After donating new playground equipment to Lakewood Park last month, the Lakewood Service League is preparing for its annual fund-raiser, which will be held late this month to raise money for future community service projects, says group spokeswoman Kelly Secker.

The fund-raiser, a dinner dance with a silent and live auction, is scheduled Feb. 24 from 6:30-11 p.m. at the Adolphus Hotel, 1321 Commerce. This year’s theme is “Meet Me in Monte Carlo”.

The league, through voluntary service and financial support, helps charitable organizations in our community and works to improve the quality of life in Lakewood and the surrounding East Dallas area.

The Wilkinson Center, Meals on Wheels, The Greater Lakewood Shepherd Center. Disciples of Holy Trinity, the East Dallas Cooperative Parish and the East Dallas YMCA were among the organizations supported by the league last year.

Community contributions made during last year’s fund-raiser also helped the league purchase new playground equipment for Lakewood Park, located on Williamson Road, and renovate old equipment to meet safety guidelines. The new equipment includes plastic slides, driving wheels and bucket swings for younger children.

Founded in 1982, the league’s original purpose was to develop the park. Members worked with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department to transform what was formerly a muddy creek bottom into a neighborhood playground. The park is still a priority for the league, and members volunteer for on-going clean-ups.

The Feb. 24 auction is the league’s main source of income for 1996. Tickets cost $45 for a heart patron or $100 for a diamond patron. Reservations must be made by Feb. 16. For information, call Genevieve Dittmar at 823-2827.

Developer Wants Lakewood Theater to Show Movies Again

Sometime this year, the lights will be turned on, the marquee will be full, and the Lakewood Theatre will be back in the movie business.

That’s the word from developer Jim Christon, whose investment group took over the theater and surrounding storefronts earlier this year. Christon’s partner is Mark Miranda. Christon says his group is discussing a number of options to reopen the Lakewood, including:

• Leasing it to a national movie operator that would operate the theater as a first-run movie house – preferably in its current, one-screen format. Another possibility is to show first-run films by dividing the facility into three smaller theaters, similar to the format at Highland Park Village.
• Turning the theater into a second-run house, along the lines of the Medallion at Skillman and Northwest Highway.
• Finding a company to run it as an “art house”, similar to the Inwood Theater. Interestingly, Christon says, the company that operates the Inwood has said it isn’t interested in taking over the Lakewood so as not to compete with the Inwood.

“We wouldn’t have bought the theater if we thought it wasn’t viable as a movie house,” Christon says.

“We know there’s a market here, and we just have to do what’s necessary to convince the theater companies that the market exists.”

Other changes, Christon says, will include a well-known Dallas-area restaurant (Christon declined to identify the restaurant) opening in the old White Swan within the next three months and an expansion by Matt’s Rancho Martinez to the other vacant space in the strip.

The group is also working with current tenants, including the Balcony Club, so that they can stay, Christon says.

Emmett P. Ball of Ball & Kraft Realtors, the former manager of the Lakewood Theater strip, sold the theater to Christon and Miranda in December and then closed the Ball & Kraft company.

Ball managed the theater strip for its owners for nearly 40 years and says he was waiting for it to sell before he retired.

DART Plans Neighborhood Meeting at Ridgewood

DART officials will hold a community meeting Feb. 8 from 7-9 p.m. at the Ridgewood Recreation Center, 6818 Fisher, to discuss neighborhood concerns with light rail in the Northeast Corridor.

According to current DART plans, the light rail will extend 11 miles from the Mockingbird station to the Garland Central Transit Center, which is scheduled to open by late 2002.

At the Feb. 8 meeting, DART officials will discuss the segment of the light rail line that extends from the Mockingbird station to Northwest Highway. The location of the Northwest Highway station and a parking lot, as well as safety, noise, landscaping and environmental concerns will be discussed.

City Council members Mary Poss and Craig McDaniel have appointed a committee of neighborhood residents to meet with DART regarding these issues.

For information about DART’s community meetings, call 749-2543.

Chamber Honors Volunteers, Board Members at Annual Banquet

Volunteers and board members were honored at the East Dallas Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet last month.

