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DECEMBER 2012

Kevin MAN OF THE YEAR

Inside: The Spirit of Giving Focus on Worship Christmas Food Traditions

+ Holiday

$2.95

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Gift Guide


�e hhve reet events lined p this holiddy seeson for the whole ffmily to enjoy. Come celebrrte with s nd invite yoor ffmily nd friends!


Celebrrte Christmms with SSSSr Creee with three mmsic-filled eveninns of reet sonns nd worship. The concert Friddy niiht feettres LLrnelle HHrris nd Steve reen. On SSttrddy, Denver nd the Orchestrr will perform.

ile Hiih

SSnddy niiht’s niih concert brinns tooether JJlio Arrioll nd Stephen iller. For ticcets: ssssrcreee.net/christmms

Sugar Creek Baptist Church • 13223 Southwest Freeway • Sugar Land, Texas 77478 Online: sugarcreek.net

Steve GREEN & Larnelle HARRIS DECEMBER

Denver & The Mile High Orchestra DECEMBER

Steven MILLER & Julio ARRIOO DECEMBER


JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE CHRIST’S BIRTH WITH THIS SPECIAL CANDLELIGHT SERVICE.

Frolic In The Snow! On February 10, snow will miraculously appear and transform the grounds of Sugar Creek into a winter wonderland! Bundle up the kids in their jackets and gloves and come frolic in the snow! sugarcreek.net/snowday


Compounding Corner Pharmacy, Inc. ®

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281-494-7777 • 1730 Williams Trace, Ste. K, Sugar Land www.fortbend

.com • December 2012

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LIVE A BETTER LIFE TODAY! FREE GIFT WITH CONSULTATION

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M A I N TA I N I N G A F U L L R A N G E OF MOTION REQUIRES A FULL RANGE OF SERVICES.

When you can’t perform at your best because of an injury or are simply suffering through pain and need a total joint replacement, turn to St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons will diagnose and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. Whether your need is rehabilitation or surgery, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the best care possible, backed by a name you know and trust. Our priority is to get you back on your feet in the shortest time possible, so you can go back to enjoying your active lifestyle.

StLukesSugarLand.com generated at BeQRious.com

Highway 59 one block north of Highway 6 at Lake Pointe Parkway 1317 Lake Pointe Parkway, Sugar Land, TX 77478 | 281-637-7000


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COVER STORY December 2012

14 Kevin Kline: Fort Bend Focus Magazine’s Man of the Year

After surviving a serious jeep accident in high school, radio personality Kevin Kline went on to ponder his life’s purpose. Today, Kevin has launched the Snowdrop Foundation and has dedicated his life to helping childhood cancer patients.

Kevin Kline and Holden Underwood.

FEATURES 18 The Spirit of Giving

46 Private Schools and After School Activities

32 Christmas Food Traditions Around the World

52 VineSleuth: It’s Sparkling Wine Season!

Find the best and brightest program for your child’s needs.

Get your kids excited about giving with these creative craft ideas for the Holidays.

53 Top Ten List:

Add some international flair to Christmas dinner with traditions and recipes from cultures around the globe.

Do’s and Don’ts for Divorced and Blended Families Through the Holidays.

66 Shop Fort Bend for the Holidays

36 Holiday Entertaining

Find the perfect gift in Fort Bend’s guide to holiday giving.

Make this holiday season unforgettable with fabulous parties and dining.

42 Focus on Worship

Discover nearby churches and seasonal events for your family to celebrate this special season.

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CONTRIBUTORS

14

D E C E M B E R

2 0 1 2

18

IN EVERY ISSUE 20

20 Focus on Finance The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same 24 Seen on the Scene Photos from Fort Bend County charitable events.

30

Meet this month’s recipient on page 71!

30 Focus Film Review Nick Nicholson reviews the film Anna Karenina.

72 Community Calendar Fun events the whole family will enjoy.

32

34 Fort Bend Headliners Get the scoop on the latest news and happenings.

74 Medical Focus Medical news you can use from Fort Bend’s finest in medicine.

36

44 Focus Cares Sandra Arreola educates students on diabetes.

78 Amateur Photo Contest A winning shot by a local photographer.

40

49 Kid’s Chalkboard Special news and achievements from Fort Bend’s youth.

79 Focus Favorites Looking for a service provider? Find one here!

44

50 Home Theatre Check out these new DVD releases and enjoy a cozy night in.

80 Living the Sweet Life It’s Time to Become the Best Possible You

52

56 Business Buzz Tap into the world of business in Fort Bend.

53

58 Scrapbook A few snapshots of people, places and happenings.

61

61 Focus Auto Review The all-new 2013 Ram 1500 pickup is here!

70

70 High School Hot Shot Meet talented, top-Notch twins Carlton and Charles Anumnu.

ON THE COVER:

Kevin Kline and Holden Underwood. Photo by Nesossi Studios.

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80

Linda K. Eaves Freelance Writer Page 14 Jennifer Elliott absolutely! Memorial Page 18 Will Hardee Hardee Investment Group Page 20 Nick Nicholson Entertainment Editor Page 30, 50 Stephenie Cox absolutely! Memorial Page 32 Lara Bell absolutely! Memorial Page 36 Kelly Nolan Simply Divine Interiors Page 40 Whitney Hensler Freelance Writer Page 44 Amy Gross vinesleuth.com/uncorked Page 52 Nancy L. Rommelmann PLLC Attorney Page 53 Steve Kursar Auto Enthusiast Page 61 Lauren Dante Freelance Writer Page 70 Alisa Murray Alisa Murray Photography Page 80


Ask These 10 Questions To Make Sure Your Dentist Stacks Up 1

Does your dentist still use a drill?

Laser technology allows us to offer pain free, no shot fillings. Why do it the old fashioned way? No high pitched whine or vibration from the grinding of the drill. Kids never become afraid of the dentist.

Does your dentist have an intra-oral camera

6 that not only takes a picture of your tooth but also lights up decay?

You read that correctly! An intra-oral camera so small it fits inside your mouth and not only takes a picture of your tooth, but also lights up decay in RED. Now we can show you your tooth on a 20” TV, magnified 50 times, and shine a specialized light to find decay on the biting surfaces and in between 2 teeth. Truly Amazing!

Does your dentist check for

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With a painless laser, we can detect cavities earlier than the eye can see them. The laser scanner can detect new cavities years before any other means of cavity detection.

Does your dentist have massage chairs

7 and satellite TV?

Your comfort is our #1 goal. Relaxing in a warm massage chair while watching a movie or your choice of 119 channels, is the best way we can think of for our patients to enjoy themselves while we do all the work!

Does your dentist recommend

3 extractions for crowded teeth? Give your child a full smile for life. No Extractions-Orthodontics with convenient, no hassle after school appointments as late as 6:30 p.m.

Does your dentist offer 12 months

8 no interest?

We work with our patients to provide easy payment options with no interest. This frees you from using those high interest credit cards.

Does your dentist offer before

4 & after work appointments?

Before & After work appointments that fit into your jam-packed schedule. Appointments start as early as 7:30 a.m. and as late as 6:30 p.m., and of course, appointments on Saturday.

5

9

Does your dentist have an internet cafe?

Check your email and surf the net on brand new iMac computers while you enjoy a cup of gourmet coffee.

Does your dentist have digital x-rays? Instant images the size of a computer monitor. Remember those old x-rays that were 1” x 2“ ? Imagine the difference looking at a clear image 16” x 16” with all the software abilities that go along with computers. We can magnify a suspicious area and basically see inside the tooth. An added benefit for you is 1/10 the radiation needed.

Tim Cashion, DDS

Teresa Cody, DDS

Does your dentist have a movie theater?

