Monthly Archives: December 2017

A Tale of Serving and Being Served

by Claude Cunningham

I think I told the Club that the Builders’ Club we sponsor at Mary Orr Intermediate School was taking the lead on the Angel Tree project at the school. Mary Orr is a very interesting school, at least demographically.

The students at the school come from the Walnut Creek, Heritage Estates, Arbors, and Arbors at Creekwood areas. We all know that. What many people do not realize is that there are students at Mary Orr that live in trailer parks and travel trailer storage areas in the south part of the school district. The school has a great number of students who would have no Christmas without the service of others. In fact the principal of the school, Mr. Thurston, told me that they had put more families on their tree this year because the need was so great. He also told me that, when the school had contacted parents about the participation of their families, he was appalled at the number of families who asked for food.

The project worked well and nearly all the “Angles” were selected by families or staff from the school. The others will be taken care of by the campus leadership. The organization of the project was such that gifts were given “Family Numbers” which identified those to receive the gifts to only the counseling staff at the campus. Gifts were brought in and the donations were impressive.

On Monday, December 11, the Builders’ Club members, along with a couple of members of our club and several MHS Key Club members, gathered to wrap all the gifts. It was a joyful mad house. Kids learned how to wrap gifts, they laughed, they worked together and they did a good job. During this madness, Ms. McFarland, the lead campus advisor, quietly spoke with the counselor about a situation in the room where her group was wrapping gifts. It seems that one of the Builders’ Club members was also an Angel. The little girl was joyfully wrapping gifts so other kids could enjoy Christmas, not knowing that the gifts she was wrapping were for HER family. No one told her and she had a wonderful time helping others to have a Merry Christmas.

I assume she will recognize the gifts she wrapped when they arrive at her house the week before Christmas. And, I assume that she will know that her friends have no idea that they were helping her wrap her own gifts. She was happily serving while being served.


Mansfield Kiwanis Recognize December Student and Teacher of the Month

On Friday, December 8, 2017, the Kiwanis Club of Mansfield was honored to recognize its Student and Teacher of the month for December.

December 2017 Student of the Month: Cassidy Lindell

Cassidy is a senior at Mansfield Lake Ridge High School, has an estimated GPA of 96 and is currently ranked 81st in her class of 523 students. She has been a member of Lake Ridge’s Cross Country Team for 4 years and recently took 3rd place in her Division at the Mansfield Kiwanis Fa La La La 5K. In 2014 and 2015 she received the Lady’s Cross Country Most Improved Award and in 2016 the Lady’s Cross Country Eagle Heart Award. She is also a member of Key Club, the Teacher Association of Future Educators, the Athletic Leadership Council, and Duel Credit Ambassadors. As a Duel Credit Ambassador, Cassidy takes classes at Lake Ridge HS and Tarrant County Community College.

After graduation, Cassidy plans to attend TCU and study Early Childhool Education. In her free time, Cassidy enjoys reading, walking her dog, watching movies, and hanging out with friends. Also in attendance for her receipt of the Student of the Month Award was Cassidy’s mom, Celeste Lindell.

The Mansfield Kiwanis are extremely proud to recognize Cassidy as a Student of the Month. We know she will accomplish wonderful things in the future and wish her the best of luck in all of her future endeavors. We also hope that she will consider becoming a part of the “K Family” after graduation from high school by joining a Circle K or Kiwanis Club.

December 2017 Teacher of the Month: Michelle Gonzales

Michelle Gonzales, a Kindergarten teacher from Elizabeth Smith Elementary School, is the December 2017 Teacher of the Month. Ms. Gonzales has been with Mansfield ISD (and Elizabeth Smith Elemenary) for 5 years. She has been an educator for 12 years with all but one of those years as a Kindergarten teacher.

Ms. Gonzales teaching style incorporates the world that our children live in–a world of technology and not paper and pencil. She routinely uses social media to connect with other educators around the world to explore with the children how students in different regions approach school. For example, Ms. Gonzales’ class recently used Skype to speak with students in a Kindergarten class in Minnesota. The Minnesota class was shocked to learn that Ms. Gonzales’ class couldn’t go to recess that day because the temperature was in the 40’s. The Minnesota class routinely takes recess when the temperature was 40 degrees and lower.

