Pin on Pinterest
     Please join the Cross Timbers Sierra Club Group on March 21 for a water conservation discussion panel at the Frisco Public Library. David Reid of the United Nation Association's Dallas Chapter will speak about the U.N.A's World Water Day, is on March 22 and focuses on providing safe drinking water to people living in developing countries. Rita Beving of the Lone Star Chapter's Executive Committee will speak about local water conservation efforts in the North Texas region. You can also hear about upcoming exciting hiking events, tours of local animal sancutaries, and our Earth Day activities that you can participate in April!
     The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the McCallum Conference Room in the Frisco Library, which is located at  6101 Frisco Square Blvd, Frisco, 75034. The Cross Timbers Sierra Club Group represents Denton, Collin, Fannin, and Grayson counties. For more information, please visit our Facebook page at!/CrossTimbersSierraClub/?fref=ts .
Pin on Pinterest

 The Force proves to be strong with

Order 66 Toys after 5 years


By Brandi Price

     Imperial troops kept watch along streets just off of the McKinney Square on Sept. 5 and 6 as Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and an array of other characters from a galaxy far, far away helped celebrate the anniversary of their home away from home.

     People of all shapes and sizes were dressed in their best costumes from characters from the movie franchise “Star Wars” to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Order 66 Toys store being in business. Men dressed as Storm Troopers, Shadow Troopers, and a Tie Fighter Pilot, otherwise known as the bad guys, walked along Chestnut Street and greeted passersby. Darth Vader even made an appearance inside of the store at 111 S. Chestnut Street as co-owner Jeff Durazzo and his song, Josh, his wife, Heather sold action figures, ships, vehicles, dolls, and many other items to an anxious customers.

     There were plenty of recently released new figurines for sale from the much anticipated, upcoming “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens”, which opens in theaters on Dec. 18. “The Force Awakens” continues the story line decades after where “Return of the Jedi” ended. Veteran “Star Wars” actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are featured in the new film, and will portray their much beloved characters Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. Actor Peter Mayhew will return to play Solo’s trusted Wookie friend, Chewbacca. Anthony Daniels will return to reprise his role as C-3PO, and Kenny Baker will also return to portray the beloved white and blue droid R2-D2.

     “Star Wars” fans who grew up watching “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”, “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back”, and “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” and their children who became fans while watching the later released Episodes I, II, and III filled the store. They had their photos taken with people dressed as Chewbacca, Solo’s Woookie sidekick, and various other characters from the movies.

     Those enthusiastic and devoted fans are what co-owners Jeff and Josh Durazzo attribute to the store’s continued success. “Our awesome customers are often our ambassadors. They bring in friends and let other ‘Star Wars’ fans know that we’re here,” said Order 66 Toys’ Social Media Manager Heather Durazzo.

     The store was initially located at 208 E. Virginia Street in 2010, in a very small shop, which had previously been a watch repair shop. “That location was great for foot traffic, but we need more room!” explained Jeff Durazzo. Two years later they packed up their prized merchandise, which spans more than three decades, and moved a little farther east along the downtown area to their larger, current location on Chestnut Street. The larger location provides the Durazzos to schedule events. More people flocked to the store, and fans found a place where they could share their enthusiasm for their love of the “Star Wars” universe. “After we moved, we had more room to spread out and have events in the store. We were then able to get a lot more word out about the store,” said Heather Durazzo. She updates the store’s events on the store’s Facebook page at .

    Being located in downtown McKinney, with its constant annual and season events that bring in thousands of tourists has helped to bring more people into the store. “The downtown McKinney community has been indispensable to us. The many events on the square and the shopping attractions bring in locals and people who have never heard of us,” said Heather Durazzo. “The other shop owners have helped us out by promoting our events and tell their customers about our store.”

