Here’s a brief note about something exciting happening next year – a neighborhood group is making plans for an annual White Rock Lake Festival.

The Dallas Northeast Chamber of Commerce, For the Love of the Lake, the White Rock Lake Foundation, the City of Dallas Park & Recreation Department, and Advocate Publishing are teaming to present this event May 17-19, 2002.

The festival will be anchored by the Foundation’s annual golf tournament, the Dallas Cross Country Club’s annual White Rock ‘N’ Roll run benefiting For the Love of the Lake, and a resurrected version of the Lakewood Love Run for people and their pets that was so popular a few years ago when it benefited the SPCA. Initial plans also include an art competition/exhibit for neighborhood artists of all ages and a Taste of Northeast Dallas event spotlighting neighborhood restaurants.

There will be plenty of other events going on that weekend, too, and that’s where you can help out: We’re looking for groups and organizations interested in presenting activities organized by your neighborhood group to benefit White Rock Lake.

If you have an idea for the Festival or if you have questions, contact me at rwamre@advocatemag.com or at 214-560-4212, and I’ll put you in touch with the right person.

I hope you’ll cut me a little slack this month, because I’m going to use a portion of this column to tell you about a new business we’ve started here at the Advocate.

The Gizmo Group is our sister promotions and marketing company, created to provide all kinds of items to promote your business, school, church or non-profit group. Whether you need a cap or t-shirt for your school carnival or cheerleading group, a golf shirt for your corporate tournament, a Coach leather folder with your group’s logo embossed on the cover, or just about anything else you can think of that might look good with your name or business’ name on it, we can help you out.

Even if you don’t know what you want, let our graphic designers come up with a logo for you and let our account executives help you select just the right item from among the 500,000 or so that we offer. We’ve already done some work with neighborhood schools and businesses, and we’re eager to see what we can do for you.

If you’re interested in a quick look at the options, please visit our website at www.gizmogroup.com. If you need additional information or assistance, give me a call at 214-560-4212, and I’ll try to point you in the right direction.

And just so you know, we’ll donate a portion of every sale to benefit White Rock Lake – it’s the least we can do to show our thanks for giving our new venture a try.