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With a variety of new attractions opening daily in Frisco, the economy is growing and booming! In our February issue, readers will learn about everything from the Frisco Farm Fresh Market to the new developments in downtown Frisco. Read all about up-and-coming, innovative businesses in the area and about local ministries that are making a big impact on the community.

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Published by Ben, 2019-03-15 11:15:25

FSM February 2016

With a variety of new attractions opening daily in Frisco, the economy is growing and booming! In our February issue, readers will learn about everything from the Frisco Farm Fresh Market to the new developments in downtown Frisco. Read all about up-and-coming, innovative businesses in the area and about local ministries that are making a big impact on the community.

emark Theatres, living units and even a
church, shortly). It will only get better and
is one of the best areas I have seen across
the country.”

Though Frisco is, admittedly, boom-
ing, the addition of The Tower at Frisco
Square gives residents yet another aspect
of the city to be proud of. It is yet anoth-
er place in which they can support the
people and businesses that have chosen
to make Frisco their new home. Rebecca
Bowman of Encore Office LLC shares,
“The Tower at Frisco Square ultimately
brings quality companies and cohesive
architecture with the city’s ultimate goals
in mind. The Tower allows the residents of
Frisco to work, dine and shop right in their
own town square, which keeps money in
Frisco, which then funds aspects of the
community like schools and roads. The
Tower also brings family-friendly brands,
which continue to build strong founda-
tions across the community.”

Frisco Square is rap-

idly changing. New

companies have found

their perfect homes,

providing additional

job growth and inno-

vation to the expand-

ing area.

The fact that The Tower’s lead tenant
is Gearbox Software, may be just as ex-
citing as the new development itself. It
is a company unlike any other in Frisco.
Cutting-edge technology and innovation
is here to make its mark! Gearbox Soft-
ware, an award-winning, independent
developer of interactive entertainment
was founded in February of 1999. Game
industry veterans decided to make Frisco
the new home to the software company
after outgrowing their Plano office. The
president of Gearbox, Randy Pitchford,
brings nearly 250 team members and
other creative types to the new location.
Gearbox Software has distinguished itself
as one of the most respected and recog-
nized independent video game makers

FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 51

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in the world. Mr. Leslie The Tower at Frisco Square will be

credits Gearbox Software home to what is believed to be the

with one aspect of The nation’s first bar and restaurant

Tower at Frisco Square themed entirely around video-

that he is most excited games. @nerdvana.food+spirits

about. He explains, “Hav- and @nerdvana.coffee+shop are

ing The Tower house the a vision that has come to life for

world headquarters for Mr. Pitchford’s wife, Kristy. Mrs.

Gearbox is amazing. They Pitchford’s location will celebrate

are very creative and everything to do with video-

well-respected in their games. The restaurant and café

industry and beyond. The will each have their own respec-

gaming industry is where tive entrances, but are located

more and more of the next door to one another (with a

entertainment dollar is connecting door). The bar area of

being spent and is clearly the restaurant is set to have areas

the direction our society streaming games that invite cus-

is going. It changes con- tomers to go inside and play. The

stantly with new technol- theme of the spaces will be a nod

ogy, and the leadership to the gaming world, with refer-

of Gearbox is leading that ences to Gearbox, of course.

charge.” Also calling The Tower’s bottom

That leadership has floor home is Burger 21, a fast-

driven Gearbox Software casual establishment that boasts

to the top of its game crafted burgers and shakes. It is

and the diverse and hard- the vision of the owners of The

working members of the Melting Pot restaurants, who

team share a common sought to create a modern burger

goal in using their tal- restaurant that offers a unique va-

ents to the best of their riety of high-quality foods in a hip

abilities in order to bring environment. Burger 21’s distinc-

joy, fun and happiness to tive burger creations and signa-

their customers through ture shakes are what set it apart

the vast world of gaming. from other burger companies.

The Gearbox Software What makes the company rank

team creates, owns and even higher on the cool scale is its

manages brands, includ- commitment to the communities

ing the award-winning, they choose to call home. As part

best-selling “Brothers of Burger 21’s culture, each res-

in Arms” series and the taurant donates 10 percent of the

record-setting, genre- day’s proceeds (on the 21st of the

breaking “Borderlands” month) to a local charity or school.

franchise. Members of To date, Burger 21 has provided

the Gearbox Software Jim Leslie, a managing partner with Wolverine Interests, Randy Pitchford, more than $120,000 in contribu-

team manage and drive Gearbox Software’s president and Joe Jernigan, a partner with Wolverine Interests, tions to local charities and schools.

an extensive and impres- are seen here in front of The Tower at Frisco Square. With @nerdvana.food+spirits You know a new development
sive portfolio of licensed and @nerdvana.coffee+shop, Kristy Pitchford’s vision has come to life.
here in Texas is not complete with-

and internally-produced out a little Tex-Mex, which is why

ancillary products that include video games, comic books, action figures, apparel, art ZuZu Handmade Mexican Food is also

prints, fictional novels, non-fiction reference books and linear media content for film and going to be calling The Tower at Frisco

television. Gearbox Software is a tight-knit family of artistic, creative, forward-thinking Square its new home. ZuZu’s affordable,

and passionate individuals whose collaborative efforts, with highly intelligent, dedicat- customized menu is an expression of

ed, talented people, seek to inspire and be inspired. Frisco is excited to welcome Gear- its healthy philosophy, and their food is

box Software and to be part of all of the innovation and change the company will bring made fresh, daily, from scratch. From the

to the local scene. delicious salsas on the help-yourself con-

Just beneath Gearbox Software, on the building’s bottom floor, three restaurants diment bar to the fresh lemon limeade,

are set to open their doors in the near future. These new establishments will only add diners can count on a new take on local

to the variety and quality Frisco Square and The Tower at Frisco Square have to offer. Tex-Mex!

52 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 53

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ENHANCING THE SENSE
OF COMMUNITY
Another exciting development taking
place in the Square is the new building for
Grace Church. After breaking ground in
May of 2015, church leaders hope to have
the project completed by March 2016 so
they can hold their grand opening on Eas-
ter Sunday. Grace Church’s lead pastor,
Craig Cabaniss, shares, “The story behind
our relocation is unusual. Our land in Frisco
Square was donated to us by a developer
who desired to see a church built in the
center of our city at Frisco Square. Not only
was the land donation an amazing surprise
to us, but the location was a shocker as
well. The streets on the east and west side
of our lot were named before our church
even existed. The streets are ‘Grace Street’
and ‘Church Street.’ Years before knowing
anything about land in Frisco Square, we
chose the name ‘Grace Church.’ It is a ‘co-
incidence,’ startling enough to even get
the attention of a nonbeliever! We believe
this location is a miraculous provision for
our church family and will allow us to serve
our community more effectively by plac-
ing us in a central gathering spot for Frisco
and the region. We hope we can increas-
ingly serve our city by providing volunteers
and other means of tangible support to
some of the many events in Frisco Square.
We also hope our facility will be a blessing

54 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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to the city of Frisco, as they might have need on various

occasions for a meeting space larger than City Hall. Ulti-

mately, our calling is to share the good news of Christ’s

love with as many people as we can, and our Frisco

Square location provides a central and visible platform

to do so.”

As Frisco Square continues to expand with new resi- Also calling The Tower’s bottom floor home is Burger 21, a fast-casual establishment that
dents moving in and new employees working in the boasts crafted burgers and shakes (left). The Grace Church family is considering ways to
expanding number of businesses in the Square, the serve the growing workforce through daytime ministry opportunities (right).
church desires to make meaningful connections with

the surrounding community. Residents in Frisco Square

will be able to walk right to their neighborhood church. The church family is also consid- growing community. Younger audiences

ering ways to serve the growing work force through daytime ministry opportunities like a and businesspeople are about to take

Bible Study around breakfast or lunchtime, or to host seminars covering topics that could the area by storm. Ablon at Frisco Square

equip people to better serve God through their daily vocation. gives them the perfect place to call home,

The sense of community that Grace Church will provide to the expanding area is excit- smack dab in the middle of all the action

ing and astounding. “We are eager to be a part of the growing development in Frisco in Frisco. Much like Mr. Pitchford’s excite-

Square. It is a thrilling time to live, work and worship in Frisco. So much is happening ment about being a part of the commu-

here with new development, but at the heart of it all are people with real needs and real nity, the principal and founding partner

challenges, amidst Frisco’s burgeoning prosperity. We want to bring the good news of of PegasusAblon, Mike Ablon, realized

Christ to people throughout our city who wrestle with the real, daily burdens of a difficult Frisco’s potential as he made the deci-

marriage, a struggling teen, a financial hardship, a health crisis or a secret addiction. Our sion to bring Ablon Apartments to life in

city is prosperous in so many ways, and I am thankful for that, but the teachers, counsel- Frisco Square. He says, “Similar to older

ors and pastors of our area will all tell you that underneath all the safety and prosperity cities, the city square in Frisco represents

of an exploding city, there are real people with real struggles who are looking for real the heart of the city and its civic activities.

answers and real relationships. That is what the church is all about,” Pastor Cabaniss says. The opportunity to develop the highest

quality apartment project in Frisco, on

LIVING THE LUXURIOUS LIFE the town square, gave us the chance to

In addition to The Tower at Frisco Square, the “$1 Billion Intersection” also welcomes integrate high-quality living in a highly-

Ablon at Frisco Square, a 275-unit luxury apartment project that sits just to the south of activated suburban-urban environment.

