Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Needlepoint show aids preservation

Ellen Hames, Kathy Sneed and Suzie Russell at the 2015 “Needlepoint” exhibit.
Ellen Hames, Kathy Sneed and Suzie Russell at the 2015 “Needlepoint” exhibit.

Greetings, fans of Social Eyes! This week, I’m stepping into the (always stylish) shoes of Faye Reeder — who also answers to the name Mom when I’m around — to bring you the latest events and happenings on the social-charitable scene in and around Tarrant County.

It’s reminding me of the days when I was an adorable little girl playing dress-up with her clothes and accessories — or as Mom describes it, the days when “my sneaky tween used to steal my stuff and probably spill something on it.” I prefer my version of events.

You’ll be hearing from me here and there while Faye is busy working on a special project. Be sure to keep your story ideas and news tips coming while she’s gone — and if you notice me carrying around her rhinestone clutch bag that really looks better on me, well, we can just make that our little secret. In the meanwhile, let’s take a look at what’s happening this week and next with our friends in the nonprofit world:

Stitches in time

‘A Needlepoint Love Story’ at Thistle Hill keeps the vibrant threads of history alive

This week, the storied Thistle Hill Mansion will transform itself into a craft lover’s paradise when Historic Fort Worth Inc. throws the doors open for the third annual installment of “A Needlepoint Love Story,” a 500-piece showcase of “exquisite needlework pieces from private collections made for every holiday, occasion and reason,” according to Suzy Coleman, Historic Fort Worth’s special event coordinator.

“As word about this wonderful event has spread, many new and talented stitchers are joining our returning stitchers to share some of their most incredible treasures,” Coleman said. “This year, we’re excited to include two exceptionally large pieces, one of which took more than two years to complete and one that took six years to complete.”

Those who enjoy bubbles with their needlework (and who doesn’t?) should plan to attend the early evening VIP champagne reception Wednesday, where you can bid on silent auction items and mingle with the event’s 70-plus needlepoint artists.

By the way, if you’ve never been to Thistle Hill, you’re in for a rare treat. Constructed in the early 1900s, this Cattle Baron-era mansion was the venue for many a grand affair back in the day and holds its own as one of Cowtown’s most charming tourist and special-event destinations, not to mention the setting for a delightful ghost story or two.

Noteworthy features of the landmark include a stunning grand staircase, intricately carved woodwork, a stately terrace and a tea house. One step inside and you’re transported back in time — even the aroma of Thistle Hill evokes instant feelings of Old World elegance.

Proceeds from “A Needlepoint Love Story,” chaired this year by Sualice Armstrong and Sally Vaughn, benefit the preservation efforts of Historic Fort Worth Inc., led by John Roberts. Check out the group’s Facebook page for latest-greatest information about the battle to keep Fort Worth’s rich history alive and well, including updates about proposed development in the Stockyards and the nomination process for the 2016 Most Endangered Places list.

The details: “A Needlepoint Love Story” runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at 1509 Pennsylvania Ave. A ticket for the champagne kickoff Wednesday goes for $75; tickets for the exhibit are $20 at the door or $15 in advance. You can purchase via the group’s website at historicfortworth.org/events or at any of the following retailers: The French Knot, Fancy Stitches, Creative Stitches and Needlepoint This.

Take a punch at Parkinson’s disease

The Mission Possible gala will raise funds to support a not-your-ordinary therapy program for people fighting the effects of Parkinson’s disease

Anyone who has faced the mighty challenges of Parkinson’s disease has probably had the urge to take a swing at something on more than one occasion. At the University of Hard Knocks gym in Fort Worth, Parkinson’s patients get to do just that in the Punching Out Parkinson’s program, a no-contact boxing regimen (created by gym owner and former world boxing champion Paulie Ayala) that helps people with Parkinson’s improve coordination, strength, balance and confidence.