10 No Kidding!

What could be more fun than waiting in a comfy armchair watching movies? If you don’t feel like checking your email at the internet cafe, come into the theater and recline and relax. This is not like the dentist when you were a kid!

mydentist@windstream.net A $25.00 flat fee for an x-ray & consultation A $74.00 value Low cost way to find out what’s wrong (Does not include cleaning)

Formerly Cashion & Cody Family Dentistry and Orthodontics

17003 SW Freeway, Suite 100, Sugar Land, TX 77479

www.candcdental.com www.candcortho.com

Call us now! 281-206-4482


P

ublisher’s Preview

www.fortbendfocus.com

December 2012 Vol. 9 No. 2 4655 Techniplex Dr., Suite 400 Stafford, TX 77477

To advertise call 281-690-4242 TOLL FREE 1-888-430-7469 Direct mailed to subscribers and high value homes in Sugar Land, Richmond, Katy, Missouri City and Fulshear and picked up at demand distribution locations throughout Fort Bend. Single copy $2.95 Publishers Michael Fredrickson Lisa Fredrickson Editor-In-Chief Patti Parish-Kaminski Senior Account Executive Jessica Kij Account Executives Melissa Huckabee Jessica Kij Michelle Moore Henry Pineda Celia Rivera Naomi Smith

The absolutely! focus media team. Front row: Grace Belleza, Erin Sanders, Jessica Kij, Lisa and Michael Fredrickson, Patti Parish-Kaminski and Michelle Moore. Joey Belleza, Susie Ainsworth and Kay Garrett. Lauren Dante, Melissa Huckabee, Jennifer Elliott, Henry Pineda, Stephenie Cox, Chris Hernandez and Geof Nesossi. Joan Huey, Susan Dannhaus, Lara Bell, and Naomi Smith. Back row: Nick Nicholson, Jesse McPeek, Kim Crosier, Andrea Rigamonti, Sarah Greeson, Bob Crosier, Linda Eaves and Camille Hay.

Hello Fort Bend Friends, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I love this time of year. Everyone gets so excited, family visits, people enjoy giving and the house is beautifully decorated. We have jam-packed this issue with several holiday features: Holiday Parties That Make Huge Memories on page 36, Christmas Food Traditions on page 32 and Holiday Dinner Party Décor on page 40, just to name a few. absolutely! focus media also has a very special message to everyone on page 22. Just scan the QR code to view our Holiday video to you. As you can see from our absolutely! focus media family photo, we have grown over the past eight years. In fact, we have expanded into five different communities: Fort Bend, Brazos, Pearland, Katy and Memorial. We are set to celebrate our 100th issue in 2013 and look forward to serving these communities. May God Bless each and every one of you for the holiday season and always. See you next year! Stay Focused,

Contributors Lara Bell Stephenie Cox Lauren Dante Jennifer Elliott Amy Gross Will Hardee Whitney Hensler Steve Kursar Alisa Murray Nick Nicholson Kelly Nolan Nancy L. Rommelmann PLLC Art Director Grace Belleza Art & Production Consultant Joey Belleza Graphic Designers Christopher Hernandez Jesse McPeek Communications Coordinator Sarah Greeson Administrative Director Erin Sanders Web Designer Joey Belleza (JOBpagegraphics.com) Photographers Alisa Murray Photography Nesossi Studios

Lisa Fredrickson Lisa@Fortbendfocus.com Michael@Fortbendfocus.com

Intern Camille Hay

Facebook.com/FortBendFocus

Published by

Ticket giveaways to area attractions and events. fort bend

magazine • December 2012

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The views and opinions expressed by our advertisers and columnists do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers and their staff. No material from this publication may be copied or in any way reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

One year subscription: $25


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fort bend

magazine • December 2012

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Taste New Orleans

JOIN US EVERY SUNDAY 10:30 am - 2pm FOR OUR NEW ORLEANS STYLE SUNDAY BRUNCH

HOME OF THE HOUSTON AREA’S ONLY AUTHENTIC OPEN-FLAME CHARGRILLED OYSTER! WE INVITE YOU TO “TASTE NEW ORLEANS”


Kevin Kline and Holden Underwood.

Fort Bend Focus Magazine’s

MAN OF THE YEAR COVER STORY By Linda K. Eaves Photos by Nesossi Studios

A

fter surviving a serious accident in high school when the jeep he was in rolled over five times, radio personality on 93Q Kevin Kline wondered: “Why was I spared? What is my purpose here?” Life went on, but Kline still pondered these questions. Kline started in radio while at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas in 1990, and his first commercial radio job started in 1991 in St. Louis, Missouri. “I move to Springfield where I met Trish, an account executive at the radio station where I worked. We became friends. When I got the opportunity to move

Step Up to Cure Kid’s Cancer New Year’s Eve Party

F

rom 3 to 7 pm on Monday, December 31st, Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters, will open its gates for the Inaugural Snowdrop/Skeeters Kid’s New Year’s Party! New Year’s Eve isn’t just for grownups. Kids will enjoy ringing in the New Year with a party of their very own with party favors, games, face painting, a deejay and so much more! At the event, Kevin Kline will continue his quest on raising awareness of pediatric cancer by running up and down 62,000 steps in their stadium, symbolizing the many ups and down in pediatric cancer treatment. “It’s going to be excruciating running up and down for 16 hours,” said Kline. “The point is to put my body through as much discomfort as I can to draw attention to what these kids go through.” Constellation Field is located at 1 Stadium Drive in Sugar Land. Kids under 12 are free, and registration is now open. To register online, visit www.snowdropfoundation.org. fort bend

magazine • December 2012

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Kevin Kline


to Denver, I realized if I was moving without her, my life was going to be pretty empty. So I proposed to her two days before I left, and she accepted.” “I married my best friend. I’m truly so dependent on her now that I couldn’t live without her. Our taste is disgustingly similar,” he said with a laugh.

SNOWDROP FOUNDATION “On December 15, 2005, we were broadcasting on day one of our two-day radiothon at Texas Children’s Outpatient Chemotherapy Center. These bald kids walked in, went in the corner and started playing.” A teenage girl with long straight brown hair walked in; she had a hat on. She started playing with the kids. Kline introduced himself and told her that he thought it was remarkable that on her Christmas break she was volunteering to come down and play with these sick children. She told him she wasn’t volunteering, she was a patient. Kline told her she didn’t look sick. She said, “Well I’m not, I just have cancer.” “I immediately fell in love with Chelsey Campbell,” said Kline. In September of 2005, she was a homecoming co-princess at Santa Fe High School. One month later, she was given a 10 percent chance to live another six months to see her 16th birthday and drive a car. Trish also fell in love with Chelsey. When it was apparent that Chelsey would defy the odds and celebrate her 16th birthday, Trish and Kevin started the paperwork to give her a present that would last a lifetime – Snowdrop Foundation. “If you start a non-profit organization and really want it to be successful and have goals, it takes a total commitment not only by the person who started it but also by the person who’s going to help it along the way. Trish quit her full-time job to run Snowdrop Foundation.” Kevin and Trish don’t have children of their own. “A lot of people wonder why we don’t,” he said. “I honestly think it’s because God didn’t put children in our life because of the plan he laid out for us. If we had children of our own,

Kevin and Trish Kline with their pets Yip and Yap. we wouldn’t be able to adopt a whole hospital and work so diligently on their behalf.” On June 11th, Chelsey celebrated her 16th birthday in the hospital, and after six months of paperwork, the IRS certification came in the mail three days after Chelsey turned 16. Chelsey passed away on December 9, 2006. “I was a pallbearer at Chelsey’s funeral on December 14, 2006, one day shy of the 365th day we would have been friends. A couple of weeks before she passed away, she told her parents who she wanted to carry her to her resting place, and my name was on that list.” Snowdrop Foundation is Chelsey’s legacy. “It’s a celebration of the lives she touched in her brief sixteen years on this planet, and it’s also a way for her to – in my eyes – stay alive. Her parents and family and Trish and I are still very close www.fortbend

.com • December 2012

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friends. Her mom, Sandy, says every time she sees my name or something to do with Snowdrop, she thinks about her daughter.” “Because of you, I think my daughter’s still alive,” Sandy said. “That’s one heck of a compliment if you think about it,” said Kline. “She knows that Chelsey is working and living through what I get to do and what my job has become. “We started Snowdrop Foundation to continue what Chelsey had created through her strength and determination to beat her cancer. It’s an emotional story and a testament of how one person can change another person’s life. When I talk about Snowdrop Foundation, I get passionate and excited about it because it gives me another outlet to tell Chelsey’s story.”


