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Posted on: August 9, 2013
Chris Ghanbari Written by:



Positivity is just as contagious as negativity

Posted on: March 18, 2012
Chris Ghanbari Written by:

You will have to watch your local and national newscasts on television for quite some time before you see anything positive. I have a vision that our website dfwreporting.com is the place to go to if you want real, positive stories to enlighten your day. We can’t do it without your support.

Chris Ghanbari

Spa Esoteric First in North Texas to Offer Certified Oncology Spa Services for Cancer Patients

Posted on: February 12, 2012
Written by:

Spa Esoteric, a full-service day spa located in Historic Downtown McKinney, Texas, announces a new line of services tailored for clients diagnosed with cancer. Provided by staff members who are certified and trained in oncology care, the new services include oncology skincare, hair care and massage. The McKinney spa is the first in North Texas to offer these kind of oncology-focused spa services.

“No one’s life is untouched by cancer,” said Monika Norman, owner of Spa Esoteric. “Yet, at a time when healing, comforting touch is needed more than ever, most people—including many spa professionals—are apprehensive to touch cancer patients. With these new services, our goal is to provide safe, nurturing spa treatments that help patients get away from it all and feel pampered and ‘normal,’ when most of their schedule is filled with medical appointments and treatments.”

Designed to complement patients’ ongoing medical care, Spa Esoteric’s new oncology aesthetic services help address the physical and emotional side effects of cancer. The spa’s staff has undergone oncology-specific education and certification training in order to understand and address the unique needs of cancer patients’ compromised skin and immune systems, as well as hair loss and resulting self-esteem issues.

To ensure that services for those battling cancer are affordable, each Spa Esoteric oncology-related service is priced at $50 per
treatment. The spa also offers a “companion program,” whereby an oncology client may bring a friend, loved one, relative or other caregiver for a service at the same time, also at the $50 per session price.

“We recognize that caretakers need relaxation time and pampering as well,” said Norman, “and anything we can do to help the caregiver only helps the cancer patient too.”

For more information, visit the Spa Esoteric website at www.spaesoteric.com.
About Spa Esoteric
Spa Esoteric is a full-service day spa located in the heart of Historic Downtown McKinney Square. Located in a 123-year-old refurbished house, the spa’s atmosphere provides a warm, cozy, nurturing and relaxing retreat. Spa Esoteric offers facials and skincare, body treatments, massage, and hair and nail services for men, women and couples. Owner Monika Norman has worked with clients with special needs for 30 years, and her staff is certified and trained in both prenatal services and oncology aesthetic services. For more information, visit www.spaesoteric.com or www.facebook.com/Spa-Esoteric.


Renovating herb garden

Posted on: November 18, 2011
Chris Ghanbari Written by:

State University unites with high school, renovates herb garden

Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, TX – Former Texas State student Jimmy Chafin, joined students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team to repair the herb gardens at Garza Independence High School in Austin, Texas. This “build day” was as well dedicated to renovating the Garza grounds for additional sales to local markets.

SIFE has been working with Garza Independence High School’s for the past 11 years to help crop productions and plant breeding. The operations of the Garza’s Gardens are to provide a fresh herb business that teaches basic business principles.

Students in SIFE assist and contribute in “build days” throughout each semester; allowing students to offer hands on skills in operating a business. These improvements will entail Garza students increase herb production to advance sales, while educating them about the free enterprise market.

SIFE is a global, non-profit organization that is literally changing the world through highly dedicated student teams on more than 1600 university campuses in 40 countries. SIFE offers these students the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise, thereby improving the standard of living for millions in the process.

Texas State SIFE is one of the leading collegiate teams within the United States. SIFE has been helping others achieve their dreams through free enterprise education for more than 25 years. Today, SIFE is the world’s prominent and largest university-based free enterprise organization.

If you would like to learn more about SIFE please visit the SIFE website, http://www.business.txstate.edu/sife/, or contact Sam Walton Fellow, Vicki West at vw03@txstate.edu, SIFE President, Lauren Roig at lr1187@txstate.edu, or student Jimmy Chafin at Jc1910@Txstate.edu

Written by student contributor Jimmy Chafin and posted by DFW Reporting Photojournalist Chris Ghanbari

This post does not reflect the views of DFW Reporting, and DFW Reporting does not have any obligation to monitor, edit or screen any postings, but may do so in its sole discretion. DFW Reporting should not be seen as endorsing this post in anyway.

