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Around Town February 2018

Don Gebert (center left), Bob Williams (center right), and David Gottlieb (seated) are designated as Honorary Members of George’s Coffee Club by Club member Dan Hauser (far left) and Club President Roger Galatas (far right).

Don Gebert (center left), Bob Williams (center right), and David Gottlieb (seated) are designated as Honorary Members of George’s Coffee Club by Club member Dan Hauser (far left) and Club President Roger Galatas (far right).


George’s Coffee Club recently recognized three men as Honorary Members, in recognition of their important contributions to the formation of The Woodlands. Don Gebert, Bob Williams and David Gottlieb were honored at the Club’s final breakfast meeting of 2017, with recollections of each of their roles and close work with the founder of The Woodlands, George Mitchell.

According to the Club’s President Roger Galatas, “During the early stages of development of The Woodlands, George Mitchell was on a continuous search for talent to join his team to create a great livable community. Successful in his quest, these three early recruits believed in Mitchell’s vision and joined his development team. Don Gebert relocated from a major charitable foundation in Philadelphia to serve as first CEO of Interfaith and build related social infrastructure. Bob Williams was recruited from YMCA experience in Chicago to engage in early operations of the Swim and Athletic Center and later formed the Kiwanis Club and the Annual Prayer Breakfast in The Woodlands. David Gottlieb joined from the Univer­sity of Houston to recruit technology firms for location in the Research Forest. It is only fitting that we pay tribute to them as Honorary Members of George’s Coffee Club.”

For more information, visit GeorgesCoffeeClub.org.




Four Montgomery County charities will benefit from the thousands of dollars in change inserted in Market Street’s voluntary parking meters throughout 2018 as the shopping, dining and entertainment destination announces the beneficiaries of the 2018 Change for Charity program: CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County, Foundation for Autism Care, Angel Reach and Canopy at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands.

The Woodlands Car Club also generously raises money for the Change for Charity recipients throughout the year at its events, held the first Sunday of each month. Their contributions, coupled with the amount donated to Market Street’s 68 parking meters make up the total amount given to a selected charity each quarter.

“Market Street’s partnership with local charities continues to make a positive difference in our community,” said Noemi Gonzalez, marketing director at Market Street. “Our shoppers have contributed more than $150,000 to the Change for Charity program since its inception.”

The program’s first-quarter beneficiary, CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County, provides valuable volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children in Montgomery County.

The second-quarter beneficiary, Foundation
for Autism Care, is dedicated to raising funds to directly support and promote Applied Behavior Analysis therapy, education, services and treatment for children with Autism and their families.

Angel Reach, the program’s third-quarter recipient, is dedicated to helping at-risk children and youth transition to better lives. Angel Reach assists with benefit assessments, counseling, mentoring, tutoring, resources and support groups.

Market Street’s Change for Charity fourth-quarter beneficiary, Canopy at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands, aims to enhance the quality of life for individuals affected by cancer and for those who support them during their journeys. Canopy provides a wide variety of programs and services addressing the emotional, physical and social needs of those touched by cancer. For more information, visit marketstreet-thewoodlands.com


After being approached by local teens, the Woodforest community went all out collecting clothes, household supplies, diapers and much more for the Montgomery County Women’s Center.

After being approached by local teens, the Woodforest community went all out collecting clothes, household supplies, diapers and much more for the Montgomery County Women’s Center.


A decision by two local teens to enter a Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competition has blossomed into something neither girl imagined would happen – more than $4,000 worth of donations for women and children at a local women’s shelter.

Avery Palacios and Courtney Brumley, sophomores at iSchool High in The Woodlands, chose community awareness for their focus in the HOSA competition. Wanting to do something benefitting women, they directed their focus upon domestic violence and decided to launch a donation drive for the Montgomery County Women’s Center.

“Domestic violence is such a large issue no one ever talks about,” Palacios said. “It’s really important to raise awareness.”

The pair put up donation boxes at the Lone Star College Montgomery campus and partnered with a teacher who gave extra credit to students who brought in items to donate. Brumley and Palacios also contacted several neighborhoods, including Woodforest, where Brumley lives. Woodforest added the women’s center as a beneficiary of its annual
holiday drive, which typically benefits Toys for Tots only. And then the Woodforest development team did a little more.

“We partnered with builders and vendors, collecting monetary donations, which we then used to purchase requested items such as diapers, T-shirts, underwear, ironing boards, bottled water and more,” said Terry Reese, Woodforest office manager. “Combined with the items visitors and residents dropped off during our donation weekend, we had more than $4,000 worth of merchandise for the center.”

The girls never thought they would collect so much.

“We really wanted to raise awareness and thought if we collected anything ­– maybe a couple of boxes –­­ that would be great,” Brumley said. “I didn’t quite believe it when Faith at Woodforest said we would need a truck to pick up everything. When my mom and I went to the Homefinder Lodge and saw how many items there were, we decided we needed
two trucks.”

The Montgomery County Women’s Center can house up to 75 women and children each night, providing safe shelter for survivors of family violence, sexual assault and stalking. Other services include a 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy and legal services.

The project has been an eye-opener for both Brumley and Palacios.

“I feel that especially in The Woodlands area, it’s hard to imagine domestic violence happening; we all just live our lives,” she said. “I never even realized that this was going on in our own community. But we need to talk about it so women know where to get help.”

The girls will compete in the HOSA event locally Jan. 26-27. If they do well, they advance to state competition in April. But while a win would be nice, the competition is no longer a primary motivation.

“This has gone from a competition to something much larger, much more impactful,” Brumley said.

Woodforest is located in South Montgomery County, about seven miles west of Interstate 45 and five miles north of The Woodlands. Builders have opened more than 30 model homes in Woodforest, with pricing from the $200,000s.

Learn more at woodforesttx.com.


(L-R): Constable Ryan Gable, Victoria Constance and Billy Banks.

(L-R): Constable Ryan Gable, Victoria Constance and Billy Banks.


Not even snow could keep community leaders, elected officials and members of law enforcement from coming out on the chilly morning of Dec. 8 to support a breakfast hosted by Precinct 3 Constable Ryan Gable at Longhorn Steakhouse in The Wood­lands to raise funds for Children’s Safe Harbor.

This was the fourth year in a row that Longhorn Steakhouse has underwritten the “Campfire Breakfast” for which guests contributed a $20 donation to the children’s advocacy center for each ticket. The event raised $4,740, which was a thousand dollars more than the previous year. And with a matching donation from an anonymous donor, the final tally reached $9,480.

Children’s Safe Harbor offers specialized services to traumatized and abused children (ages 2-17) and their families. Children can share their experiences of abuse through a unique narrative investigation process called a forensic interview. Specialized medical evaluations and weekly individual, family, and group counseling services are all available at no cost to the child victims and their non-offending family members.

“We are extremely grateful for Constable Ryan Gable as he has once again teamed up with Billy Banks, the managing partner of Longhorn Steakhouse, to host this special fundraiser for us,” said Victoria Constance, MSPH, PhD, executive director and CEO of the board of directors for Children’s Safe Harbor. “By providing forensic interviewing, medical services, family advocacy, and counseling at no cost to the families, we are fighting the injustice of child abuse and facilitating healing for these young victims who are so courageous.”

According to Constance, the case load facilitated by Children’s Safe Harbor has grown from seeing an average of 99 per month to more than doubling in the recent months. Children’s Safe Harbor is currently seeking volunteers and corporate sponsors to assist with their mission: to protect and enhance the life of every child who has the courage to battle sexual or severe physical abuse.

To make a donation or to volunteer, visit ChildrensSafeHarbor.org or call 936-756-4644, x234.

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