Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Empowering Seniors expo expects large turnout

Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes is host of the Empowering Seniors expo.
Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes is host of the Empowering Seniors expo. Courtesy photo

We all want to live the good life, especially as we enter our golden years. Discover resources to make that good life a reality at the one-day Empowering Seniors Health & Lifestyle Expo set for Friday at the Campus West of First Baptist Church in Euless, 205 N. Industrial Blvd. More than 2,000 attended last year, and the crowd is expected to expand for this event.

Empowering Seniors will be a free, one-stop opportunity for baby boomers, senior citizens and caregivers to learn about resources in the community at a fun and friendly event designed just for them. The event will offer free health screenings, more than 150 exhibitors, food, entertainment, bingo, door prizes and workshop sessions.

Now in its seventh year, the nationally recognized event hosted by Tarrant County Precinct 3 Commissioner Gary Fickes was created because he wanted to address timely life and health issues for area seniors.

“This event allows us to provide critical information and screenings in a fun and casual environment to this important segment of our community,” Fickes wrote in a news release.

Managing the expo are Rebecca Barksdale, Devin Wenske and Theresa Parsons from the commissioner’s staff along with a hardworking volunteer committee that includes Judy Atwood, Faye Beaulieu, Ron Parish, Renee Frizzell, Michelle Varley, David Stuckey, Amanda English and Michelle Holloway.

Special guest will be Randy White, Dallas Cowboys legend, NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl MVP. Don’t miss a photo opp with White as he visits with attendees from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

“We’re excited to partner with our hospitals this year in providing three ‘Ask the Doctor’ panel sessions that will feature six physicians, surgeons, pharmacists and other providers in each session,” Fickes said. “Guests will be able to ask questions of specialists in the fields of cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, family/geriatrics and many more.”

Other seminars will include such topics as “Medicare & You: Increase Your Power,” “Senior Moments or Something More?” “Health & Well-being for Seniors,” “Empowerment Through Employment,” “Stressbusters for Caregivers” and “ID Theft & Fraud.”

A bustling culinary scene expanded from last year will include local eateries serving their signature dishes. Anna’s Mexican Grill, Bacon’s Bistro, Black-Eyed Pea, Kroger, Palio’s Pizza, Sweet Memories, Chick-fil-A, Dickey’s Barbecue, McAlister’s Deli, Rita’s Ice and Texas Roadhouse will be ready and waiting to serve hungry expo attendees.

“More than 150 exhibitors include businesses and nonprofit agencies that serve the over-50 market, among them travel agencies, real estate, legal and financial services, retirement communities, assisted-living centers and Alzheimer’s centers,” said Barksdale. “Exhibitors will also offer information on hearing aids, orthopedic needs, dental and vision services, medical supplies and insurance.”

According to Barksdale, entertainment will range from dance classes and Zumba to piano music and bands, including Sinatra-style big-band vocalist Ken Nelson and new this year, the popular Steppin’ Grannies. Be sure to register to win a $500 shopping spree — the winning ticket will be drawn at 1:30 p.m.

“We’ll also have balloon decorating, hula dancing and a scavenger hunt for door prizes. We’re offering disposal for outdated prescription drugs and a place to apply for handicapped stickers. Medicare counselors will be onsite to help seniors compare plans.”

The expo will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. Registration is suggested but not required. Call 817-581-3600 or visit


Egg Roll Festival & Health Fair celebrates Asian culture

Although there will still be plenty of tasty egg rolls for guests to eat Saturday at the Egg Roll Festival, a new contest will replace the longtime competition for the best Asian delicacy. Making its debut will be a spirited matchup to see who can create the best Asian traditional dessert.

The celebration of Asian-American heritage is hosted by the Tarrant County Asian-American Chamber of Commerce. Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, along with other civic and community leaders, will attend the celebration and greet visitors.

A health fair will offer medical screenings, dental exams and health information along with flu shots. Lots of exhibits full of products will be fun for attendees to visit and meet the owners of local businesses.

The festival wouldn’t be complete without the impressive dragon dance. And other cultural dance numbers are also on tap to keep festivalgoers entertained throughout the day.

