Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: MLK events offer chance for reflection and service

Sandra Greenwood, Judy Duke and Gayle Krengel of Arlington Woman’s Club.
Sandra Greenwood, Judy Duke and Gayle Krengel of Arlington Woman’s Club. Courtesy photo

Arlington’s celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King is one of the largest in the nation. Now in its 28th year, the events planned by a dedicated MLK Celebration committee give participants a chance to reflect on King’s dreams for the country and what they mean in today’s society.

“Every year, thousands of people come together in the spirit of Dr. King,” writes MLK Committee chairwoman Vera McKissic. “This year’s theme, ‘Advancing the Dream: A Nation of Freedom and Justice,’ is inspired by the words of Dr. King, who said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ Although these words were written over 48 years ago, they still ring true today.

“With the support we receive from Arlington and the surrounding communities, we are keeping his dream alive for the good of all.”

According to committee member Lisa Thompson, “There is something for everyone from the banquet on Friday night, to the Step Show, Multicultural Festival and Evening of Spoken Word on Saturday, the Ecumenical Service on Sunday, and Day of Service, Service Fest and Youth Extravaganza on Monday.”

Among those serving on the MLK Celebration committee are Andy Mangum, Eric Johnson, Leslie Johnston, Doug Peak, Toni Kincaid, Barbara Keaton, James Hawthorne and Lemuel Randolph to name only a few.

“It’s an honor to have the leader of the oldest civil rights program in the country, Cornell William Brooks, CEO and president of the NAACP, as our banquet speaker on Friday night,” Thompson said.

Guests at the banquet will also enjoy a lovely dinner, outstanding entertainment and exciting award presentations during a special night to remember. Tickets are $45 and are still available at

“We are excited to recognize some of the greatest acts of service and dedication as we present MLK Advancing the Dream Awards to some outstanding individuals and groups,” said committee member Cheryel Carpenter.

Nominated for the community award are the Arlington Hispanic Citizens Police Alumni Association, Ebony Hall and Lille Madison. For special recognition in education, William Marvin Dulaney and Linh Nguyen are nominated.

Award nominees in the government category include Police Chief Will Johnson, officer Natalia Aumedes, Mayor Pro Tem Michael Glaspie and state Rep. Chris Turner. Recipients of the awards will be announced at the banquet.

Three events on Saturday will attract thousands of local residents ready to enjoy the vast array of activities planned for the day. A Step Show Competition begins at 11 a.m. at Bowie High School. Later on a Multicultural Festival at TCC Southeast Campus begins at 3:30 and features art, music, food and entertainment by talented performers. The day wraps up with the slam poetry competition at UTA Bluebonnet Ballroom.

The Koinonia Christian Church at 2455 SE Green Oaks Blvd. will host the MLK Hubert Moss Ecumenical service on Sunday at 6 p.m. Jason Paredes, pastor of Fielder Church, will bring the message before a reception following the service.

“Make it a day on, not a day off” is the continuing slogan for Monday, when volunteers will meet at Mission Metroplex to receive service assignments and tools. A continental breakfast will be provided before volunteers head out, and the first 150 volunteers will receive a T-shirt. Individual volunteers and volunteer groups can sign up at

ServiceFest is set for 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Monday featuring live performances, art demonstrations and displays, food trucks and a celebration of service to our community — all happening at the Levitt Pavilion downtown.

The grand finale is the MLK Youth Musical Extravaganza at the Metro Center at Fielder Church, 1323 W. Pioneer Parkway. Entertainers include the 400-voice youth choir along with great soloists and the step team winners. Admission is free.

Get details and ticket prices at or call Thompson at 817-272-9882 or Carpenter at 817-459-5384.

Arlington Woman’s Club hosts 59th Christmas Tea

Arlington Woman’s Club members Sandra Greenwood and Gayle Krengel clearly had things under control as more than 300 guests descended on the club headquarters for the annual Christmas Tea last month. The women co-chaired the event, continuing a club tradition begun 59 years ago.

According to Greenwood, plans for the tea begin in the summer with the 40-member hospitality committee testing and tasting various recipes before deciding what dishes to serve. “Planning is the fun part for me,” said Greenwood who besides determining the menu also meticulously chose floral arrangements after scouring Tea Time books for ideas and inspiration.

“It’s a special privilege to keep this tradition going for the 59th year,” said Krengel. “We prepared dishes from many countries to represent ‘It’s a Wonderful World’ — our club theme.”

AWC President Judy Duke welcomed guests as they arrived to behold the spectacular holiday decorations throughout the facility. Serving tea during the afternoon were former AWC presidents including Lucy Thompson, Vicki King, Marjoray Wilemon and Jo Johnston to name a very few. A bountiful buffet offered delicious delicacies that guests enjoyed during an enchanting holiday show presented by the talented singers of the AWC Performing Arts Department. A Christmas boutique offered unique gifts along with homemade baked items to raise money for the scholarship program.

