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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.  

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Guests caught more than a wave at Hawaiian Falls The Colony Tuesday, August 16. Pokémon fans were out early to play their favorite game on their phones. Lures were set all day at the Pokéstop, located inside the park. The first 100 guests received a Pokémon figure and prizes were given away hourly throughout the day.

“The Pokémon craze hit like lightning this summer, and it was especially popular with our guests,” explained Leigh Ann Hatchett, Hawaiian Falls marketing director. “I did a little research and found that all of our Hawaiian Falls locations had either Pokéstops or Gyms so it seemed a natural fit. This was our third Pokémon event this summer. Previously, we hosted similar events in Roanoke and Pflugerville. It’s really a social phenomenon where people go to parks and public spaces to catch Pokémons, but they’re also interacting with each other and making new friends.  We’re always looking for ways to bring our families closer together and, sure enough, we’ve seen parents playing along with their kids at our parks. In fact, when we talked about doing a Pokémon event, we had a rush of Hawaiian Falls Ambassadors who wanted to champion the event at their park.”

Celebrating more than a decade of bringing families closer together, Hawaiian Falls operates water parks in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke, Pflugerville and Waco.  This is the last full week of daily operations. Beginning Monday, August 22, the waterparks will only be open weekends from 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. thru Labor Day. More info at hfalls.com or facebook.com/hfalls.

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TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is hosting a free concert Saturday, September 3 in Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm, located at U.S. 75 and Bethany in Allen, to promote National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  TeamConnor has been selected as Watter’s Creek partner in this “Music Makes A Difference” series.  

The Free Loaders, one of Dallas’ best blues/jazz band, will perform from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, September 3, in conjunction with Concerts by the Creek in Watters Creek.  The Free Loaders perform music from 1900 to 2016 all in the vein of jazz/blues/swing and fun. At 8 p.m. special guests will pay tribute to children currently battling childhood cancer and remember those who have lost their battle with a moment of silence. Participants are invited to spread a blanket on the lawn or dine on the patio at one of the restaurants surrounding the park while listening to The Free Loaders. 

“Every year thousands of children are diagnosed with cancer,” said Joy Cruse, founder of TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. “Sadly, there has only been one drug in the last 21 years developed to fight childhood cancer.  We are honored to be part of the “Music Makes A Difference” series at Watter’s Creek and hoping to draw more awareness to childhood cancer.  We need more awareness regarding the devastating impact that cancer has on children.” 

TeamConnor hosts several events throughout the year to raise funds for childhood cancer research, including the Texas Rangers’ Childhood Cancer Awareness Night on September 2; Color Me Green 5K, 10K and Caterpillar Dash October 1; Northwestern Mutual 5th Annual Clay Shoot December 8. 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 $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.

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Hawaiian Falls will host Champions Day Saturday, August 13 at the Garland, Mansfield, The Colony, Roanoke, Pflugerville and Waco waterparks to bless families of individuals with special needs.  

“Champions Day is often a special needs child’s first visit to a waterpark,” said Clint Hill, Hawaiian Falls president & CEO. “People with sensory issues can have difficulty processing the exciting stimulus of a waterpark on an average day. So for Champions Day we turn our music way down during this special time. We ask our staff to be patient and  much more lenient to accommodate our guests’ special needs. We also bring in extra staff for a more favorable staff-to-guest ratio.”

The “Champions” (special needs children and adults) will get in free Saturday. One family member or caregiver accompanying them can get in for only $5, while additional immediate family members are also offered discounted tickets. More importantly, the Champions and their families will have special access to the parks before they open to the public. The Champions and their families will have exclusive use of the park from 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.  August 13. The parks will open to the public 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Season pass holders always get in 30 minutes before the public.) The Champions, caregivers and families can stay all day for no additional charge. More information is available at http://www.hfalls.com/championsday

“Special needs families often tell us they wouldn’t be able to come without this offer,” explained Hill. “They never know if they’ll be able to stay an hour or all day. We’ve held Champions Days for several years now and it always brings us great joy to see how much the families get out of these special times. It truly exemplifies our core mission of bringing families closer together.”

