Arlington Citizen-Journal

Eyes on Arlington: Kids can relate to pets through annual essay contest

Perhaps not all kids love to write, but it’s safe to say that nearly all kids love animals. Capitalize on that fondness for animals to develop your children’s writing skills by encouraging them to enter the upcoming Arlington Animal Essay Contest.

Now in its 14th year, the contest is open to Arlington third- through sixth-graders. The goal of the annual competition, according to animal services volunteer coordinator Cheri Colbert, is to encourage responsible pet ownership and educate children about how shelter animals can find a home.

Third-graders will opine about what their tasks might be if asked to work at the animal shelter. Students in fourth grade will cover what homeless animals must do to survive. How to control the overpopulation of pets is the topic for fifth-graders, while sixth-graders will pen essays on the effects of pet overpopulation on the ecosystem.

Fabulous prizes — a Kindle Fire and a $100 savings account — from generous donors Beacon E&P and EECU will go to first-, second- and third-place winners.

Winners will be announced at the schools in early February and will be honored at a City Council meeting on March 3.

Entries — due by 5 p.m. Jan. 16 — may be hand-delivered to City Hall or submitted to the classroom teacher. Ask teachers for details or call Colbert at 817-459-6183 or visit

Levitt honors volunteers and supporters

The folks at Levitt Pavilion, purveyors of all things fun, rang in the holidays at the South Street Patio recently as they welcomed guests at a party to honor volunteers and sponsors.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band entertained guests as they mingled and enjoyed a fajita buffet before Executive Director Patti Diou thanked sponsors with gifts for their support of the 62 free concerts that the Levitt presented last season.

Praising the generosity of the Levitt volunteers, spokeswoman Cathy O’Neal announced Anna Gant as the 2014 Volunteer of the Year. “Anna earned this award by going above and beyond, especially in working with and accommodating our audiences and working to make their Levitt experience a good one,” said O’Neal.

“Last year, our 40-plus volunteers donated 1,309 volunteer hours and collected more than $50,000 in donations by passing the buckets after every concert,” O’Neal said.

Gant said she thoroughly enjoyed the time she donated, finding it very rewarding and jokingly added that becoming one of the “bucket babes” influenced her decision to join the ranks of the Levitt volunteers.

While hush-hush about the artists she is booking for the summer season, Diou did offer a sneak peak by revealing that the March Fourth Marching Band, Trout Fishing in America and The O’s will be returning to the Levitt stage.

A career well spent

Congratulations to Mary Jean Moloney, the director of public affairs for Atmos Energy, as she retires after four decades with the company. Moloney was feted at a reception last week where a large crowd gathered to give her a big send-off.

State Rep. Bill Zedler presented a flag that flew over the state Capitol to Moloney as he praised the work she has done in the community on behalf of the energy company. A House proclamation was read by state Rep. Diane Patrick extolling Moloney’s impressive résumé.

Former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, after commending Moloney on her remarkable service to charities and nonprofits — which included a stint as Rotary’s first female president and 16 years as a mentor in the Richard Greene Scholarship program — said he would be among the long line of people with suggestions for her postretirement volunteer work.

In recognition of Moloney’s long involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Atmos presented a generous donation to the charity in her honor.

Moloney thanked her co-workers, friends and family as she recalled the various assignments she had during her 40-year stint with Atmos, which began in Greenville as the consumer information specialist in 1974. “The joy of my work has been the community connections,” she said.

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