Around The Bend May 2015
YMCA GOLF CLASSIC A BIG SUCCESS FOR AREA YOUTH AND FAMILIES – On March 23, the YMCAs of Fort Bend County, which includes the Fort Bend, Katy and TW Davis YMCAs, held their 9th Annual Spring Golf Classic and Auction, sponsored by Fort Bend Toyota and Sterling McCall Lexus. More than 120 golfers participated in the event held at Pecan Grove Country Club in Richmond, which netted the YMCA a record breaking $58,500 for its local annual support campaign.
Immediately following the tournament, a dinner and auction was held at the country club. The auction, led by guest auctioneer Commissioner James Patterson, raised over $7,000. The high bidder of the night was Andy Sanford of RBC Wealth Management for his winning bid on the “I Love Houston Sports” Package. “We continue to be blessed by the generosity of the Fort Bend community in support of our efforts to make sure that the Y is available to all,” stated Bill Myers, YMCA golf committee chair.
Also recognized at the dinner event were the teams with the best low gross scores in two different flights of the tournament. The first place team in flight one and the low score of the tournament went to the team of Jerry Dockum, Steve Hansen, Boonreing Intathong and R.B. Brinlee. The first place team in the second flight category went to the team of Jamie Scaffidi, Laura Brinkley, Rick Byrd and Greg Houghtaling. Other winners included the longest drive competition champions, Lee Ann Stubenrouch and Ricky Paredes. The closest to the pin winners were Melanie Ellis and Nick Landoski. The straightest drive contest was won by Ron Dominguez, and the pre-event putting contest was won by Jennifer Ramsey.
SUGAR LAND ROTARY DONATES $30,000 TO FUND RIDGEMONT EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
The Sugar Land Rotary donated $30,000 to the Literacy Council of Fort Bend to fund a GED project at Fort Bend ISD’s Ridgemont Early Childhood Center. The donation will help fund the project for the next five years. Executive Director Kelli Metzenthin and Outreach and Program Coordinator Tammie Rankin accepted the donation on behalf of the Literacy Council.
“The Literacy Council of Fort Bend County is proud to partner with FBISD, Head Start and the Sugar Land Rotary to provide services to students in the Ridgemont area that want to improve the quality of life for their families and their community,” said Metzenthin.
The Literacy Council has been in partnership with FBISD for the past three years. The organization began providing GED preparation classes at Ridgemont in September 2014. Currently, 15 adults take part in the evening classes that focus on the math, English language arts and civics portions of the test.
The Sugar Land Rotary donation will fund five years of teacher compensation (at $5,000 per year) and scholarship awards ($1,000 per year). The Literacy Council presents an annual $1,000 scholarship to a student who received the GED tutoring and obtained his/her GED. The scholarship assists the recipient with tuition costs at a college, junior college or vocational school.
CAMP FOR ALL 2U VISITS MD ANDERSON
Recently Camp For All and MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital teamed to bring the best of Camp For All ‘s outdoor camp experience indoors to Children’s Cancer Hospital inpatients and their siblings. Patients and family were able to enjoy activities such as zip lining, archery, canoeing, singing, dancing, telling stories around a mock camp fire, making s’mores and even throwing a pie at their doctors.
The camp experience gave the inpatients an opportunity to learn and build life skill sets such as independence, decision-making and problem solving. More than 100 MD Anderson inpatients and their siblings enjoyed the camp.
Camp For All helps children and adults with special needs and challenging illnesses discover life through learning what they can do, as opposed to what they can’t. The organization is a national leader in providing life-changing experiences through innovative programming.
Working in collaboration with 63 other non-profits, Camp For All enriches the lives of more than 10,000 children and adults and their families throughout the year. For more information, visit campforall.org.
REWARD FOR MISSING MISSOURI CITY DOG
Berkeley is a 13-year-old male miniature Schnauzer. He was lost on February 24 in the Brightwater Subdivision near Cartwright around 10:30 a.m. He is 13 but looks much younger. He is a taller miniature Schnauzer, not neutered, and has natural ears. His tail is approximately 2- 2.5-inches-long. He has a gray upper body, and white beard, chest and front legs. He needs to go back to the hospital to get blood work done.Call 832-452-6298 or email email@example.com for any information. A reward is being offered if Berkeley is returned, no questions asked.
NAVY FUTURE SAILOR JESSICA WEBB, OF ROSENBERG, TAKES HER OATH OF ENLISTMENT
Future Navy Surface Warfare Officer Jessica Webb, a Rosenberg native and daughter of Jack and Betty Allen, took her oath of enlistment after completing the Navy’s recruiting process on March 24. A 2007 graduate of B. F. Terry High School and graduate of the Art Institute of Houston, Webb will report to Officer Candidate School May 24 where she will continue on as a Surface Warfare Officer. Webb joined the Navy for the benefits and training.
