Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

April 22 luncheon will help empower disadvantaged women

Looks like I’m off the hook for writing an (allegedly) clever intro this week, community lovers, because we’ve got too many good things to cover. Let’s get right to it with a look at an upcoming event at Fort Worth’s Ridglea Country Club:

A special alliance

It’s in the Bag lunch and auction fund vital job training programs for women in need

For many women, the shoulder or handbag they carry is a carefully selected, stylish statement about who they are, whether the bag is filled with baby gear, business cards, books or all three.

But for women mired in the depths of poverty or domestic abuse, a bag is probably just a receptacle, a place where they can keep the few tools of survival to which they have access.

So begins the narrative behind the theme of The Ladder Alliance’s upcoming luncheon, which aims to generate revenue to help disadvantaged and disenfranchised women upgrade their bag, so to speak — or more accurately, escape cycles of poverty and violence through hands-on education leading to employment and independence.

“For too many women, the primary barrier between their current situation and a self-reliant, independent life is employment,” said Sharon Cox, the group’s executive director and founder. “At The Ladder Alliance, we help women get over this barrier through no-cost programs that help women gain the skills they need to secure jobs that lead to better futures for themselves and for their children.”

It’s in the Bag will feature an auction of gorgeous handbags (of course!) and luxury items like an aerial tour of Cowtown and a chef-prepared dinner in a BNSF rail car, as well as a delicious seated luncheon that stars grilled fillet and pan-roasted chicken complemented by wine, mimosas, Black Forest cake and strawberry shortcake.

Proceeds benefit the alliance’s training programs in computer use, customer service, office skills and job searching.

Date: April 22. Time: Champagne reception begins at 10:30 a.m.; lunch service begins at 11:30. Venue: Ridglea Country Club (3700 Bernie Anderson Ave.).Tickets: Begin at $100. Event chairs: Misty Kimbrough and Chris Putnam. Learn more: scox@ladderalliance.org or 817-834-2100.

A breakfast for champions

Champions For Kids event promises plenty of early morning inspiration

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not much of a morning person. But even a confirmed night owl like me can get motivated to head out the door early for an event like Champions for Kids.

The high-energy breakfast has long been a signature fundraiser for Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington (led by CEO Steve Wurm), and its charm and personality are quite engaging — especially since you can always count on a few superadorable club members to show up as your breakfast companions.

This year’s Champions for Kids will feature a motivational Q&A hosted by popular Fox Sports Southwest commentator John Rhadigan, who will interview none other than football legend Drew Pearson, one of the NFL’s all-time-great wide receivers and a three-time Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl team member.

A hearty breakfast is part of the deal, as is plenty of piping hot, eye-opening Starbucks coffee. Everything wraps before 9 a.m., so you’ll be on your way to work, highly inspired, in no time at all.

Arlington City Council member Jimmy Bennett will be awarded with one of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington’s most prestigious honors, the Champion of Youth Award. “This award is presented to a community member or organization who through words, actions and financial support shows unwavering dedication to improving the lives of youth,” said spokeswoman Holly Clinton.

Date: April 20. Time: Coffee service begins at 7 a.m.; program begins at 7:30. Venue: Cholula Porch at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Tickets: $250. Learn more: CFKArlington.org or 817-275-6551, ext. 229.

Get ready to scoot your boots off

The Cowtown Ball continues to be a must-do, festive staple of the Fort Worth social season

Although there’s rarely a shortage of Western-themed events to choose from this time of year, this one is pretty much a no-brainer, even if your calendar’s starting to fill up.

The one-and-only Cowtown Ball, a grab-your-best-dancin’-boots bash benefiting the American Cancer Society, promises all manner of country-flavored fun, including a headline performance by singer Aaron Tippin (of You’ve Got to Stand for Something and Ain’t Nothing Wrong With the Radio fame). Dancing is highly encouraged.

There’s also a dinner catered by Bonnell’s, casino games, armadillo races, auctions and midway games, all emceed by Kaley O’Kelley, anchor at CBS 11.

Celebrating its second decade, the Cowtown Ball has generated more than $6 million for cancer research, education and advocacy, and aims to go even higher. “Where else can you wear your best boots, watch the armadillo races and raise funds to fight cancer?” said Joy Donovan Brandon, director of division communications for the cancer society. “We always have a great time, and we know we’re kickin’ cancer with our pointy-toed boots, too.”

Date: April 30. Time: VIP event begins at 5:30 p.m.; main event kicks off at 7. Venue: The Shack at Panther Island Pavilion (395 Purcey St.) Theme: Two-Steppin’ on the Trinity. Tickets: Begin at $250. Event chairs: Cortney Craft and Kim Johnson. Honorary chairs: Becky Renfro Borbolla and Henry Borbolla. Learn more: Lacey.Browning@cancer.org or 817-570-0637.

At a glance

  • An educational luncheon: There are so many cool back stories about this next organization and event that I don’t have enough room to do them justice. You’ll just have to get a ticket and find out for yourself — and trust me, you’re sure to come away inspired from the Communities in Schools of Greater Tarrant County’s 10th annual Celebration Luncheon, which among other event highlights will feature a panel of success story students moderated by local comedy legends Four Day Weekend. Date and time: Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Venue: Fort Worth Club (306 W. Seventh St.) Tickets: Begin at $50. Learn more: cistarrant.org/events.
  • Food for a good cause: The ninth annual Taste of Fort Worth event, benefiting the Northside Inter-Community Agency, is a sure bet for anyone who loves restaurant tastings or who just wants to support the group’s efforts to make sure people in crisis have access to food, clothing and resources. Date and time: April 16 at 7 p.m. Venue: River Ranch Stockyards (500 NE 23rd St.). Tickets: Begin at $75. Learn more: nicaagency.org or 817-626-9043.
  • An evening of hope: They don’t always grab the big headlines, but for more than 25 years, the folks at Samaritan House have been quietly providing stable housing and other services for people with HIV, mental health issues and other challenges. You can support their good work at the third annual Open Doors to Hope event, which includes a dinner and auction. Date and time: April 23 at 7 p.m. Venue: Cendera Center (3600 Benbrook Highway, Fort Worth). Tickets: $125. Learn more: samaritanhouse.org/events.
  • Food for healing: If you’ve ever grappled with serious illness, you understand how important it is for patients to have good nutrition — and how difficult it can be for some patients to make that happen. If you’d like to help the team at Cuisine for Healing continue its efforts to make healthy eating easier for people battling illness, grab a ticket for Survivors in Style, an inspirational fashion show benefiting the group’s unique culinary mission. Date and time: April 29 at 6 p.m. Venue: River Ranch Stockyards (500 NE 23rd St., Fort Worth). Tickets: $65. Learn more: cuisineforhealing.org/survivors.htm or 817-921-2377.
  • Women helping women: The Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon, benefiting the Women of Excellence networking and education series, is April 20 at the Fort Worth Club (306 W Seventh St.). Tickets: $55. Event Host: Janeé Hill. Learn more: janeehill.com/women-of-excellence.

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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