Page 1

Serving Richmond, Rosenberg & Fulshear

JULY 2014

Let Freedom Ring!

July 4th Celebrations

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Jennifer Elliott absolutely! focus media Page 20


Fort Bend County Partnership for Youth’s Male Mentoring Program provides guidance, leadership and support for at-risk male youth.

20 Joan Frances Contributor Pages 24 & 44

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Danielle Delgado, Jazz Roberts, Jerry Price, Sean DeRoch with Brooke and Colton Ricks.

COVER STORY 8 LET FREEDOM RING! Celebrate Independence Day with family and friends close to home in the heart of Brazos. And, what’s a July 4th celebration without dazzling desserts? Host a patriotic bash with Sweet Tips for a Fabulous 4th of July.

32 FORT BEND FOCUS AND absolutely! BRAZOS MAGAZINES KICK OFF THE GEMS OF FORT BEND Who are the 2014 Generous, Enthusiastic Men Serving?

20 COWBOYS AND CULTURE Saddle up and head to Fort Worth this summer


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EXCLAMATION POINTS! THE INSIDE SCOOP STRAIGHT FROM THE TOP Editor-in-Chief, PATTI PARISH-KAMINSKI And the winner is . . . absolutely! Brazos Magazine! We were thrilled to receive Texana Center’s Media of the Year Award at the organization’s 4th Annual Reaching for the Stars Awards Ceremony. This is the first community award for our Brazos Magazine, and it was such an honor to receive this designation from an organization that does so much to support individuals needing Tracey Shaw, Patti Parish-Kaminski behavioral, intellectual and developmental and Andi Wallis at Texana’s Reaching for the Stars Awards Ceremony. care. I personally have had the opportunity to visit Texana’s campus and meet some of their clients on numerous occasions. The work they do is vital to our community, and they do it so well. We are proud to partner with Texana on shining the spotlight on autism, and we are even prouder to serve as their Media of the Year Award recipient. Speaking of awards, absolutely! Brazos has also won Honorable Mention in the Hermes Creative Awards competition for our June 2013 issue that featured another amazing Brazos organization: Lunches of Love. The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional media. absolutely! focus media won four Hermes awards absolutely! Brazos Magazine’s for our publications, two Honorable Mention, one Hermes Creative Award. Gold and the coveted Platinum Award. We strive to bring our readers award-winning magazines. Award winning describes not only absolutely! Brazos; it also describes the GEMS. If you are wondering who the 2014 Generous, Enthusiastic Men Serving are, wonder no more. The three GEMS of Fort Bend were introduced at an event at Constellation Field, and they are shining stars of our community. Neil Banfield, Robert C. Brown, III and James D. Rice are our GEMS featured on page 32. Mark your calendars for October 23rd as we celebrate these three community servants with a GEMS and jeans themed event. We hope to see you there! Finally, how are you and your family celebrating July 4th? There are three great family-friendly events taking place in Brazos. Read all about them on page 8, and start making your plans to celebrate our great nation. Have a wonderful July 4th, and we will absolutely see you this summer out and about in Brazos!



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Subscription requests are free to West Fort Bend area addresses. Annual paid subscription of $25 required outside West Fort Bend area. absolutely!TM Magazines are published by absolutely! focus media, 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste. 700, Stafford, TX 77477. Copyright © 2014 by absolutely! focus media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. absolutely!TM Magazines does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial, nor do the publishers assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. absolutely!TM Magazines welcomes editorial submissions from its readers.



ack up the lawn chairs, your favorite beverages and the kids – it’s time to celebrate July 4th in Brazos! If you’re looking for the perfect way to spend – and celebrate – the fourth of July, take a look at these family-friendly events in Rosenberg, Richmond and Fulshear.


t’s all about patriotism, family and fun when the City of Rosenberg hosts the annual Family 4th Celebration on Friday, July 4th. This annual, free event is one of the largest in Fort Bend County and runs from 6 to 10 pm in Seabourne Creek Nature Park, located at 3831 Highway 36 South in Rosenberg. The festivities kick off with live entertainment from the main stage with featured performers the Level One Band. Members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars will also be on hand to pass out individual flags to revelers. Complimentary horse-drawn wagon rides throughout the park are part of the evening’s festivities with members of the Coastal Prairie Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists narrating the tours. Just for the kids, the Family 4th Celebration features a Kid

Tina and Michael Gibson with Vincent, Regina, Justin and Brooke Morales at the 2013 Family 4th Celebration.


Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst celebrated July 4th at Rosenberg's Family 4th Independence Day Celebration in 2013 at Seabourne Creek Nature Park. Pictured with Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst are Danielle Delgado, Jazz Roberts, Jerry Price and Sean DeRoch.

Zone with bounce houses, a rock wall and other supervised activities. There will also be kid-friendly vendors with merchandise that will delight younger attendees. A variety of food and beverage vendors will be on hand, and as darkness sets, fireworks will light up the sky with an amazing pyrotechnic display set to some of the most popular songs from today and yesteryear. Information on the Family 4th Celebration can be found by visiting or by emailing Vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available. Admission is free to the public.

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Fred Andrews & Honeybrowne were the featured performers at the 2013 Fulshear Freedom Fest.


Brooke and Colton Ricks played vintage croquet at Games of Our Forefathers in 2013.

Nick Castelberg cheered on cobbler-eating contestants Travis Blaha and Kyle Sanders at the 2013 event.

usic, a parade, children’s activities, fireworks, shopping and food – the Fulshear Freedom Fest has it all. Hosted by the City of Fulshear and the Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce, this annual, free event takes place Friday, July 4th from 6 to 9 pm in Downtown Fulshear. Fulshear Simonton Fire Chief There will be plenty Herc Meier came to the 2013 event of fun and activities for prepared for dunk tank revenge. the whole family, including bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, dunk tank, face painting and balloon artists. A special kid’s only area requests a $5 donation for admission, capping at $20 per family, to benefit Our Military Kids, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to provide support and recognition to military children. The Triumphs will take the stage at 6 pm performing a music menu ranging from Elvis to the Eagles. The nine-piece band has roots that trace back to the early days of rock 'n roll and also launched the career of five-time Grammy award winner B. J. Thomas. The parade will begin promptly at 7 pm at the Bob Lutts Library on Fifth Street and move south along FM 359 to First Street. All local businesses, organizations and residents are encouraged to parLaural Duran singing ticipate, and entries are accepted The National Anthem. through July 3rd. Finally, scope out the ideal place to view fireworks along FM 359 to prepare for the fantastic display at 9:15 pm. The Fulshear Freedom Fest is sponsored by Briscoe Manor and State Farm Insurance Agent Jeff Gilbert. For more information, including parade and booth registrations, visit l JULY 2014


Sweet Tips for a


t’s easy to throw a 4th of July party that looks like you worked on it for weeks. Celebrate the holiday in style by serving classic entrées everyone loves and focusing your attention on delicious, easy-to-make desserts.

