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Plano Conservancy co-director Jeffrey Campbell of McKinney visits with Andy Hedges at the event

On Saturday, May 17 Plano's Haggard Park was filled with live music, activities and fun for all ages at "Prairie Jubilee", a The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. event designed to celebrate Plano and National Historic Preservation Month. 


The event featured live music from cowboy songster Andy Hedges, Texas blues man Rafael Espinoza, conjunto band Los Morales Boyz, the Faith Lutheran School of Plano student choir, and local favorites "The Twin Fiddles".

The festival also included trackless train rides, face painting, a sidewalk chalk art area, cane pole fishing, stick horse races, cow roping, tours of Plano's Interurban Railway Museum and Rail Car #360 and scholarship presentations by The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. and much more.

"This free, fun, family event was an excellent opportunity for us to celebrate the City of Plano and its heritage," said Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation Co-Director Jeffrey Campbell. "This event allowed us to gather for outstanding live music and lots of family fun, and also allowed us to educate guests about the historic preservation efforts underway in the city.  We hope this event provided folks a chance to enjoy a beautiful Texas spring day while learning more about the rich history and culture that this area has to offer."

The event was sponsored by The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., and proceeds from the event will benefit group's historic preservation efforts in the City of Plano.

For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org and www.facebook.com/PlanoConservancy or call 972.941.2117.

About Rafael Espinoza: Recent Berklee College of Music Graduate Rafael Espinoza is an Award Winning Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist from Golden, Texas who performs with his band at various venues throughout the year. Rafael Espinoza is taking the music world by storm performing original music that is deeply rooted in the Blues. Graduating with Academic Honors “Magna Cum Laude” at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts in August 2013, Rafael studied with the top professionals in the music industry and performed at some of Boston’s finest venues. Along with his Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Music, Rafael’s most recent achievements include participating in the opening performance for Country Music Legend Willie Nelson at Boston University’s Agannis Arena during Berklee’s Commencement Concert. Rafael Espinoza also recently won The Heart Of Texas Blues Challenge at Antone’s in Austin, Texas where he competed against the state’s Top Blues Bands. Soon to be released "Brighter Day" is Rafael’s second album, but his first official full length LP album which is jam packed with high energy, positive original music. www.RafaelEspinozaMusic.com

About Andy Hedges: Andy Hedges is a songster, reciter, and guitarist. His wide and varied repertoire includes classic cowboy recitations, old cowboy songs, dust bowl ballads and blues. Andy taught himself to play the guitar when he was 14 and began collecting classic cowboy poems and traditional cowboy songs. He has been performing for over 15 years and has released seven albums including four joint-projects with songwriter, Andy Wilkinson. In 2010, the two Andys received the Wrangler Award for Outstanding Traditional Western Music from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Andy lives in Lubbock, Texas with his wife and daughter. www.andyhedges.com/

About Loz Morales Boyz: Breaking onto the conjunto scene in 2012, this group of under 18 year-olds is comprised of three brothers and a close family friend from Dallas. Lead singer and accordionist Nachito Morales, age 17, attends the prestigious Booker T. Washington School for the Performing Arts and won Texas Folklife’s Big Squeeze state-wide youth accordion contest in 2011. Younger brother Rudy, age 12, plays bajo sexto, while eight year-old brother Cheque plays drums. Michael Ramos, age 17, plays electric bass but is also the 2013 reigning Big Squeeze champion. The Boyz recently won the Young Conjunto of the Year Award at the South Texas Conjunto Association Awards. They released their first CD “Conjunto Nunca Muere” this year. www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Morales-Boyz

About the Twin Fiddles: Megan and Leah Bynum started violin lessons when they were two years old.  They were classically trained to play and read music using the Suzuki method.  They haven’t always been fiddlers, however.  In recent years, they’ve begun to explore fiddling – they enjoy country, Celtic, western swing, and most of all, bluegrass.  Because they are classically trained and have played together since they were very young, their fiddling has a unique, synergistic resonance with a classical touch. www.thetwinfiddles.com

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117.

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On Sunday, May 4, 2014, Faith Lutheran School students and their families gathered with members of Faith Lutheran Church, Faith Lutheran School faculty and staff and members of the community for the the school's annual Faith Family Picnic.

