The perfect setting — the earthy and elegant Living Science Center at the gateway to lush River Legacy Parks — is enough to attract people to the Night With Nature party, but there’s so much more in store for guests at this annual upscale soiree in Arlington.
Cocktails and craft beer, a delectable buffet, live music and a very special silent auction will combine to give guests a lovely evening, but it’s the other experiences offered that make this party one of a kind.
How many parties offer guided night nature hikes in a world-class park? Or how about stopping by a Nature Adventure Station for the chance to eat a bug and actually like it? Do you often party with the likes of owls, hawks and falcons in your midst? Stargazing through a powerful telescope is not typical party fun nor is making s’mores in a campfire. Yes, all these adventures are on the party agenda.
“This fantastic fall fundraiser is truly one of Arlington’s most unique and fun events,” said Becky Nussbaum from the River Legacy team. “I mean where else can you dress in woodland chic attire and get to meet some famous wildlife ambassadors?”
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One of those wildlife ambassadors who will greet and charm party guests is Stormfly the bearded dragon. “Stormfly is my favorite animal here at the Science Center. He teaches our guests about nonnative animals,” spokeswoman Kristi Payne said.
Naturalists will circulate among party guests introducing other wildlife ambassadors (only the friendly ones), and the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center will have its amazing rescued raptors — owls, hawks and falcons — available for up-close and personal encounters of the fascinating kind.
Enjoy a camping experience at the Camp REI setup, where guests can prepare their own molten mouthfuls of s’mores over an open campfire, or put your hand in a wind tunnel (known as the Prize Cube) and take home something fabulous — perhaps you’ll grab a coupon for dinner or shopping outing or a fine bottle of wine.
The Tailgate USA trailer complete with TVs and a bar will be serving craft beer donated by Division Brewing and specialty cocktails courtesy of Deep Eddy Vodka. Wine and soft drink stations will be waiting to complete all beverage needs. Blue Mesa’s buffet of tempting selections and a make-your-own-quesadilla bar will appeal to all appetites. And throughout the evening, guests will be entertained by talented singer, songwriter and musician Billy Herzig.
To spend Thanksgiving Day with the Dallas Cowboys, be the top bidder on tickets in the silent auction. For an early start on holiday shopping, place the top bid on the fab jewelry and fun gift cards up for bid. Several vacation home packages (beach and mountain) are also part of the auction swag.
Party hosts are Dan and Linda Dipert. Chairing the event are Laura DiStefano and Leslie Friedman, and honorary chairs are Richard and Sylvia Greene. Dedicated committee members include Debby Pond, Julie Ryan, Kathy Bukhair and Susan Sign.
Anyone can request an invitation to Night With Nature by sending an email to Kristi@riverlegacy.org. Tickets are $100 per person and sponsorships start at $500. Reservations for the party are due by Nov. 9. Proceeds from the event will fund the outstanding environment education programs at River Legacy.
Bragan Foundation to honor Roger Williams on Nov. 2 and raise money for youth scholarships
It’s the golden anniversary of the Lifetime Achievement Award Gala presented annually by the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation. That’s an impressive 25 years of honoring mostly local personalities for remarkable career achievements, and in the process, raising money for the foundation’s youth scholarship program.
U.S. Rep. Roger Williams is this year’s honoree. The former TCU baseball player and former Texas secretary of state under Gov. Rick Perry will be feted at the gala Nov. 2 at the Fort Worth Club. Williams’ distinguished career will be highlighted during the evening’s festivities. Guests will enjoy a reception at 6 p.m. along with a silent auction before dinner is served at 7:30 p.m.
“Bobby Bragan was like a second father to me, so this is a great honor,” Williams said in a news release. “Bobby taught me how to get along with people and keep friends for a lifetime. He stood for perseverance, benevolence and a belief in God.”
Since the foundation was established in 1991 by Bragan, a former major-league player and manager, more than $1.8 million in college scholarships in $2,500 increments have been awarded to more than 700 local students. Students receive the awards when they are in eighth grade, and the scholarships are redeemed once students have graduated from high school and enrolled in college. Twenty percent of the scholarship recipients are first-generation college attendees.
Gala co-chairs are Martha Fry and Priscilla Hamilton assisted by a stellar committee including Aracely Munoz, Larry Anfin, Andy Anthony, Jim Beckman, Bobbie Edmonds, Kathy Grieve, Greg Kalina and Chris Lewis.
While playing for TCU, Williams was an All-Southwest Conference selection and was named to TCU’s 1960s All-Decade Team. He later coached at TCU before he embarked on a career in business and public affairs.
“The Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation is investing in the lives of young people and helping them realize the American dream,” Williams said.
Characters bring history to life in Saints & Sinners cemetery tour
For those who are tired of haunted houses or scary movies for Halloween thrills, the walking tour at Fort Worth’s Oakwood Cemetery promises to be a memorable way to experience a bit of living local history. The 11th annual Saints and Sinners Tour is set for Oct. 29-30 with guided tours available at 1 and 3:30 p.m.
“Some of Fort Worth’s early infamous and not-so-infamous folk who reside at Oakwood Cemetery return on Halloween weekend to tell you about their lives and times,” said Melissa Hunter, spokeswoman for the North Fort Worth Historical Society, which is hosting the event.
Tourists will come face to face with some colorful former members of the community who, dressed in authentic period clothes, will tell all about themselves — where they lived, whom they married, what they did and accomplished before they were laid to rest in Oakwood.
“Hear the stories of characters such as Adrienne Ames, a Hollywood actress in the 1930s born in Fort Worth and buried in Oakwood. And the cemetery’s century-old chapel and casket vaults will be open for viewing,” Hunter said.
The cemetery is the resting place of many notable inhabitants including John Peter Smith, Luke Short and the men in Bartenders Row, a section occupied by men who tended bar in 19th-century saloons and early Fort Worth gambling halls from Fort Worth’s infamous red-light district called Hell’s Half Acre.
Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children and students. Tourists will walk under magnificent oaks along gravel paths, so appropriate attire and walking shoes are recommended.
- Cara Young Fish for Life Garden Party is Oct. 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and is in memory of Cara Young of Arlington. Proceeds benefit young cystic fibrosis patients and families at Cook Children’s Medical Center. The party includes catered food by Mac’s on Main, auctions and live music by dance band Encore, and vocal performances by Sonny Burgess. Purchase tickets at mkt.com/carayoungfishforlife or contact Steve Young at 817-276-5149.
- Joey Cushman 5K and Fun Run is Oct. 29 at River Legacy Parks and benefits athletes of Special Olympics. It is in memory of Arlington police officer Joey Cushman, who died in the line of duty in 2001. Register at www.SOTX.org/Cushman5K or contact Alex Thieroff (email@example.com) at 817-332-3433.
- Heart of North Texas Business Conference is Nov. 4 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Tarrant County College Northeast Campus Larry Darlage Center. Hosted by the Northeast Leadership Forum, the event will offer breakfast, a panel discussion, breakout sessions and keynote speaker Rick Smyre talking about preparing for the future. Register in advance for $60 or $75 the day of the event. Call the H-E-B Chamber of Commerce or Carolyn Sims at 817-515-6516.
- Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk is Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at UT Arlington Maverick Activities Center, 500 W. Nedderman Drive. Hosted by the American Cancer Society, the walk is to build awareness and generate funds to fight breast cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer death. Register at www.Makingstrideswalk.org/northtexas or contact Casey Miller at 817-821-7745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.