There will be a sea of red when guests arrive at the Fort Worth Omni Hotel on March 1 for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women luncheon because every guest will be wearing the signature color in support of the luncheon theme. The event is part of a national “Go Red” movement aimed at helping women live healthier lifestyles to create a heart disease and stroke-free world.
Guests will enjoy a heart-healthy lunch as they listen to a keynote speech by athlete and author Kathrine Switzer and a testimonial from heart survivor Sheila Jane Reynolds. Earlier in the morning, health screenings, educational breakout sessions and a silent auction are on the agenda.
“We are thrilled to have Kathrine Switzer share her inspiring story at this year’s luncheon and honored to have the opportunity to encourage the women of Tarrant County to put themselves first and take action for their heart health,” said Cami Thompson, executive director of the Tarrant County American Heart Association.
“Switzer is an American marathon runner who helped lead the movement of women’s equality in sports by being the first woman to compete in the Boston Marathon in 1967,” said a spokeswoman for the event. “Her relentless efforts to empower millions of women beyond the finish line have had a profound effect, transforming the face of sports, health and opportunities for women around the world.”
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Philanthropist Karen Anfin and her husband, Fort Worth businessman and civic leader Larry Anfin, are co-chairing the luncheon. The Anfins are major supporters of the American Heart Association’s efforts to educate the community about heart disease. According to AHA, it is the No. 1 killer among women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. Monies raised at the event create awareness and fund local research and education programs aimed at fighting heart disease and stroke in women.
Of the many silent auctions featured at charity events, the Go Red auction is perhaps the most expansive with so much high-quality and unique offerings. Veterans of this event know to arrive in time to check out which items will get their bid. Best plan is to sign up for one of the excellent breakout sessions and afterward peruse the auction and visit exhibits.
Women Empowered event in Southlake will fund scholarship for domestic violence victim
With a “Luncheon at Tiffany’s” theme, the third edition of the Women Empowered event hosted by the Southlake Chamber of Commerce is set for March 2 at the Hilton Hotel at Southlake Town Square. Guests will sip mimosas as they peruse a silent auction, shop at vendor exhibits, and participate in a fun jewelry raffle. The keynote speaker is Betsy Allen-Manning, a leading authority on employee development and leadership skills.
“In just three years, this has become a don’t-miss event for women throughout Northeast Tarrant County,” said event spokeswoman Tracy Southers-Parker. “I’m always blown away by the incredible energy in the room. From the decor to the food to the quality of speakers, the committee doesn’t overlook any details. This year’s ‘Luncheon at Tiffany’s’ theme will be will be amazing — and we’ve got a few surprises planned.”
Allen-Manning will deliver a presentation titled, “Women Who Dare to Lead.” According to the event spokeswoman, attendees will learn the top skill needed to get to the next level, which traits radiate confidence and higher levels of influence with others. She’ll also teach how to develop the next generation of trusted, respected and effective leaders.
Event chairs are Julie Walter and Jessica Smith. Emcee duties will be capably handled by newswoman Jenny Anchondo. Vendors at the event will include 180 Wellness, Black Door Renovations, Carrie L. Morris, MD, Expert Aesthetics, Liberty Christian School and presenting sponsor Texas Health Southlake.
The winner of the raffle will take home jewelry from Luxor Customer Jewelers valued at $5,000, and a silent auction will feature 30 items ranging from health and fitness services to jewelry from Kendra Scott, and trips to fabulous destinations such as Napa and Greece.
Faith community is backbone of Arlington Life Shelter and will step up support for expansion of facilities
Ever since the Arlington Life Shelter opened the doors of their facility at 325 W. Division St. in 1989 to provide homeless people with food and shelter, it is the faith communities in town that have provided the first half of that equation: food. And they do it 365 days a year to the tune of a half-million dollars in money saved for the agency annually.
Now nearly 30 years later, the mission of Arlington Life Shelter has greatly expanded to provide much more than food and shelter as they now have programs in place to help the clients they serve stabilize their lives and return to self-sufficiency. And a big reason the shelter can focus on addressing homelessness on a broader scale is because of the faith groups and their continued commitment to taking care of the daily responsibilities of providing food.
“The faith communities of Arlington stepped up and took on the ministry of purchasing, preparing, and serving food to shelter residents,” said Executive Director Becky Orander. “Sixty-one faith communities divide up this heavy responsibility so that food is provided for the 75-80 residents we serve each day. Food teams eliminate the need for the shelter to buy food and hire staff to cook dinner or prepare sack lunches for residents. Every year this results in a budget savings of over $500,000.”