Yield: 6 servings Drizzled or dipped in melted candy, these festive star pops are easy to shape in starshaped silicone treat molds. ★ 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) ★ 1 package (8 ounces) ★ 1/8 teaspoon salt unflavored gelatin cream cheese, softened ★ 1 bag (12 ounces) royal ★ 1/4 cup granulated sugar ★ 1 teaspoon pure blue Candy Melts candy ★ 3/4 cup boiling water vanilla extract ★ Lollipop Sticks Prepare 6-cavity mini star silicone mold with vegetable spray. In small bowl, whisk gelatin, sugar and water until dissolved. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla and salt until smooth. Gradually add gelatin mixture, beating well. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Continue beating until fully combined. Pour into prepared pan. Refrigerate 2 hours or until completely set. Carefully unmold cheesecakes onto cookie pan. Melt small amount of

Candy Melts candy. Dip lollipop stick in melted candy and insert 3/4 way into cheesecake stars. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm. In large bowl, melt remaining Candy Melts according to package directions. Drizzle or pipe candy over cheesecake stars as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Note: Choose a firm, brand name full fat cream cheese for best results.

Yield: 12 mini cakes Sweet, light and airy, these mini icebox cakes pack a refreshing burst of creamy flavor, perfect for the summer. Vanilla wafer cookies are stacked in a flavor-filled mixture of fruit and whipped cream. ★ ★ ★ ★

2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries 2/3 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)

★ 2 cups heavy whipping cream ★ 1 package (4.9 ounces) vanilla wafer cookies ★ Blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, for garnish

Line muffin pan with plastic wrap, pressing plastic into each cavity and letting plastic hang over edge of pan. In large skillet, combine mixed berries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries soften and liquid reduces to 1 cup, about 20 to 25 minutes. Gently mash berries. Transfer to medium bowl and cool completely. In large bowl, whip cream on medium-high speed until cream holds stiff peaks. Gently fold in berry mix-


ture and zest until completely combined. Place whipped cream in decorating bag and cut off pointed end. To assemble, pipe small amount of mixture into each muffin cavity. Lightly press a cookie into whipped cream. Continue layering whipped cream and cookies until cavities are full, finishing with whipped cream layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove plastic wrap and carefully flip out onto serving platter. Garnish with additional berries. Serve immediately.

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Yield: 12 servings Crushed cinnamon drops add color and a slight hot cinnamon flavor to the cake, while simple melted candy details make the cake look like a firework bursting. 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened ★ 2 cups granulated sugar ★ 6 eggs ★ 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract ★ ★ ★ ★

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray Dimensions Cascade Pan with vegetable pan spray. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In second large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bottom and sides of bowl often. Add vanilla; beat until well combined. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just

★ 1 bottle (6 ounces) Cinnamon Drops, crushed ★ 1 box (1.5 ounces) Blue Colorburst Batter Bits ★ Red, White and Royal Blue Candy Melts candy, melted ★ Red, white and blue colored sugars

combined. Fold in Cinnamon Drops and blue Batter Bits. Pour into prepared pan; smooth out top. Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. Drizzle melted candy onto cake to look like fireworks. Sprinkle sugars onto melted candy.

Yield: 8 hand pies Pies you can hold in your hand are perfect for a picnic, and this one has a special flavor. The filling balances sweet and sour for an uncommonly delicious mini pie your party guests will love. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

3/4 cup water ★ 1/2 teaspoon pure 1/4 teaspoon salt vanilla extract 10 black peppercorns ★ 1 cup sugar, plus 1 egg additional for sprinkling 1 cup red wine vinegar ★ 1 package (14 ounces) 3 tablespoons cornstarch refrigerated pie crusts

★ 5 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, divided ★ 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters or eighths

In saucepan, stir together vinegar, water, 1 cup sugar, salt and peppercorns. Add thyme sprigs. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling; let boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over strawberries, until fully submerged. Cover and let sit at room temperature 4 to 8 hours. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line cookie pan with parchment paper. Strain strawberries from pickling liquid; discard peppercorns and thyme. Toss berries with cornstarch until evenly coated. In small bowl, whisk egg with 1 tablespoon

water until smooth. Unroll pie crusts and cut with 3 1/2-inch round cutter. Each crust yields 8 rounds. To assemble pies, top half of rounds with 3 tablespoons of berry mixture each. Brush edges with egg wash. Cut out a hole or pierce remaining rounds with fork. Place on top of berries. Using a fork, press edges of crusts together tightly to seal. Transfer to prepared pan. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until pies are lightly golden and filling is bubbling. Cool slightly before serving. Source: Family Features; l JULY 2014



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By Michelle Johnson

The Male Mentoring Program’s Quacho Allison and Jeramie Parker. Photo by Nesossi Studios.


or so many young men, having a positive male role model in their lives is the norm. Whether it’s a doting dad, a loving uncle or a gracious grandfather, young men who have male figures in their lives reap the benefits of this bond. Unfortunately, for some of Fort Bend’s male youth, there’s no dad – or positive male role model – providing guidance, leadership and support at home. That’s where the Fort Bend County Partnership for Youth’s Male Mentoring Program comes in.

The History

Male Mentoring: Making A Difference


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In 1996, counsel specializing in work with juveniles spoke in open court stating a need for help with kids who are not hardened criminals but had challenges in their homes. The question counsel posed was simple: How do these at-risk kids get the support they need to become productive, successful adults? That question led to a group of concerned public officials developing a community-based program that would focus on this need. As a result, the Fort Bend Partnership for Youth, Inc. was created in late 1996. In October 2004, paid staff members were appointed to the Juvenile Probation Department to specifically work on a variety of programs in this initiative including the Male Mentoring Program. Initially funded by a grant from the state, the Fort Bend Partnership for Youth programs are now completely funded by Fort Bend County.

Focusing on At-Risk Youth The Male Mentoring Program focuses on providing young men within the Texas Juvenile Justice Probation Department interaction with positive adult male role models. These young men typically do not have a father figure

in the home, have committed crimes that are non-violent, non-sexual type offenses and are deemed at risk of further delinquency. Mary Gready, Special Programs Coordinator, explained, “The program was designed to have paid staff with community volunteers joining in. Within a group setting, volunteers get to know the boys in a non-forced way. When the young men finish the program, they are matched with an adult male mentor for one-on-one aftercare.”

A Commitment to Service Services to juveniles commenced in February of 2008 and are currently led by two paid staff members, Jeramie Parker and Quacho Allison. Prior to joining the program, both men held positions in the Justice System as Detention Officers. These dedicated men have families of their own but requested this responsibility and were transferred internally to the Male Mentoring Program. “I wanted to give back to the community,” said Parker. “I began my volunteer service when I was 19 with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program working with at-risk kids. After I returned from active duty military service, I knew that I wanted to continue this type of community involvement. This program is my life.” Allison agrees with his co-worker. “I look at these kids and realize I could have been in the same situation. This experience has made me realize how lucky I am. I value the relationship I have with my own children even more. This position is never just a job.” With the leadership and guidance of Parker and Allison, the Male Mentoring Program offers these young men many gifts. They are taught life skills including household skills, budgeting and etiquette. They participate in group recreation

Jeramie Parker and Bandit.

activities such as basketball, football, softball and fishing. The participants of the program also receive instruction on future life requirements such as obtaining a job. They practice participating in mock interviews, completing employment applications and how to conduct themselves when meeting with potential employers. The facilities of the Fort Bend Public Library are utilized as well as more relaxed atmospheres for discussions and instruction.

