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Kathy Beazley
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Photo courtesy: NAMI North Texas

In a fast-paced world full of daily challenges and stressors, it's easy to lose sight of the most critical aspect of our lives: our well-being. National Wellness Month, celebrated every August, serves as a timely reminder to prioritize self-care and mental health. In this busy modern era, where the pursuit of success and productivity often overshadows personal well-being, taking a step back to focus on self-care and mental health is not only essential but also vital for leading a fulfilling life.

The Concept of National Wellness Month:

National Wellness Month was established to create awareness and promote overall wellness across various dimensions of life - physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual. It aims to empower individuals to make positive changes in their lives, leading to improved health and well-being. This month-long observance encourages people to reflect on their habits, set achievable goals, and adopt healthy practices that contribute to a more balanced lifestyle.

Prioritizing Self-Care:

Self-care is the foundation of a healthy and happy life. It involves consciously engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. In our relentless pursuit of success and accomplishments, we often neglect our own needs, leading to burnout and physical and mental health issues. National Wellness Month encourages us to take a step back and invest time in self-care activities, such as regular exercise, sufficient sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, and engaging in hobbies that bring joy.

Mental Health Matters:

In recent years, the importance of mental health has gained widespread recognition. National Wellness Month plays a crucial role in destigmatizing mental health issues and advocating for open discussions about mental well-being. Taking care of our mental health is as essential as looking after our physical health. It involves acknowledging and expressing emotions, seeking help when needed, and maintaining a positive mindset.

The Impact of Self-Care on Mental Health:

Self-care and mental health are intricately connected. When we neglect self-care, our mental health can suffer, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and feelings of overwhelm. Engaging in self-care practices not only provides an opportunity to relax and recharge but also improves our resilience and coping mechanisms when faced with challenges. Whether it's practicing mindfulness, spending time in nature, or simply engaging in activities we enjoy, these practices have a profound impact on our mental well-being.

Strategies for Enhancing Mental Health:

During National Wellness Month, it is essential to explore and implement strategies that enhance mental health and well-being:

1. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help calm the mind, reduce stress, and promote overall emotional well-being.

2. Physical Activity: Regular exercise releases endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, which can significantly improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

3. Social Connections: Building and nurturing positive relationships with family, friends, and community members can provide a strong support system during difficult times.

4. Time Management: Effectively managing time and setting realistic goals can alleviate stress and prevent burnout.

5. Professional Support: Seeking help from mental health professionals, such as therapists or counselors, can be immensely beneficial in addressing mental health concerns.

National Wellness Month reminds us that self-care and mental health should be an ongoing priority, not just a fleeting focus. By embracing self-care practices and actively nurturing our mental well-being, we equip ourselves to lead more fulfilling lives, enhance our overall resilience, and effectively cope with life's inevitable challenges. Let us use this month as a springboard to build habits that promote wellness in every aspect of our lives, ensuring that self-care and mental health remain at the forefront throughout the year and beyond.

If you are seeking support or need information on how to better manage a mental health challenge in yourself or a loved one, you are not alone. Reach out to NAMI North Texas, a chartered affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which offers  outstanding peer-led programs provide free education, skills training and support in Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Rockwall counties. Visit www.naminorthtexas.org  or call 214-341-7133 for more information.

Kathy Beazley
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Photo credit Texas Woman's University Texas Woman’s University Chancellor Carine M. Feyten (left) and Doswell Foundation CEO Beverly Fricke hold a check for $1 million, the first payment toward the foundation’s historic $15 million commitment to the Doswell School of Aeronautical Sciences at Texas Woman’s University.

Members of the Dallas-based Doswell Foundation board formally signed an agreement with the Texas Woman’s University System Board of Regents on Aug. 11, marking the foundation’s historic $15 million gift to TWU establishing the Doswell School of Aeronautical Sciences. The school aims to address a nationwide pilot shortage and increase the number of women commercial pilots. Doswell Foundation CEO and Chairman Beverly Fricke and foundation board members celebrated the partnership a day earlier at a special dinner with Board of Regents Chair Stacie McDavid and fellow regents. During the regents’ board meeting, the foundation presented Texas Woman’s Chancellor Carine Feyten with an initial payment of $1 million. The aeronautical sciences program is expected to begin enrolling students in August 2024. The Doswell Foundation and the late philanthropist Florence Doswell have been longtime supporters of TWU's College of Nursing.

About Texas Woman’s University

Texas Woman’s University is the nation’s largest woman-focused institution. In 2021, total student enrollment from its campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston exceeded 16,300.

Texas Woman’s is recognized for its contributions and leadership in the health sciences, education, business, arts and sciences. The university offers student support, small class sizes and campus esthetics more typically found at a private university. The university’s Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership focuses on increasing opportunities for women in business, politics and public policy and student leadership.