     An example of some of the events that the owners of Order 66 Toys was in full swing on Sept. 5 and 6. The Durazzos brought in actresses Nalini Krishan, who portrayed Jedi Knight Barriss Offee in “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones”, and Orli Shoshan, who portrayed Jedi Master Shaak Ti in “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” and in “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” to sign autographs and mingle with customers.

     A costume contest was held, and children and adults alike dressed as Darth Vader, the short alien Jawas trade characters, Imperial Storm Troopers, and the infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett. Cameron Holly of Grapevine and John Simpson from Roanoke braved the heat and dressed in costume as Imperial troopers. Holly wore a black Imperial Tie Fighter Pilot, who pilots suit, which he designed himself.

     Both men are part of the international 501st Legion non-profit group, where members dress as Imperial Storm Troopers, Shadow Troopers, Tie Fighter pilots, and sith lords. The group’s motto is, “Bad Guys Doing Good” as all members dress as imperial workers and those who practice the dark side of the force. Holly and Simpson are part of the local 501st Legion group, the Star Garrison. The organization requires members to create their own “Star Wars” character costumes, which must meet very stringent and specific requirements.

     Simpson spent five months working on his trooper suit and Holly spent two months perfecting his pilot suit. Simpson said that he works on it, “all day and every day”, and that he and the rest of the volunteers devote their time, money and energy to the group for the love of “Star Wars” and to help kids. “We do it for the kids. Today we’re out here for a local Boy Scout,” Simpson said.

     That Boy Scout is Marcus McEnroe, a local McKinney ISD high school student, who asked Order 66 Toys customers to help save lives by registering as a bone marrow donors. Getting people to register as bone marrow donors is part of his project for him to earn his Eagle Scout badge. He also wants to help a McKinney ISD middle school student who is currently fighter cancer.

     Many people learned how just easy it is to help save life and practice the teachings of the lighter side of the Force by registering as a bone marrow donor, at the anniversary party. As of 4 p.m. on Sept. 6 at least 22 people had registered to be bone marrow donors. Order 66 customers who bought figurines of their favorite heroes also helped the Wounded Warriors non-profit organization earn more than $500. That money will be used to help improve lives of real-life heroes in the United States Armed Forces who have been wounded in battle. Jedi Master Yoda would be proud.

Pin on Pinterest

Hike, protect, and explore North Texas in July with the Cross Timbers Sierra Club

July 6, 2015Join the Cross Timbers Sierra Club for a hike, park clean up, and learn how to help fight climate change this month at various events and meetings.

     The Cross Timbers Sierra Club group serves Denton, Collin, Fannin, and Grayson counties. Our monthly meeting will include guest speaker Ricky Bradley, the Regional Coordinator, Group Leader and Information Technology Director of the local office of Citizens Climate Lobby.

     "It's never been more obvious to Citizens' Climate Lobby that there are Republicans who are ready to lead on climate and energy policy. When we can keep the discussion focused on solutions and away from causes or assigning blame we find there's common ground," Bradley said.

     The meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the McCallum Conference Room at the Frisco Public Library at 6101 Frisco Square Blvd #3000, Frisco, TX 75034. The Cross Timbers Sierra Club leadership committee will also have an update on legislative items concerning fracking and other issues, an opportunity to help save sea turtles effected by the 2010 BP Gulf oil spill, and how you can donate recyclable items to Terra Cycle and help raise funds for the group.

 Morning hike from 9 a.m. to noon on Sat., July 18 at Lake Ray Roberts Greenbelt Corridor in Denton-

     Get outdoors and explore on Saturday, July 18 for a morning hike at the Greenbelt Corridor of Lake Ray Roberts. We will meet at 9 a.m. at dam entrance of the lake, weather permitting and if the park is open and not flooded. If the hike cannot occur due to imminent weather or flooding issues, we plan to resume the hike at 9 a.m. on Sat., July 25. For more information and to see a map of where to meet, please visit .

