Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on H-E-B: Summer Santa party celebrates 20 years

Children attend a Summer Santa camp. The Northeast Tarrant charity celebrates 20 years with a Tribute to Love party Sept. 25.
Children attend a Summer Santa camp. The Northeast Tarrant charity celebrates 20 years with a Tribute to Love party Sept. 25. Star-Telegram archives

Any party that invites guests to wear Texas chic and includes line dancing and listening to great country music while helping needy children gets my ticket money before you can say “cowboy boots.” The entire community can join in the Sept. 25 Texas-style Tribute to Love celebration hosted by the folks at Summer Santa as they commemorate 20 years of helping children in Northeast Tarrant County.

The Party Machine band from Emerald City Management will go country to start the fun with a line-dancing lesson before the dance floor fills up during two sets of high-energy nonstop music, lights and motion. Partygoers can say howdy during a cocktail reception as they wet their whistles before the grub is served.

“Guests will be welcomed with that famous Texas hospitality and chow down on Texas cuisine prepared by the Scratch Kitchen,” spokeswoman Sherri Whitt said. “The Texas Tavern will be pouring beer, wine and beverages throughout the evening.

“The trail boss auctioneer, Chuck Inman, will be lookin’ to rile up guests to bid on a week’s stay at a Seacrest Beach home in Florida, a Texas fishing expedition, a catered dinner by Scratch Kitchen in Southlake, a longhorn calf, a Super Supper package and a custom wine blending class,” Whitt added. Bidders will experience a creative auction as items are presented in ways that will appeal to their five senses, she said.

The success story of the all-volunteer Summer Santa charity has touched more than 4,000 kids who were sent to summer camps they could not otherwise afford, along with providing back-to-school shopping outings for 2,000-plus children, sports equipment for Miracle League and a host of other services. Of particular note is the involvement of hundreds of high school students in Summer Santa’s programs, giving them a chance to learn what philanthropy means. In its 20-year history, the charity has raised more than $1 million to help more than 43,000 kids.

After dinner, the presentation of the Art of Philanthropy awards to Roxann Taylor, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Llc. and the Southlake Women’s Club Foundation will be a spotlight moment. Emcees for the evening are Summer Santa founders Brad Bradley and Dave Lieber.

In charge of the event is chairwoman Vicky Stropes with help from a great committee that includes Bill Smith, Natalie White, Karen Lieber and Chuck Inman. A brand-new venue —The Marq in Southlake — will be perfect for this year’s celebration.

“Summer Santa is very excited to host an event at The Marq in Southlake for the children of Northeast Tarrant County. It is a celebration in honor of children, volunteers and supporters,” Whitt said. “Because of the generosity of guests at last year’s event, the charity was able to increase camp scholarship and back-to-school shopping programs by over 20 percent.”

Tickets are $75 per person. To make reservations, call 888-287-2682 or purchase online at

Events at a glance

  • GAP Fall Pet Fair is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 24 at Trinity High School, 500 N. Industrial Blvd. This is the largest fundraiser that the GAP Club does for the Euless Animal Shelter. The event will provide low-cost vaccinations and microchipping until 1 p.m. along with professional dog photos, dog bathing and nail trimming as well as a huge garage sale. Local vendors will be selling crafts and dog gear. Adorable dogs and cats will be available for adoption. Visit for more information.
  • The Sonata Club of the Mid will meet at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Tarrant County College Northeast Campus in College Hall NCAB Room 1111. A performance by Roger Bennett on guitar and David Perez-Guerra on harpsichord/piano will be the program. The club meets the third Thursday of each month September through May. Learn more at or contact Wanda Balentine, club historian, at 817-514-6299 or
  • Euless Library Foundation annual meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mary Lib Saleh Public Library. Special guest is R.W. Sewell. According to communications from the foundation, “Come and listen to the epic stories of a courageous surgeon’s love affair with his profession and his battle against the twin forces of political power and corporate greed, which threaten his ability to provide lifesaving care for children in desperate need.” The community is invited to the meeting, and refreshments will be served.
  • The MOMS Club of H-E-B new member brunch is at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 22 at Hurst Central Park (across from the Hurst Recreation Center). Prospective members can meet other moms and get acquainted with the club’s activities. The MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club is an international nonprofit organization specifically for at-home mothers everywhere and supports the community through service projects and fundraisers focusing on things that benefit women and children. Activities include age-specific biweekly playgroups, kids outings, Mom’s Night Out, book club, brunches and more. Contact club President Jessica Parsley at to inquire.

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