Male students have been admitted to the university’s graduate programs since 1972 and undergraduate programs since 1994. Texas Woman’s prides itself on providing students with a well-rounded education predicated on experiential learning, service, health and well-being, and integrity.

Respect for diversity in all dimensions (U.S. News & World Report ranked the university tied for fourth in the nation for diversity in 2021) and a safe campus environment (Texas Woman’s is among the safest campuses in the nation) are among the hallmarks of a TWU education. The university consistently is recognized as Military Friendly. 

Committed to transformational learning, discovery and service in an inclusive environment that embraces diversity, Texas Woman’s inspires excellence and a pioneering spirit. For more information, visit twu.edu.

Kathy Beazley
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Photo courtesy of NAMI North Texas

In the wake of a heart-wrenching incident involving an officer who took his own life after firing his service weapon in the fatal shooting of a murder suspect on August 7, our community is reminded of the vital importance of prioritizing the mental health and well-being of our law enforcement officers. An18-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, Officer Matthew Bacon served as a member of the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force, a collaborative effort involving both Dallas and Mesquite police officers. The task force was in the process of executing an arrest warrant for a murder suspect at a Dallas apartment complex.

Law enforcement officers face unimaginable challenges and responsibilities daily, often putting their own lives at risk to protect our communities. Recent events have underscored the acute emotional toll that these brave individuals carry with them, even as they fulfill their duty to serve and protect. The loss of an officer to suicide not only devastates their families and colleagues, but also serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive mental health support within police departments.

In times like these, we must come together as a community to address this critical issue and ensure that our officers have access to the resources they need to cope with the immense stress and trauma they encounter on the job. Mental health support should not be an afterthought, but an integral part of the comprehensive training and ongoing care provided to our police force.

As we mourn the loss of the Dallas Police Department’s own, we must also take action. NAMI North Texas is committed to actively advocating for increased awareness, funding, and implementation of mental health programs specifically tailored to the needs of law enforcement officers.

NAMI North Texas and its Overwatch Peer Support (OPS) program have offered support to the Dallas Police Department to assist those officers in need, but haven’t received a response yet. The NAMI North Texas OPS program is the first of its kind: in-person, no-cost, confidential, community-based, inter-agency peer support network for first responders. This innovative program provides a private option to take the first step towards mental health care, making it easier for first responders to seek help, prioritize their own well-being, and connect with vetted, culturally appropriate clinical care when necessary. Intended to be supplementary to intra-agency support teams, OPS serves as an additional resource to optimize first responder wellness and professional performance.

“It is our collective responsibility to create an environment in which our police officers feel safe to seek help and openly address their emotional well-being without fear of stigma,” states Michelle Horridge, who serves the NAMI North Texas Frontline Wellness Coordinator and a Detective for the Flower Mound Police Department Criminal Investigations Division. “Just as they work tirelessly to protect our community, we must work tirelessly to protect their mental health.”

The tragedy we face today serves as a painful reminder that we cannot wait any longer to address this pressing issue. Let us honor the memory of our fallen officer by fostering a culture of compassion, understanding, and support for our law enforcement officers. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that no officer feels alone in their struggle.

If you are a member of the law enforcement community (sworn or civilian) and would like to be connected with an OPS Peer Supporter, please visit naminorthtexas.org/frontline-wellness-1 or email Michelle Horridge at MichelleH@NAMINorthTexas.org.

ABOUT NAMI NORTH TEXAS

Founded in 1982, NAMI North Texas, a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit organization, advocates for equitable access to mental health services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community of hope for all of those in need. Serving Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Rockwall counties, NAMI North Texas provides essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs. For more information, visit naminorthtexas.org.

Kathy Beazley
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Photo courtesy of NAMI North Texas

As the summer break comes to an end, students around the world are preparing to head back to school. While this transition marks a return to academic learning and social interactions, it also presents a crucial opportunity to address and prioritize children's mental health. Beyond academic achievements, a focus on emotional well-being within the school environment can significantly impact a child's overall development, enabling them to thrive both in and out of the classroom.

The Importance of Emotional Well-being in Education

Emotional well-being is an integral aspect of a child's growth and plays a vital role in shaping their learning experiences. When children feel safe, supported, and emotionally secure in the school environment, they are more likely to engage actively in their studies and form positive relationships with peers and educators. Moreover, promoting emotional health can foster a positive school culture, where students feel valued, respected, and empowered to express themselves.

Creating a Safe and Inclusive Learning Space

To enhance children's emotional well-being in schools, educators and administrators must prioritize creating a safe and inclusive learning space. This involves establishing clear expectations for behavior, implementing anti-bullying policies, and providing training for teachers on recognizing and addressing emotional struggles in students. By nurturing a sense of belonging and safety within the school community, children are more likely to develop the confidence to explore their academic potential and build meaningful connections with others.

