Page 1

DECEMBER 2016

Serving Richmond, Rosenberg, Fulshear & Needville

1Annual st

Over

197,000 Votes From Readers

RICHMOND:

A Scenic City Tried and True CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE


FINDING UNCOMMON SOLUTIONS FOR ONE OF THE MOST COMMON CANCERS. At Houston Methodist Sugar Land, we take an aggressive approach to fighting breast cancer. From accelerating highpotential research to creating unique treatments based on a tumor’s genetics, we offer more innovative options to fight breast cancer at every stage. Our breast cancer specialists are here to help with • Mammography, using the most advanced imaging technology • Specialized programs for high-risk patients and aggressive forms of breast cancer • Surgery and the latest options for breast reconstruction • Support services including patient navigators and spiritual care • Clinical trials and innovative research focused on prevention and survivorship To schedule your mammogram, call 281.242.PINK(7465). Visit houstonmethodist.org/fightbreastcancer to learn more about our breast cancer services, or call our breast care navigator at 281.276.8989.

16655 Southwest Frwy.

INSIDE FRONT

|

Sugar Land, TX 77479


Larry Caldwell, D. D. S. Dentistry for Children and those with Special Needs

Dr. Caldwell is the creator of the New Harp Ortho Flosser! A reusable tool for flossing with braces, made with braided nylon floss resistant to fraying and breaking! One handed, quick and easy!

Keep Gums Healthy

SEE VIDEOS AND ORDER @ HARPORTHOFLOSSER.COM

Oral Health Education • Sealants • Intravenous Sedation • High Speed Digital X-Rays Ora Verse Anesthesia Reversal • Laser Soft Tissue Removal • Accepting New Patients

15200 SW Freeway • Sugar Land, TX 77478

281.565.KIDS (5437) www.larrycaldwelldds.com A Special Place for Special People

Home of Tillie the Tooth

Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry

Bunion Pain? You No Longer Need To Suffer • Outpatient Surgery Using Local Anesthesia • Minimal Disability - Good Pain Management • Able to Walk in a Surgical Shoe the Same Day • State-of-the-art Medical & Surgical Technology • Dissolvable Pins and Fixation Techniques

David H. Korfin DPM, FACFA S

Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon Podiatrist - Foot Specialist

• Bunion Correction • Laser Wart Surgery • Endoscopic Heel Surgery • Diabetic Wound Care • Ingrown Toenails • Sports Injuries • Hammer Toe Repair • Adult & Children’s

My staff and I offer a personalized treatment plan, using state-of-the-art medical and surgical techniques, provided in a warm, caring, compassionate environment.

1327 Lake Pointe Pkwy, Ste 510 • Sugar Land, Texas 77478 Located in the Professional Building attached to St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital

www. d r d avid k orfin.com

Maximize your insurance coverage by scheduling your surgery before the end of the year! 281-313-FEET (3338)

• Diplomate, American Board of Podiatric Surgery • Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgery • Certified Wound Care Specialist • Serving Fort Bend for over 25 years • Fellow, American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons • Past President & Current Member of the Harris County Podiatric Medical Society. • Member of the Texas Podiatric Medical Association • Member of the American Podiatric Medical Association • Preferred Provider for most Private Insurance Plans

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CONTRIBUTORS

DECEMBER 2016

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VOLUME 5

|

NUMBER 1

Joan Frances Contributor Pages 30 & 32

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F E AT U R E S 20 HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS IN ROSENBERG, RICHMOND AND FULSHEAR

This holiday season, gather up your families for several great events in the heart of Brazos.

21 FOCUS ON WORSHIP

COVER STORY 5 1st ANNUAL absolutely! THE BEST READERS’ CHOICE OF BRAZOS’ FAVORITES In August, we invited readers to our website to take an online survey

to tell us who their favorites are in Brazos in eight different categories: Food, Shopping, Entertainment, Professional Services, Pet Services, Auto Services, Care Services and Home Improvement. See who won this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards!

COLUMNS 23 HOMETOWN HEROES: JRG Ranch

30 HIGH SCHOOL HOT SHOT

BUSINESS BRIEFS 18 TEXAS STATE TECHNICAL COLLEGE

Celebrates New Fort Bend County Campus

Meet Gracie Wilburn

32 A LITTLE PIECE OF HISTORY Christmas Traditions in Fort Bend

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27 ACCESSHEALTH Welcomes New Board Members

DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Focus on the reason for the season at a local church.

22 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Find fabulous gifts from local retailers.

NEWSWORTHY 28 RICHMOND

Earns Prominent Scenic City Certification

IN EVERY ISSUE 4 EXCLAMATION POINTS! 24 OUT & ABOUT IN THE HEART OF BRAZOS 26 SEEN ON THE SCENE 31 COMMUNITY MARKETPLACE


Primary Care.

SCHEDULE TODAY!

Where you go makes a differenCe.

Adelola Ashaye, MD Family Medicine

Nader Ayub, DO Primary Care Sports Medicine

Kerry Laursen, MD Family Medicine

Jessen Rajan, MD Family Medicine Malayalam & Spanish

Sienna Plantation 8330 Hwy. 6, Suite 110 Missouri City, TX 77459

Vandana Khera, MD Internal Medicine Hindi & Punjabi

Deepshikha Sharda, DO Family Medicine Hindi

Riverstone 18717 S. University Blvd., Suite 105 Sugar Land, TX 77479

Remilekun Dosumu Agbe-Davies, MD Internal Medicine

Adrianne Scruggs, MD Internal Medicine

Sweetwater 4660 Sweetwater Blvd., Suite 210 Sugar Land, TX 77479

Houston Methodist Primary Care Group is dedicated to providing high quality and compassionate care to the Fort Bend community. Our physicians have extensive training and experience in diagnosing and treating patients with a caring, hands-on, family-oriented approach. • Online scheduling • Same day appointments • Convenient locations

• Patient portal for secure communication with your care team • Accepts most major insurance plans

Easily schedule online at houstonmethodist.org/appointments or call 713.394.6638.

Achieve the

Ultimate Smile!

Dr. G. Byron Janik joins Dr. Stuart Rimes in Sugar Land Town Square!

Stuart Rimes, DDS, MS G. Byron Janik, DDS

Dr. Janik has been practicing in Fort Bend County since 1987. He and Dr. Rimes complement each other in their practices resulting in a win-win for their patients.

before

281-313-1565

before

Replacing missing teeth in one day!

after

Restore your smile with cosmetic dentistry!

after

Stuart Rimes, DDS, MS We are now in network with your insurance. and G. Byron Janik, DDS 15958 City Walk, Ste. 230, Sugar Land, TX 77479 www.RimesDDS.com • e-mail: info@rimesdds.com • www.gbyronjanikdds.com www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2016

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EXCLAMATION POINTS! THE INSIDE SCOOP STRAIGHT FROM THE TOP Publisher, PATTI PARISH-KAMINSKI

The Reason for the Season It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not only is it the time of year we celebrate our Lord and Savior, but it’s also the time of year when another favorite event of mine happens: our Readers’ Choice Awards. This year, we Pete and Nancy Olson, Ron and Claire Brandani and Patti and conducted Readers’ Choice Tim Kaminski at Heart of Fort Bend benefiting AccessHealth. polls in four of our community magazines, and boy did our absolutely! Brazos readers represent! Check out the 12 pages of our readers’ favs while you are getting your home spruced up for those holiday guests or while doing your Christmas shopping this year. We at absolutely! Brazos have so much to celebrate and be thankful for this holiday season. First and foremost, our team and our amazing families who support us during our hectic deadlines of multiple magazines, community events and general monthly mayhem. Our advertisers, readers and subscribers are the reason we are able to do what we do: bring you the people, places and happenings in our community. For their support, we are eternally grateful. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2: 13-14 Above all, we are blessed, and we know where our blessings come from. We wish you blessings, love and peace this most holy of seasons.

o l ut el y ! A n abs

Merry Christmas to You!

