member profile

 

 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

 

Sonya Hebert:
VP Membership 2017-2018

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