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Boys and Girls Country News Volume 37, Issue 5, Holiday 2008

Inside... Page 2 Message from the Executive Director 2008 Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive Page 3 Waller County Fair

Academic Achievement, Citizenship, and Service Early this school year, we made the grade, we practiced using our voting rights with a mock election (see the outcome on page 5!), and we scored points toward next year's reward trips through academics, leadership, volunteerism, and commitment to activities. See page 5 for more about the reward trips and how you can help motivate our children to succeed! Thank you to all of our friends who support our education program!

Page 4 Hurricane Ike Report Page 5 Getting Into the Race! Page 6 Happy Halloween...and Happy Anniversary! Page 7 Memorials and Honorariums Thank You, Aetna Foundation! Page 8 Be a Part of Christmas! Make Your Gift Before December 31st! Wishes You Can Help Us Fulfill

A Vision for Children Come visit! December 6th 10:00-11:00 am

18806 Roberts Road Hockley, Texas 77447 (281) 351-4976 Fax: (281) 351-4978

Donate Online!

Grades K-6 1st Nine Weeks

Grades 7-12 1st Six Weeks

All E’s and S’s Kaleigh

All A’s Alexandra Ashley C. Denisha Piero

All A’s Ashton Brianna Tanner A’s and B’s Audrey Austin B. Brandi Brandon Crystal Daniel N. Jared H. Jean Paul Katelyn Kiewan Meadow Michael Sergio Serriah Suzanna Taylor A’s, B’s and 1 C Alexandria Billy Jacob Jared M. Kaleb Lyndon

A’s and B’s Austin S. Christina Gabriel John Jovanni Kim Levi Rebekkah Rhonda Tiffany A’s, B’s and 1 C Ashley J. Desmin George Patrick Raina Samantha

We strike it rich in the Money Jar! Austin, Taylor, Denisha, Alexandra, and Rebekkah take the plunge while Ms. Teneisha looks on...and Ms. Kristi bags the money well-earned!

Message from the Executive Director “After 37 years…..We’re Getting to Higher Ground” Dear Cherished Friend: If you have driven into campus lately, you might have noticed that it has been turned upside down! The grass is gone in most of the cottage yards. There are big piles of dirt everywhere. The sidewalks are torn up. And we are not at all concerned! In fact, we think it is a ‘beautiful mess’ – because we are carrying out a dream…and a plan. Boys and Girls Country started in one trailer in 1971, in a low area where rice had grown. The Home grew rapidly, building by building, debt free. Between raising money for capital needs and operating needs – to raise 1200 children over almost four decades – the dirt beneath all that activity was just never the top priority! However, with strong rains increasing over the past few years, our walking paths, roadways, parking lots, and front yards are often awash, making it messy – and even unsafe – to walk from one building to another during or after a storm, or to play normally in the front lawns. Kids love the mud, and the easy-to-find crawdads, but other creatures are not so welcome in our country Home. We all have adjusted to the lower ground, waited for a dry parking place, and taken off shoes to get into the buildings. We made it work over the years…and sometimes even enjoyed it! See photo below of children after a rainstorm. In the late 1990s, we created a campus master plan. We have strategically made improvements, starting with children’s bedrooms and cottages, updating and renovating buildings as we could afford, and adding the new swimming pool last year. We are now ready to level our playing field (literally) making it possible for us to add the playgrounds that our girls and boys need. The underground drainage system (so unappealing among all our other needs!) is one of the final two important projects made possible by our $8 million capital campaign – now underway. In typical Boys and Girls Country fashion, we dreamed big, then spent a year refining the plans for the drainage system as well as the upcoming Student Life Center (the second project), and lowering costs all the way! We are working hard to raise all of the money needed by the end of 2008 or early 2009. We have received commitments of more than $4 million. If you would like to be a part of this exciting dirt raising project – or hear more about the fun to come with the Student Life Center – please give me a call! Meanwhile, as we work with children, we will keep digging deeper to establish a more solid foundation around this place we love ….that some have called ‘sacred ground’. To higher ground for us all,

Shirley A. Wright

Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive: Share the Gift of Reading Do you have a favorite children's book? Share it with our children! In November and December, the Houston Champions Barnes & Noble Booksellers store (5303 FM 1960 West; 281-631-0681) will hold their annual Holiday Book Drive, to collect reading materials for our children, in grades K-12. You can also drop off donations of books at Parkway Chevrolet (25500 State Highway 249; 281-351-8211). Page 2

