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Happenings in The Woodlands
November 2015



The Montgomery County Youth Services (MCYS) Woodlands Celebrity Masquerade Gala benefitting Montgomery County Youth Services is celebrating its 27th anniversary in style on Friday, Nov. 6 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. The Venetian-themed Masquerade Gala is black-tie optional, and attendees are asked to wear a Venetian-inspired mask. The Gala, hosted by PGA professional golfer Jeff Maggert and his wife Michelle, is co-chaired by Chardelle Adelson and Sylvia Caracio.

MCYS is an agency that assists troubled youth and families and provides them with resources such as counseling services, workshops and shelter. MCYS will be honoring The Woodlands residents and community leaders Dr. Lucian and Patti Rivela for their many contributions to the agency and the youth of Montgomery County. Patti is currently a member of the MCYS Board and has been involved on the Gala and Ladies Night Out committees for years. She frequently volunteers at BridgeWay, sharing a kind word, drawing portraits of the kids or cooking a meal, all in an attempt to give them some sense of normalcy. Recently, she took the girls to buy homecoming outfits – dresses, shoes and mums for Willis Homecoming. Dr. Rivela participates at agency events and offers his support wherever possible.

“MCYS is so grateful for the support and generosity offered by the Rivelas,” noted Chardelle Adelson, gala co-chair along with Sylvia Caracio. “It is the overwhelming support of companies and people like the Rivelas that make this annual event and Montgomery County Youth Services so successful in making a difference for the youth in our county. Caracio continued, “ We are thankful for the generous sponsorships and donations of our all of our sponsors and attendees. This has really been a huge investment in the lives of our community’s underserved youth.”

Thomas Markle has generously donated his house in Hawaii again this year for the event raffle. Centrally located on Maui, the home is just a half mile from the beach and also close to golf courses, historic restaurants and shopping. The house comfortably sleeps 16. To see all of the features of this house visit skydwellermaui.com.

The event will include dinner, dancing, and a live auction with trips to Cabo and Italy, as well as the U.S. Open available for bidding. Celebrities new to the event are actors Gregory Harrison, Ryan Merriman and Alan Thicke. Proceeds from the event will go to MCYS. For more information or tickets, visit youth.mc.org.


Lt. Col. Allen West

Lt. Col. Allen West


JROThe JROTC Foundation is hosting former congressman and combat-decorated Lt. Col. Allen West at a Nov. 8 banquet to raise money for underfunded high school JROTC programs in Houston and throughout Texas.

“Dinner with Allen West” will be held at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center, 2301 N. Millbend Drive. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner starts at 7 p.m. Emcee­ing the event is KTRH radio host Matt Patrick. Individual tickets are $250 and table packages begin at $1,500 for eight people. Limited sponsorships are still available.

“This is a terrific opportunity to meet one of today’s most talked-about political commentators who will have much to say about the presidential race and other current topics,” said Conrad Doss, president of the JROTC Foundation. “Plus, sponsors and attendees will be helping underfunded JROTC programs in Houston and throughout Texas.”

One hundred percent of the evening’s proceeds will benefit JROTC programs. Approximately $140,000 was raised at last year’s inaugural dinner. Through the fundraising, 50 cadets from three area programs were able to attend summer leadership schools and basic training camps, and approximately 100 cadets from Cypress Creek High School were able to go to the “Curriculum in Action” field trip earlier this year. The funds raised also provided for competition rifles for the North Forest JROTC and 30 warm-up competition uniforms for students unable to purchase their own. Doss hopes to raise $200,000 this year.

West is a former JROTC cadet and is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family. During his 22-year career in the United States Army, West served in several combat zones: Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom — where he was a battalion commander in the Army’s 4th Infantry Division — and later in Afghanistan. He received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals and a Valorous Unit Award. In 1993, he was named the U.S. Army ROTC Instructor of the Year. Following his retirement, West served in the 112th Congress. He currently is a Fox News contributor, a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and regularly writes for numerous media outlets.

For details or to purchase tickets, visit jrotcfoundation.org/events.


The ice rink opens daily Saturday, Nov. 21 through Monday, Jan. 18.

The ice rink opens daily Saturday, Nov. 21 through Monday, Jan. 18.