Vol. 5 No. 1 December 2016 4655 TECHNIPLEX DR. STE. 700 STAFFORD, TX 77477 281-690-4242 WWW.ABSOLUTELYBRAZOS.COM

PUBLISHER Patti Parish-Kaminski M A NA G I N G E D I T O R Sarah Bearden SENIOR AC C OUNT EXECUTIVE Jessica Kij AC C OUNT EXECUTIVES Nancy Dunbar Jennifer Elliott Molly Ellis Kay Garrett Andrea Rigamonti Suzanne Stiles A RT D I R E C T O R Grace Belleza GRAPHIC DESIGNER Marinela Taylor WEB DESIGNER Joey Belleza CONTRIBUTORS M.G. Angulo Joan Frances O F F I C E A D M I N I S T R AT O R Alexa Goldstein INQUIRIES 281-690-4242 E D I T O R IA L S U B M I S S I O N S Sarah@absolutelyfocusmedia.com

Absolutely! yours,

Patti@absolutelyfocusmedia.com

Published by

Subscription requests are free to West Fort Bend area addresses. Annual paid subscription of $25 required outside West Fort Bend area.

absolutelyfocusmedia.com

4

DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

absolutely! Brazos Magazine is published by absolutely! focus media, 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste. 700, Stafford, TX 77477. Copyright © 2016 by absolutely! focus media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. absolutely! Brazos Magazine does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial, nor do the publishers assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. absolutely! Brazos Magazine welcomes editorial submissions from its readers.


In August, we invited readers to our website to take an online survey to tell us who their favorites are in Brazos in eight different categories:

FOOD SHOPPING ENTERTAINMENT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES PET SERVICES AUTO SERVICES CARE SERVICES HOME IMPROVEMENT And boy, did they come through! With 197,933 votes, readers voiced their opinion on their favorites. Take a look and see who won this year’s absolutely! The Best Readers’ Choice of Brazos’ Favorites!

1st Annual

Voting for the 2016 absolutely! The Best of Brazos Readers’ Choice Awards was conducted online at www.absolutelyBrazos.com from August 1 to September 30, 2016. The results were collected and tabulated using PollDaddy.com. In the event of a tie, both winners are listed.


Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos

Fort Bend Fascinating Facts

FOOD

Local foodies spoke up load and clear voting for their favorite eateries – yum! Favorite Brunch:

One of the oldest buildings located in the heart of Historic Downtown Rosenberg, The Vogelsang Building was built in 1910 by Jacob Gray. The building was leased by Louis A. Vogelsang in 1912 for his general merchandise business, and today, it is owned by Louis’ grandson Bob Vogelsang and houses multiple attractions including BR Vino.

Sandy McGee’s 314 Morton Street Richmond, TX 77469 Favorite Wine Bar:

Favorite Pizza:

BR Vino 1917 Avenue G Rosenberg, TX 77471

BR Vino 1917 Avenue G Rosenberg, TX 77471 Open Wed-Sun

Open Mic Night 3rd Thursday of Month

Happy Hour Wed-Fri 3-7 pm

Favorite Pub: Clancy’s 503 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406 Favorite Margarita:

Rosenberg’s Finest Wine Room

Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen 24108 Southwest Freeway Rosenberg, TX 77471 Favorite Happy Hour: Clancy’s 503 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406

Boutique Wines Craft Beer Music on the Patio Wine Club Bingo 2nd Wed. of the Month Karaoke 2nd Fri. of the Month

Favorite Martini: Clancy’s 503 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406

(832) 595-2881

Favorite Burger:

1917 Avenue G • Historic Downtown Rosenberg 77471 www.BRvino.com

9er’s Grill 1800 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77469

Check out our Facebook page for events!

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DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos Mention this ad for 10% Off with 2 adult entrées.

CAFE AND GRILL

HOMESTYLE MEALS We are a locally owned family style café & grill specializing in fresh home style made to order meals. We take pride in our foods freshness and quality and always use the best ingredients around. Bull Creek is located at the corner of San Jacinto St. and Hwy 90 just blocks away from the Historical Downtown District in Rosenberg.

HAPPY HOUR

Tues - Sat 3 pm - 6:30 pm • Best Margaritas • Full Bar & Wine • Cold Beer on Tap

Sun: 4 – 9 pm | Mon – Thurs: 5 – 9:30 pm | Fri & Sat: 5 – 10:30 pm

Full Bar with Live Music • Dine-In Patio Dining • Pick-Up • We Cater

LUNCH SPECIALS Tues - Sat 11 am - 3 pm

• Best Chicken Fried Steak • Mesquite Wood Grill • Daily Features

OPEN Tue - Sat: Lunch & Dinner • Sunday: Lunch 281-341-8170 BULLCREEKROSENBERG.COM 918 San Jacinto St. • Rosenberg, TX

Favorite Steakhouse: Bull Creek Café & Grill 918 San Jacinto Street Rosenberg, TX 77471 Favorite Italian Restaurant:

Check Out Our Menu Online

www.lomontesrestaurant.com 815 Plantation Drive #180 Richmond, TX 77406 832-586-8304

Fort Bend Fascinating Facts Bob’s Taco Station was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The family owned restaurant established in 1991 is known for being one of the best Tex-Mex restaurants in Fort Bend.

Lomonte’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria 815 Plantation Drive Richmond, TX 77406 Favorite Mexican Food: Bob’s Taco Station 1901 Avenue H Rosenberg, TX 77471

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Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos

Favorite BBQ: The Swinging Door 3818 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406 Favorite Specialty Restaurant: Yai’s Thai Kitchen 7035 West Grand Parkway South Richmond, TX 77407 Favorite Country Club: Pecan Grove Country Club 3000 Plantation Drive Richmond, TX 77406

Fort Bend Fascinating Facts A Fort Bend landmark, The Swinging Door opened Labor Day in 1973. It has since been a popular destination for many famous Houstonians including Dan Pastorini, who once showed up on a date there with Farrah Fawcett.

Favorite Frozen Treats: Bob’s Snoballs 933 2nd Street Rosenberg, TX 77471

Open for Lunch & Dinner Wed-Sun 11 am – 9 pm

Caterings & Private Parties

281-342-4758

3818 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406

Thank you Fort Bend County for letting us serve your favorite barbeque for 43 years and still smoking!

www.swingingdoor.com Like Us on Facebook @ The Swinging Door

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DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos

SHOPPING

Fort Bend Fascinating Facts ‘Tis the season to shop ‘til you drop! Check out these favorite shopping spots.

