Parker Family 5k Run/Walk & Kids Fun Run

5KFUNRUN_WEBCome join friends and family at the 5th Annual Parker Family 5K Run/Walk on July 19, 2014 at Stroh Ranch Park located in Parker, Colorado. This year will be an amazing event that will benefit the String of Pearls Foundation, a perinatal hospice program. 

The Parker Family 5K Run/Walk was created to raise money for String of Pearls Foundation and bring together community members of Parker, Colorado. The event organizers are Dr. Matthew and Dr. Tanja Derry of Back To Wellness Chiropractic and Acupuncture, and Josh and Laura Huene, founders and managing directors of The String of Pearls Foundation.

This year’s race will include a 5K Run, a 3K Walk, and a Kid’s Fun Run. It will be held at Stroh Ranch Park located in Parker, CO along the Cherry Creek Regional Trail. The 5K Run and 3K Walk will be an “out and back” format. This is a “non-timed” race event and we will be raffling gifts and prizes from local businesses to all participants. We will have goodie bags available to pre-registered participants, so register early at www.parkerfamily5k.com.

Race Day Registration
7:30am-8:30am

5K and 3K begin at 9:00am
Kids Run begins at 10:00am
Drawing for Prizes begins at 10:15am
www.ParkerFamily5k.com

 

On behalf of the 6th annual Parker Family 5K Run/Walk, please allow me to introduce myself. I am the Executive Director of String of Pearls, a nonprofit organization functioning to bring tangible grief support to families as they navigate through the fatal diagnosis of their pre-born baby – a journey our family has personally experienced. 

In March of 2006, five months into my pregnancy, we were given devastating news…our daughter had a condition that would cause her to die shortly after birth. We decided to carry her for as long as my body would allow. The months we had with her in my womb were full of many twists and turns. Even with my background as a Labor and Delivery Nurse, we were not sure how to say hello and goodbye all in one breathe to our sweet baby, Pearl. 

On June 5, 2006 Pearl was born and died less than an hour later. The moments we had with her were precious and a time we will never forget. We will always remember our girl with the curly brown hair. As the months passed we recognized there was nothing available for families like us. There was little or no support for families who were facing a fatal diagnosis of their pre-born baby.

Our experience with Pearl, prompted us to create String of Pearls, lovingly described as perinatal hospice. We now have the opportunity to provide families with tangible comfort and support, without cost. Professional staff from String of Pearls is prepared to walk with families for each step of their pregnancy, birth and beyond. 

String of Pearls is honored to be chosen as the beneficiary of the 6th Annual Parker Family 5K Run/Walk. The funds we receive from this community-wide event will continue to help us provide comfort and practical support for families as they walk the journey of a lifetime.  

Respectfully,
Laura Huene
Executive DirectorString of Pearls
www.stringofpearlsonline.org

Bookends: Always Watching by Chevy Stevens

BOOKENDS_ALWAYSWATCHING_WEBDr. Nadine Lavoie is a psychiatrist working in the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit when Heather is brought in after a suicide attempt. As Nadine works with her patient and begins to piece together her story, she realizes they have something in common. They both were involved with a remote commune and the leader, Aaron Quinn. Nadine is troubled as she realizes that although Quinn’s name brings feelings of terror, she cannot remember why, nor can she remember large pieces of the time she spent in the commune as a child. Will she be able to find the answers to her own problems?

PAM: When I saw this book, I was immediately drawn to the story. We have read a book by this author in the past (Still Missing), which I enjoyed. So, I was excited to read another story by this author. This book captured me and drew me into the mystery from the beginning. Becky, did you find yourself drawn into the story?

BECKY: Recently a friend told me that she spent several years at a commune during her childhood so this topic grabbed my attention from the start. Fortunately she had a wonderful experience but that is not the case in this story. Nadine has chosen a career that puts her in a position to help heal others but her own life is a bit of a mess. One of the most upsetting aspects was her daughter who is struggling with drug addiction and living on the streets. This character touched my heart throughout the story. Was there one character that you gravitated to?

