Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Inaugural Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast aims to set new tradition

Mayor Jeff Williams and interim chamber CEO Kelly Curnutt.
Mayor Jeff Williams and interim chamber CEO Kelly Curnutt.

In a departure from the usual strictly business focus of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the organization will switch to a decidedly spiritual tone as they host the inaugural Mayor’s Community Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 16. A large crowd is expected at the new multi-denominational event at the Arlington Convention Center.

Chamber officials say they hope to bring local business, community, and faith-based organizations together to pray for Arlington during an inspirational and uplifting occasion with special messages from local church and civic leaders.

“The event has generated a lot of excitement from citizens all over the city,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “We will have a very diverse group of our citizens breaking bread together and praying for the many needs of our community along with wisdom, guidance and strength for our leaders as we work together to achieve our dreams for Arlington.”

The mayor said he learned that a number of other cities have similar events and met with Kelly Curnutt, interim CEO of the chamber, to discuss the idea of establishing one in Arlington. “We both thought it would be really neat to pray in unity on certain specific needs of Arlington,” Curnutt said.

Guests at the breakfast will be welcomed by chamber board Chairman Bob Kembel followed by an invocation from First Baptist Church pastor Dennis Wiles. Curnutt will be the emcee. A hearty breakfast buffet of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and beverages will be served at 6:45 a.m. and the one-hour prayer program will begin at 7:30 a.m.

Guest speakers will meet prior to the event to collectively choose five prayer topics for Arlington. At the breakfast, each speaker will address a single topic and lead the audience in prayer about that particular concern.

Speaking will be Ronnie Goines, pastor of Koinonia Christian Church; Jason Paredes, pastor of Fielder Church; and Will Johnson, Arlington police chief.

Additionally, Thuyen “Tommy” Phan, associate pastor at Vietnamese Baptist Church of Arlington, and Tillie Burgin, director of Mission Arlington, will each address a topic. The mayor will offer the closing prayer as the audience receives a copy of the five prayer topics to guide their prayers for the city in the coming year.

“The chamber membership is excited to host this inaugural event to bring us all together in prayer,” said Curnutt. “In a city of our size and diversity, it is imperative that we unite our businesses, community, and faith-based partners together for the common good and vision of our long-term success.”

“There are many opportunities that we must seize so they are not lost. In addition, we have many challenges — this prayer breakfast will be a tremendous way for us to begin the year,” said Williams.

Everyone in the community is invited to attend, but reservations are required. Tickets are $35 each or a table of 10 is $300. Reservations are due by Feb. 10. Visit to download a registration form. Direct other questions to the chamber offices at 817-275-2613.

Rotary concert Feb. 13 to offer multicultural entertainment

Treat your valentine sweetheart to an international experience at the Heart of Peace concert on Feb. 13 where the performances showcasing seven different cultures will provide a most entertaining evening.

The event is presented by Great Southwest and Fort Worth East Rotary Clubs along with the Rotaract Club at UT Arlington. “This gathering of international performers represents our desire to bring all people together through the world of music and dance,” said Dan Morales, a Rotary leader.

After the concert, guests who have purchased VIP tickets will attend a wine and hors d’oeuvre reception and peruse a silent auction that includes art, jewelry, and a variety of gift baskets. Live auction swag will feature trips to Costa Rica, Disney World, and Napa Valley.

Phyllis Badgett, Great Southwest Rotary president, along with Tiffanie Liang, Jim Quick, Viv Ann Blair, Diana Saleh, Paul Geisel, David Salgado, Lucy Maier and Morales are on the event committee that planned the evening to raise money for educational and humanitarian projects of the three Rotary clubs.

The concert will feature the Donodoko Taiko Japanese Drummers, Mariachis Girasol, Sagamore Hill Elementary Children’s Choir, Swahili Carmel African Choir, the Indonesian Dancers, the UT Arlington Jazz Band, Indique Dance Company and the Texas Rotary Chorus.

Concert tickets are $5 for students and $25 for general admission. VIP tickets that include the reception are $75. Purchase tickets at or call Morales at 817-994-7575.

Goodtimes Chorus will deliver Singing Valentines

On Feb. 12-14, quartets will fan out across the greater Arlington area to deliver Singing Valentines to special sweethearts. The quartets belong to the Goodtimes Chorus — an award-winning barbershop chorus based in Arlington.

“We’ll send four gents in tuxedos with a silk rose and a valentine card to sing two love songs in four-part a cappella harmony to anyone you choose,” said chorus member Gil Carrick.

Carrick said they will go to a residence, workplace, restaurant, shopping mall, retirement home or the location of your choice to serenade a wife, husband, significant other, boss or employees. Singing Valentines start at $59 and can be delivered any time from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Singing Valentine program raises money for various initiatives of the chorus. “One of our main charitable activities is a voice scholarship fund that we have established at UTA. We love to sing and we hope to encourage others to do so as well,” said Carrick.

Call the chorus hotline at 682-233-3606 or send an email to

Kickoff Party on Thursday will announce Junior League Golf and Concert

The community is invited to the Golf Tournament Kickoff Party on Thursday presented by the Junior League of Arlington and hosted by Park Place Mercedes.

“We will have food from On the Border, beverages, music and games. We invite the community to join us for this fun event,” said Emily Swanson, Junior League president.

At the party, guests can register early for the April 29 golf tournament and buy tickets to the concert on the same day where Emerald City Band will headline.

Proceeds from the tournament go back into the community for programs supporting abuse prevention for women and children. “We have a great tournament planned at Tierra Verde, and we are excited to bring new events such as Wine and Wedges and our concert featuring the amazing Emerald City Band,” Swanson added.

Visit to learn more or contact golf tournament chair Stacy Bridger at 817-277-9481. The kickoff party on Thursday is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Park Place Mercedes at Interstate 20 and Collins St. Admission is $10 per person.

Eyes on Arlington guest columnist coming soon

Be on the lookout soon for the occasional Eyes on Arlington column written by a guest columnist.

I am working on a special assignment for the next several months that will mean I sometimes won't be available to cover all our great community events and happenings. But we'll be in good shape because a most capable writer will fill in where needed.

Her name is Rhonda Aghamalian, a freelance writer and communications professional. She's written many stories in our publications over the years, so some of you may be familiar with her. Or you may know her because she's my daughter!

So be on the lookout for Rhonda's byline from time to time. Rest assured she can cover the social scene very well, and I know you'll love her style.

Please make note that it's important that you continue sending your news tips and requests for coverage to me as usual.

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