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Houston Methodist Sugar Land

Excellence in Stroke Care

Hearts Flowers &

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Serving Richmond, Rosenberg, Fulshear & Needville

absolutely Senior Living Reading between the


{Seen on the Scene}

4 Brides Blushing

TAKING A LITTLE TIME IN YOUR DAY MAY ADD YEARS TO YOUR LIFE. Early detection exams such as mammograms save thousands of lives every year, so we make scheduling a mammogram easier. • One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime • 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history Schedule your screening or 3-D mammogram online at or call 281.242.PINK (7465). Saturday and evening appointments available.


Ade Adeyemo

Gunner Windsor

Brady Ahlquist

Joshua Alvear

Kevin Banks

to Ms. Angela Wobbe’s

2017 Pre-K 2 Graduation Class

Westin Thomas

Brayden Slater

William Frazier

Dante Hernandez

Da’Mya Williams

Carly Wayman

Kobie Bess

Where Children Learn and Grow Now Enrolling for Su mmer Camp, Fall Private Pre-K & After-Scho ol Programs

Vincent Nguyen

Mateo Hernandez


814 FM 2977, Richmond, TX 77469 Like Us On

Cooper Kettler

Emily Hogan

Shane Kelly

Braden Hurley l MAY / JUNE 2017


CONTRIBUTORS M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 7 VOLUME 5 | NUMBER 4 Joan Frances Contributor Pages 30 & 32


{Newsworthy} 24 OAKBEND MEDICAL CENTER Announces Restaurant Week 29 SECOND ANNUAL SOUTHERN GARDEN PARTY Honoring Virginia Scarborough

Carol Wilson, SLP, and Debbie Gibbs. Photo by Mary Favre.

{Cover Story}

and Jess Stuart

{In Every Issue}


For patients at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, a comprehensive team approach to treatment and rehabilitation makes all the difference. Fort Bend resident Debbie Gibbs is one beneficiary of the compassionate care provided at the hospital’s Neuroscience & Spine Center, where a highly skilled team of physicians and therapists implemented a plan to get Gibbs back on her feet and return to a productive lifestyle.



9 BLUSHING BRIDES These four blushing brides – and their beaus – have ties to the Brazos area. Peruse the pages, view their wedding details and even get some ideas for your big day!

22 absolutely! SENIOR LIVING A tool to help you navigate

{Columns} 18 HOMETOWN HEROES: Lane Ward 30 HIGH SCHOOL HOT SHOT Meet Jared Hudkins 32 A LITTLE PIECE OF HISTORY The Civil War and Confederate Soldiers of Fort Bend County

the road to caring for loved ones

28 HEARTS & FLOWERS A Mother’s Day Gift Guide


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ON THE COVER: Larry Tran, MD, Debbie Gibbs and James Ling, MD. Photo by Mary Favre.

✓ Kathryn Kaminski Integrity H Leadership H Commitment

Lamar CISD Board of Trustees District 1 “My service as both president and vice president of the Lamar CISD Board of Trustees has given me the leadership experience necessary to serve the constituents of District 1 with expertise and integrity. My commitment to our children and their future is unwavering, and I look forward to continuing my service putting our children and their needs first.”

Personal Information ✔ Lamar CISD Lifetime Resident ✔ Married to Rosenberg Native Larry Kaminski – 53 Years ✔ 4 Children – All Lamar CISD Graduates ✔ 11 Grandchildren – 4 Lamar CISD Graduates

Lamar CISD Board of Trustee Accomplishments ✔ Led the Board for 2 Years as President and Vice President ✔ Instrumental in Creating New Ethics Policy Creating More Accountability for Trustees ✔ Secured First Outside Audit of Lamar CISD to Ensure Fiscal Transparency

Early Voting April 24 – May 3

Election Day May 6, 2017

Professional Career ✔ Began Working at RB Department Store at 16 Years Old ✔ Texas Highway Department, Engineering Tech – 16 Years ✔ Owner Rosenberg’s Gingerbread House Day Care Center – 35 Years ✔ Lamar CISD Affiliate for After-School Programs – 14 Years

Affiliations ✔ National Association Education of Young Children (NAEYC) ✔ Holy Rosary Catholic Church – Lifetime Member ✔ Fort Bend County Fair Association – Lifetime Member