PAM: I didn’t feel that I gravitated towards one character, although I enjoyed the complexity of the different characters. I felt for the main character, Nadine. She had so much wrong with her life and was trying to figure out what happened to her, her daughter, and so many aspects of her past. Nadine was new to the area and hospital where she worked. She began to lean on the support and newfound friendship of a fellow doctor at the hospital. Did you enjoy Kevin’s character? Did you feel this part of the story fit into the plot?

BECKY: Kevin was a kind and patient person which is exactly what Nadine needed. I did enjoy his part of the story but it was a little too perfect for me. I preferred her brother’s character much more. He was as broken as Nadine and I liked the complexity of their relationship. This story has quite a few characters and a twisted plot. Did you enjoy the speed of the story?

PAM: The different aspects, characters, and pace of the story certainly kept me hooked! I did enjoy the twists and turns of the plot, as well as the characters. I could see some of these coming, but others were surprising and unexpected. Did you feel that the storyline was predictable? Or did it keep you guessing?

BECKY: Like you, I could see parts of the storyline before it was exposed so it certainly didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat. Yet, the topic and the way that this author lets the story percolate, instead of throwing everything at you at once, still makes this a good psychological thriller. If I had to recommend one of her novels though, it would have to be Still Missing. Which did you prefer?

PAM: I think I would pick this one if I had to choose one. I was very intrigued with the cult and the shady characters that were involved. The way the cult and the leader had absolute control over the people that lived together was very upsetting. I cannot imagine how helpless the family members on the outside felt knowing that their loved ones were being manipulated and were beyond their reach. Did you feel the same way, Becky?

BECKY: It would definitely be hard to accept if my child were living in that environment. We hear about this type of control in the news occasionally and it is hard to imagine how people become involved in a lifestyle where they give an organization so much command of their life. In Nadine’s case, she had to live with constant fear for her daughter, whether it was her life on the street or in the commune. Next month we will read a mystery that involves a boy with a rare medical condition that makes him fatally sensitive to UV light. He is free to explore outside when the sun is down and others are within their homes. A tragedy will rock his cul-de-sac and neighbors’ secrets are exposed during the investigation.

Local Author Spotlight: The Hamfist Series by G.E. Nolly

LOCALAUTHOR_NOLLY_WEBLocal resident, retired Air Force pilot and retired airline pilot George Nolly, writing under the name G.E. Nolly, has published a series of novels based on actual events about air combat in the Vietnam War.

The Hamfist Series follows Air Force pilot Hamilton “Hamfist” Hancock as he evolves from an inexperienced Lieutenant flying the small and slow O-2A Forward Air Control (FAC) aircraft in Vietnam to a seasoned combat pilot flying the F-4 Phantom aircraft in the skies over North Vietnam.

The first book in the series, Hamfist Over The Trail, won the Gold Medal in the Global Ebook Awards, while the sequel, Hamfist Down!, was selected Book of the Month by the Military Writers Society of America and won the Bronze Medal in their annual book awards.

The Hamfist Series novels are available in both print and Kindle through Amazon and booksellers everywhere.

About the Author

George Nolly served as a pilot in the United States Air Force, flying 315 combat missions on two successive tours of duty in Vietnam, earning 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 24 Air Medals, in O-2A and F-4 aircraft.  He was the last Air Force pilot to complete 100 missions over North Vietnam.  While in the Air Force, George received the Tactical Air Command Instructo Pilot of the Year Award.

Following his Air Force duty, he joined United Airlines and rose to the position of B-777 Standards Captain.  He also served as a Federal Flight Deck Officer.  After his retirement from United, George accepted a position as a B-777 Captain with Jet Airways, operating throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  He now flight instructs in the B-777 and B-787

Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo

STAMPEDE_WEBDon’t miss the 2014 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo. As the three-time reigning PRCA Small Rodeo of the Year for 2011, 2012, & 2013, the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo Association is proud of its history of providing a top level competitive environment that challenges the best in professional rodeo.