Who We Are

The snowdrop and its connection to childhood cancer patients: The snowdrop is the first flower to bloom in the spring, even blooming when snow is still on the ground. It is a hardy flower, nearly indestructible by nature. Childhood cancer patients demonstrate indestructible attitudes and spirit while battling the life threatening illness of childhood cancer. The snowdrop symbolizes hope and purity. Snowdrop Foundation celebrates the hope that one day a cure for all childhood cancers will be found allowing the purity of every child to remain untouched by the devastating diagnosis of cancer. The snowdrop comes in twenty different varieties but still only has one color, white. Childhood cancer comes in many varieties, but it still has only has one effect, to destroy.

What We Do

The Snowdrop Foundation Beneficiary: Today, Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) is the largest freestanding pediatric hospital in the United States. Ranked among the nation’s top four pediatric institutions by U.S. News & World Report, TCH is the only children’s hospital in the South or Southwest on that list. Texas Children’s Hospital is dedicated to providing the finest possible pediatric patient care, education and research. And, true to the charge given by the founders over fifty years ago, care is provided to any sick or injured child, regardless of race, creed or ability to pay. Snowdrop Foundation donations are designated for three specific areas of Texas Children’s Cancer Center: Snowdrop Scholarship Program The Snowdrop Scholarship Program offers scholarships to qualified, college bound, Board of Directors-approved pediatric cancer patients. Teen Program The Teen Program is a support program for teenage patients within the Cancer Center. The teen support group plans activities for teenagers, publishes a newsletter and provides an outlet for teens to express their feelings. Research In just forty-five years, the overall survival rate for children with cancer has increased from 10% to 70%. Thirty percent still need our help, as well as the help of scientists, researchers and doctors. That help will come from Snowdrop Foundation’s Childhood Cancer Research contribution.

For more information, visit www.snowdropfoundation.org.

Kevin Kline and Chloe

Kevin Kline and Isabella Balderamma.

Even though her life ended on December 9, 2006, Chelsey’s story is still being told by Snowdrop Foundation which is not only her story, but also the story of other kids who are battling cancer and surviving. “The first question I ask a new patient regardless of their age is: What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a two-part question. First, it’s a question of hope. You mean when I grow up? Will I beat this? Well yeah, you’re going to beat this. Second, it gives me an insight into their personality. In 90 to 95 percent of these kids, they want to do something to give back to the people helping to save their lives – researchers, doctors, nurses, social workers. That’s one of the reasons we decided to provide scholarships, the other reason being to help pay medical bills. It’s the most rewarding thing that Trish and I have ever done. “It’s scary how Chelsey and I were supposed to meet,” said Kevin. “She was scheduled for outpatient chemotherapy on December 21, 2005. She told her doctors if she missed Christmas at home, she would never forgive them, and she would never listen to them again. They moved her up a week. So on December fort bend

magazine • December 2012

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15th, Chelsey walks into the infusion center, and there I am. I know she was meant to be in my life.”

RUNNING FOR THE KIDS In February 2006, Chelsey underwent a record-setting surgery of 27 hours at Texas Children’s Hospital to remove tumors, which hospital personnel called a marathon surgery. “For you, I’m going to run a marathon,” Kline told Chelsey while she was in the ICU. Kevin started training in August of 2006 for the January 14th Chevron Houston Marathon in 2007. He ran it with stress-fractured shins. “Nothing was going to deter me. I saw what Chelsey went through and what these kids go through on a daily basis just to keep themselves alive with 100 needles being stuck in them, with ports being implanted in their chests. I ran it in three hours 44 minutes and 49 seconds, and it’s still my fastest marathon ever by 10 minutes. “I decided to take my running to a new level. In December of 2009, I ran from Dallas, to Austin, to San Antonio to Houston in 13 days, 482 miles. The purpose of that run was to raise awareness for pediatric cancer, since only one cent of every dollar raised for cancer goes to pediatric cancer research.”


That legendary run became a documentary called Dear Chelsey. “The documentary chronicles our relationship and the 13 days of running across Texas,” shared Kline. “In 2011, I ran for 24 continuous hours on a treadmill at Texas Children’s Hospital. The treadmill symbolizes life. Once you’re on, if you stop moving, you fall off. Last year I tried to run 62 miles a day in 100K a Day to Run Cancer Away for the 62 beds in Texas Children’s Cancer Center. An injury stopped me at 301 miles.” This year on December 31st, Kline and the Snowdrop Foundation are partnering with the Sugar Land Skeeters to continue his quest on raising awareness of pediatric cancer. “I’m going to run up and down 62,000 steps in their stadium. The symbolism is that there are many ups and down in pediatric cancer treatment. It’s going to be excruciating running up and down for 16 hours. The point is to put my body through as much discomfort as I can to draw attention to what these kids go through. I never use the word pain in my vocabulary anymore, because when I saw Chelsey after surgery just trying to get out of bed – that was pain.” Since 2007, Kline has run 54 marathons or longer races on three continents and in 26 states. “I always wear a shirt that says, ‘I’m running for Chelsey.’ During my last 100 mile-race in Arizona, three people asked, ‘Who’s Chelsey?’ A friend, Brian Gruender, heard me talk at the San Francisco Marathon seminar in July about Chelsey. He and his wife just started Snowdrop Wisconsin. “We want Snowdrop Foundation to be the pediatric cancer equivalent to what the Komen Foundation has become for breast cancer. We want people to identify the gold ribbon with pediatric cancer, and we want them to identify that with Snowdrop Foundation as being the leading organization in America for pediatric cancer research.” Though the catalyst for Snowdrop Foundation is no longer physically here, Chelsey remains very much a part of Kline’s life. “Chelsey was full of life. I love talking about her, what she did for us, what we continue to do in her honor. All these years I wondered: ‘What is my purpose?’ Now, I know what it is.”

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The Spirit of Giving By Jennifer Elliott

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hristmas makes me think of baking sugar cookies with my mom, hanging stockings over the fireplace complete with a blazing fire and sparkling tree trimmed with ornaments from all of the places we have visited. However, I have to admit there have been a few Christmas afternoons when I have thought it was all just too much: too much work, too much money and way too much receiving for my two young daughters. So in the spirit of giving, I wanted to share some fun crafts kids can make to give to others for the holidays. I have not listed detailed step by step instructions. After all, that’s why Santa gave us Google in 1998. But I have tested all of the crafts and give them a red and green thumbs up for any child elementary age or older.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods Melt some chocolate of your

Felt Bookmarks

Cut a rectangle out of a sheet of stiff felt. Embellish with ribbons of varying widths. You can also add decorative felt pieces or sew a button on the top part that will stick out of the book. Tacky glue works best.

choice; white chocolate can be a fun option for these. Dip the large pretzel rods in the chocolate. I have found that the kids can dip the pretzels better if you pour the melted chocolate in a tall glass. Then roll them in holiday sprinkles, and set on wax paper to harden. These look great in cellophane wrapping.

Cork Coasters

Cork comes in a variety of sizes at the craft store. We painted these coaster-size pieces with silver metallic acrylic paint and then used blue acrylic paint and a stencil to create the design. We sprayed them with several coats of polyurethane as well. You can use larger pieces of cork to make trivets, mouse pads and bulletin boards.

No Sew Fleece Blankets

Get two coordinating pieces of fleece and cut them into a large square the size you want the blanket to be. Cut fringe pieces on all four sides, and have your child tie the knots. There are plenty of online tutorials for this cozy gift.

Kiwi Crates

Chocolate Covered Peanuts Melt a 24 oz. package of almond bark. Stir in about a pound of peanuts. Scoop heaping tablespoons onto wax paper and let harden. Then put several in a cute holiday bag or box. These are delicious!

Giant Chip Clips

We thought these oversized clothespins were adorable. We stained the wood using RIT dye. Then we used Tacky glue to adhere decorative paper to the clothespin. We sealed the paper with a quick coat of decoupage medium. You could do this with regular sized clothespins, and you could also glue magnets to the back to make a refrigerator clip.

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couple of year fleece b s ago la The gir nkets for all o , the girls and ls f the ad I made fabric p had a great u time pic lts in the fam rints fo ily. r each king ou ests an pers t dif dp the kno ersonalities. T on based on t ferent heir int ts. he erthey we The best part y also really lo re as e ach per was seeing ho ved tying son ope w prou d ned the ir gift.

