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JER Chilton YMCA selects father of the year

(ROCKWALL, TX – 17 May 2017)

So many fathers make such a big impact on the people in their lives that it’s strange to think that Father’s Day was not always celebrated. However, the tradition was not started until 1910, when Sonora Louise Smart Dodd decided to create a day to honor her father, William Smart. William raised his children as a single father after his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child. Sonora realized the strength and selflessness that her father displayed was worthy of celebration and worked with the Spokane YMCA and the Spokane Ministerial Association to create a day where fathers could be honored and recognized. June 17, 1910 was proclaimed Father’s Day by Spokane’s mayor because it was Smart’s birth month.

To celebrate Father’s Day and its connection to the YMCA association, each year the Dallas YMCAs accept nominations from family and community members for fathers who have made a significant impact in the lives of children in the community. The fathers that win the nominations are honored at their local YMCA as well as at an association-wide event.

This year, the J.E.R Chilton YMCA at Rockwall has awarded the annual Father of the Year 2017 title to Shane Cariker.

Cariker was nominated by his wife Brittney Cariker, out of thankfulness to her husband for introducing her and their children to Christ.

She described Cariker as “committed to being the best father by investing in his marriage.”

“He leads his family and others in faith, finances, and fitness by being Christ's' witness,”Brittney Cariker said in her nomination essay. “Not only are the people in his home important to him, but he also carries the burden of those who are not saved that work for him. He tries to serve them by showing them Jesus in his every day caring actions.”

Cariker is the supervisor at eight Domino’s Pizza locations, but always makes time for church with his family and to attend a weekly a marriage ministry to continually strengthen his bond with his wife. In his down time, Brittney Cariker said he has logged “thousands of miles” on YMCA treadmills.

 “Staying spiritually fit is a lifetime commitment that reaps rewards for generations to come,” her essay concludes. “Another piece of his living legacy is in the wisdom he has taught his family and others about the importance of being physically fit and active.”

According to Gordon Echtenkamp, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, it’s not easy to select just one Father of the Year.

“Every year we receive so many outstanding nominations for this award,” said Echtenkamp. “Narrowing the field is always a difficult task, yet we realize what wonderful and positive parenting is happening on a daily basis in our community.”

Congratulations to Shane Cariker and all other YMCA Father of the Year winners!


The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.  Anchored in 23 North Texas communities, the Dallas Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

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(FRISCO, TX – April 10, 2017) The Frisco Family YMCA invites the community to come celebrate Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids. More than 1,600 Y’s across the country will participate, holding free community events that are open to all kids and families and filled with fun activities and educational opportunities.

The Frisco Family YMCA event will be 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, April 29 at their facility, 3415 W. Main St., Frisco, TX 75034. There will be a Family Challenge Course, bounce house, face painting, prizes, snacks, and giveaways, and a host of community vendor booths and organizations including the Frisco Fire Department, Ebby Halliday Realty, AllState, Chalmers Chiropractic, Pediatrics of Plano, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, and more. Volunteers will include folks from JCPenney’s and the Reedy High School Glee Club, among others.

Whether families are members of the Y or not, everyone is welcome to experience Healthy Kids Day at the Frisco Family Y in order for children to develop and maintain healthy habits and academic skills to achieve goals and reach their full potential. Studies show that kids are less physically active and engaged in learning during the summer months, and that children gain weight two to three times faster during summer vacation than during the school year. The Frisco Y encourages everyone to get up, get moving, and enjoy Healthy Kids Day! 

Submitted by BRN Media. 

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 (Rockwall, TX – March 22, 2017) Mudbug season is in full swing and that can only mean one thing – time for the All-You-Can-Eat Crawfish Fest at the Rockwall Harbor, benefiting J.E.R. Chilton YMCA’s Angel Camp for children with special needs.

The annual fundraising event, presented by Dodie’s Cajun Diner, sells out each year as hundreds gather on the eastern shore of Lake Ray Hubbard to enjoy mudbugs, music, and merriment for a good cause.

