Weatherford Democrat

October 20, 2013

PCRT welcomes County Judge Mark Riley

Weatherford Democrat

On Oct. 1 in Central Christian Church’s Cuppett Hall, Parker County Retired Teachers president Louretta Evans inspired the group with, “Don’t wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.” 

Parker County Judge Mark Riley did exactly that as he spoke enthusiastically to 110 members, touting Weatherford and Parker County as a great place to live. He highlighted the unique heritage of the courthouse, reminding everyone that the structure stands as a reminder of who we were, who we are and, most importantly, who we are yet to become.

Not only will citizens have the opportunity to tour the courthouse as part of the Christmas Tour of Homes, sponsored by the Parker County Heritage Society in December, but he believes everyone will also enjoy seeing four stars appear on top of the courthouse as they did in Christmases past, along with a tree on the east lawn with a celebratory Christmas tree lighting.

In addition, Judge Riley discussed the progress of the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway project with an anticipated completion of the Interstate 20 interchange by June 2014.  He noted the positive impact on Weatherford’s downtown congestion, as many trucks and cars now travel the parts of the loop already open. As a part of the Regional Transportation Council, he is focused on promoting efficient transportation in our county.

As a cancer survivor, Judge Riley took the opportunity to encourage members to schedule medical diagnostics, recalling how valuable this had been to him in early detection of his own medical challenge. Accompanying him was his project coordinator and Public Information Officer Joel Kertok, who enjoyed the privilege of lunch with his great aunt, retired teacher Ella Elwood. Kertok also works with Parker County Emergency Management.

Volunteerism, a hallmark of Parker County Retired Teachers, focused on several areas this month. Members were challenged to prepare their gifts to the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides resources that contribute to an enhanced quality of life for retired teachers and school personnel. Funds from the foundation are used for college scholarships to future teachers, grants to public school teachers for innovative projects, and grants for retirees’ medical, dental, and utility bills, and people in Parker County are welcome to apply.

The Sunshine Committee announced a new unit-wide project of collecting magazines to be given to local nursing home residents. A continuing project is collecting books to be given to Weatherford Community Education for kindergarteners and first graders. Monthly, members celebrate their birthdays by dropping $1 into the birthday bucket, money that goes into the book fund. Additionally in October, members contributed more than 15 books and $100 for this project.  

Prizes are part of the fun each month. George Burrow won two tickets from Laurie Jones, representing Theater Off The Square (TOTS), to see the production of “Bad Seed.”   Performances run through Nov. 3 at the theater, located at 114 N. Denton Road.

Wanda Brian won the door prize. Bonnie Wallace, adorned with dollars, announced that a special drawing for $50 will be held this year for those who bring a new member.

State Rep. Phil King will speak at the Nov. 5 meeting, reporting on the legislative work that accomplished the passing of SB 1458, allowing Texas retired teachers to receive a raise. Lunch for $8, catered by Baker’s Ribs, begins at 11:30.  The location is Central Christian Church Cuppett Hall, 1601 S. Main St. For reservations and information call Kathryn Jordan at 817-594-5748.