For four generations, Dostal’s Designs in Fine Jewelry & Gifts has been family-owned and operated in Fort Bend since 1937.

Favorite Holiday Shopping: The Lacy Tumbleweed General Store 5507 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406 Favorite Bargain Shopping: The Lacy Tumbleweed General Store 5507 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406 Favorite Grocery Store: Kroger 7 Locations in Fort Bend Favorite Coffee Shop: Joseph’s Coffee & Cigars 202 Morton Street Richmond, TX 77469 Favorite Jewelry Store: Dostal’s Designs in Fine Jewelry & Gifts 940 3rd Street Rosenberg, TX 77471

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Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos

RTAINMENT ENTE

From theatres to outdoor recreation, readers got serious about voting for their favorite entertainment!

Favorite Kids’ Entertainment:

Fort Bend Fascinating Facts The George Ranch Historical Park’s history follows family lines beginning in 1824 when Texas was still part of Mexico. The first Texas pioneers settled near the Brazos River. Today, the George Ranch is a 23,000+ acre working ranch where authentic locations, historic homes, costumed presenters and a remarkable story of determination and courage set the stage for trekking through Texas history.

George Ranch Historical Park 10215 FM 762 Richmond, TX 77469

Favorite Movie Theatre: Santikos Palladium 7302 West Grand Parkway South Richmond, TX 77407 Favorite Live Entertainment: BR Vino 917 Avenue G Rosenberg, TX 77471

Christmas in the Park: Dec. 3, 10, 17, 20-23 Campfire Christmas (Tour Only): Dec. 9, 16 Campfire Christmas (Tour + Meal): Dec. 10, 17 New Year’s Eve Historical Bash: Dec. 31

Favorite Man Cave: The Bohemian Hill Tavern 2339 1st Street Rosenberg, TX 77471 Favorite Sports Recreation: Brazos Bend State Park 21901 FM 762 Needville, TX 77461

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DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos Favorite Bank/Credit Union: New First National Bank 4 Locations in Fort Bend

SSIONAL SERVICES PROFE

Favorite Financial Services: Hardee Investment Group – RBC Wealth Management 1001 Fannin Street, Suite 1200 Houston, TX 77002 Favorite Real Estate Agent:

Whether it’s building a home or ordering flowers, leave it to these favorite professionals!

Ginger LaRock – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 4819 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77469

Favorite Attorney/Law Firm:

Favorite Real Estate Company:

The Law Office of Matthew F. Scholes 611 Houston Street Richmond, TX 77469

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 4819 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77469

Favorite Custom Home Builder:

Favorite Florist:

Campbell Garrett Distinctive Homes 207 Morton Street Richmond, TX 77469

Terra Flora 2114 BF Terry Boulevard Rosenberg, TX 77471

CAMPBELL GARRETT DISTINCTIVE HOMES

Your Land. Our Expertise. Plan design service, builder showroom & precision craftmanship... Campbell Garrett Distinctive Homes makes it easy for you to build the perfect place to call home.

Building throughout Fort Bend County, Houston and beyond!

Thank you Fort Bend County for voting for us! 207 Morton Street • Richmond, TX • Call: 832-865-3444 • www.CampbellGarrett.com www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2016

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Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos

PET SERVICES

With the holidays around the corner, have your four-legged friends taken care of at Brazos’ finest! Favorite Day Care/Boarding Services: Pecan Grove Kennel 4612 Richmond-Foster Road Richmond, TX 77406 Favorite Grooming: Kristy’s Pet Salon 2210 Avenue I Rosenberg, TX 77471 Favorite Veterinarian: Brazos Bend Animal Hospital 721 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406

Pecan Grove Kennel & Cattery Fully Air-Conditioned In-Outdoor Runs

281.342.7946 4612 Richmond-Foster Rd. Richmond, TX 77469 www.pecangrovekennel.com

Favorite Auto Dealer:

ER AUTO S VICES

Classic Chevy Sugar Land 13115 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land, TX 77478 Favorite Car Repair/Improvement: Expert Collision Center 3501 BF Terry Boulevard #D Rosenberg, TX 77471

When it comes to auto services, car enthusiasts aren’t shy about voting for their favorites.

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DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos

We repair all makes and models, we handle ANY insurance claims backed by a written lifetime warranty. We also offer FREE ESTIMATES on site. Don’t feel the pressure of letting your insurance decide where you should get your vehicle repaired!!

Come visit us at our newly renovated 12,000 sq. ft. facility:

3501 BF Terry Blvd. #D • Rosenberg, TX 77471

FOR ALL YOUR BODY SHOP NEEDS! Si hablamos español!

281-342-1809 EXPERTCOLLISIONTX.COM


Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos

ER CARE S VICES

Our readers don’t trust their kids to just anyone. From preschool to college, check out their favorite child care services.

Favorite Day Care: Gingerbread House Learning Center 2417 4th Street Rosenberg, TX 77471

Fort Bend Fascinating Facts Established in 1982, The Gingerbread House is one of the oldest child care centers in the county owned and operated by the same family since its inception. Nestled on 2 acres in historic Rosenberg, The Gingerbread House has cared for thousands of children over the years, and today, children of Rosenberg’s “Gingerbread Kids” are learning and growing at the same spot where their parents learned and grew.

Favorite Learning Center: Gingerbread Kids’ Academy 814 FM 2911 Richmond, TX 77469 Favorite Private School: Calvary Episcopal Preparatory 1201 Austin Street Richmond, TX 77469 Favorite College: Wharton County Junior College 2 Campuses in Fort Bend

Where Children Learn and Grow

Thank You to Our Families and Friends for 35 Years of Support Programs include Infants to Pre-K, After-School and Summer Camps Sign up Now for Our Spring and Summer Programs Contact Kelly Novicke for a tour at

281-232-9583 www.gbhdaycare.com

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DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

2417 4th Street Rosenberg 77471


Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos

IMPROVEMENT HOME

Where Children Learn and Grow

Thank You to Our Families and Friends for Supporting Our New Location Programs include Infants to Pre-K, After-School and Summer Camps Sign up Now for Our Spring and Summer Programs Contact Tim Kaminski for a tour at

814 FM 2977 281-239-2110 Richmond www.gbkidsacademy.com tim@gbkidsacademy.com 77469

From appliances and flooring to landscaping and design, check out readers’ go-to services for making their homes beautiful.

Favorite Pool Services: BRB Pool Repair and Service LLC 222 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406

BRB Pool Repair & Service LLC Professional & Personal Pool Service

Our services include: • Repair or Replacement of All Pool Equipment • FREE Delivery of Pool Supplies to Your Home • Maintenance & Weekly Cleaning Service • Leak Detection

www.brbpools.com

281-342-2426 Family Owned and Operated Since 1978

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Our Readers Voted for The Best of Brazos

Favorite Plumbers: Howell Services 4709 Highway 36 South #30 Rosenberg, TX 77471 Favorite Heating/Air Conditioning Services:

Thank you to all of our loyal customers!

