Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Monarch Butterfly Festival promises nature spectacle and family fun

On Saturday, hundreds of people will converge on the Bob Jones Nature Center tucked away in a beautiful wooded area of Southlake to see 500 monarch butterflies take flight. The Monarch Butterfly Festival is in its third year and is becoming an increasingly popular family event.
On Saturday, hundreds of people will converge on the Bob Jones Nature Center tucked away in a beautiful wooded area of Southlake to see 500 monarch butterflies take flight. The Monarch Butterfly Festival is in its third year and is becoming an increasingly popular family event. Handout

It’s a festival that will take your breath away. On Saturday, Sept. 23, hundreds of people will converge on the Bob Jones Nature Center tucked away in a beautiful wooded area of Southlake to see 500 monarch butterflies take flight. The Monarch Butterfly Festival is in its third year and is becoming an increasingly popular family event.

The festival runs from 9-11 a.m. and in order to participate in all the activities, families should plan to arrive early and stay late. Decide in advance what to wear for the butterfly costume parade that will proceed along the whitetail deer trail where participants will toss wildflower seed bombs.

Around 9:30 a.m. the Perennial Garden Society will distribute fresh watermelon sticks to festival goers before the tagged butterflies are released at 10 a.m.

“When the butterflies are released, they immediately need to feed on the wonderful watermelon treats awaiting. Then everyone will get to enjoy watching all 500 monarchs feast on the flowers and milkweed plants in the gardens at the nature center,” said Executive Director Lori Higgins. “Texas is an important state in monarch migration because it is situated between the principal breeding grounds.”

Along with the spectacle of the winged wonders, there will be butterfly crafts for all ages provided by Arts on the Go mobile arts studio, and kids can build a bug house with the help of Home Depot employees. The Sisterhood Creations team will offer face painting under the pavilion, and a photo booth at the famous red barn will be manned by Farah Photography.

An interactive migration science station will be led by nature educator Dinah Chancellor, and naturalist Jenny McLane will direct the Monarch Watch and provide information on how nature lovers can become amateur scientists. Vendors with merchandise and food will include MaxFrut Bars, Beef Eaters Grill, Alpha Dogs Mobile Vending and iFratelli.

“With the Perennial Garden Society’s support, we are educating the community about the importance of conservation and preservation efforts while also raising awareness of this beautiful natural resource in Southlake.”

Admission to the event is free, and people are welcome to just show up. However, to have sufficient supplies available, participants are asked to send an email indicating the number of children and adults who will attend to

Hunter Hargrove to receive honors at Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation gala

The inaugural Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award will go to Hunter Hargrove of Texas Tech baseball fame at the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation Awards Gala on Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at The Fort Worth Club.

“The foundation recognizes outstanding eighth grade students each year by awarding the promise of a college scholarship to selected students who have competed in its annual scholarship competition. By focusing attention on the availability of aid for merit at the middle school level, the BBYF hopes to inspire students to plan for higher education, dedicate themselves to work hard to reach that goal, and push them to seek out additional aid at an earlier stage in their lives,” said spokesman David Hatchett.

After dinner and an awards presentation, an auction will feature a luxury package including a hotel stay, dinner at Del Frisco and other attractions. Other bid bait includes a guided quail and hog hunt, private parties at Fort Worth eateries, and tickets to sports events.

Aracely Munoz and Larry Anfin are event co-chairs with help from committee members Chris Lewis, Priscilla Hamilton, Martha Fry, Andy Anthony, Bobbie Edmunds, Greg Kalina and Tracy Taylor.

A big moment will come with the presentation of the new award to Hargrove, an All-American choice while playing for Texas Tech. The Mansfield High School graduate has signed with the Oakland Athletics.

The Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation has awarded 766 scholarships worth more than $1.9 million to eighth grade students in the area. BBYF records indicate that 98% of the eighth grade students receiving the awards have enrolled in college. Gala tickets are $250 per person or $2,000 for a table of 10. Make reservations at 817-870-2300 or visit

Domestic violence prevention is the focus of Legacy of Women luncheon

Ten influential women from the area will be lauded at SafeHaven’s Legacy of Women luncheon on Oct. 6 at the Fort Worth Hilton Hotel. Celebrating the silver anniversary of the annual event, SafeHaven will continue the tradition of the past 25 years by honoring local women for outstanding achievements in the community.

Tamron Hall, a veteran of television news shows, will be the keynote speaker. Hall has established a fund to help victims and families affected by domestic violence in honor of her sister, Renate, who was murdered in 2004 in a domestic violence incident.

Honorees at the event include Susanne Avondet, Allenna Bangs, Claudia Beeny, Kim Dignum, Sandra Garza, Judy Rupay, Jeanne Gerlach, Mary Hibbs, Susan Howery and Monica Randolph-Graham.

“This annual event raises funds to support SafeHaven of Tarrant County and help victims in Tarrant County’s largest and most comprehensive domestic violence shelters,” said a SafeHaven spokeswoman. “SafeHaven’s mission is to end domestic violence through safety, support, prevention and social change. We provide the only two shelters in Tarrant County specifically for victims of domestic violence.”

Tickets are $125 each and sponsorships are available at various levels. Make reservations at or Emily Hancock at 817-502-7126.

Monster Mash Gala raises money for families in crisis

Downright spooky will describe the mythical characters streaming into the Omni Fort Worth Hotel on Oct. 13 for the Monster Mash Storybook Bash gala hosted by The Women’s Center.

The iconic event is being billed as a “fairy tale come true” because of the creative ways guests will bring their favorite storybook to life masquerading as pixies, witches, sorcerers, rogue wolves and beautiful belles.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this magical evening, supporting a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” says Anne Weiskittel who is co-chairing the event with Tasa Anderson, Ashley Baker, and Angela Wonderly. “I have witnessed the hope and peace that the Women’s Center can bring to families in crisis, and it is truly a blessing to have this amazing organization in our community. This year’s Monster Mash promises to uphold the tradition of being Fort Worth’s party of the year.”

Guests will dine on delicious delicacies, enjoy cocktails and mystical games and live entertainment by the Jordan Khan Orchestra as they raise money to support the center’s efforts to help victims of violent crimes and sexual assault, as well as programs that help stop the cycle of poverty and support mental health wellness.

“We hope that the people coming to Monster Mash know that our work to help clients triumph over violence, crisis and poverty is made possible by their generosity. This party is such a fun way to say thank you and to ensure the sustainability of programs and services that change people’s lives,” says President and CEO Laura Hilgart.

Tickets are $300 with sponsorships available. Register at or call 817-927-4006.

Wine & Design event will help older residents get meals delivered to home

A brand new event at a brand new venue is a recipe for excitement and fun. Wine & Design will make its debut on Sept. 29 at the Bowden Events Center in Keller to raise money for Metroport Meals on Wheels.

“We probably had you at ‘wine’, but there's more,” said MMOW Executive Director Mary King. “Like MMOW’s past fashion show event, Wine and Design will also feature a shopping bazaar, a mobile shopping boutique, and a design element.”

Guests will enjoy cocktails and then feast upon a lovely luncheon prepared by Oliva Italian eatery. The shopping bazaar will feature unique vendors like Sadie’s Upscale and Couture in a Can. A glammed out Airstream RV will beckon guests to enjoy a mobile shopping boutique inside. Besides trunk show-style shopping, a design activity conducted by LePainted Grape will make the whole morning’s experience one to remember.

Participants in the hour-long design activity will create a beautiful wine glass painting guided by an art instructor. Guests will choose between a 10:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. painting time. All supplies and protective coverings for shoes and clothing will be provided.

“Other activities include a wine bottle ring toss, treasure chest, and more. A cash wine bar will feature delicious wine pairings from 3 Vino,” King said. “All proceeds benefit Metroport Meals On Wheels providing hot meals and friendly faces to local seniors in need.”

Tickets are $75. Purchase online at or contact Amy Powell at 817-491-1141.

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