Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Hope Walk Oct. 25 raises money to help those with HIV

Uncle Jim’s Bagels team members at the 2014 Hope Walk finish line.
Uncle Jim’s Bagels team members at the 2014 Hope Walk finish line.

It’s a perfect time of the year to participate in the Hope Walk on Oct. 25 to help the AIDS Outreach Center continue the outstanding work it does in our community. The walk begins at 1:30 p.m. in Trinity Park located just off Seventh Street and will include a walk, a dash, vendors, pet adoptions, music and a children’s area.

This is a new time and new branding for this event, formerly called the AIDS Walk. Television personality Scott Murray will emcee the event, popular local band Velvet Love Box will perform during the afternoon, and DJ David Moore Jr. will be spinning tunes guaranteed to energize both the walkers and the spectators.

“With a new name, a new time and a new season, Hope Walk, benefiting AIDS Outreach Center, is bigger and better than ever,” writes event manager and spokesperson Kristi Wiley. “Join family, friends and co-workers … to help raise awareness of AIDS Outreach Center’s fight against HIV/AIDS. Your participation will allow AOC to continue its efforts of educating the public about risks and prevention, and supporting individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their families in Tarrant and seven surrounding rural counties.”

Inspiring the crowd with her personal and inspiring story about living with HIV/AIDS will be special guest speaker Sandra Ford. Greg Walls with Performance Experience will lead the group in an energizing pre-walk warm-up.

Hope Walk chairwoman DiAnn Sanchez, said, “I am honored to work with AOC because they serve those who have been touched by HIV/AIDS in Tarrant County. Hope Walk is a wonderful fundraising event that helps us continue the efforts of our mission.”

New this year is the inaugural Heels for Hope Dash, a 50-yard stiletto run. High-heeled runners will enjoy a red carpet finish, and the winner will take home the very first High Heel Trophy. This should be a riot to watch.

The Kids Korner will offer face-painting, arts and crafts, clowns, balloons and all sorts of fun things for the youngsters. And be to include your doggie in the fun and enter him or her in the contest for the Most Dressed Up Pooch. Doggies also get a special bandana for participating in the walk.

The top three teams and individuals will each receive nifty prizes. And be sure to get a raffle ticket for a chance to win two American Airlines tickets good for one year.

Registration is $25 for adult walkers/runners, $15 for students and $10 for dogs. High Heels Dash and Pooches on Parade are free with walk registration. Visit to register, form a team, donate or volunteer, or contact Wiley at or call 817-916-5256.

Mid-Cities SOS party Thursday celebrates 30 years

Come out to help Mid-Cities SOS (Supporters of SafeHaven) celebrate three decades of helping women and children who are victims of domestic violence at a party on Thursday. The Neighborhood Center at 1240 Bent Creek Drive in Southlake is the venue for the party from 6 to 8 p.m. where guests will enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before an interesting program.

A video presentation will highlight the past 30 years of Mid-Cities SOS along with honoring the stellar lineup of former presidents of the group. Exciting plans for the Jan. 17 Celebrity Chefs event will also be announced, and a check will be presented from the SOS tennis benefit. SafeHaven chairman Scott Rynearson is the special guest speaker at the party.

SOS President Tara Hutchins-Welsh has been a member for nine years and has served in a variety of roles, including co-chairing the Celebrity Chefs fundraiser. As to why she serves, Hutchins-Welsh says, “The most rewarding part of leading SOS is attending our tennis benefit and Celebrity Chefs event and seeing the result of all our hard work to make them a success while knowing that the women and children of SafeHaven are the beneficiaries.”

The club has around 80 members, most of whom have been active for about 15 years. More than $1.7 million has been given to SafeHaven by Mid-Cities SOS since the organization was established in 1985.

Martha Ragsdale has been an SOS member since 1992, is a past president and has served in various board positions over the years. Ragsdale chose to get involved because of her firm conviction that women must be treated as equals and have the opportunity for safe, healthy lives. “I am proud to be a small part of the endeavor — something started by a small group of women in 1985 that has now contributed over $1.7 million to SafeHaven of Tarrant County to provide refuge for women and children in need of safety.”

