Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast returns for second year

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, left, and Arlington chamber CEO Michael Jacobson say the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is an important event for the city and chamber.
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, left, and Arlington chamber CEO Michael Jacobson say the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is an important event for the city and chamber. Courtesy photo

After a hugely successful debut event last year, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce will again host the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 2 at the Arlington Convention Center.

Mayor Jeff Williams will call upon the faith community, local leaders and all residents throughout the city to join together for this second year of breakfast and prayer. Around 700 people attended last year’s breakfast, and another large crowd is expected for the approaching event. Plans for the mayor’s new Kindness Initiative will also be revealed.

“It’s an important event for Arlington and for the chamber,” said Michael Jacobson, president and CEO of the Arlington chamber. “The chamber’s mission is ‘Together we champion economic and community prosperity.’ Coming together in prayer to help us support that mission is absolutely critical for our success.”

A hearty breakfast buffet of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and beverages will be served at 6:30 a.m. The invocation and music begin a 7 a.m. and the prayer program begins at 7:25 a.m.

Although similar events in other cities bring in major keynote speakers for the occasion, Mayor Williams said he prefers to utilize the talent of local faith leaders to allow more time for actually praying during the event.

Plans are for various religious and city leaders to do a short devotional about a prayer topic of their choosing followed by prayer about that topic. Topics ranged last year from city unity and education to uplifting youth and protection and healthy city growth.

“With the diversity in our speakers, I think the common denominator is that there will be a lot of prayer and something for everybody,” Williams said. “I expect, just as last year, that we will have some powerful testimony and some great moments of humor too.”

The invocation before breakfast is served will be done by Adnan Dibas of Dar Elsalam and Dennis Wiles, pastor of First Baptist Church.

The Rev. David Hogg (pastor, Mount Olive Church), Tillie Burgin (director of Mission Arlington), Bob Kembell (Arlington chamber and Viridian development) and the Rev. Joseph Pemberton (Most Blessed Sacrament Church) will be the morning’s speakers on the program.

The mayor will be introducing his Kindness Initiative at the breakfast. “I’ve seen similar programs work in Anaheim, Ca., Louisville, Ky., and Huntington, Va. It basically puts doing random acts of kindness on the minds of our citizens,” Williams said.

“That idea will be the theme that we will spread at various events we may do during the coming year, such as a Volunteer for a Day event.”

The mayor indicated that the initiative will be introduced at churches and at schools where he hopes to get students involved in doing random acts of kindness. “It’s a way to put helping your neighbor and being kind at the top of everyone’s mind, and a way to promote unity within our city,” Williams added.

As an example, Williams referenced the success that the city of Huntington, Va., experienced when they produced a 2-minute video each month about a local issue — such as homelessness, schools, or domestic violence — thus guiding their local churches and other community groups to pray for that month’s topic of concern.

Tickets for the breakfast are $35 per person, or $450 to reserve a table for 10 guests. Register online at www.ArlingtonTx.com or call the chamber at 817-275-2613.

Junior League toasts 35th anniversary with luncheon and fun tablescapes

To toast its 35th anniversary, the Junior League of Arlington will host a luncheon Jan. 27 at the Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. As part of the yearlong festivities to celebrate the milestone, the women’s organization announced the event, called Plates for a Purpose, and is inviting the community to participate.

A special guest speaker will deliver an inspiring message about domestic-abuse prevention. And to put a fun twist on the luncheon, each of the 35 tables at the event will be individually decorated by Junior League members and any people in the community who want to participate by creating a tablescape of their choice.

“Plates for a Purpose is a fun and creative spin on the traditional ladies luncheon. The event provides an opportunity for to raise funds and awareness for the Junior League of Arlington’s abuse prevention projects and programs,” league President Julie Reinhardt said. “Attendees will enjoy girl time, shopping at a silent auction and the many decorative tabletops.”

