A couple of years ago I, more or less accidentally, stumbled into volunteering for the Miracle League of Frisco. For the following several weeks, I had more meaningful Saturday mornings than I had ever had to that point in my life. I haven’t been able to devote the time needed to be a valuable contributor in the two years since, but I know that a time will come, sooner than later hopefully, where I’ll excitedly rejoin the ranks of the “Bowling Buddies” in Frisco on Saturday mornings.

If you’re scratching your head wondering what I’m talking about, let me give you a bit more explanation. In many spots throughout the state, there are private donation funded Miracle Leagues. Operating under the motto of “Because Every Child Deserves to Play,” the charity, which began in 2005, gives special needs children of many types not only a chance to participate in Soccer, Bowling and Baseball, but also the chance to grow their own self-esteem and also relationships with other kids and families who share their special sets of circumstances.

This past Thursday, at the North Texas Turkey Trot in Frisco, it was the local Miracle League that benefited financially from many of the proceeds raised by the event. While financial donations are always welcome In a scenario such as this one, the need for teens and adults who are compassionate and want to share the love of sports and community with every child are also needed.

So, before you get busy doing something else, do what I hope to do again very soon. Check out the League’s site and see where ou may fit in and lend a friendly hand to some kids and families that will be more grateful,than you can possibly imagine.

Recently, we couldn’t help but notice that everyone around us seemed to be wearing cozy long-sleeve t shirts that bore the name of some race that the person wearing the shirt had presumably run. Honestly, we got a little jealous. Heck, we even ran a 5k in Irving a couple of weeks ago. Good fun. The shirt was horribly ugly though, which was a bummer, to say the least.

For those of you who may have also recently caught yourself feeling a slight ping of jealousy over someone else’s racing shirt, there are tons of options available to you. Perhaps you might want to give one of  these upcoming runs a look and see if your up for running, even of the shirt turns put to be hideously unwearable …..

- The Undy Run (White Rock Lake – Dallas): This Saturday, run in your boxers and support the search for a cure for Colon Cancer.

- The Hill Country Pumpkin Run (Kerville): Another run on this busy 5k weekend.

- Cowboys and Kids 5k (Mesquite): Help the teachers out by running a couple of miles, why don’t ‘ya?

- The San Antonio Rock & Roll Half Marathon: Get a serious run in while you seriously rock out. this is one of the bigger running events in the state, these days.

This Saturday in Dallas, men will be hitting the streets of Dallas for a cause far greater than the odd fashion statement they’ll surely be making.

Walk a Mile In Her Shoes, brought to us by the folks at the Dallas County Sexual Assault Coalition, will be a fun event that provides some serious awareness to the north Texas area. Billed as the “Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Violence,” the walk which starts at 9 am on Saturday at The Nodding Donkey, could also score someone a couple of Cowboys tickets, along with helping a truly worthy cause.

Follow the instructions below to register for the race and to be automatically entered for FOUR TICKETS and a PARKING PASS to the Cowboys-Seahawks game on November 6th. This is a package worth over $1400. All that for simply registering to walk in some heels for an amazing cause. Don’t forget, you’ll need our BestBuzz App to take part in the give-away. Go HERE for your iPhone or HERE for your Android.


There are precious few things that Texans hold more dear than a beautiful, perfectly smoked, juicy brisket. It’s safe to say, however, that helping fellow Texans in dire need is certainly one of the things that easily charts higher on that list.

For Hill Country dwellers, both lending a helping hand and carrying away some free BBQ can be done at the same time on Thursday at Rudy’s “Country Store” & Bar-B-Q in New Braunfels.

The Cans for Q Benefit looks to obtain donations of clothing, blankets, canned goods, bottled water and other vital items that will go a long way in assisting the victims of the recent wildfires in Bastrop County. In return for your generosity, you’ll walk away with a free quarter-pound of Rudy’s Brisket. A better deal for some great BBQ will be impossible to find.

Helping make it all happen for those who’s lives were devastated, and possibly destroyed, by the recent wildfires in Bastrop County is none other than the host of the excellent meat-and-Tex-centric PBS show Daytripper; Chet Garner.

The whole process couldn’t be easier, and the benefits of free food and being a galvanizing force in a community that’s hurting are certainly too much to pass up, right?


What: Cans for Q Benefit

When: Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011 6:00pm – 9:00 pm

Where:Rudy’s “Country Store” & Bar-B-Q (936 Loop 337 New Braunfels, TX)

How:Bring any of the following items and receive a free quarter-pound of brisket, courtesy of Rudy’s Bar-B-Q ~ Non-perishible canned goods, toiletries, shampoo, soap, bottled water by-the-case, blankets, towels, diapers, clothing and shoes for either gender.


It’s now been a couple of months since the horrendous happenings that basically tore apart Joplin, MO occurred. The video footage of the tornadoes ripping through the small town still makes most of us wince and should still make us all feel a little helpless inside.