For more information, contact • 281.382.5239 Pol. Adv. paid for by Kathryn Kaminski Campaign, Larry Kaminski, Treasurer l MAY / JUNE 2017



Mothers and Their Babies May is absolutely one of my favorite months of the year because after all, it is the month when we celebrate one of the best things in my life: being a mother. As my babies have gotten older – Kassidi now 246 months and Kolton now 216 months old – my role as a mother has not diminished one bit.  The needs have changed, but they are equally as important at 246 months – and more expensive – as they were at 12 months.  And speaking of expensive, you really can’t put a price on a mother’s love.  If you need some ideas to help you celebrate mom, we can help.  Check out our Hearts & Flowers Gift Guide on page 28. There are Kassidi and Kolton Kaminski. some great ideas to help your mom feel extra special. Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s amazing Neuroscience & Spine Center physicians and therapists are all about making patients feel extra special and getting them back to a productive lifestyle. In our cover story, we share Debbie Gibbs’ incredible story of relearning life after a stroke.  Her team of professionals got her back on her feet, back with her family. The older – and wiser – I get, I do realize my mother was right: it’s all about family.  We pray we are raising them right, and so many times, our babies rise to the occasion. Last year when Kassidi went back to college, she responded to a Facebook post where a young lady wrote an extremely negative message about women who were members of sororities in college and were now mothers. Well, I was a member of a sorority in college, as is my daughter, and my baby girl took offense.  She responded, “I take an incredibly personal issue with anyone who – directly or indirectly – attacks my mother. MY mother is a bad---. In college, she was a member of a sorority, and she now has a daughter who followed her suit. And my mother, without a doubt, is one of the strongest, most intelligent and beautiful people to ever grace this planet. As one who bears the responsibility of the writer’s pen, you do not have the privilege or the audacity to insult the very women who sacrifice so much to raise their daughters to be independent and respectable women. Unless you want to send thousands of people into an immediate frenzy, do NOT insult someone’s mother. Ever.” Happy Mother’s Day ladies. Absolutely yours,

Vol. 5 No. 4 May/June 2017 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 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 PHOTOGRAPHY Mary Favre 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

READER FEEDBACK absolutely! focus media, Thank you for your support of our annual stroke walk. We are very appreciative of your sponsorship as it helped us raise awareness for stroke. Thank you for all that you do! OakBend Marketing Published by


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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! Brazos Magazine is published by absolutely! focus media, 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste. 700, Stafford, TX 77477. Copyright © 2017 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. l MAY / JUNE 2017


Dan Kershner, PT, Kim Kainer, OTR, Carol Wilson, SLP, and patient Debbie Gibbs.

elearning ife After a


or patients at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, a comprehensive team approach to treatment and rehabilitation makes all the difference. Just ask Debbie Gibbs of Sugar Land, an active retiree who stayed busy with household tasks and caring for her family, including her three grandchildren. “She was very sharp,” said her daughter Caresha. “She handled everything on her own and was always on the go.” But all that changed last November. After elective surgery at a hospital in the medical center, Gibbs began struggling mentally and physically. Her family – thinking her symptoms were the result of side effects from anesthesia – expected her to improve with time. Instead, her condition worsened. Within a few days, she had lost all movement on her right side and was having difficulty talking. When it became clear that something was seriously wrong, Gibbs’ family took her to the emergency room at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “That was the best decision we could have made,” said Caresha.

COVER STORY Photos by Mary Favre


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Excellent Hospital for Stroke Care When a patient exhibiting stroke symptoms arrives at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, the staff takes immediate action. The hospital has a neurologist available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the emergency room (ER) staff is specially trained to respond during the “golden hour,” when a stroke can be most successfully treated with the clot-busting drug alteplase, commonly referred to as tPA, an acronym for tissue plasminogen activator. “We have a well-defined protocol for stroke patients that starts the moment they arrive in the ER,” said neurohospitalist James Ling, MD, a board-certified neurologist and medical director of the hospital’s Stroke Program. “From that instant, their treatment is a priority. We work as a team to ensure that we respond as rapidly as possible. Evaluation by a neurologist, CT scans, blood work – it all happens quickly so that we can administer tPA, dissolve the clot that is causing the stroke and restore the flow of blood to the brain.”

Since 2011, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has been recognized for excellence in stroke care by the American Stroke Association. Most recently, the hospital was awarded the association’s Gold Plus Honor Roll Elite status for consistent achievement in meeting or exceeding national stroke quality protocols.