24 hour Adopt-A-Thon Results

Posted on: October 18, 2011
Eryn Van Valkenburg Written by:

Hey everyone,

If you haven’t seen my most recent video about Mazie’s Mission Adopt-A-Thon then check it out! They did such a wonderful job last weekend and it was a great experience to be a part of such an amazing event! They had hopes of adopting out at least 100 animals. They didn’t quite make their goal BUT I am happy to announce that they did send 92 animals to loving homes! Thanks you, Mazie’s Mission for hosting the 24-hour Adopt-A-Thon and giving so many animals the opportunity to be loved.



Each Moment Matters

Posted on: September 24, 2011
Eryn Van Valkenburg Written by:

I wish I could highlight all of the positive news and events in Dallas. Realistically, that’s just not possible! However, I find this event particularly interesting and it gives me the warm fuzzies just thinking about it.

This Wednesday, September 28 is the Each Moment Matters Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole benefiting Faith Presbyterian Hospice. Every year the luncheon is put on in order to raise money for hospice patients and their families. This may include services, such as, chaplains, various therapies, and meaningful experiences that bring peace, comfort and closure to the patients and patients families.

This year the key-note speaker is Actress and Dallas native Brynn Thayer. For those of you who haven’t heard of her she is well-known for her co-starring role as the daughter of Andy Griffith on Matlock. Thayer has been working in TV, film and theatre for the past 35 years. Next week, she will be making her way to Dallas from Los Angeles to share her stories about her late father and their experience with Faith Presbyterian Hospice.

Faith Presbyterian Hospice:

“As Dallas’ largest faith-based, not-for-profit hospice, Faith Presbyterian Hospice is committed to exceeding standard hospice and palliative care by improving quality of life physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.  Highly accredited, Faith is nationally known for innovative programs that go above and beyond standard hospice care,” (Official Press Release).

The luncheon with honor 53 members of the community who strive to make Each Moment Matter. For more information on the 2011 Each Moment Matters Luncheon, contact Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation at 214.413.5177 or dbaker@prescs.org or visit www.prescs.org/foundation.



Artists with a Vision – A Success!

Posted on: September 23, 2011
Eryn Van Valkenburg Written by:

When I originally wrote about Pete, Michael and John I was inspired by their ability to create art despite their loss of vision. Last week I had the privilege of attending the Artists with a Vision event at Samuel Lynn Galleries in Dallas. One word to describe the event? Phenomenal.

After seeing the artists work in person and speaking with the blind artists I have developed a whole new appreciation for their incredible works of art.

The first artist I spoke with was Pete, the photographer. He asked me right away which one of his photos caught my eye the most. There had been one that stood out to me because it  was very different than his others, almost political. When I approached the photograph I realized that it was very political. It was called “Bus Series.”

This is a compilation of different events that have happened to Pete or his friends. What you can’t see from my picture is the text under each individual photo. When combined the text spells out a complete story. The pictures and texts create a story about a blind person that gets on a city bus but the bus driver is surly and responds negatively to the specific needs of the blind person. The other passengers not only don’t acknowledge the problem but they offer no help to the blind person. In the end a bus cop detains the blind person because he “disrupted” the bus. A city police officer comes to the aid of the blind person and reminds the bus cop of the rights of the blind.

This simple photo speaks to me in volumes. Though it isn’t the most uplifting piece of work, the fact that Pete brings this to our attention may be the answer that will help prevent these things from happening in the future. When I spoke to Pete he informed me that this is his only political work. More examples of his work are “Electroman” and “Cathedral.”

After speaking with Pete I was able to talk to John, the mixed media artist. In order for John to work with oil paint he has change the consistency of each paint which allows him to determine the colors by touching them. For example, he makes white extra thick and black is super runny. Changing the texture of the oil paint is John’s answer to seeing the colors. Oil paintings may take John as long as one month to complete because he needs to let the paints dry before he can continue working.

These oil paintings are what I called the “Wine Series” because of the names John chose for each work. On the left: “Cabernet Sauvignon” Top Right: “Chardonnay” Lower Right: “Merlot-Bogle Vintage.” My photo doesn’t do these paintings  justice. The detailing and vivid colors combine to create truly beautiful works of art.

