Written by Brian Ahern
Blind artist's new exhibit focuses on the creative senses
A new collection of artwork by blind artist George Mendoza has come to the Irving Arts Center (IAC) and will run through November 10. On Sept. 28, Mendoza came to the IAC in person and gave a lecture on his artwork and his outlook on building a successful life while dealing with blindness.
Mendoza lost his sight at the age of 15, yet ever since then he has had constant visions of brilliant colors and shapes. These visions are the primary inspiration for his paintings, and his artwork allows viewers a glimpse inside his head. The title of the exhibit is “Colors of the Wind”, a name which comes from one of his paintings, “What Color is the Wind?” This was a question that awoke his creative spirit as a young man, when it was posed to him by a young girl who had been born blind. “That burning question, in the middle of my depression and suicidal thoughts about losing my sight at that time as a teenager just woke up my creative senses and I guess I’ve spent the rest of my life trying to explain that one question, ‘What color is the wind?’, through art and books,” Mendoza said.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 12:29
Written by Phil Cerroni
Members of the American Business Club (AMBUCS) and community leaders from across Irving gathered at Los Lupes in Irving Mall on Sept. 26 to celebrate the life of Ed Fulbright. A former Irving AMBUCS Chapter President and District Governor, the community organizer passed away six months ago.
Long-time friend and fellow AMBUC, Clifford Baerle, told the fifty guests about Ed’s passion for charity.
“I don’t know if any of you remember the Monte Carlo was our only fundraiser of the year. In between Carl Christy and Ed Fulbright, I think they raised 90 percent of all the gifts and all the funds and everything that we’ve gotten for the event,” Baerle said. “I think Carl was pushing the arm of every car dealer in Dallas County, and I think Brother Yarbrough over here could tell you that Ed squeezed everything he could out of every pawnshop in town.
“Both of those gentlemen were so dedicated to our cause that they spent as much time probably working for AMBUCS as they did for anything else in their lives.”
Besides supporting the AMBUCS’ signature charity, AMTRYKEs – therapeutic tricycles the club donates, free of charge, to children with mobility disabilities – Baerle said Ed was an important mentor.
“I looked up to Ed so much, and so many others did. Ed was always full of wisdom,” Baerle said. “He always had some saying to come back with whenever you asked him a question or why something happened.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 12:25
Written by Colleen Ahern
Woman donates wedding dresses to military brides
After Janie Wood’s brother, William passed away last year, she knew she needed to do something in his honor. William, a retired Navy SEAL, asked that friends and family use the money they might have spent on flowers for the funeral to help men and women in the armed services. In his honor, Janie expanded her non-profit organization, All About the Dress in order to assist service members. Janie’s shop is now stocked with over four hundred wedding dresses, plus shoes, accessories, mother-of-the-bride dresses and flower girl dresses that she intends to give away to military brides.
Janie began All About the Dress in 2008 with the help of her friend, Carla Drew, to provide prom dresses to underprivileged teens. For the first two years, they assisted students in Birdville ISD, but since then they have expanded their reach to girls all across North Texas. She recalls a day when a pair of girls walked for two hours after riding a bus and a train to North Richland Hills in order to request prom dresses. “It’s just so heartwarming to see these girls come in,” says Carla.
When they expanded All About the Dress to assist military brides, the shop initially housed a small rack of wedding dresses. It was only after a wedding store in Southlake heard about what they were doing that their efforts truly took off. Because the Southlake store was moving to a smaller location, they gave Janie a large portion of their inventory. Now, the racks at All About the Dress are brimming with stylish, elegant gowns for women in uniform.
So far, Janie has given away at least ten dresses to military brides and is doing everything she can to increase awareness of her new initiative. Janie has been giving out information at schools and military bases, but has also taken a creative approach. During North Richland Hills’ 4th of July parade this summer, she appeared on a float in camouflage surrounded by young women in formal wear. Often, word of mouth is the best advertisement. Since she started, school counselors have been referring students to her. Now, she hopes that the brides she has helped will spread the word to fellow servicewomen as well as friends who are marrying a service member. Just recently, she provided a dress to a recent college graduate whose husband is in the Army Reserve.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 12:24
Written by Leann Callaway
Over the past few weeks, area youth ministries have been planning and preparing for the upcoming See You at the Pole on Sept. 25 by hosting events to encourage students to invite their friends.
See You at the Pole (SYATP) is an annual nationwide gathering where Christian students meet before classes to pray around school flagpoles.
First Baptist Church (FBC) of Irving hosted a special night of worship with the Jeff Johnson Band which gave students the opportunity to coordinate plans and promote the prayer gathering.
While delivering the message, Colin Hairston, student pastor at FBC Irving, emphasized to students the importance of unity in the body of Christ. At the end of the service, students gathered in small groups to pray for their schools, community and the nation.
“The heart behind the Irving SYATP Rally wasn't about any particular local church, but about the collective Christian Church coming together to unify around Jesus Christ,” Hairston said. “My hope and prayer is that students not only left excited to stand for Jesus at their respective school's SYATP gathering, but more so that their spirits were stirred to love Jesus more and live a life on mission for Him and His glory in their schools.”
Plymouth Park Baptist Church also held their annual Be True To Your School event, a city-wide pep rally featuring performances from local high school cheerleaders and drum lines.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 02:48
Written by Jason Alderman
Millions of young Americans recently began their senior year of high school. If your kid is among them, he or she is probably busy juggling homework, extracurricular activities and maybe a part-time job – all while trying to savor the last official year of childhood and simultaneously prepare for impending adulthood.
You, on the other hand, are likely just wondering how the heck you're going to pay for college.
College may be a year away, but scholarship and loan application deadlines are just around the corner. As you'll soon learn, there are tons of decisions to make and documents to fill out. Plus, some states award aid on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning funds for your child's dream school could be exhausted by the time you get your paperwork together.
If that doesn't make you want to get the jump on financial aid, I don't know what will.
Your first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which is required by virtually all colleges, universities and career schools for federal student aid, as well as for most aid from states and individual colleges.
It's easiest to file an FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. You can also get a hard copy from your child's school or by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID. The FAFSA filing deadline for federal loans isn't until June 30, 2014, but many state and individual school deadlines fall months earlier.
Many types of student aid are available to help cover costs at four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, and trade, career or technical schools, including:
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 02:47