Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Luncheon April 12 will highlight community efforts of United Way

Some of the attendees at the 2016 United Way Report to the Community luncheon.
Some of the attendees at the 2016 United Way Report to the Community luncheon. Courtesy

Everyone knows the United Way works to make our community a better place, but the specifics of their local initiatives deserve a close-up. The annual “Report to the Community” luncheon coming up on April 12 will be a great opportunity to see how United Way has invested in the Arlington area during the past year and to get a sense of how the agency will continue working for a bright future.

“At this year’s luncheon we are focusing on partnerships because no one organization can change a community condition by itself,” said Cynthia Jensen, director of the United Way’s regional office in Arlington. “It takes multiple organizations, volunteers and funders working collectively to bring about change.”

“The other element of the luncheon is something I call ‘best kept secrets,’ ” Jensen added. “We’ll talk about how United Way works with and partners with local nonprofits and institutions on initiatives that most people don’t know about.”

Guests at the luncheon will hear from United Way’s President Tim McKinney and United Way-Arlington Chairman Phillip Wambsganss as they review the past year and look at what lies ahead. Also, Mayor Jeff Williams will speak in detail about his Kindness Initiative, and Arlington Urban Ministries’ Executive Director Jennifer Weber will bring a special message.

“For 36 years, United Way-Arlington has promoted a collaborative spirit and problem-solving partnerships which make Arlington a great community that comes together to support and advance the education, financial stability and health of all citizens,” Jensen said.

Tickets are $25 and registration at is due by Friday. The venue is the Mediterranean Villa, 1111 Wet-N-Wild Way. Contact Jensen at 817-548-9595.

Books and bargains await shoppers at book sale

It’s that twice-a-year sale that beckons book lovers to drop everything and go stock up on some of the best book values found anywhere. The Spring Book Sale is April 5-9 at the Meadowbrook Recreation Center, 1400 E. Dugan St., hosted by the Friends and Foundation of the Arlington Public Library (FFAPL).

According to FFAPL president Dorothy Rencurrel, the book sale began in 1975 and since that time the sales have generated more than $800,000 in support of the public library.

Shoppers will browse among more than 60,000 items including fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, videos, CDs, DVDs, books on tape, records, and other literary treasures ranging from 50 cents to $1 for most selections. Items in the sale come from both public donations and books that the library is retiring.

“With 52 specialized categories, the semiannual sale offers an abundance of reading genres for all ages,” said Cathy Dietz, who manages the book warehouse for FFAPL. Dietz said the Saturday Blue Book specials offered throughout the day are popular with shoppers and frequently offers books priced at 4 for $1. On Sunday, it’s Half-Price/Tax Free day where shoppers can get some fabulous close-out pricing.

After the sale closes on Sunday, FFAPL offers teachers and nonprofit groups — with proper I.D. and a small donation — the opportunity to select items remaining on the sales floor from 4:15-6 p.m.

“Two of our most popular and largest areas are the juvenile/young adult section and the general fiction section,” Dietz said. “The newest 2016-2017 bestsellers will be easily located in the Best in Sale area. Known as the ‘BIS,’ it offers not only collectible and rare, but also the unusual and special favorites from all the categories as well as the latest in DVDs and audiobooks.”

Special offerings at the sale include a 1941 volume of “The History of Medicine,” an autographed first edition of Bob Lilly’s “Reflections,” signed volumes by Clive Cussler and Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu. Other treasures include rare genealogy editions, a Time-Life “Our American Century” set, watercolor prints and a promotional piece from the Republication National Committee featuring drawings of President Ronald Reagan.

Hours are 2-7 p.m. on Members Night April 5 (purchase a membership at the door) and 2-7 p.m. on April 6. On April 7-8 the sale is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on April 9 hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Anyone wishing to donate books can drop them off at any library location or in the red barrels at all Arlington fire stations. To learn more, call 817-274-9710 or visit

Nominate dedicated advocates for people with disabilities by April 14

Local charity Helping Restore Ability invites anyone in the community to nominate worthy individuals that either work professionally or volunteer to advocate and improve the lives of children and adults with a long-term disability for the Sam Provence award. The award will be presented at the May 20 Hurrah! 40th Anniversary event.

Nomination forms are available online at and are due by April 14. Send completed nomination form to Debbie McGee at or call her at 817.291.9995 to inquire.

Cardboard boat registration due April 10

For the adventuresome who want to find out if cardboard really floats, it’s time to sign up for River Legacy’s 28th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta scheduled for April 22 at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. “Register your boat by April 10 to set sail in this wildly fun event and to get creative with cardboard. Registration fees range from $55 to $90, and include admission tickets,” said spokeswoman Kristi Payne. Register at or call 817-860-6752, ext. 107 to inquire.

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