In the Community

In The Community Blog @Collin County

Inside 23 year tradition, 'Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market

Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market is almost here! Thursday, November 8 through Sunday, November 11 this 23-year holiday tradition will deck the halls of the Plano Event Center. Purchase your tickets for ‘Neath the Wreath now at participating Collin County Tom Thumb locations or online at Not only does your ticket allow you to shop ‘Neath the Wreath, but funds raised at ‘Neath the Wreath support Collin County and the community impact projects of the Junior League of Collin County.

With over 125 unique merchants and over 80,00 square feet of fabulous shopping, we wanted to give you a few insider tips to optimizing your ‘Neath the Wreath experience this year!

-Be the First to Shop!
Want to be the first to shop our 2018 ‘Neath the Wreath merchants? Join us on Wednesday, November 7th for our Ladies Night Out Preview Party complete with shopping, sipping, socializing and Santa! Purchase your ticket now at

-Holiday Flare Meets Comfort
Whether you’re rocking athleisure or your latest Holiday sweater, ‘Neath the Wreath is full of lots of great merchants so make sure to wear comfortable shoes, so you can shop all day long! Dressing rooms are minimal so if you are interested in trying on the latest fashions from our merchants, make sure to dress accordingly.

-Be like Santa. Make a list, check it twice.
Make sure no gift is left behind! Our 125+ merchants are carefully curated to bring you the best in holiday and home décor, clothing and accessories, unique gifts, jewelry, children’s items, craft foods and must-have items you will not find anywhere else! 

-Shop ‘Til You Drop
Each ‘Neath the Wreath shopper will receive a commemorative shopping tote sponsored by Ebby Halliday to stash your purchases in. Once you fill it up, don’t worry! Bag Check is available, so you can continue shopping all day long. Our merchants come from all over the nation so consider contacting your bank or credit card companies in advance. Most merchants take credit cards and cash. ATMs are available on-site at market.

-Did someone say samples?
Do not fret about fuel or hydration – a full array of concession items are available during market, including mimosas, bonus! There are also over 20 gourmet food merchants and tasty samples available on almost every aisle! 

-Don’t let parking be a pain!
Self-parking and valet parking are available to all our ‘Neath the Wreath shoppers all weekend long. Valet parking is available for $10 and can be accessed from the Spring Creek entrance of the Plano Event Center. You can also bump up your step count by utilizing our self-parking lot off Jupiter Road.

-Make it social!
Whether you’re bringing your girlfriends, co-workers or family, make sure to share your ‘Neath the Wreath experience with us by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. @NeaththeWreath @jlccntw #neaththewreath.

-Become a ‘Neath the Wreath Insider
Make sure to subscribe to our emails to receive ‘Neath the Wreath happenings at Not only will we give you a heads up on ticket sales, events and merchants, we will also let you know best times to shop!

We hope these tips help you make the most of your ‘Neath the Wreath experience! We can’t wait for you to experience the “Bright Lights and Big City” vibes at our 23rd annual ‘Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market. Over 120 volunteers have worked more than 10 months and over 2,000 hours to create ‘Neath the Wreath and, we can’t wait to welcome you!

Want to be part of something special like Junior League and ‘Neath the Wreath?  Learn more about the Junior League of Collin County and membership opportunities by visiting our table at ‘Neath the Wreath. The Junior League of Collin County welcomes women of all ages and backgrounds to collaborate for a better community. 






Junior League of Collin County brought a New York City vibe for a night of culture in October to the ArtCentre of Plano to kick-off the 23rd annual ‘Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market.  Guests enjoyed bites from Tommy Bahama Legacy West   and the most recent exhibit from Plano-based artist Kelly Steller Hrad.   Additional ‘Neath the Wreath sponsors include Audi McKinney, A Sewell Company, Ebby Halliday, Goldenlight Creative, Holiday Warehouse, Legacy West, Market Street, Plano Aesthetics, Rustic Cuff and Tom Thumb. 


A North Texas holiday tradition, ‘Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market presented by the Junior League of

Collin County brings together over 13,000 shoppers to support community impact projects.  Kicking off the

23rd year, ‘Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market spans five days and features the best in unique holiday and home décor, clothing and accessories, gifts, jewelry, children’s items and gourmet food from over 125 carefully selected merchants many of which are small family-owned businesses.    

Over 120 volunteers of the Junior League of Collin County work year-round dedicating 2,000 hours to create ‘Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market to support the community impact projects.  Interested in learning more about becoming a member of the Junior League of Collin County, sign up for an information session.


·       Tickets are available at participating Collin County Tom Thumb locations, online or at the door.

·       Connect with ‘Neath the Wreath:   @NeaththeWreath @jlccntw #neaththewreath

·       To become a ‘Neath the Wreath Insider, subscribe to the e-news to receive ‘Neath the Wreath happenings.