Howell Services 4709 Highway 36 South #30 Rosenberg, TX 77471 Favorite Appliance Store:

We Provide 24/7 Emergency Plumbing and HVAC Services

Lowe’s 3 Locations in Fort Bend Favorite Garden/Landscaping Company: MB Land Design 1835 J Meyer Road Richmond, TX 77469 Favorite Home Improvement:

281-232-5292

www.howell-services.com

Fort Bend Fascinating Facts

Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring 1006 1st Street Rosenberg, TX 77471

RosenbeRg Ccenter aRpet & FlooRing Since 1958

What’son on your your floor matters. What’s floor matters!

Family-owned and operated, Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring has been serving the Fort Bend County area since 1958.

Wood Floor Refinishing Wood & Laminate Flooring Ceramic Tile Flooring Counter Tops Commercial & Residential 1006 1st Street • Rosenberg, Texas

WWW.ROSENBERGCARPET.COM • 281.342.5193

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DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


KWSW’s Community Crusaders

T

he KW (Keller Williams) Southwest philosophy “Give Where You Live” is alive and well in Fort Bend County. In fact, KWSW has many community crusaders doing just that. Here are a few of the service superstars currently making a difference. Vickie Coates has been an agent with KWSW for the past 13 years and has a passion for helping people, especially children. Making a difference in people’s lives is something she cherishes. It’s no surprise then that she is also the executive director, since 2007, of the East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry, which offers services to those in temporary financial need in the area. Beneficiaries of their services generally come as referrals from coalition churches and the local United Way. The ministry has over 200 volunteers and has existed for 26 years. They are able to assist local residents in need through their Food Pantry, Financial Assistance Program, School Supply Drives and Holiday Food Programs. They also run a Resale Shop. “Our biggest contribution is to make sure we help the families who need us. We’re here for emergency food for families that would otherwise go hungry,” stated Coates.

Vickie Coates.

“I love being able to help someone get over that hump and make a difference in somebody’s life, whether it’s with food, school supplies, financial assistance, whatever.” KWSW has supported the ministry with food drives and sponsored the Empty Bowls event and Shredding Hunger, supplying funds from shredded paper for the Food Pantry. The ministry’s most recent event was the 2nd Annual Back to School Bash in coalition with Fort Bend County, providing over 700 children with all of their school supplies. “Some of the little kids are so excited, they’ll tell us it’s the first time they’ve had a new box of crayons or pencils. It’s just an amazing program,” said Coates. Audra O’Neal is another of KWSW’s agents committed to her community. A mother of two who has been in real estate for 18 years, O’Neal has spent the last six years with KWSW and has been a Fort Bend County resident for 17 years. One of the organizations she has been heavily devoted to for the past six years is the Fort Bend County Junior Service League, which supports various causes in Fort Bend County including the Fort Bend Women’s Center, Fort Bend Seniors and Lunches of Love. She spent two years on the Beneficiary Review Committee, helping to discern which organizations the League will assist with funding. That requires spending countless hours visiting the different community service organizations in the area to assess their needs. O’Neal has also played an active role in chairing various galas for the Junior Service League, CASA and Lunches of Love, as well as being personally involved with the Fort Bend Women’s Center. “With Lunches of Love, we’re trying to extend the market outside of Richmond into all of Fort Bend County. We

281.265.0000 www.kwsw.com 1650 Highway 6, Suite 350 Sugar Land, Tx 77478

Audra O’Neal.

just barely made it raising enough money for a second van, but we did it, and they were able to add two more schools because of that van.” Lunches of Love currently serves seven area schools with lunches for children in need. Somehow, even with her busy work schedule and taking time to help out local organizations, O’Neal also makes time to be the current PTO President at Polly Ryon Middle School and has been a Girl Scout Leader for five years. Balancing family, career and volunteerism is part of the KWSW philosophy, and these ladies are shining stars in their service efforts. For more information on any of the organizations discussed, see below.

East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry www.humanneeds.org

Fort Bend County Junior Service League www.fbjsl.org

Fort Bend Women’s Center www.fbwc.org

Fort Bend Seniors www.fortbendseniors.org

Lunches of Love www.lunchesoflove.net

The Real Estate Company of Choice www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2016

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BUSINESS BRIEFS

Texas State Technical College Celebrates New Fort Bend County Campus

John Appelt, Alicen Swift, Linda Drummond and Allison Wen.

providing loving expert care

to keep your pet healthy & happy

Complete Wellness Care Dentistry & Surgery Diagnostic & Medical Care Early Morning Drop-offs

832-363-1227 4716 FM 359 Richmond, TX

www.fostercreekvethospital.com Dr. Michael Moore

State-of-the-Art Medical & Surgical Equipment Highly Skilled & Caring Professionals Early Disease Detection Program

Hours: Monday: 7am - 7pm Tuesday: 7am - 6pm Wednesday: 7am - 6pm Thursday: 7am - 6pm Friday: 7am - 7pm Saturday: 8am - 1pm Sunday: Closed

Dr. Mark Buvinghausen

Dr. Megan Dunn

Your Home for General Dentistry • Fastbraces • Extractions • Teeth Whitening • Sports Mouth Guards • Full Smile Makeovers 7417 West Grand Parkway S., • Root Canal Treatment Ste. 140 Richmond, TX 77407 • Tooth-Colored Fillings • Gum Disease Treatment and Prevention (Located next to the Santikos Palladium AVX Theatre) • Replacement of Missing and Fractured Teeth • We see children of all ages

281-232-8300

houstonserenedental.com

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Military & First Responder Discounts. We thank you for your service.

Dr. Rachel Perry

New Patient Special

INCLUDING Full Patient Exam Full X-Ray & Regular Cleaning

(Regular Value $333) Some restrictions may apply.

DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Texas State Technical College (TSTC) in Fort Bend County celebrated the opening of its new campus with a ribbon cutting and grand opening that included a surprise that will pay off big for students’ futures. Emcee Russ Lewis, KHOU 11 morning anchor, began the program with a huge Texas welcome to the more than 400 people in attendance. Included in this group were community leaders and residents, college donors and supporters and TSTC administration, faculty and staff. Vice Chancellor and Chief Execution Officer Randy Wooten emphasized the notion that TSTC will have a major impact on Fort Bend County and its neighboring communities. “Through this event, we tried to bring together all of the people of this community who made this campus happen,” said Wooten. “Undoubtingly it is the leaders, the education advocates and the visionaries who truly understand that TSTC will make Fort Bend County a better place to live and work.” Wooten did not fail to thank those who came together to raise the money to invest in a brighter future for all of the residents of Fort Bend County. “You made this happen,” said Wooten. “You not only worked together but together raised the money needed to make an investment in a better future for all of the residents of Fort Bend County. This has been a humbling experience, and I’m so honored to be a part of it.” The Development Corporation of Richmond, Rosenberg Development Corporation, the George and Henderson-Wessendorf Foundations and the community of Fort Bend County raised more than $40 million dollars to keep TSTC in the region because of the impact it has on industry and the job market. The 126,000 square-foot TSTC Industrial Technology Center houses state-of-the-art labs and classrooms for the more than 250 students enrolled. It is the first building in what will eventually be a six to eight building campus with the capacity to support 5,000 students. With construction on the second building, the Brazos Center, underway and scheduled to be complete for Fall 2017, TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser made two special announcements that