Consistent, Comprehensive, Caring The Male Mentoring Program is made available to these at-risk children and parents 24 hours a day. According to Parker, “We are there to answer that cry or solve a problem whenever they need us. We can intervene before problems progress.” The program consists of a three day per week schedule. The first two days are group sessions with participation from all of the young men, and the third day is more individualized attention focusing on educational needs. The staff members attend meetings at school to address any problems or special tutorial requirements that may need attention.

Becoming Involved

Quacho Allison says that equine-based activities are beneficial to the program.

Currently, the Male Mentoring Program needs adult male volunteers over the age of 21 to assist in the mentoring process. Volunteers can commit as much or as little time as they choose, and the reward of helping mold these young men into productive citizens is beyond compare. If you are an adult male over the age of 21 and would like to volunteer, contact Mary Gready, Special Programs Coordinator, at 281-633-7317. For additional information, visit l JULY 2014


By Jennifer Elliott

Cowboys and Culture I

grew up in Fort Worth and have loved being able to take my husband and kids back to visit. If you have a free long weekend this summer, head north and enjoy the City of Cowboys and Culture.

A tarantula from the Fort Worth Zoo Gigantabugs! exhibit.

Photo by the Fort Worth Zoo.

For folks with kids, your first stop must be the Fort Worth Zoo. Ranked as a top five zoo in the nation, it showcases natural habitat exhibits that replicate animals’ homes in the wild. The popular Texas Wild! exhibit features 200 native animals and a replica of an 1890s Texas town. If you travel before July 6th, you can catch the temporary exhibit Gigantabugs! featuring 13 largerthan-life, animatronic bugs scattered throughout the zoo.

“The size of these mechanical creatures gives an opportunity to highlight their unique features and value to the ecosystem in a memorable way,” said zoo Executive Director Michael Fourak-


er. Who wouldn’t want to encounter a seven-spotted lady beetle or a Madagascan sunset moth up to 709 times larger than real life? Tourists young and old will get a huge kick out of the Stockyards National Historic District. You can catch the Fort Worth Herd, the world’s only daily cattle drive, as it heads down Exchange Avenue. After that, take a ride on the authentically restored Grapevine Vintage Railroad all the way to Stockyards Station, the former hog and sheep pens turned into a shopping and dining marketplace. Complete your Old West experience with rodeo action and Wild West shows taking place year round at the Cowtown Coliseum. My children have always enjoyed the outstanding exhibits at the Kimbell Art Museum. This summer’s exhibition of ancient Japanese armor is sure to impress. Among the works featured will be 18 full suits of armor and three life-size horses clad in armor. “This stunning display of exquisitely

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ornate and wonderfully forbidding armor recreates the world of the samurai and brings the viewer face-to-face with the legendary warriors,” said Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell Art Museum. Those over 21 can mosey on over to the world’s largest honky-tonk, Billy Bob’s Texas, to enjoy live music and even some live bull riding. If you are looking for something a tad smaller, the White Elephant Saloon is a real Western watering hole offering country western music nightly. Those looking for something fastpaced can race over to the Texas Motor Speedway, which hosts NASCAR and IRL IndyCar races throughout the year. As of April 2014, all of the racing will be up close and personal with the addition of the world’s largest high-definition video board nicknamed “Big Hoss.” For a broad array of entertainment and dining options, check out Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth. From the Bass Performance Hall to art galleries to shops, there is something for everyone in this 35 block area that has been fully restored to its original Victorian beauty. Although there is never enough time for everything on the list, my family also likes the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and the National Cowgirl Museum. Fort Worth fun is calling, so y’all better saddle up and get going!

Horse armor, horse mask and horse tack from the Kimbell Art Museum exhibit.

Photograph by Brad Flowers.© The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas.

The Fort Worth Herd.

Photo by Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau.




Fort Bend Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution Hosts Community Service Awards



Virginia Davis Scarborough, Richmond Mayor Evalyn W. Moore, Renee Barcak Butler and Rosenberg Mayor Vincent M. Morales, Jr.

On May 14th, the Fort Bend Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) hosted a Community Service Awards program honoring Virginia Davis Scarborough and Renee Barcak Butler. The Community Service Awards are an opportunity for chapters and states to recognize worthy individuals in their communities for unpaid voluntary achievements in cultural, educational, humanitarian, patriotic, historical, citizenship or environmental conservation endeavors. Recipients must have contributed to the community in an outstanding manner through voluntary heroic, civic, benevolent service or by organizing or participating in community activities. “I truly appreciate the honor,” said Renee Barcak Butler. “This group has a wonderful history of great women and to be honored by them is truly humbling. The honors that I have received have been from everyone’s hard work in Downtown Rosenberg. It’s because of them that Downtown Rosenberg is booming.” Both Mayor Evalyn W. Moore of Richmond and Mayor Vincent M. Morales, Jr. of Rosenberg were in attendance and provided recommendations for Scarborough and Butler to receive these awards. The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America’s future through better education for children. For more information about the Fort Bend Chapter, visit




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Mon. - Fri. 7am - 6pm Sat. 8am - 12pm 4716 FM 359 Richmond, TX

Dr. Mark Buvinghausen

Come Discover Owner Financing Available


Acreage Lots from the 40’s! Gated Community Lake Lots Available Buy Now, Build Later! Sales Office open: Sat. 11am - 5pm Sun. 12pm - 5pm


JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

Experience the only authentic Argentinean experience in Texas at Tierra del Fuego TX in Sugar Land. Voted in April as the OpenTable Diners’ Choice, the Argentine restaurant offers a wide selection of traditional Argentinean wood and charcoal-grilled beef, pork, chicken and fish entrées. Enjoy “parrilladas,” an assortment of beef cuts and sausages served on a small, steel grill with live coals, allowing cuts to be cooked to guests’ preferred temperatures. Pastas and salads are also on the menu and are enhanced when paired with wine or cocktails from the full-service bar. In a short amount of time, Tierra del Fuego TX has become a destination place for visitors all over Texas. In addition to their extensive menu, Tierra del Fuego TX features passionate, live entertainment every weekend. Tierra del Fuego TX takes great pride in providing authentic food as the area’s first distinctive Argentinian restaurant. The venue was created to expose locals and visitors to the unique culture of Argentina, as well as the passion for good food, wine and life that sets the country apart. Tierra del Fuego TX serves authentic fare and provides a unique environment faithful to Argentinian culture. Their grill and asador were designed and built in Argentina and feature an open-fire rotisserie. The staff at Tierra del Fuego TX look forward to serving you. Tierra del Fuego TX is located at 2110 Town Square Place in Sugar Land. For more information, call 832-999-4045 or visit



July 1st – 31st, 11 am and 2 pm Hands-On History Hour

Come to George Ranch Historical Park at 10215 FM 762 Road in Richmond Tuesday through Saturday all month long for a new handson history adventure. Historical themes include 1930s Making Your Mark, 1830s Fire By Friction, 1860s Herbal Medicine, 1890s Life of a Line Rider and 1930s The Art of Latch Hooking. Call 281-343-0218 or e-mail

July 5th, 9 – 11 am

Saturday with the Master Gardeners Join the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners in their four acres of demonstration gardens, and talk to the volunteers who design and maintain them. Attend an informal garden talk on Water Conservation in the Garden at 10 am in the outdoor classroom. Park in front of the Agriculture Center at 1402 Band Road in Rosenberg. Call 281-3417068 or visit

Authentic Argentinian Food & Passionate Live Entertainment!