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on

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

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s we approached the recent election, it became apparent to me a number of clients are scared about what will happen to their portfolio afterwards. Some even had what I consider a “bunker mentality.” Buy gold, keep cash. This prevalent fear made me think back. This was the ninth presidential election that’s occurred during my career. That means there have been nine separate occasions my clients have experienced some degree of fear. It’s fear of the unknown. We face uncertainty in the market daily. I try not to let the daily babble of the “talking heads” on TV influence me. I rely on my experiences, knowledge and research to help my clients move from fear to reality. I’ve been an advisor for almost 38 years. As you can imagine, I’ve been faced with a number of challenges. Each, in their own way, seemed like a “world ending” event. These events range from Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979, the market

crash of 1987, banking failures, natural disasters, the dot com bubble bursting in 2000 and the dangling chad from the Bush/Gore 2000 election, only to be followed up with the terrorist attacks in 2001. Every year, there has been some reason NOT to invest. I’m sure this election had some of you thinking the very same. Friends, let me tell you this. The sun will rise again. We will move forward with new resolve and determination, as we always have. There will be difficulties, but nothing we cannot overcome with creative solutions. As I help my clients move from feelings of fear, the question often arises, “What will you hold in my portfolio, Will?” And again, I’m reminded the more things change, the more they stay the same. So I tell my clients, we’ll hold basics: cash, gold and or precious metals, and a general mix of consumer staples- the items that will still be purchased when discretionary income is relatively low. Basics make people feel good.

It’s what they know and are used to. When you introduce complex investments during times of fear, you’ll only exacerbate that fear. Stick to what you know and understand. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Change can be scary, but when you have a solid team on your side, it’s much less frightening. Here at the Hardee Investment Group, we’ll help you navigate those times of fear with sound financial advice. You can visit us online at our newly designed website, www.HardeeInvestmentGroup.com, or you can call us at 713853-0879. We’re looking forward to hearing from you. This article is provided by H. H. Will Hardee, AWM, a Financial Advisor at RBC Wealth Management’s Houston Center office, and was prepared by or in cooperation with RBC Wealth Management. The information included in this article is not intended to be used as the primary basis for making investment decisions nor should it be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any specific security. RBC Wealth Management does not endorse this organization or publication. Consult your investment professional for additional information and guidance. RBC Wealth Management does not provide tax or legal advice. RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets LLC, Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC

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FILM REVIEW By Nick Nicholson

A

nna Karenina is director Joe Wright's brand new visionary treatment of the epic love story by Leo Tolstoy of the same name. Adapted for the screen by Academy Award winning writer Tom Stoppard, this film marks the third collaboration between best actress nominee Keira Knightley and the production team that was responsible for both Pride & Prejudice as well as Atonement.    This timeless film examines the heart and love and the symbiotic relationship we have with the loves of our lives. The film takes place in imperial Russia in 1974.  Anna Karenina (Kiera Knightley) is absolutely beautiful and is what every woman aspires to be. She is married to Karenin (Jude Law), an officer in the government with whom she has a son.  The place the family has in the hierarchical society in St. Petersburg is unquestioned. At the request of her brother Oblonsky (Matthew Macfadyen) to come help save his marriage, she travels to Moscow to undertake the task.  Along the way, Anna meets Countess Vronsky (Olivia Williams) and her son, cavalry officer Vronsky (Aaron

Taylor-Johnson). Upon their introduction, there is clearly a spark between the two that in no way can be resisted. While in Moscow, the home is visited by Oblonsky's best friend Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) who happens to be a very understanding and compassionate landowner. Levin happens to be in love with Dolly's younger sister Kitty (Alicia Vikander).  Head over heals in love with Kitty, he awkwardly proposes to her, but her eyes are now on Vronsky. Although devastated, Levin returns to his estate and buries himself with work. After scorning Vronsky, Kitty herself is absolutely heartbroken when Vronsky announces that he only wants the married Anna, who happens to also have the same level of interest in him.  Confused, Anna struggles to regain her mental footing by traveling back home to St. Petersburg  in order to get back into her regular routine, thinking that will help her get over her feelings for Vronsky.  Unbeknownst to her, Vronsky follows her home. The entire St. Petersburg social society is tossed into mayhem after the affair is discovered.  Karenin is put in the rather uncomfortable position of having to save face by giving his wife an ultimatum.  While trying to attain her own happiness, Anna makes decisions that reverberate throughout the entire image-obsessed society that have dramatic consequences for her and everyone around her. Anna Karenina is extremely dazzling.  The choreography and wardrobe are worth the price of admission alone, and the set designs are simply spectacular. 

Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars as Vronsky and Alicia Vikander stars as Kitty in director Joe Wright’s bold, theatrical new vision of the epic story of love, Anna Karenina.

Director Wright does a remarkable job keeping the pertinent emotional arcs clear in the film. Tolstoy's original work was very brutal, and at times, confusing. The clarity that ensues in the film adaptation is really a good thing.  The characters are able to spread their wings and have some freedom within the confines of the film's presentation. Keira Knightley absolutely shines in her role and the chemistry she shows with Taylor-Johnson is obvious.  The manner in which the film unwinds is an emotional roller coaster, as is the relationship that follows the same path.  Jude Law is marvelous as the innocent husband who shows a bit of his dark side in an attempt to verbally abuse his wife after learning of the infidelity. Overall, the film is a bit too long, but it is a wonderfully presented love story that provides over the top chemistry, passion and emotion for the audience to feast upon.  Anna Karenina is a must see for any true fan of the love story.

Anna Karenina Starring: Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson Director: Joe Wright Company: Focus Features Now Showing: In Local Theatres MPAA Rating: R Grade: AKeira Knightley stars as Anna in director Joe Wright’s bold, theatrical new vision of the epic story of love, Anna Karenina, a Focus Features release.

Photos Courtesy of Focus Features

Nick Nicholson is the Film and Entertainment Critic for CNN Radio, the Fort Bend Star and absolutely! focus media. In addition, his reviews can be seen and heard in numerous other print/media outlets in Texas and Oklahoma. Mr. Nicholson is in great demand as a speaker to both public and civic organizations on the subject of film and the entertainment industry. He is the co-founder of the Houston Film Critics Society and is currently the President of the organization. fort bend

magazine • December 2012

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Christmas Food Traditions Around the World By Stephenie Cox

F

or many of us, Christmas food means candy canes, cookies and a Christmas ham, but what about the rest of the world? The Fort Bend area is a diverse neighborhood full of people from all over the world. This season, let’s add some international flair to Christmas dinner with traditions and recipes from cultures around the globe.

France: Bûche de Noël In France the traditional Christmas cake is a log. The tradition of the Bûche de Noël or Christmas log is quite recent, after 1870’s. It is said that some Parisian pastry chefs created this dessert having in mind the log burning in the hearth on the eve of Christmas. It is made from a Genoise, baked in a large, shallow pan, frosted, rolled to form a cylinder and frosted again on the outside. The most common combination is a basic yellow sponge cake frosted and filled with chocolate butter cream, but many variations like chocolate cake, ganache and espresso fillings are widely adored as well.

Germany: Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen Dresdner Stollen is the famous fruitcake from Dresden that is sold throughout Germany during the Christmas holiday season. Stollen is made from a rich yeast dough mixed with candied fruit and almonds. Loaves are folded to symbolize the Christ child in swaddling clothes. Although the dough itself is not sweet, baked loaves are brushed with butter, topped with powdered sugar and stored for at least two weeks before eating, allowing a rich complex flavor.

Puerto Rico: Pasteles Pasteles are a Puerto Rican special occasion food. The whole family usually gets together assembly- line- style to make a large number of these starchy parcels and get them ready for the boiling pot. No Boricuan Christmas is complete without these savory cakes in banana leaves.

Mexico: Ponche

To cozy up to the Christmas season, Mexicans brew up ponche, a traditional warm Christmas punch. While recipes vary throughout Mexico, tejocotes, the fruit of the hawthorn tree, can be found in every batch. During the traditional posadas procession–a reenactment of the difficulties Mary and Joseph faced when searching for an inn–participants receive hot ponche at their neighbors’ doorsteps as they recreate the holy journey through their neighborhood.