In 2014 they will feature the stock of Summit Pro Rodeo, a new partnership created by J.D. Hamaker from the original Burns Rodeo Company, along with two other new partners, Jesse Hill of H&H Rodeo and Greg Talbert of Talbert Bucking Bulls as their primary stock contractor. Summit Pro Rodeo will provide some of the most feared buckers in professional rodeo today, having supplied bulls for many NFR and Mountain States Circuit Finals, Xtreme Bulls and PBR events year after year. Combined with the strong pen of bucking horses from their string, Summit stock is getting more well-known every year as the ones that can put you in the pay window.

For their 2014 Third Annual PRCA Xtreme Bulls Division 2, Summit will also be their primary contractor with additional bulls coming from Kenny Berringer’s bulls from the Hyland/Brookman Rodeo Company.

If you’ve never been to the Elizabeth Stampede you are in for a treat. The arena is in a beautiful setting tucked in a ring of 75 foot tall pines trees with an open view to the west of the Rocky Mountains. Many fans and contestants have told them this is just a magical place to compete.

The 250 volunteers that put on the Elizabeth Stampede welcome you to the rodeo and look forward to seeing you there. For more information, visit www.elizabethstampede.com.

Let’s Rodeo!

2014 Chauncey Billups Basketball Academy

CHAUNCEY_WEBParker Parks and Recreation and Nothing But Net (NBN) Elite Basketball welcome back the Chauncey Billups Basketball Academy with special guest Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. Don’t miss your chance to learn from five-time NBA All Star Chauncey Billups and his team of outstanding coaches. 

The Chauncey Billups Basketball Academy runs June 23 to 26 at the Parker Fieldhouse, 18700 E. Plaza Dr. Players ages 6 to 10 meet from 9 a.m. to noon and ages 11 to 17 meet from 1 to 4 p.m. Five-time NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups, along with his camp coaches, have developed a philosophy that is instrumental to a young person’s basketball career. That philosophy is to have fun while learning and competing in this wonderful sport of basketball. Camper Keison Crosby says, “The Chauncey Billups Basketball Academy was the highlight of my summer; it was cool how Chauncey was at camp every day and he even played one-on-one with me!” 

The academy consists on fundamentals that will focus on dribbling, passing, defense, speed, agility and shooting. Coaches will develop these players’ ability to play in a team structure while having fun with individual and team games. 

Space is limited so register early online at www.ParkerRec.com or call 303.805.6300 for registration inquiries. Camp costs $250 per player. Each camper receives a camp T-shirt, a basketball, one personally autographed item and photographs with Chauncey Billups and Anthony Davis! For additional information, contact Marcus Mason at 303.921.5302. 

Parker Days 2014: Parker’s “Official” Holiday

PARKERDAYS_WEBThose who live and work in Parker know that you haven’t truly experienced the town until you’ve been to Parker Days, a signature event of the Parker Chamber of Commerce! Complete with a carnival, homespun crafts, good food and plenty of FREE music, Parker Days offers three action-packed days of activities for the entire family. 

The 2014 Parker Days is scheduled for June 13, 14 and 15 in beautiful downtown Parker with a bonus “1/2 day” on Thursday June 12th from 5pm – 10pm.

A combination of beautiful Colorado weather, rides and games, FREE live entertainment and more than 100 fun-filled vendor and arts & crafts booths in the Market Place provide the community with a fantastic weekend of fun. As always, there will be plenty of your favorite Festival Food options and beverages in the Food and Beverage Garden. Also available is a special kid’s which features special activities for children, such as unique bounce houses and a family entertainment stage.

Saturday morning of the Festival ushers in the traditional hometown parade. Each year, Mainstreet and Victorian Drive is lined with families enjoying a variety of parade entries, including floats, marching bands, horses and vintage cares. Several civic organizations and nonprofit groups host special events as well, such as community pancake breakfasts.