July 12th, 8:30 – 11 am Backyard Basics: Poultry

Learn more about getting back to homegrown and homemade basics. Presented by The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Fort Bend County and the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners, the program supports healthy living through home-based food production, preparation and preservation. The cost is $15 a person or $25 per couple and will be held at Fort Bend County Extension Office, located at 1402 Band Road in Rosenberg. To register, e-mail or call 281342-3034.

July 20th, 2 – 3 pm

Classical Piano Concert Enjoy local talent at the George Memorial Library, located at 1001 Golfview Drive in Richmond. Award-winning pianist David Nie will perform several classical works, including Beethoven’s Sonata Pastorale and Muczynski’s Desperate Measures. Visit www. or call 281-342-4455.

July 31st, 2 pm

Hawaiian Party Bash Students sixth grade and up are invited to make their own tie-dye shirt, enter for a chance to win prizes, enjoy great music and participate in fun and games at the George Memorial Library, located at 1001 Golfview Drive in Richmond. Visit www. or call 281-342-4455.

2110 Town Square Place Sugar Land, TX 77479 (832) 999-4045




By Joan Frances


onathan Kumar is a senior at Lamar Consolidated High School. It has been an exhilarating four years of education for him; he has excelled at school, sports and the arts. As a senior, he is at the top of his class and ready to move on to the next step of his life. Thanks to the support of his family and teachers, he is ready for a very successful future. In 4th grade, Jonathan moved to Lamar Consolidated ISD from Austin with his parents Esther and Yesudoss and siblings Andrea and Ethan. The family joined Sugar Creek Baptist Church, where Jonathan plays the guitar and sings in the choir every week. He is also an avid reader and a talented writer and enjoys reading the classics, as well as philosophy. Watching the Patriots football and basketball during the season is Jonathan’s favorite past time. The family loves to travel to Europe to explore historical places like France and London. But the place Jonathan enjoyed the most was Switzerland. He said, “It is the most peaceful place on earth; I could retire there.”

One of Jonathan’s values is hard work. “Whatever you are doing, do it properly,” is his philosophy. During his four years of high school, Jonathan was a part of the cross country team, and he played tennis for eight years.


High School HOT SHOT Meet Jonathan Kumar and respect he has for his parents will stay with him through college. They have been a driving force in his quest for academic excellence. When asked how he feels about his friends, he said, “It is important to have a few quality friends.” Jonathan is a loyal friend and values the relationships he has developed during his four years at Lamar Consolidated High School.

Jonathan As a part of the debate team, he traveled all over the country to compete in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking and Public Forum Debate. He said, “I have been on the debate team for four years, and it has really helped make me who I am today. I started taking the class just for a credit, but then I discovered everything it offered.” When asked what aspect of debate he enjoys the most, Jonathan replied, “Being able to persuade someone; that’s a valuable life lesson.” Jonathan went to state in debate last year. This year as a senior, he competed at the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions in Minnesota, UIL State in Austin and the National Forensic Leagues Tournament in Kansas in June. Last summer, Jonathan worked as a cashier and bagger at H-E-B. This year, he will be working at Methodist Hospital in Sugar Land as a volunteer intern with his parents. His mom is a nurse and dad a surgeon. Jonathan thinks a close family unit is one of the most important aspects of growing up. The bond

To know Jonathan is to appreciate his great sense of humor. He hardly ever loses his temper and has always been focused on academics. Lamar Consolidated High School is home to over 1,400 students. In a class of 380 seniors, Jonathan ranks number 17. He aspires to obtain a degree in biology, then to continue with law or medical school. Jonathan looks forward to attending the University of Houston this fall with a four year scholarship. He also has a scholarship from the Voice of Democracy American Legion and the Houston Tennis Association. With strong values and hard work, Jonathan Kumar is the example of what makes America great. Congratulations Jonathan, and good luck in pursuing your future!

“Whatever you are doing, do it properly.” – Jonathan Kumar

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or



Kid-Friendly Private School s & A f t e r S c h o o l A c t i v i t i e s


Make Summer Sensational Gingerbread Kids’ Academy Gateway America Preparatory School St. Mark’s Episcopal School Calvary Episcopal Preparatory Lone Star Karate KidzArt


Summer Sensational

Fun, kid-friendly activities for the whole family


elebrate unlimited sunshine and bask in those carefree summer days with kid-friendly activities that bring the family together.

For many parents, it’s the same routine each and every year. After weeks of anticipation for the end of the school year, those lazy summer days finally arrive for your children. But soon after, the newness wears off, leaving behind sad faces and the dreaded phrase heard by parents across the country, “I’m bored.” But all it takes to battle summer boredom is a little preparedness and a few clever ideas to make this summer the best one yet. The summer fun experts at Bomb Pop serve up these awesome, fresh ideas to bring loads of memorable moments to your family all season long.

Go on a Park Crawl Research all of the parks in your town and visit each one. Your kids will love pointing out their favorite attractions at each location. When the activity is over, have each child pick their favorite park so you can visit regularly. Be sure to load up on sunscreen, drinking water and bug spray. Also, make sure you have a map or smartphone handy to help you navigate to the next park. Make it memorable by taking a picture at each stop. Those treasured moments can be printed and pieced together into a summer scrapbook they’ll cherish for years.


Make a Splash Backyard water games are synonymous with smiles. Enjoy the classic warm weather activities of water balloon fights, squirt gun wars, playing on a slip and slide and, as always, swimming in an outdoor pool. Younger kids will love ice excavating, too. Simply freeze plastic toys in a large bowl and let them chip away at the ice. Be sure to have everyone wearing swimsuits and plenty of sunscreen. Backyard fun also means your freezer is just a few steps away, so stock it with cool treats, such as the six fins of fun in Bomb Pops frozen treats. Make it memorable by making a game of your water activities. Whether it’s a water balloon toss or squirt gun tag, kids will be more involved when you throw in some friendly competition. Be sure to have a lot of summer-themed prizes, such as cool beach towels, sunglasses or splash balls.

Score a Home Run A visit to the local baseball field is a wonderful way to teach your little ones about America’s favorite pastime, while also encouraging an active lifestyle. Invite their buddies along so you can have a whole team, or just practice catching, pitching or batting with a couple of players. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, drinking water, hats, baseball gear and a

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

cooler packed with delicious treats. Make it memorable by creating your own cheer section. Some kids may be too young to play, but they can still participate as cheerleaders for their brothers or sisters. Make sure your squad is complete with handmade cheer signs and pompoms for them to wave about proudly.

Create a Family Masterpiece Get crafty with the kids and let them create their own giant mural — on a bed sheet. Simply lay an old one out on the lawn and let the kids paint away. They will love to proudly hang up their creation in the basement rec room or any other place where they play.