will change the lives of many prospective TSTC students. “I am proud to announce that TSTC has set up a money back guarantee that allows a student who fails to find a job within six months of graduating to receive a refund of their tuition, and TSTC’s Foundation Board has decided that each family here tonight will receive a $1,000 scholarship certificate.” The scholarships are to be given to a deserving Fort Bend County resident who is willing to make the commitment to be a new, full-time TSTC student. “Just like you helped us build this campus, you will help us grow it,” said Reeser. “Together we will bring in students, we will graduate them and put them in the region’s workforce.” Rosenberg resident Linda Knesek spoke nothing but praises about TSTC’s new Fort Bend County campus. “TSTC has done the community proud,” said Knesek. “This type of facility has been a dream for so many people for a long time, and I understand it will only grow from here. We’re blessed to have this here in Fort Bend County.” Knesek also took advantage of the $1,000 scholarship certificates being distributed at the event. “This scholarship is going to my great-nephew who just graduated from high school,” said Knesek. “A four-year degree isn’t for him, so this is a great opportunity for him.” TSTC serves Texas with 10 campuses throughout the state. TSTC in Fort Bend County offers certificate and associate degrees in Cyber Security, Diesel Equipment, HVAC, Industrial Maintenance, Precision Machining, Telecommunications and Welding Technologies. For more information on TSTC in Fort Bend County, call 832-595-8734 or visit tstc.edu/fortbendco.

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Now Accepting New Patients At Both Locations In Sugar Land And Wharton Sugar Land: 1201 Creekway Dr. • Suite B Sugar Land, Texas 77478 Wharton: 979-282-6151 • 10141 US 59 • Wharton, Texas, 77488

The Magic of the Season . . .

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281.344.9900

Randy and Gayle Wooten.

206 U.S. Highway 90A Richmond www.GoldConnection.net

Mon - Fri : 10 am - 6 pm Sat: 10 am - 4 pm www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2016

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Holiday Happenings

G

in Rosenberg, Richmond and Fulshear

ather up your families and spend time together in the heart of Brazos making special memories to last throughout the year. Ho, ho, ho!

Rosenberg Christmas Nights Ring in the holiday season with two evenings of merriment set against the backdrop of Rosenberg’s historic downtown and cultural district. Held on Friday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 3rd, Rosenberg Christmas Nights features fun for all ages. On December 2nd from 5 to 8 pm, families are invited to watch the lighting of the City Christmas tree and listen to holiday music provided by the Rosenberg Symphonic Band and performances by local high school choirs. Dinner and theatre packages are available with a ticket purchase. Then on December 3rd from 3 to 9 pm,

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bring the kids out for pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, trackless train rides, activities at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum, Stage Coach Children’s Theatre and local high school performances, a Teddy Bear Parade, holiday activities and treats throughout downtown businesses, shopping, food trucks and more! For more information, visit www.CityofRosenberg.com/RCN.

Candlelight Tours 2016

Rosenberg Christmas Nights features the City of Rosenberg’s Christmas tree lighting.

Discover the history of Christmas pasts in Fort Bend County. Tour the 1883 Moore Home all decked out for Christmas! This year’s theme is How Santa Came to Texas. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. Tours are set for 10 am to 7 pm on Saturday, December 3rd to coincide with Miracle on Morton Street. “The Fort Bend Museum is just two blocks from Morton Street, so visitors can really get into the holiday spirit with a full day of Christmas activities,” said Jennifer Farrell, director of mar-

DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


keting for the Fort Bend County Museum Association. “Stop by the Museum and tour the Moore Home and Long-Smith Cottage for the Candlelight Tours and then spend the afternoon at Miracle on Morton Street!” All proceeds benefit the educational and preservation efforts of the Fort Bend Museum. To purchase tickets, visit www.fortbendmuseum.org or call 281-342-6478.

A Holly Jolly Christmas A Holly Jolly Christmas is set for Saturday, December 3rd from 5:30 to 9 pm in Downtown Fulshear featuring ice skating, Santa, live music, the Frozen sisters, a live nativity, a walking parade and more. Vendors and stores will be set up with food, crafts, clothing and jewelry for families to do some holiday shopping, and Thrive Community Church and White Stone Band will provide live music. For detour routes and parking information, visit www. fulsheartexas.gov. For more information, contact Amy Norvell at anorvell@fulshearareachamber.com or call 832-6003221.

Miracle on Morton Street Jingle all the way to Historic Downtown Richmond for this all-day celebration with arts, crafts and vendor booths, live music, entertainment, food and children’s activities. The 14th Annual Miracle on Morton Street takes place on Saturday, December 3rd from 11 am until 7 pm. Enjoy music by local artists Sean Heyl and Savannah Adkins and holiday shopping with local businesses and vendors. There will be a kid’s zone with bounce fun and tours of fire trucks. The Fort Bend Animal Services will be there, so make a new furry friend to take home for the holidays! As in years past, there will be a station with letters to Santa, so bring the little ones to get their letter to Santa. For more information, visit historicrichmond.org.

Advertorial

Celebrate the Christmas Season with Faith United Methodist Church ‘Tis the season for making those lists and checking them twice, but how much on that list truly adds to a life? Preparations are made and calendars are filled as waiting and expectations begin to build. At the mere mention of Christmas, memories, thoughts and emotions come to mind. Which are the ones you are hoping to find? This December, Faith United Methodist Church will wait and expect the One to be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. One of such importance and stature surely would arrive with great nobility and fanfare. But from the very start, Jesus was the complete embodiment of humility and accessibility. For on that day a little over 2,000 years ago, rather than in a palace amidst royalty, love came gently to a lowly girl and her betrothed in a Bethlehem stable, because this gift is meant for all. So all are invited to simply come, unwrap and receive the best of all gifts: hope, peace, love and joy. Gather each Sunday with Faith United Methodist Church to celebrate the story of how the birth and coming of this King can shape and shield the story of lives. Located at 4600 FM 359, just west of Pecan Grove in Richmond, Faith United Methodist is a place to belong and to strengthen and share beliefs in order to be a blessing beyond the church walls. Sunday worship times are 8:30 am for the Table in the Chapel with communion, 9 am for the Traditional Service in the Worship Center, 10 am for the Branch in the Chapel and 11 am for the Vine in the Worship Center. The nursery is available for birth through Pre-K. For more information, call 281-341-8200 or visit www. faithumc.org.

Join us at Faith United Methodist in December for

Hope, Love, Peace and Joy

Dec. 18th, 5 pm “Jingle Jam” Family Christmas Eve Service in the Worship Center nd Dec. 22 , 7 pm “Service of the Longest Night” in the Chapel Dec. 24th, 3 pm Traditional Service in the Worship Center 5 pm Contemporary Service in the Worship Center 7 pm Branch in the Chapel th Dec. 25 , 10:30 am Single Service in the Worship Center

4600 FM 359 – Just west of Pecan Grove (281) 341-8200

Our Christmas activities are listed on our website: www.faithumc.org www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2016

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HOLIDAY

PEACE, JOY, NOEL HOLIDAY CENTERPIECE A beautiful floral selection from LC Floral Designs is one of the best gifts around! Add a fresh touch to the dinner table or holiday party. LC Floral Designs, 204 East Highway 90A in Richmond. Call 281-342-8839; www.lcfloraldesigns.com.

