Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Home for the Holidays Dec. 3 benefits homeless families

Kids participate in the 2014 Arlington Winter Run.
Kids participate in the 2014 Arlington Winter Run.

In the holiday hustle bustle it is easy to forget that not everyone has a home for holidays. Fortunately, the folks at the Arlington Life Shelter work continuously to help those who have no home — not only during the holidays — but all through the year.

To help the Life Shelter continue their work, a gala evening — Home for the Holidays — is planned Dec. 3 at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel to raise needed funds to “provide warm beds and sweet dreams for homeless children and families” who reside at the shelter.

The festive evening will feature a cocktail hour while guests peruse a silent auction and enjoy music by the UTA Jazz Combo followed by dinner and a program. Children from the shelter will sing a selection of Christmas carols. Emcee for the evening is Fox4 news anchorwoman Jenny Anchondo.

A spotlight moment at the event will be the presentation of the Heroes of the Homeless awards given to individuals and organizations who have who have gone ‘above and beyond’ in service and support to the shelter and its residents.

Congratulations to these award winners: All Pro Fasteners, Brad Cecil & Associates, Rashiwe Madzima, Roger Mangumm Texas Rangers Basball Club, Webb Elementary School, Mandy Welch, and Corey Wilson.

Watch out for the Rolling Raffle carts that will be roaming about the party so you can take a good look at each one to decide where to put your raffle ticket. Each rolling raffle package is worth at least $750. Buy a ticket for $10 or three for $25.

Wine lovers can donate $20 for the opportunity to pull an ornament from the tree and then take home the bottle of wine with the corresponding number. Or what about a ticket to win the Big Green Egg party package? The outdoor cooker with a slew of accessories is valued at $1,500. The winning ticket will cost $20.

In charge of the event is Kellie Reichert with help from committee members Penny Reichert, Mandy Welch, Debbie Michel, Michelle Duskin, Janet Glaze, Kayla Haun, Shannon Salomaki and Rebekah Garner.

“I’m at the shelter regularly and am reminded each time why I am so involved,” said James Mihills, board of directors president. “Recently, volunteers have been asked to sit with the families during dinnertime to make sure the children don’t overeat. Many more children are becoming sick their first week at the shelter because they have not eaten regularly and their stomachs have to adjust. As a father of four, this is painful to hear,” Mihills added.

Home for the Holiday tickets are going fast. Contact Reichert at 817-548-9885, ext. 2116, or purchase a ticket for $75 online at www.ArlingtonLifeShelter.org.

Arlington Winter Run Dec. 5 is an Arlington tradition

How many charity runs have been operating continuously for 38 years in Arlington? The answer is: only one, and that is the Arlington Winter Run hosted by longstanding retailer, The Runner. It benefits the Arlington-Mansfield area YMCA and is set for Dec. 5 at 8:30 a.m. at the Maverick Activities Center at UTA.

Now known as the Zetnick Arlington Winter Run, it is named in honor of the late Don and Phil Zetnick, owners of The Runner and key figures in establishing the race and keeping it strong. It offers 10K and 2-mile courses and a 1K Penguin Waddle for kids ages 11 and under. The course begins and ends at UTA with beautiful neighborhood streets in between.

“The event is a fun-filled and high energy gathering. A DJ will be playing all the top hits getting the participants warmed up for the races, and the excitement will continue through the award ceremony as the winners receive their coveted plush penguin trophies,” said Larissa Peterson, one of the event organizers. “Santa will also be making a very special appearance to help cheer on the runners and walkers.”

Participants and spectators will enjoy a family-oriented expo during the whole morning where they can visit vendors such a Starbucks, Mr. Jim’s Pizza, and Sweet Tomatoes to enjoy their yummy refreshments. Local health and wellness vendors will also be on site providing their services and handing out information.

This year the race is dedicated to Phil Zetnick who passed away in January. He continued the tradition of the race after his dad, Don Zetnick, died in 2005.

“This was one of Phil’s most fulfilling commitments because he wanted to honor his dad, and there is no other way I can think of to honor him in return,” said Peterson.

Register for $20 before Nov. 28 for the 10K and 2-mile and $15 for the Penguin Waddle. Each runner gets a limited edition long-sleeve T-shirt. Get details and sign up at www.thezetnickarlingtonwinterrun.com.

Participate in 30th year for Arlington Santa Cops to help local kids

The Arlington Police Association and Police Department are already hard at work on this year’s toy drive to help Arlington children have a merrier Christmas.

The 30-year old program works with the school district to identity children who are in a situation where assistance would be of help and provide for not only them, but the other family members in the home under the age of 13.

“This program has evolved from police officers furnishing Christmas trees, food and gifts to families along their beat to providing toys and supplies for over 400 families with more than 1,200 children in 2014,” said Becki Brandenburg, president of the Arlington Police Association.

Not only do the Santa Cops work tirelessly gathering toys, they also arrange transportation for the families to parties at the Arlington Convention Center to receive their gifts.

“Groupings of schools are provided their very own party time so that each event is specialized for that assembly with a celebration including a visit with Santa, entertainment and refreshments,” said Brandenburg.

Anyone who wants to be a part of this program can help by either donating cash or toys or by sponsoring a toy drive at your business.

Toys (must be a new) needed include sports equipment, board games, art & craft supplies, remote controlled cars or helicopters, scooter/razor type riders, and electronic games just to name a few.

“Over the course of this program we have helped thousands of Arlington families, and as the years have increased, the needs are growing,” said Brandenburg. “Your help is how we make a kid's Christmas.”

To participate or learn more, call the APA office at 817-261-3471 or send an email to APASantaCop@outlook.com.

Events at a glance

Symphony Arlington show is Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Arlington Music Hall. Featured performer is cellist Kalin Ivanov. Maciej Zoltowski is the guest conductor. Numbers include Sowash Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in A Major, Haydn’s Symphony No. 86 in D Major and The Jewels of Madonna, Wolf-Ferrari. Tickets at the door or email info@symphonyarlington.org.

UTA Mavs Basketball season is underway. Women’s opener is Nov. 24 against Seton Hall at 7 p.m. The men take on Grambling on Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. All Sun Belt Conference games are women's and men's doubleheaders and require the purchase of just one ticket for both games. Games are played in the College Park arena, and parking is free. Purchase tickets online at www.utatickets.com or call the College Park Center Box Office at 817-272-9595.

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