The club meets the first Friday of each month typically at 11:30 a.m. in various locations, including one meeting a year at each shelter in Arlington and in Fort Worth. Special guest speakers and updates from SafeHaven staff comprise the programs. A membership tea is hosted in March. Annual dues are $35.

“There is a lot to be learned from our existing members,” Hutchins-Welsh said. “And in order for SOS to continue another 30 years it will require the younger generations to step up and fill their shoes. This is a passionate, energetic group that is focused on our mission to assist SafeHaven through fundraising, publicity and volunteerism.”

Plans are to increase membership by offering more opportunities for members to get involved directly with the shelters, hosting a quarterly social event for members and discovering ways to build awareness of Mid-Cities SOS throughout the communities.

Reservations for the anniversary party are due Monday. Admission is $15 for guests and $25 for members. Make reservations online at or contact Hutchins-Welsh at 817-975-1180.

Saints and Sinners Tour, if you dare

For those who lean toward spooky events, make plans to go on a guided walking tour of the Oakwood Cemetery hosted by the North Fort Worth Historical Society.

Two tour times — 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. — are available on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, when tourists will stroll among the huge oak trees in the cemetery while spellbinding stories of notable early Fort Worth personalities are told. To add to the drama, people dressed in costumes from the period will appear throughout the event. The two-hour tours include a visit to the cemetery’s century-old chapel, live music and a chance to purchase historical books.

“Some of Fort Worth’s infamous, famous and not-so-famous residents who reside at Oakwood Cemetery return for one weekend each October to enlighten you about their life and times,” said spokeswoman Melissa Hunter.

The fundraiser benefits Oakwood Cemetery, the second-oldest cemetery in Fort Worth, and other programs managed by the North Fort Worth Historical Society.

The cemetery is the resting place of many notable inhabitants, including John Peter Smith, Luke Short and the men in Bartenders Row, a section occupied by men who tended bar in 19th-century saloons and early Fort Worth gambling halls from Fort Worth’s infamous red-light district called Hell’s Half Acre.

Oakwood Cemetery is at 701 Grand Ave. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Details at or call 817-625-5082.

Events at a glance

▪ Kitchens Tour is Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. benefiting A Wish With Wings. Six homes on Stadium Drive in the TCU area will be open for tours. Fort Worth chefs will do cooking demonstrations, and guests will enjoy gourmet samplings. Tickets at or call 817-469-9474.

▪ 25th annual Sisterhood Luncheon, “Uncompromising Commitment to Community,” is November 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Radisson Hotel North-Fossil Creek. Hosted by the alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and Beta Rho Education and Development Corp., the event recognizes organizations and individuals who volunteer to benefit the community. Tickets are available at

▪ Walk To End Alzheimer’s is Saturday in Trinity Park. Check-in is at 7:30 a.m., tribute ceremony is at 8:30, and the walk begins at 9. Register at

▪ Strollathon for Rett syndrome is Oct. 25 at the Parr Park Pavilion in Grapevine. The walk raises funds to help defeat a neurological disorder primarily affecting young girls. To sign up, send an email to or call 971-977-5021.

▪ Great Conversation Dinner is Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. Benefiting Alliance for Children, the event will feature keynote speaker Elizabeth Smart. During dinner, each guest will be seated at a table hosted by a different community personality, creating an evening of sharing stories and ideas with their table guests. Tickets at or contact Paige McNamara at 817-348-1167.

▪ Emerging Issues Symposium is Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to noon at the City Club of Fort Worth and hosted by Women’s Policy Forum of Tarrant County. “Roadmap to the Future: Health, Education, Policy and Business in 2030” is the theme. Keynote speaker is Stephen Klineberg, demographer, professor at Rice University and founder of Kinder Institute of Urban Studies. Four break-out sessions with panel discussions will be offered. Register online at

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