Sweden: St. Lucia Buns

December 13 marks the celebration of Santa Lucia Day. While the life of this Christian martyr is celebrated in several Christian countries, it is very popular in Sweden. The oldest daughter dresses in white and wears a wreath of candles on her head, bringing her parents hot coffee and Santa Lucia buns in the morning.

England: Plum Pudding

Italy: Panforte This Italian Christmas honey, fruit and nut confection has been made in the Tuscan city of Siena since the Middle Ages. A traditional Christmas treat, panforte manufacturers jealously guard their recipes. Panforte is best made several days ahead as its flavor improves with time. fort bend

Christmas in England wouldn’t be the same without plum pudding (also known as Christmas pudding). It is usually made on the first Sunday of Advent and enjoyed throughout the Christmas season. While you won’t actually find any plums in this English treat, you might be lucky enough to discover a small trinket, like a coin, in your slice of pudding, since the cook usually stirs in a few surprises.

magazine • December 2012

32


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One of Sugar Land’s most anticipated social events of the year, the Founders’ Ball benefiting the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation, will be held Saturday, January 12th at the Safari Texas Ballroom, 11627 FM 1464, in Richmond. The black-tie optional dinner will include fantastic live entertainment plus a silent and live auction to raise money for the Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes the cultural performing and visual arts in Sugar Land.  The Foundation also is charged with the preservation, renovation and restoration of the historic Sugar Land Auditorium. While auditorium restoration is complete, funds are being raised to construct a classroom replica to house patron restrooms, which will allow the auditorium to be used as a premier cultural arts theater for the community. Themed “Curtain Up,” this year’s event is chaired by Bridget Yeung and Kathy Huebner. Judy Childress, long time Dulles High School Choral teacher, will be honored at this year’s gala. Tickets are available for $100 per person or $1,000 for a reserved table of ten. For more information about the 2013 Founders’ Ball and the efforts of the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation, visit http://www.slcaf.org/.


St. Laurence Parish Bazaar Raffles A New Camaro Compliments of Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land

Pictured with the 2013 Chevy Camaro donated by Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land for the St. Laurence Parish raffle are Dr. and Mrs. Glen McClure of Sugar Land.

Held the third weekend in October every year, the St. Laurence Parish Bazaar has become something that many Sugar Land residents anticipate and treasure. The bazaar is put on by a team of volunteers to build a sense of spirit in the parish and outreach to the broader community. This year, in addition to food, bingo, rides and live music, the Parish was given a brand new 2013 Chevy Camaro by Classic Chevrolet in Sugar Land to raffle. And on Sunday, October 21st, the winning raffle ticket went to Dr. and Mrs. Glen McClure of Sugar Land. Mr. and Mrs. McClure were thrilled to drive their new victory red 2013 Camaro the short distance home. Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land, which opened just over three years ago, has quickly established themselves as a huge supporter of the local community by being actively involved in raising money and participating in charitable events. The donated Camaro is valued at $25,000. All donations will directly benefit those in need of food and clothing in the Sugar Land area.

Headliners continued on page 41

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H O L I D AY E N T E RTA I N I N G

Holiday Parties That Make Huge Memories!

By Lara Bell

P

lanning a holiday party can not only be stressful but also drain a budget quickly. We went to J & D Entertainment, one of Houston’s premier party planners of the biggest galas, corporate events and private functions, for some advice on how to have a party your guests will remember and talk about through 2013!

FBF J&D

What should people do when planning a holiday party? Definitely spend your money wisely. Whether your budget is $500 or $500,000, do your homework to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. And, unless the party is specifically just for you, don’t think that what you like, your guests will enjoy. Yes, you are footing the bill, but if you want guests to have a great time, consult professionals in the industry if you can and find out what the latest and greatest “surefire hits” are in the special event industry. It’s our job to know what is current and fantastic.

FBF J&D

What are some of your favorite things that “make”

a party?

Well, we’re biased, but if your entertainment elements are bad, the party’s a dud. People have to understand that great bands are not $1,000 for the night, so spend the money, and hire the best you can. Also throw in an element that is a fabulous photo op and an entertainment element. We call these items in our army “decortainment”– dual purpose elements that add to the décor and entertain your guests at the same time. Whether it be a living statue, strolling table, strolling champagne diva, an over the top Cirque du Soliel variety act or a living fountain, add these elements, and increase your wow factor by 100. What are some surefire things to kill a holiday party? Bad music. It’s the soul of an event or amateur entertainers in general. Whether your music is just at-

FBF J&D

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magazine • December 2012

36

J&D Entertainment advises adding “decortainment” to your event. mospheric entertainment or the featured act, music can make or break your party. Once again, consult a professional about who is good. What is the most outrageous event you all have planned? Actually, we’re in the midst of the most outrageous. It’s for a corporate client who is basing their entire event around the show on The History Channel called Swamp People. The event is at The House of Blues, and we’ll have Louisiana characters and performers everywhere. They will include cirque du soliel performers being flown in from Las Vegas who are customizing their acts in a “Swamp People” way with costuming and hard rock/classic rock songs. We will also have “Bubba” in a fishing boat greeting guests at the door, a temporary tattoo artist putting ubertrashy tattoos on people and a great Zydeco band playing. The list is endless … and outrageous!

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H O L I D AY E N T E RTA I N I N G

All About Cakes: Have the Sweetest Christmas Ever!

A

ll About Cakes, Sugar Land’s your custom request. We’re experts sweetest secret, has now at custom art work duplications and been unveiled.  Specializing original creations. We are also the in custom cake artistry as well as masterminds behind our newest custom and traditionally designed creation “intoxicakes!” These are cupcakes,  this is the place where gourmet miniature cupcakes soaked anything is possible. We love a chalin premium liquors overnight. They lenge. Not only do we focus on the are actual cupcake shots. For those design of the cake, but also the less adventurous, stop in and try our taste. That’s what you call a winning “sophisticakes.” They are infused combination! with either Merlot, Chardonnay, With over 25 years of experience, Champagne or Moscato. If you’re we focus on providing the highest just in the mood for some down Chef Michelle Stalling is enjoying sweet success level of customer service and satishome goodness, stop in and try out at All About Cakes. faction. our house flavors: Caramel Mocha Stop in and take a moment to explore. Once we’ve gotten Chocolate Chip, Banana Foster, Key-Lime, Orange Dreamsiyour wheels turning and creative juices flowing, select from cle, Red Velvet or Butter Pecan just to name a few. our flavor and filling menu that’s sure to awaken your senses. To see what all the fuss is about, call 832-532-7034, If you happen to not find what you are looking for; whether devisit www.All-AboutCakes.com or stop by 13134 Dairy Ashsign, flavor or style, let us know, and we will be happy to fulfill ford, Suite 300, Sugar Land.

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Holiday Dinner Party Décor

I

t is that time of year again for holiday parties and festivities, and one big question that is often asked is “How do I decorate my dinner table for a holiday party?” One thing to make sure of is that your centerpiece will not block the view of dinner guests at the table. No one wants to keep leaning over to one side in order to talk to the person across the table.

MEASUREMENTS

Cider Wassail

Think Big So what are your options? If you want something big and dramatic, get a tall, skinny, glass vase that will clear your eyesight. You can put tree trimmings, flowers, sticks or hang decorative ornaments for some extra bling coming out of the vase.

By Kelly Nolan

2 1½ ¾ 1 ½ 2 1 1

INGREDIENTS

quarts apple cider cups orange juice cups pineapple juice tablespoon brown sugar teaspoon lemon juice cinnamon sticks (3 inches) dash ground cinnamon dash ground cloves

DIRECTIONS

In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks. Serve hot in mugs.

Think Small Another option is to have small, low decorations. For example, get bud vases and line them up and down the table. How many of you get poinsettias for decorations or as gifts? Trim a few flowers off, and put them in a bud vase. This is a great way to get a festive look, and add a little color to your table. You can also have little glass votive candles between each bud vase to add elegance. Don’t forget your buffet table! Line up a row of votive candles there, too.

