Posts by Sarah Bennett

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    • Sarah Bennett
    • Staff Writer
    • Sarah grew up in Mansfield and graduated from SMU with a Creative Writing degree. She joined People Newspapers in January 2013 after interning with D Magazine in fall 2012. After a brief freelancing hiatus, she returned to People in May 2014.
  • Hobbies Inspire Student’s Poetry Book

    Raman shows off his book, Beyond the Edge, in the library. (Courtesy Photo)

    Raman shows off his book, Beyond the Edge, in the library. (Courtesy Photo)

    Some aspiring writers take decades to get published. That’s not the case for one St. Mark’s sophomore. Gopal Raman has published his first volume of poetry, called Beyond the Edge.

    “I started writing creatively in seventh grade, and I would compile a folder,” Raman said.

    Raman is also a dedicated student of photography, which highly influenced his work.

    “It just started as a side project I was working on in my spare time,” Raman said. “Most of [the poems] are nature-themed. A lot of times, the poem will complement the photo.” Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 21, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Seniors Use Fitness to Give Back

    Betty Estle exercises with other residents at Edgemere. (Photos: Chris McGathey)

    Betty Estle exercises with other residents at Edgemere. (Photos: Chris McGathey)

    Edgemere’s Italianate décor may not seem like the usual setting for a workout class, but for its resident seniors, it’s just the ticket. And not only that — it’s a way to give back.

    That’s because Edgemere takes part in a special program, where residents tally up their minutes spent working out and the total numbers go toward a donation to various charities.

    “Smile! Show your teeth,” instructor Charles Plafcan tells the participants of his 9:30 a.m. class.

    Plafcan plays music that he knows will cater to his audience — hits from the 1940s, jazz, and show tunes. Residents follow along with arm circles, squats, and chair exercises.

    A few of the participants have served on the fitness committee responsible for compiling minutes and selecting charities. Minutes that residents do individually also count toward the total. Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 13, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • ‘Each Moment Matters’ Luncheon Honors Hospice

    A rendering of the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center.

    A rendering of the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center.

    The Presbyterian Communities and Services hosted their annual ‘Each Moment Matters’ luncheon on Oct. 31, and took the opportunity to honor heroes and highlight upcoming changes. Dallas native, St. Mark’s graduate, and television writer David Hudgins was the keynote speaker. Hudgins lost his sister to cancer and spoke about the importance of making each moment matter.

    “Hospice is near and dear to my heart,” he said prior to the luncheon.

    Many members of the community were among the 44 honorees, including Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church member Dudley Lacey, City Square president Larry James, Jan and Fred Hegi, and Susan Cox with her husband, Northpark Presbyterian Church pastor Brent Barry.

    “With everything going on in the city, it’s a powerful time for us to come together,” Barry said.

    The luncheon also served as a platform to announce updates on the forthcoming T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center, which will be constructed at Merit Drive and Churchill Way. Phase One of funding, the portion that will cover construction costs, is now complete at $38.6 million. The center is scheduled to open in 2016.

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 7, 2014 | 4:25 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • City Planning Pioneer Built Conference

    Gail Thomas

    Gail Thomas

    To many around town, Gail Thomas is known as a dynamo and a pioneer of community development and urban planning.

    She is the president and CEO of The Trinity Trust and the director of the Dallas Institute’s Center for the City. A graduate of SMU, she received the university’s J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award earlier this year and is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects. She has authored three books.

    But one of her most prized projects is the “What Makes a City” conference, which she started in 1982. Its 32nd installation took place at the Latino Cultural Center on Oct. 23.

    “Since the first ‘What Makes a City?’ conference that Dr. Gail Thomas started in 1982, the Dallas Institute has focused much of its work on studying cities by drawing on the experiences of planning and urban experts,” executive director Larry Allums said. “We attempt to imagine Dallas from a fresh perspective, setting aside our sworn allegiances for a brief moment in order to consider new ideas, whatever they might be.”

    Thomas sat down to discuss the community benefits of this long-standing tradition: Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 7, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • JK Chocolate Hosts Open House

    (Photo: Chris McGathey)

    (Photo: Chris McGathey)

    JK Chocolate — which we’ve just featured in this month’s issue and online — is hosting an open house to show off their newly renovated storefront from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 12.

