Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on H-E-B: Cheers for volunteers at Euless awards dinner

The Leadership H-E-B Class of 2015.
The Leadership H-E-B Class of 2015.

It was a feel-good atmosphere at the Annual Boards & Commissions Dinner at the Texas Star Golf Course last month when the contributions of residents who provide valuable volunteer service to the city of Euless were honored at a festive Mardi Gras-themed celebration.

“The Volunteer of the Year awards are such fun to give each year,” wrote Mayor Linda Martin in the newsletter Euless Today. “The award winners are always surprised and very deserving of this honor. This year’s winners were no exception. We are so appreciative of all of our volunteers.”

Receiving top honors for his tireless work since 2008 on the Historical Preservation Committee was Bill Golden, who was named Volunteer of the Year. Golden chaired the commission for several years and was instrumental in operating the Euless Heritage Museum, where he also volunteered as a docent.

Retired Mayor Mary Lib Saleh was a natural fit to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Her remarkable contributions to Euless during her time on the City Council and then as mayor for 21 years as well as her earlier service on the parks and library boards were lauded in presenting her the prestigious award.

“She has always had a great passion for our library in particular and was one of the founding members of the Euless Library Foundation. The library has been named in her honor and will continue to provide joy to people of all ages for years to come,” said city spokeswoman Betsy Deck.

Verna Kight accepted the Volunteer Business of the Year honors in recognition for her community efforts while she owned and operated Verna’s Cafe for many years. Her business was a popular gathering place in Euless, and she still bakes pies for City Council meetings even though she has now retired.

Emily Hudgens, a junior at Trinity High School, was named Youth Volunteer of the Year for her extraordinary efforts at the library for the past several years.

“Emily has been a huge help to us over the past few summers — she is dependable, motivated and takes initiative,” said Library Administrator Sherry Knight. “Emily helps our Summer Reading Challenge run smoothly by preparing children’s crafts, showing kids how to log their reading for prizes, helping with crowd control at performances and anything else that needs to be done.”

The Euless volunteer program was established 20 years ago and has around 600 volunteers who serve in various capacities in city departments and on boards and commissions. Deck said the city benefited from more than 1,200 hours of service last fiscal year valued at more than $28,000.

“Euless volunteers consistently give their time and energy to make our community fabulous. In turn, the city of Euless honors volunteers each year to celebrate the dedication and service of these outstanding people,” Deck said.

Anyone interested in learning more about the program can visit www.eulesstx.gov/pacs/volunteers.htm or contact Deck at 817-685-1821.

18 graduate from leadership course

When Joe Harrington began his new in his position as an H-E-B school district assistant superintendent, he knew it was important to get involved in the community and get acquainted as quickly as possible. That’s why he enthusiastically accepted the opportunity to participate in the Leadership H-E-B class last fall.

“Getting to know people is so powerful for any organization,” said Harrington, who was chosen as the class spokesman. Harrington said he thinks it’s a smart move for businesses to send their employees through the training. “Increasing connections is important and so valuable in working effectively in a community.”

Continuing its commitment to providing a community leadership education program in Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Leadership H-E-B honored the 29th graduating class at a luncheon last week attended by more than 150 guests at First United Methodist Church. It was hosted by H-E-B Chamber of Commerce.

Participants in the program completed a nine-month session that promotes their involvement in cities, school district, civic and charitable organizations. Keynote speaker was Garry Hamilton, former chairman of the chamber, who spoke to the graduates about “The Importance of Leadership in a Community.”

“Leadership H-E-B is one of the most important programs the chamber has. It provides an opportunity for the participants to become more knowledgeable about our area and the people who get things done,” said chamber CEO Mary Frazior. “It opens the door for the graduates to become leaders in not only the chamber but also in all types of civic and community organizations.”

Congratulations to the graduates: Brandon Bell, YMCA Airport Area; Chanc Bennett, Euless Fire Department; Blanca Collins, Liberty Mutual Insurance; Kara Crane, city of Hurst; Elaine Dillard, Shaw Insurance Agency; Jennifer Fisher, Cook Children’s Northeast Hospital; Natalie Foster, city of Bedford; Linda Goelzer, Carter BloodCare; Jack Harred, Tarrant County College; Joe Herrington, H-E-B school district; Jeri Harwell, Republic Services; Thomas Hoover, city of Bedford; Mark Lucas-Kelly, Lucas Funeral Home; Kameryn L’Ecuyer; Ashley Moore, Bell Helicopter; Bonnie Sorrells, Texas Health H-E-B; Mary Stokic, H-E-B school district; and Randy West, class chairman, James B. Wright, DDS.

The class meets October through May, usually one or two Thursdays a month from 1 to 5 p.m. The cost is $450, and partial scholarships are available. There is an attendance requirement to graduate, as well as a class project, a day trip to Austin and going to a city council meeting.

To learn more and get an application, call the chamber at 817-283-1521 or email chamber@heb.org.

Out of School Bash and Summer Reading Club Launch Party

The end of school is a joyful time and cause for celebration. Ramp up the fun by joining the festivities at the Leon Hogg Amphitheater, 1951 Bear Creek Parkway, on Friday for some fabulous live music and other festivities.

“We want to celebrate a successful school year as well as highlight to the community what the city of Euless has to offer their family for the rest of the summer,” said spokeswoman Suzanne Hendrickson.

“We will have stage entertainment, food trucks, game booths, costumed characters and roaming entertainers. The library will be there to tell people about the summer reading program and help them sign up.”

“And the Parks and Community Services Department will also have information about our summer programs as well. All ages are invited.”

Bands performing include David Slick at 4:15 p.m. followed by Island Boogie Steel Drum Band at 5:30 p.m. with the finale by Professor D.

Call 817-685-1666 for more information.

Please send your Eyes on H-E-B news to freeder@star-telegram.com. Keep up with even more community news by liking our page on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SocialEyes.ST. Follow me on Twitter: @FayeReeder

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