March 17, 2014

City by City: Arlington, Mansfield, Northeast Tarrant

Families wanting a campout experience but with no time for a trip to the wilderness are in luck. The Tents & Tales Campout is set for Friday at River Legacy Parks.


Tents & Tales Campout is trouble-free camping fun

Families wanting a campout experience but with no time for a trip to the wilderness are in luck. The Tents & Tales Campout is set for Friday at River Legacy Parks.

Campers will check in and get their tents set up from 4 to 6 p.m. before enjoying hot dogs at 6 p.m. followed by storytime, animal exploration and crafts until 8 p.m.

Everyone will gather around the campfire at 8 p.m. for s’mores until movie time when Despicable Me 2 will be shown. Tent time (bedtime) is 11 p.m.

Space is limited for this usually sold-out event, so make reservations soon. The camping fee is $10 per person (age 2 and under are free). Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Register at or call Ernie Smith at 817-459-6434.

— Shirley Jinkins

Seminar looks at services for special-needs families

Helping Restore Ability is hosting a free seminar for parents to provide information on how to protect the long term financial and legal needs of children with special needs. Parents with children of any age and any type of special needs are welcome to attend.

The seminar will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. April 16 at the offices of Helping Restore Ability, 4300 Beltway Place, Suite 130, in Arlington.

Vicki Niedermayer, CEO of Helping Restore Ability, will be sharing information on public and private programs and support services, many of which are free of charge and immediately available.

Aaron Shutt, attorney with the Paup law firm in Fort Worth, will explain how a special-needs trust can help maintain a child’s eligibility for Social Security, Medicare and other assistance programs as well as protect assets from predators, creditors and judgments. Shutt will also explain guardianship and the powers of attorney parents may want to have for the care of an adult child with special needs.

Jason Smith is a financial adviser with Edward Jones who has lived with a disability label, having been born without his right hand. He will cover common strategies used to fund a special-needs trust and share some of his personal experiences.

To RSVP, email or call Sarah Collom at or 817-635-6020.


Keller school district vendor fair scheduled for Thursday

The Keller Council of PTAs will host the ninth annual vendor fair Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Keller schools administration building, 350 Keller Parkway.

At the event, local PTAs, school administrators, booster clubs and anyone from the community can visit exhibits to get information about fundraisers, spirit apparel and educational programs.

If vendor booths are still available, the cost is $125. There is no admission for guests at the fair.

Drawings for door prizes will occur throughout the event.

Funds raised are distributed to each Keller high school PTSA scholarship fund for deserving seniors. Send inquiries to or get details online at

— Faye Reeder


Students stockpile necessities for needy

Students and teachers at Mary Orr Intermediate School have seen their community service project to help classmates in need grow into a permanent storehouse.

They call it the HALO House (Helping and Loving Others), and it is stocked with food, water, clothing and other household items for students on campus and their families who are in need. On Feb. 28, Mansfield Mayor David Cook and Mayor Pro Tem Stephen Lindsey officially opened HALO House with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Students began gathering donations back in November. School counselors and administrators developed a system to find needy students and keep their identities confidential. They and their families can privately collect items and not be stigmatized.

Students have widened their efforts on increasing donations by requesting support from neighboring schools, such as Mansfield High School.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can contact the school at 817-299-5820, or drop off items at Orr’s front office, 2900 E. Broad St.

— Shirley Jinkins


Save the date for Summer Santa Concert

Summer Santa, the children’s charity with programs to benefit kids in Northeast Tarrant County, has announced plans to host a Woodstock-style concert on Sept. 28 in the Grand Hall of the North Richland Hills Event Center.

“It will be a ‘Peace, Love and Rock ’n’ Roll’ Dinner Dance featuring Emerald City’s Dance Band Party Machine,” said Summer Santa Executive Board Chairman Cyn Choate.

For information, call 888-287-2682.

— Faye Reeder


Student works sought for arts festival

Art in the Square, a fine-arts festival held at Southlake Town Square on April 25-27, showcases artwork of renowned artists, emerging artists and high school artists.

One of the goals of the event is to encourage young artists.

Student Art offers high school students in Northeast Tarrant County the opportunity to enter their artwork in competition for the Lone Star Artist Award.

The winner of the award will have his or her work on display in the rotunda of the Texas Capitol.

The winner and family will receive two nights of hotel accommodations in Austin and a VIP tour of the Capitol courtesy of state Rep. Giovannni Capriglione.

The contest is open to any student of high school age in Northeast Tarrant County including private and home school.

The Student Art jury committee will select 100 pieces of artwork to be showcased during the three day festival.

In addition to the Lone Star Artist Award, the jury committee selects exceptional student artwork from the 100 pieces, awarding $500 worth of cash prizes to the winners.

Deadline for artwork submission is April 4.

Submit artwork at For questions contact

— Shirley Jinkins

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