Be sure to supply kid-safe paints, brushes, sponges and other items around the home for tracing shapes and designs. Also, make sure everyone lathers on plenty of sunscreen so they don’t get burned while making their art. Make it memorable and encourage your kids to tell a summer story through their artwork. Allow them to draw inspiration from a recent trip to the lake, the mountains or a family reunion. With a few kid-friendly ideas, you can create memories that will last a lifetime. Source: Family Features;

Private Schools & After School Activities

The Gingerbread Kids’ Academy: Where Children Learn and Grow


hen it comes to early childhood education, the Gingerbread Kids’ Academy is a recipe for academic success. With low classroom ratios giving teachers more one-on-one time with students, the academy is a place where children learn and grow through academic achievement and develop strong social skills. The goal of the Gingerbread Kids’ Academy is to prepare children infants to Pre-K for a successful entry into Kindergarten and beyond. The Academy’s programs include infant and toddlers, pre-school, a private, full day Pre-Kindergarten for ages 3 ½ to 5 and an after school program with pick-up from Thomas, Meyers and Williams Elementary. Programs are based on the Texas Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines and the Texas School Readiness program aimed to educate young children to both prepare them for elementary school, as well as insure their success in a structured learning environment. After school programs at the Academy offer homework assistance, sports activities, reading programs, art and music projects, gaming activities and much more. Featuring seven unique classrooms dedicated to educating children, two multi-purpose rooms, a full-service kitchen, six age-appropriate playgrounds and a water splash pad, the Gingerbread Kids’ Academy accommodates children from 8 weeks to 12 years-old. The Academy is currently registering for their ages 3 ½ and 4 year-old PreK programs, as well as for Kindergarten through 5th grade after school programs. The Gingerbread Kids’ Academy is open from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm Monday through Friday, and is conveniently located at 814 FM 2977 (Mennonite Road) in Richmond. For more information or to enroll, e-mail tim@gbkidsacademy. com or call 281-239-2110.


814 FM 2977 • Richmond, TX 77469



Hours: 6:30 am - 6:30 pm Monday thru Friday

• Infants • Toddlers

Now Registering for Back to School

• 3 and 4 year-old 50% Off Registration Fee* Pre-K Programs • K-5th After School Programs for pick-up from Meyers, Williams and Thomas Elementary

Free Back to School Backpacks to the First 30 Families who Enroll by July 31st

Special Advertising Section CRABB RIVER RD.


FM 2


To advertise: 281-690-4242

Bonbrook Briarwood Crossing 9 76 Brazos Y5 HW 2 Bridlewood Estates Town Center Greatwood REA . RD River Park West DIN ITE G RD ON River’s Run N . N ME Summer Lakes 7/ 297 M . F The Oaks of Rosenberg RD ON The Reserve NT E B Walnut Creek FM

Medical Focus

Conveniently Located Near:

*Must be registered by July 31st; discount excludes security deposit. l JULY 2014


Private Schools & After School Activities

Why is Your Child Missing Out in Public school?

For Students Seeking Excellence!


After school tutoring, PSAT/SAT/ACT prep, Speed Reading

• Grades 6th -12th accredited • Self paced, individual curriculum • Low teacher student ratios

• College prep/ planning • Limited enrollment • Extracurricular activities including Karate

222 FM 359 • 281.513.5566

Classes Include: H Karate H Self Defense H Kickboxing Fitness H Bootcamp H Bully Precaution H Stranger Danger T ry a Free Class Today

Summer Special



No Contracts Ever! No Price Increases Ever! Free Uniform


Frank’s Nursery


Gateway America

Lone Star Karate

Grand Pkwy. (99)

FM 359

222 FM 359 281.513.5566

Hwy 90

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

any families are now questioning if public education is the best place for their children. Why is there such a shift? Is it because of bullying, peer pressure or academic issues? One reason is that parents are concerned their children are falling through the cracks academically. Teachers are mandated to teach to standardized tests. Students are missing out on the true nature of learning. Another reason is the social atmosphere in public schools. Bullying is at an all-time high. Students who do not enjoy their learning environment will never be able to learn at a high level. Gateway America Preparatory School focuses on both of these issues. First, because they are not part of the school system, Gateway America can choose which testing students will be measured by. They believe that PSAT/SAT tests, since universities use them, are the better option by which to test students. Gateway America also prepares each student for the test of his choice. Bullying and social pressures are one of the main factors for academic failure. If you hated going to your job, would you be productive? Probably not. Gateway America believes it is important for every student to want to come to school. They pride themselves on a safe and inviting environment where students can enjoy their days. If you have had concerns with the education your child is receiving, visit Gateway America, located at 222 FM 359 and Highway 90 in Richmond. For more information, call 281-513-5566 or visit www.GatewayAmericaPrep. com.

Private Schools & After School Activities

St. Mark’s Episcopal School: Exemplary Standards for Exemplary Results



t. Mark’s Episcopal School will open its doors on August 25th. A state licensed school pursuing Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools accreditation, St. Mark’s Episcopal School is currently accepting applications for two-year-old, three-year-old, Pre-K and Bridge to Kindergarten classes. The two and three-year-old classes will have the option of a two, three and five-day program, and the Pre-K and Bridge to Kindergarten classes are five-day programs. St. Mark’s Episcopal School offers before school care from 7:30 to 9 am and after school care from 2 to 6 pm. School hours are Monday through Friday 9 am to 2 pm. The mission of St. Mark’s Episcopal School is to encourage spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional and physical development in young children through an enriched curriculum rooted in the Christian faith. Within a nurturing Christian community, St. Mark’s Episcopal School builds in each child the foundation for good character and a lifelong love of learning. Each class is staffed with a certified teacher and a teaching assistant. The enriching curriculum at St. Mark’s Episcopal School includes hands-on learning centers, art, Kinder-Musik, Spanish lessons, fun and fitness, Godly play and an outdoor learning center. Their state-of-the-art technology includes iPads, Interactive Smart Board whiteboards and two student touch screen classroom computers. St. Mark’s Episcopal School is located at 7615 FM 762 in Richmond. For more information, e-mail Tracey McMahon, Head of School, at or call 281-545-1661.


Hands-on-Learning Centers Art • Kinder-Musik Spanish Lessons Godly Play • Fitness Outdoor Learning Center 2-day • 3-day • 5-day

7:30 AM - 6 PM

EXEMPLARY STANDARDS FOR EXEMPLARY RESULTS The Mission of St. Mark’s Episcopal School is to encourage spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional and physical development in young children through an enriched curriculum, rooted in the Christian faith.

7615 FM 762 • Richmond, TX 77469 • 281-545-1661

RosenbeRg Ccenter aRpet & FlooRing Since 1958

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

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

WWW.ROSENBERGCARPET.COM • 281.342.5193 l JULY 2014


Private Schools & After School Activities Reverence for God, Respect for Others and Responsibility for Self.

How to Choose a Martial Arts School

Called to a Higher Standard

281.342.3161 Like Us on Facebook

Welcoming Students from Pre-K (4 yrs) through Grade12 An exemplary and accredited educational environment where your child will learn from certified teachers in a family-oriented Christian atmosphere. Bring this ad and receive a $100 discount when you register your child.

