Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: United Way luncheon reports on how students spend free time

Guests at the 2015 Arlington United Way Report to the Community luncheon.
Guests at the 2015 Arlington United Way Report to the Community luncheon. Courtesy photo

For donors and supporters of the United Way (and who isn’t among them?), a chance to hear how they spend the money contributed to the agency is coming up Wednesday at the annual Report to the Community luncheon.

Arlington’s United Way division will present results from a recent study that examines the number of Arlington school district students (mainly elementary students) who are served on and off campus by nonprofit child care providers.

According to United Way, students in Texas spend 20 percet of their waking hours in school. The study endeavored to learn more about the remaining 80 percent of students’ time and how they spend it.

Keynote speaker will be Alison Reis-Khanna, executive director of the Texas Partnership for Out of School Time. She will describe how communities can support students and programs to form a coordinated network.

The programs created by the partnership focus on school kids and what they do before and after school, on weekends and during summer and holidays breaks. This focus aligns perfectly with the emphasis that Arlington United Way has put on quality child care in our community for the past 30 years.

United Way aims to make youth programs available that promote engaged learning and positive development while supporting working families and safe communities. By achieving these goals, it also strengthens the future workforce, another major goal of United Way.

The luncheon begins at noon (check-in at 11:30 a.m.) at Cacharel Grand Ballroom, 2221 E. Lamar Blvd. Tickets are $25 per person, and reservations are due by Friday. Register at or contact Arlington Regional Director Cynthia Jenson at 817-548-9595.

A breakfast for champions

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not much of a morning person. But even a confirmed night owl like me can get motivated to head out the door early for an event like Champions for Kids.

The high-energy breakfast has long been a signature fundraiser for Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington (led by CEO Steve Wurm), and its charm and personality are quite engaging — especially since you can always count on a few superadorable club members to show up as your breakfast companions.

This year’s Champions for Kids will feature a motivational Q&A hosted by popular Fox Sports Southwest commentator John Rhadigan, who will interview none other than football legend Drew Pearson, one of the NFL’s all-time-great wide receivers and a three-time Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl team member.

A hearty breakfast is part of the deal, as is plenty of piping hot, eye-opening Starbucks coffee. Everything wraps before 9 a.m., so you’ll be on your way to work, highly inspired, in no time at all.

Arlington City Council member Jimmy Bennett will be awarded with one of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington’s most prestigious honors, the Champion of Youth Award. “This award is presented to a community member or organization who through words, actions and financial support shows unwavering dedication to improving the lives of youth,” said spokeswoman Holly Clinton.

Date: April 20. Time: Coffee service begins at 7 a.m.; program begins at 7:30. Venue: Cholula Porch at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Tickets: $250. Learn more: or 817-275-6551, ext. 229.

Rhonda Aghamalian

Strike up the band

A spring concert in the park is an absolutely perfect way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Mark your calendar for 4 p.m. Sunday to hear the official band for our city, the Arlington Community Band, perform beautiful music in Veterans Park, 3600 W. Arkansas Lane.

Under the able direction of Rick Baker, the band will play music from film and stage favorites. You’ll hear selections from Harry Potter, Chicago, Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator and The Music Man.

Admission is free. Check out or call band member and spokeswoman Velma Bogart at 817-467-0158.

Events at a glance

  • Earth Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at River Legacy Living Science Center, 703 NW Green Oaks Blvd. The free event features nature hikes, storytime, games and crafts. Family activities include creating art from recycled materials, making wildflower seed balls, investigating the plants and animals of the forest floor and face-painting. Attendees will earn how to go native in their yards and have fun on a water wheel trivia activity. See the General Motors green car display. Call 817-860-6752 or visit
  • Deadline to enter a boat in the upcoming cardboard boat regatta is Monday. Registration fees are: guppy (one to two crew members) $60, dolphin (three to five crew members) $70, whale (six to 10 crew members) $90. High schools, groups, companies and families can join the team challenge to compete in horseshoes, spikeball and boat races. Call 817-860-6752 or visit to learn more.
  • The Lone Star Half Marathon and Mayor’s 5K is at 6:30 a.m. April 24 at the Levitt Pavilion in downtown Arlington. Half-marathon runners will head north to the entertainment district, through Lincoln Square, past Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, south on Fielder Road, and then loop around UT Arlington. The 5K winds through the east side of campus. The event is open to all runners including adaptive/wheelchair athletes and traditional runners, families, children and teams. Proceeds will help the Arlington school district build an adaptive sports program. Arlington distance runner Shea Needham is in charge of the race. Register at
  • Vendors needed for June 4 Mansfield Health Festival. According to the Mansfield Chamber of Commerce, host of the event, the festival is an excellent opportunity for area organizations and health service organizations to connect with the community and showcase programs and services aimed at improving health, provide people with information they need to make their lives healthier socially, economically and environmentally. To sign up as an exhibitor, call the chamber at 817-473-0507 or email