At the event, three staff members at Faith Lutheran School were recognized for years of service anniversaries:

• Tim Merritt of Plano - Faith Lutheran School Headmaster – recognized for serving 20 years as a teacher in Lutheran schools
• Connie Telschow of Plano - Faith Lutheran School Kindergarten teacher – recognized for serving 10 years as a teacher in Lutheran schools
• Sue Wells of Allen - Faith Lutheran School secretary, has also taught Spanish at the school – recognized for serving 16 years at Faith Lutheran School

"We are blessed to have these talented people serving at our school," said Faith Lutheran Church senior pastor Rev. James Woelmer of Lucas. "They are a blessing to all of us, especially to our students. We thank God for them and for their service."

About Faith Lutheran School
In 1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation. Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the community on a tuition basis. Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and currently provides classes from pre-school three-year-olds through the twelfth grade. School curriculum is based on the classical model of education. The school's educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School, please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448.

About Faith Lutheran Church:
Faith Lutheran Church is a conservative congregation of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that confesses the teachings of the historic Christian church as they are taught in the Bible. Faith Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and has locations in both Plano and Wylie, Texas. For more information, please visit www.faithplano.org or call 972.423.7447

Photo caption: L to R, Faith Lutheran School Board of Christian Education Chairman Steven Krycho of Plano, Faith Lutheran School Headmaster Timothy Merritt of Plano, Faith Lutheran School Secretary Sue Wells of Allen, and Faith Lutheran School Kindergarten teacher Connie Telschow of Plano, with Faith Lutheran Church Senior Pastor Rev. James Woelmer of Lucas. Krycho and Woelmer presented certificates of appreciation and a small gift to each staff member in recognition of their years of service at the Faith Lutheran Church & School annual Faith Family Picnic on Sunday, May 4, 2014. 

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Carol Tobias, the President of the National Right to Life Committee, gave several presentations Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6, 2014.

Tobias spoke at the Dal North Zone Lutheran Women in Mission (LWML) Spring Rally at the church the morning of Saturday, April 5.

"Abortion is not a pro-woman issue," said Tobias. "Women are not required to be told about potential risks, something that is required for any other major surgery.  Why do they fight health and safety standards? That is not pro-woman. Pro-abortion organizations like to say that they are helping women, but that's not true. They are looking to make a profit."

Tobias also spoke in an open-to-the public presentation at the church the afternoon of Saturday, April 5.

"We have the wonderful ability to be involved in our government, to choose our leaders and to effect the decisions they make.  We cannot be pro-life with our right hand and pro-abortion with our left," said Tobias.  "Abortion is a political issue.  Abortion is also a spiritual, moral issue.  The Bible gives us a pretty clear indication that each human being is a unique creation, made by God. We are not to harm His handiwork. We must speak on behalf of the voiceless."

"Abortion is a spiritual battle.  God loves His people," she added. "It is not a secret that a society that devalues life at the beginning will also devalue life at the end. What about the elderly and the disabled?  We see denial of food and fluids to people who cannot speak for themselves. This has been going on for years in this county. Americans don't yet realize what a slippery slope this is.  The loss of respect of human life in the early stages also leads us to discuss cloning and stem cell use.  Not a single cure or treatment has been derived from embryo stem cells.  All successful treatments have been created from adult stem cells."

Tobias also spoke to the Faith Lutheran Church FLAG youth group on Sunday, April 6, addressing the church's youth and their parents.

"Not only does an innocent baby die in abortion, but the mother is impacted as well...for years afterwards.  The fathers are impacted, too.  Whether a woman is considering an abortion or has had an abortion, we must open our arms to her.  There is such a physical risk to the mother. There are emotional and psychological effects. We must show love and grace," she said.  "This is a family issue that effects everyone. When an abortion takes place, you start cutting branches off of a family tree."

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) is the oldest and the largest national pro-life organization in the United States with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide.  The group works to protect human life from induced abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide through legislation and education. It was founded in 1968 and is a non-partisan political group.