The Tower at Frisco Square (across from the Cinemark Theatres). With new industries There is a growing desire, beyond just

and some of the most exciting jobs around, prospective residents are flocking to the the millennials, to live in an environment

area to take advantage of these exciting new opportunities and to become a part of our based upon a higher experience level.

FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 55

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Ablon at Frisco Square gives businesspeople
the perfect place to call home, smack dab in the
middle of all the action in Frisco. PegasusAblon’s
Mike Ablon and Kevin Hickman are seen here in
front of the new location.

The Ablon at Frisco Square offers custom home type finishes, individual amenities and common areas are part of what sets the
common amenities that a renter-by-choice is looking for in the Legacy/Frisco area.” apartments apart from others. Residents
will enjoy high-end kitchen appliances
Kevin Hickman, the vice president of asset management at PegasusAblon, adds, “We while taking advantage of Ablon’s exclu-
are able to deliver a project that incorporates one of PegasusAblon’s core values -- tak- sive technology package that features flat
ing a long-term view in everything we do and taking care of our community and the com- screen televisions and sound bars in every
mon good. Every aspect of this project was planned, knowing that it would eventually unit. The apartment’s proximity to all that
become part of the fabric of Frisco Square, from the 14-foot ceilings in the first floor units Frisco Square has to offer makes it a pre-
to the plaza area facing City Hall.” mier place for both businesspeople and
families to call home. There will be no lack
Mr. Ablon believes that the luxury apartment development will most definitely posi- of people to fill the new businesses and
tively impact Frisco Square and surrounding areas. “The growth of Frisco, the recruit- destinations opening within walking dis-
ment of high-tech companies and high-quality jobs requires a full range of road and tance from the apartments. Get ready for
highway infrastructure that support retail shopping, schooling, amenities and living en- a new, more urban feel to the area!
vironments. Ablon at Frisco Square takes another step in filling the need for the highest-
end, suburban, multi-family, renter-by-choice living space,” Mr. Ablon clarifies. What you used to think of when you en-
visioned Frisco Square is rapidly chang-
Prospective residents can choose from four different apartment layouts, ranging ing. New companies have found their
from one bedroom and one bathroom to units with two bedrooms and two and a half perfect homes, providing additional job
bathrooms. Inside the Ablon at Frisco Square’s apartment units, you will find spacious growth and innovation to this expand-
interiors with modern furnishings and stylish decors. Features and amenities like a re- ing area. With so much happening in and
sort-style, salt-water pool, a brand new fitness center and free Wi-Fi throughout the around Frisco, residents can look forward
to the fun, unique, interesting and enter-
taining options that Frisco Square has to
offer, now and in the near future. While
the whole community gets larger and cel-
ebrates the future opening of all of the
amazing destinations within the $5 Billion
Mile, do not forget about what is happen-
ing right here in the center of the town we
get (so luckily) to call home! The new and
improved Frisco Square is just waiting for
you to check it out and explore all it has
to offer.

Allie Spletter is a freelance writer, wan-
nabe foodie and lover of all things pink
and crafty.

56 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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58 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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DINING

A Creative Concept
Close to Home

BY CHRISTINE PERRENOT

The Commanche Buffalo Burger features
seared onions and blue cheese. With Maw
Maw’s Buttermilk Pie on the menu, dessert
is not to be skipped.

SOME DAYS, it can be a challenge to decide where and what you want to eat. With such a Upon entering the restaurant, we were
huge variety of dining destinations throughout the metroplex, even narrowing it down to greeted and seated immediately. Due
a certain genre of food can be difficult! Other times, it seems like you know what you are to the time of year, the restaurant was
hungry for from the first time your stomach growls in the morning. This is especially true if decked-out in white holiday lights that
there is a specific, beloved restaurant menu weighing heavy on your mind. brought attention to the rustic-looking dé-
cor. The restaurant is very open and spa-
A few weeks ago, barbecue seemed like an unbeatable option for a (somewhat warm) cious, with tall bar tables to the left and
winter day here in Texas. Sometimes, it is good to shake things up a bit and indulge in regular tables to the right. The bar, com-
some home-style cooking with a little zest and a lot of flair! I met a couple of my friends at plete with a plethora of spirits and a very
Hickory in Plano, and we truly enjoyed our relaxing and delicious dinner! (Important side knowledgeable bartender, is stationed in
note for anyone who may be trying to plan their Valentine’s Day: Hickory would make a the middle of the room. There is also a
great date night destination. Hint! Hint!) The restaurant does not take reservations, so plan patio (equipped with all you need to have
ahead or get there early. a great time) attached to the side of the
building.
I had heard great things about Hickory from several people, so I decided I needed to
check it out for myself in order to give my two cents about the new restaurant. As it turns First things first! The drink menu fea-
out, the rumors were true! Sometimes it pays off to listen to news traveling through the tures classic favorites, mules and Texas-
grapevine. Hickory was everything I had anticipated. It did not take long for my friends and themed cocktails, beer on draft (or by
I to decide that it was going to become a new, regular hang out spot for us. the bottle), a lengthy list of white and red
wines, whiskey, scotch, bourbon and so
The concept for Hickory came from celebrity chef Kent Rathbun. Mr. Rathbun is an “Iron much more. You could spend all day try-
Chef America” winner who came up with an uncommon menu featuring delicious dishes ing to choose something new to try! I went
and an impressive drink list. Unique is the name of the game at Hickory, and the culinary with the Cactus Juice ($9). The name of the
team has outdone themselves. cocktail was what initially caught my atten-
tion. This drink featured a refreshing blend
of Avion Reposado Tequila, triple sec,
prickly pear nectar and lime. While order-
ing drinks, we were informed that beers on
tap are local Texas craft beers and domes-
tic beers are offered in the bottle, served
with a nice chilled glass.

After some girl talk and catching up, it
was time to focus on the task at hand: din-
ner! We decided, without hesitation, to

FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 59

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order something off of the starter The Hickory Waffle Fries are lathered in blue

menu. You cannot find Shiner cheese, thick bacon and chives.

Bock Burnt Ends Chili ($5) on just

any restaurant’s appetizer list. Did

I mention the Smoked Sausage

Fondue ($10)? After one glance

at the variety of items offered, it

was easy to tell how much thought

and creativity went into the meal

designs. Another appetizer menu

rarity that can be found at Hick-

ory is the Fried Green Tomatoes

($7). We decided this would be

a fun and unique item to taste

test. Hickory’s version of the de-

licious delicacy features charred

jalapeno ranch for an extra kick

of flavor. Overall, it was an abso-

lutely extraordinary (and colorful)

dish. We also had an order of the

Hickory Waffle Fries ($7) that were

lathered in blue cheese, bacon

and chives. The bacon on the fries

was unreal! It was thick and full of

flavor. This dish quickly got an A+

rating from our group.

