Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Shining Stars luncheon honors the ‘greatest gift’ while benefiting the arts

Last year’s Shining Stars honorees. This year’s event is Sept. 23 at Hurst Conference Center.
Last year’s Shining Stars honorees. This year’s event is Sept. 23 at Hurst Conference Center. Mike Lewis Photography

They say, “When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life you can never get back. That is why it’s the greatest gift.” Outstanding volunteers from the area who have generously given “the greatest gift” will be honored at the Sept. 23 Shining Stars luncheon at the Hurst Conference Center.

The elegant affair is now hosted by the Arts Council Northeast after being established and presented by the Arts League for 18 years. What makes it so popular is the unique concept of combining volunteer recognition with an art show and auction, luncheon and shopping at a live and silent auction all in one place.

“This is the 20th year for Shining Stars and I’m very excited to be chairing this fantastic event,” said Cheri Ross, who has led the event committee, serving alongside Arna Posey, Falah Crouch, Joan Matzke and Joan Lanford.

More than 30 pieces of fabulous art will be on display and available to the top bidder at the event (and collectors can get a sneak preview of it at the Bedford library.) Luncheon guests should arrive by 10:30 a.m. to view the art, shop a small luxury silent auction, enjoy mimosas, mingle with friends and choose which raffle item will get your tickets.

Deborah Ferguson of NBC 5 will emcee the event as 38 volunteers from local charities and nonprofits are recognized in a special presentation. Then auctioneer Dan Holmes will lead bidders in a live auction that includes Akoya pearls, a Tag Heuer watch, a one-of-a-kind blue topaz ring and a boat party on Lewisville Lake.

The Shining Stars chosen by various civic and charitable organizations are Gerianna Jones, Nelda Rogers, Jan Alford, Virginia Palmeri, Mike Collins, Billie Yahne, Chuck Kaskovich, Stephanie Phelps, Elena Freeman, Kristie Bohnenkamp, Randy Johnson, Linda Bradley, Ruth Ann Meek, Cindy O’Harra, Vicki Cahill and Sue P. Franks.

Also, Beth Murray, Stacey Chase, Karen Dungey, Rochelle Ross, Shirlene Moore, Kelley Banaszewski, Deanna Marsh, Mia Gordon-Poorman, Cheryl North, Lindy Hanna, Amber Adams, Kris Nelson, Randy White, Tina Caliga and Jackie Powell are among the Shining Stars honorees.

“This year we are once again shooting a video of our nominees. It is so exciting to hear our nominees telling the audience in their own words what it means to them to be chosen by their respective organizations,” arts council President Lee Koch said.

Tickets are $75, and proceeds help the council continue providing the Masterworks Concert Series, Summer Arts College and arts-related grants. Since 1997, more than $740,000 in grants have been awarded and matched. Meet the Shining Stars and purchase tickets online at or call Koch at 817-283-3406.

Boots & Bling Casino Night Sept. 24

Cowboys and cowgirls had best be quick on the draw to avoid the last-minute stampede for tickets to the Sept. 24 Boots & Bling Casino Night hosted by the folks at North Texas Special Needs Assistance Partners.

Party attire is cowboy elegant and will offer guests an enjoyable night on the town with dinner, boot scootin’ music by DJ Scott and casino gaming to raise money so SNAP can continue its work to help people with intellectual disabilities live full and independent lives. State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione is the honorary chairman and emcee for the event.

“North Texas SNAP is dedicated to supporting a variety of programs and services for individuals 17 and older living with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Executive Director Brandy Schimmel said. “As an organization that operates solely on benevolent gifts, our Boots & Bling Casino Night is our largest fundraising event of the year.”

This Western soiree has some of the best swag of any local charity event with fabulous themed wish bowls, a silent auction and a wine pull that guests can enjoy during the cocktail hour at 5 p.m. before dinner. On the auction block are such winners as a group cooking class at Casa della Nonna, a chair from the Texas House of Representatives floor and a basketball autographed by the entire Dallas Mavericks team.

In the spotlight during the after-dinner program are the recipients of the local businesses who support SNAP members by providing internships as well as paid employment. “Representatives from Market Street will be featured speakers,” Schimmel said. “They have employed our members for over 13 years.” Other companies to be honored for providing employment to SNAP members include Kroger, Chili’s, Office Depot, Copeland’s, P.F. Chang’s, Family Video, Studio Movie Grill and Spin Pizza.

The recipients of SNAP’s Distinguished Star Award will be announced at the end of the program.

The remainder of the evening offers up lots of fun choices: Vegas-style casino gaming, dancing and delicious selections at a dessert bar. Fabulous prizes will go home with lucky winners of the casino drawings. And the winning raffle ticket will mean someone takes home a $500 Visa card or an iWatch.

“Our members’ unique needs and personal potential are guiding factors within our programs. Our goal is to help them develop the skills necessary to succeed and grow in a positive and caring environment where friendships are nurtured and life skills are developed,” Schimmel said. “We can only do this through our generous supporters.”

Tickets are $75 each. Purchase online at or call Schimmel at 817-545-9456.

September art show and sale anchors multiple events and benefits preservation projects

It will be too difficult to decide which event during Preservation Is the Art of the City to attend, so the best solution is to just go to all of them. For openers, there’s a party with the artists at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy St.

Hosted by Historic Fort Worth Inc., the monthlong celebration is anchored by the art show and sale that runs through Sept. 24. It features hundreds of works of art created by 50 jury-selected artists. Artists have the option of entering works into a special section called “Stories of the City.” Art collectors can choose from originals priced as low as $125 along with $5,000 wall-size masterpieces and everything in between. Admission to the art show is free.

Guests at the party with the artists will be the first to see the exhibition and personally meet the artists while sipping cocktails and noshing on hors d’oeuvres. Art purchased during the party will be tax-free. New this year is a raffle where the winner gets first dibs on purchasing his or her favorite piece of art before shopping opens.

During the opening party, Claire Barry, director of conservation at Kimbell Art Museum, will be the guest of honor along with this year’s featured artist, John Hartley, known for linking the past, present and future through his paintings of nostalgic inanimate objects. Atlee Phillips, director of Texas art at Heritage Auctions, will serve as the emcee.

At 6:30 p.m. Sept. 22, there’s the Cantey Lecture and Preservation Awards, where winners of outstanding Fort Worth preservation projects will be presented by Councilwoman Ann Zadeh. Guest speaker will be architectural historian Kathryn Holliday, who will present “Flying Saucers, Catwalks, and Craters: A History of the Future in Fort Worth.”

Gallery Night is Saturday, and a free family event called City Build closes the festivities Sept. 24.

Make reservations for ticketed events at Proceeds from Preservation Is the Art of the City go toward Historic Fort Worth’s caretaking of the McFarland House and Thistle Hill and other preservation programs. Questions? Call Suzy Coleman at 817-336-2344.

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