Archive for December 2009

Nominating Process Begins for Annual Award

by Joy Donovan on December 18, 2009

The deadline is Dec. 31 for nominations for SafeHaven of Tarrant County’s 2nd Annual Legacy of Men Award.

The Legacy of Men Award honors a man who works or lives in Tarrant County and who has made important contributions to the fight against domestic violence. Last year’s recipient was Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboy tight end. The football standout founded the SCORE Foundation, which funds a male-mentor position in domestic violence shelters across Texas, including SafeHaven.

This year’s breakfast will be held on Feb. 15, and Mack Brown, head football coach at the University of Texas, will be the event’s keynote speaker.

To obtain a nomination form, visit or call 817-535-6462, ext. 119 or email

SafeHaven of Tarrant County, a nonprofit organization, works to end family violence through safety, support, prevention and social change. SafeHaven’s two emergency shelters, one in Arlington and one in Fort Worth, accommodate more than 17o women and children, making SHTC one of the largest shelters in Texas.

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Spain-Howard Engagement Announced

by Larre Green on


Bryan A. Howard and Laura M. Spain

Mr. and Mrs. Bryan L. Spain of Arlington are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Laura M. Spain, to Bryan A. Howard, son of Mr. Andy H. Howard and Mrs. Catherine A. Walger. 

The bride-elect earned a bachelor of business administration and a master of business administration from Texas Christian University and is a partner in Hygeia Paragon Holdings, Inc. The groom-to-be received a bachelor of environmental design from Texas A & M University and is a project manager for C.B. Richard Ellis. 

The couple plans to marry Jan. 30 at Meadowbrook United Methodist Church in Fort Worth and will honeymoon on a Caribbean cruise.

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Miss Blum Weds Dr. Savetsky in New York

by Joy Donovan on December 15, 2009

Elizabeth Pauline Blum became the bride of Dr. Ira Savetsky Nov. 22 in New York City.

Elizabeth Pauline Blum became the bride of Dr. Ira Savetsky Nov. 22 in New York City.

Elizabeth Pauline Blum and Ira Lee Savetsky were married Nov. 22, 2009 in New York City’s historic Roosevelt Hotel.

The bride is the daughter of Laurie and Marvin Blum of Fort Worth.  The groom is the son of Aliza and Richard Savetsky of Long Island, New York.

In the ancient Hebrew tradition, the wedding festivities began with separate cocktail buffet receptions honoring the bride and groom.  After the witnessing of the Ketubah marriage contract at the groom’s tish, Ira was escorted with great fanfare to bless and veil Elizabeth at the bride’s badeken.

The wedding ceremony followed, officiated by the bride’s great uncle, Rabbi Leonard Oberstein.  The bride’s gown of tulle with ivory lace overlay, trimmed with Swarovski crystals and pearls, was designed by Pronovias of Barcelona.  The bride accented her gown with an heirloom brooch from her great grandmother and namesake, Pauline Oberstein.  The bridesmaids were gowned in navy satin designed by Vera Wang.

 Maid of onor was the bride’s lifelong best friend, Sari Hochberger.  Bridesmaids included the bride’s cousins, Dr. Lisa Usdan Portnoy and Aimee Adler, and friends Jennifer Freeman, Lauren Friedman, Lauren Last, Drew Schmidt and Ashley Smith.

Along with their parents, the couple were joined under the chupah wedding canopy by the bride’s grandmother, Elsie Blum; the bride’s brother, Adam Blum; the groom’s sister and brother-in-law, Miriam and Avi Kestenbaum; the groom’s brother, Dr. Michael Savetsky; and the groom’s nephews, Eli and Joseph Kestenbaum, who served as ring bearers.

 A seated dinner followed the ceremony, where guests danced to the music of the Neginah orchestra.

 The bride is a 2004 graduate of Fort Worth’s Trinity Valley School and earned her B.A. degree from New York University, summa cum laude, in 2008.  After completing a post-graduate fellowship in Judaic studies at Neve Yerushalayim in Israel, she now is pursuing a master’s degree in multicultural education at the University of Pennsylvania.

 The groom is a third-year medical student at Temple University.  He graduated from CUNY Queens College, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in economics.  His college honors include membership in Phi Beta Kappa.

 After honeymooning in the Caribbean, the couple are residing in Philadelphia.

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REVIEW: ‘Carols’ Sings Holiday Tune

by Joy Donovan on December 12, 2009

When the Halloween just blends right into the Christmas season, it’s easy for  the devout become jaded by too much commercialization, too much rushing and too much Santa Claus.