For 37 years, Parker Days has been the signature summer event and official Parker holiday, uniting Parker in community pride. With more than 120,000 people attending over the three days, it is an event that simply cannot be missed.

For more information or to purchase carnival ride tickets, head on over to parkerdaysfestival.com today!

See you there! ϖ

Five Neat Things You May Not Know About Parker

PARKER_HISTORY_WEBHello Neighbor! Some of us are Parker natives, but many others have come to us from other places. If you are newer to Parker, or even if you’ve been here for a little while, there may be some things you don’t know about your adopted residence. Here are a few fun facts:

  1. Parker is 20 miles from Denver (or at least what was considered Denver in 1864: the corner of Colfax Avenue and Colorado Boulevard). When Parker was first founded, stagecoaches came through this area. The 687-mile stagecoach trip from Fort Riley, Kansas required changing mules or horses on a regular basis. From south of Denver into “modern Denver”, the miles were marked by stagecoach stops at the 20-, 17-, 11-, 9-, and 4-mile points.
  2. Before modern transportation arrived, Parker, known then as Pine Grove, was a stop for freighters and stagecoaches. Over 100 million pounds of freight passed over the trails before railroads came to Colorado. In addition to changing horses, the mile houses were also stops for freighters who frequently had to have their oxen re-shoed. Travelers could also find meals and a place to stay the night. The Pine Grove stop, run by James Sample Parker, was known as the 20-Mile House. That is why we have lots of things named “Twenty Mile” around town!
  3. Parker was also a stop on the Denver and New Orleans Railroad from 1882 to 1933. In June of 1881, James Parker sold a right-of-way to the railway, ensuring the tracks went directly through Parker before swinging southeast through Hilltop and Elizabeth, thus guaranteeing that the town would survive. The rail stop was at first designated as “Parker’s” or “Parkers”, but was then simplified to “Parker”. Our town was no longer called Pine Grove by then, because there was another Pine Grove in Colorado and the post office suggested a change of name to avoid confusion.
  4. Most of the original town of Parker was situated on land owned by George Parker, not on land owned by James Sample Parker, who most people consider the town’s namesake. George Parker filed a timber claim in the early 1870s on land currently situated east of Highway 83, or what you think of as the town of Parker. James Parker, George’s brother, purchased the 20-Mile House property in 1870, but didn’t come to live there until 1874. Incidentally, neither brother advocated naming the town “Parker”. James actually wanted it to be named Edithville, after his daughter. Apparently, few people agreed with him.
  5. The original Pine Grove Schoolhouse was located across the street from the 20-Mile House (where Hobby Lobby now is). It was built in 1875 by James Parker so his daughter Edith, then six years old, would not have to travel by horseback to the Fonder School, located near the current Ponderosa High School. James Parker supplied the school with desks, books, and other supplies. He even paid the teacher’s salary and offered her free room and board. The first school served the community until 1915, when the second Parker school, now the Mainstreet Center, was built.

To learn more about Parker’s history, please visit www.parkerhistory.org. Courtesy of the Parker Area Historical Society

 

Family Fun Fit for a King: The Colorado Renaissance Festival

RENFEST_WEBHere Ye! Here Ye! 

Another summer of the most unique, affordable forms of family fun is back. 

The Colorado Renaissance Festival’s banners unfurl the weekend of June 14th and will be open, rain or shine, every weekend through August 3rd. 

It is challenging to find an outdoor attraction more family friendly, with more variety that is more fun than the Renaissance Festival. Just thirty-five minutes south of Denver, thirty minutes north of the Springs and minutes off I-25 just south of Castle Rock, the entire front range has a front seat for medieval merriment.

Jousters, comedy performers, fire eaters, acrobatics and jugglers will delight and amaze you. 

Browse the streets of the festival village to find over 225 artisans offering one of a kind items such as hand blown glass, pottery, furniture, brass ware and jewelry. Of course, no trip is complete without treating yourself to some unbelievable food. It wouldn’t be right to experience the Colorado Renaissance Festival without indulging in the famous Turkey Drumsticks or Steak on a Stake! 

