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SocialEyes by Faye Reeder

Social Eyes: Enrichment center enlists Laura Bush for its gala

Posted Wednesday, Sep. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A 25th anniversary is an important occasion, and the Community Enrichment Center has pulled out all the stops for its upcoming silver milestone. Scoring a major coup, leaders have announced that former first lady Laura Bush is the keynote speaker for the Hearts & Hope Gala on Oct. 10.

Bush’s passion about education, literacy, volunteerism, human rights and women’s rights dovetail nicely with the center’s mission of serving families in crisis by providing such resources as a food pantry, housing for victims of domestic abuse, adoption of homeless families, programs for senior citizens, job and literacy programs, and income tax assistance for families.

“Mrs. Bush has a compelling voice for helping those in need and shares stories about presidential life in the harrowing days and weeks after the 9-11 tragedy. She also talks about her experience on the world stage,” the center said in a statement. “Her compassion, sense of humor, grace and uncommon experience serve as the backdrop to her incredible story of rising from small town beginnings in Texas to being at the center of world history.”

Well-known for producing great events for its annual fundraising parties, the center has chosen the lovely Southlake Hilton as this year’s venue. Guests will experience superb dining catered by the Hilton, and live music by the Marcus Rockwell Trio will be fun.

Popular emcee Scott Murray will keep things moving, and a special treat during the meal will be a live art performance by renowned Dallas artist Rolando Diaz, who will amaze the audience as he creates a painting that will be auctioned later in the evening.

The Cuban-born Diaz has painted live on a PBS special with great musicians including Seth Simmons, Jewel, Manhattan Transfer, George Winston, David Moneit and B.J. Thomas. He’s also performed with the Dallas Wind Symphony.

“We are extremely excited about our upcoming gala,” center Executive Director Randy Clinton said in a statement. “The CEC’s goal to help families move forward through better education leading to living-wage jobs fits perfectly with the literacy message Mrs. Bush advocates.”

Tables for the event start at $2,500. Sponsorship opportunities are $5,000 Jazz sponsor, $10,000 Heart sponsor, $15,000 artist sponsor and $20,000 Presenting sponsor. Sponsors at the $5,000 level and above will enjoy a private reception before the event with Bush.

Reserve your table at www.heartsandhopegala.com or call the CEC at 817-281-1164.

H-E-B’s Got Talent – A Year in Revue

Another big evening is planned by the HEB Chamber of Commerce at the annual awards gala Sept. 21 at the Hurst Conference Center. Always an elegant evening, the affair takes a look at what the chamber has accomplished in the past year and honors businesses and individuals for outstanding contributions in the business community.

Guests in black-tie attire will mingle at a cocktail reception and shop at a silent auction before dinner. Master of ceremonies Robert Earley, CEO of JPS Health Network, will host an awards program.

“The annual awards gala is our premier event where we honor the volunteers and businesses that have contributed so much time and energy to make the H-E-B area a better place to live and work. Please join us for a fun evening, help us raise funds for chamber programs like Challenge By Choice and Leadership HEB,” chamber President Mary Frazior said.

Committee chair is Jamie Tongate from Liberty Bank; sponsor chair is Rachel Branum of West Side Bank & Trust; and auction chair is Linda Huggins from the James B. Wright dental office.

Awards for Small, Midsize and Large Business of the Year will be announced along with winners of the Officer, Director, Member and Ambassador of the Year awards. The Gertrude Tarpley Memorial Spirit Award, the Community Service, and Spirit of Enterprise award winners will be revealed. Frazior says guests will enjoy being the first to know the winner of the prestigious Clyde Mooney Award named after the first chairman of the board.

Some lucky winner of a Wish Bowl drawing will take home a $500 American Express gift card from North East Mall. Tickets are $10 each or $50 for six, and winners don’t have to be present to win.