HOLIDAY WISHES MIRROR MAGIC

Celebrate the holidays with gifts that represent the magic of the season. Visit Freckles in Fulshear for unique holiday goodies. Freckles Stationery and Gifts, 8030 FM 359 South in Fulshear. Call 281-536-4900; www.frecklescentral.com.

Phone mirrors are the hottest new accessory and make the perfect stocking stuffer! These peel and stick selfie mirrors come in a variety of shapes and colors. Southern Sister Designs, 817 Third Street in Historic Downtown Rosenberg. Call 281-232-7737.

MAKING MEMORIES Find just the right holiday gift at Gold Connection Jewelers, a full service jeweler. From Waxing Poetic to beautiful diamonds, colored stones, gold jewelry and watches, custom designs are their specialty! Gold Connection Jewelers, 206 East Highway 90A in Richmond. Call 281-344-9900; www.goldconnection.net.

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RIDE IN STYLE Get a hot new ride this holiday season from TexasDirectAuto.com. With thousands of vehicles in stock, you’re sure to find a ride that you will love! Texas Direct Auto, 12053 Southwest Freeway in Stafford. Call 281-499-8200; www.texasdirectauto.com.

DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


Brought to you by

Hometown Heroes:

JRG Ranch By M.G. Angulo

In

East Bernard, Texas, there is a ranch dinner, and the parents and children receive family who looks forward to the holiday gift cards. But the highlight of the adoption is season each year not just for the bright lights, the cook-off gathering held on the East Bernard presents, holiday tunes and family-famous recranch. Each child receives two to four gifts while ipes, but rather because of the opportunity to at the celebration, plus they have the opportuspread cheer in their community. nity to play games and win prizes. Then, there Some time ago, the JRG Ranch in East Beris an old-fashioned meal. “We serve them a big nard developed its Adopt a Family Program, barbecue with all the trimmings, not to mention which circles around Johnny “Rene” Gonzales, lots of desserts, and we all sit and eat together,” the ranch’s 27 year-old namesake and son of Palacios-Webb said. “We make a campfire, make Angie Palacios-Webb. “Rene is autistic, and ev- Johnny “Rene” Gonzales, the s’mores with the children and give the parents erything we do revolves around him,” Palacios- namesake for the JRG Ranch in a little time to just relax and enjoy the country.” Webb said proudly. The ranch and its cooking East Bernard. Volunteering in the community, Palaciosteam is named after him, and years ago, Rene’s Webb noted, “is not about being needed, but family decided to give him one of the greatest gifts of Christabout where we are needed.” Every year, the ranch hosts mas: a lesson of bestowing mirth on those less fortunate. a birthday trail ride in honor of Rene, and the proceeds go The program’s roots are found in the JRG Ranch’s Decemtoward the Adopt a Family Program. “Classic Chevy Sugar ber 2008 cook-off, which in addition to delicious barbecue, Land has supported the organization for the last four years included candy bags, wrapped gifts and a family friend who and enjoys attending the fundraisers and activities. Angie is played Santa. “Some of our team members rounded up all of a wonderful customer, and we will continue to support The the children from other cooking teams and brought them to JRG Ranch,” said Classic Chevy Sugar Land’s Ray Aguilar. our team tent, and Santa handed each of them a gift,” PaIn the spirit of volunteering, Palacios-Webb said volunlacios-Webb said. “We did some caroling with the children, teers are always welcome to join the JRG Ranch’s Adopt played games, and at the end of it all, we gave each of them a a Family Program effort and can reach out to her on the candy bag.” The cook-off teams loved it. The parents loved it. ranch’s Facebook page “JRG Ranch.” “Volunteering is very And without question, the kids loved it. But a truth revealed important to us,” she added. “It’s our way of giving back to itself that year: Some of those children, in the midst of their the community, family member or friend. Volunteers help gratitude, admitted that the gift they received at the ranch improve the quality of our lives and are very special and would be the only one they received that year. “Right there is humble individuals. If there weren’t volunteers, people what started the program for us,” Palacios-Webb said. wouldn’t receive help in their time of need.” In 2008, the ranch’s Adopt a Family Program began, and every year since, the ranch adopts three to four families, all of whom are interviewed so the ranch family can determine what the family needs and what all of the children like. “We do to the best of our abilities screen each of the families, but sometimes we can’t help ourselves, and we adopt them all,” Palacios-Webb said. “God is good, and He always seems to provide for us in some form or fashion.” As part of the adoption, families receive a turkey, ham and nonperishable foods to ensure a wholesome Christmas

Classic Chevy Sugar Land 13115 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478

(281) 491-9000

www.classicchevysugarland.com

Robert Vasquez, Cleveland Brown, Angie Palacios-Webb, Robert Garza, Lucky Webb, Gilbert Garcia, Cody Haas, Belinda Palacios, Joe Samaniego as Santa and Melinda Vasquez at the JRG Ranch’s annual cook-off. www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2016

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OUT & ABOUT

Residents from throughout Fort Bend attended GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land’s first I Have a Voice Gala at Cross Key Acres in Richmond. All funds raised benefited GiGi’s Playhouse and their programs for children with Down syndrome, their families and the community.

IN THE HEART BRAZOS

Belinda Osbourne, Noell Myska and Amber McDonald.

Jack Krueger and Dee Koch.

Marhta Carlisle and Alison Haralson.

Heather Switzer, Lindsey O’Dell and Melissa Correa.

Featuring entertainment, hors d’oeuvres and wine, the high styled Grapes on the Brazos is always a favorite at the Fort Bend County Fair.

Wayne Pawlik and John Cotteral.

Michelle Moore, Tom Crayton and Gilbert Reyes.

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Tony Francis, Pat Pittman and Michele Francis.

Rosie Karlberg and Steve Onstad.

DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

Judy Deats with Mike and Laurie Mercado.

Nina Reyes and Kirk Monroe.


The 33rd Needville Harvest Festival was held at Harvest Park. The two-day event was full of exciting activities including live music, a car show, Queen’s, Mr. and Miss contests and much more!

Where children come first and where we work together with patients and families to provide exceptional medical care for kids in our community. Amisha Patel, MD

Accepting new patients from age 3 days to 18 years

Little Miss Paisley Estrada and Little Mr. Caleb Mattey.

Well-child checks Immunizations Christin, Dr. Amisha Patel and Jady.

Same day sick visits

www.justforkidspediatrics.com 418 Park Grove Katy, TX 77450

281-492-0774

W. Lee Hedt won Best of Show for his ‘55 Crown Victoria.

Women’s Apparel, Jewelry & Accessories Vera Bradley • Consuela • Lollia Spirit Jersey • Jadelynn Brooke Lenny & Eva® • Corkcicle • Brighton® Judith March • Julio Designs Voluspa • Simply Southern Tees

Eleven-year-old David Corral had a blast riding the mechanical bull!

281.232.7737

817 Third Street Historic Downtown Rosenberg First runner-up Emily Alanis, 2016 Harvest Fest Queen Payton Schroeder and second runner-up Karissa Loewe.

