Around Town Jun 2015
MARGARET MONTGOMERY CHAPTER CELEBRATES RICHARD E. WILLIAMS, DAR MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT
The Margaret Montgomery Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Texas Society DAR has honored Richard E. Williams with its highest award, the Medal of Honor at its 2015 State Conference.
Williams was at work as a district manager in the General Services Administration, on the first floor of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building when the truck bomb exploded, less than 100 feet away on April 19,1995. Tons of rubble crashed down on him causing multiple severe injuries. He was found by a rescue worker, rushed to a hospital, and kept alive by extensive, emergency surgery.
After returning to work many months later, he wanted to do something for everyone that was involved with this tragedy. That opportunity came two years later with the concept of a memorial and museum where he served in several leadership roles with distinction on committees involved with the development of the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum.
Williams conceived a message of hope and healing that as a result of a senseless act, survivors can rise to achieve, live, and go on in life. His work for the various committees of the Oklahoma Memorial Committee, for the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network, The Living Lessons project and his public speaking engagements throughout the United States, has promoted his own personal healing and perseverance to go on in life, as well as for new generations who study the personal struggle of those affected by life’s great tragedies.
MARKET STREET PRESENTS MORE THAN $1,800 TO HUMANE SOCIETY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY
As part of its Change for Charity initiative, Market Street recently donated more than $1,800 to the Humane Society of Montgomery County. The funds were raised by Market Street patrons during the first quarter of 2015. Since the program’s inception, Market Street patrons have raised more than $100,000 for local charities. Four Montgomery County organizations are selected each year to receive a percentage of the funds collected from Market Street’s 68 parking meters during a three-month period.
JENNIFER ARNOLD RILEY-BROWN GUESTG SPEAKER AT EVENT FOR INTERFAITH COMMUNITY CLINIC
Dr. Jennifer Arnold encouraged guests to “Think Big” at the second annual “Women Empowering Women” luncheon held on May 1 at The Woodlands Country Club-Palmer Course. The sold-out event raised more than $115,000 for Interfaith Community Clinic.
“We were so honored to have Dr. Arnold as our special guest for this event for the Interfaith Community Clinic. She was incredibly inspiring and is truly a remarkable woman. The guests were equally excited to hear her motivating words of strength and encouragement,” said Dr. Ann Snyder, president and CEO of the Interfaith community Clinic.
Standing at just 3 foot 2 inches, Dr. Arnold has a rare type of dwarfism called Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Type Strudwick and has undergone more than 30 surgeries. She and her husband Bill, along with their children Will and Zoey are featured on TLC’s docu-drama, The Little Couple, which follows their personal and professional lives and is now in its seventh season. The show has proven to be an invaluable method to break down barriers and educate people around the country about people with disabilities.
More than 200 guests attended the luncheon and were able to meet Dr. Arnold before and at the conclusion of the event.
WILLIS CITY MANAGER RECOGNIZED AS
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
During the Montgomery County United Way (MCUW) 2015 annual meeting held at Sam Houston State University – The Woodlands, City Manager Hector Forestier was honored as the 2014 Volunteer of the Year.
As a loyal volunteer, advocate and donor for many years Forestier has successfully led and encouraged participation in workplace campaigns, volunteer opportunities, served on the MCUW board of directors, served as a member of the campaign cabinet, served as the treasurer and is currently a member of the financial independence impact council.
Always going above and beyond the call of duty, Forestier has also supported and nurtured outreach initiatives that help to convene the Hispanic population to increase awareness around education of resources.
Bob Abendschein of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and outgoing MCUW Board Chair presented Forestier with the award stating that “Hector was a man of his word both personally and professionally” and that it was “his honor to recognize his friend” as the 2014 Volunteer of the Year.
DAUGHTERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS PARTICIPATE IN FLAG RAISING CEREMONY
Recently, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and community leaders tood part in the fifth annual Flag Raising Ceremony at the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park. The ceremony, which was in observance of San Jacinto Day, became a tradition each year, as the flags are replaced to keep them in perfect condition. The unveiling and dedication ceremonies of the park took place on April 21, 2011, which was the vision of artist Craig Campobella, who created the Texian Statue and the Bronze Bust of Charles B. Stewart, which are surrounded by the 13 Historic Flags. The 13 flags raised represent the flags that flew during the Texas Revolution and the volunteer armies making the Republic of Texas Independence possible. The Flag Raisers for the ceremony and the flags that were flown are as follows: Coahuila y Tejas (1821-1836) – Martha Sanchez Haydel; Mexican Tricolor 1824 (1835-1836) – Johnnie Burleson; Flag of the Texas Navy (1836) – R.A. Mickey Deison; Alabama Red Tover (1835-1836) – Rodney Pool; New Orleans Gray (1835-1836) – Ernest Coker Jr.; Come and Take it (1835) – Commissioner Mike Meador; Dodson Lone Star (1835) – Harold “Hutch” Hutcheson; Troutman Flag (1836) – Virginia Murray; Goliad Flag Severed Arm (1836) – Paul Vigadamo; San Jacinto (1836) – Denton Florian; First Flag of the Republic (DeZavala)(1836) – Herbert “Kix” Lamp; Second Flag of the Republic (Burnett) (1836) – Pastor Anthony Shelton; and The Lone Star Flag (1839) – Pat Spackey.
