples Cupcakes, Pizzeria Testa, Michael Johnson Performance, and Joy and Tait Cruse.

TeamConnor hosts several events throughout the year to raise funds for childhood cancer research, including the National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Concert September 3 at Watters Creek, Northwestern Mutual 6th Annual Clay Shoot December 8 and the III Forks Golf Classic & Auction Dinner.  In addition, TeamConnor’s national Coins for Kids with Cancer ™ program raises funds in schools, churches, offices, and organizations to help fund childhood cancer research. 

TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is the legacy of eight-year-old Connor Cruse of Frisco who lost his four-year battle with neuroblastoma in 2009. TeamConnor has awarded over $1.8 million in funding for childhood cancer research and patient programs across the country since 2008.  

Worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes. In the United States, cancer kills more children every year than AIDS, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital anomalies combined. Yet, the National Cancer Institute allocates less than four percent of its funds to pediatric cancer research. TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is dedicated to serving families, building awareness, and raising funds for research to help cure childhood cancer.

For more information on how to join the fight against childhood cancer, please visit teamconnor.org or Facebook.com/TeamConnor.