To win the McKinney TX Instagram Challenge all you have to do is take and post an Instagram photo in front of these McKinney locations:
- Spoons Cafe
- Local Yocal BBQ and Grill
- Hutchins BBQ
- Cooper Fitness Center
- TPC Craig Ranch
- Heard Museum and Nature Sanctuary
- Bill Smith’s Cafe
- Tupps Brewery
- Rick’s Chophouse
- Franconia Brewing Company
- Guitar Sanctuary
- Cadillac Pizza
- Bonus: Your favorite place in McKinney, Texas
1. To enter the McKinney Instagram Challenge, tag each post with #mckinneytxinstagramchallenge
2. Email your instagram page to email@example.com
Winners will get your entry posted on Collin County Magazine and a link back to your business website, facebook business page and your instagram site. This could drive business to you. If you don’t want to show out your business, then post your church, school or organization, team, office and so on with your key 14th photo on instagram. All 14 need the @mckinneytxinstagramchallenge
Los Angeles gets a lot of local business by having Instagram tours and challenges. Why not Collin County?
Yes, pastors, politicians. … you are all eligible to enter the challenge, and if you are supporting a cause wear your Relay for Life, Team in Training, and so on gear to promote that (keep it family friendly)
In April:Plano Instagram Challenge begins.
May: Allen TX Instagram Challenge
June: Frisco TX Instagram Challenge
Instagram – CollinCountyMagazine
Check out this tour of the Guitar Sanctuary we discovered on YouTube via the Lone Star Rocker on YouTube. The Guitar Sanctuary in McKinney at the Adiatrica Croatian Village is a nice place to shop locally before the holidays.
Special thanks to the Lone Star Rocker. Let’s get his channel some more YouTube views today.
We share your local news on social media. Thanks for sharing on yours, too, to support the community and our neighborhoods …
Shop Local. Support Local Artists
By Brian Bearden
Name that star: Who had six touchdowns? Who had 484 yards? Who has yet to pick his college? Who has an awesome line? Plano West’s Soso Jamabo scores six touchdowns and rushed for 484 yards against Sachse … Allen’s Kyler Murray scored five TDs … Murray passed for 381 yards and ran for 183 yards against Dutch Fork, S.C. … McKinney Boyd’s Dedrick Scrivens topped the school record for yards rushing in a game with 371 yards vs. Coppell.
Looking for fun things to do this weekend: Start by hopping over to Collin County Animal Services to adopt a pet this weekend. The shelter is having a Birthday “Pawty.”
Farmersville will honor First Responders with Public Safety Sunday at First United Methodist Church at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 7. … Custer Road United Methodist Church in Plano is having a successful fish fry during “Fish Tales.” …
Coffee: Mark your calendar for coffee with Mayor Maher Maso at Frisco City Hall on the fifth floor … 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday.
The Plano Bridal Show at the Plano Centre is a busy place thanks to Bridal Shows Inc. Be there from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7. Brides can speak with more than 110 wedding businesses to help plan the perfect wedding. As you know, Plano Centre is making changes under new general manager Mark Jarrell.
Arts: The Frisco Association for the Arts is offering Sculptechular at Frisco Discovery Center at 8004 North Dallas Parkway. http://www.friscodiscoverycenter.com/index.php/events/sculptechular-2014/http://www.friscodiscoverycenter.com/index.php/events/sculptechular-2014/
Update: Congrats to Gregory Beck, Kyle Mitchell and Jason Mellard for taking first through third at Sculptechular on Sunday.
Dining: Try the Grilled Swordfish, Fava Bean Risotto, Sautéed Yellow Wax Beans, Wild Mushroom Marsala Sauce at Jasper’s at The Shops at Legacy in Plano. … When at Gentle Creek Golf Club in Prosper, try the pan-seared red fish or the sea bass.
Ladies! The Frisco Chamber of Commerce WEB-Women Enhancing Business (Frisco) September Networking/Mixer sponsored by Functional Health Centers will be Tuesday, Sept. 9 at the Chamber Event Room. What you get: Free chair massages, door prizes, networking with successful like-minded women, and connecting with new clients and service providers. … Sci-Tech will have football starting Sept. 12 in Frisco. …
Speaking of football players Scott Turner contributes this quote of the week from Dr. Seuss: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Ringo’s Pub in Plano popped out the chicken-fried bacon for football watching this weekend.
Roads: Ann Lieber sounds off – “The Regional Transportation Council proposing 28 million spent on bike lanes in the region all while the Metroplex is being choked with gridlock and officials telling you toll taxes are the only way out of congestion and funding problems. Please attend a transportation meeting at Monday, September 8th @ 6:30pm, Pharr Library in Plano, Texas, to make your voice heard!” Location: 6200 Windhaven at Communications in West Plano.