Waller County Fair Our children spent over a year raising rabbits, goats, and colts in preparation for the Waller County Fair. Every day, they fed, groomed, trained, and cared for their animals... and did a great job at the fair! Thank you to Waller County Fair and our friends in the community who purchased our children's animals at auction and donated prizes, including Mike Bishop; Lloyd Cooke; Rhonda Duncan, All Seasons Grass; Alan & Kim Folger; Kammy Hamner; Fred Koetting, Schulte Building Systems; Kory McNeil, Western Rock; J. B. & Sherrie Morace; Gerald & Cathy Powell; Johnny Roberson, Rafter X Services; Karen Rosales, Schulte Building Systems; Rita and Chuck Scianna, Sim-Tex; Donna & Darrin Stokes; and Rick & Debbie Toman. We could not have run the program without volunteers Rocky Hensarling, Diane Payne, and Lee Owens and family of Owens Farms. We also thank our friends at the Houston Young Lawyers Foundation and all of you who generously support our children's 4-H program through the year!

And the winners are...

Below: Loving hands prep the rabbits for the judging

Above: Jovanni and Haymanot, with their fillies Tina and Paris, ready for show!

Below: Frank, John, and Taylor show their goats in the arena

Rabbit Show Results Jasmine, Breed Pen: Denisha, Meat Pen: Denisha, Junior Showmanship: Rebekkah, Meat Pen: Rebekkah, Senior Showmanship: John, Breed Pen: John, Meat Pen: Haymanot, Meat Pen: Frank, Breed Pen : Jovanni, Senior Showmanship:

4th 4th 6th 10th 6th 6th 9th 5th 5th 4th

Goat Show Results Rhonda, Light Medium Weight: 7th Sherry, Sub-Junior Showmanship: 6th Frank, Senior Showmanship: 4th

Horse Show Results Haymanot, Halter Class: Haymanot, In-Hand Trail Class: Jovanni, Halter Class: Jovanni, Showmanship: Jovanni, In-Hand Trail Class:

4th 6th 3rd 4th 4th

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Hurricane Ike: After the Storm When Hurricane Ike hit in September, we sheltered in place – over 150 children and staff members – and rode out the storm. The campus got by with little damage to buildings, but we all pitched in to take care of the extensive debris and tree damage. We regained power after six days, running on generators for critical power needs. We are grateful to friends in the community who stepped up to help us, including First United Methodist Church of Waller, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Fairfield, the Northwest San Jacinto High Rollers, St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, St. John’s and LifeBridge Lutheran Churches, St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Hempstead, St. Mary's Episcopal Church, and St. Paul Orthodox Church, who generously provided food, ice, and facilities. We hope that you fared as well as we, and pray that our Houston community will soon recover fully. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers and thoughts, and for all of the ways you help us provide our children with a home, not only through this storm, but every day. After the rain stopped, we all pitched in to clean up our big yard! Below, from left: Michael rakes up the debris; Patrick, Ashley, Austin, and Daniel bag it up; and Brandon trucks it away! Bottom: We clear debris on the College and Career campus. Our children also volunteered to help clean up at nearby Kleb Woods Nature Preserve, where they had spent the summer learning about local natural and cultural history through a uniquely designed five-week program created by Kleb Woods staff and volunteers.

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Getting Into the Race! This election year offered a great opportunity for us learn about the democratic process and the importance of exercising our right to vote. Before Election Day, we explored the issues at hand, learned how to register to vote, and cast our votes in a mock Presidential election. The results? Both older students and younger students elected Senator Barack Obama as President. Left: Jasmine registers to vote in the mock Presidential election. Right: Evan carefully chooses between the names in the hat and casts his ballot

The race for the Presidency is over... ...but the race for the points is still on! Because of generous gifts, we have been able to reward children's hard work with trips that broaden their horizons. Last year's winners went to San Franciso, Disney World, and France! In 2008-2009, students are working hard to earn points through grades, conduct, leadership, and service for next summer's trips! (Because of the need to "cut back", we will stay local and "See Texas!") If you would like to help us reward our children, please contact Elaine Petranek at 281-351-4976 ext. 219 or Above right: Our friend Jeff Hawkins, who served as Deputy Ambassador to France, helped us to begin an exchange program with the Etablissement Public DÊpartemental de l'Enfance et de la Famille (EPDEF), a French government agency that serves children in the department of Pas-de-Calais. We were able to take advantage of this amazing opportunity because of the generosity of trip sponsors and the EPDEF, which provided for all lodging, food, and activities. Brandon, Piero, Jean Paul, Celeste, Rebekkah, and Crystal visited the U.S. Embassy in France, among other cultural sites, with children from EPDEF – who plan to visit us next summer! Far right: Alexandra, Johnny, Stephanie, Debra, Kim, Denisha, David, and Jorge visit the de Young Museum, along with other key San Franciso destinations, with chaperones Ms. Shirley, Mr. Dennis, Ms. Cyndi, Ms. Pat, and Mr. Jared. Thank you, Hilton San Francisco, for your generous donation of rooms! Right: Audrey, Sherry, Tanner, Jacob, Michael, Helen, Brianna, Taylor, and Jared visit the Magic Kingdom with chaperones Ms. Evelyn, Ms. Lisa, and Ms. Michaelea (not pictured).