SEVENTH ANNUAL GRANT-A-STARR FOUNDATION FAMILY FUN RUN/WALK
The Seventh Annual Grant-A-Starr Foundation Family Fun Run & Walk was a huge success. More than 600 participants from Sugar Land and the greater Fort Bend area came together on a sunny morning to raise support for Grant-A-Starr Foundation. One hundred percent of the funds raised support projects dedicated to the development of rapid diagnostic testing, in memory of Grant Starr, a little boy who lost his life from an elusive virus. Checks in the amount $25,000 were presented to both Texas Children’s Hospital and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. A unique component of the fun run is that it is managed and operated by a teen board comprised of Fort Bend area high school students. FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupre and Sugar Land City Councilman Joe Zimmerman were in attendance to support the efforts of the foundation and the teen board.
FBISD POLICE OFFICERS NAMED FOUR-TIME CHAMPS IN ANNUAL SPAGHETTI COOK-OFF
For the fourth consecutive year, Fort Bend ISD police officers have competed in the annual spaghetti cook-off hosted by the Exchange Club of Sugar Land and won top awards. This year, the team received its third Best Presentation award and 2nd place award for its spaghetti sauce. The team’s theme was “Sauce so good, it brought Elvis back.”
“We thought it would be funny to bring back Elvis from different eras in his life,” shared FBISD Police Chief David Rider. “We always have a great time interacting with the crowd and we appreciate the Exchange Club for inviting us to participate each year. This is a great way to show the community a fun side of the police department.”
The officers appreciate the support from Chef Clint Stump from the Ol’ Railroad Café in Rosenberg, who donated the ingredients and provided a commercial kitchen where the team prepared their sauce; and Haleigh and Hanna from Girl Scout Troop 29033 for being volunteer servers during the event.
FORT BEND NATIVE SERVES WITH NAVY STRIKE FIGHTER “TOPHATTERS” SQUADRON
A 2005 Brazos High School graduate and Orchard native is currently serving with the U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron Fourteen, also known as the “Tophatters,” at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California.
Petty Officer 3rd Class John Herrera is an aviation ordnanceman with the squadron, which the Navy designates as VFA-14, and works with the Navy’s most lethal and versatile strike fighter aircraft, the F/A-18E Super Hornet. “My job consists of uploading and downloading munitions,” said Herrera.
Herrera said he is proud of the work he is doing as part of the squadron’s 217-member team, helping to protect America on the world’s oceans. “My job helps train pilots on ordnance and keeps them operational.”
“VFA-14 is made up of a group of hardworking and skilled individuals who work exceptionally well together,” said Cmdr. Tommy Locke, VFA-14’s commanding officer. “Being a part of a squadron with as much history as VFA-14 instills a lot of pride and honor in our team and in the work we do. Everyone knows their job and what is expected of them to complete our mission.”
The Tophatters are the Navy’s oldest active squadron, having formed in 1919. Since the squadron’s inception they have flown 23 different types of aircraft, changed designations 14 times, and operated from 20 different aircraft carriers.
“Serving in the military is a family tradition,” said Herrera. “The pride I have for serving is what I like the most about being in uniform.”
DONATIONS FUND UNIVERSALLY ACCESSIBLE PLAYGROUND
Sugar Land City Council recently accepted a $200,000 donation toward the construction of the City’s first universally accessible playground project at First Colony Park.
The funding was raised through a capital campaign launched by the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit community group that works with individuals, corporations, trusts and others interested in making charitable, tax-deductible donations to support activities and capital projects that benefit residents of Sugar Land.
The new playground will replace the current playground at First Colony Park and provide a place where children can play together and foster friendships in a welcoming, safe and accessible environment.
The playground surface will be a bonded rubber material suitable for wheelchairs and people who need a more even surface to access the equipment. Platforms on the equipment will be longer, and they will include ramps to make every piece accessible for people with disabilities.
Sensory-stimulating playground products that are specifically designed to encourage personal, social and emotional development will also be included.
“The cost of an accessible playground is much higher than a standard playground,” said Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation Joe Chesser. “The construction of this playground will include 5,500 square feet of rubber surfacing and is estimated to cost $400,000. We greatly appreciate the generosity of so many in our community who contributed toward this project.”
The Legacy Foundation’s donation will be combined with $200,000 identified by the Sugar Land 4B Corporation and recently approved by City Council. Major contributors to the project include the Fort Bend Junior Service League, The George Foundation, the Rotary Club of Sugar Land, the Rotary Club of Fort Bend County, the Jabez Foundation, Paul Likhari, former City Councilmember Don Olson and Minute Maid.