ENROLLING NOW 2014 - 2015 Calvary Episcopal Preparatory: Called to a Higher Standard


hile outstanding academics are a trademark for Calvary Episcopal Preparatory’s reputation of excellence, its pride as a Christian school is how students and faculty treat each other and grow in their understanding of God’s expectations for them. Calvary incorporates reverence for God, respect for others and responsibility for self into every aspect of the educational experience. In addition to a rigorous and accelerated academic environment, the Calvary experience includes service learning, leadership opportunities and enrichment programs for student creativity and expression. These programs include a successful athletic department, visual and performing arts that encompass a Thespian Troupe, a National Arts Honor Society and a competitive band. The 2013-2014 year began with an undefeated volleyball and basketball season followed by successful seasons in football, track and golf. Throughout the year, the Calvary art department took its share of award-winning medals and recognition at the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show and Fort Bend County Fair. The Calvary Episcopal Preparatory drama club capped off the year with Seussical the Musical Jr. with 52 participating students at sold out performances. The school also participates in Private School Interscholastic Association (PSIA) for lower and middle school and Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) for high school in all categories, sending many students to state. Calvary Episcopal Preparatory incorporates Christian character education, Bible class, Spanish and library lessons. Calvary is accepting registration for Pre-K through 12th grade for the 2014-2015 school year. For more information or to schedule a tour of the campus, call 281-342-3161 or visit


JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or


artial Arts Schools are everywhere now. So, how do you pick the one that’s right for you? First, determine your goals. Leadership? Self Defense? Competitions? Character Development? Bully Prevention? Fitness? Many families pick the closest school and regret it, because it’s not what they expected. This choice usually leads to the student quitting and not benefiting from what martial arts has to offer. Next, beware of the contracts! Who likes contracts? Many schools offer a deal for the first month to get the student excited. Then, you must sign a contract for at least six months at a higher rate. Most of these schools say they teach integrity, too. Furthermore, ask about the longterm plan. Are there any upgrade fees? Many schools have low monthly dues but expect you to pay more to be on the competition team. Make sure you know how much it will cost before signing up. Lastly, watch for black belt restrictions. Everyone wants to attain the black belt, right? If there is a black belt club, or if the instructor tells you that it will take a certain number of years to achieve the black belt, run! No one knows how long it will take you to achieve it. The black belt demands commitment, desire and work, not a price tag. Give Lone Star Karate a try! They are located at 222 FM 359 and Highway 90 in Richmond. For more information, call 281-513-5566 or visit See ad on page 28.

Private Schools & After School Activities

CJ’s Quilt Shop

Get Students Back into School Learning Mode with KidzArt

Lots of fabric, thread and patterns Classes from beginner to advanced Wide backing fabric for your larger quilts We make custom t-shirt quilts and memory quilts Batting and thread for longarm quilting We offer computerized machine quilting for your projects Mon: 10am – 5pm Tues: 10am – 7pm Wed–Sat: 10am – 5pm Sun: 12pm – 4pm

5529 FM 359 Suite E, Richmond TX 77406

(located between Enchanted Gardens and Swinging Door)

832. 222. 2033


etting the new school year off to a good start can help a child’s attitude and overall academic performance. By providing stimulating art activities, KidzArt helps students transition back into the learning mode more easily. “Part of getting our children ready for the new school year is to prepare their brains,” said Anitra Broussard, owner and director of KidzArt Sugar Land, a children’s art education franchise serving the Houston area. “After the unstructured months of summer, it helps to exercise your children’s imagination and creativity to support their academic studies during the new school year. By exploring their creativity, children can exercise skills that can strengthen their academic abilities and preparedness for the new school year.” Programs like KidzArt make art and learning fun for kids, but that’s not all. KidzArt also creates opportunities for kids to communicate, brainstorm and express themselves, which can be a great way to get the school year started. KidzArt comes to its students. Classes and camps are currently being offered in the Aliana community in Richmond and the Telfair community in Sugar Land. If you are a parent, principal, teacher, Parent Teacher Organization leader, community center or retailer and would like KidzArt in your school or at your location, contact Anitra Broussard at 832-707-8995 or For more information on KidzArt classes and programs for all ages, visit

COMING AUGUST 2014 Special Advertising Section

Art Education Advantages: 4x more likely to be recognized for academic achievement

KidzArt students will:

Back to School

4x more likely to participate in math and science fairs

Produce original representational art in 1-4 classes

4x more likely to win an award for creative writing

Learn to think creatively – outside the box

3x more likely to be elected to class office

Build self-confidence

3x more likely to win an award for school attendance

KidzArt Sugar Land

Anitra Broussard, Owner/Director To advertise: 281-690-4242

832-707-8995 l JULY 2014


Fort Bend Focus and absolutely! Brazos Magazines

Kick off the 2014 GEMS of Fort Bend


ort Bend Focus and absolutely! Brazos magazines recently kicked off the 2014 GEMS of Fort Bend. GEMS – Generous, Enthusiastic Men Serving – is an annual initiative honoring three male role models whose contributions to our community make them shine.

A 2014 GEM of Fort Bend James D. Rice and Dianne Wilson.

Jessica Kij with 2014 GEM of Fort Bend Neil Banfield.

Lisa Fredrickson and Carolyn Banfield.

Carl Favre with Doris and Joe Gurecky.


The 2014 GEMS were introduced in a private suite during a Sugar Land Skeeters game at Constellation Field. The 2014 GEMS were joined by 2013 GEMS, JEWELS of Fort Bend and community and event partners. The 2014 GEMS – Neil Banfield, Robert C. Brown, III and James D. Rice – will be honored at a premier event featuring dinner, live entertainment and a “chips for charity” casino on Thursday, October 23rd in the newly renovated Safari Texas Ranch Lodge located in Richmond. Proceeds from the evening event will be invested back into the Fort Bend community by supporting a non-profit organization whose mission is vital in our community: Texana Center. Texana Center’s mission is to create and deliver life changing services to people needing behavioral, intellectual and developmental care, support and education allowing for independent and productive lives within local communities. This is the second year Fort Bend Focus and absolutely! Brazos Magazines have hosted the GEMS of Fort Bend. Last year’s inaugural event was sold out and raised over $12,000 for its beneficiary, AccessHealth. Over the past seven years with both the GEMS and JEWELS of Fort Bend events, Fort Bend Focus and absolutely! Brazos Magazines have given nearly $100,000 to Fort Bend non-profit organizations. “Continuing our mission of giving back to our community is paramount to our organization,” said Patti Parish-Kaminski, Editor-in-Chief of absolutely! focus media, the publishing company for Fort Bend Focus and absolutely! Brazos Magazines. “Honoring these three amazing men who have contributed to our community in extraordinary ways through GEMS is an honor for us. These men have helped mold our community into an exemplary place to live, work and raise our children. We are humbled by their stellar examples of the true meaning of the word service.” The GEMS of Fort Bend is open to the public and is scheduled for Thursday, October 23rd. The GEMS and jeans themed event kicks off with the casino and cocktails at 6:30 pm followed by dinner and live entertainment. Tables and individual tickets are available by contacting absolutely! focus media at 281690-4242.

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

A 2014 GEM of Fort Bend Robert C. Brown, III and Carole Brown.

Patti Parish-Kaminski and Lucas Chavez.

Bob Wilson with George and Susan Patterson.

Monica Mondrik and May W. Tape.


Educational Secretaries Association Awards Scholarships

Melissa Rodriguez, Alexander Davis, Victoria Cavazos, Marcella Quinones, Clayton Gardovsky, Becky Melendez, Alyssa Stone, Mallory Soto, Tiffany Silva and Chiamaka Ujari.