Promoting Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs have gained recognition for their positive impact on students' mental health and academic performance. These programs teach essential life skills such as self-awareness, empathy, emotional regulation, and conflict resolution. By incorporating SEL into the curriculum, schools can equip students with the tools they need to cope with stress, manage emotions, and navigate social situations effectively. Moreover, SEL fosters empathy and understanding among students, reducing the incidence of bullying and promoting a more supportive environment. 

Encouraging Physical Activity and Play

Physical activity and play are vital components of a child's overall well-being. Encouraging regular exercise, both in physical education classes and during breaks, can have a profound effect on children's mental health. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, promoting positive emotions and reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, unstructured playtime fosters creativity, problem-solving skills, and emotional expression, allowing children to decompress and recharge during their busy school day.

Identifying and Supporting Students' Emotional Needs

Every child is unique, and their emotional needs can vary greatly. Teachers and school staff play a crucial role in identifying students who may be struggling emotionally and providing appropriate support. Implementing regular check-ins with students, individualized counseling sessions, or peer support programs can offer a safe space for students to express their feelings and receive guidance. By taking a proactive approach to emotional support, schools can address issues early on, preventing them from escalating into more significant challenges.

Engaging Parents and Guardians

Parents and guardians are essential partners in nurturing children's emotional well-being. Schools can facilitate this partnership by engaging parents in their child's education and emotional development. Regular parent-teacher conferences, workshops on emotional health, and open communication channels can help parents better understand their child's needs and contribute positively to their well-being both at home and in school.

As children head back to school, it is crucial to recognize that their mental health and emotional well-being are fundamental to their success as learners and individuals. By creating a safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environment, promoting social and emotional learning, encouraging physical activity and play, and actively addressing students' emotional needs, schools can play a pivotal role in nurturing emotionally resilient and confident young individuals who can thrive academically and in life. Ultimately, by prioritizing children's mental health, we can empower the next generation to reach their full potential and lead fulfilling and successful lives.

To help schools and organizations serving youth and their families address mental health, NAMI North Texas, a chartered affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), offers a no-cost program called Ending the Silence. It is a powerful tool in raising awareness, improving understanding and reducing stigma. Ending the Silence delivers a message of hope and recovery, helping to end stigma and empower safe, open communication around mental health conditions. For middle school, high school and college/university students, there is NAMI On Campus, which are student-led clubs that raise mental health awareness and reduce stigma on high school and college campuses through peer-led activities, education, and events. NAMI On Campus connects students with their local community and supports them in creating a culture free of judgment and accepting of reaching out for help; a more aware and mental health-supportive school culture. If your school or university would like to learn more about our programs, contact Tiffany Gomez at TiffanyG@NAMINorthTexas.org or call 214-341-7133.

Founded in 1982, NAMI North Texas, a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit organization, advocates for equitable access to mental health services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community of hope for all of those in need. Serving Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Rockwall counties, NAMI North Texas provides essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs. For more information, visit www.naminorthtexas.org.

Kathy Beazley
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Photo courtesy of Southlake Town Square

Southlake’s acclaimed lifestyle destination continues to draw up-and-coming brands, offering an unprecedented mix of retail offerings to shoppers in the square.

More up-and-coming brands are headed to Southlake Town Square, opening new front doors in the premier lifestyle destination, bringing what is already popular online directly into the hands of shoppers.

“We continue to partner with emerging brands that have a proven track record of online sales that don’t have a physical presence in the surrounding market,” said Jason Kasal, vice president and senior leasing director of Kite Realty Group (NYSE: KRG). 

“We strive to offer unique access to a collection of brands that are still new to the shopper. We have a merchandising mix that is unique in the Metroplex. The most successful up-and-coming brands are thoughtfully selecting Southlake Town Square for their newest stores,” Kasal said.

New Brand Announcements

Premium performance apparel brand Vuori will open this fall at 319 Grand Avenue East, next to the newly opened Mizzen+Main, in a 3,030-square-foot space. Shoppers will find both women’s and men’s apparel inspired by the active Coastal California lifestyle, which integrated fitness with surf, sport and art. 

johnnie-O, a men’s apparel brand with a unique style of East Coast classic meeting the SoCal lifestyle, also opens this fall. Its store in Southlake Town Square will be just its seventh to open in the U.S., and will be located in a 1,987-square-foot space at 1246 Main Street, next to MiCocina. 

Chubbies, a casual men’s apparel brand known as the “official outfitters of Friday at 5 p.m.” will open its fifth U.S. storefront – the first one in DFW – in Southlake Town Square this holiday season. In a 1,195-square-foot space at 323 Grand Avenue East, next to Vuori, the brand will offer men’s apparel for every man, including Chubbies’ signature core casual shorts. 

