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!

Cypress Basin Hospice and First United Methodist Church Present Camp Brave Heart – A bereavement camp for children ages 6 and up

When a child experiences the loss of a loved one, they need help dealing with the strong emotions of grief.  Camp Brave Heart is a bereavement camp for children who have experienced the death of a loved one – a grandparent, a parent, a sibling or a friend.

The free three-day camp combines grief support with fun of a recreational day camp. Camp counselors experienced in child and adolescent grief lead fun-filled activities to help campers learn from each other about grief and ways to cope with loss. Even if the child seems to be adjusting well to the loss, many children still have concerns they may not feel comfortable sharing for fear of causing sadness to family members who are also grieving.

Camp Brave Heart is for children ages 6 -16. Most importantly the experience allows children to explore and share their feelings with other children who have experienced a loss – helping them to understand that they are not alone in their experience.

Camp activities will include:

  • Special memory projects
  • Arts & crafts
  • Games & entertainment
  • A picnic lunch and carnival with water activities on the last day

August 7 -9, 2012

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday

8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Thursday

Location: First United Methodist Church, Paris, Texas

Cypress Basin Hospice is the only non-profit hospice serving Lamar County. Cypress Basin Hospice has offered support since 1986 throughout Northeast Texas for those patients and their families who are undergoing the effects of life-limiting illness. Care is given in the patient’s home, nursing facility, assisted living, or hospital. In addition to Camp Brave Heart, Cypress Basin Hospice offers a wide range of grief support programs to families and individuals, whether or not they are Cypress Basin Hospice clients.

If you know a child who would benefit from Camp Brave Heart, please contact Cypress Basin Hospice at 903-577-1510 or 888-429-2966, or go to www:

To celebrate an amazing Relay for Life 2012, a Wrap Up Dinner will be held on Thursday

Article by Josh Allen/Managing Editor – eParis Extra!

The Paris 500…Lamar County’s Race for a Cure – the theme and title of this year’s Relay for Life event — couldn’t have went better.  The teams that participated all did spectacular and a huge thank you goes out to all of you.

The grand total of money raised for the 2012 Relay for Life event is $50,250 — so far.  The top five placing teams in fundraising were Texas Oncology ($11,055), First Federal Bank ($7,130.96), People’s Bank ($4,392), Kimberly Clark ($3,376.20), and Brookshires ($2,200.50).

These weren’t the only teams that participated though.  There were over 40 teams to sign up for this year’s event, which is the most ever.  There was over $13,000 raised by teams online prior to the event.

This is certainly a year for the record books for Lamar County’s Relay for Life, however, these totals could still change and more fundraising can still be done for 2012′s Race for the Cure.  Money can raised up until August 31, 2012.

On Thursday, July 12 — 6pm — at Celebrate It there will be a Relay for Life Wrap-Up dinner and party for all Committee Members & Team Captains.  Each person may bring a guest.  There will be food and fun and a much deserved celebration for all the team’s job well done.

Please make sure and RSVP your seat so that there is enough food for everyone.  You can do this by emailing Molly Woodall at  You won’t want to miss this.

At this dinner, the first 20 teams to sign up for the 2013 Relay for Life will receive a VERY nice Welcome Back gift!  In order to be eligible for this gift, you will be asked to pay the $25 registration fee that night.

A theme for teams and campsites for Relay for Life 2013 will also be voted upon and chosen at the Wrap-Up dinner.  Below is a link to a list of suggested themes from around the country.  Send in your suggestion to before Thursday night.  If you have another idea than those on the list, send that in as well.  The Relay committee will take the top 10 and vote on them at the dinner.

Themes for Relay for Life 2013