Even as far south as Plano, TX, though, people refuse to forget and refuse to let the helplessness feelings take over. A great group of artists will be taking the stage in an effort to raise money for The Joplin Recovery Fund.

On Sunday, July 31, a fine and talented group of Singer/Songwriters, primarily based in north Texas will take one of our favorite stages anywhere, Love & War in Texas (Plano), and play their hearts out to get some money and supplies to those who so desperately need it right now.

Zane Williams, Saille Branch, Guthrie Kennard, Andrew Delaney and Michael Prysock are among many performers that will be hosted by Brett Dillon of KHYI 95.3 The Range on the 30th from 12pm to 6pm.

We found out about this event when we came upon this touching video tribute to the town of Joplin by Michael Prysock, a talented, Dallas-based songwriter who grew up in Arkansas, not too far from the region he’s trying to help now. Here’s that video for Prysock’s “Joplin.”

OK, this may be a month or so away, but as you’ll see, it’s worth planning ahead for and making advanced arrangements. A while back, we alerted you to an event where fine chefs prepared inventive takes on cafeteria food, and here we have an0ther seemingly casual affair where some of the areas finest chefs let their hair down for a bit (but not without a hair net, of course!)

Chef’s Picnic at the Lake in Dallas on June 26th from 12pm – 3pm is going to be quite the celebration, indeed. There are other notable causes that tie-in to this event, above and beyond the food, of course. Two Dallas-area institutions are celebrating 100 year Anniversary: White Rock Lake and The Dallas Chapter of the Red Cross.

Check out the Press release for the full information:

Featuring a picnic lunch prepared by Dallas’ top chefs, served from the original Bath House concession stand, along with beer, wine and refreshments from Ben E. Keith, music, and exhibition of old-school photographs and memorabilia from White Rock Lake and the American Red Cross – Dallas Area Chapter and more, Chefs’ Picnic at the Lake will transport guests to a time when White Rock Lake was the staple of summertime in Dallas. 

Deep Eddy Sweet Tea vodka will be serving up signature cocktails including the Minty Deep Daily, The Skinny Dip and The Deep Eddy Splash.

Leading a team of DFW’s finest Chefs, The Grape’s Brian C. Luscher along with Janice Provost, Parigi; Marc Cassel, Peavy Road (coming soon); Graham Dodds, Bolsa; Jeff Harris, RedFork; Nathan Tate and Randall Copeland, Restaurant Ava; Diane and Justin Fourton, Pecan Lodge; and Hollie Dorethy, Personal Chef, prepare an extraordinary seated picnic luncheon with their unique spin on the traditional al fresco-fare.

Proceeds from Chefs’ Picnic at the Lakebenefit the American Red Cross – Dallas Area Chapter and the Comerica White Rock Lake Centennial Celebration which will help fund ten capital projects to include enhancing hike and bike trails, improving parking lots, renovating White Rock Dog Park, restoring the park forests and more.

Sponsors to date include Comerica White Rock Lake Centennial Celebration, Ben E. Keith, The Grape, Highland Park Cafeteria and the American Red Cross – Dallas Chapter.

Tickets are $55 per person in advance and include complimentary valet parking at The Bath House Cultural Center, located at 521 East Lawther Drive in Dallas.  For more information and to purchase tickets go to www.highlandparkcafeteria.com or call 214-632-0784.

Chefs’ Picnic at the Lake is held in conjunction with The Beach Party of the Century hosted by For the Love of the Lake with support from White Rock Lake Foundation and the Friends of the Bath House.  For a full list of events June 25-26 and to purchase tickets go to www.whiterocklake.org or call 214-660-1100.

Classic cars and classic movie theaters on a Texas Saturday night. Sounds like a good way to spend a weekend evening, doesn’t it? On Saturday, May 7th on the Largest Town Square in America, located in Graham, Texas, a good time will be had by all!

An open class car show starts at 3pm on the Square and is free to the public. Also, there will be vendors, live music from Tempting Disaster and tons of raffle prizes. All raffle proceeds will be donated to the Young County Volunteer Firefighter Relief Fund, which is a fund in need, as these firefighters helped fight recent wildfires in Young County and the Possum Kingdom Lake area.  

For the best rides, car show trophies will be given to the Top 20 entrants. Awards will also be given for Driver’s Choice, People’s Choice and Best in Show. The cars in the show will then cruise through Graham at 7pm, led by the Graham Police Department and their restored 50′s era police cruiser. The cruise will end at Graham Drive-In, one of the last remaining drive-in movie theaters in Texas. The film for the evening will be Fast 5 (How appropriate is that?). The movie will start around 9pm and tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for kids up to age 11.

Register early online for a discounted price of $16 at www.GrahamTexasCarShow.com. All entrants receive one adult ticket to Graham Drive-in. The first 50 entrants receive a free t-shirt, and the first 100 entrants receive a free dash plaque. Participants can register on the day for $20, cash only.



