Now in its eighth year, the Jiggle Butt is on the run and has moved to a new location to accommodate the growth of the increasingly popular 5K and 1-mile fun run. The event is set for Jan 4 at the UT Arlington campus. Proceeds from the run benefit SafeHaven to provide help for victims of domestic violence.One of the founders of the run, Mary Hibbs, said, “Last year, Jiggle Butt Run was proud to present SafeHaven with a gift of $20,000 in addition to the hundreds of emergency items needed for shelter residents that were collected on the day of the race.”According to Hibbs the race begins and ends indoors at College Park Center, where vendors will set up exhibits and participants and spectators will enjoy tasty samplings from area restaurants along the concourse. On the new course, runners will meander through the UTA campus, downtown Arlington and quaint neighborhoods.Women in the 5K run, which begins at 9 a.m., are encouraged to create a team of five or more to be eligible for awards including best team name, most spirited team and fastest team. The Wiggle Butt 1-mile run for boys and girls under age 12 starts at 8:15 a.m.Last year, SafeHaven protected nearly 6,000 women and children through emergency shelters, outreach centers and housing. Counseling and legal services are also available to help women and their children break the cycle of abuse.“The Jiggle Butt Run creates a community conversation about the issue,” said Mary Lee Hafley, CEO of SafeHaven. “These women keep the discussion alive in the community.”Registration for teams of five or more is $20; it’s $25 for individuals and $15 for kids. Packet pickup is Jan. 2 and 3 at The Runner, at 3535 W. Pioneer Parkway, or at the race. Register at www.jigglebuttrun.com.Junior League serves holiday meal at Park Lane ApartmentsA taco luncheon hosted by the Junior League of Arlington served more than 100 residents of Park Lane Apartments this month.The organization learned of the need for assistance at Park Lane through Stephanie Gillespie, the community support manager at the Arlington Police Department. Junior League spokeswoman Shannon Reilly said, “The league had 25 members that volunteered on [a recent] Saturday to decorate the room in a holiday theme and serve the meal on Sunday.” She said many members donated money or food for the event, part of the Junior League’s Done-in-a-Day community service. According to Julie Pompa, project administrator, “Provisional member Jennifer Chavez and her husband, Richard, owners of Mavericks Bar and Grill in Arlington, graciously helped the Junior League of Arlington purchase ingredients at a discount and donated their restaurant to cook and prepare the 80 pounds of beef for the taco meal.”“ Daniel Hernandez, owner of Danny’s Tacos, Cantina and Grill, was extremely helpful by preparing all of the rice and beans for the event at a discounted cost.” One resident is a single mother who was temporarily home-bound because of illness and unable to bring her five children to the lunch, so league members delivered the lunch to her apartment.“All of the residents that attended, from the adults to the small children, were so grateful. I feel this turned out to be one of the most rewarding activities we have been a part of in quite some time,” remarked Julie Reinhardt, community vice president of the league.Kids can win prizes in annual animal essay contestKids in third through sixth grades have a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD and a $100 savings account in the essay contest that Arlington Animal Services opened this month.The contest originated 13 years ago to bring awareness of pet responsibility to Arlington youths. “We try and instill in children at a young age that if you’re going to be a pet owner, then that’s a responsibility of a lifetime. And how you treat that pet also will carry forward how you treat other people,” Councilwoman Sheri Capehart said.“That’s why we really do it,” Capehart continued. “It certainly helps with promoting the animal shelter. That’s a side benefit. But it’s more about the education.”The contest is open to students who live in Arlington and attend public, private, or home school. Essays will be judged on effective writing, focus and coherence, organization, development of ideas, and voice and conventions.Third-graders will write about what they would do if asked to help at the shelter. The topic chosen for fourth-grade students is “What changes do cats and dogs have to make to live and survive as homeless pets?” Fifth-grade kids will write about the advice they would give a family to keep a new pet from producing unwanted offspring. Sixth-graders will cover how an overpopulation of homeless cats and dogs affects our ecosystem.Winners will be introduced at a City Council meeting in March. Essay entries may be submitted beginning Jan. 13 and are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 17.Contact Cheri Colbert at 817-459-6183 or visit www.arlingtontx.gov/animals/annualanimalessaycontest.html. Season’s greetingsWhat a privilege it has been for me to cover so many community events this year. The generosity and dedication of Arlington’s volunteers and the employees of local nonprofit organizations never ceases to amaze me. I can’t wait to hear from you in the year ahead about the things happening with your favorite cause, and look forward to keeping our community informed about important events on the horizon.For today, may you recall the words of the late Andy Rooney, “One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” Happy holidays to all.
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