Open Tues - Sat 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Sunday 1:00 - 5:00 pm Closed Monday

Bridgewater Candles Capri Blue Candles Home Décor & Gifts Monogramming Available Ask to join our VIP Shopping Group by searching SSD Boutique!

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2016

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OUT &

Seen on the Scene Cowboy Up Benefiting Parks Youth Ranch

ABOUT

October 1, 2016 • George Ranch Historical Park Arena

IN THE HEART BRAZOS

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More than 450 guests attended the inaugural Farm & Vineyard Faire on Saturday, October 8th at Fulshear Run, a new residential community located in Fulshear. Featured restaurants treated guests to a world of flavors.

Dillon Kao, Frederic Perrier, Doug Konopka and Denver Kao.

Barbara Sykes, Stephanie Sykes, Gayle Bowen and Birdie Anderson.

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Photos by Mary Favre and Liz Furman.

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Pat & Brad Somers Pat & Bob Hebert Shannon Bloesch & Michele Fisher Rashmi & Suni Sharma Charles & Seeju Dupre with Jim McClellan & Marhia Coane Dick & Dee Dee Phillips Aaron Dobbs & Chad Bridges John & Theo Healey with Mary Favre

DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

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BUSINESS BRIEFS

AccessHealth Welcomes New Board Members 9

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Lane & Beth Wolf Brigit & Andrew Engleman Jay, Maggy & Cynthia Horgan Ray Aguilar & Patti Parish-Kaminski PJ & Roxanne Meyers Kathy & Mark Eyring Bob & Carole Brown Chip Sutton & Mary Joyce Liz Furman & Kavita Self Laura & Mark Mills Stacey & Dustin Fessler

AccessHealth is excited to welcome three new members to its board of directors: Holly Kaminga of Sterling McCall Lexus, Robin Khan of HealthQuest Therapeutics and Brenda Patton of Fort Bend County Precinct 2. Each of them has been sharing their time and talents to help increase access to quality, affordable health care. Kaminga has served as an AccessHealth volunteer for years having worked on all three of AccessHealth’s fundraising events and the Community Engagement Council. She leverages all assets at her disposal to help make connections and open doors for AccessHealth. She brings to the board over 15 Holly Kaminga. years of marketing and event management experience, and she leads by example, demonstrating a heart for service. Khan brings years of experience establishing, accrediting and operating pharmacies, which makes him a good fit to help lead AccessHealth. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, AccessHealth provides low-cost prescription medications for its patients with pharmacies onsite at each of its clinics. Khan is equipped to help guide the board regarding pharmacy procedures and best practices. Patton is the Community Relations Manager for Fort Bend County Precinct 2. In her role with the County and in her 21 years as a Fort Bend County resident, she has witnessed firsthand the benefits of providing quality, affordable health care for all. She has served on the planning committees for AccessHealth’s health fairs and fundraising events, as well Brenda Patton. as the Community Engagement Council. “Kaminga, Khan and Patton are welcome additions to the AccessHealth board,” said AccessHealth CEO Carol Edwards. “We are grateful for their leadership and look forward to what we will accomplish together!” AccessHealth provides integrated health care services without regard to income or circumstance to improve the quality of life in Fort Bend County. AccessHealth is a United Way agency, and the main center in Richmond is recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. For more information about AccessHealth’s board of directors or integrated health services, please contact Cindy Reaves at 281-633-3169 or creaves@myaccesshealth.org.

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NEWSWORTHY

Seen on the Scene Patchwork of Life Benefiting OakBend Medical Center’s Jackson Street Emergency Care Center

Richmond Earns Prominent Scenic City Certification

October 13, 2016 • Safari Texas Ranch

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Barry and Kay Beard, Terri Vela, Evalyn Moore, Jessica Duet and Gary Smith.

Richmond was recently presented with the Scenic City Certification at the Hilton Austin in conjunction with the Texas Municipal League’s Annual Conference. City officials and business leaders were on hand to recognize Richmond, which was among 23 cities that earned certification or recertification for the 2015-2020 period. The Scenic City Certification Program draws a direct correlation between the success of a city’s economic development efforts and the visual appearance of its public spaces and recognizes municipalities that implement highquality scenic standards. Understanding that the more a community does to enhance its unique set of assets, the better positioned it will be for growth, the City of Richmond recently adopted its new Unified Development Code (UDC). This UDC sets the course for Richmond’s planning, zoning and ordinance development. One result of the UDC is that in its Scenic City assessment, Richmond earned Scenic City Certification at the Bronze level. Earning certification is straightforward: A city must meet three criteria before applying to the program including having a strictly regulated and enforced sign code, a ban on new billboards and a landscaping and tree planting program. Then, a city’s existing standards are assessed and scored based on a model of over 70 possible criteria ranging from percentage of park and open space, strong litter enforcement laws and more. “Scenic City Certification signifies Richmond’s strong commitment to high-quality standards for public roadways and public spaces,” said Anne Culver, executive director of The Scenic City Certification Program. “This recognition goes a long way in boosting Richmond’s image, which in turn spurs economic development.” “What a wonderful honor for Richmond to be named a Scenic City of Texas,” said Mayor Evalyn Moore. “We were one of only eight new cities so recognized, which I am very proud of, as can be our residents. Our City administration worked very hard to achieve this goal. I applaud their efforts.” Visit www.sceniccitycertification.org for more information.

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Rene Lamb & Vicky Tonn Todd & Barbara Bailey Ann Davis, Kathy Kubelka, Evalyn Moore, Barbara Bleil & Joann Anderson Jonika & Alan Sandersen with Lisa Wilson Jeff & Ann Council Eileen Akerson & May Tape Lea Gibson, Flora Perez & Kay Garrett Lance Green & Tim McCarty

DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com

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Dr. Katia Lemke, DMD Orthodontic Specialist

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Alicen Swift & Linda Drummond Aaron & Alison Moss Jessica Kij & Rene Casanova Steve Wicks, Satavia Hazley & Joe Freudenberger Sue McCarty with Bob & Virginia Douds Leslie Woods & Patti Parish-Kaminski Anita Rich, Peggy Spillers, Christy Medlin & Sheree Oehlke Matt Richardson & Bianca Ceballos Hilda & Tony Desantis Stevie Erickson & Nancy Montello

• Free Orthodontic Exam & Consultation

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• Insurance & Flexible Financing Available • Braces for Children & Adults • Advanced Orthodontic Treatment with & Lingual Braces

NEW ADDRESS 18

281.277.3555 www.lemkeortho.com 6514 Highway 90A, Ste. 200 • Sugar Land, Tx 77478

www.absolutelybrazos.com l DECEMBER 2016

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High School HOT SHOT

By Joan Frances

Meet Gracie Wilburn

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racie Wilburn, a senior at Travis High School in Richmond, has achieved many accomplishments during her high school career. From academics to fine arts, she has made an impact as a student who strives to contribute to her school’s success. Gracie’s positive attitude and contagious energy adds to her talent, and she is highly respected by her teachers and peers. Gracie has taken all Pre-Advanced Placement, Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes throughout high school. She was a member of the student council and is in the process of joining the National Honor Society. She has received the A-B Honor Roll Award every year. Her favorite teacher is David Householder, who teaches AP U.S. History. “I found his class to be fairly difficult, but he was always there to help me in his spare time,” said Gracie. “Besides being a great teacher, Mr. Householder would always ask me how my day was going, or if I had a problem, he would listen and give me some great advice. It was nice to know that I had a teacher who cared about me and had my back.” Gracie is an actress and a member of the Travis Thespian Troup and the International Thespian Honor Society. She has performed since she was six years old. She enjoys acting and singing on stage, as well as the technical, backstage activity. Last year, Gracie was bestowed with the Best Theater Student Award. “Being a senior in theater has taught me to lead by example. We are always teaching underclassmen, and I

