Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: $20 Six Flags outing to benefit Arlington schools

Arlington ISD Education Foundation President Mary Tom Curnutt, right, and her husband, Kelly Curnutt, with their nephews at Six Flags Over Texas.
Arlington ISD Education Foundation President Mary Tom Curnutt, right, and her husband, Kelly Curnutt, with their nephews at Six Flags Over Texas. Courtesy photo

Bargain hunters and fun seekers, listen up, this news is for you. You can go to Six Flags Over Texas and enjoy all the rides for just $20 on April 15 from 6 to 11 p.m. It’s highly unlikely you’ll find a deeper discount all season, and the good news is that a portion of your ticket price goes to support Arlington schools.

The host is the good folks at the Arlington ISD Education Foundation, who are bringing back this terrific event for a third year. The event planners are wisely pointing out that this is the way to have an exclusive private party at Six Flags without waiting endlessly in long lines.

“The foundation is pleased to announce that Texas Health Arlington Memorial has again pledged to be presenting sponsor and First Rate Financial will again serve as a lead sponsor for the event,” said Beth Owens, chair of this year’s celebration. “We encourage local businesses to join us and support our local schools.”

Among others working on the event committee are Michael Jarrett from Worthington National Bank and Chad Bates from Legacy Financial. Mary Tom Curnutt is president of the foundation.

Live entertainment will be part of the evening’s festivities as guests enjoy the talents of 800 performing arts students featuring outstanding performances by Arlington school choirs, orchestras and bands.

Five dollars of each ticket purchased online benefits a designated Arlington school by entering the school’s name when prompted for a gift code.

“Not only is this a fun celebration night for AISD, this night is a tremendous fundraising opportunity for our AISD schools,” said Brian White, executive director of the foundation. “One click and people can give back to our schools without any inventory left over and without any hard work.”

Businesses and individuals who want to help economically disadvantaged students attend the event can donate $500 to sponsor 40 students or $250 for 20 kids to attend.

To purchase tickets for $20, go to and type in a school gift code or type in “AISD.” To inquire, contact White at 682-867-1927 or email

Party at Top O’ Hill Terrace revisits colorful Arlington history

How many parties offer the chance to visit a secret tunnel where gamblers at a once-famous casino escaped during police raids? Or how often can you hear tales about Arlington’s infamous gangster-related past? Or visit a tea garden that hosted parties for “the rich, the famous and the infamous?”

If this intrigues you, mark your calendar now for noon to 7 p.m. April 9 for the Cruising Back in Time festival as the Top O’ Hill Terrace celebrates the Bankhead Highway centennial.

One of Arlington’s most fascinating landmarks, the Top O’ Hill Terrace (now Arlington Baptist College) is located on Division Street, which follows what was the Bankhead Highway constructed back in the 1920s.

“Top O’ Hill Terrace was a key destination along the Bankhead Highway in its heyday, operating as an illegal casino and nightclub — a secret place that thrived during prohibition” said Ellen Timberlake-Volz from the Tarrant County Historical Commission.

Light refreshments will be served in the tea garden to a backdrop of live entertainment by Dance Theatre Arlington, actors from Theatre Arlington, the Adlee H. Trezevant Memorial Choir from historic I.M. Terrell High School and the musical group Just Jazz.

“Festivalgoers are invited to attend the event dressed as a favorite historical character from the 1930s or 1940s. Prizes, including theater tickets and gift certificates to local Arlington restaurants, will be awarded to the best characters,” said Timberlake-Volz.

“Visitors will also be able to purchase books, videos and other Top O’ Hill Terrace and Bankhead Highway memorabilia as well as several offerings from our guest speakers and noted historians.”

There will be an impressive vintage car display, and guests will enjoy tours of the historic grounds and see artifacts not often on display. A highlight of the day will be fascinating stories told by local historians and authors about Tarrant County’s colorful past.

O.K. Carter, Jim Gatewood, Martha May Martin and Geraldine Mills are only a few of the presenters who will regale the audience with some fascinating and little known tales of the past about gambling, horse racing, gangsters and other unusually intriguing topics.

Records indicate that famous visitors at the casino included John Wayne, Gene Autry, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Hedy Lamarr, Mae West, W.T. Waggoner, Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Howard Hughes, Lana Turner, Benny Goodman, Jean Harlow, Bonnie and Clyde, and scores of other celebrities.

Tickets are $25, and all proceeds benefit structural repairs at the landmark. The project is partially funded by the Arlington Cultural Tourism Council. Purchase tickets online at

Leadership Training focused on women is Saturday

The Junior League of Arlington will host a one-day conference 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Arlington, 2401 E. Lamar Blvd.

According to a publicity release, “The event will provide comprehensive leadership training on an array of topics for leaders at every level from emerging to expert. The goal of the conference is to help attendees take their leadership ability to the next level.”

Keynote speaker is Jennifer Sampson, president and CEO of United Way Dallas. Other speakers include Jerry Thomas, president and CEO of Decision Analyst, who will present research findings on leadership; and Rachel Croson, dean of UTA School of Business, who will speak on negotiation skills for women. Sherry Johnson, vice president at Make-A-Wish North Texas, will speak on empowering communities through service, and Connie Lorick, director of philanthropy at Fox Family, will talk about how to manage multiple resources at once.

The cost is $35 per person and includes a light breakfast and full lunch. Register by Friday at


Dates and times for the Friends of the Arlington Public Library Book Sale are: 3-7 p.m. today Members Night (memberships available at the door), 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Teachers and nonprofit employees (with IDs) can take “all you can carry” for a suggested $5 flat donation after closing on Sunday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Information in last week’s column about the sale dates/hours was unclear.

Events at a glance

▪ Gospel Homecoming Concert is from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church, 300 S. Center St. Featured groups are Trusting Hymn, Pathfinder’s Quarter and the Broken Cords. Dessert and gift sale at intermission. Tickets are $10 each in advance or $12 at the door. Proceeds benefit the Christian Women’s Job Corps of Greater Arlington.

▪ YMCA Senior Health Fair is 9-11:30 a.m. April 6 at the Y at 7120 S. Cooper St. Dentists, doctors, optometrists, nutritionists, diabetes specialists and other providers of services to the senior community will be there to visit with guests. To inquire, call Kim Bay at 817-419-9629 or

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