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Boo! We had a fa-boo-lous Halloween! After trick-or-treating door to door across campus, we screamed our way through the haunted house and finished with some ghoul-icious cupcakes. Right: Kaleigh the butterfly flutters by. Below right: Audrey, Brianna, and Meadow, with acres of Halloween cupcakes that we made with help from Board member Donna Boyer, dressed in spidery garb below with Meadow, Hannah, Kim, Christina, and Alissa. Bottom: Ms. Michaelea, Brianna, George, Teddy, Ryan, Audrey, Jorge, Levi, and Steven are in fine form for trick-or-treating

Happy 5th Anniversary, Mr. Pat! Pat Gonzales, Logistics Coordinator, has served in many roles across campus in his five years with us, and keeps us running smoothly as we coordinate between 50 staff members and over 100 children and young adults! He tells us:

Working at Boys and Girls Country isn’t just a job for me, it’s a lifestyle. I stay because I enjoy coming in each day to be with "family”. I stay because the energy and vitality of the kids is invigorating, and though you couldn’t tell by the gray hairs on my head, it keeps me young … especially at heart! I stay because the intrinsic rewards are just as valuable, if not more so, than the monetary compensation I get for doing what I love to do!

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Thank you, Pat, for your years of dedicated service to our children!

In Memory Of Received September 16, 2008 - October 31, 2008 Geraldine (Gerry) N. Allen Frank Allen Addilee Seese Mrs. Harry Touchy James Ullrich Geraldine Paseur Lucilee Barkley Robert & Mattie Hansen Louise Evans Benge Betty Berwick Lynn & Paul Dempsey Tom Drake Susan Dupre Larry Gattis Lawrence Gift Oscar (Tex) Goedecke Troy & Lisa Hagemeister & Family John, Scottie, Logan & Conner Hardy Robert & Sharon Keating David & Patty Moore Billie Proctor Pam Reed Mike & Jean Regan Jerry & Pam Rundgren Bob & Jeanne Stracke Janice Witt – Rainbow Septic

Louise Evans Benge (cont'd) Peggy, Holly & Cole VanCleve Howard & Sharon Wright Mrs. Bonnie Berry Jack & Carolyn Little Douglas Bussey Edgar & Carolyn Reeves Mrs. Dorothy Catterton Margaret Forgan John & Alice Deininger Fern C. Basden J. Fritch Encouragers Class – Tallowood Baptist Church Arthur Glaser Hannelore Draehn Dick Graves Jim & Ruby Bloodworth Charlie Hauck, Jr. Linda & Leonard Bench Debbie & Paul Blackshear Catherine Cross Employees of Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union Tom & Helen Danish

Charlie Hauck, Jr. (cont'd) Mike & Carolyn Devermann Hannelore Draehn Luke & Lyndia Jordy Tari Matthews Dennis Roper & Hedy Minter People’s Trust Federal Credit Union TPRB Advertising Tracey Wickersham T.A. & Pat Willbern Glenda Hinkson Albert & Jeanette Pittman Hilda Hope Beacon Class – Second Baptist Church Doris O’Reilly Kathy Hunnicutt Monte Jones William Carroll Kelly, Jr. Malcolm G. Baker, Jr. S.E. Kelly Wayne & Nancy McDonald Joyce & Jack Pierson Sue & Larry Sikes Virginia Terry

Includes gift(s) made to the Boys and Girls Country Endowment Fund

William Carroll Kelly, Jr. (cont'd) Dan & Linda Toney Mr. & Mrs. Vernon Townsend Wednesday Emmaus Group Lloyd Ray Kinard Stanley & Sharon Zbylot Dorothy Moody Owen & Virginia Hale Ann Murphrey Virginia Crowson Marion Pearson Doris O’Reilly Robert D. Petitt Donna Rider Robert (Bob) Pinckney Doris O’Reilly Edgar & Carolyn Reeves Bud Rae (Walter B.) A fellow traveler Ruth & Van Penrod Cal & Millie Reed J.B. Rhea The Tuesday Prayer Group Anthony Roppolo Frank Allen Carol Doolan Ruffin Edgar & Carolyn Reeves