Southern Tide, the brand that defines and delivers the premium coastal lifestyle, will open its fourth U.S. store at 409 Grand Avenue East, near Sunglass Hut, in Southlake Town Square. With a mission to create new styles customers will wear for years to come, Southern Tide specializes in premium men’s, women’s and children’s apparel that sets a new standard in comfort, fit and design that allows its customer to bring a piece of the South with them wherever they go. The brand will open in a 1,476-square-foot space this holiday season. 

Also opening this holiday season in Southlake Town Square is FOUNT, which offers classic American heritage leather goods made from the finest ethically sourced leather and materials. FOUNT bags are designed in Ohio and handcrafted by skilled artisans in the U.S. as well as in the Dominican Republic and Leon, Mexico, through fair-trade partnerships that ensure excellent quality, fair labor practices and livable wages. FOUNT will open its first Texas location at 416 Grand Avenue West near COACH, in a 2,281-square-foot space in Southlake Town Square.

Opening Soon

Southlake Town Square also looks forward to openings this fall for previously announced retailers Tecovas and Faherty. Tecovas is an Austin-based retailer of cowboy hats and Western wear whose brand was born out of a love for cowboy boots held by the company’s founder, Paul Hedrick. Along with cowboy boots, Tecovas will offer leather accessories and denim products from its Southlake Town Square location at 301 Grand Avenue West near Apple and Tesla. Faherty offers men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories made from premium fabrics with gotta-feel-it-to-believe-it softness. The family-owned company is sustainably minded and will be located at 301 Grand Avenue East, across near Anthropologie and Brandy Melville.

Opening in early 2024 is Skin Laundry, the brand offering signature laser and light treatments provided by registered nurses to rejuvenate skin cells, boost collagen production and improve clarity for transformative results with no downtime. A medical company specializing solely in facials, Skin Laundry’s team consists of registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants trained and guided by board-certified dermatologists. Skin Laundry will be located at 1520 East Southlake Boulevard, near Crumbl Cookies and The Hair Bar, in a 1,612-square-foot space.

New Restaurant

Postino WineCafé is opening this summer at 1426 Main Street in Southlake Town Square to offer unique and approachable wines, scrumptious food prepared with local ingredients and a warm culture that brings everyone together. The restaurant will be located next to Free People, in a 5,000-square-foot restaurant that offers both indoor and outdoor dining.

Now Open

In June, Southlake Town Square celebrated the openings of Aritzia, a popular Canadian fashion retail brand delivering “Everyday Luxury” through engaging service, beautiful products, aspirational environments and captivating communications; and Mizzen + Main, makers of “the best damn dress shirt,” and a variety of menswear combining the perfect blend of fibers with modern silhouettes that look great and feel even better. 

About Southlake Town Square

Located in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in Southlake, Texas, Southlake Town is a 130-acre, open-air, mixed-use development that boasts more than 120 specialty retail shops and restaurants, including the first Market by Macy’s in the U.S., Apple, Tesla, Madewell, Free People, Anthropologie, lululemon, Sephora, Evo Entertainment and Trader Joes; an upscale urban Hilton Hotel; offices; city and county government buildings; a U.S. Post Office and residential brownstones. To learn more, please visit SouthlakeTownSquare.com or call 817-329-5566. Connect socially with Southlake Town Square online via its Facebook or Instagram.

About Kite Realty Group Trust

Kite Realty Group Trust (NYSE: KRG) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) headquartered in Indianapolis, IN that is one of the largest publicly traded owners and operators of open-air shopping centers and mixed-use assets. KRG’s primarily grocery-anchored portfolio is located in high-growth Sun Belt and strategic gateway markets. The combination of necessity-based, grocery-anchored neighborhood and community centers, along with vibrant mixed-use assets makes the KRG portfolio an ideal mix for both retailers and consumers. Publicly listed since 2004, KRG has nearly 60 years of experience in developing, constructing and operating real estate. Using operational, investment, development, and redevelopment expertise, KRG continuously optimizes its portfolio to maximize value and return to shareholders. As of March 31, 2023, the Company owned interests in 181 U.S. open-air shopping centers and mixed-use assets, comprising approximately 29 million square feet of gross leasable space. For more information, please visit kiterealty.com.

Connect with KRG: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Kathy Beazley
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Photo Credit Peterson Management Group Blue Goose Cantina's Hatch Chile Fest Menu Items

Looking for authentic dishes made from Hatch chile peppers grown in New Mexico? Blue Goose Cantina is serving up fan favorite dishes and all-new items during its 21st Annual Hatch Chile Fest once the harvest begins. Not for the faint of heart, the excitement for the sweet, smoky, green peppers is for a limited time only. The Goose’s special begins Tuesday, August 1 and runs through the end of September. Once the spicy Hatch chile harvest has ended, Blue Goose Cantina ends its menu until next year.

