Around The Bend April 2015
FORT BEND COMMUNITY PREVENTION COALITION JOINED CADCA’S 25TH NATIONAL LEADERSHIP FORUM – Six representatives from the Fort Bend Community Prevention Coalition (FBCPC) joined nearly 2,700 substance abuse National Leadership Forum, the nation’s largest and premier training event forsubstance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers. CADCA’s National Leadership Forum took place Feb. 2-5 in National Harbor, Md.
“This was one of the best conferences I have been to. From the outstanding venue and informational speakers to the fascinating day on Capitol Hill with great Texas collaboration, it had it all, look forward to next year,” said Teresa Cox Reading, RN, a FBCPC member.
CADCA’s National Leadership Forum featured nearly 80 courses to help participants learn effective strategies to address drug-related problems in their communities. Training sessions addressed some of the most pressing issues facing communities today. The coalition also met with Congressman Pete Olson, and staff members of Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz during the CADCA Forum’s Capitol Hill Day event to discuss effective ways to reduce substance use and abuse, and the importance of community-based prevention. Members thanked Congressman Olson co-sponsoring the Preventing Abuse of Cough Treatments Act of 2014 or the PACT Act.
FBCPC serves a vital role in protecting the health and welfare of people who reside and work within Fort Bend ISD’s service area. Members identify and address issues in the community that contribute to substance use among youth and young adults.
WCMC MEMBERS SAY THANKS TO MISSOURI CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Woman’s Club of Missouri City, (WCMC) dropped by the Missouri City Police Station at 3849 Cartwright Road in Missouri City on the morning of Feb. 17, with cookies, cupcakes, brownies and candy.
The WCMC wanted to thank the officers for their dedication to serving and protecting its citizens in the community. The ladies were greeted by Police Chief Mike Berezin who escorted them to the kitchen where the
officers and staff members were assembled to greet them and accept the treats. Mayor Allen Owen, who is recovering from rotator cuff surgery, was seen walking into the building with a tray of cupcakes. His wife Jane brought cookies.
The Woman’s Club of Missouri City is the oldest social and philanthropic club in Missouri City. The Club’s main focus is to provide scholarships to deserving Missouri City high school students.
BAINES MIDDLE SCHOOL CAREER DAY
The 8th grade class of Fort Bend Independent School District’s (FBISD) Baines Middle School (BMS) was treated to a full day of career development advice at their annual Career Day on Thursday, Feb. 5. Throughout the day, each student enjoyed a game and a presentation where they explored how to balance a career with an acceptable lifestyle. Each also attended three “break-out” small group sessions to discuss a career they have already shown interest in. Finally, the large gym was turned into an impressive exhibition hall with students able to ask questions and discuss professions they may not have yet considered.
Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre was the keynote speaker. He encouraged students to strive to live a life that will fulfill them and make them “happy to get out of bed and go to work each day.”
At least 36 professions were represented in the small group “break-out” sessions, giving the kids a chance to ask questions and get a first-hand perspective on a variety of career choices. From pastry chef and small business owner Nadine Moon, owner of Who Made The Cake, to Geoff Kaplan, Director of Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer for the NFL’s Houston Texans, there were around 50 guest speakers from an impressive variety of professions.
In the Exhibition Hall, Exxon was represented for the fifth year in a row. Bill Ramsey was on hand, encouraging students to be flexible. “Many students don’t realize that medical schools find chemical engineers highly appealing. Chemical Engineers have completed organic chemistry, a requirement for medical school. Engineering programs teach logic and problem solving. Important requirements for becoming a doctor.”
National-Oilwell Varco participated in the exhibit hall for the third year in a row. Joud Ahmad, Public Relations Specialist, said that she was “impressed” with the kids. She found them focused, very polite and said that they “ask smart questions.”
DARLING DASH DRAWS HUNDREDS INCLUDING NFL STARS
A crowd of approximately 300 ran in the Fifth Annual Darling Dash to raise sickle cell awareness at Constellation Field (Skeeters Stadium) in Sugar Land on Sunday, Feb. 22. The race was hosted by As One Foundation, a nonprofit founded by retired NFL star Devard Darling in memory of the death of his identical twin brother, Devaughn. This year marked the 14th anniversary of Devaughn Darling’s deatj at 18 due to dehydration-paired sickle cell during football practice at Florida State University.
“The Darling Dash had an amazing turnout,” Darling said. “I am thankful for everyone who came to support our cause, it would have meant a lot to my brother. With every 5K, we are able to raise more awareness about sickle cell and reduce preventable deaths. We’ve made a lot of progress, but our work is not over.”
In addition to the local citizens who
participated in the race, local celebrities and dozens of current and former NFL stars, including Tramon Williams (Green Bay Packers) and Jacquizz Rodgers (Atlanta Falcons), also attended the community event. Proceeds from Darling Dash will fund As One Foundation’s scholarship fund and Operation Hydration, a program that will be implemented in local school districts and is designed to prevent sports-related deaths by encouraging hydration, especially in sickle cell trait carriers.
“My hope is that the money we raised, along with the lives that Devaughn touched, will educate the community, expand our influence and save lives,” Darling said.
Sickle cell, which can be fatal when paired with dehydration and physical rigor, is carried by both Darling twins and is estimated to affect 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S., according to the CDC.