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. The league’s roster includes about 100 players with intellectual and/or physical disabilities and another 150 “Angels in the Outfield” boys and girls from Fort Bend area schools who assist Dream League players during their games. Park improvements are expected to be completed later this summer.
EXCHANGE CLUB EARNS PROCLAMATION FOR OBSERVING CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH
The Exchange Club of Fort Bend received a proclamation from Fort Bend County Judge Robert Hebert declaring April as Child Abuse Awareness Month in Fort Bend County. The proclamation was delivered at the dedication of the one of the club’s “Awareness Fields” at the Fort Bend County Courthouse on April 1. Each white stake with blue ribbon represents a child that was referred to Child Advocates of Fort Bend because of abuse or neglect; unfortunately there were 1,223 cases last year. Child abuse is 100 percent preventable, and the Exchange Club’s message to the community is to be part of the solution and report child abuse, so that the field of white and blue will ultimately shrink in size and disappear.
STUDENTS RECEIVE SSLW SCHOLARSHIPS
Suburban Sugar Land Women (SSLW) and its Phenomenal Partners announce the 2015 area scholarship recipients: Daisy Gilbert, Lamar High School, plans to attend University of Houston and major in engineering; Marshall Hearn, Ridge Point High School, plans to attend Texas State University and major in engineering; Haileigh Horton, Dulles High School, plans to attend Texas Tech University and major in computer science; Chaya Oliver, George Ranch High School, plans to attend Texas State University and major in business; and Jazmin Pruitt, Hightower High School, plans to attend Georgetown University and major in biochemistry.
The selection criteria is based on documented onsite SSLW community service, academic achievement (2.5 GPA or higher) and leadership. Students are required to submit a typed application, an essay, an official transcript and two letters of recommendation.
Scholarship Committee members are Pat Johnson, chair; June Peggs,co-chair; and Donisha Smith, Marvelyn Harris, Mose and Mable Austin, members.
Visit sslw.org for more information.
WHOLE FOOD MARKET’S SWEET TOOTH FOR FORT BEND
Since the store opened in 2007, Whole Foods Market has been hosting “Community Giving Day” for Fort Bend nonprofits. During this day, 5 percent of all sales are donated. East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry is happy to be a recipient of this donation for eight years.
This year’s Giving Day took place April 8 at Whole Foods Market, Sugar Land. Tim Nyberg, store team leader at Whole Foods Market Sugar Land, says getting involved with the surrounding community is an integral part of what they do.
“It’s a win/win partnership,” said Nyberg. “It’s part of our core values to make sure that we not only take care of our team members but the community that surrounds us. Without the community, we don’t have a store.”
Jackie Martinez, marketing team leader at the Sugar Land store, says it’s important to Whole Foods Market that everyone has access to quality food. “It’s a common-sense partnership for us. We’re giving back to the community in a very basic way,” said Martinez. “If you can’t buy your next meal, we want to be able to help. The Ministry benefits from Whole Food Market’s participation in the Harvest Program, picking up quality food items three times a week.
“We can always count on our friends at Whole Foods Market to help us feed the hungry in East Fort Bend County,” said Vickie Coates, executive director at East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry. “They really do practice what they preach.”
“DINE N DASH” EVENT TREATS FAMILIES LIVING WITH AUTISM TO DINNER OUT
A night of easy dining does not occur often for many families living with autism. For this reason and the enjoyment of giving to the community, Kroger Marketplace (Brazos Town Center), P.F. Chang’s (Sugar Land Town Center) and Hope For Three partnered to create Dine N Dash. The event, held in late March at P.F.Chang’s, catered to 20 families served by Hope For Three.
The dining featured dinner for two with dessert from P.F. Chang’s and a family rim-filled basket of gluten free items from Kroger. “We wanted to create something that would ease the average pressure-filled evening of families,” said Mare Solcher, Hope For Three volunteer and event organizer. “It just warms my soul to see establishments in this community make simple gestures like providing dinner and a basket, a huge deal. As a parent, I know the relief this can bring, even for one night,”, Solcher continued.
Each of the 20 families received their selected entree items/dessert from the P.F. Chang menu and a Kroger basket filled with fresh fruit, natural flavored water and gluten free items, everything from snacks to ingredients for creating meals at home.
Hope For Three is a local autism advocacy group bridging the gap between children with autism and the services they so desperately need. For information on resources provided by Hope For Three or how you can be the difference in the lives of those with autism, visit hopeforthree.org or call 281-245-0640.