April Around Town

LaBella Italian Grill

Bob Wilson’s paintings are being displayed proudly at LaBella Italian Grill.

Many of us have had to find other places to wine and dine, play a game of golf, or, in one case, hang our paintings. Siciliano’s and the Copper Kettle have provided meeting rooms, and LaBella Italian Grill has provided wall space for Bob Wilson’s paintings. An accomplished oil painter, Bob was also know as “Buffett Bob” around the club. The artist now seems at home at LaBella, and we have become accustomed to buying a bottle of wine for our visits, as the place is strictly BYOB and the wait staff is prepared with corkscrews and stemware. Wilson’s life-like portrait of Frank Sinatra puts diners in the mood for Eddie’s great pasta and pizza.

We featured a photo of the shrinking shoreline of Lake Ray Hubbard on our February cover, which had some readers thinking that we were running out of water. We’re happy to report that that’s not the case! Garland does not rely on that lake for its water, as it serves as a reservoir for Dallas, not Garland or Rowlett. We are, however, in Stage 3, which requires that we use our sprinkler systems only once every two weeks during the winter months. The day of your recyclables pick-up is the day you are permitted to water. Beginning in May through October you will be asked to limit your watering to once a week, on the day of your normally scheduled garbage collection, unless the winter schedule is extended further. Hand held hoses and manually operated sprinklers are permitted at anytime.

Cheri Stigler, owner of Paw Paw’s Sweet Shop & Café on State Street in downtown Garland, will be moving to larger quarters at 823 Main Street on June 1. The larger shop will accommodate her catering business in addition to the café, which will also have a private meeting space. The name may change, but the café will have the same informal 50’s décor that has become its trademark.

First United Methodist Church of Garland will have a new senior pastor this coming June. Reverend Fred Durham will be retiring after serving First Garland for 4 years and churches in the North Texas Conference for 44 years. Reverend Valerie Englert will be the new senior pastor, coming to Garland from Commerce, Texas.Englert holds a BA from UTD and a Master of Theology from the Perkins School of Theology at SMU. She and her husband have a daughter who is currently a seminary student.

The huge CVS building site just across the road from Walgreen’s in Rowlett at Rowlett Road & 66 makes one wonder if we’re over-medicating! Further down the line of stores in the strip mall adjacent to theat building site is DFW Storage Finds, just opened for a few months and has already expanded to a double storefront. Over toward Lakeview Pkkwy (66) is Fritzl’s Biergarten & Restaurant, a tiny, quirky place specializing in German cooking and baking. Klaus, its affable owner, chef, baker, bartender and waiter, was featured in our publication a few years ago, when we were ispired to write an article about his OMG CHOCOLATE CAKE.

Good Samaritans of Garland

Pictured left to right: Randall Reed, CEO Randall Reeds Prestige Ford, Cindy Turek, CEO, New Beginning Center, Colleen Jamieson, CFO, New Beginning Center, Jim Griffin, executive Director, Good Sams of Garland, Pastor Stewart, Senior Pastor, Springcreek Church, Jim Aswegan, President, Good SAMs of Garland, Pastor Wes, missions pastor Springcreek church, Justin Wright, General Manager and Operating Partner of Randall Reed’s Prestige Ford

On April 9, the official presentation of the 2013 Ford E-­350 14-­foot box trucks to the New Beginnings Domestic Violence Center and the Good Samaritans of Garland took place at Randall Reed’s Prestige Ford in Garland.

This project began as an identified need within the local community for transportation needed by two local non-­profits. So the work began, with Springcreek Church and their membership body leading the way on raising funds for the two organizations; Good Samaritans of Garland and the New Beginning Center, and Randall Reed’s Prestige Ford went to work to find appropriate box trucks.

“What started out as a $40,000 goal for two pre-­owned vehicles; with the generosity of our congregation, it quickly became a budget of $79,152. So each organization was able to purchase a new box truck with a warranty,” said Pastor Keith Stewart of Springcreek Church in Garland.
“The funds were raised during the 2013 Christmas season. Springcreek has a long-standing relationship with both organizations, and when they expressed a need for better transportation, asked its members to help resource these valuable assets in our community,” said Pastor Keith Stewart of Springcreek Church.

The organizations reached out to Katie Koberg at Randall Reed’s Prestige Ford, who had sponsored past events for each of them. They knew they could trust Katie to help them fulfill their need. Prestige Ford was able to locate two new 14-­foot box trucks for the project. Upon delivery, each organization the wrap design and Prestige had that added to the trucks.
“Serving in our community provides valuable networks for businesses, non-­profits and individuals to connect. If it is serving our non-­profits, supporting our local police and fire departments, or working within our school districts, the American dream is accomplished by many more if we choose to work together. I am proud of our community, my staff, and loyalty of our customers,” said Randall Reed, of Randall Reed’s Prestige Ford.

For the non-­profits, the box trucks are more than more efficient transportation; it is a lifeline. “Our ability to pick up food for the nearly 400 families each month we feed every week was a great struggle as we had a simple truck to make the pick ups from the local donation locations. With the new truck, we are better prepared, and more able to serve the hungry in our community,” said Jim Griffin, Executive Director of the Garland Good Samaritans.

“We serve families affected by domestic violence through education, prevention and intervention services and programs. With this truck we are able to do things more efficiently, it allows us to pick up food donations for our shelter and our food pantry, pick up large donations for our re-­sale store, and also help our clients relocated to a safer place to live. This gift has a tremendous ripple effect across Garland and DFW,” said Cindy Turek, CEO of the New Beginning Center.