TWO LOCAL TEACHERS HONORED AT THE 2015 WOODLANDS WATERWAY ARTS FESTIVAL
Two teachers from Conroe Independent School District (CISD) and Montgomery Independent School District (MISD) were awarded the 2015 Dr. Gottlieb Outstanding Teacher in the Arts Award at The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival (WWAF) in April. Terri Sanders, of Hauke Alternative Academic High School and Heather Orr, of Montgomery High School, were each presented with a $2,000 award in recognition of their outstanding contributions to arts education and to honor personal sacrifices.
The awards were designed to honor two teachers in visual arts and performing arts who have demonstrated excellence in their field, exceptional leadership and a high level of dedication to students by creating an environment that excites and stimulates the students toward self-expression through the arts.
“The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council (WWAC) through its educational and community outreach arm, Because Art Matters, is pleased to honor such outstanding art educators in our community,” says Cindy Hardin, president of The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council. “These teachers are truly inspirational as they transform students’ lives through the arts.”
Sanders is the 2015 visual arts winner and has taught in CISD for over 18 years. As an Art I-IV and cross-curriculum teacher for at risk students, she has instilled a love of the arts in students who have not had experience with art since early school years. Sanders creates a bridge between community involvement and campus outreach by forming partnerships and finding avenues to share her student’s art. In 2014 she also participated in and met the requirements to become a Because Art Matter’s year-round Master Artist. As part of this new and emerging community outreach program, Sanders and seven other Master Artists will work with community organizations and schools to create community collaborative art projects and murals through WWAC and the Because Art Matters programs.
Orr is the 2015 performing arts winner and has been a UIL Choir Sponsor for the past 20 years and teaches choral at Montgomery High School. Known as a “one-of-a-kind” choir director, Orr uses her creativity and enthusiastic teaching to drive students to move forward with their talents while providing lessons of integrity, confidence, teamwork and dedication towards a common goal. Highly involved in the community,
Orr serves for several professional music organizations and fosters the arts through outreach performances.
“A great teacher is a powerful force and catalyst for positive growth in the lives of our youth” said Kimberly Lacayo, Because Art Matters chairperson. “The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council’s Dr. David Gottlieb Excellence Awards is one small way we can recognize the mentoring and guidance provided by these exceptional visual and performing arts educators who enhance the future of our communities by expanding the horizons of our children today. Heather and Terri, we are most grateful.”
As WWAC celebrates 10 years in the community, Because Art Matters celebrates six of those years awarding teachers the honor of the award. This year also marks the first year a teacher has won outside of CISD.
NEARLY $600,000 RAISED AT ANNUAL BOYS AND GIRLS COUNTRY SPRING FESTIVAL
Bicycles, super slides, fun rides and great food were all a part of Boys and Girls Country’s 37th annual Spring Festival and inaugural Petal for a Purpose bike ride on May 2 that raised approximately $598,819. Over 3,500 visitors attended the festival and more than 100 cyclists participated in the bike ride. Proceeds from both events will go toward funding expenses to care for the 88 children staying at Boys and Girls Country and the 14 young adults in the College and Career program. Boys and Girls Country is a home for children whose families are in crisis and are in need of a place to live, as their home life has been disrupted.
“Boys and Girls Country provides stability and structure for children, keys to a child’s success, which is why we are more than pleased with the money raised this year,” says John Nesser, Spring Festival co-chair. “Most of these kids have experienced a rough start to life because of family crises such as homelessness, abuse or neglect.”
“When children come to live at Boys and Girls Country,” says Cynthia Nesser, John’s wife and Spring Festival co-chair, “there is so much they need. It costs $139 a day to provide a home, food, medical care, clothing, ‘round the clock Teaching Parent Staff, and after school tutoring and counseling. The first three months are critical. In three months we spend $12,510 helping a child transition to our home. So the dollars we raised on Saturday are critical to their care.”
