Coplin family thanks community for support, Brenda still hopeful

After battling breast cancer, Brenda Coplin was sadly again diagnosed with cancer — this time AML Leukemia. She and her family thank those who helped them Battle for Brenda, and continue to.

An enormous ‘thank you’ is extended to this community from the Coplin family — Brenda, Rick, Johnetta, Camey & Kristi — for its ‘overwhelming support of the Battling for Brenda Benefit held at Buffalo Joe’s on June 24, 2012.’”No words can fully express the gratitude felt for all that everyone has done for our family,” stated Camey Boyer, daughter of Brenda Coplin (Pictured to the right), on behalf of the Coplin Family.The Battling for Brenda Benefit, held back in June, was a major success and brought a lot of funds to a family that truly need them for medical and living expenses.  The Coplin family stays along side Brenda throughout the battle with Leukemia.

The benefit featured some very well known musical artists – locally, regionally and nationally — such as, Michael O’Neal, the Gary Potterfield Blues Band, Whiskey Roadshow, JB & the Moonshine Band, and others.  The crowd loved the music, as they danced and cheered on each artist.  An auction was held in between each of the bands’ sets.

This auction was by far one of the largest benefit auctions in this area in a long time.  There was an array of things on display, from an installed, in-ground swimming pool, to custom smokers, an autographed Paula Dean cookbook, handmade picnic tables, amongst many other things.  Although the exact amount is undisclosed, the auction and donation total was a huge benefit to Brenda and the Coplin family.

The musical ‘headliner’ of Battling for Brenda, JB & the Moonshine Band — a band from Tyler, TX that has gained a lot of steam in the ‘Texas country’ market, landing tracks on numerous popular radio stations around the country and ranking on the ‘Texas country’ charts — was so kind as to take all the money that they received for the purchase of their T-shirts, CDs, stickers and merchandise after their show, and donate it ALL to the Coplin family and the Battle for Brenda.

“Thank you to all volunteers, bands, sponsors, donors, friends, neighbors, relatives and complete strangers who reached out to our family,” stated the Coplin Family, “We are forever grateful.”

Brenda Coplin is unfortunately still battling with the awful (AML) Leukemia.  This is a very challenging and fatal blood disease.  She has been traveling to and from Medical City in Dallas for chemo treatments, and is looking at a stem cell transplant next.  However, a match of Brenda’s bone marrow as yet to be located.

Although the battle is tough, there is still hope for Brenda that must be held onto.  Doctors are now checking the Cord Blood Registry for a possible match.  Physicians say that they have had really good results from this procedure.  There are still setbacks, however, and with the Cord Blood registry, even if a match is found, only small amounts of stem cells can be obtained, so it would take a lot more time for the procedure to start regenerating healthy cells.

Regardless of the setbacks or challenges, the Coplin family remains hopeful.  Brenda Coplin is a true fighter and has shown such strength throughout this battle.  She is also a devoted daughter, sister, wife, mom (3 daughters), grandmother, friend, and long time resident of Paris, Texas.  Her smile is known amongst the community from a 35 year career at Paris Family Physicians.

It’s great to see the ‘Heart of Paris’ extend to the benefit of so many.  Brenda is a friend and neighbor to all of us in the community.  She’s had hard battles and continues to fight them, as her family and friends do also.  The neighborly community support helps tremendously.  The Coplin family thanks you.

You can follow her medical journey on CaringBridge and on Facebook!

Article by Josh Allen/Managing Editor – eParis Extra!   

Back to the Schoolyard School Supply Drive to benefit underprivileged children in our area

The Kelvin L. Hicks Foundation, Inc. & ‘Everybody is Somebody Center’ is raising funds for the annual Back to the Schoolyard School Supply Drive, which will take place on August 18 at the Paris Fairgrounds from 11am to 2pm.

The hopes are to provide underprivileged children with the adequate supplies needed for a healthy school year with a positive and productive start.

Last year they were able to help 120 students with school supplies and hope to this year reach out to 200.  You could help them out, and be a part of something great.

They are looking for donations of backpacks, general school supplies — paper, pencils, pens, rulers, erasers, etc., and basic-need items for the students.  Monetary donations are also welcomed and the supply shopping will be taken care of for you.  Make all checks payable to Everybody is Somebody Center.

For more information on how to be a part or make a donation, please contact: Danielle Twitty at (903) 225-9556 or Kelvin Hicks at (214) 702-1807.