During sessions, participants get to spar with professional trainers (who don’t hit back) and go through speed bag and jump rope workouts, plus share some fellowship with others facing similar challenges. The goal of the program is to help patients regain or maintain the basic physical abilities that Parkinson’s can destroy, which is why many of the participants describe the effort as a “lifesaver”.

If you’d like to support Punching Out Parkinson’s and enjoy a memorable evening in the bargain, snag a ticket to the upcoming Mission Possible gala, set for next week at one of downtown Fort Worth’s most stylish venues, the historic Ashton Depot.

The party features a seated dinner and the chance to listen to keynote speaker Richard Clifford, a retired astronaut with no fewer than three space shuttle missions under his belt, one of which was completed after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Equally impressive is the event’s auction, which offers guests the chance to bid on an F-35 simulator demonstration at Lockheed Martin (for those not in the know, that’s a super-stealth, lightning-fast fighter jet), a private dinner catered by the legendary Grady Spears, a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA that includes airfare and a weekend getaway on the Brazos River.

Mission Possible is chaired by Bob McClellen (who, by the way, is also a Punching Out Parkinson’s participant) as well as Donald Wells and Murray Zoota. Honorary co-chairs are Paulie and Leti Ayala. Proceeds from the event will help offset program training costs and equipment purchases.

The details: Mission Possible is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ashton Depot, 1501 Jones St. in Fort Worth. Single tickets are $100 each; prices for a table of 10 begin at $2,500 and include a few extra perks. You can purchase tickets at the University of Hard Knocks gym, 6913 Camp Bowie Blvd., or by calling Jan Simus Events at 817-763-5087.

Art is in the air (or in Southlake, in the Square)

The Strokes of Art in the Square kickoff for the popular spring arts festival highlights this year’s Southlake Women’s Club beneficiaries

One of the always-fun-to-look-forward-to spring happenings in Tarrant County is the annual Art in the Square event, a fine-art and entertainment festival staged by the Southlake Women’s Club, which is currently led by Sarah Close.

Festival fans can sample a preview of the fun to be had at this year’s event, set for April 22-24, at the Strokes of Art in the Square kickoff reception today. During the reception, you’ll have the chance to nosh on goodies from Kroger, check out some of the artwork that’s a part of this year’s festival (and cast your vote for the 2016 People’s Choice winner) and watch the unveiling of the art for the 2016 festival T-shirt.

The kickoff reception is sponsored by the Southlake Women’s Club, the Apex Arts League, the city of Southlake and the Southlake Arts Council. Proceeds from the arts festival support grants benefiting women and children’s charities in Northeast Tarrant County. If you’re at the kickoff, you’ll have the chance to congratulate the winners of this year’s grant awards in person, since they’ll be announced by festival organizers (led by 2016 festival chair Kris Nelson) during the reception.

The details: Strokes of Art in the Square is today from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main St. No ticket required.

At a glance

While you’ve got your datebook out, don’t forget about:

Fashion-Able, benefiting Helping Restore Ability

Featuring styles by Ming Wang, ZAR Clothier and Kendra Scott — all worn exclusively for this event by models with disabling conditions — this fashion show is sure to be one that elevates, excites, and inspires. Event chairs: Dawn Neufeld, Rosalind Rice, Sheryl Holloran and Sharon Little. Details: 6 p.m. Thursday at Lofty Spaces, 816 Montgomery St. in Dallas. Tickets: $30. To purchase or learn more: 817-635-6020 or hrafashionableshow.eventbrite.com

8th Annual Apex Jazz Festival, sponsored by the Apex Arts League

Some of the swingin’-est cats in town will be grooving at this don’t-miss jazz extravaganza, including the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band. Event chair: Becky Miltenberger. Details: 7 p.m. Saturday at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church, at 185 S. White’s Chapel Blvd. in Southlake. Tickets: $5 for students and Apex members; $10 general admission. To purchase or learn more: 800-481-8914 or jazz.unt.edu/oneoclock.

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

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