Hamilton, Beitter Finish Strong at Indoor Meet

Former HP standout Jack Beitter made his collegiate debut for Florida over the weekend at the McCrory Memorial in Lexington, Ky. 0
Former HP standout Jack Beitter made his collegiate debut for Florida over the weekend at the McCrory Memorial in Lexington, Ky.

Two former Highland Park standouts began the indoor track and field season competing against some of the top collegiate runners in the country over the weekend at the Rod McCravy Memorial track and field meet in Lexington, Ky.

Mary Beth Hamilton, a sophomore at Texas, finished 10th in the women’s 800 meters. Jack Beitter, a freshman at Florida, placed 11th in the men’s mile in his debut for the Gators.


SMU Hosts Venture Capital Forum

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Patrick F. Hamner, Managing Director of Patriot Capital, will be the program's moderator.

Patrick F. Hamner

Join the SMU Cox Southwest Venture Forum on Jan. 29 as it presents the Venture Capital Update: 2015.

Patriot Capital’s Patrick F. Hamner will be moderating the event, discussing current venture financing topics at Dallas Country Club on Thursday.

Bobby Franklin and John S. Taylor, representing the National Venture Capital Association, will be the program’s expert panel, joining entrepreneur presenters Steve Scanlon from GuardVest and  Paul Nichols from Cirasys.

The forum begins at 7 a.m. with a networking event, followed by breakfast and the main program.


‘Two Kick Chili’ Spices Up Church Contest

The winning chefs included, from left, Jim Clark, Margaret Wilson, and James Hull 0
The winning chefs included, from left, Jim Clark, Margaret Wilson, and James Hull

We want to give credit to the chefs who won the annual chili cook-off this weekend at Central Christian Church, but what deserves more credit are the names given to the tasty pots of spicy stew.

So congratulations to winners Jim Clark with his “Two Kick Chili,” runner-up James Hull with “Chili, Chili, Bang, Bang,” and third-place entrant Margaret Wilson serving up bowls of “Texas Pride.” To the rest, better luck next year.


See the Art of Laika at Heritage Auctions

Laika is the company behind The Boxtrolls, which is nominated for an Oscar. 0
Laika is the company behind The Boxtrolls, which is nominated for an Oscar.

Laika is the company responsible for such animated films as Coraline and The Boxtrolls, which is nominated for an Oscar this year. Its unique stop-motion technique marks a change of pace from the computer animation that dominates the marketplace today.

The company — owned by Nike founder Phil Knight — is opening its archives for a traveling auction of more than 250 puppets, models, props, and art from its films. The auction will be held on Feb. 12 in Beverly Hills, Calif., but selected highlights will be on display this week at Heritage Auctions in the Dallas Design District.

A portion of the auction proceeds will benefit The Art of Elysium, a nonprofit arts organization that uses art to inspire children and those in need. Plus, it’s a chance to go behind the scenes for animation buffs.


Weir’s Names First Non-Family CEO

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Jamie Hawley

Jamie Hawley

Weir’s Furniture has named their first non-family leader in 66 years. Jamie Hawley comes to the company as CEO following a national search. Hawley has a 25-year background in retail, brand marketing, and strategy.

Founder John Ray Weir passed away in 2013. His grandson,  Todd Moore, announced the staffing change at an employee rally on Jan. 22. Longtime employee Craig Kilgore had been serving as interim CEO, and will now take on the role of COO.

“The Weir family has created a strong foundation of smart business practices and genuine care and concern for their employees and customers,” Hawley said in a statement.


HPHS Alum Receives Research Fellowship

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Congratulations to HPHS graduate and current University of Arkansas student Grace Gandy for receiving a State Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Gandy is an honors elementary education major.

Gandy plans on using the fellowship’s funding to complete her research project “Investigating Female Attitudes Towards STEM Disciplines When Delivered Through a Service-Learning Context” alongside her faculty mentor, Dr. Marcia Imbeau.

