The humongous stack of toys collected at the Margarita Ball each year never fails to be a showstopping, heartwarming sight. The mound of toys starts small and before the evening ends, it soars to 15 or 20 feet as the toys each guest brings as the price of admission are added to the pile. Hosted by the Arlington Margarita Society, the event has been a stalwart of the holiday party landscape for more than three decades. The festive night includes endless signature margaritas, snacks, casino gaming and dancing.
“We are celebrating 35 years of holiday cheer and charity,” said Don Duke who is chairing the event and has been a director for 20 years. “This is a night to shine yourself up in your best holiday attire, lace up your dancing shoes and enjoy a night of seeing old friends and making new ones.”
Partygoers will peruse a silent auction offering three days in a beachfront villa in Playa del Carmen and a luxury package from Sewell Lexus/Infinity along with other tempting swag. The winner of a raffle will walk away with a vacation to Margaritaville Casino Resort.
The Margarita Ball Casino will open at 7 p.m. where winners can take home terrific prizes. Two giant screen TVs will broadcast sports events so that guests won’t miss a single play of their favorite team. Party Machine, one of the area’s best bands, will play dance tunes all evening.
The Margarita Ball is by invitation (trademark toy soldier invitations were mailed last week), and those wanting to request an invitation should contact one of the 44 Arlington Margarita Society directors. New directors this year are Aaron Reich, Jim Ross, Michael Jacobson, David Sargent and Alan Rose.
“Once again we are proud to team up with the Arlington Police Association and Santa Cops to manage the complex distribution of the toys,” Duke said. “They do a great job of working with the Arlington ISD to get the toys to kids who need a little extra support.”
Toys donated must have a $30 minimum value, and the greatest need this year is for children ages 8 to 12. Suggested toys for other ages include portable DVD players, MP3 and video players and digital cameras. Also wanted are dolls, stuffed toys, book collections, games, learning and electronic toys, balls and athletic equipment. The Margarita Society requests no bicycles be donated.
Invited guests who prefer to make a cash donation instead of bringing a toy are welcome to do so. The Margarita Ball will be Nov. 18 at the Arlington Convention Center. Learn more at www.ArlingtonMargaritaSociety.org.
GM Arlington awards $100,000 to stimulate STEM education
Earlier this month, the Arlington General Motors facility hosted a special corporate giving event called ‘Plant the City’ where $100,000 in grants were awarded to local organizations. It was part of GM’s commitment to promote access to higher education and encourage STEM education for Arlington-area students.
Local organizations included among the seven grant recipients were the Arlington ISD and Mansfield ISD Education Foundations, the River Legacy Foundation, University Crossroads, and International Leadership of Texas.
“The rising generation is truly the future of our industry,” said Juan Carlos Jimenez, plant manager of GM Arlington Assembly. “These community-focused grants are our way to invest in these young minds who are going to change the way our business runs in the future.”
Brian White, executive director of the Arlington ISD Education Foundation, praised the efforts of the Arlington GM Assembly Plant and said their support would provide a gateway for students to build a brighter tomorrow.
“We applaud General Motor’s dedication to supporting the quality of education here in The American Dream City, said city of Arlington spokesman Jay Warren. “These grants ensure our community’s youth have access to valuable STEM-focused education that will help them go far in their future careers.”
Arlington Life Shelter to benefit from St. Alban’s gift shop
Holiday shoppers: start your engines and drive over to St. Alban’s Bookstore and Gift Shop to get a head start on your gift list. While you’re there, keep in mind that the proceeds from the store will benefit the Arlington Life Shelter and their programs to help stabilize homeless families.
“We have a beautifully decorated and remodeled store,” said Laura Lace, manager of the store. “The Bookstore was established 52 years ago and was showing its age. Renovations over the summer included new carpet, repairs, painting and store rearrangement.”
Shoppers can browse among gift items needed for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Advent and a nice selection of holiday cards.” We have love Advent wreaths, candles and calendars,” Lace said. “There are also Christmas nativities, ornaments, decorative pillows, runners and tree skirts. We have a nice selection of Bibles, prayer books and Christmas stories for children.”
From the Trinity River Wood Studio in Fort Worth, special cutting boards and cheese boards will be top attractions along with colorful Venetian glass dishes and vases imported from Murano.
The Bookstore and Gift Shop is an outreach ministry of St. Alban’s Parish. Holiday sales will benefit Arlington Life Shelter. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and Sunday 9-10:30 a.m. The shop is located at 911 South Davis Dr. Call 817-274-4821 with questions.
Holly Days Christmas Market will benefit Methodist Mansfield Medical Center
Beat the crowds and find some unique gifts for the upcoming holiday season at the annual Holly Days Christmas Market from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 11 in the main lobby at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, 2700 E. Broad Street in Mansfield.
“Check everyone off of your holiday shopping list as you browse through the Auxiliary country store featuring local vendors and baked goods including cookies, pickles, jams, and jellies,” said hospital spokeswoman Angel Biasatti. “Choose from a variety of new and unique gift items including home décor, clothing, jewelry, purses, soaps, raffles and much more.”
Bring the kiddos for a photo opportunity with Santa who will be posing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Carolers from Music Place Mansfield will provide festive entertainment to get shoppers in the holiday spirit.
“Unique holiday gifts can be hard to find, which can mean waiting in line at the mall. Why not skip the lines and parking lots and join us for holiday shopping at the annual Holly Days celebration,” said Biasatti.
Proceeds from the market will benefit the hospital. Contact Jody Tolar at 682-242-7301 with inquiries.
Southwest Kiwanis Club hosts Chili Day to help local causes
The weather could not be more perfect for a delicious bowl of chili, and the folks from Arlington Southwest Kiwanis Club have a mouthwatering recipe they have perfected over the span of 43 years of presenting their annual Chili Day fundraiser.
On Nov. 18 at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church located at 911 S. Davis Dr, the doors will open at 11 a.m. and hungry guests can dine until 7 p.m. And a silent auction will be open with a variety of attractive items up for bid donated by club members.
“Chili Day dishes up savory food, fellowship with friends and neighbors, and joy-packed support for community and youth programs in Arlington,” said Kiwanis spokesman Roger Broom. “Our delicious recipe for all-you-can-eat chili is served all day long, accompanied with salad, chips, and drink.”
Broom said the 29-member club donates thousands of dollars each year to such organizations as Boys & Girls Clubs, Cancer Care, Mission Arlington, Arlington Life Shelter, and others. “We play an important role in Arlington of sponsoring youth programs, performing community service, and raising funds for local charitable causes,” Broom said.
Tickets are $7 and are available at the door. To ask about the event or membership in the club, contact Southwest Kiwanis president, Laureen Jacobs at 817-543-0831, or Broom at 817-457-3643.