Also in attendance for Ms. Gonzales’ receipt of the award was Lea Boiles, the Principal at Elizabeth Smith Elementary. Ms. Boiles gave a brief update on activities at Elizabeth Smith and described Ms. Gonzales as an amazing teacher that conitnues to improve her craft by researching new educational techiniques and strategies for children.

Thank you Ms. Gonzalesfor your commitment to the children of Mansfield and congratulations on being named as the Mansfield Kiwanis the Teacher of the Month!


Mansfield Area Marines Support Feed the Kids for Summer

On Friday, December 8, 2017, the Mansfield Area Marines, represented by Judge Matt Hayes and Pete Shryock, donated $500 to be used for the Feed the Kids for Summer Program.

Mansfield Area Marines have been a consistent sponsor of the Feed the Kids Program for which the Mansfield Kiwanis are incredibly grateful. Their donations help continue the successful program to provide a week’s worth of food, each week, to children that rely on the free and reduced fee lunch programs during the school year. Thank you for your continued support.

Are you interested in more information about the Mansfield Area Marines? Please visit their website at:
Also, please support them during their Gun Raffle and Golf Tournament fundraisers in 2018.

Mansfield Kiwanis Celebrate a Beautiful Fa La La La 5K

by Greg Barberee

A beautiful Texas winter morning welcomed Kiwanis Club of Mansfield members and participants to the Mansfield Kiwanis Fa La La La 5K on Saturday, December 2, 2017, at Katherine Rose Memorial Park in Mansfield Texas. Over 150 participants, a record number, joined the Mansfield Kiwanis for their seventh annual 5K. The Mansfield Kiwanis Fa La La La 5K was first held in 2010 and has been included as the Saturday morning event for Mansfield’s Hometown Holiday weekend ever since.

Club members, Key Club members and volunteers arrived early to transform the park into a Christmas themed playland for the participants. This year, the Mansfield Kiwanis once again decorated the park with handmade Christmas yard art loaned to the Club by Lonnie Barberee. Key Club members decorated the 5K trail with inspirational art and sayins to encourage all that showed up for the 5K.

Christmas music filled the air as participants starting showing up around 7:30 AM to pickup their shirts and runner bids. Club members hustled to put the finishing touches on the 5K course, decorations for the start/finish area and registration area. 144 participants registered online for the Fa La La La 5K and approximately 15 more registered on race day. Club member and volunteers all worked with smiles on their faces as each participant was greeted for registration and packet pickup.

The 5K once again utilized the Walnut Creek Linear Trail for its course. The Linear Trail provides a perfect setting for the 5K since the entire trail is an all weather surface and rolls along next to Walnut Creek allowing the participants to run the 5K without having to dodge traffic on busy Mansfield streets. The 5K course also provided challenges to the participants with elevation changes at the 0.75 mile and 2.5 mile marks.

This year’s winners were: Alison Langford, Women’s Overall Winner (21:57.1); Robyn Eastman, Women’s Masters Division Winner (23:20.7); Cody Tecklenburg, Men’s Overall Winner (18:52.3); and, Brian Williford, Men’s Masters Division Winner (21:13.0). You can view results for all partipants by clicking here.

The weather, good spirits from Club members, volunteers and participants created a truly exceptional 5K this year! Please check out our online photo album to view pictures from Saturday. 2017 Mansfield Kiwanis Fa La La La 5K Online Photo Album. This year’s 5K can be considered a successful fundraiser that will allow the Kiwanis Club of Mansfield to continue filling its mission to improve the lives of children.

An email has already been sent out to all participants thanking them for their participation and providing a link the the online album and to a survey to help us improve the 5K. You may view the email to the particants by clicking on the following link: Email to 5K Participants. All Club members are also reminded to take the Club Member Survey to help the 5K committee with planning for future events.

Thank you to our Mansfield Kiwanis Fa La La La 5K Sponsors

The Kiwanis Club of Mansfield want to say thank you to our generous sponsors for the Mansfield Kiwanis Fa La La La 5K held on December 2, 2017.  Without the assistance of these sponsors our Club would not have been able to put on on of the premier 5K events in Mansfield.  More importantly, their contributions allow the Mansfield Kiwanis to continue with their mission to improve the lives of children in Mansfield and the world.   Please help our Club thank the following sponsors: