Eyes on Arlington: Arlington Rotary to celebrate 90 years of service

Posted Monday, Jun. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Believed to be the oldest service club in town, the Arlington Rotary will celebrate 90 years of service at a special event June 13 at First United Methodist Church in Arlington

In charge of planning the birthday celebration is Rotarian Bob Griffin with help from committee members Clete McAlister, Sally Hopper, and Paul Sturiale. Members, guests, representatives of other Rotary clubs, and civic and community officials are expected to attend.

Griffin says the festivities will include proclamations and birthday messages along with a video presentation about the club’s first 80 years.

“A dynamic film highlighting the ninth decade just completed will feature incoming President Derrick Kinney’s vision and challenge as the club enters its centennial year,” said Griffin.

Special guests will be family members of the club’s first president, Sam Wine, an officer of Texas Electric Utility. Wine’s granddaughter, Susie McAlister, is a member of the club.

A source of particular pride is the Blue Sky Dream statue the club sponsored in Meadowbrook Park to honor Rotary’s contribution in establishing Meadowbrook Park and other city park initiatives.

Also notable is the adult literacy program begun by Rotary that has successfully helped many students working to earn a GED.

Perhaps best known locally for the phenomenal programs they sponsor at Webb Elementary School, the Rotary Club offers scholarships to any Webb 6th grade alumni who complete high school and plan higher education pursuits.

So far, 182 former Webb students have been served and among those are 56 graduates of a post-secondary program. Griffin said, “The promise to the sixth graders began in 1996. The first student graduated high school in 2002, and the flow has continued since then.”

Rotary also annually sends every Webb 6th grade student to a camp and donates books to the library and to students.

Globally the organization is proud of its role among the 1.2 million Rotarians in 34,000 clubs that have worked since 1985 to eradicate polio in the world. They have also joined Rotary International to spearhead initiatives to bring clean water to the remote villages of Honduras.

Don Mebus was named a Director of Rotary International in 2006 earning the Arlington club the distinction of being the only club in the North Texas region to have a member reach this international level of service.

The Champions of Change Award was presented to the club last year for their humanitarian work. The prestigious award was given by the White House to only ten Rotary Clubs nationwide.

Griffin spelled a bright and busy future for the group.

“We will continue to stand behind our Webb students; we will strive to remove the prime cause of disease in the Honduras region by providing pure water filters to the inhabitants, schools and hospitals, and we will continue our work to bring the gift of literacy to Arlington area adults and children,” he said.

Congratulations to all local Rotarians on this milestone anniversary, and best wishes for continued success in this next decade leading to the 100th year of service.

Scholarship Gala Honors Fallen Officer Jillian Smith

The African American Peace Officers Association is hosting the third edition of a gala to raise money for a scholarship named in honor of police officer Jillian Smith who was fatally wounded in 2010 when responding to a domestic dispute call. The party is set for Friday in the Cacharel Ballroom.

“We have planned an exciting night of entertainment, casino style games, prizes and more. This event raises funds for a scholarship to be presented to a deserving high school student who is interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement,” said Cheryel Carpenter, a spokesperson for the association.

Tickets are $35 each and include delicious hors d-oeuvres and gaming chips; attire is semi-formal. For information, contact Latesha Watson at 214-287-6921 or Tarrick McGuire at 817-487-5177.

Tickets are $35 each and include gaming chips. For information, contact Latesha Watson at 214-287-6921 or Tarrick McGuire at 817-487-5177.

Doggy Dash

Dogs can bring their people to the 5K Doggy Dash fun run on Saturday at the Katherine Rose Memorial Park located at 303 N. Walnut Creek Dr. in Mansfield and raise some money to help the Mansfield Animal Shelter.

This inaugural event is organized by the Miss Mansfield Outstanding Teen of the Miss American Organization and Ebby Halliday Realtors. In charge are Lexi Lakatta, Kathy Lakatta, and Monique Nygard.

Alexis Lakatta, the reigning Miss Outstanding Teen, will be autographing and selling her new CD and donating the proceeds of sales to the animal shelter. Also appearing will be the current Miss Mansfield, Shelby Marston.

Other festivities include lots of vendor exhibits, face painting and pet photography. Food and beverages will be available.

“One hundred percent of the money (will) go to the Mansfield Animal Shelter which will be used to build a cover to provide outside shade to the dogs,” said Kathy Lakatta.

Registration is at 8 a.m. $25 for adults; $15 for teens; $10 for children; and dogs are free. Details at www.Doggydashmansfield.com or call Lakatta at 817-905-3229.

Par For The Kids

A helicopter ball drop and contests for longest drive, closest to the pin and hit the green will amp up the fun at the 23rd Annual “Par For The Kids” Golf Tournament set for June 24 and benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington.

Golfers at the beautiful Walnut Creek Country Club in Mansfield will enjoy a day on the links after a lunch catered by Spring Creek and will wrap up the tournament with an awards program and silent auction at 5:30 p.m. featuring a steak dinner from SaltGrass Steak House. Dennis Brown is in charge of the tournament.

According to spokesperson Patti Ouart, “Through this event, critical funds are raised to support programs that nurture and enrich the lives of 8,000 children in our community.” Last year’s event raised $72,000 and hopes are to meet or beat that amount this year.

Golf teams can choose from a Callaway speaker/eyewear case; Callaway sunglasses; Titleist gift set; an Adams Hybrid club or an Adams putter.

Registration is $300 per player, and the deadline to enter is this week. Contact Ouart at 817-275-6551 to sign up or visit www.parforthekids.com.

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