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Around Town December 2017


Walkers enjoy the weather and the scenery for the Heart Walk held on the campus of Alight Solutions.


(L-R): Carolyn Donovan of AHA, with Thomas Smouse and Diane Freeman, event chairs.

Montgomery County Healthy For Good Heart Walk

A crisp, sunny morning welcomed over 5,000 walkers to the campus of Alight Solutions – The Woodlands for the American Heart Association’s Montgomery County Healthy for Good Heart Walk on Oct. 28.

Diane Freeman, spokesperson for event chair CHI St. Luke’s Health shared, “What a fantastic event. People of all ages were out having fun, celebrating each other, and learning about living healthier lives. ”   The annual, family-friendly 5K focused on its mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

“Our sponsors offered fun and engaging booths this year including a farmer’s market, stroke simulation activities, fitness class demonstrations, a kid’s Heart Warrior dash and a fun selfie photo zone,” said Thomas Smouse, event co-chair and AHA board member. He presented the Pet Costume Contest winners and shared American Heart Associa­tion’s Healthy for Good message. “We focused this year’s walk on the simple approach of making an effort to eat smart, add color, move more and be well.”

Area resident Steve Furber shared his story with the crowd as a heart disease survivor. Creekside Park Junior High LOTC Color Guard accompanied Mady Tozier from The John Cooper School in presenting the National Anthem. The event emcee was Michael Graham from Signature Eventx.

“We are overwhelmed by the community’s support of our Montgomery County Heart Walk this year,” said Carolyn Donovan, corporate market director for the Heart Walk. “The Walk’s success is a direct result of the enthusiasm and commitment from our sponsors, executive leadership team, and our dedicated chairs.”



The recent Takeaway Tourettes Charity Golf Tournament in Woodforest is the brainchild of Reese Wilson (left), a Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Association of America. Reese is shown here with his grandfather, Virgil Yoakum.

The recent Takeaway Tourettes Charity Golf Tournament in Woodforest is the brainchild of Reese Wilson (left), a Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Association of America. Reese is shown here with his grandfather, Virgil Yoakum.

Woodforest Charity Golf Tourney Raises $52,000

Golfers scored a double eagle at the recent Takeaway Tourettes Charity Golf Tournament in Woodforest, raising more than $52,000 for the Texas Chapter of the Tourette Association of America.

The annual event raises funds for research into Tourette Syndrome, a disorder characterized by involuntary, repetitive movements and vocalizations that usually becomes evident in early childhood or adolescence. The tournament has raised more than $150,000 since its inception in 2015, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting the charity.

“The response to this year’s tournament was overwhelming,” said Virgil Yoakum, general manager of Woodforest. “We had 130 golfers and raised $12,000 more than we did last year. It was really heartwarming to see so many people come out to raise money for research and hopefully a cure for Tourette Syndrome.”

The golf tournament was the brainchild of Yoakum’s grandson, Reese Wilson. Wilson has Tourette Syndrome and also is the Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Association of America. The goal of the golf tournament is to raise awareness of the condition as well as funds. During the tournament, Wilson was on the green to meet players and share his story.

Winning first place in the tournament was the team of Charlie Head, Steve Head, Troy Johnson and Frank Ortiz. The team of Frank Romero, Larry Dideker, Patt Hamm and Virgil Hoopler finished in second place.

Steve Head earned Closest to the Pin bragging rights. Ross Walker scored with the Longest Drive. The Ball Drop winner was Kobey Pitman. Vince Salazar won tickets to the Friday World Series game to watch the Houston Astros play the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chris Acker won tickets to Saturday’s game.

The event was held at the Woodforest Golf Club, a 27-hole championship golf course featuring a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse with a restaurant, full-service bar and a pro shop within the top-selling master-planned community. For more information, visit woodforesttx.com.



Mindy Reynolds

Mindy Reynolds

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Names Campaign Manager

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Texas Gulf Coast Chapter will kick off The Woodlands’ first Man & Woman of the Year campaign in Spring 2018. The group has welcomed Mindy Reynolds to the existing LLS team, as they introduce this new campaign to The Woodlands.

Reynolds brings with her more than 15 years of event planning experience in the nonprofit market. Her new role will include building a leadership team of compassionate community leaders to help raise funds to find cures and ensure patient access to treatments for blood cancer patients, through nominating the first class of Man & Woman of the Year candidates in The Woodlands.

Man & Woman of the Year is an annual 10-week fundraising competition in which candidates from across the country compete to raise the most funds for blood cancer research in honor of a local boy or girl who are blood cancer survivors. The male and female candidates raising the most funds during the campaign will be awarded the title of the campaign’s Man of the Year and Woman of the Year, respectively.

A resident of The Woodlands, Reynolds serves on the Panther Creek Village Association board of directors, the Parks and Recreation advisory committee, Sally K. Ride PTO and is a founding member of the Inspire Film Festival advisory team.

Although this campaign has been a success across the nation for the past 20 years, including the Houston campaign that raised a record-breaking $1.1 million in 10 weeks, the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter will be bringing a second campaign to The Woodlands this spring.

The 2018 Man & Woman of the Year will be announced at the Grand Finale Celebration on June 1 at The Westin at The Woodlands. The winners will be named based on their success in generating funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society during the 10 weeks following the kickoff event. Candidates can bring in funds through third-party events, corporate sponsorships, online fundraising, and utilizing their own talents and networks. For more information, visit mwoy.org or 832-463-3614.



All event attendees were encouraged to wear a pink hijab.

All event attendees were encouraged to wear a pink hijab.

Second Annual Pink Hijab Day Houston

Houston was covered with pink head scarves known as hijabs to bring attention to Breast Cancer when the Muslim Southern Belle Charities Incorpor­ated hosted its second annual Pink Hijab Day on Saturday, Oct. 14, to raise awareness for breast cancer and funds for the Assalam Clinic Well Women’s Clinic. Pink Hijab Day raises funds for cancer research, encourages regular screenings and increases knowledge about preventative methods. All sisters were also encouraged to make a $5 donation to Al Shifa Clinic at the Al-Salaam mosque to help pay for female medical screenings. The event was attended by three dozen women who raised over $500.

This year’s Pink Hijab Day event was held at the CoffeeShop Company on I-45 in the Woodlands. It was an exciting night with speakers,a henna artist, face painting and a huge silent auction. The first speaker was the president of Muslim Southern Belle Charities Incorporated, Chrystal Said. The second speaker was Dawn Crenshaw, a two-time breast cancer survivor who does not allow cancer to define her. The final speaker was Dr. Asma Ali, an OB/Gyn at the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, who explained the need for testing and treatment after a cancer diagnosis.

Volunteers included Said, Jennifer Majors Baca (Muslim Southern Belle Charities vice-president), Dr. Ali Said, DBA (Muslim Southern Belle Charities Incorporated Treasurer), Mayra Alejandra (Muslim Southern Belle Charities secretary), Alexa Martin, Dr. Ali and Crenshaw.

Sponsors included the Coffeeshop Company, Hijabilicious, Farouk Systems, Inc., The Woodlands Coalition for Equality, The Hub, Chobani Woodlands, College Nannies, Sitters + Tutors, Henna King, La Madeleine French Bakery & Café, Elzek Imprints and JMB Insurance Solutions.

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