"I heard Carol Tobias speak at the recent National Right to Life Convention.  She cares about women and the babies they carry.  She has a passion for all of life.  We greatly appreciated her presentations," said Faith Lutheran Church Senior Pastor Rev. James Woelmer of Lucas.

"Abortion is interfering with the spiritual life of many Christians," said Tobias.  "Women that have had abortions are all around us.  Guilt and shame weigh heavily. Many women are hurting, and they need to hear about the love and forgiveness of Jesus. Church members need to be open, responsive and loving.  Do the people in your church know that abortion is wrong? You cannot tell all of your members who to vote for, but make sure your members know where candidates stand. Be informed.  We do need Christians in politics.  We are citizens of two kingdoms. I would encourage you all to go forward and serve God in both."

About Carol Tobias:
Carol Tobias is president of the National Right to Life Committee. A native of North Dakota, she has served on the National Right to Life board of directors since 1987.  From 1983 to 1991, she was executive director of North Dakota Right to Life and in 1991 was hired as National Right to Life political director, a position she held until 2005.  In that capacity, she organized and conducted seminars on pro-life issues and on becoming involved in the political process. She was a regular speaker at conferences around the country and participated in candidate-training seminars, teaching candidates how to handle pro-life issues in a campaign.  During her tenure as political director, pro-life majorities were elected to both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.  In both 2000 and 2004, she oversaw the efforts of National Right to Life's political action committee on behalf of George W. Bush. Mrs. Tobias has appeared on ABC's World News Tonight, NBC's Today Show, The News Hour on PBS, news shows on CNN, C-SPAN and Fox News Channel, as well as numerous television and radio programs throughout the country. She has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today.  She and her husband, Damon, live in Cedar Crest, New Mexico.

About Faith Lutheran Church:
Faith Lutheran Church puts Jesus at the center of all that is preached and taught.  Faith Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and has locations in both Plano and Wylie, Texas. It is a congregation that is faithful to the Scriptures. For more information, please visit www.faithplano.org and www.faithwylie.org or call 972.423.7447.

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On Saturday, April 19, the Collin County Farmers Market in Plano will be filled with shoppers browsing wares offered by vendors of all kinds at the market's 2014 opening day.

Market guests will have the opportunity to purchase everything from locally-sourced bakery items to regionally-grown mushrooms.  The Collin County Farmers Market prides itself on offering a wide variety of Texas-sourced products.

"Our mission is to support local farmers while providing the community access to fresh, wholesome and healthy foods," said Collin County Farmers Market President Kari Gates of Plano, who also owns and operates Spring Creek Organic Farm. "We also have a mission to educate the public about health, the environment and a commitment to serve those less fortunate by donating produce to our local food banks and pantry."

Opening day vendors include local favorites such as Bee True Products, Coffee del Rey, Earth on Tap Juices, Glaze Cupcakery, Truth Hill Farm, Village Bakery and many others. A complete, current market vendor list is available at http://tinyurl.com/ccmarketvendors.

The Collin County Farmer's Market is located at Fairview Farms, 3314 Central Expressway in Plano, next to Joe's Crab Shack.

The 2014 Collin County Farmers Market season runs from April 19 to November 1 on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Special events and updates are available on the market's website (www.collincountyfarmersmarket.org) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CollinCountyFarmersMarket).

About Collin County Farmers Market:
Our mission is to provide support for local farmers, Texas grown produce and artisan vendors in a family friendly atmosphere by sharing their products with the community. For more information, please call (972) 345-0484 or visit www.collincountyfarmersmarket.org

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Photo courtesy Faith Lutheran School. L to R: Rich Shelton, Real Options for Women, with Faith Lutheran School student council members Jayson Werth of Sachse, Lisa Amen of Plano and Phillip Merritt of Plano.

Students at Plano's Faith Lutheran School recently observed the school's "Celebrate Life Week."

"Students studied from a special curriculum designed to celebrate all stages of life," explained Faith Lutheran School fourth grade teacher Cheryl Wildauer of Allen.  "Students in grades 6-8 attended two sessions of a special program called "180 Degrees", an abstinence-until-marriage program presented through Real Options for Women."

