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News United Way expands children’s book program

United Way expands children’s book program

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.


United Way of Tarrant County is expanding Imagination Library, a free book distribution program for preschoolers, to benefit more families. Started by recording artist Dolly Parton, Imagination Library is a national program that mails books monthly to children from birth to age 5 to encourage a love of reading. United Way established the local program in 2008. More than 79,000 books have been distributed to thousands of local youngsters during the last five years. More than 670 children are currently enrolled. This fall the program is expanding to five more ZIP codes: 76104 and 76164 in Fort Worth, 76011 and 76012 in Arlington and 76039 in Euless. These areas join ZIP codes where the program is already under way: 76105 and 76119 (Fort Worth), 76010 and 76014 (Arlington), 76040 (Euless) and 76117 (Haltom City). Families in designated ZIP code areas can sign up for the program at nonprofit agencies, JPS Health Centers, school events and other venues. Once children are enrolled, they continue to receive age-appropriate books until their fifth birthday or until they move out of a designated ZIP code. Children who begin the program at birth can accumulate 60 books.

The Dollywood Foundation buys the books. In Tarrant County, United Way and its partners administer the program, enroll children and pay mailing costs. Once again Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County is underwriting the program with a $50,000 donation. Imagination Library costs related to children who receive services from a JPS Health Center are reimbursed by Partners Together for Health, the foundation for JPS Health Network. Other United Way partners helping with the program are the Arlington, Birdville and Fort Worth independent school districts; Northeast Leadership Forum, and Tarrant County Child Care Management Services operated by Child Care Associates. Organizations that would like to enroll children in the program can email Emily Furney, United Way community development vice president, at emily.furney@unitedwaytarrant.org.

Fashion show features local leaders Fashionistas can slip on stilettos to help students reach new heights at the second annual “Wine, Women & Shoes” event benefiting Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County. This year’s event is Oct. 24 at Cendera Center, 3600 Benbrook Highway. It will feature an inaugural fashion show, a silent auction, limited edition wine tastings and culinary delicacies. Ten leading ladies from Tarrant County will walk the runway, showcasing fashion by Macy’s-North East Mall and presented by Susan Huston Fashion Concepts. Models include Kami Bedford, Dr. Lisa Gardner, Melissa Goodroe, Diane Haddock, Janet Hahn, Dr. Marie “Doc” Holliday, Ann Louden and Rosa Navejar. Back again are “Sole Men,” a group of 30 men who present stylish shoes on silver platters to attendees. Male business owners, nonprofit executives, chefs and community leaders will team up with Fort Worth City Council members Joel Burns, Danny Scarth, Dennis Shingleton and W.B. (Zim) Zimmerman to learn the difference between a kitten and stacked heel as “Sole Men.” Vendors showcasing their fall looks include Adair Eyewear, A Lost Treasure, Diana E. Kelly, Kendra Scott, Malouf’s, Nancy Garland Exclusive, Nicola Bathie and Stanley Eisenman Shoes. Wineries in attendance will be New Age by Quintessential, Art + Farm, Girls in the Vineyard, Circadia, One Hope, Raymond, Buena Vista, Frenchie, Amberhill, Vibrant Rioja, Justin and Landmark. A VIP happy hour with NBS 5’s Deborah Ferguson will start at 5 p.m. and the fashion show at 6. Tickets are $125; the Girlfriend Package (four tickets and VIP hour) is $400; and the Girlfriend Deluxe Package (eight tickets, VIP hour and priority fashion show seating) is $800. Tickets are available at www.cistarrant.org.

Dinner with Laura Bush Tickets are still available for the Great Conversation Dinner benefiting Alliance for Children on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Fort Worth Club. Former first lady Laura Bush is this year’s keynote speaker. Attendees will spend dinner sharing stories and ideas with their chosen table speaker. Guest speakers include attorney and politician George P. Bush; Gordon England, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Indy Car driver and champion Johnny Rutherford; TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte; Pam Minnick, co-owner of Billy Bob’s Texas; director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Andrew Walker; Alice Walton, CEO of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; and Pro Football Hall of Famer Rayfield Wright. For table sales and ticket information, visit www.allianceforchildren.org/great-conversation-dinner.

Send nonprofit items to Betty Dillard at bdillard@bizpress.net  


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