Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Luncheon Oct. 23 honors women’s achievements

Texas Rangers Chief Financial Officer Kellie Fischer will speak at the Inspired Women Luncheon.
Texas Rangers Chief Financial Officer Kellie Fischer will speak at the Inspired Women Luncheon. Courtesy photo

It’s the fifth year for the Inspired Women Luncheon hosted by the Women’s Alliance of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, and the event continues to grow in popularity and prominence. Set for Oct. 23 at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel, the afternoon will feature a panel discussion and an exciting awards presentation that will honor achievements of local women.

Two outstanding women will be featured guests speakers for a panel discussion. Dione Kennedy, president and CEO of Performing Arts Fort Worth, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates Bass Performance Hall, will be joined by Kellie Fischer, chief financial officer of the Texas Rangers.

Honorary chairwomen of the event are Mary Lee Hafley, former CEO of SafeHaven, and Jeannie Deakyne, director of executive program development at TCU Neeley School of Business.

“To be able to network at this event with the movers and shakers of our community is such a gift. I cannot wait to hear Kellie Fischer of the Rangers and Dione Kennedy of Bass Hall speak — what dynamic ladies,” said alliance Chairman Nicky Austin.

NBC 5 meteorologist Samantha Davies will host the event and preside when the recipients of the Hero Award and the Rising Star Award are announced. Another big moment at the luncheon will be the awarding of six $1,000 scholarships. They are funded by generous donations from the Arlington Chamber Foundation, The Sanford House and Medical Center ofArlington.

Nominees for the awards were solicited from the community at large, and students seeking scholarships were invited to apply for the grants. A chamber selection committee chooses the recipients of the awards.

“My favorite part of the luncheon is recognizing the extraordinary women who are the recipients of the Hero and Rising Star Awards. You leave the event wanting to do something great for Arlington. It doesn't get any better than that,” said Austin.

Tickets are $55 for alliance members and $65 for nonmembers. Register at or call 817-275-2613.

Church celebrates 145th anniversary Saturday

The folks at West Fork Presbyterian Church in Grand Prairie have a lot of celebrating to do on Saturday — it is the 145th anniversary of the church said to be the oldest church in the city. Church members and guests will enjoy celebratory music and a wonderful display of memorabilia and photographs.

According to the church website, West Fork was “organized in 1870 by P.A. Watson, who donated the land for both a cemetery and church and Reverend Andrew Shannon Hayter, an early settler and the first minister. In its original location (the intersection of I-30 and Hwy 360), the building housed both the church and a Sabbath school.”

After construction on the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike (now Interstate 30) began in 1955, the church was moved to his current location at 908 Santerre Drive, land that was formerly an orchard. It has since been designated as a historical landmark. “The impressive steeple was designed, built and installed in 1956 by Olen Wheeler, a church member and direct descendant of P.A. Watson,” church member Myrna Thompson wrote in an email.

“Even though it is now completely surrounded by the Great Southwest Industrial District, it can be found by watching for the historical marker” on Avenue K and 109th Street just off Texas 360.

The community is invited to attend the milestone anniversary program Saturday. Visit to learn more or get directions.

Masquerade Ball on Oct. 30 raises money for scholarships

Back on the local event scene after being discontinued in the early 1990s is the Masquerade Ball hosted by the Xi Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. The sparkling evening is set for Oct. 30 at the 1010 Collins Entertainment and Event Center.

The night will be filled with activities including a raffle, delicious buffet, community service awards, dancing and visiting. Guests will arrive in formal or semiformal attire to find the venue festooned with decorative masks to reflect the theme.

“This premier event promises to be an evening of fun and glamour when we honor extraordinary community service award recipients and raise funds that will support the continuation of educational and wellness programs and scholarships,” said event chairwoman Sylonda Burns. “We are excited to announce our partnership with the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.”

Recipients of the Woman of the Year, Bridge Builder, and African-American Business Leader of the year will be announced. Also honored at the event will be the Arlington Foundation for Excellence in Education and the Bridge Foundation for their contributions to the community.

The event committee includes chapter President Bonita Holloway, Cheryel Carpenter, Tamika Tutt, Shannon McAdoo, Eddie Freeman and Booker T. Washington.

The Masquerade Ball raised thousands of dollars in scholarships until it was discontinued, and members are hoping that new generations of supporters will embrace the return of the event and help raise money to provide college scholarships for men and women.

Tickets are $60 and can be purchased online at or call 214- 274-5532.

Special exhibit, programs on Dust Bowl

If you haven’t yet seen the Dust Bowl exhibit at the Southeast Campus of Tarrant County College, there’s still time to get it on your calendar. The exhibit is open through Oct. 23.

The national traveling exhibition features colorful, illustrated panels about the plains area in the Dust Bowl era. Enhance your experience of the exhibit by attending one of the programs being presented to complement the exhibition.

“This exhibition focuses on the environmental, social, and economic causes and consequences of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s,” said Tracey Minzenmayer, assistant director of library services. The exhibit developed by the American Library Association Public Programs Office in collaboration with the libraries of Oklahoma State University and Mount Holyoke College. The exhibition and tour were made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

On Friday at 10:40 a.m. TCC professor John Lundberg will discuss the life, work and enduring legacy of Woody Guthrie, the Dust Bowl troubadour. On Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m., hear a lively discussion about “The History of the Cattle Industry in Texas.”

Then on Wednesday, professor J. Joel Tovanche will use clips from the Latino Americans documentary Empire of Dreams as the basis for discussion. The final program is Oct. 23 at 11:45 a.m. when a panel will discuss Ken Burns’ film The Dust Bowl.

All programs are in the Judith J. Carrier Library classroom. Call the library at 817-515-3081 to inquire. The campus is located at 2100 Southeast Parkway.

At a glance

Downtown Arlington Management Corporation annual meeting is Friday at 11:30 a.m. in the E.H. Herford University Center Bluebonnet Ballroom at UT Arlington. The program will explore “How to facilitate quality long-term, sustainable development that reflects the city’s goals.”

Keynote speakers are Robert C. Kramp and Lauren Paris, from CBRE real estate group. Several guest panelists will also be on hand. Tickets are $45. Make arrangements at

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