Parker County Today October 2016 - Page 75

The Sweet Six Six Charities are competing this year for bragging rights and the most cash BY MELISSA MOORMAN A Our bachelorettes, charities and the chefs that love them are on the following pages. PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY bank, transportation, case management and information about other community resources for seniors. When asked if they were pleased to be a part of this year’s event, the answer was: “Absolutely,” according to Shelly Burmeister Mowery, executive director of the PCCOA. “Who wouldn’t be? The way it’s been designed, it sends a big message to Parker County that there are charities who need help. Because there’s only so much money around. I like that we get the restaurants involved. I also see what it does for the Bachelorettes. Sawyer, my daughter (the Committee’s Bachelorette in 2015), really changed over the last year. Her public speaking improved, and I saw her working even harder. Yes, we won, but I think they all were winners. We really like Taylar (White, bachelorette) and the seniors have already fallen in love with her.”  Helping animals find their forever homes is the goal of the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter. The shelter serves not just Weatherford but all of Parker County. Last year the shelter’s live release rate was 93.46 percent. The shelter has received numerous “excellent” ratings from the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Animal Control and Welfare Agency. “The Weatherford/ Parker County Animal Shelter is honored to be a part of the Parker County Today’s 2016 Bachelorette event,” said Dustin Deel, Director of Animal Services. When asked what they were planning to do differently this round, Deel said, “We simply plan to win! We are organizing our troops earlier than we have in the past and we plan to have some fun events that will not only raise money for the shelter but awareness of the shelter. We are still working out the details, but expect some fun events to come.” Our Community, Our Kids is an organization focused on improving the safety and the lives of kids in foster care. The organization manages the network of providers that has been developed to support the single source continuum contractor (SSCC) within various geographic areas. Jennifer Ernst is the bachelorette. The contractor is responsible for finding foster homes or other living arrangements for children in state care and providing them a full continuum of services. “We are honored to be part of the charity and bachelorette competition. The funds that have been raised have helped to purchase needed assets for the foster children in our community,” said Dr. Linda Garcia, Director of Community Relations. OCTOBER 2016 nd then there were six. Traditionally, the Sweet Charity & Bachelorettes event pits five charities in a money-raising race. This year we just couldn’t say no, so we’ve added an additional charity, bachelorette and celebrity chef to the mix. The six charities that are competing as well as a bit about each are below. Be sure and buy a ticket to the Nov. 3, Bachelorette event to support your favorite nonprofit. The competition ends Oct. 28. Careity Foundation — this year’s Boots, BBQ and Bachelors event charity winner — is a well-known and loved organization that has provided help to uninsured and underinsured residents in Parker County for two decades. They are known for helping women obtain free mammograms, but the foundation actually assists throughout the entire process from detection to wellness. Careity Foundation serves communities in Tarrant, Parker, Palo Pinto, Hood and Johnson counties. Make-a-Wish® Foundation grants the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions. Every 38 minutes they grant a wish of a child somewhere in the U.S. or its territories. “We are so looking forward to working with Lucia. Lucia is a wish child’s aunt, so she is even more driven to grant the wishes of even more children,” said Shelby Blue of Make-A-Wish®. Blue, their bachelorette Lucia Martinez and their chef Jason Ratliff of Downtown Café have been brainstorming ideas and look forward to putting some of those into place in the coming weeks. “It’s going to be a fantastic experience,” said Blue. Using the noble horse to help kids and adults with disabilities is what Stars & Strides Therapeutic Riding Stables was established for in 2012. The students are taught equine care, riding, handling, and management to their best level of ability. Stars & Strides is a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) certified facility located in Weatherford and has almost 40 riders signed up for their fall sessions. “We’re excited. Katelyn Vanhoozer, bachelorette] is a horse person herself and has taken a class on therapeutic riding in college. She’s got a great understanding of what we do. We will do what we can to help her win,” said David Miller, Director of Stars & Strides. The Parker County Committee on Aging (PCCOA) was last year’s Bachelorette charity winner raising almost $23,000. It offers a host of services in Parker County including senior activities at the Senior Center, weekday lunch service, Meals on Wheels, a food pantry/food 73