Sunday, December 27, 2009

History buffs unite for the love of the fight

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

It's a brotherhood.
The Joms Vikings are friends on the battle field and off.
'Each man is your neighbor and brother, and you are with him to the end,' said Dave Kilbourn, 30, of Austin. 'It has to be that way. That's the culture.'
Kilbourn is the styrsman (leader) of the Joms Vikings Texas Elag, a non-profit Central Texas organization devoted to Viking history and legend.
'We celebrate the Viking way of life,' Kilbourn said. 'We fight, we eat, and we work and play. Sometimes it's for a public demonstration like the Celtic Fest. But a lot of the times it's just for us.'

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Too much to bear?: Not for this Gatesville woman

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

The single lady is far from lonely.
She's got plenty of bears to keep her company - 1,035 of them, in fact.
'I don't know how this collection got so big,' said Wanda 'Jean' Sims of Gatesville. 'It just happened, but I can tell you I love every single one of my bears.'
It all started in 1983.
'We had a precious little dog - Susie - and she loved stuffed animals,' Ms. Sims said. 'So I'd buy her little toys from the Goodwill store, and one day I got her a teddy bear, and she loved it, but I thought it was too pretty for her to chew on, so I kept it.'
That teddy bear prompted the purchase of another and another.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

'God's promise is in the light'

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

There are bells, elves and toys - it's Christmas.
'But it's OK to feel something other than off-the wall joy,' said the Rev. Philip Shuler.
That was his message at the Blue Christmas service on Dec. 16 at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Temple.
Good and bad, life happens - and it doesn't stop when the carols start.
'People die, and their loved ones mourn,' Shuler said. 'Jobs are lost, money is needed and children are away from home.'
So in anger, grief and frustration, there are reasons not to deck the halls.
'But you have to let it out,' Shuler said. 'Otherwise it will constantly nag at you.'
The St. Paul blue service is the only one of its kind in Bell County, Shuler said. And the ceremony of scripture reading, hymn singing and silent candle lighting is an opportunity to release stress.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Community's treasures go hog wild to help save historic building

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Humor, sass and spirit.
The 2010 Biker Broads calendar has it all.
'And that's thanks to the wonderful models,' said Elaine Dobos of Belton, the photographer who designed each month's photo illustration. 'It wouldn't be what it is without the good nature and humor of all the ladies.'
The calendar features 14 women in, on and around Harley-Davidson motorcycles. They range in age from 65 to 100, with the youngest being Sharon Wilson, the widow of Ralph Wilson Jr., and the oldest being Mary Alice Marshall, longtime arts benefactor.
Costing $20 a piece, the calendars are a fundraising project of the 1874 Church Restoration Committee.
'It's all in effort to save the old St. Luke Episcopal Church in Belton,' said Vicky Moose, fundraising chair. 'The building's condemned, but there's a bunch of us who want to see the building stick around. It's a part of Belton.'

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Visions of (tennis) shoes dance in their heads

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

All they want for Christmas is a pair of shoes.
'It's what students are saying,' said Mary Erwin-Barr, the executive director of Communities in Schools for Bell and Coryell Counties.
Each Christmas, CIS asks the students they serve to submit a holiday wish list. And usually, the top-wanted gifts are toys and video games.
But this year it's different.
'We've got several kids saying all they want is shoes,' Ms. Erwin-Barr said. 'For themselves, for their siblings or for their parents. I think it's because the economy has been so rough this year, and people have been having to choose between food and shoes.'
The simple plea for shoes inspired the student-help group to launch a holiday shoe drive.

Church ready to dedicate new building

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

It's been an exciting year for the First United Methodist Church of Temple.
'There have been a lot of improvements to the church,' said the Rev. Tom Robbins. 'It's the result of a church grown rampantly.'
Membership has been growing steadily for the last seven years.
'And in the three and a half years I've been here, it's boomed,' Robbins said.
One area that has seen a spike in popularity is the FUMC contemporary worship program.
An average of 30 people attended contemporary worship services three years ago. Now the attendance averages at 175.
To accommodate the growing contemporary worship group, FUMC opted to create a new space for them, a Family Life and Worship Center. Its construction, now complete, started a year ago.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Women find fun, fitness and fortitude in belly dancing

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Every woman has an inner-hottie.
'Or an inner-diva,' said Vicky Mitchell of Harker Heights. 'However you want to put it.'
That's Mrs. Mitchell's first lesson to all of her students. She teaches belly dancing at the Summit Family Fitness Center in Temple and at Central Texas College in Killeen.
'Belly dancing comes from the heart, and it makes you powerful,' she said. 'Things get poured out of you, things that are positive. You become a persona, the minute you become the dancer, you're a hottie. It doesn't matter what size you are, there's a sensual, gorgeous side to you.'
Nurturing the life of the inner-hottie is just as important as learning the dance steps.
'Embracing the dance, it makes you something you weren't before,' Mrs. Mitchell said. 'I was extremely shy. But now I can carry myself with pride. It's a major confidence builder.'
And it helps women find sensuality.

Community center opens door for singles program

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

There are folks in Temple ready and willing to start dating.
'The problem is meeting people,' said nurse Cheryl Bond of Temple. 'There's activities geared for kids, and there's activities geared for seniors, but everyone in the middle seems to be left out.'
Staff at the Sammons Community Center heard the plea for singles' fun and responded with a plan.
'We're starting with a monthly dinner on the second Tuesday of the month,' said Charity Diaz, Sammons program coordinator. 'It will be buffet style, so people will be up and mingling.'
The first three are scheduled from 7-9 p.m. Jan. 11, Feb. 8 and March 8.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Revved up: Biker Broads calendar 12 Bell County seniors strike a pose for church fundraiser

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

The Biker Broads of Bell County made their debut Thurs day night during a wine reception at Horny Toad Harley Davidson in Temple.
The 12 women were signing their autographs on the 2010 calendar they made for the 1874 Church Restoration Committee. All of them are posed on and around motorcycles.
"It's all in effort to save the old St. Luke Episcopal Church in Belton," said Vicky Moose, fundraising chair. "The building's condemned, but there's a bunch of us who want to see the building stick around. It's a part of Belton."
So the group devised the idea of the calendar as its first major fundraising project. Photographer was Elaine Dobos of Belton.
Models range in age from 65 to 100, with the youngest being Saron Wilson, the widow of Ralph Wilson Jr., and the oldest being Mary Alice Marshall, longtime arts benefactor.