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Around The Bend January 2016


(Front row, l-r): Todd Taylor, Team Operation Enduring Brotherhood executive director; Michelle Beeson, BRC member; Dana Clement, FBJSL president; Stacy Allen, American Red Cross Gulf Coast Region; Jo Babic, American Red Cross Gulf Coast Region; (back r): Mary Lovely, BRC member; Markisha Venzant-Sampson, BRC member; Audra O’Neal, BRC member; Laura Taylor, FBJSL president-elect.

(Front row, l-r): Todd Taylor, Team Operation Enduring Brotherhood executive director; Michelle Beeson, BRC member; Dana Clement, FBJSL president; Stacy Allen, American Red Cross Gulf Coast Region; Jo Babic, American Red Cross Gulf Coast Region; (back r): Mary Lovely, BRC member; Markisha Venzant-Sampson, BRC member; Audra O’Neal, BRC member; Laura Taylor, FBJSL president-elect.

FBJSL AWARDS $8,000 IN GRANT MONEY TO LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

The Fort Bend Junior Service League (FBJSL) recently awarded two Community Assistance Fund (CAF) Grants.

FBJSL awarded a CAF Grant to the American Red Cross for their Home Fire Campaign. The $5,000 grant will be used to purchase and install smoke detectors in homes located in vulnerable neighborhoods in Fort Bend County. During installation, volunteers will provide education on fire safety preparedness and help create home evacuation plans with families. The goal is to reduce fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent within five years.

FBJSL also awarded a $3,000 CAF Grant to
Team Operation Enduring Brotherhood. Founded in 2014, Team Operation Enduring Brotherhood’s mission is to make a life changing impact on veterans through recreational activities, such as cycling. Part of the cycling program is to provide veterans in Fort Bend County with the equipment to empower them to be active in their recovery. A veteran is provided a bicycle, skills clinics and a certified Peer Mentor from the Wounded Warrior Project.

FBJSL accepts CAF applications throughout the year for grant funding up to $5,000 per year. Applicants must be nonprofit organizations serving Fort Bend County with requests to fund a critical need, pilot program and/or expand a significant service to the community. For additional eligibility requirements and to download applications, please visit fbjsl.com.

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Crystal Moya of H-E-B with Logan and Makayla Brown during Friday’s National Adoption Day Celebration.

Crystal Moya of H-E-B with Logan and Makayla Brown during Friday’s National Adoption Day Celebration.

CHILD ADVOCATES AND ITS PARTNERS CELEBRATE NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY

The Honorable Judge Ron Pope, The Honorable Judge Brenda Mullinix, and The Honorable Judge David Perwin finalized 15 adoptions including the adoptions of three children from the foster care system on Friday in celebration of National Adoption Day. The Fort Bend County 328th, 387th and 505th District Courts joined courts across the country in opening their doors on National Adoption Day to complete adoptions and celebrate all families who adopt.

“This year’s National Adoption Day was a wonderful celebration” said Metoyer Martin, CASA program director and chair of the event. “It is always great to see the attorneys, CPS, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers and judges all work together to finalize the adoptions and ultimately give these children safe, permanent and loving homes. It was particularly special this year because most of the CPS children who were adopted were teenagers and we had not one but two families adopt groups of siblings. It is great to see them all settled in loving homes.”

Here in Fort Bend County, the District Courts, Child Advocates of Fort Bend (CAFB) and its partner agencies Texas Department of Family Protective Services, Fort Bend Bar Association, Fort Bend County Attorney’s Office, Fort Bend Lawyers Care, the Fort Bend Court Team for Maltreated Infants and Toddlers, H.E.B., Bikers Against Child Abuse and the Rosenberg Exchange Club worked together to celebrate the joys of adoption and encourage more families and individuals to give children permanent homes through adoption.

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(L-R): Eric Alarid, Vincent Morales, Ret. SSG Charles Landry, Kathleen Landry, Tyree and Aylani Landry, Mark Kolon and Lee Kirgan. (Photo - Bruce Glass)

(L-R): Eric Alarid, Vincent Morales, Ret. SSG Charles Landry, Kathleen Landry, Tyree and Aylani Landry, Mark Kolon and Lee Kirgan. (Photo – Bruce Glass)

INJURED U.S. ARMY VETERAN CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING IN FORT BEND ON VETERANS DAY

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Charles R. Landry Jr. and his family will always remember this Veteran’s Day as they joined representatives from Operation FINALLY HOME, Tilson Home, Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land and the local Richmond community to celebrate the groundbreaking at the site of the family’s new custom-built, mortgage-free home located at 13310 Lake Ridge Drive in Richmond.

Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land general sales manager Mark Kolon said, “The earth we stand on is no different than that of any other dirt in Fort Bend County. However, to us… the individuals here, and the Landry Family it is very special. This land represents tremendous sacrifices and the spirit of many to honor a hero.” In addition, Kolon announced Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land had committed another $75,000 donation to Operation Finally Home towards a second home to be built for a wounded veteran in Fort Bend County.

Landry joined the Army in 2002 and was stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. While stationed there, Landry deployed to Iraq multiple times. He experienced many firefights and vehicle borne improvised explosive devices. He suffered concussions from being knocked unconscious during rocket-propelled grenade and improvised explosive device attacks. During his second deployment his entire unit suffered many casualties, which took a toll on his physical and mental health. He deployed for his third tour to Iraq in 2009, spending 12 months under rocket attacks while stationed near a main supply route. As a result of Landry’s 39 total months in combat, he suffers from a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic headaches. He medically retired from the military in July 2015. Landry is ready to make a new start with his wife, Kathleen, and their two children. The family is expecting a third child in January. Landry hopes to pursue a degree in Radiology Technology and work with the Veteran’s Administration.

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Monica Riley and Marvelyn Harris, SSLW zealous participants at Ridge Point College and Scholarships Night.

Monica Riley and Marvelyn Harris, SSLW zealous participants at Ridge Point College and Scholarships Night.

SUBURBAN SUGAR LAND WOMEN, JANUARY PROGRAMS

The Suburban Sugar Land Women (SSLW) are offering a variety of programs in January, including the onset of scholarship applications, which are being accepted through March 1. To apply, visit sslw.org and follow the instructions listed. Applicants and recipients must pre-register via email volunteer service requests 72 hours in advance to sslwscholarships@aol.com.

Other programs are as follows:

Jan. 16 – Veterans and military appreciation and support.

Jan. 23 – Board of directors meeting and deputy voter registrars certification and recertification.

Ongoing – H&R Block partnership new clients referral program. Provide SSLW’s ID # 40010001079372 and H&R Block will donate $20 per new client to benefit SSLW’s programs and scholarships.


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