Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on H-E-B: Jump for Joy event Feb. 6 helps needy families

The Bell Manor Choir at the 2015 Jump for Joy event.
The Bell Manor Choir at the 2015 Jump for Joy event.

Back for a third year, the Jump for Joy benefit on Feb. 6 will raise money to help needy families in H-E-B schools. The event, hosted by St. Philip Presbyterian Church, will showcase talented fine arts students and offer delicious foods provided by local restaurants.

According to the school district, last school year, 55 percent of students in H-E-B schools were identified as economically disadvantaged and approximately 800 students identified as homeless.

“There are school-age children, young people and their families in our own community that are struggling, financially and in other ways,” said Greg Garis, pastor of St. Philip Presbyterian Church.

“Jump for Joy provides a place where the community can gather to recognize the fine arts in our schools but also to help students and families who are in need,” the pastor added.

Event organizers hope to double the money raised from last year to $10,000 to help the school district’s family support services department as it provides a food pantry, assists families to apply for Medicaid and food stamps and manage emergency assistance referrals.

At the benefit show, the audience will enjoy performances by the L.D. Bell High School string quartet, jazz ensemble and the Bell Manor Choir. Also performing will be the Trinity High School Harmony Choir, the Suzuki Strings, the violin ensemble, the Hurst Junior High ensemble and the Wilshire Elementary drum ensemble. Drama students will also perform.

Things get lively as the audience makes donations to the performers during the show, and the group receiving the most donations during the live performance gets a $250 scholarship award.

Wendy Parmelee, retired H-E-B art teacher, has directed the benefit since it began and enjoys celebrating the fine arts students while increasing public awareness of homeless children and their families.

“We live in a privileged suburban community with several active churches, service organizations and a school district — all recognized for their mission of excellence — and all helping to keep our children and community safe and healthy,” Parmelee said. “I promise you will have a wonderful evening of art, music, laughter, and food — making you want to jump for joy,” Parmelee added.

Attendees at the event will mingle with friends as they peruse a silent auction featuring the masterpieces created by art students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Kari Weaver, an art teacher from Shady Oaks Elementary, said the auction is an honor for students to participate in and for many the first time to donate their artwork.

Bring your appetite to the event because the Food Tasting Court will have delicious dishes donated by Abuelo’s, Witten’s Grill and Sports Cafe, Chop House Burger, Rosako’s Soul Food & BBQ, Miguelito’s, Bacon’s Bistro and the Chicken Place. And culinary arts students will prepare irresistible valentine cupcakes for sale.

Tickets for the food tasting will be sold at the event for $10 per adult, $5 per student and free for ages 5 and under.

“The proceeds from this event have helped many struggling families in our district remain securely housed. It is a struggle for many of our families who are living paycheck to paycheck. If an unexpected expense comes up, they can quickly lose their housing and security,” said Ellen LoBue from H-E-B family support services.

St. Philip Presbyterian Church is located at 745 Pipeline Road in Hurst. The event is open from 4 to 7 p.m. Admission is free. Donate online at (look for “Jump for Joy” donate button) or call 817-282-9181 to inquire.

At a glance

Mid-Cities Genealogical Society meeting is Feb. 4 in Mary Lib Salah Library, 201 N. Ector Drive in Euless. Social hour starts at 6:30 p.m. and regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. Laura Weekley is the guest speaker talking about “What Can You Do With the Results of Your DNA Test.” Visitors are welcome. Direct questions to Evelynn Kelly at

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