Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

$71,000 awarded by Keller Women’s Club

Recipients of the Greater Keller Women’s Club 2016 grants.
Recipients of the Greater Keller Women’s Club 2016 grants. Courtesy photo

Nine local charities and a dozen students from Keller high schools shared the spotlight last month as the Greater Keller Women’s Club awarded $71,000 in grants and scholarships. The celebratory night at the Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club was attended by more than 100 club members and guests.

“At this event the club comes together to award the grants to local nonprofits who help our community every day and to award scholarships so that local graduating high school seniors can attend the college of their choice,” said club President Caroline Sherman.

The annual Garden of Roses & Pearls fundraiser produced $35,000 in grants to the Battered Women’s Foundation, Christ’s Haven for Children, Community Enrichment Center, Community Storehouse, Metroport Meals on Wheels, Neuro Assistance Foundation, North Texas SNAP, SafeHaven and Victory Therapy Center.

And $36,000 was raised for scholarships through the annual fundraising event and donations from club members and the community.

Amid rousing applause, 12 graduating seniors were presented scholarships. Congratulations to Alexa Bartels, Cally Holcombe and Madison Plumhoff (Keller High School), Noel Marzullo (Central High School), Estefania Arbelaez, Oleksandra Heorhiyeva, Munazza Maitri, Carlos Perez and Tahia Rahman (Fossil Ridge High School) and Christopher Fant, Mary Layne and Emily Tate (Timber Creek High School).

Turning the spotlight on two of their own, the club recognized June Aurelio for exceptional service by presenting to her the Gladys Barrett Award. Beth Murray was named the 2016 Shining Star, an annual award of the Northeast Arts Council honoring volunteers.

Since the club was established 21 years ago, nearly $1,185,000 in grants and scholarships have been awarded. The club has been a member of the President’s Volunteer Service Awards program since 2009, a program to recognize sustained commitment to civic participation. Club members “volunteer more than 10,000 hours in more than 25 planned charitable events each year.”

Sherman said, “Our yearly Distribution of Funds dinner is the end result of all our members’ hard work over the last year. By raising these funds we are enabling our community to succeed and thrive.”

Membership in the club is not for Keller residents only — women throughout the area are invited to join. Check out www.GKWC.org for details.

Relay for Life celebrates cancer survivors, raises money for research

Instead of race cars, the track at Texas Motor Speedway will be filled with walkers on Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight for the Relay for Life event hosted by the American Cancer Society. Symbolizing the battle waged around the clock by those facing cancer, participants take turns so that at least one team member is on the track throughout the event.

“This new event combines relays formerly held in Grapevine, Keller and Southlake and includes such areas as Colleyville, Roanoke and Westlake for a new, larger event,” said event manager Sonia Leal.

The signature event of the American Cancer Society celebrates cancer survivors, honors those that lost the battle and creates awareness of the need to fund research for eradicating the disease. The free, family-oriented event is open to the public and is one of the more than 6,000 relays worldwide.

“All cancer survivors are invited to launch the relay by taking the first lap together,” said Cancer Society spokeswoman Joy Donovan Brandon. Forming teams for the relay is suggested, and individuals are also welcome to participate. A survivor dinner in the NASCAR garage is planned for Saturday evening. Survivors or those now fighting cancer can register for the dinner in advance at www.RelayForLife.org/NorthernTarrantTX or sign up the day of the event. Each attendee is welcome to bring one caregiver as their guest.​

Local volunteers on the event committee are chairman Rudy Martinez with help from Teresa Rutherford, Natalia Decker, Tina Auten, Daphnie Pilgrim, Arlin Hammerstad, Kathy Bryan, Melissa Diaz and Julia Kovalenko.

“We are so excited about this Relay For Life including all the communities of northern Tarrant County. There will be live bands, a DJ, Zumba and various activities for people of all ages,” said Leal. “With it being in the summer, we’re hoping families will come out to enjoy the entertainment and to support a worthy cause.”

American Cowboy Gala is Thursday

Hal Jay of WBAP 820 radio will be honored Thursday at the annual American Cowboy Gala at River Ranch in the Fort Worth Stockyards. The gala is the kickoff for the National Day of the American Cowboy, which is celebrated annually to acknowledge the contributions of cowboys and cowgirls to American culture and heritage. It is a combined fundraiser for Friends of the Fort Worth Herd and Friends of Cowtown Coliseum.

“We’re excited to move the gala to a new venue at River Ranch, and they have been very generous in hosting this event,” said Pam Minick, president of the Fort Worth Herd and event chairwoman. “I think that Hal Jay is the perfect honoree. On the air every day for 35 years, he has promoted Fort Worth and its Western heritage.

Additional honors will go to Richard Zavala and Harold Pitchford, who will receive the Outrider Awards for their pivotal role in managing the Fort Worth Herd program for many years.

The 15 longhorn steers comprising the herd made their debut in 1999. Tourists and residents alike enjoy the spectacle of the twice-daily cattle drive through the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards.

“The gala evening will feature a delicious meal and beverages at River Ranch and entertainment by rising Western music star Mikki Daniel. A live auction will include Gold Buckle Seats at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, a real live Texas longhorn cow, a registered Labrador puppy and more,” said Minick.

According to Minick, recent projects completed with funds raised by the gala include a livestock trailer for the Fort Worth Herd and a historical mural in Cowtown Coliseum as well as an educational display about African-American cowboy Bill Pickett.

Tickets are $125 each and can be purchased at www.CowboyGala.com, or call 817-336-4373 to make reservations.

Events at a glance

  • Clear the Shelter is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. More than 50 North Texas Humane Society shelters participate in the free pet-adoption day. Visit www.hsnt.org to learn more.
  • iLIVE Girls and Women’s Wellness and Lifestyle Expo is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at UTA’s E.H. Hereford University Center. The free event will offer workshops, free health screenings, free massages, exhibits and demonstrations for females of all ages. More at www.iliveexpo.com.
  • College Shower for Girls Inc. of Tarrant County is at 6 p.m. July 28 at Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus. The event honors Girls Inc. scholarship winners and college-bound girls by providing them with supplies needed for college in the fall. Tickets at www.girlsinctarrant.org.
  • North Texas SNAP Boots & Bling Casino Night Gifting Party is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Piazza in the Village, Colleyville. Entry into this exclusive event is a donation of an item or service per guest that has a $50 minimum value. Guests will enjoy delicious hors d’ oeuvres, one drink ticket per person and a $1,000 gaming voucher for casino games at the party. RSVPs are required and are due immediately. Email executive.director@ntxsnap.org, or call 817-545-9456.

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