The Woodlands will celebrate the 2015 holiday season with fireworks, international foods and performances, strolling carolers, holiday light displays and the largest seasonal ice rink in the southwest starting Saturday, Nov. 21 at the 33rd Annual Lighting of the Doves and 9th Annual International Winter On The Waterway (iWOW).

Two of the area’s most popular holiday attractions, The Ice Rink at The Woodlands Town Center and Donoho’s Jewellers Winter Wonderland, also open Nov. 21 and will entertain families through Monday, Jan. 18. The Ice Rink is presented by Planet Ford in partnership with Texas Children’s Hospital. The rink is located at the northeast corner of Lake Robbins and Six Pines Drive. A special preview opening of the ice rink will take place Saturday, Nov. 14 and Sunday, Nov. 15. Ticket information, special offers and coupons are available at 281-363-2447 or VisitTheWoodlands.com.

Enjoy live entertainment, interactive booths, games and more on Nov. 21 from 3-9 p.m. at the Lighting of the Doves Festival at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway. Familes also enjoy a snow slide, snow play area, inflatables, children’s arts and crafts, strolling entertainers and fireworks.

The celebration will culminate with a special appearance by Santa aboard a decorated sleigh on The Woodlands Waterway. The free event will be held at Town Green Park (2099 Lake Robbins Drive) and is open to the public.

Also on Nov. 21, the International Winter On The Waterway (iWOW) will celebrate its eighth year from 3-9 p.m. along The Woodlands Waterway adjacent to Town Green Park.

At iWOW, attendees can celebrate the cultural diversity represented in The Woodlands with booths presenting holiday traditions from around the world. Check out the iWOW World of Holiday Trees and enjoy international foods, arts and crafts, music and entertainment. Admission to iWOW is free and open to the public.

At Donoho’s Jewellers Winter Wonderland, visitors can stroll through a fantasyland of magical lighted toy soldiers, elves, doves, musical angels and snowmen from dusk until 11 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 281-363-2447 or visit VisitTheWoodlands.com.


Author Gillian Flynn

Author Gillian Flynn


The John Cooper School is pleased to present the 11th Annual Signatures Author Series on Dec. 4, featuring suspense novelist, Gillian Flynn, author of the runaway hit Gone Girl, an international sensation that spent over 75 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was made into a major motion picture. She is also the author of Sharp Objects and Dark Places.

This much-anticipated luncheon event, held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, also features visiting authors, book signings, a VIP reception and an auction of a piece signed by the author. A portion of the proceeds benefits a local literacy organization. Some of the previous prestigious authors featured at the Signatures luncheon includes Barbara Bush, Mitch Albom, Dave Berry, Kathryn Stockett, Anthony Bourdain, Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult.

Table sponsorships are available at varying levels at johncooper.org/specialevents as well as individual reservations for $150 each.

Cooper Art Society (CAS) and National Art Honor Society (NAHS) students at The John Cooper School have raised over $65,000 for hunger relief since the inception of The Empty Bowls Project 11 years ago. Students from all grade levels are busy creating bowls for the annual event. On Feb. 20, 2016, from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., members of the community are again invited to share a bowl of soup, bid on a silent auction, and take home a student-made bowl as a reminder that there are empty bowls in the community. Reservations are $10 and proceeds will benefit The Interfaith Food Pantry.

Call 281-367-0900 ext. 2441 or visit   johncooper.org for more information.


the woodladns high school theater department


The Woodlands High School Theater Department is proud to present the children’s show, Winnie the Pooh. This play is about the importance of friendship, as Winnie the Pooh goes on an adventure with his best friends in search of Christopher Robin. Winnie the Pooh will be performed at The Woodlands High School Auditorium on Nov. 5 and 6 at 7 p.m., and on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and $5 for the matinee. A special birthday party for Winnie will start at 12 p.m. at the Saturday matinee. Tickets for the birthday party are $10 and will include a meet and greet with the cast as well as a ticket to the 2 p.m show. Tickets are available at the door.



The knitting, crocheting and conversation group meets every Friday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the Earl Elliott meeting room at the Barbara Bush Library. Help make lap blankets for veterans and chemo caps for MD Anderson Cancer Center patients. For information, call 281-376-4610. The library is located at 6817 Cypresswood Dr. in Spring.