The lucky judges in the signature contest have the enviable job of choosing the winners in the dessert competition, in which they will evaluate the entries on overall appearance, presentation, flavor, aroma, texture and originality. Generous cash prizes will awarded to the top three.

“The Egg Roll Festival is a day of celebration of Asian cultures, arts and food. It’s a unique cultural event and a chance to experience a little bit of Asia deep in the heart of Texas,” said Yen Nguyen, president of Tarrant County Asian-American Chamber of Commerce.

The venue for the family-friendly event is the Vietnamese Martyrs Church Hall, 801 E. Mayfield Road. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ample free parking is available.

Learn more at or contact Liem Tran at 214-531-3839 or Yen Nguyen at 817-797-9144.

Party for a Purpose is the ‘Cat’s Meow’

Guests wearing dazzling Roaring ’20s fashions will be worthy of any red carpet show on E! Entertainment as they arrive at the Party for a Purpose on Oct. 10 at the Arlington Convention Center. With a different theme for each of the past five years, a “swanky Roaring ’20s affair” describes this year’s soiree, which will have no trouble measuring up to its predecessors.

The ritzy evening, complete with cocktails, a gourmet dinner, casino games, unique auction items and the superb music of the Roof Raisers, is guaranteed to be the “Cat’s Meow.”

Hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington, the event will raise money to support programs that nurture and enrich the lives of children in the community and enable the agency to continue to produce confident, educated and responsible members of society.

Leading this year’s event committee are co-chairs Holly Potter-Harvey and Gara Hill with help from a stellar group of community volunteers, including Carol Camp, Dana Queenan, Joe Sholden, John Landry, Karen Bass, Lori Henegar, Mike Gerro and Serena Kundysek just to randomly name only a few.

“We are so excited about leading the planning of the 2015 Party for a Purpose Gala,” writes Potter-Harvey. This year’s theme “will transport you back to a time of flappers and sheiks, evolving fashions, silent movies, the jazz evolution and the stock market crash.”

David Finfrock, NBC 5 chief meteorologist, will emcee the program. Partygoers will participate in a Kendra Scott jewelry lottery and enjoy games of heads or tails and big spender. Make the night unforgettable with a visit to the photo booth.

Amazing swag in big-board, live and silent auctions includes unbelievable dining and trip packages, including a week’s stay in the Bahamas at The Reef Atlantis in a deluxe studio condo, a private suite for 20 guests for a day at the races, a Randy White autographed jersey, designer purses, spa visits and other luxury items.

Tickets are $150 per person. Make reservations by calling Holly Clinton at 817-275-6551, ext. 229, or email

Northeast Tarrant

United Way luncheon to focus on community impact

Giving money to the United Way gives donors a sense that it’s a good cause and that their money will be put toward worthwhile projects, but they may not know exactly what the contribution does or how it helps the less-fortunate members of a community.

At the annual Report to the Community luncheon Oct. 7, the United Way Northeast will give supporters a complete picture of exactly how their money is helping. The lively program will be an update regarding the past year’s work in Northeast Tarrant County along with a hint at the vision for the coming year.

“We’re excited to share with our Northeast Tarrant stakeholders the good news we have in counting our families served, volunteer hours committed and lives improved through United Way work,” said Faye Beaulieu, regional director.

The agency’s goals are to make a measurable impact in the community in the areas of education, income and health, and the annual luncheon is a chance to describe the progress and outcomes in each of these focuses.

NBC 5 newswoman Deborah Ferguson will keep the program moving as Glen Sirles, chairman of the United Way Northeast steering committee, reviews the past year of accomplishments and Tim McKinney, CEO of United Way, describes the work of the organization. Ellen Jones, the 2015 United Way Volunteer of the Year, will give the call to action at the program’s end.

Jones has volunteered for the United Way for more than 20 years and serves as co-chairwoman of the Education Council. Well known in the community, she is president of the H-E-B school board.

The luncheon is at the Hurst Conference Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $28 per person. Register at or contact or call 817-282-1160.

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