Comprehensive, Coordinated Care When Gibbs arrived at the hospital, ER staff immediately recognized her symptoms and contacted Ling, who took over her care. Tests confirmed that Gibbs had indeed suffered a stroke, but it had been several days at least – the golden hour had long passed. Ling discovered that Gibbs unknowingly suffered from a combination of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes – what doctors call metabolic syndrome, which greatly increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Ling started her on medications designed to treat those conditions and monitored her in the hospital for four days until her condition was stable. Once Gibbs was stable, Ling recommended that she see board-certified neurologist Larry Tran, MD, with Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Neuroscience & Spine Center. Tran developed a care plan that included careful monitoring of her risk factors along with a detailed program of physical, occupational and speech therapy – designed to help Gibbs regain the mental acuity and mobility she lost when the stroke blocked the flow of blood to her brain. “At that point, she was probably at about 15 percent of her capabilities,” said Caresha. “It was awful to see her struggle with day-to-day activities.” “I couldn’t do much of anything,” said Gibbs. “I couldn’t move my right leg or arm, I had a hard time talking, and I couldn’t remember simple things.”

The best way to determine if someone is having a stroke is to

Road to Recovery For recovering stroke patients, therapy can make a significant difference. “It’s really all about rehab,” said Tran. “But it requires a lot of commitment and work, and patients need the support of their families to keep them motivated. We are fortunate to have an outstanding, highly skilled therapy team here at our Neuroscience & Spine Center, and patients can receive physical, occupational and speech therapy all in one place with a team that works in a coordinated fashion to maximize their care. That’s not something you find everywhere.”

Patient Debbie Gibbs with Larry Tran, MD.

We are fortunate to have an outstanding, highly skilled therapy team here at our Neuroscience & Spine Center, and patients can receive physical, occupational and speech therapy all in one place with a team that works in a coordinated fashion to maximize their care. – Larry Tran, MD l MAY / JUNE 2017


We have a well-defined protocol for stroke patients that starts the moment they arrive in the ER. From that instant, their treatment is a priority. We work as a team to ensure that we respond as rapidly as possible.

Patient Debbie Gibbs with James Ling, MD.

– James Ling, MD

Gibbs worked primarily with three therapists at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital – physical therapist Dan Kershner, occupational therapist Kim Kainer and speech/language pathologist Carol Wilson. Together, the team implemented a comprehensive therapy plan that helped Gibbs improve her balance, mobility and agility, as well as her ability to communicate more effectively. “For a stroke patient, it’s important that all three therapy disciplines are on the same page,” said Wilson. “A patient typically needs to make improvement in all three in order to return to a more independent lifestyle. Think about a simple trip to the grocery store. You need language, writing, walking, reaching, holding and memory. If you take away one piece of that puzzle, it all falls apart.” “It was clear to us from the beginning that the therapists were a cohesive team,” said Caresha. “They were always working together on Mom’s behalf.”

Gibbs’ family was directly involved in her therapy, asking questions, learning how they could help with home exercises and encouraging her along the way. For example, Wilson taught the family how to utilize a technique called multimodal communication when Gibbs couldn’t remember a specific word. “If Mom couldn’t come up with the word ‘apple,’ rather than get frustrated, she learned to describe what she wanted

The Neuroscience & Spine Center at

• Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) • Back and Neck Pain • Brain and Spinal Tumors • Epilepsy and Seizures • Headaches and Migraines • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

The Neuroscience & Spine Center at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has board-certified physicians who work together to provide comprehensive, personalized care designed to help patients return to a productive lifestyle. They offer expedited appointments, including second opinions, with highly regarded specialists. The team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, orthopedic spine surgeons and interventional pain specialists treat a wide variety of disorders:

• Muscle and Nerve Injuries • Muscular Atrophy • Myasthenia Gravis • Neuromuscular Disorders • Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders • Peripheral Neuropathy • Sleep Disorders • Stroke

To schedule an appointment with the

Neuroscience & Spine Center at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, call 281-972-5178. 8

MAY / JUNE 2017 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242

using words like ‘round’ and ‘red’ and ‘fruit’ so that we could better understand,” said Caresha.