But the faith communities have recently shown their help won’t stop with providing food only. When they learned about a new building project and capital campaign planned by the Life Shelter, donations from the food teams began pouring in.
Through recently acquired property adjacent to the building, plans are underway to use the land to build an additional 13,000 square feet of space and remodel the existing building at a cost of $4.2 million. The Arlington Tomorrow Foundation has provided $750,000 for the project and the Amon Carter Foundation an additional $250,000. And individual gifts from the faith communities now total more than $430,000 with more donations coming in daily.
The project will enable the Life Shelter to address the changing needs of the homeless population. Contrary to the belief of many that the shelter serves primarily chronically homeless men, the reality is that on any given day 25-30% of the Arlington Life Shelter population are women and another 25% of residents are children. The Life Shelter Board of Directors and staff saw the urgent need to develop strategic plans to address the changes in who the agency is serving.
“I have volunteered at the Shelter the past several years through my church,” said board president Brad Jay. “Arlington Life Shelter has to turn away families regularly. Doubling the number of women and children we serve will help keep families from having to live in unsafe conditions.”
“And expanded children’s spaces will help us better address the developmental delays often seen in our youngest children as well as help prepare our teen residents for the workforce,” Jay added.
According to the co-chairwoman of the capital campaign, Sissy Day, local support for the building project is excellent. Because the faith groups are at the heart of the campaign, the new kitchen will be designated as the “Hearts of Faith Kitchen.” Each faith community participating in the Hearts of Faith program will be listed on the donor wall in the new facility along with names of individuals contributing $1,000 or more.
“The heart of what the Arlington Life Shelter does comes from the more than 1,500 individual volunteers from Arlington’s faith communities who provide meals, pack lunches, do laundry, as well as many other duties,” said Orander. “This type of ongoing help in meeting basic needs enables us to broaden our scope to offer even stronger programs that help our families find jobs and get the skills needed to get their lives stabilized and back on track.”
Anyone in the community is welcome to come by and see renderings of the proposed expansion project and take a virtual tour showing what the facility will look like when complete. To arrange, contact Tara Hutchins-Welsh, assistant campaign director, at 817-548-5885, ext. 3315 twelsh@ArlingtonLifeShelter.org.
Iced to Perfection: Bakers sculpt cake art to benefit Arlington Museum of Art
Far from just a piece of cake — incredible designs created by local bakers will be on display at the upcoming Eat Your Art Out party at the Arlington Museum of Art on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. The sculptural works of culinary art will be created exclusively for this event now in its second year.
After guests sip champagne as they mix and mingle while viewing the remarkable cake art on exhibit, it will all disappear in a delightful tasting as chefs cut into their works of art and serve the culinary masterpieces to guests. I attended the inaugural event last year, and the cake designs were amazing.
The hardworking event committee includes Paula Pierson, Lorie White, Doreen Bruner, Nancy Tice, Marty Hubble and Nadia DiStefano.
“I believe this is one of the most fun and tasty events around,” said Pierson. “The works of art are amazing, and the different flavors are exquisite. Back again is a champagne bar, and this year Urban Alchemy will provide a coffee bar.”
Bakers that participate in the event are given complete freedom to come up with the design of their cakes, and event the event organizers won’t know what they’ll be ahead of time. The only specifications are that cakes must be a work of art that is at least two-feet high and no more than three-feet wide.
Among the bakeries bringing their art is Stephen’s Sweets Sensations (Fort Worth), The London Baker (Fort Worth), The Cakery (Arlington), Whole Foods Bakery and Sugar Bee Sweets (Arlington).
More cake sculptures will be created by Sweets by Belinda, Nothing Bundt Cakes (North Arlington), TCC Southeast Campus, Arlington ISD Culinary Arts (Alice Monroe), Lyndsey Dewey, Greg’s Kitchen, That’s the Cake and Bradi Carney (owner of the Tin Cup).
To add some playful fun, guests can participate in a little quiz of questions about each baker. The person getting the most correct answers will get a surprise gift at the end of the party. Though it’s hard to imagine any of the delicious cake art being uneaten, there may be a limit to how much yummy goodness one can hold — so plans are to treat first responders to the cake remaining.
Museum director Chris Hightower said funds raised will go toward financing upcoming exhibits. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at the door or in advance at arlingtonmuseum.org or by calling 817-275-4600. The museum is located at 201 W. Main St.