From small beginnings come great things. For proof that this well-known adage is true, just ask members of Circle of Friends. In 1984, a small group of women decided they wanted to help pediatric cancer patients at Cook Children’s Medical Center. They named their group Circle of Friends, and that year they hosted a painted pumpkin sale that raised $3,000.
Since then the group, now at more than 100 members, has painted more than 28,000 pumpkins and donated 50,000 volunteer hours for programs at Cook. Proceeds from the sale (now around $20,000 annually) and other in-kind donations from the group have generated more than $1 million for the children’s hematology and oncology programs at Cook.
In recognition of their remarkable contributions, the hospital recently honored Circle of Friends at the Cook Children’s Annual Celebration of Generosity at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth.
“Circle of Friends has passionately supported Cook Children’s hematology and oncology patients for over three decades,” said Cook Children’s Health Foundation spokeswoman Cheryl Clark. “Their dedication to enhancing the lives of our patient families has made an incredible impact on generations of families within our community. We are incredibly grateful for their friendship.”
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Member Sian Rees said the club has focused its support on several programs for the young patients and their families, including Camp Sanguinity, the emergency assistance fund, Camp Jubilee and others.
Rees said the group helps provide airfare for 18- to 25-year-old cancer patients to participate in a camp in Minnesota as well as contributing money for a teen survivors retreat. Another key initiative funded by the group is the annual Remembrance Dinner, where families gather to remember children who have been lost to cancer.
“Circle of Friends has given our time and our hearts to sick children, never expecting anything in return except for the knowledge that we have made Christmas better, one family at a time,” said President Jill Bradley.
“To have Cook Children’s recognize this in such an elaborate and generous fashion gives us even more credibility as an organization and not only helps us grow our efforts but strengthens our mission to help children with cancer."
Apply by Jan. 15 for
The Southlake Women’s Club Foundation is inviting nonprofit groups that serve women, children and families in Northeast Tarrant County to apply for funding to support future programs.
The available funds are provided through proceeds from the Art in the Square event that the Southlake Women’s Club presents each spring. The next event is set for April 22-24 at Southlake Town Square.
“Since 2000 the Southlake Women’s Club Foundation has raised and given over $2,300,000 to philanthropies across NE Tarrant County,” said spokeswoman Sherri Whitt. “In 2015 over $190,000 was given to beneficiaries.” Contact Whitt at 817-944-4408 or Sjwswc1@aol.com.
All applications must be postmarked or submitted online by Jan. 15 to be considered. Beneficiaries will be presented at the Strokes of Art in the Square reception Feb. 21. Grant application and guidelines are available at www.artinthesquare.com.
APEX Arts League presents ‘Peter & the Wolf’
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will perform the classic tale Peter and the Wolf at White’s Chapel in Southlake at 3 p.m. Jan. 17 presented by APEX Arts League.
Young and old alike will enjoy the story of Peter and his friends in the meadow outside Grandfather’s house as they try to outsmart the hungry wolf. Bring the kids early at 2 p.m. to experience the instrument petting zoo, where they can see, hear and touch the different instruments of the orchestra. After the show, refreshments will be served by APEX Arts League.
“FWSO Assistant Conductor Daniel Black and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra team up with special guests Kids Who Care, for a performance everyone in the family will enjoy,” said Apex spokesman Blake McKinney.
Southlake-based Apex Arts League sponsors a variety of performing and visual arts programs in the local area and has announced the remainder of the shows for the current season. Performances will include “The Debut…Arts on the Marq” on Jan. 23 at the beautiful new arts venue, The Marq, in Southlake’s Bicentennial Park.
Also coming up are the Jazz Festival on Feb 27, a performance by the Fort Worth Opera on March 10 and the Dallas Bach Society on April 15. Check out the whole season at www.apex-arts.org.
Celebrate your jiggle at Jiggle Butt Run
Sorry guys, but this event is for gals only. It’s a milestone year as the Jiggle Butt Run prepares for the 10th anniversary of women celebrating their jiggle at the increasingly popular 5K set for 9 a.m. Saturday at the E.H. Hereford University Center at the University of Texas at Arlington. Proceeds benefit SafeHaven of Tarrant County, and more than $100,000 has been raised by the event since it began.
“Celebrating 10 years of our homegrown race has been an amazing journey,” said Mary Hibbs, who founded the event with friends Shelley Tardy and Karen Bondurant. “The number of steadfast sponsors and returning runners and walkers continues to remind us that we are providing an important event for women to support women. And our committee is having a blast working together.”
The 5K is for all levels of fitness and open to all ages. Individuals are welcome to enter, but the race is well known for team entries. Online pre-registration ends Wednesday.
A fun awards ceremony will recognize the fastest, most spirited, largest and best dressed (for crazy, themed costumes) teams. Individual awards for best times in various age categories will also be presented. A lively pre-race warm-up will be led by a local DJ.
Participants and spectators alike will enjoy visiting the various exhibits in the expo that accompanies the event. Be sure to get some of the cool Jiggle Butt Run merchandise. And help fill up a truck loaded with items that residents at SafeHaven’s shelters can use.
Items that SafeHaven indicates are immediately needed include AA batteries, women and children’s pajamas, baby wipes, children and teen’s underwear and socks, and powdered laundry detergent. Other items are also welcome. Representatives from SafeHaven will be on hand to meet and greet race attendees.
Terre Coble, the volunteer coordinator for the past seven years, said: “I have so enjoyed getting people plugged into our event. We have volunteers at almost every corner of the course to cheer participants as they pass.”
Coble said students from Arlington schools also volunteer, including members of the National Honor Society, Key clubs, cheer squads and others. “It's great to see our youth working in the community and with us.”
Arlington resident Karen Rogers registered early for the event and plans to participate with a friend. “I have done many 5Ks, but this is my first time for this one. I decided to kick 2016 off with exercise.”