Choosing Houston Methodist Thanks to her own motivation, the support of her family and the compassionate care she received at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, Gibbs has made remarkable progress. “I’m back at my computer, and I can pay bills and go to the grocery store,” she said. “I can do just about everything I did before. I’m really surprised at how far I’ve come.” Caresha said the decision to bring her mom to Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital was perhaps the most important step in her recovery.

I can do just about everything I did before. I’m really surprised at how far I’ve come. – Debbie Gibbs

Debbie Gibbs with Dan Kershner, PT.

Blushing Brides Michael & Nelia Moultry May 8, 2015 Brent & Sarah McDougal October 1, 2016 Nate & Ryann Kipping November 5, 2016 Robert & Stephanie Rosalez January 28, 2017 If you or your children have married within the last year and reside in the Brazos area, and you would like to enter for a chance to be featured in our next Here Comes The Bride, complete the “Wedding Form” at www. and e-mail at least 10 high-resolution photos of the ceremony and/or reception to sarah@absolutelyfocusmedia. com. To guarantee your wedding details make it into our next Here Comes The Bride, place your engagement or wedding announcement in absolutely! Brazos. Photographers are also welcome to submit photos. Bride: Stephanie Rosalez Photo by Savvy Couture Photography l MAY / JUNE 2017


Michael & Nelia Moultry May 8, 2015


Photos by Joe Osborne Photography

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Nate & Ryann Kipping November 5, 2016


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Robert & Stephanie Rosalez January 28, 2017


Photos by Savvy Couture Photography

Bride’s Full Name: Stephanie Nicole Mercado Groom’s Full Name: Robert Ray Rosalez, Jr. Ceremony Site: St. Theresa Catholic Church Reception Site: Safari Texas - The Lodge Rehearsal Dinner Site: Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen Videography: Cinematic Saviors Officiant: Fr. Eurel Manzano Wedding Planner: Tiffany Houk Gown: Weddings by Debbie Veil: Marry Go Round Bridal Shoes: Kate Spade Keds Jewelry: Charming Charlie Hair and Makeup: Faces by Design Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse Invitations: Handmade by Bride Flowers: House of Blooms Cake: Cakes by Gina and For the Love of Cake Music: Special K with 104.1 KRBE and Mariachi Imperial Favors: Brazos River Provisions Jam, Jelly and Salsa Photo Booth: Picture Me Houston Transportation: Benton Luxury Limousine Service and Stark Livery, Inc. Accommodations: Sugar Land Marriott Town Square Honeymoon: Walt Disney World and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic


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Hometown Heroes:

Lane Ward By M.G. Angulo


ane Ward enjoys his time connecting with senior citizens on his delivery route. He looks forward to the conversations he has with them and savors their company as much as they do his. And, it satisfies him to have a chance, at least once a week, to check on their welfare. There was once a woman on his route who Ward delivered food to for at least three years. She was a kind woman, an elderly mother of a handful of daughters, a few of whom Ward met during his weekly delivery – “all of them really nice,” he said. Then the woman passed away, and when Ward attended the memorial, he had the opportunity to meet all of the daughters. One of them, Ward discovered, had worked for him for years. “You never know who you are helping,” said Ward, who has been a Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels volunteer since 2011. “You never know who is benefiting from what you do.” That is one of the most important lessons Ward has learned since devoting his time to the local non-profit. Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels, one of the county’s oldest non-profits, provides meals to more than 1,000 senior citizens each day at six site locations throughout Fort Bend County and one in Waller County. It is also the only non-profit that delivers meals to all people 60 years old and older, regardless of income. In addition to

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Vicki and Lane Ward.

meals, Fort Bend Seniors also offers congregate meals, transportation, case management, health screenings, information and referral services and recreation in efforts to help seniors to remain in their homes and continue to be an integral part of the community. As a volunteer for Fort Bend Seniors, Ward, a Richmond resident and vice chairman at Amegy Bank, primarily delivers meals to the elderly clients on his specific delivery route. Not only will he deliver a meal, he gets to talk with them, listen to them and keep an eye out on how life is treating them. “Over time, you get to build a relationship with them, and it’s enjoyable. They particularly like the deliveries when I bring my grandsons along.” He laughs, sharing that the seniors are often more happy to see his grandsons, rather than him, on deliveries. When his grandsons – all of whom are younger than 11 years old – join Ward on deliveries, it’s a chance for him to teach them the importance of serving their community, and more specifically, helping care for those who have trouble caring for themselves. “A lot of time, older people do not have