Celebrating more than a decade of bringing families closer together, Hawaiian Falls operates water parks in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke, Pflugerville and Waco.  More info at hfalls.com or facebook.com/hfalls.

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One of Fort Worth’s culinary delights, WATERS Bonnell’s Coastal Cuisine, is moving to Sundance Square.  Chef Jon Bonnell will close his West 7th Street location in August to prepare for the move to the 35-block commercial, entertainment, dining, and retail development in the heart of downtown Fort Worth. 

“Sundance Square is an iconic destination and uniquely Fort Worth,” said Chef Jon Bonnell, owner of WATERS. “With our lease up in August on West 7th, I wanted to find a location with a lot of character and a great presence in the community. Relocating to Sundance Square is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the timing is perfect.”

WATERS in Sundance Square is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017 and will be located at the corner of Main and 2nd Street in the space occupied by Mercury Chop House, closing its doors later this month.

“This is a wonderful time to create a new space with a well-known chef and successful concept that the community has embraced,” said Johnny Campbell, President and CEO of Sundance Square. “Chef Bonnell is well respected and has a commitment to offering Fort Worth the best in fine seafood which is a perfect addition to Sundance Square.”

With approximately 5,000 square feet of space, WATERS will occupy a space that will be completely transformed with an updated infrastructure and architectural design.

WATERS in Sundance Square will feature three points of entry. From Main Street, guests can enter into the bar that will be shaped like a horseshoe for a lively gathering spot.

The dining room will have lots of natural light with an open concept and Earth-tone colors according to Bonnell. Entering from 2nd Street, the dining room will boast two wine cellars each housing a vast selection of red and white wines with a glass front. A Chef’s Table Room will seat up to 12 people and will have a view of the kitchen from behind a glass front.

Situated on Commerce Street, the updated patio will be situated directly across from the Wells Fargo and D. R. Horton Towers where guests will find plenty of shade, comfortable seating, a full outdoor bar and the full-service menu.

Bonnell intends to freshen the menu with some new items, which will be revealed at a later date, but intends to keep the classics including “The Dirty Dozen”, gumbo, and a great selection of wines.

WATERS will be added to Sundance Square’s preferred list of caterers offering its full menu to all of Sundance Square’s tenants, as well as one of the exclusive caterers for the Pavilion located in the Sundance Square Plaza.

“Sundance Square has it all,” says Bonnell. “I am thrilled to have found a new site with a great atmosphere, a loyal following, and plentiful parking.” 

Launched in 2012, Sundance Square’s complimentary valet service has 10 locations throughout the development for guests to utilize. The valet service enhances Sundance Square’s extensive parking program that includes free parking during the weeknights and all weekend.

“Mercury Chop House has been a great tenant for more than 15 years,” said Johnny Campbell, president and CEO of Sundance Square. “The restaurant will always be a part of Sundance Square’s rich history and is leaving a wonderful legacy. It is quite extraordinary that we have WATERS poised to take on this space and are looking forward to the next chapter at 301 Main Street.”

Sundance Square is a vibrant 35-block commercial, residential, entertainment and retail district where people work, live, shop and dine among beautiful landscaping, red-brick streets and turn-of-the-century buildings. More information about Sundance Square can be found at www.sundancesquare.com.

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Hawaiian Falls will honor members of the military, first responders and other influential leaders with Heroes Week Wednesday, August 3 thru Sunday, August 7 at all six Texas waterparks. The Heroes, including military, firefighters, police, emergency medical personnel, nurses, doctors and teachers will be admitted free with a valid ID card and the purchase of a Big Kahuna ticket. The heroes’ family members can purchase discounted tickets for $19.99 each ($23.99 in Pflugerville) at the front gate. As always, kids 2 and under are free. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Assist the Officer Foundation to benefit the families of police officers who lost their lives in the call of duty.

