Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Local Boys & Girls Clubs countdown in National Triple Play event

Kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Triple Play event.
Kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Triple Play event. Courtesy photo

Fun and fitness were in abundance this month when 350 kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington’s Kromer branch gathered to participate in the “Millionth Minute” of a big nationwide event.

It was all part of Triple Play Day where youngsters across the country joined together in a variety of wellness activities — including physical, social and nutrition learning — to reach a collective goal of a million minutes of activity focusing on the mind, body and soul (hence the Triple Play moniker).

Officials from the national Boys & Girls Clubs of America selected the Arlington club as the final stop after a 10-city tour where children had been participating in the Triple Play activities. Besides the 10 clubs visited on the tour, hundreds of others clubs recorded their minutes to contribute to the overall goal of a million minutes of activity.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams was on hand to conduct the official million minute countdown with the kids. Star professional athletes were special guests at the event including NBA Hall of Famer Spudd Webb, NFL great Andre Reed, Ellis Valentine from the Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars alum Bob Bessen and NBA star Jim Jackson.

Arlington Boys & Girls Clubs spokeswoman Nadia DiStefano said just being there was a really uplifting experience. “The encouragement from the celebrities and all the activities gave the kids inspiration to be healthy and taught them that just eating your broccoli at dinner is not the only way to be healthy. They learned fun ways to be healthy.”

Kids could visit each of three areas — representing the mind, body and soul components of the program — and choose from among fun activities in each area. Relay races, tug of war, trust exercises, memory games, a giant Connect 4 game, basketball drills and field activities were all part of the fun.

Latoyia Greyer, manager at the Kromer branch, said that the preparations for the event involved a lot of hard work for both the local and national staff but that result was well worth the effort.

“Everything ran really smoothly. Before we began the activities, the motivational talks the professional athletes did for the kids were really great, and the kids seemed to be listening closely. We were pleased that the pros were there the entire day and engaged with the kids in all the activities,” Greyer said.

Marcus Barnes, a fifth-grader at Pearcy Elementary, said he had a great time and had fun doing all the games, particularly a giant version of Jenga and Connect 4.

Ousley Junior High student Kaitlyn Bener said, “My favorite was the trust circle because it made me meet new people.” About meeting former Bessen: “He gave a really good speech about not giving up in life even when people try to put you down.”

Bener, who plays volleyball and basketball at school, said the soccer drills that were part of the day’s activities led to her discover that she’s good at it. “I think I’ll try out for soccer next year,” she said.

DiStefano said the Arlington clubs serve 5,000 kids in the school year programs along with 3,000 kids through outreach programs. Learn more at or call DiStefano at 817-275-6551.

Bazaarnival on Saturday will have something for everyone

For around 30 years, the community around First Presbyterian Church at 1200 S. Collins St. has enjoyed shopping and visiting at the annual Bazaarnival the church hosts to raise money for missions. This year’s event is set for Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“This is a giant garage-sale-type event,” said Debbie Richardson from First Presbyterian. “The only outside vendor will be a food truck. The church members donate everything from books to computers to furniture and everything in between. There is always a lot of clothing and adult and children’s apparel are separated to make for easier shopping.”

All sorts of treasures await shoppers who will browse for goodies in the kids boutique and country store. Fabrics, books, toys, clothing, furniture and appliances are only a few categories of items for sale.

Richardson says residents can find good items for a very nominal fee. “There will be a silent auction as well as a quilt raffle that is always beautiful. We also have a bake sale with wonderful homemade goodies,” she said.

To inquire, call the church at 817-274-8286.

SafeHaven announces Legacy of Women honorees

Singing the praises of outstanding women in our community is something that SafeHaven of Tarrant County has been doing for nearly a quarter century. The agency has just announced 10 area women to be honored at its annual Legacy of Women Awards luncheon coming up on Oct. 12.

“The Legacy of Women Award recognizes remarkable women in Tarrant County, for their commitment, achievements, initiative, impact and overwhelming contributions to the community,” SafeHaven spokeswoman Keeli McNair wrote in an email.

Congratulations to these women for their incredible contributions to the communities: Sissy Day, Fonda Martin, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Alice Puente, Lynda Railsback, Lynda Sanders, Shonda Schaefer, Nancy Tice, Renova Williams and Sharen Wilson.

The luncheon will also feature football legend Terry Bradshaw as it raises money to enable SafeHaven to continue serving women and children fleeing domestic violence.

To inquire about sponsorships or tickets, visit or call Valerie Salter at 817-502-7132.

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