Thanks-Giving Art


2014 1st Place Winner in Art–Osvaldo Rosas

Every year for the past decade, students in grades K–12 have used various forms of art to tell the world (and the judges) what they are most grateful for.

Since 2005, the Thanks-Giving Foundation (TTFG) has sponsored a series of art contests titled “Expressions.” This year the category of dance will be reintroduced and the contest will be renamed “Expressions of Gratitude” to celebrate its 10th anniversary and the foundation’s 50th.

This year’s theme, “I am Grateful for the Golden Rule” focuses on an integral aspect of The Thanks-Giving Foundation’s mission: to treat others as one would his or herself.  Parents and teachers are encouraged to have a lesson with young people using suggested discussion questions including, “Where do you see the Golden Rule being used?” and “How does the practice of this idea affect your attitude and behavior?”

Judges will include professionals from major museums, libraries, public and educational institutions as well as individual artists. The entries will be judged by category (visual art, essay and dance) and grade level. Winners will receive cash awards from $25–$100 and their teacher or school will receive twice the amount to put towards art supplies. The winning entries will be displayed at the Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas and various other locations.

In the contest’s history, it has attracted thousands of entries throughout Texas as well as eight other states and five other countries. The contest runs Sep 15–Dec 15.

For more information on how to enter, visit

DFWChild hearts Wee Volunteer


Courtesy of Wee VolunteerIn our September issue now out on newsstands, we announced a new partnership with Wee Volunteer, a one-of-a-kind nonprofit run by mom of two Michelle Chase that hosts hands-on volunteer activities for littlest of philanthropists.

Wee Volunteer takes families out into the field — to food banks, the SPCA and more local organizations — to teach kids at a young age that they can make a difference.

Each month, we’ll be highlighting a new service project for you and the kids to join, starting with Wipe Out Graffiti, a program open to kids as young as 5 to help clean up illegal graffiti in Dallas.

A rep with the City of Dallas Department of Code Compliance will explain to the group about the difference between sanctioned street art and vandalism, Home Depot provides the paint, and you and the kids provide the elbow grease.

The next Wipe Out Graffiti event is set for Saturday, September 13 from 10am–noon, and the project fee is $10 per child.

Register online at to secure your spot or call 817/800-3537 for more information.

Groundbreaking party at Alamo Drafthouse Las Colinas


Alamo - Las Colinas rendering. Image by Gensler Architecture - 3
We’ve already shared our affection for Alamo Drafthouse’s outside-the-box movie theater offerings — quote-alongs, dance-alongs, Saturday morning cartoons — and now, fresh off its announcement of its second DFW location coming to Dallas, they’ve just announced a third location planned for Las Colinas.

The theater will open in spring 2016 at the future site of the Music Factory, a new entertainment complex (check out the video here), and they’re throwing a free, family-friendly groundbreaking party this Saturday night, August 30, to celebrate.

Grab your camping chairs and watch an outdoor showing of the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark in 35mm on a 40-foot blow-up screen.

Granted, Raiders has a bit more mature content than its original PG rating (it was the ’80s) suggests so you’ll have to decide if your kids are old enough to see it, but the screening is open to all ages and they’ll have “temple-themed” bounce houses for the kids, as well as whip demonstrations, food trucks and for the adults, local craft beers.

Gates open at 7pm and the cinema will be located at 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd.

Love all the Indiana Jones movies? Labor Day weekend is your last chance to see the special exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History featuring costumes, memorabilia and a digital scavenger hunt for the kids.

Healthy Huddle

posted by on 2014.08.19, under Charity, Healthy Families
Hurles Scales signs footballs during the NFLPA Dallas Healthy Huddle launch party with Monarch Dental on August 18 in Dallas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Smile Brands Group, Inc.)

Hurles Scales signs footballs during the NFLPA Dallas Healthy Huddle launch party with Monarch Dental on August 18 in Dallas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Smile Brands Group, Inc.)

