Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be honored at area celebrations

Members of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity march at the Martin Luther King Day Parade in downtown Fort Worth last year.
Members of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity march at the Martin Luther King Day Parade in downtown Fort Worth last year. rmallison@star-telegram.com

As communities across the country prepare for their annual Martin Luther King events, Tarrant County is fortunate to have big celebrations planned in both Fort Worth and Arlington.

The 33rd Annual Greater Fort Worth MLK March Parade & Rally is set for Jan. 15. Anyone in the community is invited to assemble at 10 a.m. at the Fort Worth Convention Center as cars, floats, walking groups and bands march through the downtown area to honor Dr. King. To learn more about participating, contact Roderick Miles at 817-247-7964 or gfwmlkjrhc@yahoo.com.

Arlington’s festivities begin on Jan. 12 with the Advancing the Dream awards banquet in the Bluebonnet Ballroom on campus at UT Arlington. The keynote speaker is Martin Luther King III, the oldest living child of the famous civil rights leader. NBC 5 newswoman Courtney Gilmore will emcee the evening’s activities.

After dinner and entertainment, winners of the art and essay contests will be introduced as they are presented scholarships from the MLK Celebration committee. First place winner in the essay contest and recipient of a $1,000 scholarship is Isaac James from Arlington High School. Banquet tickets are $55 each and can be purchased at UTATickets.com.

Tarrant County College Southeast Campus faculty member Nita Halliburton is co-chairing the MLK Committee along with Sharon Jones.

“We’re so pleased to welcome Martin Luther King III as our guest speaker to help kick off the four-day celebration at UTA on Friday evening. This year we’ve made a few changes to some of our events, but we still expect to have a full and exciting celebration of Dr. King’s birthday,” Halliburton said.

“The Multicultural Festival usually sponsored at Tarrant County College Southeast Campus will not be held this year. And the Slam Poetry event has been changed to Poetry Meets Jazz as we add a different touch to that event,” explained Halliburton.

“There is still much excitement expected at the annual Step Show event on Saturday morning and the Youth Extravaganza that closes out the celebration on Monday evening.”

Admission to the 11 a.m. step competition at Bowie High School is $10 ($5 for elementary age and younger). The Poetry Meets Jazz event is at 7 p.m. in the Bluebonnet Ballroom at UTA. It will feature Verb Kulture and the music of Shelley Carroll. Admission is $20.

The annual MLK Day of Service is set for Jan. 15. Volunteers are asked to gather at Mission Arlington, 400 W. South St., at 9 a.m. to receive their assignment. “The best way to honor Dr. King is through service to your community,” writes Toni Kincaid, who is in charge of the day’s activities. “We are excited about the impact this MLK Day of Service will make in our community.”

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said, “Dr. King was a leader among leaders. And when you study his work, you realize that that is the goal of every community — to be able to have everyone working together on an equal plane. In my 30 years here, the MLK Celebration has always been a fun time — an inspirational time — of a man’s life who made a difference.”

Additionally, another organization — the Toyota North Texas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade & Celebration —– will be hosting a parade at 10 a.m. on Jan. 15 that will begin and end in Arlington’s entertainment district. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will be the parade grand marshal. To inquire about this event, call 212-920-9147.

Rodeo Run will benefit Historic Fort Worth

After a successful debut last year, the Rodeo Run is back again to benefit a charity that works year-round to save historic structures around the city. Historic Fort Worth will host the second edition of the family-oriented 5K on Jan. 20 at 8:30 a.m. at Thistle Hill mansion, at 1509 Pennsylvania Ave.

“The Rodeo Run is unique in that it starts and ends at Thistle Hill mansion,” said spokeswoman Suzy Coleman. “Before the race begins, runners may wait inside the mansion and docents will be on hand to answer questions. The run is routed through the Fairmount and Magnolia Avenue area and runners will pass by many historic buildings. It is a delightful way to lose some extra holiday weight and gain knowledge about this historic area.”

Starting the new year with a healthy, preservation-themed event will be a feel-good for race participants. Registration in advance is $30 or $35 on race day. Sign up at www.HistoricFortWorth.org.

Your healthiest self is the focus of women’s event

Becoming healthier and living to our full potential are popular goals at this season when everyone feels the promise of a new year and a fresh start. Women wanting to capitalize on this line of thinking will want to sign up for the annual Health & Wellness event hosted by the Women’s Alliance of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

Set for Jan. 25 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the UTA University Center in the Rosebud Theater, the event is expected to attract at least 100 attendees. The theme is “Achieving Your Healthiest Self” and will feature a variety of presenters from the healthcare industry as well as hot appetizers and time for socializing and networking. A physician panel will include an orthopedist and an obstetrician/gynecologist as well as an oncologist and a cardiologist who will be available to answer questions from participants.

Co-chairs of the event are Deborah Su from Medical City Arlington and Laura Hoffman from the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

“I have had the honor and pleasure of being a part of the Health and Wellness program for the past six years, and it never fails to surprise me the caliber of physicians and the unique contact we have with these medical professionals as we seek to be better informed and educated,” said Su.

“Every year I learn something new, meet new people and it is so rewarding to hear from our attendees how something they heard about or someone they met changed their lives.”

Registration is $35 for Alliance members and $45 for nonmembers. Sign up at www.arlingtontx.com or send an email to events@arlingtontx.com or call 817-275-2613.

Preschool Parade makes its debut in the Mid-Cities area

Families with preschool-age children will want to get the scoop on a new event coming up on Jan. 13 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Brookside Center in Hurst. Hosted by the MOMS Club of H-E-B, the first-time, free event will focus exclusively on services and activities for preschoolers and their parents. Guests at the event can visit with a dozen or more local preschools that will have exhibits along with various businesses that offer kid-friendly services and activities.

“This is a much-needed event for parents as it can be a challenge to gather information on all the available preschool choices in our large area, so this will be a convenience and a community service for many families,” said MOMS Club spokeswoman Kimberly Stone.

The idea for the Preschool Parade was hatched during a summer workshop in Austin when other clubs reported similar events in their cities as being popular and successful. The local MOMS Club (Moms Offering Moms Support) is a 40-member organization under the umbrella of International MOMS Clubs. The Hurst-Euless-Bedford group welcomes other local mothers to come check out their programs.

“MOMS Club of H-E-B provides a service and supportive group to the moms in the Hurst, Euless, Bedford area,” said club Vice President Chantelle Williams. “This event is just one of the ways that we show our commitment to the families in our community.” Caroline Powell is president of the local group.

Reservations are not required, but the public can RSVP if they wish at www.facebook.com/MOMSClubofHEB or www.facebook.com/BIGPreschoolParade/.

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