Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Social Eyes: Celebrity Chefs event to benefit young victims of domestic violence

You could spend all of next year trying to make the rounds at what are arguably the top 17 restaurants in the Tarrant County area — or you could kill 17 birds with one stone at the upcoming Celebrity Chefs event, which will bring together culinary masters from some of the area’s dining hot spots, each serving their signature dishes for a good cause.

The evening of culinary magic, hosted by the Mid-Cities Supporters of SafeHaven, is a delightfully fun party where guests are served generous portions of specialty dishes as they circulate among the minikitchens set up by each chef. It’s a very interactive evening with a chance to chat with the chefs and visit with friends. Proceeds benefit SafeHaven.

In charge of the event is Mary MacDowell and her outstanding committee that includes Jane Wood, Beth Battles, Martha Ragsdale, Laurel Harty, Fonda Martin, Patti Campbell and organization President Tara Hutchins-Welsh to randomly name only a few.

“Painting a Brighter Future” — the theme of this year’s event — was chosen to highlight the art therapy program offered to youngsters at SafeHaven to give them “a creative outlet to express challenges and communicate emotions while increasing self-awareness.” An art therapy exhibit at the event will be accepting donations of $20 to help this important initiative.

“This year we are excited to have Mary Lee Hafley as our honorary chair. She is retiring as the president of SafeHaven after 30 years of tireless service,” said Welsh. “Mary Lee has been painting brighter futures for countless women and children of domestic violence and has helped them turn their lives into a masterpiece.”

The tragic statistics on domestic violence indicate that a woman is being abused every eight seconds and a third of those women have at least one child who witnessed the abuse. Seventy-six percent of women who arrive at the shelter have at least one child with them. These and other alarming facts are why Mid-Cities SOS chooses to direct the funds raised at Celebrity Chefs to specifically benefit the children at the shelter.

“Celebrity Chefs is not possible without the help and support of our incredible chefs whom year after year donate their time, money and day off to help make this event an incredible success,” MacDowell said.

Returning chefs who have generously donated their services for all nine years of the event are Pete Weikel (Central Market), Susan Clark (Sweet Memories Cakes & Catering) and Charles Youts (Classic Cafe at Roanoke).

Back for the eighth year are Hans Bergmann (Cacharel Restaurant), Beto Gonzales (Truluck’s), Brian Olenjack (Olenjack’s Grille) and Chris Wilson (Market Street).

Chefs Jon Bonnell (Bonnell’s Restaurants) and Todd Phillips (J.R.’s Steakhouse) are back for a sixth year joined by five-year veteran Donatella Trotti (Nonna Tata).

Other returning chefs include Jason Harper (Trio New American Cafe), Paul Reid (Hurst Conference Center), Deb Cantrell (Savor Culinary), Janet Capua (Z’s Cafe), Andrew Huszar (Tastefully Yours), Carleen Anderson (Nosredna Boutique Catering) and Jerrett Joslin (Wild Mushroom).

Newsman Scott Murray will encore as master of ceremonies and lead the live auction where guests bid on private parties catered personally by the chefs. And a raffle will feature tickets to the Duck Commander 500 race, a NASCAR race jacket, a Nancy Garland necklace, a professional golf-swing analysis, a spa package and a set of Kai/Kiershaw knives.

Tickets are $125 each and include the meal and a lovely wine and hors d’oeuvres reception before dinner. Keep in mind that tickets would make a wonderful Christmas gift for someone on your list.

It all happens at the Hurst Conference Center Ballroom at 6 p.m. Jan. 18. Purchase tickets online at or call Beth Battles at 817-320-3590.

Holiday events continue around the area

▪ The Greater Keller Women’s Club invites guests to attend its meeting 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club, 600 Promontory Drive.

The award-winning Tribe Show Choir from Keller High School will perform holiday music. RSVP to Dottie Johnson, membership coordinator, at Learn more about the club at

▪ Holiday Brass Performance is 7:30 p.m. Thursday at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake. The Fort Worth Symphony Brass Ensemble, led by assistant conductor Daniel Black, along with the Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir, will perform holiday favorites including Deck the Halls, Angels We Have Heard on High, Carol of the Bells and Joy to the World.

Adult tickets are $10. Children 12 and younger are $5. Seniors, students and APEX members are $5. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online at

▪ Away in a Manger is a display of more than 900 Nativity sets from all over the world that can be seen 12:30 to 6 p.m. today at the Concert Hall at Langdon Center, 300 E. Bridge St., Granbury. Faye Landham has collected the Nativity sets for more than 50 years, and her collection now includes around 900 scenes from 84 places around the globe that close friends help her display.

▪ Christmas With the Arlington Community Band is a holiday show performed by very talented musicians at 7 tonight at South Oaks Baptist Church, at 5925 U.S. 287. Admission is free.

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