This week, the Dallas chapter of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) launched a new program called Healthy Huddles. The program aims to equip retired NFL players and their families with affordable dental insurance while giving them the opportunity to participate in a Community Smile Project that will impact the lives of underprivileged youth in the area.

Each quarter, NFLPA members can nominate one outstanding underprivileged child to receive free dental care from Monarch Dental. The dental offices have 56 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, meaning more than 200 children will have access to free services.

At least 15 NFLPA chapters will participate in the Healthy Huddle Project, with the Dallas chapter being the first. “It’s not about the team you play for,” says Byron Williams, NFLPA Dallas chapter president and former NFL player. “It’s about playing like a team.”

For more information visit monarchdental/healthyhuddle 

Local kids publish Texas-themed picture book

posted by on 2014.08.14, under What to do today!
Photo courtesy Graphic Arts Books and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth

Photo courtesy Graphic Arts Books and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth

Here’s the best new book to add to your child’s collection: T is for Texas, created here by 23 kids from the North Fort Worth branch of the Boys & Girls Club. The group collaborated with an editor from WestWinds Press to create the 32-page alphabet book, the seventh in the See-My-State series.

Every page features a word that represents the local history and culture (H is for Horned Lizard, S for State Fair and V for Vaqueros) followed by two lines of rhyming text. Check out the back of the book for more fun facts and a list of the kids who contributed to the book.

In a press release, Daphne Barlow Stigliano, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth, wrote, “Developing T is for Texas was such an enriching experience for our youth. They were able to not only learn more about their home state, but also learn about poetry and the creative process.”

Order the book online for $13.99 or pick up a copy at the official book launch this Saturday, August 16, at noon when the club kids will be signing books at Monkey and Dog Books, located inside Feastivities catering. 3637 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth; 817/377-3011.

Good to note: Proceeds from the book sales won’t be going back to the Boys & Girls Clubs, so if you’re looking for other ways to give, reps from the club have a few suggestions:
-make monetary donations via the website
-adults can sign up as volunteers to read to club kids
-bring in-kind donations (school supplies, children’s books, toys) to the book launch on Saturday, or to the organization’s main office at 3218 E. Belknap St. in Fort Worth, open Monday–Friday from 8am–5pm.

In the hot seat: tethered hot air balloon rides


Highland Village Lions Club Hot Air Balloon Festival, photo courtesy Francois Bota Photography

Highland Village Lions Club Hot Air Balloon Festival, photo courtesy Francois Bota Photography

Hot air balloons are a rare sight in DFW (OK, they’re a rare sight anywhere). So we’d be lying if we said that spotting a balloon’s rainbow-colored panels floating in the distance didn’t elicit squeals of elation.

Late this summer, far more hot air balloons will be floating around the skies thanks to three weekend-long festivals:
Highland Village Lions Club Hot Air Balloon Festival, August 15–17
Celina Balloon Festival, September 12–14
Plano Balloon Festival, September 19–21

Each festival will have balloon glows at dusk and its own lineup of special entertainment during the day:
Highland Village: dachshund races
Celina: carnival rides, human hamster balls, a zip line, helicopter rides
Plano: parachute teams, fireworks, concerts and a kids’ fun zone

But rather than only watching the hot air balloon pilots from the sidelines, take the family to experience a more kid-friendly alternative to a high altitude balloon ride.

Pilots at all three festivals will be offering tethered balloon rides. This means that the balloon, while still roped down to the ground, will ascend into the air a few dozen (or more) feet and then come back to the ground. Of course, parents must accompany their kids, but the rides are open to children who are at least tall enough to see over the basket. Depending on the size of the basket, there may be room for three or four family members to climb inside with the pilot.

At each festival, the tethered balloon rides are first-come, first-served, take place in the mornings and evenings, and cost a bit extra in addition to festival admission so bring your cash if you or the kids want to try this out. We’ll be in line waiting for our turn.


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