WOODLANDS CHRISTIAN GALA RAISES $2.6 MILLION
The Woodlands Christian Academy has reported that their annual auction and gala, The Warrior Derby Gala, grossed $2.6 million. The event was held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott in April. The proceeds will be used to construct a state of the art eight-lane, 400-meter track, add synthetic turf to the football field and construct stadium seating on the school’s campus. “I am grateful to this year’s auction committee for their tireless efforts and I am humbled by the overwhelming generosity and support from the community,” said Head of School, Julie Ambler.
INTERFAITH OF THE WOODLANDS HOSTS SPRING
LUNCHEON FOR SENIORS
Interfaith of The Woodlands hosted a large Spring luncheon for more than 150 local senior residents on April 20. The South County Community Center’s activity room was filled to capacity and decorated with fun spring décor, as guests enjoyed a full pasta lunch, dessert, games and music provided by local DJ. “Interfaith’s Senior Services Team are excited to put together these luncheons and all of the activities offered. This allows seniors to have fellowship with their friends and stay active. It’s good for them and it’s good for our community,” shared Dr. Ann Snyder, President & CEO of Interfaith of The Woodlands.
All activities offered at the South County Community Center are free of charge and anyone age 62 or older can participate. The average attendance for many of the activities is between 80-90 participants, and a hot meal is also offered courtesy of The Friendship Center. Bingo games are held every Monday and Thursday at 11 a.m., and the book club, fitness, and arts and crafts are offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays at 10 a.m. Seniors do not need to pre-register in order to participate. The South County Community Center is located at 2206 Lake Robbins Drive.
THERESA ROEMER TRUE AND REAL
TRUNK SHOW HELD
Theresa Roemer held a trunk show of the stunning collection of her spring/ summer fashion apparel line, Theresa Roemer True and Real, on May15-16 at the Roemer house in The Woodlands
“Every woman deserves style and comfort. With the right pieces we can buy smarter and buy less while having interchangeable pieces,” said Roemer.
The line encompasses figure flattering materials like Ponte knit with ideal pieces like the perfect go-to pants and skirt every girl always reaches for, with the flawless top and seamless dresses, each in three or four colors to build multiple looks. The simple line is designed for women to add their own embellishments to an uncongested canvas with statement jewelry and fashion add-ons to make each outfit pop.
LOCAL FOOD PANTRY RECEIVES MORE
THAN 2 TONS OF GROCERIES
During a recent team-building session, Mercedes-Benz of The Woodlands (MBOTW) employees visited the nearby Costco, where they loaded up grocery carts with 5,500 pounds worth of food and household items before delivering them to the Food Pantry of Interfaith of The Woodlands.
MBOTW co-owner and general manager Bob Milner said approximately 80 employees from his showroom took part in the team session, which began with the delivery of printed invitations to Mercedes owners throughout The Woodlands area for a choice of a free massage or car detailing. Milner said the session culminated with the trip to Costco, where his employees filled their shopping carts with items for the local food pantry. “Our team was so enthusiastic that we even had some of the Costco people loading up baskets for us,” said Milner. Earlier in the day, Milner had alerted Dr. Ann Snyder of Interfaith of The Woodlands that the MBOTW team would be dropping by that evening with a donation. She was waiting for them when they arrived with what turned out to be a donation of approximately $6,000 worth of much-needed staples to stock the pantry shelves.
“We here at Mercedes-Benz of The Woodlands are excited about the active role we can play in the community through helping organizations like Interfaith,” said Milner.
BECAUSE ART MATTERS INSPIRES AT-RISK YOUTH THROUGH DRUMMING WORKSHOP
The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council and Because Art Matters recently sponsored “Drumming is the Difference,” a motivational program supporting at-risk youth in the Montgomery County Juvenile Justice System, in early April. More than 75 at-risk youth participants, ages 12-17, from the Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program, Montgomery County Juvenile Detention Center and Montgomery County Youth Services-BridgeWay Youth Center participated in the series of workshops.
The drumming sessions, conducted by world-renowned percussionist Dan Egger-Belandria, better known as “Dan the Drummer,” introduced percussion instruments and drumming styles as a creative way to communicate, express emotions and manage stress. This opportunity served as a powerful, interactive experience of rhythmic collaboration where participants explored self-awareness and artistic expression.
“The Drumming is the Difference Program definitely benefitted our program simply because many of our at-risk youth have very minimal opportunities to experience any aspect of the arts, especially those that are specifically aimed at their participation,” says Bruce Gusler, deputy director, Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center.
Youth participants from all three organizations experienced positive feedback from participants after their involvement in the “Drumming is the Difference” workshop.
“I had a good time learning how my attitude can affect my behavior, and how, if I prioritize my values, I can bring myself to do the right thing and make the right choices. It was also a lot of fun to play the drums,” says Tom, a workshop participant.