Celebrating four decades of helping those who are disabled live independent lives, Arlington-based charity Helping Restore Ability will host a festive fashion and food benefit. HuRrAh! is the clever moniker chosen for the milestone anniversary gala set for May 20 at Park Place Motorcars in Arlington.

HRA Women’s Auxiliary member Rosalind Rice is chairing the event with a big assist from Sharon Little, Sheryl Holloran, Dawn Neufeld, Jessica O’Neill and Rebecca Massiatte.

Arriving guests will sip on hand-shaken margaritas at a cocktail hour before a gourmet dinner prepared by Blue Mesa is served. Later, HRA will take it to the runway for a unique fashion show as the main event featuring models who are the disabled clients of HRA along with their attendants wearing the latest fashions from area boutiques and designers.

Trendy fashions from Clothes Circuit, Gracie Lane and Ming Wang will have the audience primed and ready to renew their own spring wardrobes. New York-based Alter Ur Ego and Runway of Dreams will be providing adaptive fashion clothing.

HRA served more than 1,000 clients and provided in excess of 1.5 million hours of care last year for those with physical or intellectual disabilities. The agency serves all income levels, providing personal attendant services and long-term support to clients of all ages with a disabling condition.

“Helping Restore Ability is more than a worthy endeavor — it is a lifesaving one. The change they make in the lives of others reminds me of a quote by Tim Russert that reflects what is most important in my life: ‘The best exercise for the human heart is reaching down to lift someone else up,’ ” said Michael Reiswig, president and chief executive officer of OCI Holdings and HRA board member.

Among the fashion models will be 17-year-old Bowie High School sophomore CJ Eliassant, Jr. and little brother Caleb along with their aunt Shaunterria Gordon who is CJ’s attendant. Although CJ uses a motorized wheelchair and is nonverbal, he enjoys going to Six Flags, hip-hop dances at church and playing baseball in Arlington’s Miracle League. “Life is never dull with my CJ — he keeps me on my toes and is just a really cool kid,” said his mom, Katrell.

Others walking the runway wearing the latest fashions will be Austin Underwood, owner of Austin’s Underdawgs food truck, and Elizabeth Hammond, who is the managing director for the Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas.

“I encourage everyone to join me by lifting up people like CJ, making a donation to HRA or by attending the 40th anniversary celebration,” Reiswig said.

Capably handling hosting duties will be radio personality Hondo Robertson, host of the Front Porch Show on 99.5 The Wolf as well as being on the air at 96.3 KSCS. At a seated dinner guests will dine on apple chipotle glazed pork tenderloin and stuffed chicken breast along with sweet corn cakes and roasted veggies. A cash bar will be open serving your favorite adult beverages.

For $25, guests can pull a cork to see which of 50 vintages they will take home from the wine pull. Impressive auction swag includes a weekend use of a Mercedes-Benz, a Big Green Egg, a Day of Indulgence at Neiman Marcus, a year’s worth of gift cards for date nights and original art by Christopher Martin. Auction items can be viewed online beginning May 8.

Advocacy for disabled people is of paramount importance, and HRA annually recognizes someone who has gone above and beyond in standing up for causes that benefit this population by presenting the Sam Provence Award. Provence was the founder of HRA and was instrumental in making wheelchair access at college campuses a requirement, and he helped initiate Arlington’s Handitran transportation services for the elderly and disabled. This year’s Provence Award recipient will be revealed at the event.

Tickets start at $100 each and are available at hand.bid/hurrah. Direct inquires to HRA executive Caroline Basham at cbasham@hratexas.org or 817-635-6036.

Aspiring designers create fashion looks from items at Goodwill stores in fun competition and show

The upcoming Project Goodwill design competition and gala on May 2 at the Omni Hotel hosted by Goodwill Fort Worth sounds like some unique fun. Besides the fashion show and competition, guests will enjoy cocktails, dinner, a wine raffle, mystery box sale and a silent auction.

“Aspiring designers from the community are tasked with designing wearable garments using $100 worth of unconventional materials from local Goodwill stores and presenting those looks in a runway show during the event,” said spokeswoman Liz Confiliano. “Previous participants have used materials including lampshades, album covers, tinfoil pans, air filters and more to complete their looks.”

Judging the competition will be Texas Wesleyan professor Joe Allen, Neiman Marcus buyer Melina Mayfield-Williams, design consultant Kanani Mahelona, marketing manager of Highland Park Village Ashley Griffin and Debby Stein from the Riverside Arts District. Competitors will come from high schools and colleges along with professional designers and crafters who enter.

All event proceeds go to the Moncrief-Ryan Scholarship Fund supporting initiatives focusing on the homeless, at-risk youth, post-9-11 veterans, the disadvantaged and the disabled. Tickets are $150 each. Contact Confiliano at 817-332-7866, ext. 2049.

▪ Founder’s Day at Wild Rose Heritage Center is May 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Old Town Keller, 133 E. Bates St.

The event will feature oldtime music, the Heritage Market, children’s crafts and games, demonstrations of yesteryear’s skills and tours of the Heritage Center. Admission is free. The center has rotating exhibits all year and a gift shop. It strives to preserve history and artifacts. Call 817-281-3929 to inquire.

▪ Southlake Garden Tour is May 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hosted by The Southlake Perennial Garden Society, the tour will feature “six amazing and very different gardens. Each garden will offer an educational presentation. Master gardeners will be on hand to provide helpful garden advice and answer questions.” To inquire about tickets and garden locations, email susan@slssig.com or learn more at www.facebook.com/SouthlakeGardenTour/.


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