It’s almost impossible to sum up the endless attractions and activities offered during the festival, but here’s just a sampling of what’s in store this summer:

• Puke & Snot – Game of Clones! The show everyone loves reinvented.
• Hey Nunnie Nunnie – Laughter will ring like convent bells! A dazzling display of improve and comedic escapades, crackling jokes, songs and “counseling” hilarity sure to please.
• Majestic Endangered Cats – New cats that will bring excitement and education. The big cats (and some small ones too) will thrill audiences with their power and majesty! Also catch the majestic birds in the new Nature’s Educators; learn more about the sport of Kings, Falconry!
• Johnny Fox… Sword Swallowing Extraordinaire – A brand new addition to the festival sure to amaze you with his feats of sword swallowing, magic and comedy.
• Also appearing, Celtic Legacy, The KamiKazi Fireflies, Ye Klass Klowne, Arsene of Paris, Cast in Bronze, The Rick Stratton Hypnotist Show, Washing Well Wenches, Wilsome-Great Balls of Fire and during the last five weekends, catch The London Broil; a show filled with improvisational comedy, and impressive feats of juggling.

 

If you’re left with the decision of not if you’re going, but when; this may help… 

June 14th & 15th
Opening Weekend, “BOGO” coupon offer from participating Wendy’s

June 21st & 22nd
Royal Ale & Art Festival and Military Appreciation weekend. BOGO free adult ticket with Military ID and children (under 12) of military personnel get in free.

June 28th & 29th
Celtic Festival

July 5th & 6th
Children’s Weekend – young knights and maidens 12 and under admitted for free with a paying adult

July 12th & 13th
Wine Revelry

July 19th & 20th
Love and Romance – Bring your beloved to the “Renewal of Vows” ceremony.

July 26th & 27th

Music and Dance Festival featuring Belly Dance Troupe, the Vodca Family and Celtic Legacy

August 2nd & 3rd
Fare Thee Well and Mardi Gras Style Carnivale – The Final Huzzah! Come celebrate King Henry’s 524th Birthday and “Let Ye Olde Good Times Roll!” A fitting way to end the 38th season of the Colorado Renaissance Festival.

Whether you prefer to peruse over 200 booths filled with one of a kind artistry, you are a connoisseur of scrumptious cuisine, or you prefer taking in the dazzling feats one of a kind performers and unique shows – the Colorado Renaissance festival is sure to make you feel like a King for a day with memories that will last a lifetime.

For more information, visit www.ColoradoRenaissance.com or call 303.688.6010

Bookends: The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

BOOKENDS_STARDUST_WEBMatt and Elle grew up living next to each other and have shared many of life’s ups and downs. The story starts when they are in their late thirties and happily married. Matt is a successful neurosurgeon and his wife Elle is a brilliant scientist. A fall from a ladder leaves Elle brain-dead and as a neurosurgeon he understands that she will not recover from her injuries. After watching her mother die a slow death, Elle has made it clear that she does not want her life artificially extended. Although he is devastated, Matt wants to fulfill her wishes. That is until bloodwork from the emergency room reveals that Elle is pregnant. After years of trying to have a baby he knows that Elle would do anything to protect this life inside of her. His mother believes differently and as Elle’s medical power of attorney she is ready to battle for Elle’s desires. 

Becky: I think that a book club would have great discussion with this book. Not only is there the obvious question about whether Elle’s body should continue for the sole purpose to incubate the baby but there are other relationships to explore as well. The author is a woman but the main character is Matt. Do you think that she was successful in writing with a male voice?

Pam: I felt that the author was successful in writing from male perspective. Matt has some very difficult decisions to make, especially when faced with extreme opposition from family members and people he respects and loves. However, he knows in his heart, that Elle would do anything to save her baby and he is prepared to do everything in his power to honor this. The author takes the reader back into the past, in order to establish the history between Elle and Matt, as well as give background about Elle’s mother’s fight with cancer. Do you feel that she gave depth to the characters and were you able to understand the relationships within the families?

