The YMCA motto has always been to “never turn a child away.”

To live up to that adage, the White Rock-Lake Highlands Branch of the YMCA, 11221 Lochwood, will kick off its annual fund-raising project the third week of January.

“We hope to raise $65,000 in 1993,” says Wendy Barber, YMCA director.

“The monies raised underwrite a variety of programs and scholarships for those children in our community who are unable to buy memberships.”

While hundreds of children are supported in programs such as swimming, gymnastics, dance and karate, the largest portion of scholarship funds addresses the needs of child care and after-school programs.

YMCA child care groups include programs for toddlers, ages 14-35 months; pre-schoolers, 3-5 years; kindergartners, 4-6 years; and after-school care for children from first to sixth grade. In addition to scheduled activities, food is prepared for day-care participants.

More than 120 volunteers will solicit YMCA gifts from community leaders, corporations and residents. Typical individual gifts range from $25 to $250, while corporate gifts begin at $1,000.

The four-week fund-raising effort will be directed by chair Chris Burks of Texas Commerce Bank, and the special gifts advance team is headed by Bill Boedeker, Cornerstone Real Estate, and Missy Vanderbilt, RE/MAX. Division leaders include Steve Mack, Jan Stell, Jim Adams, Susan Gin and Mike Freshwater.

To become a campaign worker or pledge support for the White Rock-Lake Highlands YMCA, call 328-4621.

Stonewall Art Banks on Guaranty Federal

Third-grade students at Stonewall Jackson Elementary earned a $250 donation to the school recently by drawing pictures and creating models highlighting the role of banks in our community.

Guaranty Federal Bank, F.S.B., sponsored the program in conjunction with the grand opening of the bank’s Mockingbird/Central Expressway branch, says banking center manager Debbie Gray.

More than 60 children contributed artwork to the show, which is displayed in Guaranty’s bank lobby.

Guaranty also has a branch near Casa Linda Plaza.

LH North Rec Center Launches Winter Classes

The Lake Highlands North Recreation Center, 9940 White Rock Trail, is launching a variety of winter classes beginning Jan. 11, according to the center’s Charlie Bussey.

Among the categories of classes being offered are sports, tumbling and gymnastics, physical fitness, arts and crafts, performing arts, and special programs for seniors.

The center also is seeking volunteer coaches for youth basketball teams in league play beginning Jan. 12. Games are played Tuesday and Thursday evenings, with most ending by 9:20 p.m. Player enrollment is $12, including league cost and a T-shirt; boys ages 7-12 are eligible.

Exercise and aerobics classes are offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at a cost of $2 per class. Children are welcome, Bussey says, and attendees “pay as you come” for each class attended.

Teachers also are needed to design curriculums based on their expertise and offer classes at the recreation center, Bussey says. Call 670-7793 for information.

Julie Thomas Honored by Community Council

Neighborhood resident Julie Thomas recently was named one of three Distinguished Human Service Professionals by the Community Council of Greater Dallas.

Thomas was nominated by the staff and board of directors of the Volunteer Center of Dallas County, where she serves as executive director.

During Thomas’ Volunteer Center tenure, several programs have been added or expanded, including Volunteers in Action, a service group for young professional volunteers, and Donated Goods, a program through which companies donate unused and surplus merchandise for placement in the nonprofit community.

“A distinctive trait of Julie Thomas’ leadership is that she does not back down from a challenge,” says Volunteer Center board president Regina Montoya. “Many people would avoid complex issues like volunteer liability insurance for nonprofit agencies and criminal background checks on volunteers who work with youth.

“But Julie is able to meet these continuing challenges with fresh insight, energy and determination to provide the best possible environment for nonprofits in the Dallas area.”

Shopping Center Receives Urban Design Award

The Greater Dallas Planning Committee recently honored the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce with its most prestigious award for Urban Design, Projects Completed, for its work benefiting the Lakewood Shopping Center at Gaston and Abrams.

“In areas of urban design, this is like receiving the Oscar,” says Eloise Sherman, president of the chamber. Sherman accepted the award at a luncheon last month held at the Crescent Court Hotel.

“It all began in 1974 when the City of Dallas came to us looking to ease the traffic problems at the Lakewood Shopping Center,” Sherman says.

“Abrams, at that time, ran right through the property, and their proposal was to broaden Abrams to a six-lane thoroughfare, which would have ruined the center’s complexion.”

So the chamber formed a planning committee, with Bob Burns as chairman, Artie Barnett as vice chairman and Sherman as secretary-treasurer.

The committee, along with property owners and community residents, devised the master plan that is now the Abrams Road bypass. The project was completed a decade later, in 1984.

“Lakewood Shopping Center is different from most in that there are 30 property owners, where most centers have one owner,” Sherman says.

In addition to planning support, the project received financial backing from shopping center property owners such as Corrigan Properties, the Golman family and Robert Grunnah Real Estate.

Neighborhood banks contributing were First Interstate, which donated $100,000, First National Bank of Lakewood, Grand Avenue Bank and Comerica Bank.

News & Notes

VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT: The Exchange Club Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse of DFW Inc. is seeking Parent Aides to work with families affected by abuse and neglect, says group spokesman Dale Yarbrough. Volunteers will visit homes weekly and provide training, friendship and assistance to families in need. Call 644-2098 for information; bilingual volunteers are especially needed, Yarbrough says.

JUNIOR FORUM: East Dallas residents Anne Sellers and Ann Jones recently participated in the Junior Forum, International convention hosted by the Dallas Junior Forum volunteer organization for women. Jones was convention chairman and presented the opening welcome.

OLIPHANT HONORED: Thalia Collins (Liz) Oliphant received the Norman P. Teich Award for Community Service recently from the North Texas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. The Lake Highlands resident was honored for her “leadership roles in such varied organizations as the Dallas Repertory Theatre, Arts District Friends, Dallas County AIDS Task Force, Executive Women of Dallas, Our Friend’s Place, the Dallas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Friends of the Farmer’s Market, Mayor’s Housing Task Force and many groups within the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas,” says presenter Marion Lindell. Oliphant’s two daughters, Janet and Blythe, are Lake Highlands High School graduates.