Last year, the record-setting turnout helped raise more than $5,000, allowing area kids with special needs to participate in the Y’s summer day camp program at no cost to the families. Dodie’s dished out more than 2,300 pounds of crawfish at the event.

This year’s festivities will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 23. The Big Daddy Band will take the stage at noon and play until the party ends at 4. There will be steaming platters of fresh crawfish, corn and potatoes – served up alongside mouthwatering red beans and rice and jambalya.

“The crowd and the crawfish are expected to be bigger and better than ever,” said Dan Keils, Dodie’s General Manager. “Our Mudbug mascot will make a special appearance, and there will be plenty of raffle prizes and giveaways to round out a day of fun on the patio with friends and family.”

Mike McRae and Gabe Nicolella, Dodie’s co-owners, introduced the Crawfish Fest in 2013 as a way to celebrate crawfish season while supporting the local community. This will be the fourth year that the Crawfish Fest has benefited Angel Camp.

“We are grateful to Dodie’s and the community for supporting our kids. The Angel Camp program creates an environment that allows young folks to explore and enjoy new experiences like sailing, swimming, archery, riflery, and horseback riding – with the support that their special needs require,” said Bonnie LaVielle, Executive Director of the Rockwall Y. Angel Camp runs for six one-week sessions throughout the summer. To learn more, contact LaVielle or Angel Camp Director Melissa Cotner at 972-772-9622.

Crawfish Fest tickets are limited and on sale now for $35/adults; $15/kids ages 6-12 (under age 6 admitted free). Dodie’s homemade mac and cheese and corn dogs will be available for kiddos who prefer not to partake of the all-you-can-eat crawfish.

Get your tickets now at, or call 972-771-0004 for more information.

Submitted by BRN Media. 

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(ROCKWALL, TX – Feb. 15, 2017) You don’t have to go to New Orleans to find the best Mardi Gras celebration. Come savor the flavor of the French Quarter with lakeside dining and lively entertainment on the beautiful shores of Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall. Dodie’s Cajun Diner at The Harbor will begin festivities on Friday, February 24th and continue the party with food and drink specials all the way through Fat Tuesday, February 28th

Cajun specials include Three Kings of Mardi Gras (dinner for two) for $39.99; Crawfish Cakes for $16.99; Shrimp and Grits for $13.99; Cream Filled Kings Cake for $4.99; and Monster Bread Pudding for $7.49.

Enjoy $4 Hurricanes and Margaritas ALL DAY Saturday and Sunday, and a CRAWFISH BOIL from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday with 5 pounds of crawfish and a buck of five beers for only $39.99.

On Fat Tuesday, take advantage of NO COVER CHARGE when you arrive between 6 and 7 p.m along with $2 Margaritas, $2 Hurricanes, and $2 Draft Beer ($2 drinks available only between 6 to 7pm). After 7pm Party-goers will enjoy more drink specials, bead contests and live music from Kenny and the Kasuals. Let's party!

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Valentine’s prix fixe menu to be served Friday through Tuesday, Feb. 10-14

Treat your Valentine to an evening of fine dining, live music and cocktails at Table 13 in Addison. Located at Belt Line and Inwood Road, Table 13 offers a unique and unforgettable dining experience in a distinctive, upscale atmosphere reminiscence of the early 1960’s.

To celebrate, a chef-prepared prix fixe Valentine’s menu will be offered Friday, February 10th through Tuesday, February 14th. Couples will be treated to a vintage-inspired four course meal, classic showroom style entertainment (see times), and a beautiful long stem rose – only $75 per person (plus tax and gratuity).  

