TROT open house March 13

CEDAR HILL – To kick off the 2010 season the Therapeutic Riding Of Texas is hosting its first open house at Gemini Farms, 1701 S. Duncanville Road, Cedar Hill, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 13.

The open house is a come-and-go event offering information about the TROT program and the opportunity to meet some of the riders, volunteers and horses. Refreshments and finger foods will be provided.

Session I classes begin Monday, March 29, and are held at 7 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at Gemini Farms.

TROT is a nonprofit organization 501(c)3 dedicated to serving Dallas-Fort Worth area special-needs riders and is a premier accredited therapeutic riding center through NARHA. TROT’s nationally recognized therapeutic horsemanship curriculum includes safety, grooming, saddling, ground handling and riding.

TROT has provided recreational riding with therapeutic benefits for children and adults for more than 20 years. Riding improves muscle tone and strength, balance, posture, coordination, endurance, motor development and range of motion. In addition, the unique relationship formed with a horse often leads to higher levels of confidence, patience and self-esteem in riders with emotional or mental disabilities.

For more information or to volunteer, go to www.TROTTX.org or call 972-296-6334 or by e-mail at trotoffice@yahoo.com.

Free income tax assistance

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program or the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program offer free tax help if you qualify. The VITA Program offers free tax help to low to moderate income (generally, $49,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns.

In Ennis, a VITA site is open this tax season at the Ennis Public Library, 501 W. Ennis Ave., available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.  

Blood drive

A visit to the Carter BloodCare mobile unit on the parking lot of the Daily Light next month will mean life to someone. Residents of Waxahachie and the surrounding areas are invited to visit the facility, which will be stationed at 200 W. Marvin, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, March 8.

Walk-ins are welcome, but people with appointments will be taken first.

To schedule an appointment, contact Rachael Loftis at 972-937-3310 or rachael.loftis@wninews.com.

Noche de

informacion for Navarro College

Latinos Unidos Para Educación in conjunction with Navarro College and Ennis High School, presents Noche de Información at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 11, at the Ennis High School commons located at 2301 Ensign Road.

This bilingual presentation is free and invites the Hispanic community to gain information on banking, education, health, immigration, employment and the law. Informational tables will be available after the presentation for additional assistance. Information on entering college and completing financial aid applications will also be included. Free childcare will be provided as well as refreshments and entertainment.

For more information, call Mary Moseley or Maria Christon at 972-872-3510. For information on joining the LUPE council, call 972-937-7612 and ask for Terry Gibson or Carmen Gomez.

Sims Library

offers free

computer classes

Nicholas P. Sims Library will offer free computer classes for the community throughout 2010.

Classes are one-day from 10 a.m.-noon the second Saturday of the month. The four core classes are Intro to Internet (Oct. 9), Anatomy of an E-mail (March 13 and Nov. 13), Computer Confidence (April 10 and Dec. 11) and Basic Computers (Sept. 11). Additional advanced classes will be offered as well.

The computer classes are open to anyone with a Sims Library card. Pre-registration is required for the classes, which are held in the reference room on the basement level of the library.

Call 972-937-2671 or stop by the library to register.

Lawn and

Garden Expo

The Ellis County Master Gardeners invites the community to its 10th annual Lawn and Garden Expo from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at the Waxahachie Civic Center. Neil Sperry will again be the keynote speaker.

Anyone who has a gardening-related business and who is interested in having a booth at the 2010 Expo is asked to contact James Kocian at 972-814-0699 or e-mail expo.ecmga@yahoo.com.

Meals-on-Wheels benefit

Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties will host a “Remember When” the Fabulous 1940s-style event with happy hour, reception, dinner, big band entertainment, dancing, live auction and prizes at National Guard Amory in Waxahachie on March 27.

For more information, call 972-351-9943 or 817-558-2840. Visit online at www.servingthechildrenofyesterday.org.

Scholarship funds available

The Ellis County Master Gardeners Association is accepting applications for its annual scholarships. The deadline to apply is April 1.

Scholarships are available in the amount of $1,000-$2,000. To qualify the applicant must be a current or former resident of Ellis County, have an elected academic major in a horticulture-related field that includes, but is not limited to horticulture, agriculture, environmental science, forestry, botany and entomology, and be able to provide proof of acceptance and/or current registration at an accredited institution of higher learning.

For more information, contact the Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 701 S. Interstate 35E, Suite 3, Waxahachie, TX 75165 or call 972-825-5175. Visit online at http://ellis-tx.tamu.edu/.

and click on publications.

Free tax preparation help

AARP volunteers will again offer tax preparation assistance to the community.

The services will be available from Feb. 2-April 15, according to the following schedule, which notes that counselors may not be present for the entire posted hours if no taxpayers are present for assistance.

•10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays at the Ennis Public Library, 501 W. Ennis Ave., Ennis

•9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays at Nicholas P. Sims Library, 515 W. Main St., Waxahachie

The services are free and include electronic filing. Taxpayers do not have to be elderly or members of AARP. Married taxpayers should both attend. Complicated returns are not handled; however, some assistance is offered.

Taxpayers should bring their 2008 return in addition to all tax-related documents relating to their 2009 return.

Big Brothers Big Sisters needed

Waxahachie ISD is in need of Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers to mentor a child. The time commitment is one lunch period a week or a twice-a-month meeting outside of school

“Help us serve more children,” a spokesman said.

For more information, contact Joannie Conger at 972-872-9466 or e-mail jconger@bbbstx.org.

Flu shots available

Free flu shots

Free H1N1 flu shots are available to the community from 4-5:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Finley Seventh Grade Center, 2401 Brown St., Waxahachie.

For more information, call Kris Rencher, RN, at 972-923-4689, ext. 504.

H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine also is being offered by Texas Department of State Health Services, 3001 S. Washington, Suite D, Kaufman.

Call 972-932-2038 for information.

Project Graduation cards available

Project Graduation cards are now available for sale. They are available from any Waxahachie High School senior and also at the Daily Light. The cards provide a discount at a variety of local merchants. The funds raised go toward the annual graduation night party for seniors.

Waxahachie Preparatory Academy fundraiser

Waxahachie Preparatory Academy is selling discount cards that offer more than 20 local business discounts. The card is good through Dec. 31 and can be used as many times as one wants throughout the year. The cost is $10 per card and the funds raised directly benefit the academy, which is located at Waxahachie Bible Church, 621 N. Grand Ave., Waxahachie.

For more information, call 972-937-0440. Purchase the cards at the school office from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Ellis County Volunteer Guardianship Program

The Ellis County Volunteer Guardianship Program is in need of volunteers.

“Sadly, there are people in our community, whether they be elderly with Alzheimer’s or adults suffering from mental retardation, who have no family members or friends to check on them periodically,” a spokesman said. “The legislature has provided that these persons should be appointed a guardian to make sure they are being provided for and to consent to medical treatment on their behalf.”

The Ellis County Volunteer Guardianship Program was created in 1997 with a grant from the Texas Guardianship Alliance. Since that time, more than 50 people have been provided with guardians. Only a small commitment of time is needed.

People who are interested in serving can contact the Ellis County Volunteer Guardianship Program at 972-723-9815. Criminal background checks are conducted.