For more info:

 OK, we’ll admit from the start that the idea which is about to be discussed didn’t originate in our own minds. Sorry, but we hope you appreciate our honesty.

Thanks to inspiration from a recent Dallas Observer article, and from the project that Nine Bullets.Net has been partaking in for a few months now, we know that it’s our time to do something for the bands in Texas trying to make a real go of it and get things…KICKSTARTED (sorry, had to).

For the uninitiated, Kickstarter is a still somewhat young site that enables bands (and artists of all types) to reach out into cyberspace in order to let their fans and/or possible patrons what new project they are working on, and what the artist will do for the donor, should the donor decide to anty-up some cash to help the project in-question along the road to completion. Some proposals are great: A donor coughs up $10.00 and the artist will send that person an early release of the album, or some extra goodies. Some bands offer such premiums as in-house concerts or trips to an out-of-town show if a large donation is made. There a few rules that also help make things nice and neat for all involved, too. The artist has to set a goal, and if that monetary goal isn’t reached by a certain date, the pledges that have been made will not go to the band. Basically: The band needs to really make sure what they are offering is worth the goal that they have set for themselves and they have given fans enough reason to shell out a bit of dough to help their cause.

So, here we are. Beginning with this post, we will choose at least one Texas-based Kickstarter project each month to support with our own money (personal note: this has already been cleared with the wife, so it’s for real!). Of course, we’ll then tell you about the artist and the project and encourage you to also lend a helping hand. For the most part, the projects will be of the musical variety, but there are plenty of intriguing artistic pursuits other than music on the docket at Kickstarter, so expect a couple of those as well.

So, here goes: The first Texas-based Kickstarter project we are supporting is (drumroll, please!)…. Ruby James from Austin, TX! She’s planning on recording an album at the legendary Sun Studios, and she is over halfway to her $10,000 goal. Let’s help her get there!

From what we can tell, James is following in he line of wonderful, soulful songstresses that Austin seems to just churn out. That doesnt mean she’s made of maney, of course. So, check out their Kisckstarter page and give the video a look and become one of their backers!

We tend to think of Zoos as theme-park attractions that bring in thousands of people and generate maybe millions of dollars a year in revenue. Heck, that’s probably true for many of the country’s best Zoos. The factual, business side of the matter is that many of our favorite Zoos are not only businesses, but ones that run on very small profit margins, or are run as non-profits.

Also, as is easily forgotten, Zoos work in ways far beyond what we see when a rogue chimp spits water out of his cage, or a giraffe cranes it’s neck to grab an illusive, luscious shred of food. The research and man-power that goes into the various conservation projects that many Zoos participate in cost untold amounts of money, which can be difficult for an organization that’s run as a non-profit to commonly have on-hand.

Recently, Waco’s Cameron Park Zoo launched a new photo-store, where a large portion of the proceeds will go directly to aiding the conservation and awareness projects that the Zoo itself holds very dear. Cameron Park Zoo is an AZA accredited (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) organization. AZA members spend $90 million dollars annually on 400 different conservation projects in over 100 different countries. Impressive, right? Kind of makes one feel guilty for wondering if the $8 souvenir soda cup is really worth it.

So, as you plan your weekend family excursions, or coordinate fun side-tips on your next vacation, keep in mind not only the Cameron Park Zoo, but be sure to return home and pick up a momento from your visit. It’ll mean a lot to you, but possibly even more to the animals you visited.

Hey, let it be known that we here at The Squawker are all about good causes. Throw in a few excellent musical acts and we’re really all about lending a helping hand.

What’s that, you say? One of the performers is a talented singer-songwriter that we were just wow’d by at SXSW last weekend? Come again? The benefit show is at what is possibly Dallas’ grandest, most historic halls of music?

OK, we’re in, then. Arm, consider yourself lightly twisted.

The Dallas-based Wandering Chicken Wire Show will be hosting the North Texas Music Makers Showcase, benefiting the SPCA, this Sunday at Sons of Hermann Hall. Music, puppies in need of some love and old-timey Dallas: that’s a great combo for a Sunday agenda, folks.

Yes, the line-up is solid to begin with, especially given that Greg Reichel will be throwing down. But, it’s a late addition to the schedule that really has us excited. Bonnie Whitmore, who you may remember from my SXSW Saturday notes, will also be playing on that fine day. In fact, that’ll be her second show at “Sons” within a 48 hour period (she’s playing with Adam Carroll and Scott Nolan there on Friday night).

While the name is funny, the Wandering Chicken Wire Show’s cause is nothing less than noble. Each month, the organization of musicians picks a worthy charity to support, thus ensuring that the love is indeed spread.

So, there. Add love to the already heady mix of great music, good causes and great venues. By going, it’ll almost be like you’re not actually making much effort, because it’ll be so much fun, but never fear, the fun will go to a great cause and will be appreciated by the animals of North Texas for some time to come.