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BIy Alissa Reinhardmagine a Christmas without a child’s anticipation of Santa’s arrival. Without gifts wrapped under the tree. Without atree at all. This is the reality for many families every holiday season – families who cannot afford to answer their child’s Christmas wish. In 1968, Louise Locker, a student at Trinity University, decided that the spirit and wonder of Christmas should exist for every child. She decided to make a difference. Louise founded the Elf Louise Christmas Project (ELCP). This year, her non-profit organization celebrated 50 years of making Christmas possible for thousands of families and children in San Antonio.“From as far back as when I was a little girl, I always believed that people have so much potential for goodness in them, a potential for coming together and impacting the world,” said Louise. “And I am both amazed and awe struck – and yet not totally surprised – to reach 50 years, because I think that when people see a need, most people respond with an open heart.”ELCP is comprised of all volunteers. It is a respected local non-profit with a long history of sticking to its provide Christmas presents for less fortunate children in the San Antonio area. Ninety- eight cents of every donated dollar goes directly toward the purchase, wrapping and delivery of the gifts.For 50 years, Louise has remained driven and inspired to keep going, to keep giving, to continue making a difference in the lives of thousands.“At first, it was the children who believed in Santa even though they’d never received a gift from him that inspired me,” Louise described. “The reactions of families as Santa surprised them with presents and knew their names when they had nothing for Christmas. People through the years who would show up at the last minute with just what we needed when we had no money or the toys we yearned to give out. Every year it’s a little something different that inspires me. When you get up close and know people’s stories you just want to do more, even if you don’t have the money or toys, you get determined to make more happen.”Louise is also constantly amazed at the ELCP volunteers who have been by her side, year in and year out, sharing in her vision and working hard to make Christmas possible for so many. She remembers a little girl named Sarah, who was only eight years old at the time, who gave all her birthday presents to ELCP to be donated to those in need. And the volunteer Santas who deliver gifts year after year, stepping up when they are needed always willing to help.“Some years I am more inspired because I have gone through hard times and IElf Louise Volunteers at Winterfest Helotesknow giving always heals your heart and lifts your spirit,” said Louise. “The love that others share is contagious. There is always inspiration when you are blessed to be in the middle of so much giving and receiving.”There are so many children who don’t understand why they never get presents for Christmas. They don’t understand that their families can’t afford gifts. Yet they still write to Santa. They still believe. That’s why the Elf Louise Christmas Project has existed for 50 years!“I never thought about how long the Elf Louise Christmas Project would go on,” said Louise. “It was purely from my heart, moved wildly by spirit, that I began this. As it went along, I had no idea that it would impact so many people in such profound ways. In the early years, I had no idea it would endure as it had. But I did know that I needed to keep going.”Louise Locker & SantaLouise Locker and the Elf Louise Christmas Project have touched the lives of thousands. Her generosity, compassion and drive are something to be celebrated, especially on the 50th anniversary or her inspiring organization. For more information about the Elf Louise Christmas Project or to learn how you can help make Christmas possible for children in Bexar County, please visit, actual Patient lost 48 lbs.San Antonio Medi - Weightloss: The One That WorksBIy Alissa Reinhardf you’ve been looking for a healthy wayto lose weight, a way that really works,it’s time to stop wasting time on fad diets and commit to a true lifestyle change. Medi-Weightloss is a physician guided program that is custom-designed for you.Kelly and Jim Wickens are the franchise owners of Medi-Weightloss’ San Antonio location in Medical Center on Fredericksburg Road.“We are a medically supervised, evidence based program,” explained Kelly. “Medi-Weightloss trains your body to utilize its own stored fat for its energy source. We pride ourselves on being nutritionally sound and teaching our patients about their own bodies so that they have the knowledge they need to not only achieve a healthy weight, but also maintain it.”The science behind the Medi- Weightloss® Program is evidence-based. When a patient decides to commit to the program, their unique health profile is first taken into account. Health problems related to obesity can include diabetes and cardiovascular disease – both which require individualized care. This is why it’s so important that while you’re on the program, you’re also under the care of a physician who can help you navigate your weight loss journey.“A lot of people come to us with healthconcerns,” explained Kelly. “They need to make a change and we have the tools to help them.”Medi-Weightloss also sees patients who need to lose weight before an important surgery, women who have been struggling with infertility and want to get healthy before trying to conceive, and individuals who simply feel like they are not their best self. Medi-Weightloss even appeals to high- profile athletes, helping them to fine-tune the nutritional side of their training.“Our campaign is, ‘What is your reason?’” said Kelly. “Whether it’s to get off your high cholesterol medication or lose 10 pounds before your daughter’s wedding – we are here to help.”Medi-Weightloss also accepts several major insurance providers. Before your first appointment, staff will verify your insurance benefits and set up your free assessment.“Patients can then get a chance to take a look around our clinic and get a feel for what we do,” explained Kelly. “Seeing really is believing.”A special body composition scale measures each patient’s BMI, revealing each patients’ body fat percentage and the weight of that mass in pounds. The goal of the Medi-Weightloss Program® is for the patient’s BMI to improve and fall into the ideal range for their height, age and genderbased on data provided by the American Medical Association. Patients visit the clinic once a week while on the program – called an acute visit – for an accountability weigh in, to track progress, and consult with a health care provider. Extended evening and Saturday hours make the acute visits convenient to schedule.“Through the program, you’re going to become your own best nutritionist,” explained Kelly. “You’re going to know what food groups affect you in what way and what makes you fall out of ketosis and hang on to those extra pounds. You’re going to become supermarket savvy – your own best grocery shopper who knows how to cook for yourself and for your family.”Now is the time to commit to a real change. The holidays are here. Don’t wait until the New Year...start now and you can begin 2019 on the right foot before the calendar year even flips. Medi-Weightloss also accepts Flex Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts and all major credit cards including Care credit.Medi- Weightloss8706 Fredericksburg Road San Antonio, TX 78240 (210) 960-8988 www.mediweightloss.com16www.heloteshighlights.comDecember/January 18 -19

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