This year, there are 10 ways to get your hatch fix at any of the seven Blue Goose locations in Frisco, Plano, Highland Village, McKinney, Grapevine, Fort Worth, and now in Grand Prairie, which is located at 2536 West Interstate 20 (Frontage Road).

HATCH QUESO  $9

Fresh roasted Hatch chiles, blended with cheese and spices to give this white queso a spicy kick!  Make it Queso Birria +$2

HATCH SANTA FE QUESADILLA  $12

Flour tortillas filled with spicy Hatch chiles, mesquite grilled chicken, Jack cheese, black beans and corn.  Served with a side of guacamole.

BIRRIA & HATCH QUESA TACOS  $15 – New!

Three corn tortillas dipped in guajillo sauce, griddled with cheese, then filled with deliciously tender beef Birria, Hatch chiles, onions and cilantro. Served with Spanish rice and consommé.

AUGIE'S HATCH STEW  $12 -- A Goose favorite!

This classic New Mexico style stew is made with roasted Hatch chiles, pork, onions, potatoes and carrots. Drizzled with sour cream.

HATCH PULLED CHICKEN ENCHILADAS  $15

Two chicken enchiladas topped with your choice of spicy Hatch salsa or Hatch queso. Served with Spanish rice and charro beans.

HATCH BIRRIA BURRITO  $14 – New!

A large flour tortilla filled with Birria, roasted Hatch chiles, Jack cheese, onion and cilantro, topped with Hatch queso and Hatch salsa. Served with spicy Hatch pineapple Pico de Gallo, Spanish rice and consommé.

HATCH STREET TACOS  $14

Four house made corn tortilla street tacos topped with fajita chicken (2), and fajita beef (2), spicy Hatch pineapple Pico de Gallo, and queso fresco. Served with Hatch salsa.

BLUE GOOSE CANTINA’S FAMOUS HATCH MARGARITA  $12

SPICY Hatch chile pepper infused tequila shaken with fresh lime juice and agave nectar.

BLUEBERRY HATCH MARGARITA  $14 – New!

Hatch chile pepper infused tequila blended with blueberry puree, then shaken with fresh lime juice and agave nectar.

HATCH HUEVOS  $11 – New!

Three over-medium eggs on a guajillo seasoned toasted corn tortilla, smothered with Hatch salsa and Jack cheese, topped with avocado slices. Served with a side of refried beans & cheese. Only available during Saturday and Sunday brunch, 10am to 3pm.

Established in 1984, Blue Goose Cantina brings together fantastic made-from-scratch Mexican food, legendary cocktails, top-notch service, a fun atmosphere, and a kick-ass attitude. A division of Peterson Management Group, a family-owned and operated restaurant management company, For more information, including menu and locations, visit BlueGooseCantina.com.

ABOUT PETERSON MANAGEMENT GROUP

Peterson Management Group is a family-owned and operated restaurant management company with 12 restaurants located across North Texas. Founded by Bob Peterson and Scott Holyfield, two guys with larger-than-life personalities, it all started in 1983 with eclectic seafood shack restaurants, Aw Shucks and Big Shucks Oyster Bar. They are the best places in North Texas to get raw oysters, shrimp, catfish, crab legs, po'boy boy sandwiches, a nice cold beer, and tasty crawfish when in season. In addition to Aw Shucks and Big Shucks, Peterson Management Group opened Blue Goose Cantina in 1984, where fantastic made-from-scratch Mexican food, legendary cocktails, top-notch service, a fun atmosphere and a kick-ass attitude come together. The restaurant chain has repeatedly been voted the best in North Texas for its winning combination of food, fun, and signature margaritas. Today, Nick Peterson, son of Bob, leads the family business, serving as its CEO. For more information, visit PetersonManagementGroup.net.

Kathy Beazley
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Photo Credit NAMI North Texas NAMI North Texas OPS Meeting

NAMI North Texas and the Flower Mound Police Department announce a mental health overwatch peer support program partnership for the first responder community. The management partnership of the Overwatch Peer Support Program (OPS) program will not only save lives, but open the door to a myriad of additional community resources for first responders. It will aid in early intervention for mental health and preventing unhealthy coping strategies provoked by the repetitive trauma emergency service professionals experience each shift.

This new partnership is be led by Detective Michelle Horridge, who serves in the Flower Mound Police Department Criminal Investigations Division as well as the NAMI North Texas Frontline Wellness Coordinator. Horridge is a 23-year law enforcement professional, who has been with Flower Mound Police Department for 18 years.

“The partnership with NAMI North Texas and Flower Mound Police Department allows us to provide even more peer support and mental health resources to first responders within our community,” states Horridge. “We will be able to expand the OPS program by adding more peer supporters throughout North Texas.”