 A monetary collection was taken for Real Options for Women. Real Options for Women is a local information resource for women facing unplanned pregnancies, a gateway to medical care for those continuing their pregnancies and a provider of STD screening for those at risk of infection.

A unique monetary donation program called "Baby Bottles for Life" was used to collect funds for the group. Each student was given a baby bottle to be filled with coins, bills and checks for the non-profit group. Baby clothing was also collected and donated for distribution to some of the clients of the facility. The Faith Lutheran Church ladies sewing group also donated a number of baby quilts to accompany the donated baby clothing.

Students, faculty and staff were also given green ribbons to wear each day during the week to remind them of the importance of life.

About Faith Lutheran School
In 1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation. Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the community on a tuition basis. Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and currently provides classes from pre-school three-year-olds through the twelfth grade. School curriculum is based on the classical model of education. The school's educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School, please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448. 

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Faith Lutheran School in Plano, Texas will be conducting an open house on Sunday, April 6 at 3 p.m. to show case the school's K-12 and early childhood preschool programs.

Families interested in the school will meet the headmaster and teaching staff, tour the facilities and enjoy light refreshments.

Faith Lutheran School is located at 1701 E. Park Blvd in Plano.  For more information please call 972.723.7448. 

You may read more about Faith Lutheran School at www.flsplano.org and www.facebook.com/flsplano

About Faith Lutheran School
Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and currently provides classes
from pre-school three-year-olds through the twelfth grade. School
curriculum is based on the classical model of education. The school's
educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts. In
1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas
established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation.
Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the
community on a tuition basis. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School,
please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448. 

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Students at Plano's Faith Lutheran School often support the work of missionaries through their chapel offerings.  But this semester, they are gathering funds to help the son of the school's own fourth grade teacher.

Rev. Micah Wildauer, son of Faith Lutheran School fourth grade teacher Cheryl Wildauer of Allen, was most recently the Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Rev. Wildauer accepted a call from The Lutheran Church-Missouri Board for International Mission to become a theological educator at the French Language Seminary in Dapaong, Togo, Africa.

Rev. Wildauer and his wife Robin recently attended orientation meetings to prepare them for their work and are now working to obtain financial support for deployment in 2014.

"Our staff is thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to teach about Christ and to serve the students and families of Faith Lutheran School.  It is a special blessing for us to see Rev. Wildauer embark on this exciting journey and  enter this new, exciting phase in his service to the Lord.  We are fortunate to be a part of his journey," said Faith Lutheran School Headmaster Timothy Merritt of Plano.

Working alongside another Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod pastor Rev. Wildauer will be teaching courses in doctrine and theology to men who wish to become pastors among the people of Togo and surrounding French-speaking countries in West Africa.

 “The face of mission work is changing in Africa," said Rev. Wildauer. "Many small emerging church bodies are desiring our pastors and theological educators to train their own men to be pastors, rather than the former concept of church planting among people who are completely unfamiliar with the Gospel. Teaching at the seminary in Togo will provide an answer for many neighboring church bodies who long for such. Their pastors will then return equipped with the theological foundation to lead their congregations. In essence, the students of Faith Lutheran are supporting the proclamation of the Gospel in Africa so that generations yet to be born know the Lord.”

 The Wildauer family will be sharing updates about their work at http://wildauersgototogo.blogspot.com/. Those interested in pledging financial support or who are interested in learning more about mission work in West Africa can also visit www.lcms.org/wildauer

About Faith Lutheran School

In 1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation. Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the community on a tuition basis. Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and currently provides classes from pre-school three-year-olds through the twelfth grade.   School curriculum is based on the classical model of education. The school's educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School, please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448.

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This summer, The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. will offer three “Bridging the Gap” summer camp sessions at Plano’s historic Interurban Railway Museum.
 
“This new, unique camp program will allow campers the opportunity to apply creativity and engineering skills to build a bridge model,” explained Russell Kissick, Co-Director of The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc.  ”The curriculum is based on the ‘five E’ science model, which promotes the discovery method of learning, campers engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate the design and function of different types of bridges.”
 