Honored for their volunteer work were Doyle Files and Tim Parrent, Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries Inc.; Charlotte Herr and Elizabeth Rivera, A.G. Edward & Sons Inc.; John Russell, The Jarvis Press; Mark Shank, Clark, West, Keller, Butler and Ellis L.L.C.; Vance Storey; Linda Watson, Labhart and Co.; and Susan Wells, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society.

The winner of the Les Kelley Leadership Award was Jack Gorman, former president of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society. The Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Tim Forgerson, and the Committee Chair of the Year was presented to Alex Ash.

Also recognized were the Chamber’s newly elected officers, including Chairwoman Sherryl Wesson, RE/MAX About Town; Chair Elect Sandi Vullo, Mass Mutual Life Insurance Co.; First Vice Chairman Mike Pappas, Dallas County Constable; Second Vice Chairman Mark Shank; communications, Rick Wamre, Advocate Community Newspapers; community affairs, Charlotte Herr; events, Linda Watson; membership. Jim Little, TU Electric; Treasurer Keith Cole, Cole-Slaton Financial Services; legal council, Tim Forgerson; and immediate past Chairman Gregory A. Blair, A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc.

News & Notes:

DALLAS PLAN UNDER REVIEW: Community workshops are scheduled from now through March to review the Dallas Plan, a goal-setting agenda for Dallas adopted by the City Council in December 1994. Feb. 22 from 4-7 p.m., Mayor Kirk will host a workshop and citywide open house at City Hall, 1500 Marilla. Feb. 6 from 4-6 p.m., a workshop addressing economical development is scheduled in Methodist Medical Center’s Weiss Auditorium, 1441 N. Beckley. Feb. 8 from 4-6 p.m., a workshop addressing Dallas’ core assets is scheduled at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young. Feb. 12 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., a workshop on neighborhoods is scheduled at Ridgecrest Baptist Church, 5470 Ellsworth. Call 670-5339 for information.

WHOLE FOODS EXPANDS: Whole Foods Market, 2218 Greenville, is undergoing renovations until the end of April and expanding into the vacant space next to the store’s Bluebonnet Café. The new Whole Foods will be a third larger than its old size. The beer, wine and cheese department, as well as the meat and seafood department, will expand. The Bluebonnet was closed last month and is scheduled to reopen this month. The café’s juice bar and deli will offer a wider selection when it reopens. The deli will serve breakfast on weekdays from 8-11 a.m. and lunch and dinner from 11a.m.-10 p.m. daily. On weekends, breakfast will be available from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 824-1744 for information.

FIGHTING GANGS: Det. Samuel E. Schiller with the Dallas Police Department’s Gang Unit speaks to the Lakewood Homeowners Association on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lakewood Country Club, Gaston and Abrams. Call Susan Falvo at 720-1883 for information.

TAX HELP FOR THE ELDERLY: Free income tax help is available to the elderly this month at Dallas Public Libraries, including the Lakewood Branch, 6121 Worth. AARP volunteers will provide tax assistance Mondays from noon-4 p.m. beginning Feb. 12 with the exception of Feb. 19, which is a City holiday. Call 670-1376 for information.

REPUBLICAN WOMEN’S CLUB SCHEDULE: During 1996, the White Rock Republican Women’s Club will meet the third Thursday each month at 7:30 p.m. at the First Interstate Bank Building, Gaston and Abrams. Meetings will be in the building’s community room. The Feb 15 meeting features a forum of candidates currently running for election for various government positions. Call Ruth Barnard, club president, at 348-0817 for information.

EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Neighborhood resident Mary Rodriguez, 41, was recently recognized by the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind as its 1995 Ronald Pearce Blind Employee of the Year. After eight years with the Lighthouse, Rodriguez will represent the organization as she competes nationally for the Peter J. Salmon Award given annually by the National Industries for the Blind. Rodriguez has two daughters and is working to finish her education in the Lighthouse’s GED program. The Lighthouse, 4245 Office Parkway, works to help the visually disabled gain and maintain independence.