Learn more by visiting the Facebook page for Arlington Woman’s Club or call the office at 817-277-7666 to inquire about membership or about reserving the club facility for a community event.

Celebrity Chefs evening of culinary magic will help youngsters at domestic abuse shelter

A baker’s dozen of chefs at the top of their culinary game will delight the palates of lucky guests at the Jan. 22 Celebrity Chefs event through their passion for food and cooking.

The annual smorgasbord of great tasting delights is beginning a second decade as one of the area’s most delicious culinary traditions. Presented by Mid-Cities Supporters of SafeHaven, funds raised will go toward helping the children residing at SafeHaven’s shelters for victims of domestic violence.

Emcee for the evening will be Erin Wilde, the morning show host on 92.1 Hank FM, and musical entertainment will be by Just Jazz.

“Our Celebrity Chefs theme, “The Sky’s the Limit,” represents the unlimited ways we can all support victims of domestic violence,” said Alison Gearhart who is co-chairing the event with Jessica Farrell.

“Money raised will help the children at the shelters who often arrive with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. You can imagine the psychological and social problems they are experiencing.”

Kathryn Jacob, president and CEO of SafeHaven of Tarrant County, said: “We are elated to be a part of this very special Celebrity Chefs event.

“At SafeHaven, we recognize there is no limit to a child’s potential with the support of our strong community. This fundraising event will be significant in providing assistance to our children’s programs.”

During a cocktail reception, guests will enjoy complimentary libations as they mingle and choose where to drop their raffle ticket or decide which Big Board Auction item they want.

A beautiful triptych created by Mid-Cities SOS members will be on display, and guests can purchase their own star to place in the sky of the three-paneled painting.

“Each star can be purchased and signed for $70 and then temporarily affixed to the painting,” said SOS member and professional artist Martha Ragsdale. “Seventy dollars is the cost for SafeHaven to provide all of a child’s basic needs each day they live at the shelter.”

Ragsdale, the artistic director for the triptych, will later collage and clear-coat all of the stars added to the painting and present it to SafeHaven to display in the shelter.

Nowhere else can food aficionados sample in one evening so many delicacies and unique creations. Farrell revealed that the chef’s amazing offerings include quail, duck, lobster mashed potatoes, Asian pulled pork sliders and spare ribs.

Other globally inspired cuisine features incredibly yummy chicken salad, lemon grass chicken, pulled pork habanero with habanero mac and cheese, beef tenderloin with blue cheese macaroni and pasta with bechamel and ham.

Fabulous dessert offerings include the world famous toffee prepared by the chef at Tastefully Yours.

Chef Cameron Handler, from Central Market, is making his 11th appearance at the event, and back for their 10th year are chef Susan Clark, from Sweet Memories, and chef Chris Wilson, from Market Street.

Bonnell’s Restaurant top chef Jon Bonnell returns for an eighth year, along with Todd Phillips from J.R.’s Steak & Grill. This will be the seventh year for chef Donatella Trotti, from Nonna Tata, and year six for Jason Harper of the Trio New American restaurant.

Five-year Celebrity Chef veterans include Siegfried Schafner, head chef at the Hurst Conference Center; Andrew Huszar, from Tastefully Yours; Deb Cantrell, of Savor Culinary Services; and Janet Capua, from Z’s Cafe.

Chef Gabe Valdez, from Marcona Kitchen, is back for an encore, and making his debut at Celebrity Chefs is Norman Grimm, from Great Scott Restaurant.

The 30-year-old all-volunteer charity has once again assembled raffle prizes that include a $1,500 Market Street gift card, fabulous golf outings, catered dinner parties, a mystery gift card package worth at least $1,250 and a ride in Ferrari and Mazda race cars at the Motorsport Ranch Race Track.

More raffle items include American Airlines tickets to any domestic location, men’s clothier gifts cards and a weekend’s use of a Lexus.

A large event committee includes SOS board President Beth Battles, Tara Hutchins-Welsh, Dawn Owens, Sally Wobbeking, Penny Aydelott, Dawn Owens, Tricia Schmit, Laura Sonefeld, Sheila Camp, Mary MacDowell, Lisa Tapper and Jane Wood, to randomly name only a few.

The generosity of the chefs during a live auction is amazing. Bidders can win such items as catered home dinner parties or parties in the restaurants, shopping sprees, cooking classes and food tastings.

Incredible Big Board offerings include a diamond necklace and vacations at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Tickets to Celebrity Chefs, at the Hurst Conference Center, are $125 per person. The reception begins at 6 p.m. Jan. 22. Purchase tickets and learn more at .

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