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Toys to be distributed       Last weekend was amazing! There were so many good events in so many different places that I couldn’t get to all of them, but I felt like I managed my schedule well enough that I was able to at least show up at most of the best photo ops. Burnet was the busiest town by far, with three BIG events and some smaller events, but I made it to six other towns on Saturday, and I have pictures from at least five in the paper this week (Kingsland, Granite Shoals, Marble Falls, Buchanan Dam and Llano). Sunday was a lot more relaxed, but I got pictures at two great Christmas programs.
       This weekend won’t be quite so busy, but I don’t think I’ll have much chance to get bored. In addition to the events listed on page 2, I’ve heard that there will be a band concert and caroling in Burnet on Sunday afternoon. The concert, I believe, will be at the high school auditorium at 2:30 p.m., and will involve all the school bands from 6th grade to varsity; the Diva Dawgs and Bulldog Bros will have caroling and cocoa, beginning at 5:30 at the Parent Resource Center (at the corner of Pierce & Brier).
John Hallowell, Editor       I was trying to hedge a little on those two events because the websites and Facebook pages I looked at did not have a lot of details (but Darlene Denton confirmed the caroling event in a Facebook message at the last minute). I have guessed wrong on details a few times lately, and I hate to think that my events list could disappoint or inconvenience readers who depend on it. One event in last week’s article had the wrong date, and another got canceled without my knowledge; I hope this week’s is more dependable.
       As the holiday season winds down, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to meet my goal of finishng the first complete draft of my book before January 1. I want to mention again that I don’t plan to publish a paper in the week after Christmas; I’ll skip from December 22 to January 5, and see if I am motivated enough to get that book done!


       I have a couple of “business” items, so I won’t waste all my space rambling on about the book. I think I’ve mentioned before that the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association is accepting applications for its 2018 class. The 13-week course will begin on Thursday, February 15, and will be held in Burnet. It is sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and requires volunteering in the community and continuing education. The cost is $150, which covers the cost of resource materials, t-shirt and field trips. See the HLMGA website, www.burnetcountyhighlandlakesmastergardener.org, for more information and to download the application and background check form. Contact Amy Parke at 254-833-2720 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for questions or for more information.
       You’ve probably heard of Kim Turk’s Camp Agape. It is a free therapeutic camp experience for children suffering the loss of a parent or other significant familial figure from tragedies such as homicide, suicide, illness or military combat. Children enjoy the fun of a normal summer camp plus group therapy activities that incorporate the use of art and music to assist with the bereavement process.
       Camp Agape was founded in 2000 and is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. During the past 17 years, Camp Agape has served more than 600 area children at its annual one-week camp. Camp Agape is the only Christian-based children’s bereavement camp in the nation.
       Now the camp is announcing the establishment of a permanent endowment through the Highland Lakes Legacy Fund (HLLF). Gifts to the endowed fund will support current and future operations to give grieving children the needed tools to manage profound loss.For additional information, visit www.CampAgapeTexas.org or call (830) 385-8916.
       Last month, for the first time in the organization’s history, Camp Agape held a weekend retreat for families recovering from the death of a loved one. Due to the retreat’s success, a weekend for grief recovery will become an annual event for families whose children attend Camp Agape’s summer program. The 2018 children’s camp is July 16-19 at Camp Buckner Retreat Center, outside of Burnet.

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