“I see this project as a means to address the prevalent crisis we see across our nation, where a gender gap exists in STEM-related fields of study,” Gandy said. “Through the SURF grant, I will have the resources needed to ensure a thorough investigation that can hopefully help to bridge the gap between educational success and equal opportunities for women.”


Authors Live Gets Historical

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rsz_hell_and_good_company_cover_artDo you love history? Particularly, are you interested in the Spanish Civil War? Then you’re in luck — HPUMC’s next Authors Live installment will feature Richard Rhodes as he discusses his book Hell and Good Company: The Spanish Civil War and the World it Made on Feb. 10.

If you plan to attend, you can either pay $30 to go to the 6 p.m. reception at the church and grab a copy of the book, or you can go to the 7 p.m. reading for free.

Click here if you need more info.


New HPHS Clubs Cater to Range of Interests

Left: Alexander Gerrese (second from left) watches a TED Talk with club members. Top: Brian Ngyuen and Keish Ramachandran; bottom: Anagha Kikkeri. (Photos: Laura Buckman) 0
Left: Alexander Gerrese (second from left) watches a TED Talk with club members. Top: Brian Ngyuen and Keish Ramachandran; bottom: Anagha Kikkeri. (Photos: Laura Buckman)

Students at Highland Park High School aren’t afraid to step up and lead if they see a void in extracurricular opportunities.

That’s the story for three students who have started — or revived — clubs on campus this year.

Thankfully, students at HP are able to start new clubs on campus each year, given that they fill out the appropriate paperwork and get other students involved.


Free Youth Lacrosse Clinic on Sunday

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Highland Park Girls Lacrosse will hold a free youth clinic for newcomers to the sport at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Highland Park Middle School.

The clinic is for grades 2-8. No prior experience is necessary, and neither is equipment, except for a mouth guard. They’ll provide a stick and goggles. Go here for more information.


Volunteer Warms Hearts Across Globe

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HeartGift board member and volunteer transporter Grace Cook cuddles with heart patient Chintushig and his parents at the airport. (Courtesy Photo)

HeartGift board member and volunteer transporter Grace Cook cuddles with heart patient Chintushig and his parents at the airport. (Courtesy Photo)

For some people, the love of philanthropy runs in the family.

That happens to be the case for Grace Cook, whose grandmother, Margaret McDermott, is a well-known Highland Park civic leader in many sectors.

But Cook is making her own marks through one organization: HeartGift.

The group works to make sure that children in developing countries with congenital heart defects can get surgeries to save their lives.

Cook, who serves as a board member for the organization, was able to travel to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, with the family of one such child in November.

“I had such an overwhelming emotion when I got there and got to see the family being reunited,” the Hockaday graduate said. “I started crying, which is absurd.”


SMU Grad to Sign Copies of Debut Novel

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Laura Lane McNeal

Laura Lane McNeal

SMU graduate Laura Lane McNeal will visit the University Park Public Library at 6 p.m. Thursday for a book signing and discussion of her debut novel, Dollbaby.

The work of historical fiction is a family saga of Southern eccentricities set against the backdrop of New Orleans during the civil-rights movement. Thursday’s event is free.


Nugent Family to Attend ‘Bernie’ Screening

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bernieWe just received word that the granddaughter of Marjorie Nugent, along with her parents, will attend the screening of Bernie tonight at the Magnolia Theatre to kick off the Highland Park Literary Festival.

The acclaimed 2011 comedy is based on the true-life story of Nugent (played by Shirley MacLaine), whose friendship with a small-town East Texas mortician (Jack Black) ends in tragedy. Shanna Nugent, an Addison lawyer, has been outspoken in her criticism of the portrayal of events in the film.

It’s directed by Richard Linklater (Boyhood) and is based on a Texas Monthly article by Skip Hollandsworth, who will participate in a Q&A session following the film. Tickets are $40 at the door, with proceeds benefiting the Lit Fest.