Shed all those notions that any party a chamber of commerce throws is stodgy and boring. That paradigm has long been abandoned and replaced by today’s chamber events that offer value to businesses and sociable fun for event participants.
All that fun will be in abundance at the 61st Birthday Bash that the H-E-B chamber is hosting Sept. 17 at the elegant Hurst Conference Center. Guests will enjoy a seated dinner, live music, auction and a great stage show by award-winning comedian Dean Lewis.
“Dean’s résumé is quite impressive — and funny,” chamber President Mary Frazior said in a statement. “He has sold material to Jay Leno, appeared on The Last Comic Standing and the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and opened for stars including Julio Iglesias, the Doobie Brothers, Joan Jett and Willie Nelson. Dean was also the winner of the Wendy’s Clean Comedy Challenge, and in 2007, he won an Emmy Award for comedy writing.”
Before dinner and the show, party guests will mix and mingle as they enjoy cocktails from a cash bar, nosh on hors d’oeuvres and peruse tempting items up for grabs in a silent auction. Bid generously because proceeds from the event will benefit the chamber’s many programs, including economic development, Leadership HEB, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy and Challenge by Choice (a program for seventh-graders to encourage taking challenging courses).
According to Lewis, corporate comedy is different from working as a nightclub comic. “First, it will be a very clean show,” he wrote. “The goal is just to have fun, and we don’t want to embarrass or offend anyone. Second, the show will be customized for chamber members and guests, which I hope will make it memorable.”
Exciting auction swag includes restaurant gift cards, hotel stays, golf outings, wine baskets, tickets to Billy Bob’s, Casa Manaña, Fort Worth Zoo, Dallas Stars, Lone Star Park, George W. Bush library at SMU and Texas Motor Speedway.
Pianist Stan Paschal will perform during the reception and the L.D. Bell String Quartet during dinner. After the comedy show, the spotlight will shift to guests willing to cast aside their inhibitions and cut loose on some fun karaoke singing.
In the live auction, bidders will vie to win vacation stays in a Las Vegas condo and a beach house in Mexico among other exciting offerings.
One of Lewis’s comic heroes is the legendary Jonathan Winters. “While Jonathan did some really great work,” Lewis wrote, “I would like to point out, he never played the Hurst Conference Center.”
Frazior said about the fun-filled evening, “In short, there’s going to be a lot of funny business going on at the Chamber’s Birthday Bash — and you won’t want to miss it.”
Concert on Sept. 8 features Gray Bartlett, Euless police chief and others
Where can you see a concert performed by a legendary New Zealand entertainer, the Euless chief of police, a Johnnie High Entertainer of the Year winner and the lead guitarist from Gary Lewis and the Playboys? The answer is: right here in Euless at Mary Lib Saleh Library Theatre at 6 p.m. Sept. 8.
“Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear a super concert with an international group of interesting and entertaining artists,” said publicist and freelance writer Dorothy Hamm of Euless.
“Gray Bartlett is one of New Zealand’s legendary entertainers; Mike Brown. Euless’ very own singer/songwriter chief of police; Jon Rutherford, the actor who killed Walker Texas Ranger’s parents; and Charlie Carey, who played lead guitar with Gary Lewis and the Playboys, performed on the Johnny Carson show and shared stages with some of the biggest names in showbiz, will put on a great show,” Hamm added.
According to library administrator Sherry Knight, library officials were delighted to say yes when Hamm asked if the library would host the concert. “We are happy to provide a venue for this free event, which is sure to delight all music lovers,” said Knight.
Bartlett is New Zealand’s biggest-selling guitarist and has performed alongside artists such as Tom Jones and Kenny Rogers. “Gray, who has been very busy touring with his newest album, Private Conversations, agreed with enthusiasm when I asked if he would consider performing again in Euless,” Hamm said.
Barlett was quoted in a recent blog post: “Music is the greatest gift our planet has. It creates a longer and happier life. It re-energizes, restores faith, gives rise to great passion and makes you happy. Music is better than most medicines for re-charging the batteries.”
Rutherford was a regular on the late Johnnie High’s Country Music Revue where he was named entertainer of the year. More recently, he has opened for the Gatlin Brothers, Charlie Daniels, Joe Diffie, Clint Black, Mel Tillis, John Conley and George Jones.
Hamm says Euless residents don’t have to worry about their police chief riding off into the sunset on a tour bus, “but they can certainly boast that their city might just have the finest singing peace officer since Andy Taylor of Mayberry.” Brown’s album, Just A Little, features songs ranging from folk to honky-tonk and from bluegrass to blues.
Fort Worth musician Charlie Carey has appeared on the Johnny Carson show, Steve Allen show and performed with Chuck Berry, Conway Twitty and Fats Domino.
Reservations for the concert are not needed, but there are only 120 seats, so early arrival would be advisable. Library spokesman Eric Terry says overflow seating on an adjacent outdoor area is available if needed. Light refreshments will be served. The library is at 201 N Ector Drive. Direct inquires to Terry at 817-685-1484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events at a glance
- Mid-Cities Genealogical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mary Lib Saleh Euless Public Library. Evening starts with the popular beginner’s class. At 7 p.m. Judy Allen will present the program on “Organizing Your Genealogy.” “Whether you are just getting started or are somewhere in the middle and your papers are getting out of hand, this meeting is for you,” said Evelynn Kelly. Contact her at email@example.com.
- Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opens Friday and runs through Sept. 18 at Onstage in Bedford. Tickets are available at the box office or online at www.onstageinbedford.com.
- Bedford Blues Fest is Friday through Sunday at 2000 Forest Ridge Drive along with the Backyard BBQ Competition. Blues bands will perform all weekend. Featured are Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue and Dr. John the Night Tripper. Barbecue teams are invited to enter a competition with attractive cash prizes for winners. Artisans from all over Texas will offer their arts, jewelry, pottery, and crafts for sale. Details at www.bedfordbluesfest.com.
- Lance Tahmahkera and Comanche Culture event is at 2 p.m. Sept. 10 at Euless Heritage Museum, 201 Cullum Drive. Keynote speaker Lance Tahmahkera, great-great-grandson of Comanche Chief Quanah Parker, will discuss his historical perspective of the Native American culture and the legacy of the Comanche chief. The event is free and open to the public. To learn more, call 817-685-1649.
- Applications from homeowners wanting to be considered for Community Powered Revitalization are due Sept. 11. CPR is a joint effort between 6 Stones and the cities of Hurst, Euless and Bedford to help homeowners who are struggling to make necessary home repairs. Applications are online. For Hurst residents, bit.ly/2buUV2w. For Euless residents, www.eulesstx.gov/cpr. For Bedford residents, bit.ly/2c4kzXM.