Becky: The reflections on the past gave good insight to all of the characters. It felt like a movie playing in that the information was given in scenes rather than from Matt’s view or his opinion. The characters, including Matt and Elle were not perfect and their flaws were believable. While reading this tale did you feel like the story represented both sides of the difficult question of when does life begin and end?

Pam: The author definitely created a very intense environment in her story. The characters obviously felt very strongly about their different viewpoints and those feelings made for a tense setting. In this way, I felt that the author represented many of the feelings that would be present in this situation on both sides of the argument. Since the author took us back into the past, did you feel that you were able to get to know Elle’s character?

Becky: The reflections went all the way back to when Elle was young and lived next door to Matt so I do feel like I knew her well. There is also a previous boyfriend of Elle’s that is a character so we have a picture of her outside of her relationship with Matt as well. All of the reflections made me feel like I was peeking into the life of a real couple that had history including some flaws, which I found very enjoyable. A portion of this book revolves around a lawsuit that is filed by Matt’s mother as she tries to stop him from continuing Elle’s life. Do you feel like this is a courtroom drama or more of a romance?

Pam: Although there were aspects of a courtroom drama, I would classify this as a romance. The author did a great job of pulling the reader into Elle and Matt’s relationship and it was clear that they loved each other deeply. Their relationship wasn’t perfect and they had a long history with problems as well as celebrations. But, I felt that this made their love more realistic and more believable. Matt decides he must fight his mom, brother in law, and Elle’s ex-boyfriend in order to honor her memory and do what he feels deep down she would want him to do in this tragic situation. Elle’s ex-boyfriend and his behavior was not my favorite part of this book, to say the least. What were your thoughts about this character?

Becky: I would agree that he was my least favorite character. There is a reason why he is brought into the storyline but I could have done without this character. It didn’t flow with the rest of the story and felt like it was added as an afterthought. He has a small role so it didn’t have much impact on a wonderful read. It has a spot in my favorite picks and it was a great reminder to make it known what your end-of-life decisions are. Will it make it onto your top ten list?

Pam: When I first started reading this book, I felt the arguing among the families was upsetting (although probably realistic). However, I became so engrossed in the book that I could not put it down. Although I don’t know if it is in my top ten list, it is toward the top of my favorites and certainly one that I would recommend! Next month we will go in a very different direction and read the suspenseful Always Watching by Chevy Stevens.

Local Author Spotlight: Seeing the Elephant by David Quinn

LOCALAUTHOR_ELEPHANT_WEBI knew I would wake up at any moment. I would be back in the circle of wagons, in the middle, and everything would be warm again. I wouldn’t tell anyone about this dream. But I didn’t wake up. We were still running through the bodies and the Mormons and the Indians.

Those were the words of Jigger Richmond, in the letter she lefts as her legacy. Her descendent, presidential candidate Sax Richmond, has discovered that his ancestors were not only survivors of the 1857 Mountain Meadow Massacre but one was a conspirator. As he continues his presidential campaign, Sax is now faced with the decision of how to handle the information. Does he hide it as it’s been hidden for decades? Does he come clean before his opponent finds out? He turns to Mormon dignitary for advice, but he can’t be certain that he is putting his trust in the right people.

About the Author
Seeing the Elephant tells the historical events of the Mountain Meadow Massacre through the eyes of fictional character Jigger Richmond. Mormon prophecies and lore are brought to life through the current and relevant character Sax Richmond and his race toward the presidency. Full of depth and captivating characters, Seeing the Elephant is a perfect blend of the past and present that will keep readers engaged to the very last scene.

Author David Quinn is a retired teacher. He has always been a lover of history and of reading. Seeing the Elephant is a marriage of those interests. It is his first novel.

Available online at Amazon.com