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Trails of Fossil Creek
John Hootsell and his wife, Brandie, are enjoying life in a new, furnished home, thanks to Operation Finally Home, a nonprofit that provides mortgage-free custom homes to veterans, and home-building company PulteGroup’s “Built to Honor” program.  Hootsell was wounded by roadside bomb blasts in Afghanistan, and subsequent surgeries left him with metal in his back and a foot.

Dozens of American flags lined the street in the Trails of Fossil Creek in north Fort Worth as Mayor Betsy Price, members of the Fort Worth fire and police departments, the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders, T.C. Marsh Middle School leadership cadet corps and neighbors welcomed the Hootsells.


Centex homes, local contractors, vendors and housing partners donated labor and materials to build the 2,151-square-foot home. Centex and local contractors also hosted a Veterans Day golf tournament fundraiser Tuesday where they raised $31,500.


Read more here.




Lake Ridge at Joe Pool Lake

The Sanctuary at Lake Ridge in Cedar Hill and Grand Prairie is home to an American hero who lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan. Marine Sergeant Ken Kalish will get a fresh start thanks to several local organizations teaming up to build him a new mortgage-free custom home. Operation FINALLY HOME, the Former NFL Players Association, the Dallas Builders Association, SouthStar Communities and Victory Custom Homes made the donation possible.
 
Sergeant Kalish and his dog Fynn were trained to detect IEDs (improvised explosive devices) or “road-side” bombs. He only had 30 days left on his tour of duty when he stepped on an IED and was severely injured.

Operation FINALLY HOME provides mortgage-free custom homes to wounded veterans and their families. SouthStar Communities has provided 10 homesites to Operation FINALLY HOME in its communities across Texas.

CMA is proud to serve these communities and support our veterans.

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Life at Lake Ridge
Southstar Communities

Lifestyle Enrichment
Vital Communities Look to the Future


Lake Ridge POAs Continue Tradition of Giving
Community non-profits benefit

The LakeRidge Charity Foundation Inc. hosted the 9th Annual Lake Ridge Charity Golf Christmas party recently.   About 60 golf tournament sponsors, representative from the charities, Committee members, Board members, the City Manager, City Council Members, and homeowners attended.  Funds were distributed to the charities and programs in need of funds.

The proceeds from each year's charity golf tournament are donated to charity. This year the 9th annual tournament was held on November 5th with 40 sponsors, ranging from Premier Sponsorships of $5000 each,  to numerous hole sponsors.  Without sponsors and golfers who pay a fee (104 this year) the event would not be a success.  The total amount raised for community charities so far this year exceeds $128,000.  Golfers also bring canned goods to the tournament to benefit the food pantries.

"When we started the golf tournament nine years ago, no one expected it to have such longevity and impact", said Carolyn Rollwitz, CMA association manager. "And yet, many from this Cedar Hill family of communities at Lake Ridge have been touched by giving and hearing stories such as this; the first year of the tournament we sponsored Bridge Safehouse for women. Greg Porter, City Manager for City of Cedar Hill, who serves on the Board of Bridge told us the night of our Christmas party that theBridge Safehouse Board had a met that morning and prayed for the urgent need to raise $5,000 to keep their doors open.  Otherwise, they would run out of operating funds in the next few days. That night, the Golf Committee presented them with a $5,000 check, which culminated the evening with a very moving moment for all involved".

The Committee has supported the organization with other fund raisers such as clothing donations and toy drives.  They utilize the toys for Christmas. If they don't need them all at Christmas time they save toys so that they can give birthday presents during the year.  Bikes and many other toys are delivered to the Bridge Safehouse on December 15 .

Among many of the organizations which are receiving donations this year are:

PAWS for Reflection Ranch, Cedar Hill Dads Inc., The Cedar Hill Action Team (CHAT), Children's First Counseling, Mission Cedar Hill, Lake Ridge Elementary Special Ed Program, Cedar Hill Shares (food pantry), and Grand Prairie Food  & Clothing Co-op.

