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Laura Corkery, Community Liaison

Member since: 
2015
Past RECPTA positions: Community Liaison (2016)
Husband: Scott
Kid(s): Leila (4), Logan (2)
How you joined RECPTA: To meet people and learn about local/community resources
Our neighborhood: Kessler Plaza
Kids school: Springhill
Job: Supply Chain Senior Strategy Manager (Frito Lay/Pepsi Co Plano)

I was born and raised in Harlingen, TX and went to college at Texas A&M in College Station. After a few years, I moved out to Rancho Cucamonga, CA for a work opportunity. When Scott and I married in 2008, we decided we wanted to move back to Texas before starting our family. We moved to Oak Cliff at the recommendation of the first manager who hired me after college. We stayed friends even when I moved to California and when he found out we were moving back to Dallas, he introduced us to Oak Cliff and lobbied for us to move to the neighborhood. We actually ended up buying a house on the same street.

RECPTA is an opportunity to me, to continue to give back to and improve Oak Cliff while keeping that small town feel. I was disappointed when I had my first baby that I felt like I had to drive to Plano for everything because it didn’t seem as though we had resources in the area.





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Brittany Dean, Parliamentarian

Member since: 2015
Past RECPTA positions: Volunteering (Sunshine, Founder's Day)
Husband: Nick Dean
Kid(s): Samuel (1.5) and one coming in March 2018!
How you joined RECPTA: Neighbor recommendation
Our neighborhood: Winnetka Heights
Kids school: PDO at Kessler Park United Methodist
Job: Full-time mom, part-time family photographer and I help at my husband's architecture firm

I moved from Connecticut to Texas (Colleyville) when I was three. I attended private school in Ft. Worth, and met my husband when I was a senior in high school and he had just started college. We dated long distance for four years, while I studied psychology at Trinity University in San Antonio. We married three weeks after graduation and lived in Ft. Worth for a few years, while I completed my masters in behavior analysis, and he in architecture. 
We quickly found out that the architecture jobs were mostly so Dallas, so Nick commuted from Fort Worth for eight months, before we then gave in and reluctantly moved to "the big city." We lived in a loft downtown while we researched where to settle in Dallas. After two years scouring nearby neighborhoods, we found the most welcoming people here in Oak Cliff. We bought our first home in Winnetka Heights fours years ago and have loved it! We love our neighbors, porch-time, the charming homes and the large trees - and I had heard when we were ready, Rosemont wasn't so bad, so that is a bonus! 
My neighbor (Emily Ruth), invited me to get involved with RECPTA when I was pregnant so that I could partake in the Sunshine meals-great decision! Sam was at his first playgroup when he was two months old, either asleep or eating the whole time - just enough for me to get some adult-time and sanity back. I love the friends I have made, and am excited to serve on the board this year and give back to the families that have given so much to me!

-Brittany

 

 Sue Hounsel, Alumni Liaison

Member Since: 2004

Past RECPTA involvement: Numerous volunteer positions, lots of sunshine
Spouse: Scott Hounsel
Kid(s): Paige (12) and Levi (9)
Kids' School:Irma Rangel, Travis Vanguard
Our neighborhood: Winnetka Heights
Why I Joined RECPA: I learned about RECPTA at a school fair
Job: City Planner with Office of Economic Development












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 Lynn Blackburn, Sunshine Coordinator

Member Since: 2014

Past RECPTA involvement: Sunshine buddy
Spouse: Chamblee Ferguson
Kid(s): Liam (3)
Kids' School: Incarnation Academy

Our neighborhood: Kessler Park
Why I Joined RECPA: Friend recommendation
Job: Actor


We moved to Oak Cliff in 2009 and have been in our current home since 2011. When he's not outside playing with his neighborhood buddies, Liam loves to ride his glider bike on the Coombs Creek Trail. We love the wildlife that we experience in Kessler Park, especially the barred owl that has made its home in our backyard for the last two years.  And this summer, we've even had regular visits from a grey fox! 
My husband and I are both professional actors in Dallas and throughout the region, working on stage and screen.  I'm currently in a few commercials running on TV and online, and you can catch Chamblee in A Christmas Carol at The Dallas Theater Center this upcoming season.  
 