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anyone to check on them to see how they’re doing,” Ward said. While there are plenty of opportunities to support one’s community, Ward, who volunteers with his church, St. John’s United Methodist Church in Richmond, and has been a member of the West Fort Bend Management board for more than a decade, said he wanted to serve his community in the most hands-on, personal way he could. “I was looking for something I could do that did not require me to be on a board – something I could do myself and with my grandsons. And then I saw this photo of former Rosenberg Mayor Joe Gurecky delivering meals, and I thought, ‘If he can do this, so can I.’ “Volunteering is important for a community. It builds a sense of interconnectedness and is a service to others. I was a Rotarian for a time, and I believe in service to others. And, if you serve other people, you’re a happier person.”

Lane Ward and grandson Drew delivering meals for Fort Bend Seniors.

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Seen on the Scene Reading between the Wines Benefiting the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County March 31, 2017 • Safari Texas Ranch









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OakBend Medical Center Offers Stroke Awareness and Care Seconds count when it comes to a stroke. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth largest cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. A stroke affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. When a stroke occurs, the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain either become blocked by a clot or by ruptures. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die. People who are at risk for a stroke include those who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and those who smoke. People with heart rhythm disturbances – especially those with AFib or atrial fibrillation – are also at risk. When you or someone you love exhibits signs of a stroke, it is important to act quickly. Remembering the acronym FAST can help you recognize the signs of a stroke. F is for face drooping, A is for arm weakness, S is for speech difficulty and T means it is time to call 9-1-1 if you see any of these signs. OakBend Medical Center has received seven consecutive Gold Plus Stroke Awards – the most in Fort Bend County. OakBend is here to help in times of need with board certified neurologists and staff trained to repair and help prevent damage due to a stroke. Visit one of their campuses at 1705 Jackson Street or 22003 Southwest Freeway at the first sign of stroke. For more information, visit


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MAY 1-31, 2017

Loving Life Again “The word ‘go’ has always been my middle name – whether it was going on cruises, enjoying rock climbing or zoo visits,” explained teacher Pamela Bah. Then, excruciating knee pain got in the way. “I tried steroids, ice packs and pool exercises to ease the pain, but nothing worked. I took so much pain medicine that I got an ulcer.” Bah knew it was time to take the next step and contacted Memorial Hermann Joint Center and orthopedic surgeon Michael Kent, M.D., who is affiliated with UT Physicians and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital. Dr. Kent performed knee replacement surgery on Bah’s left knee on June 3, 2015. One of the biggest advances in joint replacement surgery is better pain management. “Patients like Pam can recover quicker thanks to new pain management techniques that tackle nausea and help them get up sooner, even the day of surgery,” explained Dr. Kent. “My recovery was so smooth, I wanted to do the right knee as soon as he gave me the green light,” added Bah. “My second knee replacement surgery was November 23rd, and two days later, I walked up the stairs in my home with ease. “Six weeks after the second surgery, I was going, going all the time again. I am back to dancing and rock climbing.” Memorial Hermann Joint Centers are conveniently located throughout the Greater Houston area, including Sugar Land. To learn more, visit or call 713-272-1888. See ad on Back Cover.


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OakBend Medical Center Announces Restaurant Week OakBend Medical Center is pleased to announce the First Annual Restaurant Week taking place from May 19th through May 29th. The fundraising idea was the brainchild of Daniel Ornelas of Ol’ Railroad Café, Andres Novoa of La Cocina and Jimmy Cantu of Pier 36, and the three restaurants were the first to sign on for the event. For the 11 days of Restaurant Week, participating restaurants will offer a special three-course Restaurant Week menu. The restaurants will make a donation to OakBend Medical Center for every meal ordered off these menus during regular business hours, and proceeds will support the hospital’s Vision 2020 campaign. Vision 2020 is a comprehensive renovation campaign that will bring the most advanced concepts for a healing environment to OakBend Medical Center. Launched in May 2015, the campaign has already resulted in significant improvements at OakBend’s historical home in Downtown Richmond. Progress from the campaign was seen immediately beginning with updates to the building’s exterior and landscaping in the fall of