Gracie know my actions reflect on our troupe. Over the last four years, theater has been my life, and I don’t know who I would be as a person if I had never joined or met the people who are now my lifelong friends and family.” In addition to her involvement in academics and theater, Gracie is a part of the Travis Scream Team, a group of students from all four grade levels who join in cheering at school sports activities. The high energy level of this vibrant group of spirited students keeps the energy level going at pep rallies and football games. Gracie fits right in. “One thing that I will treasure most about high school is all of the friends I’ve made and all of the fun activities I was able to participate in. From going to football games, homecomings and putting on plays for theater, I was always surrounded by people I love. Travis has given me so many great opportunities in life and overall helped me

grow as a person.” One value that Gracie lives by “is to always be positive. There have been times in my high school career that have been hard, but when you always have a spirited attitude, it can make challenges a lot easier. Your positive thoughts can spread onto other people as well. Maya Angelou said, ‘Everything influences each of us,’ and because of that, I try to make sure my experiences are positive.” When she is not at school, Gracie volunteers at her church. She has participated at Vacation Bible School at Sacred Heart Catholic Church since she was in the sixth grade. She teaches Bible study every week at the church and enjoys the interaction with other students talking and teaching about God. Next fall, Gracie will attend Louisiana State University and major in psychology. Congratulations on your undeniable spirit and energy Gracie. We wish you the best in your future education and life endeavors.

Friends Gracie Wilburn, Haley Garrelts, Hannah Owen and Thora Judson.

“There have been times in my high school career that have been hard, but when you always have a spirited attitude, it can make challenges a lot easier.” – Gracie Wilburn 30

DECEMBER 2016 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.absolutelybrazos.com


Joyce Long’s

Mario’s

Colonic - Detox - Lymphatic

Wellness Institute

Paint & Body Shop

24 Hr. Wrecker Service 281-342-2198

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Massage Therapies • Lymphatic Drainage Massage Lymphatic Facials • Reflexology • Infra Red Saunas Relaxing Ion Cleanse Hand & Foot Bath Chinese Cupping • Gift Certificates Colon Hydrotherapy by M.D. Prescription Only (Yours Or Ours) NEW FORT BEND LOCATION!

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Visit www.brvino.com for events • (832) 595-2881

Open Wed-Sun • Happy hour Wed-Fri 3-7 pm 1919 Avenue G • Historic Downtown Rosenberg 77471

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COMMUNITY MARKETPLACE For more information, call 281.690.4242.

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Historic Downtown Rosenberg’s Premier Experience

Antiques Collectibles Home Decor Specialty Items Live Theatre Events Hall 1909 Avenue G. Rosenberg, Texas 77471 • 281.342.6804 Wed-Sat 10 am - 5 pm • Sun 1 - 5 pm

w Ne ter n Ce

Now Enrolling Infants, Toddlers & Pre-K After-School Programs Summer Camps

After-School Pick Up from Williams, “Where Children Learn and Grow” Thomas & Arredondo 281-239-2110 Elementary

814 FM 2977 Rd. • Richmond , TX 77469

www.gbkidsacademy.com

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Caitlyn Hill, Catherine Dobbs and Elizabeth Devereaux celebrating old-fashioned holiday traditions at the George Ranch Historical Park’s 2015 Campfire Christmas.

A LITTLE PIECE OF HISTORY By Joan Frances Photos by the Fort Bend County Museum Association.

Christmas Traditions in Fort Bend County

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hristmas is the most anticipated and celebrated holiday of the year for many people. Both religiously and secularly, people around the world observe this special day with traditions and customs. Most Americans celebrate Christmas with family visits and an exchange of gifts. Catholic Christians traditionally spend Christmas Eve observing Midnight Mass. Decorating Christmas trees, sharing meals with family and of course, waiting for Santa Claus adds to the intrigue. Fort Bend residents take great care in the preparation and commemoration of this magical time. The early settlers celebrated Christmas Day with food, friends and family. Decorations were all natural material. Holly, berries, evergreen, mistletoe and bay were sewn together for wreaths and garlands and tastefully placed on the Christmas tree. Other decorative traditions included candles, fires and trees decorated with apples, nuts and homemade treats. Small gifts, little treats and cash were hung from the branches in anticipation of this special day. Poinsettia plants came from Mexico to America in 1828 by Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister. The Christmas card was a 19th

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century English invention with preprinted, special holiday borders and hand scripted in the best penmanship. These cards were considered a novelty, a privileged gift that was treasured by the recipient. Christmas food and beverages were a top priority for the rich and the poor. December was the right time for slaughtering, so fresh meats were available, as well as goose, ham and turkey. Brandied peaches, canned foods and mincemeat pies added to the feast. Wine, brandy, rum punch and other homemade alcoholic beverages were served in abundance during this special season. In the cities of Richmond and Rosenberg, families and friends gathered to celebrate this joyous time of the year. The Moore Home was well-known for hosting Christmas parties. John and Lottie Moore invited guests from all over the area to join in the festivities. Families met to eat, drink, sing, dance, play games and discuss politics. Today, the Moore home continues this tradition with the renowned annual Candlelight Tours. The Fort Bend Museum Docent Society spends all year preparing to decorate the Moore Home in the most authentic fashion for Christmas. Christmas cookies and

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wassail top off a night of good cheer. Henry and Nancy Jones lived on a 23,000 acre working ranch in Richmond and celebrated Christmas with the workers and local neighbors. When A.P. and Mamie George inherited the property, they continued the legacy of generosity and festivities. Today, George Ranch Historical Park continues the holiday tradition by hosting a campfire Christmas and hayride. Guests explore the customs and decorations from 200 years ago, sample wassail and Christmas treats and visit with Santa Claus during Treehouse Story Time. The spirit of Christmas is alive and well at George Ranch Historical Park. In Rosenberg, the downtown area was always the place to be at Christmas. The mercantile, drug store and business offices were decorated for the holidays, and residents gathered downtown to go to church and share their cooked specialties. Local talent played while the community drank, ate, danced and celebrated. Today, the City of Rosenberg hosts a traditional tree lighting ceremony with everyone invited to participate. Music, food and entertainment fill the air, and retail stores stay open late to kick off the holiday season. The rich history and traditions are reenacted, and the city is transformed into a Christmas wonderland. It is a magical time of year in Fort Bend. Merry Christmas!

The historic Moore Home in Richmond.


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December 2016 - Absolutely Brazos Magazine  

Community magazine absolutely highlighting the people, events, happenings, businesses and town of Brazos Area, Texas.

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