Enter “The Forgotten Carols,” a show that brings the fundamentals of Christmas back to those tired of “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” In stark contrast to door-buster sales and long to-do lists, this sweet little show stands for what is most important in the Christmas holiday.

The show written by Michael McLean is the seasonal offering of Artisan Center Theater in Hurst. The musical puts a new twist on the old tale of Christmas Scrooge with a little role reversal. The holiday tale centers on a no-nonsense nurse, appropriately named Constance, and her aging patient, John. Set in Fort Worth, the play John insists on renaming her Connie Lou, and he gently shows her new ways to see life. As opposed to Dickens’ story, the one needing an awakening is a woman, while the one who guides her is a man, who may or may not be who he seems at first.

Set in Fort Worth, the tale unfolds when the nurse is sent to care for John, a kooky, aging gentleman in need of supervision. Constance unenthusiastically allows John to detail why he places certain ornaments on his Christmas tree, and stories woven with the unfamiliar carols from the show’s title.

As John, actor Dennis Canright is convincing and likeable in this leading role. Donna Cates, one of two actresses who play Constance in this double-cast show, transitions well from the stern professional to the warmer, understanding care-giver.

Other standouts include the precious-faced choir boy portrayed by David Rodriguez, the funny cabdriver played by Ted Ung. The role of Sarah, John’s best friend, is performed warmly by Dee Ann Blair, who wears multiple hats as the show’s director and an Artisan Center Theater’s founder.

A highlight of the musical was the “street corner” a cappella chorus of homeless. The song, “Homeless-Like the Christ Child Was,” was ably led by James Lash surrounded by a small ensemble. Also Roberto Reyna’s solo as the king was a high point of the show.

Music is sprinkled throughout the show, and some of the voices aren’t exactly operatic quality. In a way, though, the stretching to hit notes lends the show a human quality, underscoring that even ordinary people can possess meaningful gifts.

And those types of God-given gifts-not the type brought by Santa Claus-are part of the show’s message. For anyone wrapped up in the modern-day trappings of the season, “The Forgotten Carols” serves as a reminder of what Christmas should be about.

The musical, which features a double cast, will continue through Dec. 19 at the Hurst theater, located at 418 E. Pipeline Road.

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New Year\’s Eve

by Joy Donovan on December 6, 2009

Date: 2009-12-31

Location: Planet Earth

Description: Welcome the year 2010–the new millennium celebrates the end of its first decade!

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Purple Newest Christmas Color

by Joy Donovan on

Some of the poinsettias were silver. Most of the women wore black. The party was to raise some green.

But purple was the color of the night at the Presbyterian Night Shelter Christmas Gala Friday at Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth. You know, purple like Horned Frogs from Texas Christian University.

At this party where the weather outside was wonderfully wintery, raising funds for the Presbyterian Night Shelter was the goal. And helping reach that goal was a purple autographed helmet with TCU Coach Gary Patterson’s sig plus football players that helped get TCU that number four ranking in the latest college football polls.

Food stations scattered around the country club offered prime rib and a delish risotto bar, and a band played for dancing. Still the helmet was the topic of discussion for many of the party-goers dressed in cocktail attire.

A bidding war broke out for the helmet, and at last sighting it was drawing more than $3,100. Don’t know who walked off with it, but maybe they’ll get to take it Jan. 4 to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Arizona.

Presbyterian Night Shelter Christmas Gala

6:30 p.m. Friday

Ridglea County Club, 3700 Bernie Anderson Ave., Fort Worth

Individual tickets cost $150 and include dinner, dancing and a silent auction

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5th Annual Casa Manana Childrens\’ Holiday Party

by Joy Donovan on December 1, 2009

Date: 2009-12-13

Location: Casa Manana Theatre, Fort Worth

Start Time: 2:00 pm
Description: Crafts, refreshments and Santa are featured at this party for the whole family.

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Radio City Christmas Spectacular

by Joy Donovan on

Start Date: 2009-12-10

Location: Nokia Theatre, Grand Prairie

End Date: 2009-12-30
Description: The world-famous Rockettes share the stage with Santa Claus.

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Handel\’ss Messiah

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2009-12-07

Location: Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth

Start Time: 7:30 pm
URL: Click here
Description: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Southwestern Seminary Master Chorale combine to present this holiday masterpiece for one night only.

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