If you are a fan of smokehouse

meats, you may be effortlessly

tempted by the St. Louis Style Pork

Spare Ribs ($18 for a half rack and

$34 for a full rack). Carved meats,

such as the Hickory Smoked Tur-

key Breast ($9) or the Smoked

Pepper Crusted USDA Prime Brisket ($12), also got a side of the Texas Cheddar Mac & Cheese ($7), complete with onions and meat,

are served by the 1/3 pound. I am not sure buried beneath the gooey chesses and cornbread crumbs. It was absolutely perfect.

how they do it, but the meats here are in- To be honest with you, we should have been cut off from ordering any more food right

credible. Everyone ordered something dif- then and there, but what is a night out without dessert, right? The moment our waitress

ferent, but each person loved the diverse started explaining the ingredients and various desserts offered, I voted on Maw Maw’s

kinds of meat featured in their meal. Buttermilk Pie ($7). The presentation was so unique and it reminded me of something my

Guests can also choose to take the Tex- grandmother would have made for a birthday or holiday. If you are more of a chocolate fan,

Mex route and order the Trompo Taco the Texas Size Chocolate Cupcake ($5) might be most appealing to you.

or the Chef’s Choice Tacos ($7) that are The experience, food and ambience at Hickory stand out among other restaurants in

served with tortillas, charred tomato gar- the area. The welcoming staff was so friendly and they had their timing down to an art. We

lic or charred tomatillo serrano salsa. Yum! never waited long for anything we ordered and we never felt rushed at all. It was very easy

The evening we were there, the taco meat to spend an entre evening hanging out at this place!

of choice included lamb and ground beef. Make 2016 the year that you and your family try some of the new dining destinations

We had to try one, and immediately after in the area. There is no excuse not to enjoy all of the exquisite culinary options locat-

sampling the taco, we could not stop rav- ed throughout the metroplex and close to home. Hickory is open for lunch on Monday

ing about how great it was! Follow up ta- through Friday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dinner is served on Monday through Thursday from 4-9

cos were ordered. p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 4-10 p.m. Happy hour is from 4-7 p.m. daily, and the

After much deliberation between menu restaurant is the perfect spot to cheer on your favorite team during Monday night football

choices, I decided on the Commanche games.

Buffalo Burger ($12). The meat was to die Hickory is located at 8100 Dallas Parkway #115 in Plano. Visit hickoryplano.com for more

for. The burger featured seared onions and information or to see a sample menu. Warning: If you are hungry while you are browsing

blue cheese. I can honestly say, this is one the website, do not look at the photos of the featured dishes served at the restaurant …

of the best burgers I have ever eaten. The they will only make your stomach growl with more intensity!

juicy and flavorful burger is served with the

perfect amount of waffle fries. Our table Christine Perrenot is the editor of Frisco STYLE Magazine.

60 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 61

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RECIPE

Valentine’s Day Cherry Bomb

PROVIDED BY CHRISTINE PERRENOT

INGREDIENTS IN A MIXING BOWL, combine your cream cheese and butter. Add the cherry juice and
1 c. chocolate chips powdered sugar. Blend all of the ingredients together and mix in your cherries and
2 1/3 c. powdered sugar half of the chocolate chips. Line a round bowl with plastic wrap. Pour in your mixture
¼ c. butter (softened) and bring the sides of the plastic wrap up to cover the top of the mix. Place it in the
8 oz. cream cheese (softened) refrigerator for several hours or overnight. After removing your dessert ball from the
1/3 c. maraschino cherries (chopped) refrigerator, add the rest of your chocolate chips as embellishment.
¼ c. maraschino cherry juice
Tip: Serve your dessert with graham crackers or Nilla wafers for dipping!

62 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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SMALL BITES

The Cheesecake Factory

972.731.7799
THECHEESECAKEFACTORY.COM
2601 PRESTON RD.
Browse the extensive, book-like menu or
stop in for a unique drink or tasty dessert.
Known for its famous variety of delicious
cheesecakes, The Cheesecake Factory is
a great Valentine’s Day date spot!

Haute Mama
Dessert Company

214.705.1802
HAUTEMAMADESSERTCOMPANY.COM
8240 PRESTON RD. #145, PLANO
This quaint and cute dessert shop offers
a variety of cakes, cookies and pies (plus
gluten-free options) that could make the
perfect treat for your Valentine!

NOLA Grill

972.377.6652 • NOLAGRILLFRISCO.COM
8898 COLEMAN BLVD., FRISCO SQUARE
If you and your Valentine dine at this New
Orleans themed restaurant for brunch,
lunch or dinner, be sure to indulge in a
special, colorful dessert off of the exten-
sive and delicious menu.

FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 63

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COMMUNITY DEVOTIONAL

A Community of Hope © Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

BY SUE DETWEILER

“GET MY BABY OUT!” I screamed with a raspy voice. My desperate pleas for help were There may be some wonderful aspects to
barely heard. Smoke filled the room as the cries of my newborn awakened me into a living your life right now, but there are other ar-
nightmare. The house was on fire, and I could not get out. eas that are just plain tough.

As a young girl, my mind would wonder, “What would I do if my house caught on fire?” It is when we come to the end of our-
Then, I would create a very clear, level-headed plan. However, smoke inhalation disorients selves that we find God. He is the source
your brain. of our life. He is the maker of Heaven and
Earth. He created you in His image. He
The sounds of my precious 5-week-old daughter’s wails pierced my sleep. Walking to gave you life, breath and purpose. God is
her bedroom in the dark, half-asleep to feed her every night had never been a problem. the life-giver. He cherishes each life on this
Now, suddenly, I was lost and could not find her door. I clawed at the clothes in my closet, planet. No child is a mistake. Every child,
trying to find my way out. Then, stumbling in the other direction, I felt the windowpane. It for which He has a unique plan, is precious
was not until I opened the window and looked out that I realized my house was on fire. I to Him. God is the One who designed
tried to scream for help, but no one could hear my cries. motherhood and fatherhood. Since the
beginning, it has been His plan to use the
I collapsed. In desperation, I prayed the prayer everyone prays when they think they are family. God is also the one who designed
about to die — “Help!” My daughter and I would have died that night if my husband had community.
not gotten home in time. Imagine his horror when he rounded the corner and could see
the sky lit up by orange flames. Cars and people filled our street, watching in disbelief. IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD
The home next to us, which was under construction, had already burned to the ground. Learning to be a life-giving parent is coop-
A home on the other side stood engulfed in a raging inferno. The family of four stood erating with God’s redemptive plan for the
huddled together, watching all of their belongings turn to ash. universe. God takes the mess of life and
makes it into a message of hope. He uses
There was only one fire truck on the scene. The other fire trucks sat motionless, waiting moms, dads, teachers, coaches, pastors,
for a passing train. My husband grabbed the arm of a fireman. Frantically, he asked, “Did doctors, firemen, police officers and busi-
you get my wife and baby out?” The fireman dropped the hose, and together they ran to ness leaders in the community to make
the front door. The neighbors had assumed we were still on vacation. They did not realize a difference in the lives of our children.
we were trapped inside. Sometimes, we are literally saving some-
one out of fires that could destroy their life.
When I heard someone coming into our home, I began to scream hysterically, “Get my
baby out!” I do not remember what the fireman who saved my life looked like that night. I ALL PARENTS NEED ENCOURAGEMENT
just remember him holding his flashlight up and saying, “Come toward the light.” I made You need to know that the meaning of your
my way toward what looked like a tiny penlight in the smothering darkness. At last, I felt his life is not measured by the sum total of
arms as he led me out to safety. We were both saved from the fire. the mundane moments and monotonous

EVERY PARENT NEEDS HELP
You may not have woken up to your house in flames and your child in danger, but you
have needs. If you are transparent, you do not have it all together. Your life is not perfect.

64 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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tasks. You need to know that what you are
doing has immense purpose. You need a
fresh experience of God’s presence in the
midst of your ordinary, hectic days.

You also need friends. Not the kind of
friends who have it all together in their
Instagram-perfect homes with fashion-
ready children. No, you need friends who
will be honest with their own struggles —
friends who will cheer you on to cross the
finish line of being faithful to God within
your calling.

My daughter, Rachel, taught me the im-
portance of having help on the sidelines. I
ran with Rachel, helping her condition to
try out for the high school soccer team.
Then, one night, she came to me in tears.
“Mom, we have to run the mile tomorrow.
It is my last chance to make the team,” she
said. “What do you want me to do? Do you
want me to come to practice?” I asked.
She nodded “yes” as she wiped her tears.

The next day, I showed up beside
the track and smiled at my daughter as
she prepared to run. Then, as she came
around the track for her final lap, I listened
to the coach calling out the time. I knew
she was not going to make it. I dropped
my purse and sprinted across the center of
the football field to the other side of the
track where she was making slow progress.
I put my hand on her back and said, “You
can do it!” Immediately, she picked up the
pace and ran to the finish line with fresh
energy. Everyone cheered for her and she
made the team!

