Transportation was identified as the most critical need for many residents of Northeast Tarrant County back in a 2004 survey done by United Way. As a result of that survey and through the work of community volunteers working with local officials, the H-E-B Transit was created.
Now, 10 years later, the transportation service is well established and serves a core clientele in Hurst, Euless, and Bedford as it provides transportation for disadvantaged individuals with thousands of trips annually to job interviews, job training and employment destinations. Catholic Charities operates the service.
“HEB Transit is a lifeline to financial stability for those in the area who would have no transportation to and from work otherwise. We are proud of its nearly 10 years of service to this community,” said Faye Beaulieu, regional director of Northeast United Way.
Beaulieu said five local faith-based agencies qualify riders for passes on the service, based on their need. “These agencies also provide financial support to operate the project: Christian Connection, Mission Central, NEED Center East, St. John the Apostle Catholic Church and 6 Stones Mission Network,” Beaulieu said.
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Officials say that despite its share of setbacks and challenges, the HEB Transit has adapted and developed to improve its service — most notably by increasing its service hours by 170 percent to 108 hours weekly and providing nearly 43,000 work-related trips to eligible transportation-disadvantaged clients.
The Texas Workforce Commission recognized the project as the best example statewide of a coordinated effort to improve service to workers. And the North Central Texas Council of Governments presented the 2009 Regional Cooperation Award to the cities of Hurst, Euless and Bedford in recognition of their cooperation and support of the project.
Officials say plans are underway to increase efforts to promote awareness of the service’s availability in the community. Goals for the future are to position HEB Transit to continue providing demand-response transportation solutions to the transportation-disadvantaged in the H-E-B community.
Direct questions about H-E-B Transit to Beaulieu at 817-282-1160.
Local businesses honored by H-E-B Chamber awards
Fourteen honorees were recognized at the H-E-B Chamber of Commerce Awards Luncheon recently at the Texas Star Conference Center in Euless. The annual event honored local businesses, organizations and individuals for their outstanding support for the H-E-B community and the chamber.
Among those receiving awards were Hingst Enterprises (Small Business of the Year), Affiliated Bank (Midsize Business of the Year), and Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson LLP (Large Business of the Year).
Pete Benenati was named Officer of the Year and Wes Harrison took home Director of the Year honors. Ambassador of the Year was Chris Coyle.
The Gertrude Tarpley Memorial Spirit Award went to Rochelle Ross, and Darryl Day was named Member of the Year. The Community Service Award was presented to Steve Lineweaver, former Trinity HS football coach
The Bill Ridgway Spirit of Enterprise Award went to Steve Bowden, Mike Collins, and Bill Syblon. Receiving the Clyde Mooney Award was David B. Medina, and the Chairman’s Award went to Steve Farco.
Goodtimes Chorus will deliver Singing Valentines
On Feb. 12-14, quartets will fan out across the greater Arlington area to deliver Singing Valentines to special sweethearts. The quartets belong to the Goodtimes Chorus — an award-winning barbershop chorus based in Arlington.
“We’ll send four gents in tuxedos with a silk rose and a valentine card to sing two love songs in four-part a cappella harmony to anyone you choose,” said chorus member Gil Carrick.
Carrick said they will go to a residence, workplace, restaurant, shopping mall, retirement home or the location of your choice to serenade a wife, husband, significant other, boss, or employees. Singing Valentines start at $59 and can be delivered anytime from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Singing Valentine program raises money for various initiatives of the chorus. “One of our main charitable activities is a voice scholarship fund that we have established at UTA. We love to sing and we hope to encourage others to do so as well,” said Carrick.
Catalyst of Hope Luncheon set for Thursday
Local charity 6 Stones will host the annual Catalyst of Hope luncheon on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at its Campus West location, 209 N. Industrial Blvd. in Bedford.
The theme for this year’s event will be “City Transformation” to pay homage to the efforts of the past seven years of community support.
A spotlight moment at the event will be the presentation of the Catalyst of Hope Award to Steve Lineweaver, former Trinity High School football coach of the three-time state champion team. Six Stones officials say additional recognition of the Community Champions during the past year will be a special celebration.
To register to attend the free event, call 817-868-7400.
Eyes on H-E-B guest columnist coming soon
Be on the lookout soon for the occasional Eyes on H-E-B column written by a guest columnist.
I am working on a special assignment for the next several months that will mean I sometimes won’t be available to cover all our great community events and happenings. But we’ll be in good shape because a most capable writer will fill in where needed.
Her name is Rhonda Aghamalian, a freelance writer and communications professional. She’s written many stories in our publications over the years, so some of you may be familiar with her. Or you may know her because she’s my daughter!
So be on the lookout for Rhonda’s byline from time to time. Rest assured she can cover the social scene very well, and I know you’ll love her style.
Please make note that it’s important that you continue sending your news tips and requests for coverage to me as usual.