The romance begins with a shared appetizer of Bacon Wrapped Dates, Chilled Shrimp Cocktail, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, or Beef and Bleu Crostinis. Follow that with Lobster Bisque, Table 13 House Salad, Caesar Salad, or Center Cut Wedge Salad. Entrée choices include Sea Bass, Lemon Caper Chicken, Scallops, Surf ‘n Turf, Delmonico, Double Bone Hand Cut Pork Chop, or Filet Mignon. The dessert menu features Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Kahlua Cake with Espresso Gelato, or Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

In addition to the prix fixe Valentine’s menu, Table 13’s regular menu will also be available on Friday, Feb. 10; Saturday, Feb. 11; and Monday, Feb. 13; however, the Valentine’s menu will be Table 13’s exclusive offering on Sunday, Feb. 12 and Tuesday, Feb. 14. 

Frank Obregon will perform live beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Whether singing in Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or English, Frank delivers the inner magic of each song with unique style. On Saturday, the ever popular Marc Toussaint will steal your heart with his classics starting at 6:30 p.m. David Slater will perform Sunday beginning at 6. Classically trained jazz pianist Scott Bucklin will provide Monday’s entertainment. Marc Toussaint returns to the stage at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Valentine’s Day.

For reservations, call 972-789-9558. No OpenTable or online reservations accepted for this special Valentine’s weekend. For the full menu, entertainment line-up, and more information, visit


Submitted by BRN Media. 

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What better place to ring in the New Year than at Dallas’ oldest continuously operated drinking establishment? Stan’s Blue Note on Lower Greenville is throwing a red hot FIREBALL NYE ’17 CELEBRATION – serving up $3 Fireball shots from  9 p.m. to close; $2 wells and domestic drafts from 9 to 10; and of course, a Fireball Toast at midnight.

No Fireball Fete would be complete without 30 big screen TVs, made-from-scratch menu items, a pool table, shuffleboard, dartboards, and oh yeah – did we mention Fireballs? DJ Tanner Hux will spin tunes throughout the night, beginning at 9:30 p.m. There’s no cover charge and there will be plenty of NYE party favors.

Now under new ownership, Stan’s has a newly renovated back patio with additional TVs and a wooden arbor – already a favorite of regulars. Big plans are in store for the front patio, too. But the old dive bar remains true to tradition with 50-plus beers on tap, non-stop sports action, and the same great staff and easy atmosphere.

Don’t limit your NYE celebration to watching fireworks and the Times Square ball when you can have it all with Fireball. Give Stan’s a shot and we’ll give you one, too!  Stan’s is located at 2908 Greenville Ave. in Dallas. Follow them on Facebook for updates.


The best way to kick off any New Year’s Eve party is with beer and football, so Stan’s will have bowl games on the big screens all day long on NYE – Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky in the TaxSlayer Bowl at 10 a.m., LSU vs. Louisville in the Citrus Bowl at 10 a.m., Alabama vs. Washington in the Peach Bowl at 2 p.m., and Clemson vs. Ohio in the Fiesta Bowl at 6 p.m.


Stan’s will also feature the Dallas Stars game vs. Florida at 7 p.m. on NYE. Take the chill off with red hot shots of Fireball afterward!


Stan’s will be open as usual on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1. The Cowboys vs. Eagles kicks off at noon. 

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(ADDISON, TX – Dec. 13, 2016) Limited seatings are available beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday, December 31st for Table 13’s exclusive New Year’s Eve celebration featuring a special NYE prix fixe menu, live music performed by Frank Obregon, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight – only $100/person.

Located at the southeast corner of Belt Line and Inwood Road in Addison, Table 13’s distinctive atmosphere, reminiscent of the early 1960s, provides the perfect backdrop for celebrating the new year in style.

Your evening will begin with Amuse-Bouche. The first course comprises Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Seared Tenderloin Slices, or Tuna Ceviche. Follow that with a House Salad, Caprese Salad, Winter Salad, or T13’s famous fresh made Lobster Bisque. Entrée choices include Delmonico, Surf ‘n Turf, Chilean Sea Bass, Lamb Chops, or Scallops. Top off the experience with Chocolate Kahlua Cake with Espresso Gelato, Jimmy’s Cannoli stuffed with Mascarpone Mousse, or Crème Brulee topped with fresh berries.