Free concert: The Eric Gales Band and Andy Timmons will be playing at the Guitar Sanctuary at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16 in McKinney. The Guitar Sanctuary will be offering 10 tables with seating for four (4) for purchase at $80 per table. See the staff in the store at Adriatica to purchase a table at 6633 Virginia Parkway. The concert will be presented by Two-Rock Guitar Amplification, Xotic/EMS guitar Effects, and The Guitar Sanctuary. … David Grissom, The Maylee Thomas Band and Paul Reed Smith will play there Friday, Sept. 19.
The Frisco RoughRiders‘ baseball season came to end with a hard-fought loss to the Midland RockHounds.
Sci-Tech will have football starting Sept. 12 in Frisco. … Greg Abbott has football friendly shirts ready for Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and more fans.
Shopping: The cardigans are in at Cotton Hearts on the McKinney downtown square. Pick from berry, grey, mocha, black and brown.
Spa: Book two or more services per person at Cooper Spa McKinney at Craig Ranch and you will receive a guest pass to the fitness center in McKinney.
Successful start: The Junior League of Collin County kicked off the fall with its mentoring program.
Bowling: Allen Bowl reports they have several leagues in need of individual bowlers to fill teams. Call 972-727-9108.
Dinosaurs Live! will be returning to the Heard Natural Science Museum and Nature Sanctuary.
Hockey: The 2014-15 Allen Americans are offering a deal for groups of 15-plus, which could receive discounted tickets and can add unique group experiences that make for a night to remember. As an added bonus, book your group by Sept. 19 and you’ll receive free tickets to our Opening Night game vs Tulsa.
Top Golf Allen will be giving away a new Blu-ray DVD player, Bacardi golf bags, Topgolf swag, Callaway golf equipment and a grill. Sign up for Top Golf’s last tournament of the season, the TGC Challenge, on Sunday Sept. 21st at 10 a.m. Registration $40 per person at http://www.topgolf.com/tgc
Jobs: Bonnie Ruth’s Bistro at Watters Creek is hiring staff members in Allen. If you are hungry, ask for Bonnie Ruth’s oven-roasted take-out special on Tuesday. … Fireball Run is looking for a Production Assistant in Frisco. Fireball Run wants someone such as a student with some ENG experience. Candidate will travel with the production beginning Sept 25th in Frisco and finishing Oct. 5 in Independence, Mo. All travel, accommodations and meal expenses paid. Applicants should submit resume and link to demo reel via email to FBRjobs@gmail.com
Movies: Scarface will be playing at Cinemark Frisco Square during the Classic Series at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Music: Tickets are on sale for October’s Courtyard Texas Music Series show featuring Zane Williams at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at Courtyard Theater in Plano. Visit http://bit.ly/1CxSZK6. … Because of the threat of inclement weather, the concert in Allen on Saturday by the Rob Holbert Band has been canceled. Stay tuned for a rescheduled date. Watters Creek is always a fun place for a Saturday evening stroll.
Politics: Ken and Angela Paxton wrote a piece entitled “A Family for Educational Choice” for RedState.com http://www.redstate.com/diary/ameliahamilton/2014/09/02/ken-angela-paxton-family-educational-choice/?preview=true
Rain: Pete Delkus predicts rain today.
Balloons: The Celina Balloon Fest is next weekend. Look for balloons to lift off Sept. 12-14 at Old Celina Park, 12670 Farm-to-Market Road 428. http://www.celinaballoonfestival.com/ … Then, the Plano Balloon Festival will be Sept. 19-21 at Oak Point Park at 2801 East Spring Creek Parkway. http://www.planoballoonfest.org/
Quote: “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter. ” — Walt Disney
By J.B. Blocker
Parents and partners, builders and developers, artist and musicians, civic leaders and humanitarians, they are passionate and vocal about loving life.
George Fuller is the builder of McKinney’s Adriatica and was recently recognized in D Magazine’s Best Builders in Dallas for the fourth time. Adriatica is a Croatian-inspired village being built in the heart of Stonebridge.
Q: How unique is the Adriatica development?
George answers: First, I was enamored by the vision of Jeff Blackard, the developer. His vision was to go beyond the aesthetic appeal and create a true village, which by definition is a more green development. A resident of Adriatica, without getting in their car or crossing a main street, can buy groceries, shop, dine, bank and go to Starbucks. They can swim, play tennis or golf, rent movies, and fish. Doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants and other neighborhood professional are a walk, bike ride, or golf cart ride away. Additionally, our choices of materials and construction methods in Adriatica are focused on using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient while architecturally building a community that grows in aesthetic appeal with age. Ultimately, Adriatica will be a nice complement to our great Historic Downtown and other communities in our city.