Arriving luncheon guests will first enjoy cocktails, mimosas and mingling as they peruse a silent auction including spa packages, artwork and the weekend use of a Mercedes-Benz donated by Park Place Motorcars. A delectable luncheon buffet will follow the opening reception, and the dessert finale will be provided by GiGi’s Cupcakes.

“We are so excited to shine a spotlight on JLA’s 35 years of service in our community with the luncheon,” said Misty Lockhart, who is chairing the event with help from assistant chair Jennifer Cathcart. “We hope the community will join us as we honor the last 35 years and celebrate what is to come in the next 35.”

There is no cost to become a table designer, and each seat at a decorated table is open to the public for purchase unless the table designer wants to buy a table reserved for friends or clients. Contact Lockhart at fall.fundraiser@jlarlington.org to arrange to decorate a table — but respond quickly as only a few tables remain available for design.

“The table design can be anything under the sun,” Reinhardt said. “The decor can reflect someone’s favorite color or hobby or feature a theme showing something they feel passionate about. A business or company can use the table as a way to communicate what their product or service is.”

Not to spoil any surprise, Reinhardt would not disclose details about her table’s decor but did reveal that arrows will be a central design element (her theme for the year is “Aiming for Impact.”)

“Each table will be decorated with themes ranging from Mardi Gras to Dallas Cowboys to Posh Peacock,” Lockhart said. “Attendees will be able to vote on their favorite table. There are no prizes, just bragging rights.” The table designs can be an individual or a team effort.

The lucky winner of the “Drive for 35” raffle will get the thrill of driving a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC for one year courtesy of Park Place Motorcars. The cost of a raffle ticket is — you guessed it — $35. The winning ticket will be drawn at the dealership on Feb. 22, and the winner need not be present to win.

Tickets to the event are (once again) $35 per person. Purchase online at bit.ly/JLAluncheon or call the league office at 817-277-9481.

Women’s Health & Wellness at the forefront of Jan. 26 event

Striking while many of us are resolved to live a healthier life in 2017, the Women’s Alliance of the Arlington Chamber will host its annual health and wellness event on Jan. 26 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the E. H. Hereford University Center on the UTA campus. Proceeds from the event will go towards the scholarship program funded by the Women’s Alliance.

“Achieving Your Healthiest Self” is the event theme, and attendees will get all the ideas they can handle for making this goal a reality. A panel discussion from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. and breakout sessions from 6:45 to 7:20 p.m. will follow the 4:30 p.m. registration and networking time and a 5:15 p.m. welcome by the alliance leadership.

“This is a great event to share with your girlfriends, work colleagues or neighbors for an opportunity to get up to date healthcare information and ask questions from on-site medical professionals,” said Deborah Su, who is in charge of the event with Shelli Walker.

“Attendees can have something to eat and drink and win great prizes — all while fundraising for scholarships to support female UTA and TCC SE campus students.”

Healthcare professionals on the panel include Stefani Taylor (Arlington Physicians Network/Baylor Orthopedic and Spine Hospital), Sarah L. Kennedy (a physician specializing in orthopedic medicine) and Bethany McClean (nurse practitioner from UTA College of Nursing.)

Also on the panel is Kimberly Washington (a physician with Highlander Surgical Associates) and Robin A. Skrine (breast surgeon with Lone Star Breast Care).

Women’s Alliance Chairwoman Andrea Proctor said conference attendees can choose among three breakout sessions. The Active Family Wellness Center, Tarrant County College Southeast Campus and the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders will be hosting 30-minute interactive programs.

Winners of a raffle drawing will take home such goodies as a Fitbit, photography packages, boots from LaneBoots.com, and a stay at the Sheraton among other great prizes. Delicious hot appetizers, a cash bar and a swag bag are other perks for the evening.

Tickets to the event are $35 for members and $45 for nonmembers. Purchase tickets and complete the registration form online at www.ArlingtonTx.com or call the chamber office at 817-275-2613.

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