Thomas Sacchieri Edgar & Carolyn Reeves Kathy Kahle Sawyer Gene & Esther Best Les A. Schmidt Doris O’Reilly Louis E. Schneider Terry Edwards Wayne & Joan Smith Kevin & Karen Thomas Steven Snow Gary & Kathy Friedel Lauren Spleth Rita Spleth Bob Tenney Beacon Class – Second Baptist Church Clinton Wells Florence Abercia Wen Wenger Donald & Betty Belle Dawson Philip Wiles Nan & Brick Thompson Elizabeth R. Woodard Jim & Leigh Tomforde & Family Marcos Ybanez Charles Benge Joe Zalesak Bill & Virgie Harlan

You can make your next tribute gift securely online at ....Click on "Donate Now"

In Honor Of Received September 16, 2008 - October 31, 2008 Dennis Alexander Shirley Wright Charles & Nan Austin Tom & Mary Engelking Wayne & Michele Brown Robert W. Brown Bryon Cloud - Birthday Edgar & Carolyn Reeves Cole Davis - Birthday Colby Angell Connor Bedrich Amy St. Denis

Donna Frederich Grady & Judith Joiner Alean Gault - Birthday Edgar & Carolyn Reeves Cassie & Cody Hilbun Mr. & Mrs. Sam Patterson Johnnie Leigh White N.E. “Sonny” Johnson – Birthday Edgar & Carolyn Reeves

Jim Liebl – 65th Birthday Angela & Richard de Sola Barbara & James Liebl Jamie & Jennifer Liebl Traci Liebl Brenda Petru Birthday Jim & Sherry Patterson

Thank You, Aetna Foundation! A dislocated finger doesn't stop Andrew from helping to clean up after Hurricane Ike...thanks to generous friends like the Aetna Foundation, who support our children's health care program, day in and day out!

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Boys and Girls Country of Houston, Inc. 18806 Roberts Road Hockley, Texas 77447 Address Service Requested


a Holid

WISH LIST Our Education Department Needs: Laminator (that can laminate 11" x 13" or larger) Binoculars Spanish-English Dictionaries Digital Camera (8 Megapixel or higher) Our Clothing Closet Needs: In all sizes, except where indicated: Girls’ and Boys’ No-Show Socks Boys’ and Men’s Boxers and Boxer Briefs Boys’ and Men’s Undershirts Girls’ and Women’s Bras & Training Bras Girls’ and Women’s Hipsters Panties Girls’ and Boys’ Tennis Shoes Casual Shoes (not dress shoes) Our Commissary Needs: Healthy Snacks Cereal Mayonnaise Ketchup Coffee & Tea Salad Dressings Dishwasher Powder Liquid Soap Our Cottages Need: Dish Towels Christmas & Birthday Wrapping Paper, Tissue Paper, and Gift Bags Skillets (all sizes) & Large Electric Griddles Blenders Our Activities Department Needs: Tickets to area sporting events Recording Software for Theater Arts and Music Program (Protools or Adobe Audition) Our Maintenance Department Needs: Conventional Stoves (electric, with two large & two small burners) 4” Tie-Down Ratchet Straps New or Used (Working) High Lift Rack for Vehicles Visit and click on "Donate" and "Fill a Wish List"

You Can Help to Make Christmas Possible at Boys and Girls Country! Here are a few ways that you can help! For more information, please contact Darla Guerra at 281-351-4976, extension 243 or

Conduct a Gift Card Drive. We use gift cards yearround to shop for our children's many needs. Gift cards are also used as rewards for hard work and achievement.

Sponsor Cottage Needs. Our children's homes need new kitchen utensils, linens, and other essentials.

Sponsor a Young Adult in the College and Career Program. No matter how old you are, you are always a child to your parents, and you are always on the gift list! Help us create a memorable holiday for our college students and our grown children. Right: Noah unwraps a Christmas wish come true. Make Your Year-End Gift Soon! As the season of giving (and year-end tax-planning) approaches, consider how you can change the lives of our children with your tax-deductible gift toward their care. Your gift of cash or securities received by December 31st qualifies for tax deductibility in 2008. Be sure to check whether your company will match your gift.

Another chance to give from your IRA, tax-free! If you are at least age 70 ½ (or will be by the time you make your gift), you can donate up to $100,000 to Boys and Girls Country directly through your IRA without incurring any taxes in 2008. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 originally made the tax-law changes for 2007 and 2008. However, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, passed and signed into law on October 3, 2008, revises the 2006 provision to make it apply to gifts made in 2008 and 2009 retroactive to January 1, 2008. Your IRA firm may issue checks only before mid-December, so hurry to take advantage of this opportunity. Please contact Elaine Petranek at 281-351-4976 ext. 219 for more information about making your tax-deductible year-end gift for our children.

Holiday 2008 Newsletter  

Holiday Happenings