Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Arlington-Mansfield Area YMCA celebrates service at annual meeting

Kennedy Montgomery, a student at Timberview High School in the Mansfield district, has participated in the Y’s Youth in Government program since he moved to Texas from Michigan a couple of years back. Montgomery was recently elected as the new Texas youth governor.
Kennedy Montgomery, a student at Timberview High School in the Mansfield district, has participated in the Y’s Youth in Government program since he moved to Texas from Michigan a couple of years back. Montgomery was recently elected as the new Texas youth governor. Courtesy photo

It was all smiles last week at the Y’s annual luncheon meeting as the organization honored volunteers and reported positive outcomes in the agency’s focus areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The guest speaker, Mayor Jeff Williams, shared his family’s experiences in YMCA programs and praised the Y for its continuing positive impact on Arlington families.

CEO Roberto Aguirre enthusiastically reviewed impressive statistics that reflected a 53 percent growth in participants during the past three years — and, more importantly, the growth was achieved without capital expenditures. Aguirre told an appreciative audience of around 250 people that the Y had served more than 1,400 children in before- and after-school child care last year and that just over 9,000 kids participated in the youth sports programs.

Particularly notable is the nearly $475,000 in financial assistance the Y awarded to families who couldn’t afford the programs offered.

Board Chairman Glynda Patterson praised the massive volunteer efforts by residents who help the YMCA and presented the organization’s most prestigious honors to four deserving individuals. The Youth Development Award was given to Chris Robledo, and Jamie Paladini received the Healthy Living Award. Honored with the Social Responsibility Award was Veronica Ordonez, and taking home the title of Volunteer of the Year was Brad Millican.

Kennedy Montgomery, a student at Timberview High School in the Mansfield district, has participated in the Y’s Youth in Government program since he moved to Texas from Michigan a couple of years back. Montgomery was recently elected as the new Texas youth governor and is the Arlington-Mansfield Area YMCA’s first youth governor.

“One of the major things I learned ... is it’s better to be humble and confident than insouciant,” Montgomery wrote for the YMCA’s annual report.

Referring to the Y’s name change to Arlington-Mansfield Area YMCA announced last year, Aguirre said the change was more reflective of the service provided to the communities of Arlington, Pantego, Dalworthington Gardens, Rendon, Kennedale and Mansfield where the more than 60,000 Y members and program participants live.

Casting call for city boards and commissions

Anyone interested in giving back to the community should consider volunteering to serve on one of the 20 boards and commissions for the city of Arlington. The deadline for applying is May 13.

The city is looking to fill seats on such boards as the animal services advisory board, the convention and visitors bureau board, the housing authority, the landmark preservation commission and boards for the library and parks and recreation. The planning and zoning commission and the zoning board of adjustment also have spots open along with several other city boards such as the citizens environmental committee and the community relations commission.

Volunteers in these advisory capacities make recommendations to the mayor and City Council on policies that often have an impact on residents. Only a few boards or commissions have final decision-making authority. Because some of the volunteer assignments require specialized training or licenses, it is best to investigate the requirements before applying.

“Serving on a board or commission provides residents with the opportunity to give input into matters that shape Arlington’s future and ensure that the American Dream City remains a vibrant, thriving community for all,” said Jennifer Wichmann, management resources director.

Applications are available online at For those wanting to apply in person, drop by the Office of the Mayor and Council on the third floor of City Hall at 101 W. Abram St. or call 817-459-6122 to inquire.

Salute to Community Bands is Saturday

Saturday will be a music lover’s dream come true at the all day band festival at Texas Hall on the UTA campus. Back for the sixth year, a Salute to Community Bands will feature the music of eight local concert band groups.

Presented by the Arlington Community Band conducted by Rick Baker, the daylong program will be free and open to the public.

According to band spokeswoman Velma Bogart, the festival was established so the community could enjoy the music of multiple bands around the area at one event and location. An added bonus is the chance for the musicians to hear one another perform and hear new music selections, too.

“Community bands are at the heart and soul of America’s towns, cities and communities,” Bogart said. “The USA claims over 2,500 bands. In the Metroplex, there are probably 40 or more community bands.”

For those who want a music binge, stay all day. Or drop in and out as your Saturday schedule permits and enjoy great entertainment by: East Fort Worth Community Jazz Band (11 a.m.), Rockwall Community Band (12:15 p.m.), Greater Fort Worth Community Band (1:30 p.m.), Irving Symphonic Band (2:45 p.m.), Oak Lawn Band (4:15 p.m.), Mansfield Wind Symphony (5:30 p.m.), Carrollton Wind Symphony (6:45 p.m.) and Arlington Community Band (8 p.m.).

The bands will play everything from traditional concert band music and marches to patriotic pieces, religious songs, folk tunes and Broadway musical favorites. Contact Bogart at 817-467-0158 or to inquire.

Local auction to benefit global cause

On your way home from work Friday, take a little detour to stop by the GIVE silent auction at the Pantego Lions Club, 3535 Marathon St. It’s a chance to pick up some great gifts (for yourself or others) and maybe get a bargain while helping a good cause. The auction is open from 5 to 9 p.m.

Presented by the Arlington-based nonprofit Ghana Initiative for Valued Education, the event raises money to provide educational opportunities for children in the African nation.

“GIVE awarded 110 scholarships for last school year (12 elementary school, 94 junior high school and four senior high school). In celebration of our 10th year as a nonprofit, we are hoping to top last year’s event,” writes founder Craig Powell.

The silent auction features a wide variety of items including artwork from local artists as well as authentic African art. Sports memorabilia, gift certificates from local businesses, gift baskets and other attractive offerings will go home with the winning bidder.

The event is a come-and-go affair. Auction winners need not be present. Light refreshments are planned with a program around 8 p.m. More details at, or call Powell at 682-323-5450.

At a glance

  • CATS fundraiser show, Murderous Night at the Museum, is May 14 at 7 p.m. at the Arlington Museum of Art. The one-night-only performance is $35 per person and includes a raffle ticket, lovely dinner, complimentary beer and wine and admission to the show. The event promises “mystery, intrigue, hilarity and your favorite CATS students and alums.” Purchase tickets online at or call 817-861-2287.
  • East Main Street Art and Music Festival is Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. Visit 40 emerging artists and vendors with works in a variety of media as well as live painting, sculpting and potting along with music and food. There will be a pop-up dog park, bounce houses, table tennis, corn hole and craft beer. More fun with an outdoor reading room, mobile pet adoption and chess playing. The action happens along two blocks of East Main Street. Contact to learn more.

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