Eight Lamar Consolidated Independent School District seniors each received a scholarship from the Lamar Consolidated Educational Secretaries Association (LCESA) at the group’s annual End of School Year Luncheon at the Fort Bend Country Club in Rosenberg. Lamar Consolidated High School’s Victoria Cavazos and Chiamaka Ujari, Terry High’s Clayton Gardovsky and Marcella Quinones, Foster High’s Mallory Soto and Alyssa Stone and George Ranch High’s Tiffany Silva and Alexander Davis will all continue their education with help from the Association’s $500 scholarships. Each year, the Lamar Consolidated Educational Secretaries Association awards scholarships to one deserving student at each Lamar CISD high school. “This is the first year that the Association has been able to award two scholarships per high school, and it’s something that we wish to continue,” said Becky Melendez, Scholarship Committee Chair. The Association also installed officers for the coming year.  Melissa Rodriguez, principal’s secretary at Reading Junior High, will be president; Michelle Haas, principal’s secretary at Beasley Elementary, is president-elect; Eva Zamora, payroll clerk, is 1st vice president; Stephaney Davis, assistant principal’s secretary at Reading Junior High, is 2nd vice president; Melissa Jozwiak, principal’s secretary at Velasquez Elementary, is the treasurer; Karen Jones, principal’s secretary at Hutchison Elementary, is the secretary; Julie Chapa, principal’s secretary at Ryon Middle School, is the historian and Becky Melendez, secretary to the Director of Fine Arts, is the parliamentarian.

Brian R. Heaps, MD, FACOG Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist

Welcoming new patients at

UT Physicians Women’s Center in Sugar Land 17510 West Grand Parkway South, Suite #550 Sugar Land, TX 77479

Call 713.486.1250 for appointments l JULY 2014



Calvary Episcopal Preparatory’s Drama Club rocked their sold out performances of Seussical the Musical Jr. The musical production consisted of 50 students from kindergarten to 12th grade who brought the book characters to life with outstanding vocal, acting and dancing performances.


The Who family pleading with Horton: Ryan Mullen as Mr. Mayor, Sam Wheeless as JoJo, Katie McCellan as Mrs. Mayor, Aubree Kuperus as Cindy Lou Who, Mia Rios as Betty Lou Who, Johnathan Tufts as Max The Dog, Sarah Williams as Miss Yelp the Bird Scientist, Mandy Richardson as Lou Lou Who, Stacey Smith as Dr. Mary Lou Who and Joey Cook as Cat in The Hat.

It was a sweet Sunday in Historic Downtown Rosenberg during the Chocolate Walk. Retailers and vendors – including absolutely! Brazos Magazine – gave away sweet treats to guests strolling and shopping in Rosenberg on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Margie Nowak and Linda Rulau.

Randy and Gail Parker.

The gang from Rosenberg’s newest restaurant Banditos: Grace Haryanto, Robert Sanchez, James Long and Emily Rosenbaum.


JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

Jesse and Dina Torres.

Tim and Patti Kaminski with Vincent M. Morales, Jr.

Arts Fulshear, in partnership with ARTreach, hosted its 2nd Annual Art Walk in Downtown Fulshear. This year’s event theme of Art, Wine & Chocolate provided interactive experiences for all ages, including art demonstrations from over 20 area artists, hands-on art activities, art displays, musical entertainment and wine sampling.

The Central Fort Bend Chamber’s recent Business Blender at St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms in Sugar Land was a grand success. Highlights included a ribbon cutting followed by hors d’oeuvres and mingling among guests.

Tajana Mesic and Marcia Simmons with Arts Fulshear greeted patrons.

Gilbert Limones, Kevin Patton and Shannon Orsak.

Showing off the Fulshear police dog, Belle, were Jennifer Covillo and Don McCoy.

Vicky Victaurri and Tony Francis cruised around the event.

Michael Garfield, Chris Morales and Jake Messinger.

Artist Mark DeLeon with the Graffiti Art Car project spray painted this iconic van, which was donated to ARTReach for the event.

Ambassadors Jamie Harris, Alli Adamcik, Nancy King and Mary Jane Butler offered information on the new Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Central Fort Bend Chamber conducted a ribbon cutting for the new Rosenberg business Caribbean Shape. Celebrating were Tiffany Pace, Kelly Shelton and Kay Garrett. l JULY 2014



La Cocina Mexican Restaurant in Richmond hosted the 9th annual Cinco de Mayo Bash benefiting Fort Bend Seniors (FBS) Meals on Wheels. With the help of volunteers and the community, Andres Novoa, owner of La Cocina, raised over $41,000 this year – exceeding his goal of $40,000 in honor of FBS’ 40th anniversary!


Rachel and Andres Novoa, Manuella Arroyos and Johanna Compean.

The community recently celebrated the groundbreaking of the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital expansion and Medical Plaza II. The ceremony, held in the hospital lobby with a sand pit and shovels to “break ground,” represented the first major development project undertaken at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land since its opening in 2006.

Chuck Stokes and Greg Haralson.


Janice Williams, Kimberly Hays, Ann Kingrey and Alison Harelson.

Jack and Jim Brown.

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

Phil Stephenson and Rick Miller.

Jin Kim, Sandip Desai and Daryl Dichoso.

The Central Fort Bend Chamber’s Hispanic Business Division marked its fifth anniversary with a Cinco de Mayo celebration hosted by Legacy Ford. Festivities included music, door prizes and a raffle, along with fabulous food and beverages. Shanta Kuhl, Patrick Sexton, Pete Olson, Eloise Lucas, Joe Rangel and Shannon Orsak.

Texana Center presented awards to various community partners at their 4th Annual Reaching for the Stars Awards Ceremony hosted by Hampton Inn & Suites Missouri City. absolutely! Brazos Magazine was delighted to be honored as Media Publication of the Year.

Award winners Paula Vela, Cody Holloway, Zoila Luna, Kevin San Jose, Patti Parish-Kaminski, Ron Ewer, Brenda Steelman, Terry Rutherford, Ane Marie Farthing, Sandra McDonald, Maria Uvale, Lynne Allen, Doris Osei and Dora Casarez.

The Central Fort Bend Chamber welcomed Kathryn Robinson Realty – Keller Williams Southwest with a ribbon cutting followed by a light lunch and networking. Kyle Johnston, Libby Woolcock, Matt Ontiveros, Rob Clark, Kathryn Robinson, Derek Finley and Danielle Hope. l JULY 2014



The 2014 State of the Schools was held at the Rosenberg Civic Center. During the luncheon, Lamar CISD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Randle and Needville ISD Superintendent Curtis Rhodes presented updates on their respective districts to an audience of 180 people.


Kathryn Kaminski and Michael Richard.

Evalyn Moore and May Tape.

Laura Lyons, Tim Kaminski and Jill Ludwig.

Jeanette Guerrero, Crystal Dowd and Ashley Long.

Kay Danziger, Janice Knight and Jeff Haley.

Congratulations to Ms. Susie Van Gossen’s 2014 Pre-K Graduation Class from the Gingerbread House: Avery Chupik, Madalynn Gibbs, Julia Jones, Kaleigh McDonald and Cari Bahena.


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Rosenberg’s Joyce Long and Patti Parish-Kaminski mixed it up at Bull Creek Cafe.