Chili’s teams up with Dylan’s Drivers

Once a month, Chili’s Bar & Grill will be teaming up with Dylan’s Drivers to help raise funds for their expenses.  Dylan’s Drivers will receive 10% of food sales on a particular night, once a month.

All you have to do is go to Chili’s — eat as much as you can — and bring the attached flyer with you to show them.  Then, 10% of what you buy, food or drink, goes to a wonderful cause that promotes safe driving.

Since the beginning, and the 49 rides they gave the first weekend, Dylan’s Drivers has made quite an impact on our community.  With over 30,000 people lost a year due to automobile accidents, and over 30% of those being alcohol related, we need that kind of impact.

The program is built around young (over 21) volunteers who man phones and dispatch drivers to locations in, or closely around, town.  Each vehicle has both a driver and a navigator who are male and female.  It is the navigator’s job to make the ride home fun and entertaining to help build and spread the reputation that Dylan’s Drivers isn’t there to lecture you about drinking, but rather to simply get you home safe — the very needed ‘Designated Driver’ (DD) on a night of drinking.

Dylan’s Drivers was formed by Ronnie and Vickie Ballard after the tragic loss of their son, Dylan Ballard, in an alcohol related accident in July, 2011.

They still need help with all the expenses of providing this helpful service.  If we can get the word out — and enough of these flyers — we can help them in a big way.  Chili’s is offering a place to help, once a month.

The next evening that Dylan’s Drivers will benefit is Tuesday, August 7th.  Just bring the flyer that is attached below.

Dylan’s Drivers – Chili’s Night Flyer – Click to Open & Print

Dylan’s Drivers’ Rides for a Reason 2012

Dylan’s Drivers is preparing for their first annual fundraiser, Rides for a Reaon 2012.  The event is to be held on September 22 at the Love Civic Center in Paris.  The fun will last all day, beginning at 8am with a 5k ‘fun run’/walk and ending sometime after 4pm.

Shortly after the 5k ‘Fun Run’, the collector, classic and muscle cars will begin showing up at 10am.  There will be one People’s Choice Award for the best car at $1 per vote.  Continuing into the day, at 11am there will be a Memorial Motorcyle Ride.

With all the ‘fun running’, muscle cars and motorcycle riding everyone is bound to be hungry.  Starting around midday there will be a tailgate party with a hamburger cook-off.  Competition burger cookers get your grilling skills ready, the contest burgers start at 1pm and the judging will begin around 1:30pm.  A prize will go to the best burger’s cook.

It’s not over yet, there’s more.  The Dylan’s Drivers crew has also scheduled an array of fun games — like beer goggles and golf cart obstacle courses — live music all day, from 10am-4pm, a 50/50 ticket drawing, and even a softball tournament.  There will even be face painting, bounce houses, and more for the children.

Wristbands for food and Rides for a Reason t-shirts we be available for sale also.  All the proceeds benefit Dylan’s Drivers and their cause.

Dylan’s Drivers is a driving program and organization that offers free, confidential and non-judgmental rides to those consuming alcoholic beverages and plan to drive — offering a sober driver when one’s needed but not around.  The hopes are to help limit the amount of car accidents and lives that are lost due to driving impaired or under the influence of alcohol.  Dylan’s Drivers was started by Paris locals, Ronnie and Vicki Ballard following the tragic loss of their son, Dylan Ballard, in an alcohol-related automobile accident.

Friend Dylan’s Drivers on Facebook.

Article by Josh Allen/Managing Editor – eParis Extra!

The Downtown Food Pantry needs your plastic bags

Everyone knows of the plastic bags that sit in your cabinets at home — bag inside bag, waiting to be used.  As we go to get groceries each time, our items come in small bags bearing the logo or name of Wal-Mart, Brookshire’s, Kroger, Dollar General, etc.

Some people save a few and some collect hundreds of these bags, never wanting to throw any away for the thought of recycling them.  This is good.

Save as many as you can.  The Downtown Food Pantry is in dire need of these bags.  The uses that they get from these small plastic bags are endless, and you could help their mission of feeding the less fortunate just by giving your spares away.

There is a drop box at First Federal Bank that you can take and leave your bags, or you can take them directly to the Pantry and drop them.

The Panty’s address is 124 W. Cherry Street, Paris, Texas.  Phone number: 903-737-8870  Their hours of operation are: Tuesdays 1:30pm – 4:30pm and Thursdays 8:30am – 11:30am

Article by Josh Allen/Managing Editor – eParis Extra!