       The Cross Timbers Sierra Club is part of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest grassroots conservation group. For more information about the Cross Timbers Sierra Club, please contact our Co-Chairpersons Brandon Morton at or Harrison Wicks at, or the Communications and Membership Coordinator Brandi Price at You can also visit our Web site or our Facebook page at!/CrossTimbersSierraClub .


New question
You are encouraged to vote and also add your comments.
Pin on Pinterest

Do you want to learn how to help conserve and enjoy the natural world around you? Join the Cross Timbers Sierra Club on May 26 to hear about the group and Blackland Prairie Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists, and hike on the Greenbelt Corridor of Lake Ray Roberts State Parkon May 30.

The Cross Timbers Sierra Club group members will meet 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 26 at the yellow house that is adjacent to the Diggin It shop at 507 ½ Tennessee St. in McKinney. Cross Timbers Sierra Club members will give an update on upcoming legislative items that impact Collin, Denton, Fannin, and Grayson counties, the region, and the state, as well as initiatives that the Lone Start Chapter of the Sierra Club are currently pursuing.

 Sally Evans of the Blackland Prairie Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist will speak about the group’s latest events, including its Butterfly Beauties Festival, and how the CollinCounty based group is helping people get involved in the natural area around them. For more information about the group, please visit the group’s Facebook page at!/bptmn?fref=ts

Items will also be included in a raffle and silent auction at the meeting. For more information, please contact Brandi Price, Communications Coordinator for the Cross Timbers Sierra Club group, at

Morning hike in Denton County on May 30- The Cross Timbers Sierra Club group will also host a hike from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 30th at the Greenbelt Corridor Trail at LakeRayRobertsState Park in DentonCounty.

The group will meet at the entrance of the Greenbelt Corridor Trail and parking area that is located off of State Highway 380. Please see that attached map of the parking area and entrance to the trail, which is located on the east side of the map. For more information, please contact Cross Timbers Sierra Club Co-Chair Harrison Wicks at

Movie night and McKinney environmental education speaker on June 9-Martha Cavazos-Fipps, Environmental Coordinator for the City of McKinney’s, will speak about the city’s ongoing environmental education classes and events at the June 9 Cross Timbers Sierra Club meeting. The meeting will be held 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 9 at the John and Judy Gay Library, 6861 W. Eldorado Parkway in McKinney. We will also be watching the documentary “National Geographic: Can the Gulf Survive?” which details how the BP Deepwater Horizon gulf spill in 2010 impacted the GulfCoast.

The Cross Timbers Sierra Club group also has a booth at the Denton Community market. Additionally the group hosts a park clean-up from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month at TowneLake in McKinney at1405 Wilson Creek Parkway, just east of U.S. 75. Contact Price at to participate.

The Cross Timbers Sierra Club serves Denton, Collin, Fannin, and Grayson counties. For more information, please contact Co-Chair Brandon Morton at, or Wicks and Price at their e-mail addresses listed above, or visit or our Facebook page!/CrossTimbersSierraClub.

About the Sierra Club: Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is now the nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization -- with more than 2 million members and supporters. For more information, please visit The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club is an outdoor recreation and conservation organization representing approximately 21,000 Texans and 10 regional groups from Big Bend to Houston. For more information, please visit


Pin on Pinterest

Sierra Club Cross Timbers Group to Host Local Water Conservation Talk in Frisco, March 23


Frisco, Texas – Thenewly reformed Sierra Club Cross Timbers Group, which serves Denton and Collin counties, will hold a free long-range water planning and conservation panel discussion on March 23 in Frisco.

 The event will feature speakers from the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter, the United Nations Association’s (UNA) Dallas Chapter, and the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). Featured panelists include: Joyce Warrent, city of Frisco's Water Resource Manager; Reggie James, Interim Director of the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter; Jennifer Walker, Water Resources Coordinator of the Lone Star Chapter; David Reid, President of the UNA’s Dallas Chapter, which is co-sponsoring the event; and Denise Hickey, PR Director of the NTMWD.