The “Change for Charity” program is an ongoing effort which encourages shoppers to deposit change into one of 68 non-governed parking meters within the shopping and entertainment destination. Every quarter, nickel and dime is metered to better the community and benefit a different organization every three months.

Since its inception in 2005, the Change for Charity program has raised more than $100,000 for local nonprofit organizations. For information, visit marketstreet-thewoodlands.com.



On Nov. 7, The Woodlands College Park Choir will be hosting its 2015 presentation of their “Military Salute” honoring the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans at College Park High School Auditorium. Cost is $7 per person. Veterans and active duty military will receive a discount.

This event is held each year for two performances at 6 and 8 p.m. The school’s commons area is decorated in red, white and blue, and a reception will be held between performances, allowing guests to enjoy an array of refreshments as well as stroll down the memorial hallway
displayed with photos and posters of veterans and heroes.

The Color Guard will also present a moving tribute to our military, both active and retired. Families and students of College Park are asked to submit the branch, rank, name and location of their loved ones who are serving our country to the director so they may be recognized during the “Yellow Rose” ceremony of the performance. For more information, visit cavalierchoir.com.



Montgomery County Performing Arts Society presents “A Tribute to Frank Sinatra” on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Celebrate Ol’ Blue Eyes’ 100th Birthday Bash in style. Hear all the favorites from the Sinatra songbook with Steve Lippia on vocals and his driving Big Band playing the original Nelson Riddle charts.

The group will perform the great standard hits such as “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “My Way,” “Summer Wind,” “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “That’s Life,” “The Best is Yet To Come,” “Luck Be A Lady” and “Come Fly with Me.”

Individual tickets are priced at $43. Season tickets are available for $175. For more information or to order season or individual show tickets, call The Crighton Thea­tre Box Office at 936-441-7469.

The remainder of the 2015-2016 season is as follows:

Young Texas Artists Finalists’ Concert and Awards, Saturday, March 12, 2016, 7:30 p.m.




Attention ladies! The Montgomery County Women’s Center asks you to consider donating a new or gently loved handbag for the third annual “Open Your Purse for Change” event, set for Feb. 11, 2016. This year’s unique fundraising luncheon, co-chaired by Ally Seder, Terry Larson and Shirelle Chimenti, will feature a guest speaker, raffle and silent auction of designer handbags from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center.

To make arrangements to donate a purse, contact Ally Seder at ally@ mikeseder.com.

Proceeds will benefit the Montgomery County Women’s Center, which serves the needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or abuse and stalking from all areas of Montgomery County and surrounding counties. Tickets are $150 per person and table sponsorships are offered from $2,500 up to the $10,000 level and may be purchased by contacting event chair Ally Seder at the email above. Seating is limited. For more information about the Montgomery County Women’s Center, visit mcwctx.org.



Women on a Mission to Earn Commission (WOAMTEC), a networking organization geared towards businesswomen, meet at Amerigo’s Grille in The Woodlands from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. every first and third Wednesday. The cost for lunch is $20, all inclusive. All local business professionals are invited to attend. WOAMTEC was created in 2007 to provide a supportive environment for women who are committed to faith, family and career. Visit woamtec.com or call 866-757-2611 for information.


jr league holiday market


The Junior League of The Woodlands, Inc. (JLTW, Inc.) will present the 13th annual Junior League Holiday Market on Nov. 20-22 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in The Woodlands Town Center.

The market will feature over 100 unique merchants from across the country that will be selling specialty holiday items, home accessories, clothing, gourmet foods, jewelry and much more. Ticket prices are $15 for a one-day admission ticket. Holiday Market hours are Friday, Nov. 20 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 22 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Holiday Market will kick-off with a “Merry Christmas Y’all” Preview Party on Thursday, Nov. 19 from 7:30-10:30 p.m. The preview is a shopping event that will feature a live band and silent auction. Tickets are $90 per person and include a one-day admission ticket to the Holiday Market.

The Holiday Market will feature photos with Santa on Saturday and Sunday that will be open to the public with no ticket purchase necessary. Photos are $10 per printed picture.

Proceeds from the Junior League Holiday Market help JLTW, Inc. support the organization’s mission and the immediate community through its dynamic training and community programs. For more information, visit JLHolidayMarket.org.



