Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Mansfield Cares charity ball will ‘Paint the Town Red’ to fund local charities

Fox Sports newsman John Rhadigan and Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister, pictured, will headline the Champions for Kids breakfast event on Wednesday, Feb. 7 benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington.
Fox Sports newsman John Rhadigan and Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister, pictured, will headline the Champions for Kids breakfast event on Wednesday, Feb. 7 benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington. Star-Telegram archives

When it comes to hosting parties, local charity Mansfield Cares has a reputation that beckons fun seekers like no other. The elite force of community volunteers that run the charity will make their annual splash on the party scene with a swanky soiree that promises to “Paint the Town Red” on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Walnut Creek Country Club.

Guests dressed to the nines will experience a night of mingling, dancing, silent and live auctions, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and merriment. Mansfield Cares president Debbie Koennecke says the growth in the area means funds raised by the charity event are needed more than ever before to operate the Nix Family Caring Place, the medical clinic founded by the charity in 2009 to provide free and lost cost health and dental care for low income people.

The Feed the Kids summer food program is largely funded by Mansfield Cares, and they support Harvesting International Ministries with dollars and infrastructure. The charity is now the leading funding source for Mansfield’s charitable organizations and programs. The charity ball is their only fundraising event and annually generates around $150,000.

“We are hoping this year’s gala is the most successful event to date. We are still seeking donations for our auctions,” said event co-chair Heidi Gallini. “We could not achieve the success that we have seen without the generous support from our sponsors and community.”

Between turns on the dance floor to jams by the King David Band, guests can peruse impressive silent auction swag including tickets to sports and entertainment events, guns, vacation trips, jewelry, and even a fun liquor wagon. More buzz will be generated with a split the pot and live auction.

“This year’s ball is shaping up to be one of the best in our 19 years,” said event co-chairman Lance Walker. “Mansfield Cares is lucky to have such a great group of volunteers working together to make the ball experience better for our attendees and hopefully raise more money.” Among the others working on the event are Lisa Stewart, Karen Tecklenburg and Christy Silvas.

Tickets are $125 per person. Purchase in advance at or call 817-269-1915 to inquire. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Jeff Banister and John Rhadigan team up for breakfast event to help local youth

Fox Sports newsman John Rhadigan and Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister will headline the Champions for Kids breakfast event on Wednesday, Feb. 7 benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington. A big crowd is expected at the lively morning at the Cholula Porch at Globe Life Park.

Doors will open at 7 a.m. for guests to enjoy coffee before a yummy breakfast is served at 7:30. Co-chairs of the event are Lisa Hoffman and Kari Sargent. Veterans of Champions for Kids know that one of the highlights is a chance to meet and chat with the club kids who will join the adults for breakfast, one at each table.

“Champions for Kids was reformatted from a luncheon to a breakfast event several years ago because it’s so nice for our guests to be able to attend and hear the stories from club kids and meet them personally, meet other community leaders, and still be available for the rest of their day by 9 a.m.,” said Hoffman.

The always-entertaining Rhadigan will handle the hosting duties and will have a Q&A session with Banister guaranteed to engage the audience.

“I am very honored to be attending the Champions for Kids Breakfast. The Boys & Girls Clubs have such a significant impact on the lives of so many youngsters not just in Arlington but throughout America,” Banister said. “Being a part of this outstanding event will be one of the highlights of my off-season.”

Rhadigan said he’s been involved with the Boys & Girls Club for nearly 20 years because he admires the work they do with the youth in the community and gets inspiration from the families they touch.

“The questions I have for Jeff Banister will be fastballs, the likes of which he hasn’t seen since his playing days,” Rhadigan joked. “Actually, Jeff is as down-to-earth and authentic as any coach/manager I have ever covered. Our interview will help the audience get to know him better.”

“We will also talk a little baseball since pitchers and catchers report just days after the event,” he added.

Hoffman said she enjoys being a part of the event because of the direct impact on the community that BGC programs have. “Boys and Girls Clubs simultaneous provide a quality, caring, safe place for kids to go after school and in the summer while offering programs that build character, provide activities and inspire at-risk kids to attend college or work towards a career,” she said. “Their impact is invaluable but they need the financial support of the community to do what they do.”

Tickets for the event are $150 and reservations are due by Jan. 31. Purchase online at or call 817-275-6551, ext. 229.

Mansfield’s Run with Heart raises money for cardiac care, heart health

For anyone that likes to run or do fitness walking, the Jan. 27 Run With Heart hosted by Methodist Mansfield Hospital will offer a distance that fits your body and personality. Three distances – a half marathon, a 5K and a one-mile walk – are the choices for participants at this fifth year of the event benefiting Amon G. Carter Foundation Heart and Vascular Center at the hospital.

“We will celebrate those living a heart-healthy lifestyle and those who’ve survived heart disease,” said spokeswoman Angel Biasatti. “Hundreds of runners from across North Texas will lace up their shoes to raise awareness of heart disease prevention. It is also a time to honor those who have lost their battle with heart disease.”

The route begins at the hospital located at 2700 E Broad St. and winds through the scenic streets of Mansfield Runners. Chip timing is available, and top finishers in various categories will win awards.

Hardworking committee members include Mayor David Cook, Clayton Chandler, Randall Canedy and Sherman Hatch to name only a few.

Be sure to arrive in time for a special warm-up session before the race, and bring the kids to enjoy face painting and balloon animals. Participants and spectators will want to hang around after the race to dive into some heart-healthy food and jam out to the lively music before the awards ceremony.

“Everyone is invited to participate, even if you only want to walk or run at your own pace and do not wish to be timed. Volunteers are also needed,” Biasatti said.

Register on line at

Twitter: @FayeReeder