Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Margarita Ball toys make Christmas brighter for kids

Nov. 21 is the date for this year’s Margarita Ball at the Arlington Convention Center, and the 40-member board of directors has expertly arranged for a fantastic evening of giving and partying that will undoubtedly top your list of parties for a purpose.
Nov. 21 is the date for this year’s Margarita Ball at the Arlington Convention Center, and the 40-member board of directors has expertly arranged for a fantastic evening of giving and partying that will undoubtedly top your list of parties for a purpose.

Guys can get a bad rap when it comes to planning social events — hence, it’s often the woman of the house who handles such duties. This oft-held belief is shattered each and every year when the Margarita Ball rolls around because this highly successful event that is a 33-year-old Arlington tradition is planned and executed by an all-male organization, the Arlington Margarita Society.

Nov. 21 is the date for this year’s Margarita Ball at the Arlington Convention Center, and the 40-member board of directors has expertly arranged for a fantastic evening of giving and partying that will undoubtedly top your list of parties for a purpose.

Each guest is admitted to the party as long as they have an invitation in hand and a new, unwrapped toy. The toys are the focus of the night as each one is placed on a Christmas-tree-shaped structure to form a spectacular mountain of toys before the evening ends.

The party will feature the signature drinks made with Lunazul Tequila, tasty hors d’oeuvres, a casino gaming area with fantastic prizes, a silent auction and dancing to the fabulous music of Party Machine.

College football fans won’t miss a single play because two giant screens will broadcast the biggest games of the night.

“This year we celebrate 33 years of holiday cheer and the chance to make Christmas brighter for Arlington children in need,” said Don Duke, chairman of the event.

“Once again, we’re proud to team up with the Arlington Police Association and Santa Cops. They do a great job working with the Arlington school district to get these toys to the kids who need extra support.”

Santa Cops have indicated the greatest need is for toys for kids ages 8-12, and they request no bicycles be given at this event.

“For lots of Arlington folks, the Margarita Ball is that once-a year-time to catch up and say hello to people you may only see at this event,” said director Robert Rivera. “We hope to have a huge crowd for this touchstone event that officially kicks off the holidays in Arlington.”

Though most of the toys are for younger children, needs for teenagers include portable DVD players, MP3 and video players and digital cameras. Other preferred toys are dolls, stuffed toys, book collections, games, learning toys, electronic toys, balls and athletic equipment.

A raffle for a package to the Eldorado Resort & Casino includes five double-occupancy rooms for a two-night stay and dinner for 10 at The Vintage. Only 600 tickets for $20 will be sold, and the winner need not be present to win.

“We invite our loyal longtime guests to join us once again and hope that lots of new first-time guests will come out for a great party and the chance to see old friends and make some new ones at this year’s Margarita Ball,” said Duke. “We deeply appreciate the generosity of people who come to the ball and their commitment to supporting kids who need our help.”

Guys should don their coat and tie and ladies will party in their cocktail best. Guests must be at least 21 years old. Request your invitation by contacting one of the Margarita Society Directors. Details are at

Veterans Day ceremonies Nov. 11

The Arlington Great Southwest Rotary Club will host a Veterans Day Commemorative Ceremony on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. in Veterans Park, 3600 W. Arkansas Lane.

The ceremonies will honor all veterans who served in all U.S. military services, and this year there will be special recognition of Vietnam War-era veterans during the event.

The featured speaker is Robert T. Hastings Jr., a retired Army colonel. Hastings is vice president of communications and government affairs at Bell Helicopter. He served in the Bush administration as acting assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. His Army career was as a master aviator and public affairs officer. He is currently a colonel with the Texas Military Forces, 19th Civil Affairs Regiment.

Special patriotic music will be provided by the Cowtown Music Club and Brent Carr, judge for county criminal court No. 9. The national anthem will be performed Michael Rose, and the Heroes of South Vietnam Memorial Foundation will present the Republic of Vietnam national anthem. A noon luncheon follows the ceremony at the park pavilion.

“If you are a Vietnam War-era veteran, or you would like to honor a Vietnam War-era veteran, we need this information by Nov. 4,” said Rotary spokesman James Runzheimer.

Contact Runzheimer at or call him at 817-795-2020. Reservations for the lunch are also made through Runzheimer.

Businesswomen form new ABWA chapter

A brand new chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) is inviting area women to come to the Nov. 12 kickoff meeting at 6 p.m. at Walnut Creek Country Club in Mansfield.

“ABWA membership will provide a friendly environment for members to share successes and learn from failures while supporting each other's personal and professional development,” said club spokeswoman Shellisa McDonald. “Nationally, there are more than 5,000 members with over 450 chapters in over 300 cities.”

McDonald said members will come from a variety of occupations, from entrepreneurial to corporate. Involvement in chapter activities will provide opportunities to find a mentor and to build confidence and competence along with developing organizational and leadership skills. The club will help women practice collaboration and delegation and form friendships along the way.

The officers of the New Connections Chapter of Arlington/Mansfield are chairwoman Jillian Verdun-Gilbert and co-chair Christine Snyder. Other officers are Dianna Streeman, Ann Weaver, Shellisa McDonald, Emily Puente, Tina Robinson and Vicki Marlett.

The New Connections Chapter will meet the second Thursday of each month at various Arlington and Mansfield locations. A guest speaker will be featured at each meeting along with club activities and lots of networking opportunities. Dues are $115 annually.

Make reservations at or send an email to to make inquiries.

Events at a glance

▪ Arlington On Tap is Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. at J.R. Bentley’s English Pub, 406 W. Abram St. For anyone who likes a good discussion about all-things-Arlington, the informal series of talks takes place monthly at local pubs and bars and is sponsored by Arlington Historical Society and Arlington Proud. Richard Greene is the featured speaker on Nov. 11 and will share his views on the history — and the future — of major-league baseball in Arlington. Admission is free.

▪ An Evening at the Salon Gifting Party is Nov. 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Burt Grant Salon Spa, 808 W. Abram St. hosted by the Arlington Life Shelter. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Enjoy hand massages, product demonstrations and door prizes. Guests are asked to bring a restaurant gift card or purchase a Burt Grant gift card for at $25 to be used at the Arlington Life Shelter “Home for the Holidays” upcoming gala. RSVP to

▪ Timeless Concerts series will perform on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 1700 University Drive. Music will be a blend of French impressionism, English pastoral melody and Irish folk tunes in the music of Ernest Moeran. Tickets $29 each, $25 senior, $15 college, $35 combo concert & raffle ticket. .

▪ Rejebian Book Review Club will meet Friday at 2 p.m. at the Grand Prairie Woman's Club, 1 Park Square North, Grand Prairie. Guest reviewer is Ken Freehill, actor and entertainment director for the U.S. Army. Freehill will be reviewing a book about Theodore Roosevelt based on the novel "TR:The Last Romantic." Guests are welcome. Call 972-264-2320 to make reservations.

▪ Thanksgiving food donations are due to Arlington Charities by Nov. 20. Items needed are stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, chicken broth, yams, fruit, pumpkin, corn, green beans, instant potatoes, cookies, cereal, tea, and foil roasters. Monetary donations are needed for purchasing turkeys. The agency is located at 811 Secretary Drive. Call Melanie Gibson, director, at 817-275-1511 with questions.

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