Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Open house will show how Arlington Charities fights hunger, poverty

The folks at Arlington Charities want everyone to see the results of the recent makeover of their agency located at 811 Secretary Drive during an Open House on Sept. 7.
The folks at Arlington Charities want everyone to see the results of the recent makeover of their agency located at 811 Secretary Drive during an Open House on Sept. 7. Arlington Charities

The folks at Arlington Charities want everyone to see the results of the recent makeover of their agency located at 811 Secretary Drive during an Open House on Sept. 7. The welcome mat will be rolled out from 5 to 7 p.m. giving guests a chance to enjoy refreshments while they get acquainted with the staff and see the recent improvements.

A brand new paint job is courtesy of Sherwin Williams and a new walk-in freezer was made possible by gifts from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, Pantego Lions Club and others. During the Open House, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams will be on hand to read a proclamation. Event organizers playfully themed the event “The Best-Kept Secret in Arlington is Out” because they believe many people in the community are not aware of the agency’s presence and impact.

“We want our guests to meet our volunteers and walk the steps that our clients do when they come to Arlington Charities,” said spokeswoman Penny Rowell.

Since 1978, Arlington Charities has been successfully helping stabilize families in crisis by providing food and clothing and other supplies. Last year alone, more than $2 million of food assistance was provided through a variety of programs — that’s about 935,000 pounds. A mobile food pantry helped around 3,000 people, and nearly 2,500 bags of groceries were delivered to elderly and disabled folks. Historically open on weekdays, a new program will provide Saturday hours of service once each month.

The agency regularly serves lunches for homeless individuals, serving over 1,300 last year. Well over 500 families came last year to Arlington Charities to shop for holiday food items, and holidays toys gifted to needy kids in 2016 totaled more than 600. Substantial distribution of clothing helps hundreds of people each year who visit the agency seeking help.

Volunteers working on the Open House event committee include Mike Cinatl, Angie Summers, Loesje Blumberg, Amy DiStefano, Laura DiStefano and Joe Bruner. Guests at the Open House will meet Executive Director Deborah Coppola and board president Mike Stumbaugh who will talk about continuing plans to assist families in crisis.

“I have supported Arlington Charities since 1987 because it has made a difference in the lives of poor families by providing healthy food and clothing to help them through hard times,” said Blumberg.

Learn more about this organization at or call the office at 817-275-1511.

Art & Music Festival in Mansfield Sept. 9 features The Drifters

The Downtown Mansfield Historic District will be a jammin’ place on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 4 to 10 p.m. for the Music Alley Festival. Music will be performed on four stages throughout the event along with interactive painting demonstrations and a kids area to make this a family-friendly day of fun.

Bands will perform on each stage throughout the day and at 8 p.m. the headliner band will be Motown legends The Drifters. Artwork will be for sale at booths located throughout the festival space. Twelve talented vocalists will be standing on stage at The Lot to compete in the Mansfield’s Voice competition where first-, second- and third-place winners will take home cash prizes.

Food trucks and vendors and a beer and wine tent will provide all the festival foods anyone could want. And for those who love dancing, they can cut a rug on a 400-square-foot dance floor where instructors will be on hand to teach basic dance steps in everything from swing and salsa to the Texas Two-Step just before each band takes the stage.

In a unique twist, there will be a live art exhibition where guests can watch artists create a painting or mixed media piece on the spot in real time. The completed masterpieces will then be available for purchase.

Special guest artist is Jimmy Don Holmes, a metal artist frequently featured on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” A great photo opp in front of the hand-painted murals (complete with props) decorating the stages and streets will be popular with attendees. And the chance to create a piece of record spin art will be a big attraction.

The Kids Alley will have magician Braden Daniels doing amazing tricks as well as a puppet show and an interactive drum circle. A hands-on experience at the musical instrument petting zoo will be a unique chance for more kids’ fun.

