Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Leadership Arlington celebrates adult and youth graduates

The Leadership Arlington Class of 2016.
The Leadership Arlington Class of 2016. Courtesy photo

Since the first class graduated in 1980, Leadership Arlington has consistently kept the program strong, making adjustments over the years to keep it relevant and vibrant, and has graduated hundreds of future leaders for the community.

Last month at the annual meeting and graduation ceremony at the Arlington Hilton hotel, 38 class members celebrated the completion of the 2016 course. Along with the adult class, 36 high school students became graduates of the Youth Leadership Arlington program.

The program aims to teach potential community leaders how to become engaged in civic activities through a nine-month program. Sessions are held monthly to increase each participant’s knowledge of the community and to give them valuable team-building skills applicable in many life situations.

Adult class members are typically sponsored by their employer, and both the company and the participant gain access to a wide network of like-minded professional leaders. Youth participants are sponsored by the adult class members.

Guest speakers at the graduation were Mayor Jeff Williams and Mission Arlington leader Tillie Burgin.

Police Chief Will Johnson was this year’s recipient of the prestigious Sally Kallam Award given annually to an alumni who best emulates the ideals of leadership through efforts devoted to Leadership Arlington and the community.

According to training director April Pettitt, the class programs typically include a retreat in September followed by five class sessions, a lunch-and-learn event, an evening event and a service project completed from October to May. Topics covered include leadership skills, health and human services, government and economic development, arts and culture, education and networking.

2016 graduates were: Kristina Anderson, Chika Anozie, Cam Atkins, Tonna Brooks, Tim Brown, Michelle Canton, Dan Cavanagh, Jubert Chavez, Donna Crimmins-Bonnell, John Farris, Clinton Gober, Kenyon Godwin and Alicia Graves.

Additional class members graduating were: Timi Hazle, Christian Hibbs, Jennifer Hinds, Jesse Jackson, Kevin Kolbye, Bridget Lewis, David Locke, Jim Lowery Jr., Kishani Mathiasz, Jessica McGuinness, Olivia Merveille, Michael Moses, Shea Needham and Greg Parker.

Also, Santiago Pink, Brian Razloznik, Julie Reinhardt, Sharon Roberson-Jones, Mike Secrest, Tori Sisk, Beth Anne Underwood, Josh Taylor, Kelly Velder, Anthony White and Natalie Williams.

Needham said of her experience: “I fell in love with my hometown, and I found a new desire to give back in a bigger way. Not only did I develop new leadership skills from my classmates, but I gained life-long friends.”

Applications for the 2017 class are due July 29. Complete the application online at

Oscar Macaraeg Day

Everyone who has had the pleasure of working with the Asian-American Chamber of Commerce and attending their events knows Oscar Macaraeg, the chamber’s leader for many years. His unreserved enthusiasm for events such as the annual Eggroll Festival and Health Fair and the chamber’s community awards event is contagious.

Announcing his retirement this year, Macaraeg says he will continue to stay involved in the chamber’s activities and will relish being a goodwill ambassador for Arlington.

At the June 7 City Council meeting, Mayor Jeff Williams honored Macaraeg by proclaiming Oscar Macaraeg Day. Business associates, friends and family were on hand to celebrate the special occasion.

The mayor’s proclamation addressed Macaraeg’s long service that focused on promoting small-business formation and cultural awareness while shedding light on the contributions of the Asian-American community to the local economy. It went on to say that his leadership benefited not only Asian-Americans but created business opportunities for all minorities in Arlington.

Macaraeg’s signature achievements have always celebrated the culture and accomplishments of Tarrant County’s Asian-Americans. We congratulate him on this honor and wish him well in retirement.

Woman’s club honors service, installs officers, makes philanthropic award

After a successful year of volunteering nearly 18,000 hours and giving around $30,000 to local charities and scholarships, the Arlington Woman’s Club held its annual installation and awards luncheon last month at the club’s headquarters.

Club President Judy Duke welcomed members and guests and humbly accepted the gifts and praise she received for her first year of leading the 600-member organization.

Duke presented the President’s Award to George “Bubba” Johnston and to Elliott Blumberg in recognition of their long-standing, remarkable service and contributions to both Arlington Woman’s Club and to the community.

Robin Harlan received the AWC Award given annually to the member whose work represents the highest standards of the club. The Cooper Award is presented to a member for extraordinary service to the club and to the community, and this year’s recipient was Vicki King.

Each year, the club chooses a local charity as the beneficiary of funds raised at the annual philanthropy dinner. Open Arms Health Clinic, this year’s chosen charity, received a check for $3,400 in a special presentation at the luncheon. Jeanette Fitzpatrick and Maureen Vega from Open Arms accepted the donation with gratitude and announced that the clinic is in need of additional volunteer physicians and nurses. Open Arms provides healthcare to people with limited access to care.

The entertainment segment of the day was the clever officer installation set to music performed by the talented Susan Cosacchi, who chose songs representing countries around the world as each officer (wearing a pageant-style banner bearing the name of various countries) was duly installed.

Duke will continue a second term as president joined by fellow officers Carolyn Jolly, Elouise Perry, Johnette Tingley, Nancy York, Vicki King, Barbara Castano and Cheryl Illingworth.

To learn more about the organization, visit or call the office at 817-277-7666.

Mansfield community theater finds a hometown stage July 16-17

The Mainstage Classic Theatre of Mansfield is living a dream come true as it presents its summer musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, on July 16-17. For years the community theater has performed in Kennedale because a Mansfield venue was not available. This summer marks the first time the summer production is being held in Mansfield.

“We are grateful to have recently partnered with the Mansfield ISD and our shows will be in the Willie Pigg Auditorium,” said the theater’s president and show director, Marty Fredrick. “It is a newly renovated facility seating 1,200.”

“It has been my hope for some time to have the whole community enjoy and participate in a big summer production,” Fredrick said. “I see it as a great way to allow businesses, families and talented artists an opportunity to work toward one common goal.”

“We have an orchestra, and all music is under the direction of Dr. Scott Ferrell, technical direction by Doug Parker and choreography by Beth Holland, all who have done professional work,” Fredrick added.

Performances are at 2 and 7 p.m. July 16 and 3 p.m. July 17. Purchase tickets at the door or online at The show venue is at 1520 N. Walnut Creek Drive.

Events at a glance

  • American Business Women’s Association New Connections Chapter will meet at 6 p.m. July 14 at El Primos, 2300 Matlock Road in Mansfield. Guest speaker is John Carroll of Tres Coaching Services talking about “Marketing Your Greatest Asset: You.” RSVP by July 11 at
  • Theatre Arlington presents the world premiere of Gracefully Ending through July 17. The brand-new play is being presented in partnership with the American Association of Community Theatre. Part of an initiative to address the need for new high-quality plays for community theater audiences, the new play is set in 2009 amid the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia and depicts a family’s struggles with serious illness. Performances will continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. and Sundays. Purchase tickets online at or call the box office at 817-275-7661.