Women's Auxiliary to Children's Medical Center Plano Beneficiary of Apricot Lane Legacy

New to Plano, Apricot Lane at the Shops of Legacy North is a locally-owned women’s boutique specializing in fast-fashion with a European flair. Collections are hand selected combining quality, forward-trending and affordable clothing, accessories and gifts.  Apricot Lane offers a mix of well-known and up-and-coming brands in an atmosphere dedicated to exceptional service and a personalized shopping experience.  Featuring limited quantities with new items arriving daily, you’ll be sure to walk away with something unique.   Pinja Bowman is the owner and fashion curator of Apricot Lane Legacy. She and her team work closely with each customer, discovering their favorite styles while building fashion friendships. Originally from Helsinki, Finland, Pinja brings a European sense of style layered with her love for Texas.  And as a local minded businesswoman, Pinja is proud to support other women who are making a difference in our community like The Women's Auxiliary to Children's Medical Center Plano, The Family Place through Partners Card, Junior League of Collin County and National Charity League. During their October grand opening events, Apricot Lane will offer a percentage of proceeds will benefit the Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center Plano. 

Location: The Shops at Legacy North, 7401 Lone Star Dr #B110, Plano, TX 75024 (Across from DryBar) Hours:

Mon-Wed 10am-7pm

Thurs-Sat 10am-8pm

Sunday 11am-6pm 

Phone number: 214-550-0695


Owner Jubilee for Land Rover 70th

A truly authentic brand has soul.  That is not something you can buy - you earn, you nurture.  Land Rover is one of the world's most authentic.  We have been a part of their growth in Texas since 2002.  The ride has been off-road, on the track and around the world.  For our customers who embrace the brand essence of "go anywhere," we bring this to life as often as possible.   Reality is we cannot drop everything and head to Africa or Moab but we can experience it virtually through the vivid imagery and adventures of Land Rover.  

A marriage of innovation and heritage is woven through the Land Rover Adventures program,  July 22 is the Owners Day Celebration just one of the many events marking our 70th Jubilee. (So Royal...)

From the Texas Hill Country, luxury space in Dallas North to global trails, Land Rover will bring you a sense of empowerment, refinement and appreciation rarely found in a vehicle.

Justine sweeney
TASTE 2018 Raises $100,000+ for Hendrick Scholarship Foundation

Plano community leaders, chefs, students and volunteers came out in force to support Hendrick Scholarship Foundation during the annual signature fundraiser, TASTE 2018, hosted at Classic BMW.   TASTE 2018 is a truly a party with a purpose - Serving Student Success for Life by providing Plano ISD graduates who have overcome adversity with college scholarships, academic advising, mentoring and life skills training.   The event raised $100,000 to fund future scholarships and support services.  Currently there are 73 in the four year program and the incoming 2018 class will be announced later in May. 

TASTE 2018 was led by Plano community leader, Jean Callison alongside the host committee led by Plano ISD alumni Lesley and Barry Guinn.  Surprise performances from Hendrick student, Jairo Cabrera and Plano’s own American Idol contestant, Ron Bultongez entertained guests.  Celebrity Honorary Chef John Tesar joined on stage with auctioneer Phillip Pierceall and emcee Victoria Snee brought the auction to a heated close leading with a clear message about the importance of education as a cornerstone for success leaving the crowd to battle for the opportunity to be one of the first at Knife opening at The Shops at Willowbend in August.    A complete photo album is available on Facebook.   To download for publishing and captions use Google.

Co-founder of Hendrick Scholarship Foundation and a founding family of Plano, Rutledge Haggard honored the memory of Dr. Hendrick followed by a moving videofeaturing many of the Hendrick students sharing their story. 

More than 300 guests participated in the event with food offerings by Plano’s finest restaurants: Knife, Central Market, Seasons 52, III Forks, BULLA, Roy’s, XO Coffee, Urban Crust, Sea Breeze Market & Grill, Princi Italia, Mi Dia, Mama Jenny’s Family Diner and Union Bear Brewery.

TASTE 2018 would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors, auction donors and volunteers who provided hundreds of items to share in the raffle, silent and live auctions.   Sponsors include: Dean’s List:  American Standard, Classic BMW, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano; Honor Roll:  Alphagraphics, Atmos Energy, BTH Bank, Frost, Huffines Auto Group, Legacy Texas, NTT Data, Orix Foundation, Plano Magazine, Sweeney Media Group, Plano Profile, Sandy & Chris Haire, Melissa and Charles Mangum, Le’Nore and C. Dan Smith.  The Scholar sponsors include:   Cinemark, FedEx, Gay McCall Roberts & Minett, Matthews Paradise, Moss Adams, Newcrest Image, The Shops at Willow Bend, Debra and Barry Benton, Jean and Glenn Callison, Susan and Rutledge Haggard, Judge Sue Holland, Primera Companies, Joan and Berk Smith and in memory of Enid and Michael Pappas. 