Personalized Place Settings Many people like to add place card settings to the table but worry that they add clutter and just get in the way. If you have placemats, get a paint pen in silver or gold, and write your guest’s name directly on it. This will give it a custom look, and add a little elegance while not cluttering the table. We here at Simply Divine Interiors wish everyone Happy Holidays! fort bend

magazine • December 2012

40

can always add brandy Optional You or rum to taste! Courtesy of Allrecipes.com.


Headliners continued from page 35

The entire staff of

The Design Source Wishes you a very Merry Christmas!

Collectible Heritage Ornaments Celebrate the Season and Sugar Land History The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation (SLHF) is pleased to present their limited edition, collectible Christmas ornament for 2012. This is the second in a series of keepsake heritage ornaments commissioned by the foundation to highlight and celebrate the unique history of Sugar Land. Each high quality, bronze ornament comes packaged in a beautiful gift box, accompanied by a card printed with the story of the depicted image. Perfect for gift giving, each ornament is priced at $25, available through the SLHF. All proceeds benefit the SLHF, a non-profit foundation which exists to research, collect, preserve and communicate the history, culture and values of Sugar Land. The 2012 ornament features the Sugar Land Auditorium, built in 1918, the oldest community building still in use today. For decades, this charming 400-seat auditorium was the cultural center for the company town. It was used for everything from lectures and political rallies to silent movies and town dances. Today, the Sugar Land Auditorium is a one-of-a-kind performance venue, meticulously renovated and upgraded with state of the art sound and lighting equipment for modern audiences. To order your collectible Christmas ornaments from the SLHF, visit www. slheritage.org or stop by the temporary museum at 198 Kempner Street, adjacent to the historic Imperial Sugar refinery, Tuesday through Saturday, between 9 am and 5 pm. For additional information, please contact the SLHF at 281-494-0261. Headliners continued on page 45

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Advertorial

Focus on Worship Join Heritage Baptist Church During the Season of Giving

Heritage Baptist Church a place to call home Schedule of Services SUNDAY Sunday School.................. 9:30am Sunday AM Worship...... 10:45am Bible Classes.................... 6:05 pm Sunday PM Worship...... 7:00 pm WEDNESDAY Bible Study....................... 7:00pm Awana Bible Clubs........... 7:00pm

T

he word “giving” probably receives more use during Christmastime than it does throughout the rest of the year combined. Whether it’s the exchanging of presents with family and friends on December 25th, donating toys to less fortunate children, dropping a few coins in a bucket on the way into the grocery store or telling the story of how the wise men brought gifts to Jesus, “giving” is the word of the season. The gift that brought about this day of celebration is why we have hope. God gave humanity the gift of salvation in the form of a baby boy who went on to live a sinless life and redeem mankind through His death on Calvary and resurrection three days and three nights later. Christ’s coming to earth in human form and His sacrifice on the cross for our sins is the ultimate gift. God gave His only begotten Son so that we would have eternal life if we will simply repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Join Heritage Baptist Church and senior pastor Dr. Charles Murphy this Christmas season as we celebrate this gift. The Heritage Baptist Church Adult Choir and Children’s Choir will be performing together during the 10:45 am worship service December 16th. Later that day at 5 pm, Heritage hosts its annual family Christmas dinner, which is a time of fellowship, singing and great food. A special guest dressed in red and white will make an appearance as well. Christmas Eve service begins at 6 pm and includes a candle light service and a reading of the Christmas story. For more information on Heritage Baptist Church Christmas services, visit www.hbctx.org.

Got Tickets?

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By Whitney Hensler

FORT BEND

Focus CareS

Sandra Arreola: Educating Students on Diabetes

S

andra Arreola learned the importance of giving back at a young age. One of ten siblings, she said her family “had plenty of help given to [them],” something that she “grew up thankful for.” Now a physical education teacher at Brazos Bend Elementary School, Arreola works closely with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to educate students on the different types of the disease, as well as causes and prevention, and hopes her passion for volunteering will carry over to the students she works with. “I’m blessed to be able to give back and I hope to pass that enthusiasm on to them,” she said. “I hope they grow up to be members of the community that give back.” Arreola originally got involved with the ADA because she has several close friends with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and she said she “feels a connection” to the organization both personally and professionally. “I think it’s important to get involved in whatever gets at your heart, and with me it was diabetes,” she said. “I’m a PE teacher, so I’m very much involved in teaching kids how to be healthy, and living a healthy lifestyle. I also know several

Sandra Arreola people who are affected [by diabetes]… it’s just something I naturally gravitated to.” While Arreola tries to incorporate facts about diabetes into her lessons yearround, her main focus is between January and March, when she helps to organize a fundraiser to benefit the organization. “The ADA comes here and they talk about diabetes,” she said. “In the following weeks we have lessons that I incorporate into fitness class—the different symptoms of diabetes, what happens in type 1 and how to prevent type 2. It’s a big educational program in that respect. It makes kids aware of what it is.” During this three month period, the students raise money through donations

and pledges, a process that culminates in a walk around the elementary school. “The Friday before spring break they all bring in their money and we get all the grade levels together and do two laps around the school,” said Arreola. “There are little cheers we come up with, and we end up in the back [of the school] where there’s a track. We have music and different activities for the kids.” While Arreloa acknowledged that there are some things the children “can’t fully understand” about diabetes, she tries to keep the lessons kid-friendly with games like tag, and said the most rewarding part is seeing the students learn about the disease. “When you ask little kids something [about diabetes] and they can tell you… they really do brighten up a little, and I love to see that,” she said. “I was that kid one time, feeling so special [because] someone’s helping you.” For more information regarding the Fort Bend Family Promise, please visit http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/local-offices/houston-texas/ or call 713-977-7706. For additional volunteer opportunities in Fort Bend County, call Volunteer Fort Bend at 713-965-0031 or visit www.VolunteerFortBend.org.

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44


Headliners continued from page 41

Houston Symphony Announces 2012-13 Sugar Land Series A Boutique for the Home

Full Service Interior Design & Retail Space

Hans Graf. Photo By Bruce Bennett.

The Houston Symphony is hitting the road and heading to one of the most vibrant communities in the Houston area, Fort Bend County! Expanding the orchestra’s geographic footprint throughout the Houston region, the second year of the Sugar Land Series aims to reach patrons in the vibrant community of Ft. Bend County with increased access to the world-class performances of the Houston Symphony through a series of three concerts at Sugar Land Baptist Church. Following the successful launch of the Sugar Land Series in the 2011-12 season, the 2012-13 Sugar Land Series will boast three more exciting Houston Symphony concerts in Fort Bend County including Berlioz’s Symphony Fantastique, Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. These concerts will take place on October 25, 2012, December 20, 2012 and May 2, 2013, respectively. The Houston Symphony’s Sugar Land Series debuted with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on September 8, 2011. All Houston Symphony Sugar Land Series concerts take place at Sugar Land Baptist Church, located at 16755 Southwest Frwy in Sugar Land. For tickets and information, please call 713-224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased in advance at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday – Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm), or before each concert at Will Call tables and Welcome Centers available at Sugar Land Baptist Church. All programs and artists are subject to change. Headliners continued on page 51

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Private Schools

and

After School Activities

Advertorial

Sugar Grove Christian School KnILE Center

S

K

nILE Center is the premier Educational Resource in the Sugar Land/ Richmond area.  We work with children of many capacities, from children with learning concerns to children who want an edge.  There are two cornerstone programs to choose from: Our private school, KnILE Prep Academy  (4th – 12th grades), is a private boutique-style, virtual college preparatory school that utilizes proven innovative systems that prepare children for their educational careers.  We are here to make a difference – to equip the next generation of leaders to be independent and self-reliant, critical thinkers.  EduCoachNow is our one on one educational enrichment program for ages 5 and up.  This program is different from traditional tutoring methods in that we combine cognitive training skills with enhanced organizational, study, and testing methods.  The net result is a student who can attack and process any subject much more effectively than if he or she worked with a traditional tutor. Our services are customized to the child’s needs and abilities.  We strive to increase the child’s self esteem and provide the best tools needed to bring back the love of learning and unlock the students’ potential.  For more information check us out at www.knilecenter.com or call us at 281-682-4573.