MAY / JUNE 2017 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242

2015. Additional projects that have been completed as part of the campaign include renovations to the Jackson Street Emergency Care Center and the Skilled Nursing Facility. Major renovations are currently planned for the hospital’s two largest medical-surgical units on the fourth and fifth floors. Future Vision 2020 projects include the expansion of the ACE Unit, additional upgrades in the Skilled Nursing Facility, and renovations to the hospital’s common areas including main hallways, restrooms and cafeteria. When complete, Vision 2020 will create an environment of care that inspires patients and their families and fosters faster healing. As of March 28th, participating restaurants include Another Time Soda Fountain, Japaneiro’s, La Cocina, Ninja Japanese Cuisine, Ol’ Railroad Café, Pier 36, Sandy McGee’s, The Ginger Mule, The Swinging Door� and Veritas Steak and Seafood. absolutely! focus media is a proud me­dia sponsor.

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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

Open Wed-Sun

Rosenberg’s Finest Wine Room

Open Mic Night 3rd Thursday of Month

Steve Onstad, Zhou Zhong, Jimmy Cantu and Andres Novoa.

“We are excited to kick off a new fundraising event for Fort Bend County,” stated Joe Freudenberger, chief executive officer of OakBend Medical Center. “It is impressive to see local restaurants getting onboard, and we are looking forward to even more joining before the event. This is a great opportunity for everyone to support both the hospital and local restaurants.” To find out more about Restaurant Week, visit www.oakbendmedcenter. org/restaurant-week, call 281-341-3094 or contact

Boutique Wines Happy Hour Wed-Fri Craft Beer 3-7 pm Music on the Patio Wine Club Bingo 2nd Wed. of the Month Karaoke 2nd Fri. of the Month

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Katie Kitto, Natalie Helms, Julainne Mills, Brian and Christine Wu, Chloe Mills and Ben Wu celebrated the Chinese New Year with a dinner banquet featuring noodles for happiness and long life, dumplings for good fortune and steamed whole fish for prosperity at Kim Son.

absolutely! focus media was a proud sponsor of OakBend Medical Center’s annual Stepping Out Against Stroke 3K held at Seabourne Creek Nature Park. In addition to the walk, the event featured snacks, health screenings, a DJ and signs throughout the walk representing the four warning signs of stroke.

Linda Drummond and Joe Freudenberger.

Will Malone, Traci Breland, Anna Marie Webster and Daniel Garcia.


May Tape and Cindy Johnson.

Sharonda Debose and David Timmermeyer.

MAY / JUNE 2017 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242

Amitabh Shukla and Cynthia McConathy.

Sharon Hilburn and Jessica Kij.

Ash Nair, Githin Surendran and Anthony Joseph.

Congratulations to Calvary Episcopal Preparatory’s Grace Stewart, who earned recognition in the Scholastic Art and Writing regional competition for her piece entitled Through the Eye of the Lens.

Calvary Episcopal Preparatory students Crisana DiShazo, Ryanne Dobbs, Isabel Beale, Kase Boetter, Scott Stephenson, Aidan Stimatz, Lillian Matta, Grace Stewart and Katelyn Benoit competed at the Regional History Bee held at Holy Spirit Episcopal School in Houston. Questions at the bee included both world history and United States history topics. Congratulations!

Fort Bend Zumba enthusiasts enjoyed a 90 minute workout led by Katyna Reyes featuring a special performance by U-Jammer Ivy Yeoh and DJ Steve Farina at Holy Rosary School Gym in Rosenberg. The fundraising fitness event benefited Holy Rosary Catholic School.

Ivy Yeoh and Marinela Taylor.

Steve Farina, Katyna Reyes, Joen Joyas, Carla Leavitt Strobel, Victoria Reyes, Veronica Johnson, Sophia Rangel, Keith Strobel and Kiara Rosolene.