Host committee members include:  Missy and Doug Bender, Chris and David Downs, Susan and Rutledge Haggard, Ann and Ray Huffines, Allie and Mark Jacobs, Judy and Robert Lee, Sharon and Johnny Lewis, Jenna and Casey Maynard, Amy and Jack Medford, Deepa and Raj Menon, Paige and Jeff Mims, Joa and John Muns, Leslie and Mark Newman, Auburn and Philip Pope, Monica and Mark Shortino, Lissa and Bill Smith, Sheri and Don Steele, Shelley and Ray Strickland, Camille and Mike Ussery, Hilary and Al Valente and Pamela Zeigler-Petty and Tony Petty.

Event committee members include:  Debra Benton, Lori Cecil, Mary Jo Dean, Patti Gunnels, Nancy Humphrey, Kelly Hunter, Chris Ingalls, Jackie Johnston, Becky McKinney, Phillip Pierceall, Mardy Sackley, Joan Smith, Justine Sweeney, La Tanya Thomas, Heather Webb, Richard Wells, Stephanie Wells, Kimberly Woodard and Leah Young.

Today, Hendrick Scholarship Foundation is the leading resource for Plano ISD graduates seeking college scholarships that provide a network of support not just financial assistance.  Hendrick surrounds their students with mentors who are committed to their success in and outside the classroom.  Students’ needs vary from access to social services, tutoring, education and career planning, transportation, personal development and life skills.   The vision of Dr. Hendrick is as strong today providing a support system that continues today Serving Student Success for Life.  To get involved and more information on Hendrick Scholarship Foundation, contact:  or call 972-535-6712. 

Celebrating Community Leadership - Sheri Steele

Plano community leader, Sheri Steele has the perfect last name - it defines her resilience and commitment to empowering women to share their talents and resources in their own community. As an unprecedented two-time Junior League of Collin County President, Sheri led JLCC through its 40th year serving Collin County.   Thank you to Star Local Media!

Congratulations! Excellence in Volunteer Service Award Recipients

At the heart of the Junior League of Collin County (JLCC) is volunteerism.  Since their inception 41 years ago, JLCC has contributed over 750,000 volunteer hours to nonprofits serving Collin County.  To celebrate and encourage volunteerism throughout the Collin County region, JLCC hosts the annual Excellence in Volunteer Service Awards to honor local volunteers who are changing our community for good.   Held at Piazza on the Green in McKinney, community leaders served as award presenters and Dr. Cheryl “Action” Jackson of Minnie’s Food Pantry was the keynote speaker.  A common theme was heard among the nominees’ stories that together, volunteers and nonprofits change lives.  Not just the lives of those receiving but also of those giving.  

2018 Collin County Excellence in Volunteer Service Awardees:

Spirit of Collaboration (2)

Organization:  Frisco Arts

Individual:  Steve Perry, Plano Metro Rotary

Youth Volunteer of the Year

Sydney DeWolf – nominated by National Charity League Plano Area Chapter

Collin County Business Leadership


Excellence in Leadership

Officer Art Parker, Plano Police, school resource officer

Emerging Community Impact Award

Grace to Change

Collin County Volunteer of the Year

Tonya Winchester – nominated by Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Signature 2018: Satin & Steel Benefits Chamberlain Performing Arts

Anyone who has met Kathy Chamberlain melts from her warmth and generosity.  Chamberlain School of Ballet and Performing Arts is a 40 year strong Plano icon.  It is an honor to share their upcoming annual gala Signature 2018: Satin & Steel at Classic BMW.  Casino, auction, cocktails and more.  We suspect a few ballerinas among the James Bond theme.  

Learn more about Chamberlain Performing Arts: 

Plano based, Chamberlain Performing Arts, formerly Chamberlain Ballet, was established in May 1984 by Artistic Director, Kathy Chamberlain as a student ensemble dedicated to providing students a stepping-stone to professional dance careers. During their 10th season, Chamberlain Performing Arts became a semi-professional company with their debut of the Chamberworks Series in collaboration with the Plano Chamber Orchestra. Chamberlain is dedicated to serving North Texas and the surrounding community by providing professional quality performances and outstanding outreach programs. Chamberlain Performing Arts takes great pride in the ongoing efforts to expand its cultural diversity through performance collaborations. November 2002 began the association with the Charles W. Eisemann Center, giving the company a new, permanent performance venue.