Dr. Athena Trentin, Executive Director of NAMI North Texas says, “Detective Michelle Horridge has not only been a champion OPSupporter since the program’s implementation, but she has also been a highly-valued resource as we built the in-person training curriculum. Her passion and experience in first responder peer support embodies everything we could hope for in a key law enforcement ally.”

By taking on a partnering leadership role in OPS, the Flower Mound Police Department is demonstrating a solid commitment to the North Texas community and joining NAMI North Texas as a national leader in first responder wellness. This also adds immeasurably to Flower Mound Police Department’s own in-house support and wellness programs.

The NAMI North Texas OPS program is the first of its kind: in-person, no-cost, confidential, community-based, inter-agency peer support network for first responders. This innovative program provides a private option to take the first step towards mental health care, making it easier for first responders to seek help, prioritize their own well-being, and connect with vetted, culturally appropriate clinical care when necessary. Intended to be supplementary to intra-agency support teams, OPS serves as an additional resource to optimize first responder wellness and professional performance.

After more than a decade of experience working with law enforcement, NAMI North Texas developed the 16-hour, high quality, law enforcement peer support certification course in 2021-2022 with the help of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. Once an officer completes this training, they receive an OPS certification and are eligible to provide 1-1 support to other law enforcement personnel who request assistance through OPS. Officers are also trained to recognize when peer support is not enough, thus serving as bridges to professional mental health services that specialize in treating first responders. 

Currently, the OPS program is available to all law enforcement professionals, including communications/dispatch, corrections, and civilian employees of law enforcement agencies. The program is intended to expand to Fire/EMS late summer, early fall 2023. NAMI National will soon expand the program across the U.S. through their Frontline Wellness Initiative, making OPS available for implementation at more than 600 local NAMI Affiliates nationwide. 

ABOUT NAMI NORTH TEXAS

Founded in 1982, NAMI North Texas, a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit organization, advocates for equitable access to mental health services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community of hope for all of those in need. Serving Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Rockwall counties, NAMI North Texas provides essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs. For more information, visit naminorthtexas.org.

Kathy Beazley
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Photo Credit PMG Management Group Blue Goose Cantina's famous margaritas

Margaritas might just be the official drink of summer and Blue Goose Cantina is ready to put the chill in your summer with monthly margarita specials that will quench your thirst. Enjoy these decadent treats, along with the original, Classic Margarita and the award-winning Hibiscus Margarita, on any of the seven Blue Goose patios in Frisco, Plano, Highland Village, McKinney, Grapevine, Fort Worth, and now in Grand Prairie. The Goose also offers 15+ cool concoctions to wet your whistle.

June’s delight, the Blood Orange Margarita, features Casa del Sol Blanco Tequila, agave, lime juice, and blood orange puree served deliciously in a glass rimmed with sugar. Co-founded by actress Eva Longoria, Casa del Sol is a 100% Mexican owned, women-led tequila distillery with a third generation Maestra Tequilera. It is inspired by the magic of golden hour and the legend of the Aztec goddess of agave, Mayahuel. Enjoy sipping this ultimate luxury margarita and savor the deep red hue and sweet-tart flavor of blood oranges in this iconic, seasonal cocktail.

As temperatures climb in July and August, cool down with the Coco Piña Margarita, featuring organic Dulce Vida Blanco Tequila, pineapple juice, coconut puree, agave, and lime juice that is sprinkled with toasted coconut. Dulce Vida Blanco has a pleasant citrus aroma that is well balanced with a hint of spice and a sweet agave finish. It's the perfect complement to this margarita. Light and refreshing, you’ll enjoy the sweet life with this tropical drink, coupled with Blue Goose’s famous fajitas, top shelf queso, homemade tortillas, enchiladas, tacos,  and more.

Established in 1984, Blue Goose Cantina brings together fantastic made-from-scratch Mexican food, legendary cocktails, top-notch service, a fun atmosphere, and a kick-ass attitude. A division of Peterson Management Group, a family-owned and operated restaurant management company, For more information, including menu and locations, visit BlueGooseCantina.com.

ABOUT PETERSON MANAGEMENT GROUP

Peterson Management Group is a family-owned and operated restaurant management company with 12 restaurants located across North Texas. Founded by Bob Peterson and Scott Holyfield, two guys with larger-than-life personalities, it all started in 1983 with eclectic seafood shack restaurants, Aw Shucks and Big Shucks Oyster Bar. They are the best places in North Texas to get raw oysters, shrimp, catfish, crab legs, po'boy boy sandwiches, a nice cold beer, and tasty crawfish when in season. In addition to Aw Shucks and Big Shucks, Peterson Management Group opened Blue Goose Cantina in 1984, where fantastic made-from-scratch Mexican food, legendary cocktails, top-notch service, a fun atmosphere and a kick-ass attitude come together. The restaurant chain has repeatedly been voted the best in North Texas for its winning combination of food, fun, and signature margaritas. Today, Nick Peterson, son of Bob, leads the family business, serving as its CEO. For more information, visit PetersonManagementGroup.net.