Another type of art that John is known for are his water colors. Unlike the the oil paintings the water color drawings take no more than three days to finish. In fact, John told me that he must finish a painting within this time frame because while the paint is wet it is slightly raised and he can feel where he has already painted. If he lets the paint dry too long he can no longer feel the strokes already made and it becomes what he calls “invisible painting.”

From Left: “Sunglasses II” Middle: “Self Portrait” Right: “Solo”

Lastly, I spoke with Michael, the sculpture. Michael had always wanted to be a sculptor but he didn’t start sculpting until he lost his sight in 1968 during the Vietnam War. The size of his sculptures range from fitting in the palm or your hand to approximately thirteen feet. In fact, his largest sculpture is thirteen feet and is located at the State Capital building in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Michael gets his inspiration from life, his thoughts and also from his dreams. Unlike many sculptures, Michael encourages people to touch and feel his sculptures. I find this inspiring considering some of his sculptures sell for over $100,000.

Overall, the event was spectacular! Each of the artists works were on sale and all the proceeds went to the AFB Center on Vision Loss. I will forever remember the opportunity I had to attend such a unique and inspiring art exhibit. Especially one that positively impacted so many people, both blind and sighted.

“Just because you lose your sight doesn’t mean you have to lose your vision,” -Unknown


Artists with a Vision – Inspiring!

Posted on: September 9, 2011
Eryn Van Valkenburg Written by:

If you’re a fan of inspirational stories (like I am) then this one might be right up your alley ..

Michael Naranjo, Pete Eckert and John Bramblitt are three men that are not only artists, they’re also blind. Despite their loss of vision, Michael, Pete and John have found a way to live creative and fulfilling lives through their capabilities as blind artists. They each specialize in different types of art: sculpting (Michael), photography (Pete) and mixed media art (John).

A little more on the artists:

“While serving his country during the Vietnam War, a grenade accident left Michael Naranjo blind and his right hand disabled. This did not stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming a sculptor. In fact, he’s one of a privileged few invited to examine and touch Michelangelo’s Michael in Florence, Italy, and invited to the Louvre in Paris after hours to feel the Medici Venus,” (Official Press Release).”

“It is important to me that the sighted think about blindness,” said photographer Pete Eckert. “What I get out of taking photos is the event, not the picture. I do the large prints to get sighted people thinking. Talking with people at galleries builds a bridge between my mind’s eye and their vision of my work. Occasionally, people refuse to believe I’m blind. I’m a visual person. I just can’t see,” (Official Press Release).

“For artist John Bramblitt, a Denton resident, his vibrant works exhibit movement and feelings taken from real people and events in his life. Discover how he’s trained himself to identify paint colors through touch and feel. His workshops are unique in the art world for artists at all levels,” (Official Press Release).

In addition, these brilliant artists will team up with The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) in an attempt to raise money for the visually impaired.

On Wednesday, September 21,  The American Foundation for the Blind will host, “Artists with a Vision,” which will be a one-night-only art exhibit that will benefit those with vision loss. The exhibit and cocktail reception begins at 6:30 p.m. at Samuel Lynne Galleries which is located in the Dallas Design District at 1105 Dragon Street.

I highly encourage this event to anyone who is interested! What a great way to support these artists and the visually impaired. For more information and to reserve your place contact Abi Erickson at aerickson@afb.net or 214.438.5315. Tickets start at $75.00 and donations are very much appreciated, after all, this is a fundraiser!

To learn more about the artists check out their websites: www.artknowledgenews.com(Michael Naranjo), www.bramblitt.net and www.peteeckert.com.


Exciting News about Dunkin’ Donuts!

Posted on: August 3, 2011
Eryn Van Valkenburg Written by:

Hundreds of Americans have been waiting for Dunkin’ Donuts to create K-Cups for the Keurig Single-Cup Brewer. Well, they’re here! Dunkin’ K-Cup packs are now available at participating U.S. DD restaurants! However, there’s more! If you visit a U.S. DD between Aug. 4-12 you could win a Keurig® Single-Cup Brewer, a year’s supply of Dunkin’ K-Cup® portion packs & a $1,000! Who knows? You could be the lucky winner!



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