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a l JULY 2014


absolutely! AUTO REVIEW By Steve Kursar

2014 ACURA MDX The 2014 Acura MDX has been completely redesigned for a quieter ride and much better fuel economy. One of the most popular models in the highly competitive luxury midsize SUV segment, Acura had to up its game to stay in the race. The exterior styling changed in a subtle way, but the real transformation occurred under the hood and in the interior. And that’s where the car buyer will notice the big difference in how this new MDX drives. The Acura MDX has been a perennial favorite within the mid-size SUV segment since it appeared on American highways almost 15 years ago. Sporting three rows, this luxury SUV had the added advantage of giving moms (and dads) a sportier alternative


to the minivan. The one complaint that Acura heard over the years regarding the MDX was how much of a fuel hog the vehicle was. So, they finally decided to address that issue in the 2014 model in a typically clever Acura way: they made more out of less. This year’s MDX actually has a smaller engine that acts like a bigger engine than last year’s model. The new powertrain is a 290 hp, 3.5 liter direct gas injected V6 that has more low-end torque than the previous 300 hp, 3.7 liter V6. Combined with a lighter body, the new engine delivers both better performance and better fuel economy. For the record, the 2014 MDX is faster from zero to 60 than the previous model, and fuel economy numbers are way better with 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. I guess less really is more. It has to be noted that the Acura’s SuperHandling AWD technology has been joined by a front wheel drive system that’s not nearly as much fun to drive. But in

JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or

the quest for gas savings, the constant SH-AWD system had to be supplemented with a lighter system for better fuel economy. In keeping the MDX competitive with its rivals, Acura upped the quality of the interior materials and added more technology to keep the driver connected with hands-free technology. The second row of seats slide forward to allow for added third row legroom, although it’s still pretty tight back there. If that third row is vital and a minivan will never grace your driveway, the 2014 Acura MDX, with a starting MSRP of $42,290, has to be on your shopping list. Follow Steve Kursur’s reviews at


Surf’s Up for the Summer Lamar Consolidated ISD teachers will be busy this summer drafting ideas for grants from the Lamar Educational Awards Foundation (L.E.A.F.). While the teachers are always looking for innovative ways to educate students, they know the funds will be there, due to the success of Surf’s Up presented by OakBend Medical Center. “Our beach party is becoming the social event of the year,” said L.E.A.F. President Judi Vernon. “More than 1,200 people enjoyed dancing to the Triumphs, and more than $86,000 was raised to underwrite teacher grants for next fall! Thanks again to OakBend Medical Center for their support in underwriting Surf’s Up.”

L.E.A.F. Executive Director Janice Knight congratulated Terry and Lisa Raska on their winning bid for a German chocolate cake donated by Old Main Street Bakery.

“We are delighted to be a community partner with the Lamar Educational Awards Foundation,” said Joe Freudenberger, CEO of OakBend. “Surf’s Up is a great event, a lot of fun and a pleasure to sponsor.”

After the crowd enjoyed a Vincek’s chicken-fried steak dinner, auctioneer Jeff Council, with help from Vincent Morales, got the crowd into a lively bidding totaling $66,800 for the 20 desserts donated by L.E.A.F. supporters. Huggins Elementary purchased Cheryl Koteras’ Salted Caramel Chocolate Kahlua cake for $15,000.   Smith Elementary had the largest attendance of any Lamar Consolidated ISD school with 79 guests, and Wertheimer Middle School had the largest attendance of any secondary school. For more information, visit

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Once Again

Antiques H Collectibles H Fine Gifts, Etc. Enter As Strangers... Leave As Friends! Once Again brings together dealers, collectors & artisans to provide an all around shopping experience. Hours: Tue – Sat 10 am-5 pm


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Vogelsang Antique Emporium 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 - 5pm • Sun 1 - 5 pm

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Kovasovic’s Meat Market: A Family Tradition Made in America


he foundation of Fort Bend County originated from ranching and farming. Three different breeds of Spanish cattle were herded into Texas around the 18th century. Ranches were established for the primary purpose of livestock farming and trading but also as a line of defense against Indians. With the land grants from Stephen F. Austin, ranchers were allotted 4,428 acres of land and began the livestock trade. Through the years, the meat industry has evolved to become one of the largest and most successful businesses in the nation. One meat market that is a cut above the rest is Kovasovic’s Meat Market in Rosenberg. Joe Jr. and Alice Kovasovic lived in Orchard, Texas and raised three sons, Joseph, Theo and Dan, and three daughters, Ann, Phyllis and Jackie. The Kovasovic’s owned and worked at Alice’s Grocery selling fresh sausage. In the early 1950s, a good friend of Joe’s, Mr. Albright, gave him the keys to a building known today as Vincek’s Smoke House in East Bernard and $10,000. Albright told Joe, “If you make it work, pay me back. If not, throw the key in the cotton field, and you owe me nothing.” Joe opened a smokehouse and meat market in the building, began to develop his business and paid Albright back. A few years later, Joe built a state-inspected slaughter house, which enlarged the product supply. The family became engaged in all aspects of the industry and continues to cater to its clients today. At 14 years-old, Theo Kovasovic, Joe’s son, began acquiring business skills by working in the family business. In the early days, he watched and learned from his dad and older brother, Joe III, how to make sausage, smoke bacon and jerky. The family

Theo, Joe Jr. and Joe Kovasovic III.

set the bar high on superiority of product. Theo gained a wealth of knowledge for spotting top quality meat and learning how to prepare it. In 1993, Theo, with his wife and partner Monica, and their two children, Taber and Jacie, opened Kovasovic’s Meat Market in Rosenberg. In keeping with the family tradition, it is a full service meat market and grocery store. They cure and smoke their own product right on the premises in Rosenberg, and deer processing is also available. In keeping with the family tradition of quality, Theo’s philosophy is that his customers always come first, and he will not wrap any meat product until it is sold. If a customer does not see the cut of meat they want, all they have to do is ask, and Theo will get it. Monica does the bookkeeping and helps wait on the customers. Back in the 1950s, Joe Jr. sold Joe Kovasovic, Jr. 30 pounds of sausage a week. Today, Theo and his staff at Kovasovic’s sell from 1,500 to 2,500 pounds a week at the Rosenberg location alone. His brother, Dan, runs the meat market in Somerville. Together, they have kept their father’s business alive and prosperous for 18 years. Kovasovic’s is always busy, especially during the holiday season. When a customer walks into the store, an inviting, smoky aroma permeates the room. Clean and well-organized, a shopper will appreciate the meticulous detail taken to organize the cuts of beef, pork and chicken. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and willing to help make the proper selection. Theo and Monica are hands-on assisting their customers any way possible, from selecting a cut of meat to how to prepare it. Theo credits his success to word of mouth and customer loyalty, the best form of advertising. And, Kovasovic’s will continue for the next generation as Taber is learning the steps of the trade just like his dad. Taber makes all of the sausage, helps run the store and will take over some day. With so much to offer the community, Kovasovic’s Meat Market is proof that with drive and determination, this family tradition will remain a part of America for many years to come.

Theo, Monica and Taber Kovasovic.


JULY 2014 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or



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July 2014 - Absolutely Brazos Magazine  

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

July 2014 - Absolutely Brazos Magazine  

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