Early Voting April 24 to May 2 Election Day May 6, 2017

Political Ad Paid for by Cynthia McConathy Campaign, Kelly McConathy Treasurer l MAY / JUNE 2017


Hearts& Flowers A Mother’s Day Gift Guide

TOUCH HER HEART FAMILY TIME WITH MOM Treat Mom to a whole day of family fun with tickets to Schlitterbahn Waterparks & Resorts in Galveston or New Braunfels! Schlitterbahn Waterparks & Resorts. Visit

This Mother’s Day, touch Mom’s heart with a lavish floral arrangement from LC Floral Designs. Send her a bouquet that’s as sunny as her smile and as warm as her heart. LC Floral Designs, 204 Highway 90A East in Richmond. Call 281-342-8839;

A MESSAGE OF LOVE Tell that special mom “I love you 365 days a year.” Hand crafted in sterling silver with a pink sapphire accent, each stackable ring contains the powerful message of love. For Mother’s Day and every day, the look is Loggins. Loggins Jewelers, 14015 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land. Call 281-242-2900;

SWEETS, TREATS AND WINE FOR MOM KEEP MOM COOL! Keep Mom “cool” in one of many selections at Texas Direct Auto! Texas Direct Auto, 12053 Southwest Freeway in Stafford. Call 281-499-8200;


MAY / JUNE 2017 l TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242

This Mother’s Day, treat your wine-loving mom to something she really wants. BR Vino has a wide selection of wines and other goodies for her. BR Vino, 1917 Avenue G in Historic Downtown Rosenberg. Call 832-595-2881;


Second Annual Southern Garden Party Honoring Virginia Scarborough and Jess Stuart Make plans to join an old-fashioned Southern Garden Party on Saturday, May 13th from 3 to 6 pm at the Fort Bend Museum’s 1883 historic Moore Home. Enjoy delicious food, signature cocktails, live music, silent auction, outdoor festivities and more! The Moore Home is located at 406 South Fifth Street in Richmond. The Southern Garden Party committee chose 2017 honorees Virginia Scarborough and Jess Stuart because they both have familial ties to the first settlers in Fort Bend County, and both are passionate about the history of the area and have spent years keeping history alive through their research and advocacy. The committee is very excited about honoring two people this year who are so respected and loved in the community. Stuart was born and raised in Fort Bend County. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology and is an eighth generation Texan. Scarborough is a sixth generation Richmond resident and a descendent of the original “Old 300” settlers. Her ancestor William Little was the skipper of the Lively, the boat that brought the first settlers to Richmond in the early 1820s. Tickets to the Southern Garden Party are $45 for the general public, $40 for members, $30 for docents and $15 for children ages five to 12. For more information, call 281342-6478 or visit fortbendmuseum. org.

Support OakBend Medical Center by visiting your favorite local restaurants!

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By Joan Frances Photos by Graith Photography.

High School HOT SHOT Meet Jared Hudkins


a senior at Travis High School, Jared Hudkins has achieved success in every aspect of his high school career. From academics to sports to extracurricular activities, Jared has attained respect and admiration from his teachers and peers. Completely committed to his future, Jared will be a success wherever he goes. Jared’s forte is football. He has been playing since he was eight years old. He is a member of the 2017 varsity team and plays safety. “Football has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I love the brotherhood, the team environment and the accountability that this sport creates,” Jared said. “Football has taught me many lessons along the way, the most important being to never become complacent or selfcentered. The team is what matters. Every day I focus on my commitment to be the best student-athlete

Jared and person I can be for my family, my brothers on the team, my coaches and myself.” Jared’s favorite teacher is his head football Coach Trey Sissom. “Coach Sissom has helped me be a better player by training my senses to effectively identify and to see things happen quickly, to make timely reactions to position and to make plays versus the run and the pass.” Sissom is very proud of Jared. He said, “Jared is a hardworking player whose efforts have allowed him to excel in the classroom, as well as on the football field. His dedication and determination will be missed at Travis High School, but we are extremely excited to know that he is going to be able to play football at the next level.” Coach Alonzo Ford, Jared’s strength coach, has been working with Jared for years and had a significant impact on developing his strength and skills. “Jared is one of the hardest working young men I’ve worked with,” Ford said. “He strives for greatness, but working through adversity is what I love about the kid. No matter the circumstance, he gives you 110 percent.”

Last summer, Jared played in the High School 7 on 7 State Tournament Championship Play-Offs in College Station. One value Jared lives by is commitment. “Since I started high school four years ago, I take full responsibility for my actions, and I am committed to the success of my future. I am looking forward to playing football at  the collegiate level and believe I will be an asset to the program. This is because of my commitment to and respect for the game and everyone who helped me get here.” The one thing Jared treasures the most about his years at Travis High School is the friendships he has made. “My teammates are family to me. When you spend so many hours practicing in the heat of the summer and late nights, a camaraderie develops. I will miss those times, but I will never forget the great memories.” For all of high school, Jared has been in Young Life. He attends weekly meetings, and in 2016, he attended Young Life Camp for a week in July at Colorado’s Crooked Creek Ranch with his group. He participated in the Greater Houston Senior Showcase for high school football players in February and the Spring Triathlon at Cross Creek Ranch. Jared has accepted an academic and athletic scholarship offer from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where he will play football and major in business. Congratulations Jared on your recognized talent and drive for perfection. We look forward to watching you make an impact in this world in the future.

