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Valor Games help disabled vets heal through athletics

CHICAGO — A roadside bomb in Afghanistan left Israel Del Toro Jr. with third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body. He underwent 130 surgeries to reconstruct his body and face. After the grueling rehabilitation, he made peace with the fact that there were many things he would never do again.

Innovations: Don’t try the ice bucket challenge at the office

By all accounts, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been one of the most popular viral marketing campaigns of the year, already raising over $15 million for ALS research and becoming a social media sensation. Over the summer, the Ice Bucket Challenge has already resulted in over 1.2 million videos and 15 million comments, posts or likes on Facebook. By some accounts, there are nearly 50,000 tweets per hour about the #IceBucketChallenge. Celebrities taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge include famous athletes, top politicians, Hollywood stars and business icons such as Bill Gates.

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Volunteers needed by home hospice

Home Hospice of Grayson County is in need of more volunteers who can be a good friend to someone in need of some encouragement. Volunteers assist patients and their families with tasks much like a good friend or neighbor would. As a volunteer, one may watch TV or read a book with the patient, run errands or even take the patient out and about, play games, listen as the patient shares life stories, or just be a quiet presence.

Five ways to get out of a gardening funk

It strikes every year, afflicting thousands of once-earnest gardeners: midsummer malaise. We start the year with a pent-up need to plant, to bring fresh life from a landscape that was buried under deep snow for so very, very long.

Dealing with those post-wingding blues

When you’ve been the bride-to-be for more than a year — planning, anticipating and counting down to the big day — it’s not unusual to succumb to disappointment after the party’s over. The same can be said for anyone planning a major event — a huge party, a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, a starring performance. After all that planning, the everyday world is suddenly, well, everyday.