“Historic Downtown Mansfield is ready to rock with the area’s newest music and arts festival where we will truly have something for everyone,” said city spokeswoman Ann Beck. Admission to the festival and all concerts is free. Festival space is located at Broad Street at Farm Road 157/Main Street. Contact Beck at 817-804-5766 and visit for details.

New name for Arlington Baptist College

Motorists driving past Arlington Baptist College on West Division Street earlier this month may have noticed the mysterious draping covering the school’s entrance sign. The mystery was solved on the first day of fall classes on Aug. 21 when the sign was ceremoniously unveiled to announce that the small college is now named Arlington Baptist University.

University spokeswoman Brandy Hudson said a procession to the unveiling was led by a marching band and attendees at the ceremonies were invited to see the new recreation room on campus and to attend a groundbreaking for a new student union building and a makeover of the campus cafeteria.

Vice President of Academics Janie Taylor says on the school’s website: “In conjunction with the name change, Arlington Baptist University has organized its bachelor’s and master’s programs into ‘schools’ rather than divisions. The use of schools more specifically organizes ABU’s programs by purpose, which will enhance and grow the individual programs within each school.”

Arlington Baptist University is located on the historic site that once housed the infamous Top O’ Hill Terrace where gambling and other notorious activities occurred during the early 1920s. Many remnants of the gambling facilities are still intact, and tours are available on request.

ABU offers four undergraduate and two graduate programs on the campus with a variety of degree options. To inquire, contact Hudson at 817-987-1715 or visit

Levitt Pavilion opens Sept. 1 with 22 free concerts and benefit concert

The fall season of the Levitt opens with nuclear polka band Brave Combo on Sept. 1. Rounding out the Labor Day lineup is singer/songwriter Bob Schneider on Sept. 2 and bluegrass group The Hillbenders on Sept. 3.

The remainder of the season — which ends on Oct. 22 — features several returning bands and a dozen or so artists appearing at the Levitt for the first time. Making their debut are The Roosevelts, Blue Water Highway, The Rankin Twins, and Quaker City Night Hawks just to name a few.

“Texas Health/Arlington Memorial Hospital will present Kansas with special guest Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas, Sept. 23 for the Levitt’s annual benefit concert,” said Levitt spokeswoman Cathy O’Neal.

“One of America’s most iconic classic rock bands, Kansas’ gold singles, ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’ and ‘Dust in the Wind’ remain part of our culture’s soundtrack. Mickey Thomas owns the soaring voice that propelled the band, Starship, through the ’80s and ’90s with hits like ‘We Built This City,’ ‘Find Your Way Back’ and ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,’ ” O’Neal added.

General admission is $45, and a $185 VIP Experience ticket comes with reserved parking and seating, a pre-concert party, silent auction, and dessert between the bands.

Admission to the regular fall concerts is free. Each show begins at 8 p.m. Check out the complete lineup at

Galardon a la Independencia during Hispanic Heritage month

The Hispanic Heritage Kick off Celebration is set for Sept. 15 from 6-11 p.m. at the Pioneer Event Center in Grand Prairie presented by the Hispanic Heritage Ambassadors of DFW.

Guests at this fourth edition of the event will see performances by Ballet Folklorico during an Aztec opening ceremony and a special presentation for Latin American countries celebrating independence.

There will be a fun salsa contest and a special presentation from Wari Man of the Kimbell Art Museum. An art gallery will display the work of local artists, and a health and kid fair will offer a variety of health screenings. Empanadas, tacos de trompo, pupusas, pan dulce and fruta fresca will be served so guests can enjoy a taste of Latin American culture.

“Join the fun for this fun-filled celebration where the folkloric and Aztec dancers bring the Latin passion to life,” said Mary Dominguez-Santini of the Hispanic Heritage Ambassadors.

Admission to the celebration is free, and the venue is located at 1025 W. Pioneer Parkway. For information, call 972-480-7501.

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