Maylee Thomas Fuller is a well-known local musical talent with a newly produced 6th CD called ‘Raining Grace.’ The Maylee Thomas Band is a DFW favorite and her gutsy, bluesy and soulful sound is a reflection of the artist.
Q: Your newest album is a worship recording. Is that your new direction?
Maylee answers: Really, that’s a journey we’ve always been on. This is just the first time we captured our faith on an entire album. Our next record, called “Texas Home,” will be a collection of songs that reflect our deep Texas soul.
Q: George is a guitarist in your band. How’s does that relationship work?
George answers: Let me answer that! I went to see Maylee perform at the West End [in downtown Dallas], and I knew she was a real talent! My wife and I have a creative connection in music. I’m one of the lucky ones who get to play in her band. How cool is that! I get to play behind my favorite singer!
Q: Your latest endeavor is the Guitar Sanctuary and Music School in McKinney on Virginia Parkway in Adriatica. That must be a dream for a guitar and music family.
George says: It seems we use the word passionate a lot, but passion drives us both. Whether it’s enjoying our family and faith or inspiring next generation musicians. Opening the Guitar Sanctuary was definitely an indulgence. I wanted to create an intimate environment where people could experience both the instrument and instruction in a fulfilling way, specifically, not in a big box retail store. Sharing the world of guitars with our community, and its children, is fulfilling, especially on the teaching side.
Q: George made a strong run for the mayor of McKinney even with a late entry. What do you say about that campaign?
George: First, let me say that I am very proud of Brian Loughmiller who won that election. He is a great mayor for McKinney, and it was his time to lead. He has my confidence and support. I was really humbled by the highly committed support that rallied behind me. We learned from the dedication it takes to offer your voice and take a lead in your community. We have talented leaders in this community and they need to all lend their talents in the present for the benefit of our future.
Q: You are now serving as the vice chair of the McKinney Community Development Corporation, how are you involved?
George: As a builder in McKinney for nearly 20 years with a very active family, I am extremely sensitive to the relationship between McKinney and its residence. We are one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, certainly that is in large part a product of our appeal and roots as a small and family community. Maintaining that integrity is vital, and my involvement in MCDC allows me to be part of that process.
George and Maylee’s oldest son Austin [jersey No. 35] just played in the Orange Bowl as a sophomore starter for Virginia Tech. The youngest, a fourth-grader, Layla Grace is active in theatre and music and wants to be a performer like her mommy. 12-year-old son Raine is an avid reader and adventurous animal lover. He and his horse Jesse make quite a pair.
The newest member of their family is Milyan Hope. The adopted her in Ethiopia. George was on a mission trip to restore damaged orphanages when a young, fragile girl stole his heart. Milyan is now a fifth-grader who also loves music, soccer and life.
Q: Tell us about the Love Life Foundation.
Maylee says: Love Life is our mantra. It had a humble beginning when our band played at a fundraiser for a family in need back in the early 90s. We realized then we could use our music to raise money for other charitable causes and formed “The Love Life Foundation.” Since then, and with the expansion of other endeavors, we have raised close to $2 million dollars to help and support at risk women and children in our community and abroad. Over the holidays, we created the “Love Life Gift Wrapping” that took only donations for the benefit of local shelters and collected care packages for the troops. You should have seen the overwhelming support of our community that made it a huge success! … Even Santa showed up a few days!
J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Historic Downtown McKinney, Texas.
Guitar players now have a sanctuary
By J.B. Blocker, Viewpoint
You don’t have to die to go to Guitar Heaven!
In the heart of Collin County lies Adriatica, a 45-acre Mediterranean village reproduction. Go to West Virginia and Stonebridge on the west side of McKinney.
Music from above
If you happen to be strolling around the stonework streets of Adriatica, while you are admiring the architecture and landscape of the inner urban community, you might hear the sounds of a guitar coming from the bell tower. That would be George Fuller the builder/contractor up there trying out some of his newest guitar discoveries.
When he is not building or participating in community development, George answers to a higher power. He plays lead guitar for a band named for his wife, the Maylee Thomas Band. The higher power is a devotion to God, Family, and Guitars.
There are guitar prodigies all over the world. There might be one under your roof. I’ve known people who can pick up just about any musical instrument and instantly make a connection. Don’t be surprised if it’s your son or daughter who is just waiting for the opportunity and inspiration to become the next Taylor Swift or even John Lennon.
But it takes more than talent to make it as a musician. The difference in instruments can change everything! The way it fits your body, your hands, and your personality all come together when you sit down with the right guitar. Knowing equipment and accessories is a must, and associating with better musicians is the catalyst to improving your art.