Thanks to Lake Ridge POA's family of communities for making a difference with their generous spirit of giving.

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It’s a Wonderful Life in Newman Village

More than 4,000 people attended the 4th annual Newman Village holiday extravaganza in November! It was amazing to see the entire neighborhood come together with the Frisco local community to support the students and teachers of the Frisco Education Foundation.  This event was open to residents and the general public.

“Events like this are why we centered the neighborhood with gathering spots like our central plaza. It draws people outdoors to meet one another,” said Lauren Newman Burge of Newman Real Estate. “It creates more than a neighborhood; it creates community and a way of life”.

A Night With Family and Friends

The event offers family and friends throughout Dallas an opportunity to share a special night of holiday revelry at Newman Village, bringing back the beauty of small town holiday traditions, including caroling, live holiday music from a brass band and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus themselves.
 
Two, and even three generations of families, enjoyed making memories reminiscent of Bedford Falls. Carolers attired in Victorian dress and carriage rides lent a nostalgic feel to the evening as families strolled the Newman Village Plaza.  Common areas had been transformed into a winter wonderland with delights at every turn—snow for tubing, ice skating, face painting, storytelling by Mrs. Claus, snowballs, and an inflatable movie screen.  Whether it was sipping hot chocolate, noshing at six food trucks or riding the. Bedford Falls Express miniature train, the evening offered fun for all ages.

Community Values and Vintage Traditions

“When developing Newman Village, we wanted it to be a life like nowhere else,” said Burge. “The theme of the movie 'It’s a Wonderful Life' inspired this event and sincerely captures the community values and vintage traditions into one magical evening. It’s truly Christmas like nowhere else.”

It’s a Wonderful Life at Newman Village is completely funded and produced by the developer Darling Homes, Newman Real Estate and Baylor Medical Center of Frisco and proceeds are donated to Frisco Education Association.

Newman Village is a Frisco community of more than 200 homes currently.  The community association is managed by CMA.

See more photos on Facebook.
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Sustainability: Going Native for Sustainable Savings

By moving to native landscaping, The Shores at Wellington has created long term sustainability as well as significant savings for the community by utilizing drought tolerant plants instead of turf and annuals.
Shores at Wellington, a Garland lakeside community of some 300+homes, formed a Master Landscape Committee in 2006. Their mission was to develop a plan for the long term sustainability for the common spaces and entries into the community.  The committee is fortunate to have residents with talent and know-how about great resources available to plan such a project. Diane McArdle chairs the committee and has a background in biology.  Tammy Risser, another committee member is a Master Gardener  (certification of Texas agricultural extension service).  Diane’s husband and board president also played a key role in the long-term project.  

The committee proposed replacing the costly planting of annuals with sustainable materials to give it a consistent, naturalized look in keeping with its natural setting. The committee applied for a grant through The City of Garland’s Neighborhood Vitality Program and received matching funds of $100K to transition the landscaping.  A landscape architect was engaged to assist in the planning. 

Funds were used to add picnic benches, remove the annuals and replace them with native grasses, Texas sage, red yucca, Earthkind™ roses and other Smartscape™ friendly materials. 

City Funding Aids Move to Phase 2

In 2012, the Committee applied for another grant from the city, again receiving matching funds, to move to Phase 2 of the massive project.  In 2013 the Lakeshore Garden was added to replant the park area overlooking the lake.  The natural area features Mexican feather grass, yucca, a lake path, a shade structure and a retaining wall that will be helpful for erosion once the lake returns to normal water levels.

Expanded shale and compost were used to supplement the clay to help with the drainage, Installing a drip irrigation system was critical to establish the new plantings with Stage 3 water restrictions in place.  After a full year of watering, the new plantings will be able to survive on their own without any additional watering.

Association Manager Tim McConville estimates a 20% water savings in the first year.  “If you also factor in the annual color change outs that are no longer needed, the community will be looking at a savings of approximately $10,000 a year once the plantings are established,” says McConville.

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