 

Kathy Beazley
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Photo courtesy of Rachel Hill Jeff and Hanna Hill, founders of Little Egypt

At McCree Cemetery on June 3, a very special acknowledgement of heritage and legacy will take place, as the cemetery honors Little Egypt, a freedman community whose members are buried in the cemetery and whose descendants, the Hill family, are among us today.

Everyone is invited to participate as the McCree Cemetery Association hosts a Little Egypt Cemetery Stroll and Clean-up event on June 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McCree Cemetery, located at 9934 Audelia Road in Dallas. Free to attend, the public is invited to come and help, and to learn about an important part of Dallas’s legacy. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own work gloves, and equipment to help will be provided by the McCree Cemetery Association.

Community of Little Egypt Honored

Situated on the hilltop of what was then a vast prairie in a farming community 10 miles from the limits of early Dallas, McCree Cemetery was founded in 1866 when Mahulda Bonner McCree granted roughly 1.5 acres to William McCullough and James E. Jackson for its establishment. Another one acre of land was added to the cemetery in 1896 when Jeff Hill (the founder of Egypt, also known as “Little Egypt,” an African-American freedman community), George John and Monroe Parker purchased land from J.E. Griffin to create a beautiful burial area for Black residents.

On May 20, a historical marker honoring the Little Egypt community was installed at the Paul Dyer Administration Complex, the location where Little Egypt community once stood.

Members of the Hill family will be present at McCree Cemetery on June 3 to share stories of the legacy of their family, a group that was instrumental in settling Little Egypt.

Rachel Hill-Rasbatt, a member of the Hill family and organizer of the Hill Family Reunion, has done extensive work on her family’s history and is glad to share that information about one of Dallas’s founding communities at McCree Cemetery.

“As Toni Morrison once wrote, ‘Our ancestors are an ever widening circle of hope,’” said Rachel Hill-Rasbatt. “The journey to know more about my Hill Heritage has been a soul changing experience.”

History and Heritage

The June 3 event is one of the many important events that will be held at McCree Cemetery as the preservation and revitalization of this important landmark continues. The event is sponsored by the Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc.; Versar, Inc.; and The McCree Cemetery Association.

For nearly 100 years, McCree Cemetery served as a burial site for the surrounding hamlets of Audelia, Rodgers, and Egypt. Listed in 2018 as a City of Dallas landmark, the property is recognized under seven of ten possible historic designation criteria, including the historical development, ethnic heritage and cultural characteristics of the city. There are two distinct sides to the cemetery, one for Anglo burials and one for African American burials. Preservation and restoration work on McCree Cemetery in 2015 located 158 markers and monuments on the site bearing the names of Peters Colonists, early settlers, freedmen and war veterans.

McCree Cemetery’s eastern tract was one of two used by the Egypt community. Jeff Hill, the nephew of two of Egypt’s founders John (Jeff) and Hanna Hill, is buried here. The property once included a church, the Cemetery Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church South and later the Rogers Baptist Church (1931-1939).

The western side of McCree Cemetery includes the oldest known burial in the cemetery, which belongs to John Henry Jones, who died in 1862 from wounds received during the Civil War. The last burial was Margaret Elizabeth Dockins, who passed away in 1982. Family names of the Anglo settlers buried at the cemetery include Jackson, Prigmore, McCullough, Griffin, Crosby and Goforth.

Many veterans are also buried in McCree Cemetery, including those that fought in the Battle of 1812, Mexican American War, Civil War, the World Wars and other conflicts.

Heavily vandalized in the 1950s and in subsequent years, the cemetery is now protected by a tall fence. Nearby development beginning in the 1960s marked the end of McCree Cemetery’s rural location along with the razing of the nearby Egypt community.

McCree Cemetery today comprises 2.6 acres of native species of prairie vegetation and its beautiful hilltop location in the middle of what is now a modern mix of residential homes and commercial properties.

Preserving the Legacy of McCree Cemetery

In 2018, McCree Cemetery was listed as a City of Dallas historic landmark and, in 2019, documentation of the cemetery was done by drone and a landscape clean-up. In 2021, headstone cleaning commenced and in 2023, the cemetery continues to hold events that help Dallas honor and learn its history.

“It’s wonderful to welcome people back to the cemetery to learn about the history of some of Dallas’ earliest settlers,” said Robin Moss Norcross, president of the McCree Cemetery Association Board of Directors.

Norcross, along with other McCree Cemetery Association board members, is intent on sharing the cemetery’s vast and diverse history.