“Since I started high school four years ago, I take full responsibility for my actions, and I am committed to the success of my future.” – Jared Hudkins 30

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A LITTLE PIECE OF HISTORY By Joan Frances Photos from The Civil War: A Visual History


uring the winter of 1861 when the American Civil War began, Fort Bend County residents took a stand to fight for the Confederacy. The city of Houston became the headquarters for the Confederate district of Texas, and over 75 camps throughout the state were established. The daunting notion that war was coming to the land people called home was difficult to understand. No matter how long it took, in the eyes of the partisans, the Confederacy would triumph. The majority of Fort Bend County’s men, most of them in their teens to early 20s, joined the call to arms. Sons of leading families, college graduates, professional men, farmers, ranchers, merchants and stockmen served in the ranks as privates. They were instructed to bring their own gear, including one or more revolvers, a rifle or shot gun, belt or bowie knife, horse, saddle and bridle. Benjamin Franklin Terry was selected to commission 10 captains to recruit a calvary. Captain John Holt, a member of Company H, also called the Terry Guards and later Terry’s Texas Rangers, was to enlist the company. Since this process began early in

A depiction of the Siege of Vicksburg during the Civil War.


The Civil War and Confederate Soldiers of Fort Bend County

The Great Seal of the Confederate States of America.

the war, Terry and his officers were able to hand pick each member of the regiment. Once recruited, other officers and non-commissioned officers were elected. Morale was irrefutable. They were committed to winning the war. The newly appointed companies shouted, “For the war, for the war!” pledging to the fight until the war was over – long or short – and the interlopers were driven from the borders. Camps were established in cities throughout Texas, rewarding the troops by giving them meals and lodging for reasonable prices. Bertwick’s Hotel in Richmond offered free meals and a room to any soldier. Fort Bend Manufacturing Company, a private manufacture that contracted with the Confederate States Government, produced cloth fabrics, wood, iron and steel products. Because of the fear of Union sol-

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diers coming to the area to battle, as well as for financial reasons, schools were closed, and almost everything was shut down. Terry’s Texas Rangers began their Confederate service on September 9, 1861. Most of these enlisted men had seen prior service with the Texas Rangers. Records show this calvary was one of the most frequently engaged units during the Civil War, with documented battles of over 150 skirmishes. In 1863, rumors of a heavy invasion circulated around the Fort Bend area. Colonel Xavier Blanchard DeBray, along with 150 men of the 26th Calvary who spent time protecting the borders in Galveston, came to Richmond and camped out near what is Jester State Prison unit today. They patrolled the Brazos River while other units dug trenches along Caney Creek for protection. Fortunately, war never came to Fort Bend County. The area was never subject to the devastation that occurred in the other Confederate States during the war, but the repercussions were felt for years. Politically, socially and economically, life changed drastically for Fort Bend County. For nine years following the Civil War, the normal way of living was in turmoil. Freed slaves who had little to no money could not purchase land. Plantation owners and farmers had no labor force. Therefore, the land was not tilled, and crops were not planted. During the Panic of 1873, more than 100 banks failed. In 1875, storms and flooding in Rosenberg and Richmond forced the shutdown of merchants on Morton Street. Slowly, over time, the economy improved, and Fort Bend County citizens began to prosper again. History preserves the lessons that were learned and the memories that will never be forgotten.



Your emergency contact in Sugar Land You can’t keep emergencies from happening, but with our expertise, Children’s Memorial Hermann at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land can make it a better experience. Our ER is specifically designed for kids, and the affiliated emergency medicine physicians, pediatricians, nurses and staff understand the emergency medical care children need. Our child-friendly equipment is suited – and sized – just for kids, and Child Life specialists help families cope with the unfamiliar and make kids feel more comfortable.

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May/June 2017 - Absolutely Brazos Magazine  

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

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