After Liam was born our sunshine meals were a blessing, as we experienced the joy of a new baby right alongside the loss of my mother-in-law, just two weeks later.  Kay (Wood) was our sunshine buddy and kindly reorganized the meals around the sudden travel and funeral schedule.  It made such an impression on me that I've since become an enthusiastic sunshine volunteer. So when I was asked to step into the sunshine coordinator role, I just felt I had to do it!  
If you have any questions about how to become a sunshine buddy (or bring a meal!), please reach out to me at sunshine@recpta.org.  We are living in NYC through the fall, but I'll be coordinating meals remotely to ensure that this wonderful outreach continues in creating friendships and blessing families. This has become quite an undertaking for our community - with over 30 babies born just between April and August (!!!), that's 90-150 meals we are delivering (in that same time frame!).  Please know how much your service is valued and spread the word that because Oak Cliff is so family-friendly, we are bursting with opportunities to serve with Sunshine!

-Lynn

 

Ally Newman, Treasurer

Member Since: 2010

Past RECPTA involvement: Secretary, Sunshine Coordinator, Playgroup Coordinator
Spouse: Andrew Newman
Kids: Charlotte (7), Sydney (4)
Kids Schools: Dealey Montessori

Our neighborhood: Winnetka Heights
Why I Joined RECPA: Friend recommendation
Job: Carpool driver/dishwasher/chef/grocery shopper/clothes washer/yeller at my kids to "stop it!"


As a child of an Air Force officer, I grew up all over the United States. We moved to Texas when I was in high school, and after making my way up I-35 (first San Antonio, then Austin, now Dallas), Texas has definitely become "home." Upon graduating from The University of Texas, my husband (then boyfriend) and I had a brief stint in Baltimore before coming back to Austin, where he finished law school. A job off then brought us to Dallas. 

We chose Oak Cliff knowing nothing about Dallas, but it was close to downtown and made for an easy drive to my grad school in Ft. Worth. I started work as a biology research scientist, figuring we'd live here a few years and then head back to Austin. Now here we are 10 years later, with no plans to leave!

When I had my first daughter, I didn't have a single mom friend and I was going stir-crazy. So, when Charlotte was three months old, I emailed RECPTA membership to ask if the 2010 playgroup had started yet. She said "No, but why don't you start it?!" So I did, and the moms I met in that playgroup are still my closest friends today! Our kids are best friends, our husbands hang out, and they love my children like their own.  We love it here and can't imagine leaving this wonderful community. 

-Ally

Kay Wood, Rosemont Liaison

Member Since: 2008

Past RECPTA involvement: Sunshine buddy, Playgroup coordinator
Spouse: Grant Wood
Kids: Anne Marie (8) Ella (6) Lyda (3)
Kids Schools: Rosemont (Anne Marie/Ella), St. Michael Episcopal (Lyda)
Our neighborhood: East Kessler
Why I Joined RECPA: Friend recommendation
Job: Real Estate Agent










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Jenifer Parker, VP Communications

Member since: 2012
Past RECPTA involvement: Secretary, playgroup leader
Husband: Bryan
Kids: Lennon (5), Fitz (3.5)
Kids school(s): Rosemont, Cliff Temple 
Our neighborhood: Kessler Highlands

Why I joined RECPTA: Gifted membership
Job: Yelling at my kids, dramatically shaking my head at slow drivers in the passing lane










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Kate Thacker, VP Programs

Member since: 2014
Past RECPTA involvement: Auction Committee
Husband: Don
Kids: Everett (6), Clementine (3.5)
Kids school(s): Dealey Montessori, Cliff Temple Child Development Center
Our neighborhood: East Kessler

Why I joined RECPTA: Neighbor and friend recommendations
Job: Freelance Homestyling












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Anne Fahrenholz, Secretary

Member Since: 2011
Past RECPTA Involvement: Playgroup Coordinator (with sister Hilary Kapfer)
Kids: Lily (6), Rory (5), Henry (3.5)
Husband: Jeff 
Why I joined RECPTA: Friend recommendation
Our Neighborhood: Winnetka Heights 
Kids School: Lakewood Montessori School 
Job: I just returned to teaching (Latin at ESD)



My husband and I are both from northern Connecticut where we met in grade school. I attended Davidson College in North Carolina, and then moved to NYC for 1.5 years. We moved to Dallas in 2006 for a better work/life balance for my husband who works in finance. My sister Rachel already lived in Oak Cliff when we moved, so after a short time in an apartment in Uptown, we moved to Winnetka Heights (the best neighborhood in OC!).

We are now in our second home in the neighborhood and can't imagine living anywhere else. My other sister Hilary moved to the house behind ours two years ago, so my kids get to see their cousins every day. Not only do I have an amazing community of neighbors and friends, but also family.