Auctioneer Garry Hamilton, recently retired from JPMorgan Chase Bank, will orchestrate bidding for such items as a golf outing, dining gift cards, tickets to the Iron Chef competition, a guitar autographed by performers at Bedford Blues and BBQ, tickets to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, a train ride on the Texas Railroad and Texas Rangers tickets.

FX Entertainment will spin favorite dance songs from all eras after dinner and the program.

Individual tickets are $75. Make reservations at www.heb.org/get-involved or call the chamber office at 817-283-1521.

Fort Worth

A night of Parisian-inspired glamour

The Fort Worth Opera will host the 53rd edition of the Opera Ball on Sept. 21 at the Omni Fort Worth. This year’s theme, Une Nuit en Vogue (A Fashionable Night), is inspired by Audrey Hepburn in her role in the movie Funny Face as guests are transported to Paris, circa 1957, a time and place often regarded as the last era of elegance.

“Guests will be mesmerized as the Omni Fort Worth Hotel ballroom is transformed into a scene directly inspired by the classic film complete with a fashion ‘show’ presented by Eclipse Entertainment. Partygoers dressed in themed attire will enjoy a night of glamour while helping to raise money for the Fort Worth Opera,” the opera company said in a news release.

Guests will enjoy a cocktail reception, silent auction and a champagne and wine pull at 6:30 before a four-course dinner at 8 along with music by Trey and the Tritones. Afterward, casino gaming and dancing will fill the night until the wee hours.

Raffle prizes include a trip for two to the runway show of Lela Rose during the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City and a one-of-a-kind 6-liter engraved bottle of 2009 cabernet sauvignon from Treva’s Vineyard at the Harris Estate Vineyards in Calistoga, Calif. Raffle tickets range from $50 to $100.

A silent auction of 125 items includes three exclusive fashion sketches from famed American designer Austin Scarlett, a luxurious golf excursion on Prince Edward Island, private tastings with local brewers and sommeliers, and vintage fashion items.

Proceeds fund the statewide arts outreach program Children’s Opera Theatre, which introduces more than 50,000 children annually to the world of opera as well as supporting the spring opera festival.

Individual tickets are $375, and tables and sponsorships are available. Learn more at www.fwopera.org or contact Jen Appleman at jen@fwopera.org or 817-288-1215.


Bowling tournament will benefit

adults who are intellectually disabled

Advocates for Special People, a nonprofit that provides programs and services for intellectually disabled adults, will again host its annual bowling tournament Sept. 14 at Spare Time Lanes, located at 3149 S. Cooper St. This is the 13th year for the fundraiser.

Registration for four-person teams is now open. Each team will also enjoy having a special athlete from ASP as its fifth member. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the top three teams.

Special guests are Arlington City Council members Kathryn Wilemon and Robert Rivera, who will greet the audience and make brief remarks before the bowling starts at 1 p.m.

Bowlers will have time between their turns to check out the auction and raffle items. Up for grabs is a 2013 limited edition official NBA All-Star Game ball autographed by Dekembe Mutumbo, Russell Westbrook, Jeremy Lin and Hall of Famer Bob Lanier from the Houston Rockets. Other gifts include portrait packages, dining gift cards and other great merchandise.

Hardworking committee members include Ron Morris, Marilyn Priddy, Joyce Duty, Shae Hamrick, Lawrence and Mary Odom, Linda Crosby, Steve Brooks, Deborah Stokes and Kathy Gorham.

“This is a fun time when people in our community can meet and interact with our special-needs clients and see what special and unique individuals they are. We don’t see them as disabled, but rather as differently ‘abled,’” officer and co-founder Lawrence Odom said.

Admission to the event is free, and bowling costs $20 per person for two games. Contact Ron Morris at 817-798-5494 to sign up your team in advance, or you can register at the tournament.

Learn more about the nonprofit’s day habilitation programs, Special Connexions and athletic programs at www.advocatesforspecialpeople.org.

Please send your SocialEyes news to freeder@star-telegram.com. Join our fan page on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SocialEyes.ST. Follow me on Twitter: @FayeReeder

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