“Our heroes and their families sacrifice every day for us,” said Clint Hill, Hawaiian Falls CEO. “In the past, we’ve recognized military personnel on Memorial Day and Independence Day, but we wanted to go above and beyond to recognize their efforts. And we’re expanding our definition of a “hero” to include all first responders, school teachers, doctors and nurses because they all sacrifice time with their families to take care of others. We want them to bring their family out to relax and have fun together.”
 
During Heroes Week each park will open at 10:30 a.m. with a salute to heroes. Hawaiian Falls waterparks are open daily 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Season passholders always get in 30 minutes before the general public.

The Assist The Officer Foundation provides financial assistance to officers who are facing the loss of income due to a serious injury, life-threatening illness or other catastrophic event. Immediate assistance is available to an officer’s family in the event of the death of an active officer. Since its creation in 1999, the Foundation has provided assistance to hundreds of officers and their families who were faced with any number of life-altering situations. More information at https://atodallas.org.

Celebrating more than a decade of bringing families closer together, Hawaiian Falls operates waterparks in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke, Waco and Pflugerville. More info at hfalls.com or facebook.com/hfalls

 

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Noah Benjamin, a recent graduate of Dallas Baptist University, is hoping to raise $100,000 for the Assist the Officer Foundation in Dallas. Benjamin was deeply touched by the recent shootings of Dallas police officers, so he’s trying to raise money for the fallen officers’ families.

“Dallas is my home and these officers put their lives on the line every day,” said Benjamin, owner of HiveCreate, a graphic design company. “People can buy the sign, decals and shirts online and we will deliver them locally anywhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Businesses can buy the signs in bulk and we’ll donate 100% of the proceeds to ATO. If a business wants to be a pickup location, we can supply the signs to them and people can either buy the merchandise at the business or pick them up with proof or purchase from an online sale. We just want to cover the city with signs proclaiming our support for law enforcement officers.”

#DallasStrong merchandise ranges from a $5 decal to a $20 t-shirt or $25 yard sign. A minimum of 50-percent of each purchase will be donated to ATO Dallas.  

To order #DallasStrong merchandise, or for more information, go to https://dallasstrongsigns.com/

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Jason Martin, Hawaiian Falls Mansfield General Manager; Justin La Fond, Hawaiian Falls Mansfield Operations Manager; hosts Debbie & Bobby Jones, Texas Rangers Coach; Bob Apetz, Chairman, Snowball Express

Throughout the history of the United States, brave men and women serving in our military have paid the staggering price of freedom by laying down their lives for our country. And their families pay an awful cost as they adjust to life without their loved ones. In honor of their sacrifice, Hawaiian Falls recently teamed up with the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation to host the Snowball Express, an organization committed to building new memories for the children of fallen military heroes.

“My husband was First Sergeant Jonathan Compton, U.S. Marines,” said Sara Compton of Kennedale, who was at the Mansfield waterpark with her seven-year-old daughter Bailey, her mother-in-law Patti and her brother-in-law David Compton. “Jonathan loved the Marine Corps very much. He joined when he was 17 and served for 15 years. He took his own life right before Thanksgiving 2014 as a result of factors that are affecting many of our military today. We miss him very much. We went to our first Snowball event last Christmas and it was really helpful to meet other families who had lost a loved one.”

Snowball Express is a non-profit organization that provides hope and opportunities to create new memories for the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since September 11, 2001. More information about the Snowball Express organization is available at http://www.snowballexpress.org.

“It’s good to see these kids smile,” said Texas Rangers coach Bobby Jones, who welcomed the group along with his wife Debbie. Jones, who is in his second consecutive season as a Texas Rangers coach, earned a Bronze Star medal while serving with the Army from 1969 to 1971 in Vietnam. “I lost some friends over there, so I can imagine what it was like for their families. I’m glad we’re able to help these families have a little fun and let the kids just be kids today.”

