Former NFL player Craig James is the headliner guest at the Champions for Kids Luncheon on May 14.at the Arlington Convention Center. Newswoman Karen Borta will emcee the event that benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington.
SMU alumnus James gained fame alongside teammate Eric Dickerson when the two would alternate carries and became known as the Pony Express.
He played professionally for the New England Patriots until 1989, then became a sports broadcaster.
Special guest at the event will be former Dallas Cowboy Russell Maryland, who has recently worked on the annual fund campaign for the youth agency. Co-chairing the luncheon are John and Julie Landry, working with a committee including board Chairman Mark Caffey, Alec Broadus, Amber Chako, Mike Gerro, Don Illingworth and several other dedicated volunteers.
“A special thank you to Craig James for quickly answering the call to action as our keynote speaker,” writes Landry. “We will also be honoring Spring Creek Companies and Chris Carroll for years of service in our community, helping thousands of kids realize their full potential as responsible members in the community.”
Carroll will receive the Champion of Youth Award annually presented by Boys & Girls Clubs to an individual who has provided exemplary service to young people in the community. Joseph Saenz, the 2014 Youth of the Year, will also be introduced .
In recent years, the event has featured such celebrities as Maryland, Roger Staubach, Nolan Ryan and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Seated at each table will be a Boys & Girls Club member, and it’s always fun (and inspiring) to get acquainted with the young people attending the luncheon and learn about their club and school experiences.
Writers to share stories at Book & Author Luncheon May 16
Always a favorite spring event, the Book & Author Luncheon hosted by Friends of the Arlington Public Library comes up May 16. Guests will enjoy the view from the Cacharel Grand Ballroom as they are served a gourmet lunch before hearing from two local authors. The writers will visit with attendees and autograph books at the end of the event.
Longtime chairwoman is Dorothy Rencurrel, who has lined up authors Robert Hall and Paula LaRocque as speakers for the luncheon.
Hall, regarded as an authority on relationships, will share excerpts from his book This Land of Strangers: The Relationship Crisis That Imperils Home, Work, Politics, and Faith. Recurrel writes that Hall’s book looks at modern life through the prism of relationships with an engaging narrative style.
Arlington writer LaRocque, former assistant managing editor at The Dallas Morning News, will talk with the audience about her series The Book on Writing, On Words and On Championship Writing, along with her first novel, The Chalk Line, a murder-mystery set in the Metroplex.
“Join the Friends of the Arlington Public Library for an afternoon of fun, friendships and good food,” Rencurrel said. “Just remember, a book can be your best friend in good times and bad.”
ARBOR foundation to award scholarships
Congratulations to high school seniors Monika Youssef from Arlington High School and Lindsay Lehman from Lamar High School. The students have each received a $1,000 scholarship from the Arlington Board of Realtors Community Service Foundation.
“This is the time of year that our foundation looks forward to granting these two scholarships,” said foundation Chairman Mike Hale. “We are inspired when we read the applications and essays that these outstanding students have submitted. The things these students have accomplished and the adversities they have overcome are amazing.”
The ARBOR Foundation has awarded scholarships annually for the past seven years. The group sends applications to every public and private high school in the Arlington, Mansfield and Kennedale school districts. This year’s winners were chosen by a committee that reviewed more than 30 applicants.
One-day Junior League service projects help local citizens
The Junior League’s Done-in-a-Day service program gives league members the opportunity to provide assistance to nonprofit agencies by providing volunteers for community-based events on a short-term (usually one day) basis. What a tremendous help this concentrated program is to Arlington-area charitable causes.
The Arlington Police Department’s victim assistance program and Arlington Urban Ministries mobile food pantry were recent beneficiaries of the work of league volunteers.
The group had a “fantastic” event when members joined together to begin the renovation of the Police Department’s victim assistance room, said league Community Vice President Julie Reinhardt. “We painted walls, put furniture together, filled backpacks and organized,” she said. “Most importantly, we were able to use our resources to assist with the care of two small children who were brought in due to a crisis situation.”
Thousands of victims spend hours in the victim assistance room as they wait to be interviewed or picked up by Child Protective Services after their parents have been taken into custody. Reinhardt said the space has been improved with safe furniture, toys, a television and essential items for the children to take with them as they move toward a more positive time in their life.
In other Junior League news, more than 70 girls from local high schools recently spent a special day at the Glass Slipper Boutique that the organization operates to assist students with prom apparel.
More than 50 volunteers transformed the headquarters of the league into a stylish boutique. Members served as personal shopping assistants to the girls as they walked down the Glass Slipper Boutique pink carpet sipping frozen pink lemonade to shop for the prom dress of their dreams.
After an extensive campaign to acquire inventory, more than 1,500 dresses and “a room full of sparkling heels and tables full of glittering accessories” were available for the teens to browse.
Spokeswoman Shannon Reilly said, “The best part of the day for me was talking with a young lady who had never worn a dress before. She was over the moon with all of the options. When she found her dress and shoes, she told me that she felt like a princess.”
Randy Ro Entertainment provided dressing rooms and Shag Carpet Prop Rentals supplied the pink carpet. The shoppers were also entered to win gift certificates for manicures, pedicures and hair appointments on the day of their prom.
Boutique chairwoman Kayla Sims summed it up by saying, “It is an amazing opportunity to help build the girl’s self esteem. Junior League of Arlington feels so lucky that we are able to support these girls and give them memories that will last a lifetime.”