January 17, 2003

WFAA-TV takes 'Family First' on the road for town meeting in The Colony

Dallas, TX --It has been said that home is where the heart lives. For thousands of Texans, record numbers of home improvements make such a statement ring truer than ever.

WFAA-TV's has scheduled a Family First town meeting in The Colony to help viewers connect to a variety of issues involving housing and homes, including a community meeting and an innovative home expo. News 8 anchor Catherine Garcia and News 8 Investigates reporter Brett Shipp will host the free meeting, Thursday, January 23 at The Colony High School, 4301 Blair Oaks (a half mile north of Highway 121), The Colony, Texas. The home expo is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. followed by a 1-hour Family First town meeting at 7 p.m. The expo is scheduled to conclude at 8:30 p.m. WFAA cameras will be on hand to tape the meeting, portions of which will be aired on News 8.

Last year The Colony was selected by one local publication as one of the highest quality of life communities in north Texas.

The area also has the distinction of being a community with one of the largest youth (ages 0-18) percentage of populations. According to The Colony's economic development department, youth makeup 42% of the Colony's total population.

A variety of experts will be available to answer questions on issues such as: construction, financing, first time homebuyer classes and programs, refinancing, home equity, insurance, remodeling, furnishing and how to find reliable contractors.

Panelists scheduled to participate in the Family First town meeting include Texas State Senator Royce West, Janet Ahmad, national president of Homeowners for Better Building, Max Hightower, an independent home engineer and inspector, and Bryan Bennett of WR Starkey Mortgage. Kathy Graf of the Texas Department of Insurance is also schedule to appear on the panel with information on a new program called Texas FAIR, a select group of independent home insurers pooled together to offer coverage to Texans who have recently found themselves without insurance.

The expo will feature famous name brands and unique companies as well including of the exhibitors in the home expo are Home Depot, Elliott's Hardware, Empire Cabinets, Pella Windows & Doors.

Realtors, insurance agents, plus several building and consumer associations will be present. Both the home expo and Family First town meeting are free of charge to the public, and all ages are welcome to attend. Free photography and fingerprinting of children is available by Ranger American. Parents are encouraged to save their children's photographs on small compact computer discs for emergencies provided by Ranger American. Free pizza will be provided by Pizza Inn.

Family First is a community outreach effort of WFAA-TV; sponsors include Stacy Furniture, Booth Eye Care and Laser Center and WR Starkey Mortgage. Details are available online at www.wfaa.com/familyfirst.

About Belo
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