Bridge Building 1 will be offered June 16 -19, 2014 from 9 a.m. - noon and July 14-17, 2014 from 9 a.m. - noon, and Bridge Building 2 will be offered July 28-31 2014 from 9 a.m. - noon.
 
All sessions will take place at Interurban Railway Museum, located at 901 East 15th Street in historic downtown Plano.
 
Classes are $65 per student.  Each class session is limited to 12 students.
 
This summer camp program, created for ages 9 through 12, allows campers the opportunity to apply creativity and engineering skills to build a bridge model.  Based on the five E science model, which promotes the discovery method of learning, campers will engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate the design and function of different types of bridges.
 
Led by certified teachers, this program is designed for students entering grades 4 - 7 in fall 2014.
 
To register:
Visit www.planoparks.org and search for corresponding course number to register online. Or register via phone at 972-941-7250.
 
June 16-19, 2014: course number 159517
July 14-17, 2014: course number 159518
July 28-31, 2014: course number 159519
 
About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117.
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The Assistance Center of Collin County announced today that the non-profit has launched an online version of Collin County Cares, a comprehensive directory of services for those in need or in crisis in Collin County, featuring information about virtually all human services and aid agencies in the county.

The free, online tool is available at www.collincares.org.

The Collin County Cares tool includes listings for human services agencies, government services, housing authorities, medical facilities, police departments, school districts, support groups and much more. Each listing contains contact information, hours of operation, names of the organization's leadership, services offered and more.


The information contained in the resource was previously only available in printed booklet format which was updated every two years. The new, online tool is easily accessible 24 hours a day. Featured agencies can update their information at any time, and agencies seeking to have their services listed can apply for inclusion and, upon acceptance, update
information quickly and easily.

"The Assistance Center of Collin County is known for coordinating financial and material assistance for those in need in our community," said Assistance Center of Collin County executive director Tanya Sastoque. "By making this tool available online to anyone, we are able to get this valuable information into the hands of the many in our community who need aid. Individuals can use the tool to search directly for things they need, or if those in crisis are seeking aid through a shelter, church, agency or other service organization, those groups can access the online tool to easily and quickly provide relevant information customized to the unique situation of those they are serving."

The new, online version of Collin County Cares was made possible by a $30,000 financial sponsorship from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.


“Texas Health Plano recognizes that identifying significant health needs in our community is an important step in implementing our mission,” said Mike Evans, R.N., M.S.N., president of Texas Health Plano. “Through collaboration with the Assistance Center of Collin County, we are able to support our community by providing individuals access to useful social services that will, in turn, improve the health of people in the communities we serve.”

The Assistance Center of Collin County, located at 900 E. 18th Street in Plano, brings carefully-qualified and prompt short-term assistance to individuals and families in financial crisis to help them regain self-sufficiency. Residents of Collin County facing a financial crisis or an emergency situation can contact the Center to obtain financial assistance, information, guidance, direction and references to appropriate human service resources. Anyone may obtain help by calling the Center's hotline at 972-422-1850 or visiting the Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. For more information, to donate, or to volunteer, call 972-422-1125 or visit www.assistancecenter.org.

About the Assistance Center of Collin County

The Assistance Center serves Collin County by responding to people in crisis with food, shelter, clothing and medical assistance. The ACCC achieves this mission by informing, guiding, directing and linking people to appropriate human service resources and providing emergency, short-term financial assistance to residents with valid needs. The
Assistance Center aides clients in the process of reclaiming financial self-sufficiency through counseling, training, referrals, and financial support. Founded in 1977 by former Plano Mayor and current former Texas State Senator Florence Shapiro, the Assistance Center of Collin County was formerly known as the Information and Referral Center of Collin County. Through discerning programs, guidance and funds, the Center works to help stabilize the home economies of Collin County families in order to fight homelessness, hunger and poverty. For more information, please visit www.assistancecenter.org or call 972-422-1125

About Texas Health Plano

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano is a 366-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, providing technologically advanced care to Plano and surrounding areas since 1991. The hospital’s services include orthopedics, cardiovascular services, oncology, pediatrics and women’s services. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Plano has more than 1,600 employees and 1,200 physicians on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/Plano.

About Texas Health Resources

Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris
Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org