CHILD ADVOCATES OF FORT BEND JOINED HUNDREDS AT CASA DAY AT THE CAPITOL
Child Advocates of Fort Bend joined more than 300 CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers, board members and staff from across the state at the Capitol to speak up for children in the child welfare system. Fifteen representatives from the program traveled to Austin as part of CASA Day at the Capitol, the one day each legislative session that the CASA community assembles to bring attention to improving outcomes for children and youth in the foster care system.
The Child Advocates of Fort Bend team met with its local Texas legislators including Senators Rodney Ellis, Joan Huffman, Lois Kohlkorst, and Larry Taylor and Representatives Coleman Garnet, Rick Miller, Ron Reynold, Phil Stephenson, and John Zerwas. They discussed policy priorities to improve issues in the state’s child welfare system identified by the Sunset Commission and to promote the well-being of children and youth in care.
“Traveling to Austin and meeting with our state leaders in the Capitol during the legislative session is empowering,” said Ruthanne Mefford, chief executive officer for Child Advocates of Fort Bend. “We get the opportunity to speak up on behalf of the children we serve and ask our legislators to make them a top priority.”
CASA Day at the Capitol included a training session for volunteers before they spoke to their lawmakers and a reading of a resolution honoring the CASA community introduced by long-time CASA supporter Rep. John Otto in the Texas House of Representatives. For more information, call 281-341-9955 or visit BecomeACASA.org.
FIRST COLONY SWIM TEAM ADULT MASTERS ENJOY SWIM SUCCESS
First Colony Swim Team Adult Masters group swam in the DADS Club Sweetheart Swim Meet on Feb. 14. Five swimmers participated in the meet and several swimmers, along with their families, came to cheer them on. Christina Gerard, Jennifer Wells and Mason Mills swam their first meet. Max Zollner,76, inspired everyone with two new National Qualifying Times that will allow him to swim at the Masters National Swim Meet later this year. Head Coach Dustin Poe also joined in swimming events at the meet. It was a fun day for all participants.
FORT BEND ADVOCATE WINS AWARD
Fort Bend County resident Evelyn Traylor was named one of “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2014” by Houston Woman Magazine. Evelyn, along with 49 others, was honored at an Afternoon Tea, co-hosted by the magazine and Chevron, held on Jan. 11 at the St. Regis Hotel.
Evelyn was recognized for her many hours of service as an advocate for children and those with mental health issues. In
addition to being the director of Houston Methodist Sugar Land speaker’s bureau she has founded a new non-profit, Advocates for Healthy Minds in Fort Bend County. As the President of the Board and CEO her passion is educating the public about the importance of stopping the stigma of mental health matters and getting the word out that everyone is affected by mental health issues in some way.
Evelyn feels that people should “Step Up and Speak Out” for mental health and each individual must “make and take time for mental health, wellness.” In her new role, Traylor has formed a suicide prevention task force and as the CEO of AHM-FBC she will be working with multiple organizations (law enforcement and other) helping individuals get the help they need before choosing to end their lives. She believes, “If we all work together, we can move mountains and accomplish great things.”
Evelyn is currently organizing a major county-wide fundraiser, planned for October to benefit Advocates for Healthy Minds in Fort Bend County. The group’s mission is dedicated to promoting mental health and achieving victory over mental illness through advocacy, education and awareness. For more information visit speakupspeakout.org or call 281-566-2608.
SYLVIANE HOARE NAMED CHILD ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
Sylviane Hoare was named Child Advocate of the Year for 2014 at Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s Annual Volunteer Celebration held Feb. 4 at Sweetwater Country Club. The event was attended by almost 180 volunteers, community partners and staff.
“Sylviane exemplifies the ultimate in volunteerism to the agency – going “above and beyond,” donating her time and support across many different areas and unselfishly being available any time she is needed – always with a smile on her face and shying away from any type of recognition,” according to Child Advocates of Fort Bend Chief Executive Officer Ruthanne Mefford.
Other honorees at the volunteer celebration include Lynn Halford and Peggy Jackson (Lifetime Hero Award), Karen Jordin (CASA Volunteer of the Year), Margaret Proctor and her Poodle Louie (Children’s Advocacy Center Volunteer of the Year), and Mimi Zaybak (Development Volunteer of the Year).
THE LADYBUGS SPREAD VALENTINE’S DAY JOY
The Ladybugs of Fort Bend County have been busy bringing joy and spreading cheer in Fort Bend. Recently, they visited the patrons at the Silverado Memory Care Center and The Caring People Adult Day Care Center for St. Valentine’s Day. They brought Valentine treats and prizes for the patrons to enjoy, gave lots of hugs, and motivated them to participate in numerous activities
The Caring People facility is a day care facility for the handicapped and mentally challenged adults. At that particular event, the Ladybugs helped in choosing a St. Valentine Queen and King. All the patrons enjoyed participating in a dancing contest and other games for prizes provided by the Ladybugs.
At the Silverado Memory Care facility for the elderly in Sugar Land, the Ladybugs helped the patrons to remember what Valentine’s Day was all about. The patrons enjoyed socializing and delicious treats.
Those interested becoming a Ladybug can request membership through meetup.com. For more information email Vicki Latham at firstname.lastname@example.org.