“This is a special and significant place for many reasons,” Norcross said. “The people here represent the beginnings of the community we enjoy today in Lake Highlands, and it’s important to understand their stories.”

Visit McCreeCemetery.org to learn more, or to contribute your own memories of McCree, or information about family members buried there.

Kathy Beazley
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Photo credit: Dallas Pride

Dallas Pride’s 40th year gets even more fabulous with its headlining entertaining! At the Dallas Pride Music Festival June 3, musical artist Allison Ponthier will perform for the thousands gathered to celebrate this special anniversary year. Tickets are on sale now for the Dallas Pride Music Festival at www.dallaspride.org.

“The many steps we have taken in 40 years are something to celebrate, even as we see more journey ahead,” noted Jaron Turnbow, executive director of Dallas Pride. “While we celebrate, we keep working toward a future of equality and equity for the LGBTQ+ community. The way we get there is by linking arms and moving forward in unity. Dallas Pride is committed to producing inclusive events that our community members and our allies -- friends and families alike -- can come together and enjoy.”

Pride Month celebrations continue throughout the month of June. AT&T and Dallas Pride will unite to present Turn Up the Love, a major, new music event that will take place at the AT&T Discovery District in Dallas on June 23. Entertainment will include musical performances by Years & Years, Wrabel, Kalechi and more, and the evening will be hosted by Carmen Carrera. In support of The Trevor Project, the uplifting and celebratory event is free to attend and will also include an outdoor market starting at 6 p.m. This community initiative further carries out AT&T's Turn Up the Love tour mission to amplify LGBTQ+ voices and harness the power of musicians and artists to create awareness of the importance of love and acceptance.

In 1972, just three weeks after the Stonewall riots in New York City, a festive group of hundreds of men and women gathered in Dallas to show their pride. They marched through downtown, waving signs and chanting gay rights slogans before a crowd that grew to about 3,000. There were a few floats, but nothing elaborate; most of the participants walked the route or rode in gaily decorated vehicles. In 1983, the parade was branded the Texas Freedom Parade in commemoration of Judge Jerry L. Buchmeyer’s 1982 ruling that first negated the Texas sodomy law (in a decision that was later overturned by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals). Also in 1983, Dallas Pride was born.

Those humble beginnings helped to galvanize a community that in coming years would celebrate Texas sodomy laws being found unconstitutional and same-sex marriage legal. As the LGBTQ+ community and its number of allies grew – and the families of LGBTQ+ individuals grew, too – Dallas Pride made a historic move in 2019 to Fair Park to a larger footprint that would comfortably accommodate the community’s growing numbers, as well as attendees who are differently abled, as well as those of all ages.

Dallas Pride’s 40th festivities begin on Saturday, June 3, in Fair Park with the Dallas Pride Music Festival, a family-friendly event featuring a variety of musical and dance performances on both the outdoor main stage and on an indoor community stage. More than 200 vendors will have booths to see and shop at the festival. Family Pride Zone, an area designed for families, will feature several bounce houses, face painting, entertainment for the kids and the Pride Train ride in the Automobile Building at Fair Park. The festival also features Teen Pride, which fosters a safe environment for LGBTQ+ youth ages 13 to 19 and their friends to enjoy live entertainment from artists and DJs, and other age-appropriate activities. Local animal rescue groups will also be on-site for guests to meet a possible new furry family member. This area of the festival will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 3.

The Dallas Pride Music Festival is Saturday, June 3, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., in Fair Park. Tickets are $10 for adults (ages 20+), $5 for teens (ages 13-19) and admission for children 12 and under is complimentary. Tickets are on sale now at dallaspride.org. Watch Dallas Pride’s social media for event news. Vendor registration is open now, with more details available at dallaspride.org.

The Dallas Pride Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade winds its way through Fair Park on Sunday, June 4. Free to attend, the parade is a rainbow feast for the eyes, with outrageous costumes, inventive floats, bands, groups and more marching in support of the LGBTQ+ community in a mile-long event featuring more than 150 parade entries. The Dallas Pride Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade takes place Sunday, June 4, 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Fair Park.  Admission is free. Parking is available at Fair Park for $10, or attendees may take the DART Green Line directly to Fair Park. Parade entry registration is open now (please note that the order of parade line-up is based on the order of completed applications and payments received).

Individuals, companies and organizations that would like to participate in the Dallas Pride Music Festival on June 3 or the Dallas Pride Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on June 4 can find vendor, sponsor and parade participant registration links at dallaspride.org/registration/.

About Dallas Pride

Dallas Pride is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening, supporting and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community by creating events and initiatives that foster connections between members of the community, its allies and its supporters.

Follow @DallasPride on Facebook, @DallasPrideOfficial on Instagram, @DallasPrideOrg on Twitter, or via the organization’s website, www.DallasPride.org, for all the tea.