It’s actually Jones’ third stint on the Rangers staff. He served with Johnny Oates 2000 - 2001. Then he joined the Rangers again under Buck Showalter in 2006. This is his 28th season as a coach or manager in the Texas organization. Jones is the longest-tenured active member of the Rangers' baseball operations department, having started his coaching career as the manager at Charlotte in the Class A Florida State League in 1988. He amassed the most games and victories of any manager in the history of the Texas organization, with 1656 wins ranking him in the top four among active Minor League managers at the end of 2013. Jones also played baseball for the Rangers as an outfielder. He appeared in 314 Major League games over nine seasons from 1974-86.

Amy Weatherford of Corinth lost her husband U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class William Weatherford in a helicopter crash nearly 10 years ago. She has brought her three sons to the annual Snowball Express event for the past seven years. “It helps the boys to interact with other kids who have lost a mom or dad while serving.  They really know how it feels and what they’re going through. It’s also a way for us to keep their father’s memory alive.”

But this was not a day of mourning. This was a day for splashing in the wavepool and floating carefree down the Lazy River. The Snowflakes, as Snowball Express refers to the kids, laughed and carried on. You’d have been hard pressed to pick them out from any of the other kids enjoying a warm summer day at the waterpark. A step in the right direction for families who have known more than their share of sorrow to create new memories together. That, after all, was the order of the day.

The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children in need within our community, and provides funding for youth in crisis, youth health initiatives, youth baseball programs, and youth education. More information is available at http://www.texasrangers.com.

Celebrating more than a decade of bringing families closer together, Hawaiian Falls operates waterparks in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke, Pflugerville and Waco.  More info at hfalls.com or facebook.com/hfalls.

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Fireworks,  Movies and DJ Glow Nights light up July Friday nights




Hawaiian Falls introduces Friday Palooza Family-Friendly Friday Nights with extended hours, spectacular fireworks, Dive-in movies and DJ Glow parties at no additional charge every Friday night in July from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. beginning July 8 thru July 29. The extended hours and added events are included with the purchase of a regular daily admission ticket or season pass.

“The waterparks take on a whole new character after dark,” said Clint Hill, Hawaiian Falls president & CEO. “We light up a few of the slide towers and have extra lights around the park for our guests’ safety. Floating in a tube on a hot summer night while enjoying fireworks, a fun movie or listening to some great tunes together as a family is just magical. We’ve made our Hawaiian Falls Families’ Friday nights bigger and better than ever.”

With the exception of Garland, each of the parks will feature a professional fireworks show on two of the Friday nights in July. Movie nights will include popular films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Inside Out; Zootopia; and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. DJ Glow Nights will feature a deejay playing popular tunes and encouraging families to dance. Glow-in-the-dark items will be available for purchase. A complete schedule is available at http://www.hfalls.com/friday-palooza/

The Hawaiian Falls season pass is valid at all six waterparks, so season passholders can choose any park for their choice of Friday night entertainment.

Celebrating more than a decade of bringing families closer together, Hawaiian Falls operates waterparks in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke, Pflugerville and Waco.  More info at hfalls.com or facebook.com/hfalls.

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Splash Out Cancer Crew PISD students Drew Hodnett, Caitlyn Coker, Mason Dibble, Carter Smith, Parker Smith, Hannah Hodnett, Johnathan Rooke, Ashlyn Smith, William Rooke, Cole Coker, Carson Coker and Hawaiian Falls dance team.

Several Murphy and Richardson students got up at the crack of dawn the first week of summer to talk about Splash Out Childhood Cancer on WFAA Channel 8's Daybreak show.  Splash Out Childhood Cancer is a summer long program that everyone can enjoy now to Labor Day.

Splash Out Childhood Cancer tickets to Hawaiian Falls are only $20 plus tax (regular price is $27.99 plus tax). Children two years old and under are free.  Tickets are valid throughout the summer (May 28, 2016 – September 5, 2016) to any of the six Hawaiian Falls waterparks: Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke, Waco, and Pflugerville. Tickets must be purchased at splashoutcancer.org to receive the discount.