For those who prefer to ring in the new year early, Table 13 will be open for regular dinner service from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (last seating at 6:30 p.m.).

Reservations are required at 972-789-9558.

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It’s like New Year’s in New Orleans

(December 12, 2016) Ring in the New Year with the finest Cajun cuisine and lakeside dining in North Texas. Dodie’s is located in the beautiful Harbor District on Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall, but features the flair and flavor of the French Quarter.

On Saturday, December 31st, Dodie’s will offer a special, four course New Year’s Eve menu for only $49/couple. Your evening will begin with a shared appetizer of Classic Shrimp Cocktail, followed by your choice of chef-inspired entrees: Char Grilled Shrimp Brochettes; Blackened Ribeye with Bourbon and Brown Sugar Glaze; Redfish Pontchartrain with Crabmeat Burre Blanc; Stuffed Cajun Chicken Rockefeller topped with Creamy Shrimp Sauce; or Bacon Wrapped Scallops over their famous Pasta Monica.

Each entree will be accompanied by Baked Green Bean Amandine, Smoked Gouda Grits, and House Salad. Dodie’s Bread Pudding will complete the dining experience – and don’t forget that a lakeside stroll under the stars makes the perfect nightcap!

In addition to the special New Year’s Eve dinner, Dodie’s regular menu will also be available. Their Saturday Brunch menu will also be offered as usual from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Reservations are required and seating is limited. Reserve your table at Dodie’s now by calling 972-771-0004 or reserve online at

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Patriot PAWS Staff and Trainers Patriot PAWS staff and trainers join graduating veterans and their service dogs for a special luncheon hosted by Dodie’s Cajun Diner at The Harbor on Thursday, Nov. 10.

(ROCKWALL, TX – Nov. 14, 2016) Dodie’s Cajun Diner at The Harbor showcased its Veterans Day spirit in a big way by donating lunch to the Patriot PAWS program and its graduating veterans last week. Patriot PAWS trainers and staff, along with four graduating veterans and their service dogs, enjoyed a delicious luncheon hosted by Dodie’s on Thursday, Nov. 10. The luncheon was part of a week full of fun outings culminating in a graduation ceremony for the veterans and their furry companions at the Patriot PAWS facility on Friday, Nov. 11 – Veterans Day.

“We’re very proud to give back to such a wonderful organization in Patriot PAWS which supports our nation’s veterans, and would like to extend our gratitude to all veterans for their service,” said Dodie’s General Manager Dan Keils.

Established in 2006 as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Patriot PAWS trains and provides service dogs of the highest quality at no cost to disabled American veterans and others with mobile disabilities and post-traumatic stress to help restore their physical and emotional independence. Each of the veterans works with all the dogs and Patriot PAWS trainers during the week prior to graduation, and is then formally paired with his new life service companion during Matching Day. 


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 (ADDISON, TX – Oct. 21, 2016) As Breast Cancer Awareness Month continues, Table 13 in Addison will donate $4 from every bottle of wine purchased this month to support breast cancer research.

Table 13 is offering this “Drink for Pink” promotion as part of its ongoing commitment to the cause and to the community.

Join the fight for a cure by reserving your table now at Addison’s favorite fine dining and live music venue – where guests are treated to vintage-inspired food, beverage, and service in a distinctive, upscale atmosphere reminiscent of the early 1960’s. It’s no surprise that Table 13 was recently voted Best Happy Hour, Best Martini, Favorite Place to See Live Music Venue, Favorite Place to Be Seen, and Best Place for a First Date.

In addition, if you book a holiday party for your company or large group event by Oct. 31, Table 13 will give you %10 back in gift certificates, redeemable in the New Year.

For reservations or to book your holiday party, visit or call 972-789-9558.