YOU CAN DO IT
Whatever struggle you are presently fac-
ing, you can overcome it! You may be a
single mom trying to raise your children
to love God — you can do it. You may be
a businessman who is taking risks to live
out your dreams — you can do it. What-
ever your challenge, you can overcome
the adversities of life with God’s help.
The good news is that you do not need to
overcome challenges alone. Encouraging
one another and sharing God’s love can
help communities through the toughest of
times. Let us make Frisco a community of
hope, where we help one another in times
of need!

Sue Detweiler is an author, radio host
and the pastor of Life Bridge Church. Life
Bridge Church launches Easter Sunday at
10 a.m. at Cinemark Frisco Square.

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66 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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HONORING MILITARY SERVICE

The Jacksons are very active in Frisco with
various military associations and their church.

Marine Dreams In January of 1996, she was stationed
at a new post in Cherry Point, N.C., and
BY SCOTT DILLINGHAM had been assigned a sponsor. The spon-
sor urged her to become a “pen pal” with
CHRIS AND VALERIE JACKSON’S story begins with each of them growing up watching his friend, Chris, who was serving in Oki-
classic war movies with their fathers. At an early age, they each knew that they not only nawa, Japan, at the time. In a fortunate
wanted to serve their country, but to do so as Marines. This husband and wife team not stroke of serendipity, this story resembles
only ultimately fulfilled those dreams by joining the U.S. Marine Corps, but they both went her grandparents’ journey. During World
on to achieve the rank of lieutenant colonel. Chris retired in 2013, with more than 25 years War II, while working in a submarine parts
of service, and Valerie is still serving, at 21 years and counting. factory in Mass., her grandmother be-
came a pen pal with a soldier fighting in
When Valerie was in the 8th grade, our U.S. military service academies had just started Europe. After being injured during the
to open up for women. Even at that early age, she recognized the potential opportunity Battle of Bastogne and returning home in
for women in the military and had always felt the call to be a leader. According to Valerie, the spring of 1945, her grandparents finally
“I had been a varsity sports captain, class officer and such, so it seemed natural to me to met and married several months later. Fol-
want to serve.” lowing in her grandparents’ footsteps, Val-
erie finally met her pen pal of six months
As a native New Englander, then Second Lieutenant Valerie Jackson entered the Ma- after he returned stateside in June of 1996.
rine Corps from Boston University’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Marine They were engaged 10 months later and
Corps Option program in 1994. She was awarded her officer commission on the deck of married in April of 1998.
the USS Constitution — one of the original six frigates first commissioned in 1794 for the
newly-established U.S. Navy. Her first deployment sent her to Peru as an embassy liaison In 2006, Valerie worked as a field his-
officer. Her duties included leading a team to assist Peru in establishing radar detachments torian documenting Marine deployments
along the Amazon River to help interdict drug smugglers attempting to fly contraband into and served as editor of the Marine pub-
the U.S. lication Fortitudine and wrote articles for
Leatherneck. She went on to lead units
ranging in size from 25 to 375 Marines,
with subsequent deployments to Mo-
rocco, Thailand and Afghanistan. She was
one of four people in 2008 who stood up a
new Marine Corps school to assist Marines
deploying to Iraq so they could be better
prepared to work with the local people,
as well as other branches of the U.S. and
coalition military. During her final overseas
deployment to Afghanistan, as a part of
Operation Enduring Freedom, in 2009, she
worked with U.S. civilians, foreign militar-
ies and foreign civilian personnel to foster
the socioeconomic efforts undertaken by
the Marines and British forces. On one oc-
casion, she was teaching at a governance
and economic conference for local Afghan
merchants so they could learn how to do
business with the military. Lt. Col. Valerie
Jackson received two separate marriage
proposals from two of the young men at-
tending this conference. The fact that she
was wearing her wedding ring was not cul-
turally relevant to them, so she adopted a
lieutenant to stand in as her brother and
escort.

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Growing up with a father who was a Marine, Chris believed “the Marines were the best” Family Readiness Program, he understood
and knew he, too, would one day serve. “Growing up, I played ‘Major Jackson, the Marine’ that the individual Marine is the Corps’
and always believed it was a calling for me.” greatest asset. He was honored to lead
the charge to ensure that an active and ef-
He was a Marine reservist attending the University of North Texas in December of 1990 fective support structure was in place for
when his unit was called up and mobilized for deployment as a part of America’s Opera-
tion Desert Storm/Desert Shield in response to Iraq’s invasion of deploying Marines and
Kuwait. This Eagle Scout’s 25-year Marine career went from him their families. Chris’ em-
being a Marine reservist (named 1992 U.S. Marine Corps Reserv- pathy for his fellow Ma-
ist of the Year) to full, active duty status. As an infantry officer, rines was due in part to
he advanced in rank to lieutenant colonel, and he participated his own experiences. “I
in three wars: the invasion of Kuwait in Operation Desert Shield/ felt bad being deployed
Storm, the invasion of Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom (two tours) yet again to Iraq, away
and Operation Enduring Freedom (two tours). Additional de- from my family and leav-
ployments during his years of service included Japan, Cuba and ing Val to handle all the
Panama, as well as three posts in the U.S. challenges of her own
military obligations,
During his second Iraqi Freedom tour, as part of the new daily life and the needs
“surge” deployment, Chris managed a team of intelligence and of our three young girls,
training experts at two multi-national divisions in Iraq that as- who were all under 10
sisted with countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Their years of age.”
mission was to guide the identification and targeting of IED net-
works by creating intelligence products and equipment solutions After many deploy-
that would assist in defeating insurgent networks, targeting and IED builders. Upon reflec- ments where the Jacksons were apart from
tion, he saw this as “an assignment with a critical responsibility, in that I knew the degree of each other for long periods of time, they
our success would have a positive and direct impact on the number of lives saved.” did have a joint deployment in Arkansas
(2003-2006) as the state’s Marine Corps
Chris found himself assigned to Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan’s Helmand province liaisons. A small staff of 10, led by Chris,
in 2011. He participated in the comprehensive planning and execution of synchronized helped serve the varied needs of Marine
support of security operations, the execution of regional command lines of operation, as families.
well as in-theater force and material sustainment. As noted in his Legion of Merit award, Lt.
Col. Chris Jackson was recognized for “improving the overall stability of an area of opera- Today, the Jacksons are very active in
tions roughly the size of all five boroughs of New York City and encompassed numerous Frisco with various military associations
Afghan villages totaling more than 5,000 residents.” He was also responsible for a $73 mil- and their church. Although Chris has re-
lion budget, forecast and long-range planning process for the organization. tired, Lt. Col. Valerie Jackson still serves
in the Marine Reserve as commander of
Among his many achievements and responsibilities, Chris was acknowledged for being a communications unit, as well as civil-
personally involved in every aspect of command functioning, having significantly improved military operations consultant for Corps
the quality of life for his Marines. This included maintaining responsibility for all movements Solutions out of Quantico, Va. Addition-
of personnel and equipment, orchestrating the farewells and returns for families and en- ally, she continues to teach citizenship and
suring the execution of all the Warrior Transition training. Active in the promotion of the

68 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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In 2008, the Jackson family went to the National
Museum of Marine Corps. The Jacksons are

pictured at a Memorial Day service in Frisco.
Valerie is seen working on her computer and

Chris is seen in Iraq. Provided by the Jacksons.

English as a second language (ESL) classes
through her church. Both of the Jacksons
maintain their involvement with the Ameri-
can Legion Post here in Frisco, and Chris
serves on the board of directors for the
Guardian for Heroes Foundation and is ac-
tive in the Metroplex Marines.

It is noteworthy to remember that a de-
cision to serve in the military impacts the
entire family. In the Jacksons’ case, while
they are like many dual-military couples,
it is not often that both members achieve
the rank of lieutenant colonel … espe-
cially in the Marine Corps. Their sacrifices
included being apart for periods of time,
but their daughters, Maddie (15), Ellie (14)
and Lia (10), also had to deal with the brunt
of their parents’ service. We always honor
our service members, but we should never
overlook their families and support them
whenever possible.

Scott Dillingham is a Frisco resident with a
passion for military history. If you or some-
one you know would like to be considered
for a future article, please email [email protected]
friscostyle.com.

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STREETS OF FRISCO
FSM’S MELISSA SOUTHAM ASKS

What is your favorite romantic
comedy to watch for Valentine’s
Day?