 “Water conservation has huge potential in North Central Texas,” said Walker. “There are some very simple measures to reduce outdoor water use in Texas that are both cost-effective and convenient. We look forward to discussing these measures and hearing from the other well-respected speakers at the Cross Timbers event.”

 James and Walker will discuss the Sierra Club's water conservation efforts in Texas. Reid will discuss the UN's World Water Day, which focuses on providing safe drinking water to areas around the world and water conservation. In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 22 as World Water Day, a day to celebrate water. 

 “The Sierra Club has a long history of environmental stewardship and is a role model for conservation leadership. They are an ideal partner for this water conservation panel,” Reid said. “This event will provide information about the global issue of access to water and will give us practical actions for sustainable use of this vital resource here in North Texas.”

 Globally, the UNA has made significant gains in ensuring water is available in developing countries. However, there is still much work to be done as 600 million people still lack access to clean water sources, according to Reid.

“Access to clean water and sanitation helps prevent the spread of diseases, and, as urbanization increases, wastewater management becomes a more complicated issue,” Reid said. The UN is comprised of 193 member states, whose efforts will help bring clean water to our global population.  

 Hickey will discuss the NTMWD's long-range potable water plans and water conservation efforts to ensure that the NTMWD's member cities are supported.

 “Water conservation and the wise and efficient use of our water supply must continue to meet our long term water needs locally, regionally, and statewide. The best practices learned during this current drought are needed during non-drought periods,” Hickey said.

 The event is open to the public and will be held 7–9pm, Monday, March 23 at the Frisco Heritage Center Depot, 6499 Page Street. The Sierra Club Cross Timbers Group will also be accepting applications for anyone who wants to join the newly reformed group to serve on its Executive Committee and to join the group and attend outings, clean up events at area parks, and educational opportunities about helping to preserve the natural areas of Denton and Collin counties. Light refreshments will be provided.

 For more information, please visit our Facebook page,

 bout the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels, and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit



Pin on Pinterest

The recently reformed Sierra Club Cross Timbers Group will hold its first meeting in Denton County from 6:30  to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2015 at the Denton Public Library's North Branch at 3020 N Locust St. in Denton. A reprepresentative from Frack Free Denton and the Elm Fork Master Naturalists group will speak.

The meeting is free and open to Sierra Club member and to the public. We will have a guest speaker to discuss future outings and activities in Denton and clean up opportunities at Lake Ray Roberts and at Lake Lavon in Collin County. guests can join the Sierra Club, the nation's oldest conservation grassroots organization while helping to have a positive impact on their community! We hope to see you there!

Pin on Pinterest

The newly reformed Sierra Club Cross Timbers Group will hold a water conservation and planning meeting with guest speakers to discuss local water conservation efforts and long range planning. Speakers include Reggie James, Interim Director of the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter, the state chapter of the Sierra Club;  Jennifer Walker, Water Resources Coordinator of the Sierra Club, Lone Star Chapter; Denise Hickey, PR Director of the North Texas Municipal Water District; and David Reid, President of the Dallas Chapter of the United Nations Association will talk about the U.N.A.'s World Water Day, which is March 22 is a day to make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues. The event is free and open to Sierra Club members and members of the public. For more information, contact Harrison Wicks or Brandi Price at .


The Sierra Club Cross Timbers Group is a recently reformed group that will serve residents in Denton and Collin counties who are interested in joining the Sierra Club. The group will hold its first meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 at the yellow house next to the Diggin It store in McKinney at 507 N. Tennessee Street, just north of the downtown square area. The meeting is free and attendants can learn how to help lessen their footprint on the environment in their own communities, learn how to help conserve resources and legiglastive decisions that affect clean air, fracking, and environmental issues in Denton and Collin counties. We will have monthly meetings and where guests can learn about water conservation, gardening, and take part in hiking and outdoor events in their counties. Please join us and become a member of one of the nation's oldest conservation groups.