Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on H-E-B: Volunteers shine at Sept 25 affair benefiting the arts

Sharon Mayes and Jean Lewis. The Arts League held its 2014 Shining Stars VIP reception at the Bedford library.
Sharon Mayes and Jean Lewis. The Arts League held its 2014 Shining Stars VIP reception at the Bedford library. Courtesy of Mike Lewis

The Shining Stars luncheon and art show is set for Sept. 25 at the Hurst Conference Center where guests will sip mimosas at a reception before the luncheon and awards presentations, bid on wonderful works of art and shop at a small silent auction of luxury items. The event celebrates community volunteers who contribute thousands of volunteer hours in support of local organizations providing valuable community services in Northeast Tarrant County.

Now in the 19th year of honoring outstanding women who volunteer in the community, this year’s event will broaden its scope and include male honorees for the first time.

Another change is the inclusion of local businesses that were invited to nominate someone as a Shining Star. In the past, only civic and charitable groups nominated women for the award.

Producing the event for the first time is the Bedford-based Arts Council Northeast. The arts nonprofit takes over leadership of the event as the Arts League passes the baton after 18 years of managing the Shining Stars program.

“We look forward to showcasing this year’s incredible community volunteers,” said Lee Koch, executive director of Arts Council Northeast. “Since we are reaching out to more organizations this year, we know Shining Stars will be a sparkling success.”

Koch said 38 individuals will be honored as Shining Stars, and 11 new organizations will have honorees along with the men being honored for the first time. New this year is a video featuring the honorees speaking about their volunteer experiences. A spotlight moment will be the presentation of a special award to the Arts League for its remarkable contributions to the Arts Council and the community.

The event committee includes Kim Raine, Mary Sackleh, Joan Matzke, Marty Reiswig, Vicki Cahill, Carmen Evans, Karen Deakin, Joy Donovan Brandon, and Sue Wykes to randomly name only a few.

Be sure to get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a $750 knife set, $750 and $500 Visa gift cards, and a mystery gift card package valued at $500. Purchase early online or at the event. There will also be a live auction of fine jewelry, trips and other exceptional items.

NBC5 newswoman Deborah Ferguson will be the day’s hostess, and Andrew Wayne is back to stir up excitement as the auctioneer.

Congratulations to these outstanding shining star volunteers: Mary Phillips, Darlene McLaughlin, Fonda Martin, Sarah Mason, Laura Roach, Joy Williams, Katie Hopkins, Dr. Pamela Eckmann, Tammy Nakamura, Sally Bustamante, Nina Muraski, Balla Wright, Stacy Archer, June Aurelio, Jessica Farrell, Deborah Paganelli, Marta Cole, Marti Conner and Don Armstrong.

Also being honored as Shining Stars are Carita Weaver, Mary King, Anna Saunders, Amy Berryhill, Marcia Etie, Margaret Martin, Randy Moresi, Paul Cobb, Susan Schleppegrell, Terri Schrobilgen, Patti Irwin, Barbara Cager, Cindy Baw, Phyllis Somma, Andrew Wayne, Kathleen Simpson, Carol Callery, and Mary Frazior.

A word to the wise: Enhance your experience at this multifaceted event by checking out the art, the auction and the raffle items in advance at While you’re there, see the photos of this year’s honorees. You can also preview the work of the 25 Shining Stars artists at the Bedford Public Library until Sept. 18.

Tickets are $65 each. Funds raised will support the many cultural and educational programs offered by Arts Council Northeast. Purchase online or contact Koch at 817-283-3406.

Have a Wild West good time at Boots & Bling casino party Sept 19

City slickers need to don that sparkly Western gear and mosey on over to the Hurst Conference Center on Sept. 19 for the Boots & Bling casino party benefiting North Texas SNAP.

Special Needs Assistance Partners serves individuals with intellectual disabilities, and the Western-themed gala evening will raise funds to continue its remarkable programs. Guests will enjoy a seated dinner, gaming, dancing, activities and a dessert bar. Chairwoman of the event is Carolyn Sims, former chief of staff for Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes.

Cowboys and cowgirls can mosey over to the silent-auction corral and try to lasso one of the spa packages or maybe a weekend vacation at Buffalo Thunder Casino Resort in Santa Fe, N.M. Sidle up to one of the fabulous themed wish bowls to view the gifts they contain to figure out where to drop your ticket to win gift cards, movie tickets, pet pampering and others. And don’t forget to try your hand at the wine pull to see what vintage you get to take home.

Prepare to be inspired by a moving program that includes a video presentation that will bring to life the services that SNAP provides, followed by a testimonial from a SNAP member.

“Our members have the same hopes and dreams as their peers living without intellectual disabilities — they want to have jobs, make friends and build long-lasting relationships,” said Executive Director Brandy Schimmel. “North Texas SNAP receives no federal or state funding, operating solely on benevolent gifts and fundraising events such as Boots & Bling Casino Night. We are committed to helping our members achieve their life goals and providing them with a solid support system for generations to come.”

DJ Scott Smith will play hits from every music genre for great listening and dancing. And the emcee for the evening is SNAP board member Mark Harrison. The gaming tables fill quickly, so better giddyup and get a seat so you can parlay that winning hand into a chance to win a prize at the casino drawing.

Generous donors have donated a $500 Visa card and an iWatch that will go home with the winning ticket holder. Raffle tickets are available online or at the event for $10 each or four for $25.

Tickets are $100 and tables of 10 are $850 (includes a plated dinner and $1,000 chip voucher for gaming). To inquire or make reservations, contact Schimmel at 817-545-9456. Learn more at

Pay It Forward 2015 hosts free dinner to benefit H-E-B Charities

Several charities in the H-E-B area are the beneficiaries of the Pay It Forward 2015 event coming up Friday. Euless-based North Texas SNAP and the Clubhouse for Special Needs in Bedford are among other nonprofits that will benefit from the exciting evening planned.

“The third annual Pay It Forward 2015 is a charity fundraiser that allows those of us who feel like we have truly been blessed to give back to worthy local organizations that may not have the notoriety of the big national charities,” said Tyler Brown, who is in charge of the event.

“We will be hosting a dinner and silent auction on 9-11 this year with $12,000 of excellent raffle and silent auction items including a five-course in-home dinner for four and several restaurant experiences,” Brown added.

During a social hour, guests can mix and mingle with folks from the charities before a buffet dinner and exciting program. “Representatives from each charity will talk about their respective organizations, and we will be raffling off items throughout the evening and will close with our silent auction,” Brown said.

Host for the event is J. Loren Norris from Music will be provided by DJ Zach. The hardworking event committee includes Saul David, Dwight Brown and Paul Brough.

Admission is free, but reservations are suggested. Reserve by searching “Pay It Forward 2015” on Facebook. The venue is Rentals and Events at 201 W. Harwood Road, Suite 130, in Bedford. Contact Brown at or 817-343-7394.

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