Around The Bend Dec 2015
HOPE FOR THREE CONGRATULATES COMMUNITY PARTNER, MEMORIAL HERMANN SUGAR LAND HOSPITAL
Hope For Three Autism Advocates congratulates its community partner, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital (MHSLH), for being a finalist for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which recognizes U.S. organizations in the health care sector for performance excellence.
The Rentfro family, one of Hope For Three’s “ausome” families, spoke at the closing ceremonies for the week-long national site examination at the hospital. During the closing presentation, Angela Rentfro shared a personal story about the exceptional care that her 5-year-old son, Drake, was given during an emergency room visit to Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital. This heartwarming moment exemplified the Family Caring for Family culture.
Hope For Three is proud to partner with Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital to support its mission of reaching one child, one family, one community by creating awareness and providing support to families living with autism spectrum disorder. For more information, call 281-245-0640 or visit HopeForThree.org.
SUGAR LAND OPENS FIRST UNIVERSALLY ACCESSIBLE PLAYGROUND
The City of Sugar Land recently opened its first universally accessible playground at First Colony Athletic Park. A ribbon cutting ceremony included city officials, the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation and members of the Dream League.
This unique 5,500 square foot playground serves as a place where all children can play together and foster friendships in a welcoming and safe environment and includes new “inclusive” equipment with longer platforms and ramps. Other amenities include bonded rubber surfacing that makes it easier for wheelchairs and children with disabilities who need a more even surface to access the equipment.
The city worked with the Dream League to identify appropriate improvements at the park and the nearby baseball complex. The Dream League was established in 2007 as a challenger division of First Colony Little League to enable children with physical and/or intellectual disabilities from all over Fort Bend County to enjoy the game of baseball.
Funds were raised through a capital campaign launched by the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation, a group that collected $200,000 from a variety of private donors, granting organizations, and businesses. Combined with a contribution from the Sugar Land 4B Corporation, a total of $400,000 was collected.
Donors included The Jabez Foundation, The George Foundation, The Fort Bend Junior Service League, Sugar Land Rotary Club, The Sugar Land Skeeters Baseball Foundation, Paul and Manmeet Likhari, Don and Celia Olson, the Rotary Club of Fort Bend County, Minute Maid, the National Recreation and Park Association, Longhorn Steakhouse, Macy’s First Colony, MOMS Club of Sugar Land North, Chloe and Tayte Choudhury, and Tanches Global Management.
FORT BEND ISD STUDENTS AND STAFF OBSERVE BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to honor family members and friends who are battling the disease, Fort Bend ISD students and staff took part in various events and activities throughout October.
FBISD Administration Building employees donned pink attire and carried “I walk for…” signs as they walked around the building to support those near and dear to their hearts. The District’s Health and P.E. division sponsored the event and more than 30 employees participated.
Baines Middle School kicked off the month-long observation with its annual Lynn Armstrong Breakfast, held in memory of former Blue Ridge Elementary School principal Dr. Lynn Armstrong. The girls volleyball team welcomed guests and provided them with helpful resources. The school also hosted onsite mammograms by Mammosafe on Oct. 22, and a Breast Cancer Walk and Pink Out Day on Oct. 30.
“We host these events each year to help bring light to the ugly disease and its effects on both women and men,” said Baines Middle School Volleyball Coach Ashley Dedmon. “We provide health literacy to families throughout the community so that they can be more knowledgeable about the nutrition, environment and genetic factors that play a part in how breast cancer can occur and develop. This is not just a month of pink, but a lifelong lesson on becoming health literate.”
To show their support of individuals affected by breast cancer, Dulles Elementary School students and staff held a “Blow a Wish for a Cure” on Oct. 30. The group dressed in pink (to support breast cancer awareness) and lavender (for all other types of cancer).
CAFB HONORS LEGISLATORS WITH TEXAS CASA BIG VOICES FOR LITTLE TEXANS AWARDS
Child Advocates of Fort Bend, one of the 72 local CASA programs in Texas that recruit, screen and train volunteers to advocate for children in court, honored Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. John Zerwas with Texas CASA Big Voices for Little Texans awards on Oct. 30 at the agency’s Davis George Center in Rosenberg. This award recognizes legislators for their outstanding leadership and dedication to improving the child protection system and ensuring our most vulnerable children’s voices were heard at the Capitol during the 84th Legislative Session.
“These legislators are strong advocates for CASA and are both very deserving of this recognition,” said Ruthanne Mefford, CEO of Child Advocates of Fort Bend.
Kolkhorst’s first session as a state senator was as impressive as her last as a state representative. She authored critical legislation, SB 830, which creates an independent ombudsman for children and youth in foster care housed within the Health and Human Service’s Commission’s (HHSC) ombudsman’s office.
Zerwas is a leading voice on health and education issues. He sponsored SB 354, which moves administration of funding for CASA and Children’s Advocacy Centers to HHSC from the OAG. Additionally, as chair of the House Higher Education Committee, he helped advance HB 3748, the foster children education bill, through committee at a crucial point in the session.
Kolkhorst and Zerwas are two of a dozen legislators Texas CASA has chosen to honor for being legislative champions and leaders this past session in partnership with the local CASA programs in their districts.
“Texas CASA honors these men and women who are leading the way in helping us push the best interests of children to the forefront of our legislative process,” said Texas CASA CEO Vicki Spriggs.
OAKBEND MEDICAL CENTER RAISES FUNDS FOR NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT EXPANSION
OakBend Medical Center’s fundraiser, Patchwork of Life Beautiful Beginnings, raised over $275,000 this year. The monies will be used to expand the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a Level II NICU designed to care for babies born as early as 28 weeks. With the increase in births, the unit needs to expand from its current ability to accommodate eight babies to being able to accommodate 12.
Dr. Courtney DeJesso, the newest Neonatologist at OakBend Medical Center, said, “This is a great hospital that truly has a sense of a community. I’m sure that all of you see the growth, and with that growth comes lots of families and lots of babies. I know that it means so much to these families to be able to have their babies stay here. This NICU needs, not only the bed space to expand, but all the equipment and staff that goes along with it in order to provide all of that great NICU care for our families.”
Patchwork of Life Beautiful Beginnings was held at Safari Texas with Joe and Doris Gurecky serving as this year’s honorary chairs. Pat Hebert was the honoree. The co-chairs of the event were Dr. May Tape and Beth Wolf. Pat Hebert’s three daughters, Cindy Hebert Layman, Shelley Hebert Hannes and Patricia Hebert McKnight, were also on hand to pay a special tribute to their mother, who has served as the gala chair of the hospital’s fundraising event for the past two years.
According to Joe Freudenberger, CEO of OakBend Medical Center, “The community has always been extremely generous in supporting our fundraising efforts and their year was no exception. The monies raised will allow us to expand the NICU and assure that we are able to help the babies that need to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit.”
For more information about OakBend Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, visit oakbendmedcenter.org.