    Apparently, there will be “sweet treats and champagne.”

    That’s reason enough to celebrate.

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 5, 2014 | 3:52 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Providence Wraps Up Book Fair, Hosts Open House

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    Providence Christian School has been busy hosting its book fair yesterday and today, but they’re also hosting an open house tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. Parents are invited to come hear about the classical school, which serves students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The school highlights language arts, math, art, music, Latin, and middle-school sports.

    The campus sits on Lovers Lane near Inwood Road.

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 5, 2014 | 3:44 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Shakespeare Comes Alive For TJ Students

    Left: Julie Osborne Watts and Seth Magill demonstrate Shakespearean garments; right: Jesus Sean and Adaliz Salazar act out a scene. (Photos: Chris McGathey)

    Left: Julie Osborne Watts and Seth Magill demonstrate Shakespearean garments; right: Jesus Sean and Adaliz Salazar act out a scene. (Photos: Chris McGathey)

    You don’t often hear high school students calling each other “cankerblossoms,” but that’s what happens when Shakespeare Dallas enters the classroom.

    Thanks to a special grant, Shakespeare Dallas comes into high schools such as Thomas Jefferson to share the art of Shakespearean drama.

    Not only do the professionals act out a few scenes, but they get student volunteers up on stage and teach them a thing or two about diction, staging, and other relevant topics.

    “I tell everybody this is one of my favorite things to do,” from Julie Osborne Watts, education and outreach manager of Shakespeare Dallas. “It’s a catch-all introduction to Shakespeare.” Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 5, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Cookie Company is No Ordinary Bake Sale

    Julie Tobolowsky and Karleen Kusin show off their cookie and chocolate-sauce concoctions. (Photos: Chris McGathey)

    Julie Tobolowsky and Karleen Kusin show off their cookie and chocolate-sauce concoctions. (Photos: Chris McGathey)

    When Preston Hollow moms Julie Tobolowsky and Karleen Kusin needed some cute teacher gifts, they didn’t want just any old thing. So they went to their kitchens and got busy.

    “The chocolate sauces became our signature gift,” Kusin said. “We said, ‘well, maybe one day we’ll bottle it and sell it.’ Then we got busy raising our kids and after the last one left for college, we thought if we’re ever going to do it, this is the time.”

    With kids at Greenhill, Winston, St. Mark’s, and Hockaday, there were plenty of teachers and friends to reap the benefits. Eventually, enough people took interest in the duo’s treats that the team was renting out a commercial kitchen space to produce enough edible creations. Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 3, 2014 | 10:00 am | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • Officials Talk Ebola With Faith Leaders

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    On Wednesday morning, local government officials met with faith leaders from all over town at Park Cities Baptist Church to give updates on Dallas’ Ebola situation and discuss best practices and issues going forward. Mayor Mike Rawlings, City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates, and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins were among the panelists to speak.

    “It has been a challenge for Clay and myself this past month, but we feel blessed,” Rawlings said. He emphasized that with only one fatality, the situation could have been much worse, and pointed to more numerous deaths in the city due to West Nile Virus and domestic violence. Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 30, 2014 | 4:40 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Home Tours Showcase More Than Pretty Facades

    Courtesy photos

    Courtesy photos

    Home tours abound when the holidays come ringing. Luckily, with so many choices comes the chance to see a wide array of architecture and design styles. There are even a few with a cause.

    The New Friends New Life tour — which will feature four homes on Beverly Drive, Windsor Lane, Southwestern Boulevard, and Lakeside Drive — takes place on Nov. 23 and features something more than just good looks: proceeds go to the namesake organization, which helps to empower trafficked girls and sexually-exploited women.

    “The lives of women and children are transformed and families are restored because of the community support,” executive director and honorary chair Katie Pedigo said.

    Corporate and family sponsors include a few notable names, including Allie Beth Allman, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, and Gail and Gerald Turner.

    Homes for the 15th annual tour were announced at a party on Sept. 18. Highlights include a “floating” staircase and an outdoor mural. Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 29, 2014 | 2:00 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
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