“I like ‘The Princess Bride’ because
it is really nostalgic. I love all of the
scenery and the funny people.”

HEATHER GALL

“‘ How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’
because I think it is funny and I
like the people in it.”

JULIE PAULSON

“M y favorite romantic comedy is
probably ‘Sleepless in Seattle.’ We
watch it at Christmas time and I
love it!”

LINDSAY HARKINS

“‘W hile You Were
Sleeping’ because
I love the story
between the
characters.”

LINDSAY BORDERS

Visit friscostyle.com
to see how our staff
answered!

FEBRUARY 2016 71

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72 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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E D U C AT I O N

The Shattered Dreams program is supported by the FISD, the Frisco Police
Department and the Frisco Fire Department. Provided by the FISD.

Discussing Difficult Topics

BY CHRISTI REDFEARN

EVERY PARENT HOPES they can shield all the support they can get
their children from anything bad. We when it comes to informing their
dream of our children growing up happy kids about the very real risks in-
and healthy and achieving all of their goals volved with underage drinking.
in life. No one wants to endure hardship, The Shattered Dreams program
but unfortunately, it is a very real part is supported by the FISD, the
of life. Maybe your children will make it Frisco Police Department and
through their adolescence and not have the Frisco Fire Department. The
to learn to deal with tragedy until well into program began in Frisco in 2000, and according to Officer Grant Cottingham, the school
their adulthood, but, on the other hand, resource officer at the Student Opportunity Center, “In 1998, former Frisco Assistant Fire
they may encounter unwanted scenarios. Chief Gary Burns heard about the Shattered Dreams program that was being presented in
No matter what the case may be, helping Carrollton and spoke with Officer Robert Monts and Officer Greg Garner about possibly
your kids to be prepared for hardship is a bringing it to Frisco. After observing the program and the impact it had on students, it was
difficult, but necessary, part of parenting. determined that Frisco would offer it to high school students.” The first event was even
What kids see and experience at school featured on “Good Morning America.”
will be a large part of their development.
So, where can parents of school-aged chil- The program hopes to teach students about the dangers of drinking and driving, and it
dren turn for help? is presented during the school year that coincides with senior proms, team banquets and
graduation parties. Students volunteer to reenact injuries and deaths that occur after a fic-
While there are many topics to choose titious prom. The police and fire departments send out first responders, the Grim Reaper
from, and each one makes a parent’s stom- arrives on the scene and the volunteer victims are taken away in ambulances. It is a realistic
ach tie up in knots, the Frisco ISD has some depiction of a drunk driving accident in as many ways as possible. That is not the end of the
subjects they are taking on in a life-chang- lesson, however. Other student and teacher volunteers keep acting. Obituaries are read,
ing and very meaningful way. the students who were in the dramatized accident walk around the school as “living dead,”
dressed up to look like corpses and students even attend a funeral.
SHATTERED DREAMS
Drinking and driving is one of the most The event currently happens at two high schools per year, so that each school can show
horrific topics for parents to discuss with its students the dangers of drinking and driving, at least once in their four-year journey. As
their children. Oftentimes, parents need Frisco adds more high schools, coordination will become more difficult, but it is something
everyone is committed to figuring out.

FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 73

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Student Ambassadors share their thoughts and
discuss prevention activities for FISD campuses.

Provided by the FISD.

When considering the effectiveness of this program, Officer Cottingham says, “The Mr. Caldwell emphasizes, “Research
evidence of its impact is primarily anecdotal, coming in the form of current and former shows students’ concerns are more likely
students advising how it has changed their lives. Quite often, students who have gradu- to be resolved successfully when parents
ated come back and tell us how it effected their decision-making, especially faced with and the school staff work together. Instead
peer pressure in college.” James Caldwell, the safe school coordinator for the FISD, adds, of a parent focusing on what the school
“Recently, student ambassadors were asked what prevention programs they felt were ef- could be doing differently, it is best to look
fective and all agreed that Shattered Dreams is an impactful program.” The district’s goal at it from the perspective of ‘what can we
is to make an impression on as many students as they can, and if it saves one student’s life, all do’ to help the child be successful.” He
it is worth it. also mentions that research shows that
talking about risky behaviors does not
SPECIFIC SCHOOL TOPICS cause them to make someone more likely
Other topics that may come up deal with relationships, drugs and more. Angie Williams, to engage in harmful or dangerous ac-
the counseling services coordinator for the FISD, says, “We start educating students on tivities, but that the opposite is true. “Not
drugs and relationships at the elementary level and continue through high school. During only is this sometimes hard to accept by
the month of October, schools around the district participate in Red Ribbon Week. Coun- parents, it is often hard for school staff to
selors and staff educate their students on Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) accept as well,” he adds. Everything sug-
related to healthy choices, participate in themed days and have special assemblies.” Rela- gests that just because something is un-
tionship topics include subjects such as friendship skills, conflict resolution, anti-victimiza- comfortable to talk about does not mean
tion skills and identifying and managing feelings. that it should be ignored. In fact, it is prob-
ably more important to talk about if it is an
So, how does the district decide when and what to discuss with students? These topics uncomfortable topic.
are chosen based on state requirements and district guidelines. Ms. Williams adds, “We
follow state-mandated prevention topics as well as district guidelines on prevention and FOCUSING ON THE STUDENT
intervention. The FISD works hard to provide more than just basic requirements.” Sometimes, students feel uncomfort-
able talking to their parents about some
PARENT INVOLVEMENT of these subjects, for a wide variety of
“Coffee with the Counselor” events, brown bag lunches and evening programs are also reasons. Maybe they feel embarrassed
conducted. The district sends out video clips as well as emails for parents. Ms. Williams or they are afraid they will get in trouble.
says, “This year, Pink Elementary is providing a book study through Google Classrooms to If that is the case, the district encour-
encourage parent participation. District-wide, three parent sessions will be offered, pro- ages students to speak with their campus
viding education on substance abuse, healthy relationships and cell phone use among counselor or a trusted staff member. Ms.
students.” Williams comments, “Campuses have
systems in place so that students know
Beyond parent education, should a parent have concerns about topics being covered in how to make a self-referral to their coun-
the classroom, the FISD “welcomes questions and parental feedback,” according to Ms. selor. The FISD also provides anonymous
Williams. She adds, “If parents are concerned about a topic being covered, they are wel- reporting systems such as a feature to re-
come to reach out to the campus counselor or principal for clarification. If parents still have port bullying using the FISD mobile app or
concerns after getting clarification, parents have the option to have their student sit out.” choosetocare.com.”

Cultural implications and customs are
also of note for the FISD. Most discussions
these days surround the district’s growth,
but they do not want parents to forget
that their focus is still on the students
they serve. “One way we work to achieve
this goal is through classroom meetings.
Through classroom meetings, students
learn in a more relaxed environment and
are encouraged to share and ask ques-
tions. Classroom meetings are designed
to prevent substance abuse, dating vio-
lence and peer mistreatment with discus-

74 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 75

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sions at developmentally appro- The Student Success Parenting Series provides parents
priate levels.” Mr. Caldwell adds, with valuable information on issues that affect the
“Due to the fact that we have future success of their children. Provided by the FISD.
families moving in from all over
the world, there is an emphasis,
district-wide, to assist staff mem-
bers in meeting the challenges
of our changing population. For
example, over the last few years,
our Asian American Indian popu-
lation in the FISD has grown sub-
stantially. In order to gain insight
into working with these students
and their families, school officials
recently met with local leaders of
the Kayra Disshi Hannuman Tem-
ple. The goal of these efforts is to
create schools where everyone
belongs.”

BEST PRACTICES ACCESSING ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
As with everything else related to As mentioned previously, what is taught in schools is only part of the equation. Education
Frisco, the school district works and reinforcement has to happen at home, as well. Depending on how you grew up, this
hard to be a leader in handling can be a very challenging prospect. If you do not have your own memories of conversa-
difficult topics so that students tions with your parents to fall back on as a starting point, you are not alone. Being more
are educated and parents are part of the open with children can be a difficult thing, and more and more resources are becoming
process. Everyone should be comfortable available to help you get through it so that you can talk with your children confidently and
with how subject matters are approached. accurately, without feeling embarrassed or making your children feel too awkward.
Ms. Williams says, “Our goal is to model
our counseling department in accordance Kids.usa.gov is a good place to start, partly because it is straightforward and partly
with the American School Counseling because it covers a wide variety of topics and gives ideas on how and what to discuss with
Association model. This model provides children of different age levels. Pbs.org has a section on its site dedicated as a resource
guidance on best practices and what an for parents. A Google search can be daunting, as everyone seems to have “expert advice”
ideal counseling program should look like. and it can be difficult to know what is reputable and what is not.
Also, the Texas Education Agency has a list
of recommended and approved curricu- No matter where you search, the guidelines seem to be fairly consistent. First, find out
lum. The FISD strives to go above and be- what your child knows about the specific subject once they ask you about it. It will give you
yond state requirements by including the the opportunity to find out what he or she knows, does not know and perhaps the con-
research-based Olweus Program in all of cerns prompting the question in the first place. Always ask more questions. You can relate
our schools, which includes a Safe School/ how you feel about a topic by making a comment and then asking them how they feel
Whole Child Committee.” about it. Try to keep it simple and age appropriate. Also, be prepared to have the discus-
sions more than once. Your child will think about what you discussed and could have more
Mr. Caldwell adds, “We recognize and questions. They may need a topic explained a few different ways before it makes sense to
address particular trends that might be them. Finally, be honest. It is OK that you do not have all the answers. Sometimes, learning
occurring in the district. We often do this together can be the best way to make your relationship closer, as well as help your child
through student/staff surveys and docu- make positive decisions for his or her life.
mentation of incidents by administrators.
These include concerns such as drug use/ Parents hope their children are not impacted by tragedy, in any shape or form, but too
abuse, bullying, suicidal ideation, race re- many things can happen in an instant that can have a lasting impact. Frisco has excellent
lations and overall safety. For example, programs and staff in place to help at the school level, and they encourage parent involve-
documentation by administrators, as well ment. Hopefully, you will be able to discuss some of these topics as hypotheticals only and
as statistics nationwide, has revealed a do not have to help your child through a real tragedy. If you do find yourself in need of
recent increase in sexual harassment by resources and answers, know that you have help.
elementary age students and an increase
in issues related to pornography and un- Christi is a wife, mom and Aggie in search of that perfect lap time in her weekend race car.
supervised Internet use at the secondary
level. This type of data assists school staff,
as well as parents, in creating interventions
to address such issues.”

76 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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REFLECTIONS

ON DEC. 26, 2015, large, violent storms and tornadoes wreaked havoc on various parts Club to assist with relief efforts due to the

of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Just after many families were wrapping up their devastating storms that came through

Christmas celebrations, joy and peace turned to unimaginable chaos as tornado sirens the Dallas/Fort Worth region on Dec. 26,

and ominous black clouds engulfed a huge portion of the state. It is estimated that there 2015. Rotary International is a worldwide

were nine tornadoes that evening. People lost their lives and countless families suffered service organization that assists global ef-

injuries, the loss of a home or severely damaged property. forts such as polio eradication and water

The tragedy received national recognition and media coverage immediately, and the purification, but it also inspires individual

Fargo West Rotary Club in Fargo, N.D., quickly reacted to the devastating news. Group clubs to focus on needs within their com-

members who were planning to be in Frisco later in Jan. 2016 for the NCAA Division I munities. The commitment of support

Football Championship rallied to make a plan. “Our community has been hit by devas- from Fargo to Frisco is a great example

tating floods in the past and Rotary clubs from around the world have always stepped of Rotary clubs seeking opportunities to

up to assist in recovery. It unite for a com-

is our way of giving back, mon good,”

or a more accurate state- shares the Rota-

ment would be ‘paying it ry Club of Frisco.

forward.’ As North Dakota Mr. Hannaher

State University Bison sup- says, “The mon-

porters, we have come to ey came directly

truly appreciate the Frisco from our club

area, the welcoming resi- membership.

dents and the support of Each week, our

the area in early January. club (like most

We have been in town for Rotary clubs)

the NCAA FCS Champi- collects ‘Happy

onship game the last five Dollars.’ I sug-

years. It feels like Frisco is gested to our

our sister city, and it has club president

been referred to as ‘Fargo that our happy

South’ for a few years now,” dollars be do-

says Paul Hannaher of the nated directly to

Fargo West Rotary Club. the Rotary Club

“As a community and a ser- of Frisco for do-

vice club, we know what it The Fargo West Rotary Club presented a generous donation to the Rotary Club of Frisco on nation to local
is like, firsthand, to have Jan. 8, 2016. families affected
your community suffering by the recent
from damages brought on Finding Strength storms in the
by Mother Nature. It is im- area.”

portant to give back when in the Aftermath As we keep
we can.” those who have

After the storm, Dawn suffered tremen-

Cruzan of Camp Craig Al- BY CHRISTINE PERRENOT dous loss and

len immediately organized devastation in

her team into action. “As Camp Craig Allen serves the most overlooked population of our prayers, it is amazing to witness the

those with physical disabilities, we immediately reacted to the tornado disasters by lo- generosity of those who contribute so

cating where all our participants lived and if they had damage. We were able to locate much to the well-being of our community.

two families that took direct impact from the tornados and went to them to help them,” “Every Rotary member knows how impor-

she shares. The money from the Fargo West Rotary Club could not have come at a better tant helping others is by taking on service

time because a local family was able to directly benefit from the generous donation. Ms. to humanity-based projects. Rotary gives

Cruzan says, “We gave the money specifically to the Jenkins family. They lost everything us that ability. Our motto is ‘service above

in their home, and what they were able to get out was severely damaged. They had a self.’ We take it to heart,” Mr. Hannaher

lot of medical equipment, including a custom wheelchair, something you cannot just shares.

replace from a store.” To help the Jenkins family put the

The kindness of the Fargo West Rotary Club helped a local family that so desperately pieces back together after this life-

needed it. “They need cash, as they will have to find another home. The Jenkins family changing event, go to gofundme.com/

was in a rental house, which will not be rebuilt. They had no insurance. They also need JenkinsTornado.

money to replace their handicap van that was also destroyed,” Ms. Cruzan shares.

Members of both Rotary clubs met on Jan. 8, 2016, and the donation was presented. Christine Perrenot is the editor of Frisco

“The Rotary Club of Frisco is very grateful to receive a donation from Fargo West Rotary STYLE Magazine.

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Advocating for the PROFILE
Needs of Others
and what she is presently experiencing,”
BY MINNIE PAYNE Mrs. Nutkis exclaims.

Leah has accepted her plot as Leah now pleads to groups of eight to
a challenging situation. She 800 people about funding, and she ex-
decided to make a difference plains what the Juvenile Diabetes Research
Foundation (JDRF) does. JDRF affiliates
by becoming an ambassador. now contact Leah when an event is com-
ing up and they often personally ask her
to speak. Leah’s real claim to fame came at
age 12, when she was chosen to be one of
11 delegates who would represent Texas
and attend the 2015 JDRF Children’s Con-
gress on July 13-15, 2015, in Washington,
DC. JDRF representatives appeal to con-
gress every two years in an attempt to get
the support of those representatives who
work with the special diabetes program.
They hope to get funding of $300 million
dollars to go toward research and, hope-
fully, to find ground-breaking discoveries
for improving the lives of those who suffer
from this debilitating disease. “I believe
there are about 1,500 applications to at-
tend the every-two-years Congress. We
sent one in two years ago, but did not get
in,” Leah informs. “This year, we got lucky
and I was chosen.”

Leah Nutkis devotes

much of her time and

energy to showing her

love for those who suf-

fer from diabetes.

THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY emphasizes love. As everyone knows, people can have love Around 162 delegates are chosen,
and passion for many different things. 13-year-old Leah Nutkis, a Frisco resident and the based on what each applicant does for
daughter of Stacy and Daniel Nutkis, is a seventh grade honor student at Greenhill School the numerous JDRF chapters. Each ap-
who shows her love for those who suffer from diabetes. She spends her time appealing to plicant submits a letter and various infor-
the public for aid. Leah has good cause and a big incentive for fighting this autoimmune mation about what they have done to ad-
disease, because at the age of 8, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. vocate for Type 1 diabetes. At the senate
meeting, two or three delegates are cho-
For Leah, the first week of third grade will always be memorable because that is when sen to speak for a limited time. The other
she received her diagnosis and spent five days in the hospital. Mrs. Nutkis says that dur- delegates are there to create a presence
ing that time, they were provided with loads of information about the disease. She says, and talk with their state representatives.
“During those nights that we were in the hospital, I found out about local chapters (seven) Leah had the opportunity to speak with
that support the disease, and we immediately went to their doorsteps and said ‘what can Congressman Daniel C. Burgess. Al-
we do?’” though the group advocated in general
for support for diabetics, the real push
At that time, Leah was a little shy, but her desire to help other diabetics brought out her was to get congress to see the impor-
extroverted side. “My teachers thought that it would make more sense to bring all my fel- tance of approving H.R. 1427 – Medicare
low students together and let me talk about the disease,” Leah says. CGM Access Act of 2015. The bill amends
title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Secu-
Mrs. Nutkis, a former marketing professional, had made notes for Leah, but learned that rity Act to provide Medicare coverage of
her daughter had been paying very close attention to all the doctors’ information, absorb-
ing it so much that she was able to talk to the students for more than 30 minutes. “My jaw
dropped to realize that she was able to teach her classmates what she had been through

FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 81

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continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) insulin pumps. Leah has to keep track of the number of carbohydrates she eats at each

devices furnished to a CGM-qualified in- meal to determine how much insulin she takes in her shot. She has to take about four or

dividual, so that all people with Type 1 di- five shots a day. With Type 2 diabetes, it is a lifestyle situation, one that can be controlled

abetes, no matter how old, can have this by watching what you eat and exercising. Type 1 diabetics can eat what they want, they

life-saving tool. The just have to put insulin back

Department of Health in their bodies.

and Human Services Leah’s teachers are very

must establish a fee supportive of her and her

schedule and ensure cause. Leah enjoys sci-

that CGM-qualified in- ence, and her teacher talks

dividuals are furnished about Type 1 diabetes a lot.

with appropriate de- She has also become very

vice components. good at math because she

Type 1 diabetics who is constantly counting car-

wear a pump are bohydrates. Sarah Howell,

subject to the pump Leah’s science teacher, says

falling off, which can that Leah is one of the most

cause extremely high inquisitive students she

blood sugar levels and has had the opportunity to

all kinds of complica- teach. “Leah loves learning

tions. With the CGM about how the body works

device, this complica- and how her diabetes af-

tion does not exist. fects the simplest cellular

In addition to functions,” Ms. Howell says.

speaking engage- “It is great that she is curi-

ments, Leah formed ous about her condition and

“Team Monkey,” her that she constantly wants to

own JDRF Walk team, know more.”

to participate in her At Greenhill School,

school’s JDRF Walks. there are four girls, all dif-

Also, November is ferent ages, who contend

National Diabetes with Type 1 diabetes, but

Awareness Month, Leah was the first to be di-

and every year, Leah agnosed. “I have something

sends Thanksgiving in common with those stu-

cards, thanking sup- dents, and I made friends

porters and inform- through the 2015 JDRF Chil-

ing them about Type dren’s Congress with whom

1 diabetes advance- I have something in com-

ments and encour- Leah spoke at the 2015 JDRF Dream Gala (above). She got to know many other JDRF mon,” Leah informs.
aging them to visit delegates in Washington, DC (below). Although this remarkable

jointhebunch.net (her young lady is a big advocate

Team Monkey website). For her birthday, for diabetes, she still finds time for hobbies. She swims, plays the guitar, plays tennis, en-

the thoughtful teen even asked guests to joys art and really likes video games. Leah’s mom is a stay-at-home mom and Mr. Nutkis

donate funds to JDRF in place of birthday owns, Hitrust, a Frisco-based health care security business. “I have a very casual family,

gifts. and since I am the only child in the house, we are able to kind of control things. My parents

Mrs. Nutkis says that Leah has accepted mainly focus on me,” Leah proudly says.

her plot as a challenging situation, and de- According to JDRF, currently, about 29 million Americans have some form of diabe-

cided to make a difference by becoming tes, and by 2050, an expected five million people are expected to suffer from Type 1

an ambassador. “Children take on adult diabetes, an indication that increased federal funding has never been more needed.

responsibility,” she says. Even though it is estimated that the government has spent $14 billion dollars on Type 1

A Type 1 diabetic’s pancreas stops pro- diabetes-related healthcare costs in the U.S., much more is needed. Readers may make a

ducing insulin, a hormone people need to donation by going to jdrf.org and appealing to your congressman to fight for this dread-

get energy from food. The disease strikes ed disease. Our community is so lucky to have someone like Leah, who, even at such a

children and adults and has nothing to do young age, is advocating for the well-being of so many others who live with the same

with diet or lifestyle. Currently, nothing condition she does.

can prevent it. Some Type 1 diabetics do

injections, as Leah does, and some utilize Minnie Payne is a journalist, copy editor and contributor to Frisco STYLE Magazine.

82 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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84 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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Did You Know

NCAA DIVISION I FOOTBALL PLAYERS PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM
FieldhouseUSA was an exciting place to be on Jan. 7, 2016, as NCAA Division I Football Championship players took part in a community
outreach event with the Miracle League of Frisco. Players from North Dakota State University and Jacksonville State University paired with
special needs athletes from the Miracle League of Frisco for a game of flag football. Every year, players competing in the NCAA Division I
Football Championship share their successes with local youth. While coaching and sharing their love of the game, these college athletes
made a big difference for the kids in our community! To learn more about the NCAA, go to ncaa.com.

THE DALLAS COWBOYS WILL SPONSOR THE FRISCO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AWARDS GALA
The Dallas Cowboys will be the presenting sponsor of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce’s 32nd annual awards celebration “Big City
Dreams, Small Town Heart.” The event is scheduled for Feb. 5, 2016, at the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Hotel. During this event, the
chamber awards the Developer of the Year, the Entrepreneur of the Year, the Non-Profit of the Year and the Small, Medium and Large
Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, the Silver Citizen of the Year and the Spirit of Frisco title. For additional event information, go to
friscochamber.com.

THE DEDICATION OF BRUCE EUBANKS NATATORIUM
The Frisco ISD formally dedicated a natatorium in honor of Bruce Eubanks, a swim coach of 34 years. Mr. Eubanks helped launch the FISD’s
swim program in 2001 and helped plan for the natatorium that was named after him. As the Frisco High School swim coach, Mr. Eubanks
helped students achieve multiple state titles and individual state titles. Mr. Eubanks was honored 20 times as Region Coach of the Year
and six times as State Coach of the Year. He was also the 2013-2014 National Federation of High School Coaches Association Boys State
Swimming Coach of the Year. Before his work with the school district, FISD students used a pool at the Collin College Preston Ridge
Campus. Bruce Eubanks Natatorium is located at 7411 First Street. Go to friscoisd.org to learn more.

VICTORY MEDIA NAMES COLLIN COLLEGE TO 2016 MILITARY FRIENDLY® SCHOOLS LIST
The Military Friendly Schools designation is given to top colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools that are embracing
and dedicating resources to the success of military students. Each facility is surveyed on their campus support, graduation and employment
outcomes and military spouse policies. Collin College has a Veterans Resource Center and served more than 1,300 veterans in fiscal year
2014. To see the full list of facilities that were awarded this recognition, go to militaryfriendly.com.

WEE READERS STORY TIME STARTS AT THE FRISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY
On Jan. 15, 2016, the Frisco Public Library started the Wee Readers early literacy class as part of its continuing effort to educate and inspire
future readers. The class uses books, rhymes, songs, music and bubbles to engage young minds, and it provides helpful tools that can
also be used outside of the library. The class targets children from birth through 23 months of age (and their guardians). The Wee Readers
class enhances important brain development. Tickets will be available on class days at the second floor “Ask Us!” desk. To find additional
information about this weekly class, go to friscolibrary.com/youth.

THE SAMARITAN INN NAMES A NEW LEADER
160 residents live at The Samaritan Inn on most nights, with 30 percent of residents being children. The Inn is currently undergoing a
$6.5 million capital campaign. Rick Crocker became the executive director of The Samaritan Inn homeless program on Jan. 4, 2016. He
previously served as the executive director of the Erie City Mission, leading a staff of 67 employees, while overseeing a $3.5 million budget.
He served as the senior pastor of the First Alliance Church in Erie from 1989 to 2009. Mr. Crocker replaced executive director Lynne Sipiora,
who has spent the last 10 years leading one of the most successful homeless programs in America. To learn more about this community
organization, go to thesmaritaninn.org.