COLLEGE GRADUATES: Seven neighborhood residents graduated this winter from East Texas State University in Commerce. Receiving a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies was Shanna D. Moore. Receiving master’s degrees were Elaine Ellington, Judith Miller and Tracy Epstein. Receiving master’s degrees in education were LouAnn B. Mangelsdorf and Lori S. Carothers. Receiving a doctorate degree in education was Jo A. Coleman.

AUCTION BENEFITS ST. THOMAS: St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 6306 Kenwood, holds its Moonlight and Magnolias auction, dance and dinner Feb. 17, at the downtown Harvey Hotel from 6 p.m.-midnight. Call Maureen Patton at 696-3689, Ann Brady at 823-2455 or Jane Ryan at 828-2497 for information. Proceeds benefit St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School.

CHAMBER HOLDS BINGO BENEFIT: Tickets go on sale Feb. 15 for the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce’s annual silent auction and bingo benefit, which will be held April 19 at the Lakewood Country Club, Gaston and Abrams. Tickets cost $25 and include a buffet dinner and three bingo cards. Call 827-8921 for information.

SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS LUNCHEON: The East Dallas Chamber of Commerce will honor several East Dallas businesses during the “The East of Town and Best Around” 1995 Small Business Awards luncheon Feb. 27 at the Radisson Hotel Central. Mayor Ron Kirk will present the awards, which honor businesses in three categories: growth, new business and community contribution. Call 321-6446 for information.

ARBORETUM WORKSHOPS: The Dallas Arboretum offers five workshops to the public this month to conclude its 1995-96 Winter Workshop and Lecture Series. Costs range from free to $35. The final workshops are: “Unifying Plants and Place”, Feb. 3; “Blue Ribbon Perennials and Native Plants”, Feb. 8; “Summer with a Flourish”, Feb. 8; “X-Rated Herbs; Xeriscaping with Water-Shy Herbs”, Feb. 17; and “An Asian Plant for a Texas Landscape”, Feb. 24. Call 327-8263, ext. 129, to register.

NO MORE ARBORETUM FREEBIES: The Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland, is no longer offering free admission on Fridays. Cost is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for children ages 6-12 and free for children under age 6. Until March 1, the Arboretum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Beginning March 1, the Arboretum will close at 6 p.m. Call 327-8263 for information.

NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENT PROMOTED: Paula Rogers has been promoted to assistant cashier of Swiss Avenue Bank, 4217 Swiss. Rogers joined the bank in 1986 and is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University.

NEW GIRLS CLUB FORMS: The American Girls Club is starting a new chapter in our neighborhood, which meets at the Lakewood Library, 6121 Worth. The group’s second meeting is Feb. 10. The group plans to meet the second Saturday each month at 2:30 p.m. Call 670-1376 for information.

CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC OPENS: Dr. Glenn R. Felch recently opened Lakeview Chiropractic, located at 7324 Gaston, Suite 317, across from Cowboy’s nightclub. Felch has been a practicing chiropractor for five years. Call 328-4878 for information.

LUBY’S OPENS NEW LOCATION: Luby’s Cafeterias Inc. opened its 192nd restaurant last month at 6221 E. Mockingbird. The manager is Christopher S. Brandao.

YWCA OFFERS NEW FITNESS PROGRAM: The YWCA, 4621 Ross, offers free introductory exercise classes designed for large and inactive individuals during the week of Feb. 12-18 led by Dee Hakala, the founder of the New Face of Fitness program. Hakala has trained local YWCA personnel to continue the program after her visit. Hakala weighed nearly 300 pounds in 1989 when she began exercising. Today, she is a certified fitness instructor and a fitness consultant to NIKE Inc., which has underwritten the introduction of this program into YWCAs. Hakala’s program focuses on health and behavior modification, not size, and includes nutrition counseling and group support. Call 826-9922 for information.

AMERICORPS BEAUTIFIES OUR NEIGHBORHOOD: A group of Americorps volunteers are coming to East Dallas to help beautify the East Dallas Community Garden. This group will arrive Feb. 4 and will stay for six weeks. Beds mattresses, cots and garden supplies are needed for the project. Donations and loans are being accepted by the East Dallas police storefront, 4545 Bryan. Loaned items will be returned. Call Officer Paul Thai or Sgt. Jimmy Little at 670-5514 for information.