Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Brad Sham, other local luminaries compete for fundraiser acting trophy

Stan Graner, Jim Covault and Stacie McDavid acted in a previous Acting With the Stars.
Stan Graner, Jim Covault and Stacie McDavid acted in a previous Acting With the Stars.

A favorite Valentine’s Day outing for the past five years is the increasingly popular Stage West signature fundraiser Acting With the Stars.

Guests enjoy getting dressed up for a night in support of the arts that includes a hosted wine reception, silent auction, souvenir photos and a three-course meal. Stage West performers will entertain with a Broadway medley during dinner.

The main event is six teams performing short scenes from six well-known stage productions in a competition where the audience votes on their favorite team. Local personalities partner with a professional director and actor to form the teams.

“This year is shaping up to be one of the most fun yet,” said Dana Schultes, who heads up the Stage West staff. Competitors include Brad Sham (Dallas Cowboys), Tonya Veasey (OCG PR), Jeff Whittington (KERA), Eva Bonilla (Vamos DFW Tours), Denise Harris (Star-Telegram) and John Giordano (formerly of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra).

“They all have a competitive edge and are completely engaging. And we’ve picked really great scenes for each of them. This is our sixth year to stage Acting With the Stars and we really have a knack for it at this point,” Schultes added.

Auction swag includes two owner’s box seats to a Bon Jovi concert, a vacation stay at the Hale Melemele Cottage in Hawaii, passes to the Fort Worth Opera’s upcoming festival and lots more.

The audience is all important on this night because after the vignettes, each guest votes for their favorite. And rigging the votes is totally legal by buying additional votes (it’s all for the arts, after all). Anyone can cast a $5 vote in advance online or during the event.

Organizers have announced this will be the last regular-season competition for Acting With the Stars before a grand finale next year.

“Our signature gala fundraiser is wrapping up with this final year where one last competitor will be awarded. Then in 2018, Stage West will present the final championship season where the six winners from the previous years will compete for the grand prize,” Schultes said.

Event chairs are Karen and Larry Anfin and honorary chairs are Stacie and David McDavid. A large committee includes Connie Anderson, Kathryn Bryan, Mac Engel, Pam Minick, Therese Moncrief and Donatella Trotti to randomly name only a few.

“Our special entertainment lineup during dinner couldn’t be more perfect for Valentine’s Day, as are the fine chocolates and roses that everyone will receive,” Schultes said. “Acting With the Stars is a perfect way to support the live arts while celebrating the season of hearts.”

The event is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Horizon Room at the Fort Worth Club. Tickets are $150 each. Meet the actors in videos at www.StageWest.org where you can also purchase tickets. To inquire, call Schultes at 817-784-9378.

Everyone’s a VIP at Mansfield ball

All guests will feel important as they arrive in their sparkling party clothes for the Feb. 18 Mansfield Cares Charity ball at Walnut Creek County Club. The charity has chosen “Everyone Is a VIP” for the theme of the 18th annual gala, which will raise money for good causes in Mansfield.

“We have chosen a fantastic dinner and dessert menu, and back again is the King David Band that rocked the house last year,” said event co-chairman Chuck Wilson. “Guests can expect a great selection of both live and silent auction items to bid on and fun games like the wine pull, restaurant row and much more. It will be an amazing evening for all.”

Mansfield Cares is arguably the top supporter of local organizations that are meeting health, wellness and educational needs of the community. The Caring Place clinic, Harvesting International, the Mansfield school district shoe and scholarship programs and the Common Ground Angel Tree program are among those they support. A donation opportunity for each of the Mansfield Cares beneficiaries will be visibly displayed at the event.

A Share the Love game (aka split the pot) will mean that both the lucky winner and the Mansfield Cares beneficiaries will get a nice cash infusion.

The annual soiree, one of the city’s most popular social events, skillfully pulls off an evening that is elegant without being stuffy. Except for the live auction when audience attention is focused on the auctioneer, most of the other party action happens concurrently and creates a fun, informal atmosphere with ample time for mixing and mingling. A cash bar (featuring a specialty Mansfield Cares cocktail) and food stations will be open throughout the evening.

Autographed sports memorabilia, vacations, jewelry and other tempting items will be up for bid in the silent and live auctions. For those who want to fully stock their bar, place a bid on the liquor wagon. And for anybody that loves to entertain, be the top bidder on the party for 20 guests that includes food for the party along with a live band.

“The Mansfield Cares board and volunteers have done a terrific job putting this event together,” said co-chairman Lance Walker. “We are excited about giving all of the attendees the VIP experience they deserve.” A large event committee also includes Lisa Stewart and Karen Tecklenburg.

Tickets are $125 per person if purchased by Feb. 16 or $150 at the door. Purchase online at www.mansfieldcares.org or call 817-991-7191.

Kids Matter Ball celebrates 10th year

Guests in sparkling formal attire will stream into the Southlake Hilton for an elaborate philanthropic evening featuring a seated dinner, premium cocktail bars, auctions and live entertainment. Hosted by Kids Matter International and celebrating their diamond anniversary, the event is set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17.

“The charity ball will celebrate a decade of giving clothes, shoes, backpacks and books to children living at or below the poverty level in Northeast Tarrant county,” said CEO Marti Conner. “Proceeds from the event will support the Around the Block clothing program and literacy program.”

The Emerald City Band will perform favorites for dancing and listening. Auction swag includes a trip to the PGA tour in July, a Sea Dream Mediterranean yachting experience, four Cadillacs to drive for a year, an elk hunt, a dinner party with royal chef Darren McGrady, a baby longhorn, a vacation in Jalisco, Mexico, and a diamond pendant from Bella Vaughan.

Rexanna Saldlin is chairing the event with help from committee members Cinda Knight, Sandy Boyd, Bill Saldlin and Mimi Best.

Tickets are $400 each or $3,000 for a table for 10. Purchase online at www.kidsmatterinternational.org or call the office at 817-488-7679.

Youth programs, scholarships due

The Colleyville Woman’s Club seeks to honor young people for their community volunteer efforts at its annual Caring With Commitment luncheon May 18.

Anyone can nominate a child or teen age 5 to 19 who fits the residential and/or school district areas being considered. Nomination and application forms are available at www.c-w-c.org where all the criteria for awards is also provided. Awards are judged in four age groups, and each award may recognize several nominees.

“As a nonprofit service organization, CWC recognizes that it is today’s youth who must become tomorrow’s volunteers and that through volunteer service, one individual can make a difference,” spokeswoman Carol Wollin said.

In addition to the Youth Volunteer Service Awards program, other awards programs offered for graduating seniors are the Spirit of Youth volunteer grants program (based on high school volunteer service), the Circle of Hope scholarship and the Dick Dennison Memorial Scholarship (a need-based scholarship).

To inquire, write to Paula McCollough, CWC Youth Recognition Chairman, Box 181, Colleyville, TX 76034 or call 817-300-8351. Applications are due by Feb. 17.

Please send your SocialEyes news tips to freeder@star-telegram.com. Keep up with even more community news by liking our page on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SocialEyes.ST. Twitter: @FayeReeder

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