ASTRAIOS CHAMBER MUSIC PRESENTS MARIMBA RECITAL
Astraios Chamber Music presented percussionist Brian Zator in their Jan. 15, 2016, concert at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Mr.
Zator, the director of percussion at Texas A&M University-Commerce, performed works from “Zamiki,” his solo album. The program
showcased the timbre and character of the marimba. Every concert by Astraios Chamber Music is built around audience interaction. The
group believes that the audience is part of the program and tries to make classical music fun and accessible for everyone who is interested.
The concerts always feature a range of professional performers on every instrument in the orchestra. To learn more about this unique
organization, go to astraiosmusic.org.

WADE PARK IS BRINGING ADDITIONAL RESTAURANT AND RETAIL TENANTS
Wade Park, the 175-acre mixed-use development, recently announced new retail and restaurant tenants. Yard House, Sur La Table,
Paper Source, Luna Grill and Blo Blow Dry Bar are now included in the development’s lineup of restaurants and retailers. Thomas Land
& Development announced the newly-signed tenants for its $1.6 billion upscale mixed-use development. The first phase will feature
approximately 600,000 square feet of specialty retail space. Hotel ZaZa and Langham Hotels & Resorts are also coming to Wade Park, in
addition to high-end office and residential space. Go to wadeparkfrisco.com to stay updated on the additions coming soon!

FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 85

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SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY
Excel I, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., Toddlers Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; 2 Years Babies Story Time, 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and
Major Events Provided by friscolibrary.com Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story 11:30 a.m.; Shake, Rattle and Read Story
Time, 11 a.m.; ESL Language Lab, 6 p.m., Time, 6:30 p.m., friscolibrary.com
friscolibrary.com

123

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY Excel II, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Write Club, Toddlers Story Time, 10 a.m.; 2 Years Story Babies Story Time, 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and
Yoga Class, 4 p.m., friscolibrary.com 6:45 p.m., friscolibrary.com Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story Time, 11:30 a.m.; Shake, Rattle & Read Story
Time, 6:30 p.m., friscolibrary.com
11 a.m.; ESL Language Lab, 6 p.m.;
Undead & UnRead Book Club, 7 p.m.,
friscolibrary.com 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic
Qualifying Championship, through
Feb. 15 (see website for times),
Toyota Stadium, fcdallas.com

78 9 10Texas Legends vs. Austin Spurs,
7 p.m., Dr Pepper Arena,
nba.com/dleague/texas

VALENTINE’S DAY PRESIDENTS’ DAY Toddlers Story Time, 10 a.m.; 2 Years Story Classic Readers Book Club, 10 a.m.;
Board Game Club, 2 p.m.; Read to Rover, 3 p.m., Excel III, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Caldecott Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story Time, Babies Story Time, 10:30 am., 11 a.m. and
friscolibrary.com Celebration, 6:30 p.m., friscolibrary.com 11 a.m.; ESL Language Lab, 6 p.m.; YA 11:30 a.m.; Shake, Rattle & Read Story
Book Club, 7 p.m., friscolibrary.com Time, 6:30 p.m., friscolibrary.com

Fellowship Power Lunch North, 11:30
a.m., Dave & Buster’s, facebook.com/
fellowshippowerlunchnorth

14 15 16 17

Third Sunday Open House, free family event, PowerPoint, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., Faith-Based Leadership Breakfast with Babies Story Time, 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m.,
1-4 p.m., Frisco Heritage Center, 6499 Page St., friscolibrary.com the Frisco ISD, 8:30-10 a.m., CTE Training 11:30 a.m.; Shake, Rattle & Read Story
friscoheritage.org Rooms, 9889 Wade Blvd., friscoisd.org Time, 6:30 p.m., friscolibrary.com
Meditation for Health & Joy, 4 p.m.,
friscolibrary.com Toddlers Story Time, 10 a.m.; 2 Years 24
Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story
Time, 11 a.m.; ESL Language Lab, 6
p.m.; Readers Choice Book Club, 7 p.m.,
friscolibrary.com
21 22 23

Sisters in Crime North Dallas, 2 p.m., Flash Fiction Contest, all day; 29
First Chapter Contest, all day;
28friscolibrary.com Photoshop Basics, 7 p.m.,
friscolibrary.com

App of the Month

WAZE lets you join drivers in your area
in sharing real-time traffic and road
information to save time, gas and
improve your daily commute!

86 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

THURSDAY FRIDAY FEBRUARY 2016
Toddlers Story Time, 10 a.m.; Tax
Preparation AARP, 10 a.m.; 2 Years Story SATURDAY
Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story Time,
11 a.m.; Harry Potter Book Night, Wee Readers Story Time, 10 a.m.; 2 Years Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 African Americans in the Arts, 4 p.m., Collin College Conference
6:30 p.m.; Stitchers Book Club, 7 p.m., Years Story Time, 11 a.m., friscolibrary.com Center - Central Park Campus, 2400 Community Ave., McKinney,
friscolibrary.com jackandjillgreaterfrisco.org
5 20th Annual Daddy Daughter Dance, various times (see website),
4 Frisco Conference Center, friscofun.org
Texas Legends vs. Iowa Energy, 7 p.m., Dr Pepper Arena,
Toddlers Story Time, 10 a.m.; Tax nba.com/dleague/texas
Preparation AARP, 10 a.m.; 2 Years Story
Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story Time, 62 Years Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story Time,
11 a.m.; Beginner 3D Design, 7 p.m.,
friscolibrary.com 11 a.m.; Tax Preparation AARP, 11 a.m.; Teen Anime Club,
4 p.m., friscolibrary.com

Wee Readers Story Time, 10 a.m.; 2 Years Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; Trick-A-Trout, 8 a.m., Frisco Commons Park, friscofun.org
3-5 Years Story Time, 11 a.m., friscolibrary.com 2 Years Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story Time, 11 a.m.;
Friday Night Flicks, “Top Gun,” 8 p.m., McKinney Performing Arts Tax Preparation AARP, 11 a.m.; Teen Writers Group, 4 p.m.,
Center, 111 N. Tennessee St., mckinneytexas.org friscolibrary.com
2016 WOGA Classic, through Feb. 14, Dr Pepper Center, Frisco Frisco Improv Players, 8-10 p.m., Frisco Discovery Center,
Conference Center and WOGA Frisco, woga.net friscoimprovplayers.com

11 12 13

Toddlers Story Time, 10 a.m.; Tax Wee Readers Story Time, 10 a.m.; 2 Years Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; 2 Years Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story Time, 11 a.m.; Tax
Preparation AARP, 10 a.m.; 2 Years Story 3-5 Years Story Time, 11 a.m., friscolibrary.com Preparation AARP, 11 a.m., friscolibrary.com
Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story Time, Feed My Starving Children - The Big Pack Frisco, Stonebriar Feed My Starving Children - The Big Pack Frisco, Stonebriar
11 a.m.; Rubber Stamping 101, 7 p.m., Community Church, fmsc.org Community Church, fmsc.org
friscolibrary.com Texas Legends vs. Bakersfield Jam, 7 p.m., Dr Pepper Arena, Texas Legends vs. Bakersfield Jam, 7 p.m., Dr Pepper Arena,
nba.com/dleague/texas nba.com/dleague/texas

18 19 20

Toddlers Story Time, 10 a.m.; Tax Wee Readers Story Time, 10 a.m.; 2 Years Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; 2 Years Story Time, 10:30 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story Time, 11 a.m.;
Preparation AARP 10 a.m.; 2 Years Story 3-5 Years Story Time, 11 a.m., friscolibrary.com Tax Preparation AARP, 11 a.m., friscolibrary.com
Time, 11 a.m.; 3-5 Years Story Time, 11 Rock the Storm OR4D Concert Series, 7 p.m.-12 a.m.,
a.m.; Tech Teens, 6 p.m.; Intermediate 3D Grover’s Grill & Bar
Design, 7 p.m.; Joanne Fluke Author Event,
7 p.m., friscolibrary.com

25 26 27

Frisco STYLE supports Frisco Humane WORD OF THE MONTH
Society, Adopt a Pet, 972.498.8980,
www.friscohumanesociety.com savoir faire
Polly, a Morkie (maltese/yorkie) is the
latest addition to the family of Frisco [SAV-wahr-FAIR]
An evident sense of confidence,
STYLE photographer, Melissa Southam. optimism and proficiency in the task at hand.

FRISCOSTYLE.COM FEBRUARY 2016 87

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one day in Frisco...
Against the Grain!
PHOTO BY MELISSA SOUTHAM






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