Emergency Chaplain Group, a nonprofit organization that offers crisis chaplaincy and peer-to-peer counseling services to emergency service personnel and their families, is extending its deadline for companies and individuals to register as sponsors for its fourth annual gala on Thursday, Nov. 12 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott & Convention Center. The gala’s theme this year is “Hope for Heroes,” and it will feature keynote speaker Don Piper, author of the book and subject of the major motion picture 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life.

J.C. “Skip” Straus, MA, BCC, CCC, EMT-P, and founder/CEO/senior chaplain of Emergency Ministries, has been inspired by the sponsors who have signed up so far, but is hopeful that more sponsorships will assist in the group’s mission. “We are primarily funded by donations, and this gala is our annual opportunity to raise the funds needed to provide these crucial services our everyday heroes and their families,” he said.

Emergency Chaplain Group, founded in 1998, is a group of specially trained chaplains who respond to the needs of the first responder community both on-scene and “behind-scene,” with an emphasis on critical incident stress and post traumatic stress services. The services are offered without regard to religious affiliation (or lack thereof). “One thing that makes us unique is that we require all of our chaplains to have worn a badge,” Straus said.

Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, is master of ceremonies of the gala. Last year’s keynote speaker, former DOD Police Sergeant Kim Munley, a real-life hero who stopped the rampage at the Fort Hood shootings, will attend as a special returning guest. More information can be found at emchap.org or by emailing hopeforheroes@emchap.org.


The Woodlands Show Chorus will perform the annual holiday show Nov. 21.

The Woodlands Show Chorus will perform the annual holiday show Nov. 21.


The Woodlands Show Chorus (TWSC) invites the public to “Take a Ride on The Woodlands Express” on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Nancy Bock Theater inside McCullough Jr. High School, 3800 S. Panther Creek Drive. The annual holiday show offers two performances — matinee and evening. Enjoy Santa photo ops for the kids, a holiday themed silent auction, bake sale, Christmas quilt raffle and many more activities. TWSC’s master director, Betty Clipman, who has earned worldwide credentials with Sweet Adelines International (SAI), will direct the chorus. The show features the 2015 SAI Region 10 Championship Quartet, Live It Up, who represented the region at the 2015 SAI International Chorus and Quartet Competition in Las Vegas in mid-October.

Doors open at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for the silent auction, with the two shows beginning a half hour later. Tickets for the matinee performance are $10/seniors and children, $15/adults and $25 reserved seating. For the evening performance, prices are $15/seniors and children, $25/adults and $40 reserved, and may be purchased by calling 713-688-6509 or by emailing         tickets@thewoodlandsshowchorus.org. Visit thewoodlandsshowchorus.org for more information.


Sonia Azad

Sonia Azad


The Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce (GTACC) has announced that Tom Abrahams, weekend anchor with KTRK-TV, Channel 13, will serve as the Tomball Holiday Parade emcee, and Sonia Azad, formerly with KTRK-TV and new health/medical reporter with ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas, will be the master of ceremonies for the Miss Tomball Pageant.

“Both Tom and Sonia have special ties to Tomball,” said GTACC president Bruce Hillegeist. “Tom resides in the Tomball area, and Sonia is a Tomball High School graduate. With their demanding schedules, we are honored they are making time to help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Tomball Holiday Parade and crowning of the 50th Miss Tomball.”

Both the parade and the pageant will take place on Saturday, Nov. 21. The first Miss Tomball Pageant had a total of 23 contestants; Sue Wellborn Cox received the first title, and has been invited to be specially recognized at this year’s event, along with other past winners.

For information on chamber membership, visit TomballChamber.org or call 281-351-7222.



Thousands are expected to stroll 19th Street located in Houston’s Historic Downtown Heights, as the 19th Street Merchants present their annual Holiday on 19th St. Enjoy food and refreshments, strolling carolers, live music, and more. 19th Street has the most exciting shops Houston has to offer, featuring cool fashions for men and women, original works of art, fun and unique gifts, home furnishings and a vast assortment of antiques.

The event is from 6-10 p.m on Friday, Dec. 4. The shops are located on 19th Street between Shepherd and Yale. Exit from I-10 or Loop 610.

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