As the holiday season begins, attention turns to those less fortunate who very well may not look forward to the holidays or may even dread this time of year. Thank goodness for the folks at the Arlington Life Shelter as they continue to help homeless families not only during the holidays but all year long.It takes money to operate the shelter, and you can help with those expenses by buying a ticket to the Home for the Holidays party that the shelter will host on Dec. 5 at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel.It will be a delightful evening hosted by CBS 11 news anchor Karen Borta that includes a wonderful dinner, complimentary wine and beer, and a moving program.Chairing the event is Mary Ann Van Siclen with help from Ann Hatch, Penny Reichert, Mandy Welch and Marcella Weyandt. The committee has arranged for guests to participate in a raffle and silent auction and will again have the popular wine and restaurant gift card trees that sold out in the first hour at last year’s event. For a donation of $20, the guest is guaranteed a bottle of wine or gift card valued at $25 or more plus a chance to win items valued at $50 and $100. Don’t miss the snowflake-shaped martini luge that will dispense the icy beverage to partygoers for only $10 per drink.A highlight of the party will be a musical performance by a group of children who are residents at the shelter. Operations Director Karen Caston and case manager Megan Waguespack will lead the children in a group song before a solo performance by a young resident.Special guests at the event will be the 2013 Heroes for the Homeless honorees Mary Ann Van Siclen, John David Moritz, Lois Bacon, Vic Munson, Richard Sherman, Venture Mechanical, Standard Supply, Marcella Weyandt and Ken Carter.“The award annually honors community leaders, organizations and companies who have displayed an outstanding commitment to helping our neighbors who are homeless achieve self-sufficiency,” said shelter Assistant Executive Director Janel Holt. Silent-auction shoppers can choose among some great auction swag including a trip to Disneyland, a private wine-tasting in the winner’s home, 12 Tyler rosebushes shipped to your home and golf for four at Dallas National Golf Club. And be sure to buy five raffle tickets for $20 for a chance to win one of three great gifts.“For over 25 years the Arlington Life Shelter has provided the homeless men, women and children in our community with food, shelter and hope. Your support of this fun-filled and inspiring event makes it possible for even more of our friends and neighbors in need to make their way home,” said Holt.Tickets are $75. Reserve your seat or a table at www.arlingtonlifeshelter.org or call 817-548-9885, ext. 2004.Arlington Woman’s Club hosts AltschulerRuth Collins Sharp Altschuler, chairwoman of the special-events-planning committee for the Dallas JFK 50th Anniversary activities, was the guest speaker at the general meeting for the Arlington Woman’s Club earlier this month.Altschuler, who was appointed to the committee by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, told the audience that the events in Dallas would emphasize President John F. Kennedy’s life, leadership and legacy and not focus on the tragedy of his death.Altschuler has served on an impressive list of boards both locally and nationally and received the Alexis de Tocqueville Award for Volunteer Service from the United Way of America, among several other prestigious honors.“Ruth exemplifies the selfless volunteer leadership that is vital to the advancement of causes and institutions that benefit our society,” said AWC officer Carolyn Jolly, who introduced the speaker.A longtime friend of President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, Altschuler also shared humorous stories about her experiences with them.In other club news, spokeswoman Bonnie Williams said: “AWC will host a Tour of Homes on Dec. 15 from 2 to 5 p.m. Three beautifully decorated homes for Christmas will be on display. Maps will be provided with purchase of tickets. The public is invited to attend.” Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at AWC headquarters, at 1515 W. Abram St., during certain hours or on the day of the tour. Call 817-277-7666 to inquire.Bikes for Mission Arlington Dec. 7Arlington resident and business owner Clay Kelley is urging families to get involved in a program that provides bicycles to kids served by Mission Arlington. The initiative will culminate Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. at 2229 W. Park Row Drive in the parking lot adjacent to Pantego Christian Academy and Saljos pizza restaurant, where bikes will be collected before a police-escorted caravan departs to deliver the bikes to Mission Arlington.Bikes for Mission Arlington started with a few dads and their children who purchased bikes and delivered them to the Christmas Store the agency operates. “Once there, these families realized the huge need that Mission Arlington has for children’s bicycles. There are never have enough bikes, nor could they ever have too many. The children who receive these bikes might not receive anything else this Christmas,” said Kelley.A small beginning netted six bikes the first year, and that number grew to 515 bikes in 2012, with a goal of donating 550 bikes this year. Working on the project with Kelley are Chris Risenhoover, Jeff Hansen and Richy Harder.Those interested in helping should register at www.bikesformissionarlington.org. Contact Kelley at 817-247-7732 with questions.
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