The first time I visited the Guitar Sanctuary, I was greeted by an old acquaintance Quinten Hope. He’s the kind of guitar player that makes my fingers ache. If you are a guitar player, and you watch somebody really good, you automatically try to air guitar along. When their talent is out of your league, your fingers get tangled in knots trying to copy the riffs and make the transitions.
Guys like Quinten, George and a host of other local guitar talent work, hang around, and teach at the Sanctuary. They can show you how to play that chord that has the 5 spots arranged in some ridiculous pattern on the guitar tablature.
The tablature is music copy with those little boxes with black spots that appear above the lines of sheet music and show chord transitions and how to make that chord. The problem for beginners is figuring out how you make five fingers move around the neck and cover those black spots. And if you don’t have the tablature for the music, how do you transition from a Bb7 to an Eb7sus. How do you even make an Eb7sus?
The really talented and seasoned pros had someone to teach them the tricks along the way. For the lucky beginners who have access to the pros, the learning curve changes dramatically.
Kiss the Girls
Two things have to happen to turn the tide for a budding guitarist.
First of all, finding the instrument that fits you is like finding a lover. To find that connection, you really need to play the field. You know, kiss a lot of girls! It will be worth it.
When you find that guitar and take her home with you, you will fall asleep with her in your lap. You will have her strategically resting within arms length of your favorite chair. You will talk to her with your fingers, and she will magically talk back with sounds that started somewhere between your head and your heart. Those sounds are finally spoken from the hollow depths of wood and electronics.
Expert dating advise
I walked in to the Guitar Sanctuary and behold! Beautiful variations of a woman’s form in a full range of colors and embellishments cover the walls. I am looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars hanging on Georges custom made racks like wall flowers at a debutants ball.
I greet Quinten who is the store manager, and I instantly know I have a new guitar resource always at the ready. He can’t run, he can’t hide, he works there!
I haven’t had a real Guitar haven since the days of Earl Swinford’s studio/guitar shop in Lubbock, Texas.
It was a place where the elite of Lubbock’s guitar world hung out. It was my entry into the world of 6 strings. Oh, I was already playing little steak house gigs for tuition, but I didn’t have much range past Neil Diamond, Gordon Lightfoot, and others noted for easy 3 chord progressions. I couldn’t transpose and I stumbled mightily with the chord complexities of many of the Beatles, John Denver, and the Eagles songs that were in my vocal wheel house.
I can thank a dozen or more players who showed me the way while I was discovering new guitar models and new electronic gizmos.
I can’t abide the big super music stores. Piano players are selling flutes and guitars they have never played. The chance of someone knowing how to use different effects boxes is slim and bad information is as rampant as lack of knowledge. They sell Wal-mart versions and knock off accessories because sales are more important than customer satisfaction.
If you were to find a competent sales associate, they probably wouldn’t still be working there the next time you stop by. I quit stopping by those big boxes years ago.
As George Fuller promises, “Everything in here is here for a reason, and we know the reasons. Every new guitar and effect gets played with because we can’t help it! It is our own candy store.”
Guitarist like Quinten and George love to share their knowledge and will happily strap you in and turn you on to the world of guitars and effects.
I spied a Martin acoustic and strapped in. Behind me, a Takamini much like my own kept staring at me until I had to change partners. Next to the Takamini was a Collins special edition flirting with me. I am so fickle!
But while I’m playing the Collins, two ladies kept winking at me from across the room. They were Paul Reed Smith custom acoustics. Beautiful works of art with details of fine rare woods, intricate inlays, and custom hardware. I shyly put away the Collins with her clean clear tones, and I tentatively reached for one of the PRSmith girls.
Once she was safely in my embrace, she began to talk back to me! With tones that were astonishingly deep and rich! She sang a new song. One that I had heard in my head but it was music that had gotten lost in the translation through my own guitar.
Uh oh! My love for my Takamini just changed. I instantly realize that I might have been dating the wrong girl. No wonder my music seemed flat and lifeless.
I looked up at Quinten and his always sheepish grin. I held the PR Smith sister away from me and said to Quinten, “I’m not sure I’m worthy!” He looked back and knowingly responded, “I know what you mean!”
This is Guitar Heaven!
There is a lot more to this story but I said there were 2 things a guitar player needs. First, you need a guitar that you can dance with like a seasoned partner, and secondly, you need continuous knowledge and inspiration like flowers need rain! Knowledge is inspirational!
Get Some! at a sanctuary for the guitarist at heart. Bring your prodigy and meet some of Collin Counties Guit Arch Angels.
You might even get some autographs when you are there! You never know who might be there. You might be seeing them on the big stages.
They had better not be dancing with my girl! I’m saving for the engagement ring that is engraved JB loves PR Smith!
J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Historic Downtown McKinney.