I joined RECPTA right when I started staying home with my oldest daughter. I had no mom friends and days with a young baby were very lonely. Showing up at a strangers house with a baby in tow was definitely out of the my comfort zone at first, but I quickly found friends through playgroups. The friendships I have made are irreplaceable. I have a wonderful support group because of the friendships I made through playgroups. 

My advice for RECPTA members is to get involved in playgroups. I know it's hard for the working parents, but try to make (or host) a Saturday morning playgroup if you can. In order for playgroups to be successful, we need more volunteers. Please consider opening up your home for two hours once in while for a playgroup. The home playgroups are usually the best attended. You don't need to do anything as host other than have a few toys or a backyard for kids to run. If you don't want to host at your home, consider hosting a playgroup at the coffee shop or Cibo - just let us know a day and time and we'll set it up!
-Anne

 Kaitlin Snow, Volunteer Coordinator
Member Since:
2012
Past RECPTA involvement:
Retreat coordinator (2 years)
Kids:
Cash (4), Penny (2)
Husband:
Richard
Why I joined RECPTA:
Friend recommendation
Our Neighborhood:
Kidd Springs
Kids Schools:
Hogg and Springhill
Other Job:
Sales










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Emily Ruth Cannon, President

Member since 2010
Husband: Chris Cannon
Neighborhood: Winnetka Heights
I joined RECPTA: Because Diane Sherman told me to




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Cynthia Paine-Drennan, VP Fundraising 2017-2018

Member since 2015
Past RECPTA positions/involvement: Sunshine meal volunteer, 2017 auction volunteer
Kid(s): R.B. "Trey" Drennan, 2.5 years old
Husband: Mark Drennan
Why I joined RECPTA: To meet other parents and kids in the neighborhood
Our neighborhood: Kessler Park
Kids school(s): Church of the Incarnation
Other job: Realtor with Dave Perry-Miller

I am a third-generation Dallasite and I grew up in North Dallas around Midway and Forest Lane.
I met my husband, Mark, in 1996 and he introduced me to everything Oak Cliff! We married in 2000 and that's when I started my residency in OC. I joke and say the only prenuptial agreement we had was that I would never move out of Oak Cliff, but trust me I never want to leave! I found out about RECPTA while at a local yard-sale (buying diapers!). The friendships I have in the neighborhood would probably not be possible without RECPTA, and I am forever grateful. 
Our first fundraising event will be pictures with Santa November 11th and 12th. Then, save the
date for your sweetheart- our annual auction will be February 9th and we'll be returning to the
wonderful Hall of State at Fair Park. We will also have a Spring fundraising event, so stay tuned
for all the details!
-Cynthia

 

Sonya Hebert:
VP Membership 2017-2018

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Hello RECPTA, we hope you and your family are having a marvelous summer! RECPTA is reaching out to you today to let you know about an exciting opportunity! Thanks to a fabulous donor, RECPTA has a pair of FC Dallas vs New England Revolution game day tickets for this Saturday, July 4th! Game starts at 8pm at Toyota Stadium in Frisco and you will be CENTER STAGE for the action! seats are in section 106, row 11!

Due to the date of the game, RECPTA is not able to hold onto this donation until our next fundraising event. Therefore, RECPTA is reaching out to its members now in hopes that someone would like to take advantage and attend this amazing match!

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Katie Berry, RECPTA Past PresidentYesterday was my first child’s 18th birthday. When he was a year, I joined this group, with polite encouragement from Cindy Spence and undeniable persuasion from Laura Schlenker. She took me on my first retreat, and I’ve been hooked ever since. This group became my social world and still is.

I see myself when I notice all of you with your strollers, managing kids at the grocery store, swinging them at the park. And my heart fills with gladness. I remember that joy, but, just as clearly, I remember how taxing it was too. We needed each other for day-to-day physical and emotional support. And, we cooked up a lot of fun. I’ve had more fun in this group than in my whole life. And, I still can.

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Laura SchlenkerI love Founder’s Day.  I try to come every year.  Sometimes, events beyond my control prevent me from attending – like the time my child threw up on me and the front door step as we were headed out, or the time my kids burned my house down the day before (that’s a different topic for another day!).  But while the meaning of Founder’s Day for me has changed over the years, the anticipation has not.

When I was first involved in RECPTA, Founder’s Day gave me a look through a window into a community built on relationships.  The past presidents were usually asked to reflect back on their time in RECPTA, and the overriding theme always seemed to be “I met some of my best life friends in RECPTA.”  My life at the time seemed to be a lot more transient.  I didn’t grow up here, and when my kids were young, I wasn’t sure if I would remain in North Oak Cliff.  I was hoping someday I could say the same, but who knew?

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