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magazine • December 2012

46

ugar Grove Christian School (SGCS) invites all to its annual Open House on January 24th, 2013 at 7 pm. Open registration will begin February 4th. Class sizes are limited. Sugar Grove Christian School is a private, non-profit school for children in Preschool through Sixth Grade. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been providing academic excellence in a Christian environment since 1969. SGCS is conveniently located near Highway 59 and West Airport Boulevard. SGCS provides challenging academics, small classes, a devoted staff and - above all - a meaningful focus on God. Sugar Grove Christian School provides: • Daily Chapel – Each day, we turn our focus to God in chapel where students not only participate, but are placed in leadership roles. • Low Student – Teacher Ratio and Class Size – Our low studentto-teacher ratios and small classes provide personalized attention and encouragement to each of our students. • Impressive Academics – SGCS students consistently score above Stanford Achievement Testing national averages. • Enhanced Curriculum – In addition to the basics of Reading, Writing and Math, SGCS provides educational field trips, along with specialized curriculum taught by certified instructors in Music, Technology, Spanish, Science, Health and daily Physical Education. • Affordable – All children deserve access to an exemplary, challenging and loving education. We strive to make Sugar Grove Christian School available for families from all walks of life. Tour SGCS! See our brand new gymnasium and classrooms. Come see the Sugar Grove Difference! Call 281-575-6598 or visit www.sgcs.org.


Advertorial

Private Schools

and

After School Activities

Techno Chaos: Building Future Innovators t Techno Chaos, our mission is to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math. We are the only Robotics Learning Center in the Houston area, and we are building future innovators! We provide a variety of after school classes and camps in basic LEGOR building, gears, motors, mechanics, electronics, programming, 3-D printing and creativity-centered theme builds. There are many machines, contraptions and robots running chaos in our learning center! To foster even further innovation, Techno Chaos offers camps and Open Play to just invent or make things with the guidance of a mentor. Techno Chaos was established in Sugar Land to drive higher achievement in STEM for grades K-12 and to increase the number of students pursuing further education for science, engineering and technical professions. The principals of Techno Chaos have more than 50 years of experience in engineering and technical fields in business and industry, with more than 12 years actively invested in mentoring high school students in engineering and robotics programs. The goal is to make serious learning fun by reawakening the natural drive for learning and creativity. We take pride in the quality of our classes and making sure our students are progressively learning. Come start your Inventor Membership with us and have a year-round robotics experience of fun with us! For more information, please visit www.techno-chaos.com or call 281-410-1768.

“How is your child performing in school?” • Is your child doing well in school? • Is your child happy in his/her learning environment? • Is your child making good grades? If you answered "NO" to any of these questions, please call us TODAY! We can help bring the love back into learning.... scan QR code for promotional details

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Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

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www.fortbend

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Private Schools

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After School Activities

“Raising the Barre”

Advertorial

International Preparatory School

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arents have several choices when it comes to the education of their children. Those who visit the International Preparatory School are looking for something very specific. They are searching for a fresh philosophy and a renewed energy in teaching. Smaller class sizes rank as the number one concern. Why? Because this provides individual attention for students who require more support in some areas while addressing the needs of the gifted child. This all translates into a school where both the teachers and administration set common expectations in an open, interactive, understanding and energizing manner. Parents want a safe environment that maintains A professionally instructed and staffed a high standard of discipline and respect, one that performance/dance studio fosters a strong sense of community through school Classical Ballet • Pointe Variations wide activities for all ages. Emphasis on well rounded education makes participation in extracurricular Tap • Jazz • Hip Hop activities such as music and art an integral part of the everyday curriculum. Studies demonstrate that 281.969.7054 healthy competition, be it through math or chess www.laeraldance.com www.missouricityballet.org clubs, lead to a higher motivation in learning. 6238 Highway 6, Missouri City, Texas 77459 Going to school should be an adventure. That adventure begins at age 4 at the International Preparatory School with a creative learning environment which continues through Elementary and Middle School. The curriculum aspires balanced academics while developing a strong social, physical, and moral aptitude. The International Preparatory INTERNATIONAL School is the choice many parents PREPARATORY are making for their children. An enSCHOOL vironment that fosters the gifted and Pre-Kindergarten – 8th Grade accelerated student as well as the under confident. If you have great pen ouse expectations for your child, come January 18, 2013 by and experience the vibrant atmosphere at the International Prepara6:30 - 8:30 pm tory School for yourself. Please join the International PreInternationalPreparatorySchool.com paratory School staff for the 2013 Integrity, Honesty and Service to Others 2014 school year Open House on Available After School Programs: January 18, 2013 from 6:30pm to Homework Assistance • Art • Voice • Guitar • Piano 8pm, located at 1717 Dulles Ave., Dance • Math Club • Chess Club Missouri City. Call 218-208-1403 or visit www.InternationalPreparaAfter School Program available until 6:30 pm. torySchool.com

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For More Information Call: 281-208-1403 1717 Dulles Ave., Missouri City, TX 77459

Fax: 281-208-1426 • Full Care Available • Mon-Fri • 7 am - 6:30 pm fort bend

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Fort Bend Kids ChalkBoard The published photos came from Press Releases submitted to Fort Bend Focus by the schools/organizations of these children.

Recognized for their academic excellence by Fort Bend ISD were Dulles High School students David Belleza, Nicolas De Britto, Ford Hash, Glenn Bentulan, Christopher Weston, Tirso Ramirez and Carl Marth. Congratulations!

Every year USA Swimming picks their National Junior Team from the 18 and under rising stars in the swimming world. From First Colony Swim Team, Daniel Graviss and Simone Manuel have qualified for the 2012-2013 team. Daniel Graviss was selected for the 2012-2013 National Junior Team based on his top three finish at the 2012 USA Swimming 10K Open Water National Championships. Simone Manuel was selected for the 2012-2013 National Junior Team based on her finishes in the 50 and 100 Freestyle. To qualify for the team, athletes had to have one of the six fastest times in an Olympic event from the combined results of three meets, including Olympic Trials.

Please Note : Submitted news must include complete captions, including names, to be considered for publishing.

SynchroStars members Elizabeth Oh and Abby Remmers recently participated in a National Team Skills competition and have both qualified to move on to the National Team Trials. Elizabeth finished 2nd overall in the 13 to 15 age group; Abby finished 8th overall in the 11 to 12 age group. The girls will be preparing for the next phase of competition in February. They are the first girls to qualify for trials in the fiveyear history of the First Colony SynchroStars.

The Fort Bend Baptist Junior Varsity Girls’ Basketball team won first place in the championship game at the Pope John Tournament against Westbury Christian. Pictured are Jennifer Andersen, Dilora Ezenwukwa, Cameri Green, Faith Tamuno, Olivia de St. Remey, Lexy Sanford, Parker McCarley, Kassidi Kaminski and Coach Ciara Watts. www.fortbend

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M edical F ocus Kindred Hospital Sugar Land Announces New CEO and CNE Kindred Hospital Sugar Land is pleased to announce the appointment of Lorene Perona, RN, MS, ACHE as President and CEO of Kindred Sugar Land.  After receiving a dual major Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Nursing at the College of St. Catherine in  St. Paul, Minnesota,  Perona received her Masters of Science in Healthcare AdminLorene Perona istration from the University of RN, MS, ACHE St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. Perona  started her career with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) as a critical care nurse and transitioned to roles  as Director of CM, Assistant Vice President for Quality, Risk and Regulatory Affairs and Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer.  She subsequently became the first female Chief Operating Officer in the HCA East Group hospitals for a 365 bed full service acute care hospital with satellite Psychiatric, Skilled Nursing and Inpatient Rehabilitation campuses before transitioning to the CEO role.  During this time, she also enjoyed teaching as adjunct faculty for the Nursing Allied Health Program at Indian River State College and taught Healthcare Administration in the Masters Program for the College of St. Francis. Kindred Hospital Sugar Land is also pleased to announce

the appointment of Dr.  Laura Griffin, APRN, ACNP-BC, DNP as the Chief Nurse Executive at Kindred Hospital Sugar Land. Griffin received a Master’s degree in nursing as an acute care nurse practitioner from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 2004 and a doctorate in nursing practice from UT Health Science Center at Dr. Laura Griffin Houston in 2011.  Her clinical APRN, ACNP-BC, DNP practice has focused on critical ill and neurologically impaired patients. Committed to patients affected by neurological conditions, she devoted her doctoral education to improving education delivery for patients after stroke. Always striving for excellence, Griffin has won several awards including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Award for Excellence in 2005.   Griffin had held academic appointments at several institutes of higher learning including University of Texas School of Medicine and University of Texas Houston’s School of Nursing. She currently teaches in the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at Texas Women’s University in Houston. Dedicated to higher learning, Griffin shares her knowledge through local and national lectures and has published in journals and texts.

Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Free Flu Shot Clinic and Community Toy Drive a Success! Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, in collaboration with Sugar Land and Fort Bend Exchange Clubs and the Sugar Land Rotary, provided free flu shots to community members who participated in Santa’s Gift Exchange. Fort Bend residents graciously brought new, unwrapped toys or clothing items to Methodist Sugar Land Hospital in exchange for a flu shot. The toys and clothing will benefit local children in the Fort Bend area during this holiday season. “We were very pleased to see such a large turn-out on Saturday morning. It is great to work and live in a community that can come together for a wonderful cause that will benefit the children in our community. We are also proud to once

again partner with the local exchange and rotary clubs to provide this community offering and plan to do so again in 2013,” said Leena Taneja, Director of Physician Relations and Marketing at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. Organizers of Santa’s Gift Exchange 2012 are anticipating an increase of qualifying families due to economic downturns. Santa’s Gift Exchange will provide toys and clothing to more than 3,500 economically disadvantaged children in Fort Bend County. “A special thank you to the 350 plus people who attended the free flu shot clinic and community toy drive event, as more children will now get the present they deserve,” said Kaelyn Bujnoch, Marketfort bend

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Kaelyn Bujnoch, Marketing Coordinator; Leena Taneja, Director of Physician Relations and Marketing and Marcia Barham, Physician Liaison.


ing Coordinator at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “The outpouring of support and toys from the community through this effort was truly awe inspiring. Through this joint effort, we are well on our way to collecting toys for the underprivileged Fort Bend children that but for Santa’s Exchange would not be able to celebrate the holidays.” The toy drive will continue until December 12th and Methodist Sugar Land Hospital will remain a site for donations. Please drop off new, unwrapped toys or clothing items to Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. For more information on Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, visit MethodistSugarLand.com or Facebook.com/ MethodistSugarLand.

Journey to Bethlehem Methodist Sugar Land Hospital would like to cordially invite the Fort Bend and surrounding communities to join us as we usher in the Christmas Advent Season. Through a series of worship events, we will tell the story of the coming of the Christ Child. Please join Methodist Sugar Land Hospital on the following days for scripture readings, music and devotional thoughts. • Monday, December 3 - “The Gift of Preparation and Anticipation” (Coming of John the Baptist) • Tuesday, December 4 - “The Gift of Fulfillment” (Mary’s Story) • Wednesday, December 5 - “The Gift of Obedience” (Joseph’s Account) • Thursday, December 6 - “The Gift of the Savior’s Birth” (The Birth in Bethlehem) • Friday, December 7 - “The Greatest Gift of All” (The Arrival of God’s Son and the Excitement of the Magi) All productions will be held from 12 – 12:40 pm in the Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Sweetwater Pavilion Chapel. For more information about Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Journey to Bethlehem please contact the Spiritual Care Department at 281-274-7164. For more information on Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, please visit MethodistSugarLand.com.

Dr. Dominy joins Methodist Orthopaedic Specialists of Texas Methodist Orthopaeat Shriners Hospital for dic Specialists of Texas Children in Erie, Penn(MOST) welcomes Dr. sylvania –– he will be a Dean Dominy. tremendous asset to us,” “It’s a privilege to join said Dr. Vincent Phan of the exceptional staff at MOST. Methodist Orthopaedic Methodist OrthopaeSpecialists of Texas,” said dic Specialists of Texas Dr. Dominy. “My focus on features one of the larghand and upper extremiest groups of boardties fits perfectly with certified and fellowshipDr. Laura Griffin the culture and history of trained specialists in APRN, ACNP-BC, DNP MOST, and I am looking Sugar Land. MOST forward to being part of the team.” physicians provide general and sportsAfter growing up in Katy, Dr. Domirelated orthopedic care, including subny completed his undergraduate studspecialties in hand and upper extremies at Texas A&M University in College ity, foot and ankle, sports medicine, Station. He then graduated from the total joint replacement and diseases University of Texas Southwestern Mediand deformities of the spine. cal School in Dallas and performed his For your convenience, Dr. Dominy orthopedic surgery residency at the Unihas offices located at: versity of Texas Health Science Center • 1201 Brooks Street, in Houston. Dr. Dominy completed his Sugar Land, Texas 77478 hand and upper extremity fellowship at • 1327 Lake Pointe Parkway, Suite 425, The University of Pittsburgh Medical Sugar Land, Texas 77478 Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, where his • 18400 Katy Freeway, Suite 200, training encompassed both common and Houston, Texas 77094 atypical conditions affecting the hand, For an appointment with Dr. Dominy, wrist, elbow and shoulder. or one of the MOST physicians, call 281“Dr. Dominy brings a unique set of 494-MOST (6678). For more information skills and expertise to MOST, his fellowplease visit MethodistOrthopedics.com ship training included weekly rotations and select the Sugar Land location.

Methodist Sugar Land Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award Sugar Land Hospital achieved an 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care. These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, www.fortbend

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all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. In addition to the Get With The Guideline – Stroke award, Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has also been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of the hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time). A thrombolytic, or


M edical F ocus clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability. “Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and Director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.” “The time is right for Methodist Sugar Land Hospital to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines–Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing

Chris Siebenaler, Chief Executive Officer ; Janet Leatherwood, Chief Nursing Officer; Becky Chalupa, Associate Chief Nursing Officer; Diane McGraw, Director of Quality Management; Maria Socci, Stroke Program Manager and Dr. James Ling, Medical Director of the Stroke Program. stroke incidence and a large aging population,” said Janet Leatherwood, Chief Nursing Officer at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

For a physician referral, please call Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s physician referral line 281-274-7500, or visit MethodistSugarLand.com. Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.

Pretty in Pink raises funds for Fort Bend County residents The community charity event, Pretty in Pink—Town Square, raised more than $103,000 to benefit local cancer patients through the Methodist Sugar Land Hospital (MSLH) Cancer fund. Presenting sponsors, Breast Surgeons Dr. Sandra Templeton and Dr. Kelly Dempsey joined a wide range of other sponsors and donors to make Pretty in Pink a huge success. “I am honored to be a part of this important event,” said Dr. Templeton, Breast Surgeon. “It was a great way to give back to the community and help bring awareness to the difficulties that so many patients face as they battle cancer. I especially like the fact that all money donated will stay at our hospital and relieve

some of my patients’ financial burdens.” At the event, keynote speaker Gail Parker said, “The fact that my hospital, my doctors and my community put on this event means the world to me. It is aweinspiring to see our community come out to support such a great cause.” “As a breast surgeon I see the financial toll a cancer diagnosis can take on my patients. Raising money for the MSLH cancer fund gives me the opportunity to help my patients on a different level.” says Dr. Kelly Dempsey, Breast Surgeon. “It was amazing to see the community come out and support the event. It was a great turn out, which helped us raise more money for the cancer fund.” “We wanted to create a fund where our fort bend

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patients could directly benefit from our efforts. Cancer patients often incur extra costs related to their condition, and in many cases, they can’t work for extended periods of time,” said Leena Taneja, sponsorship chair and director of physician relations at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “While the fund cannot pay Methodist directly for medical bills, it can help pay for other non-hospital related costs such as medical equipment, medications, dentistry, car payments, house payments, wigs etc. Our hope is to make the fight against cancer a bit less financially stressful for our patients.” “Pretty in Pink was a great example of how we can come together as a community to help others in need,” said


Taneja. “We look forward to seeing the funds raised help those fighting cancer in our community.” Organizers send a heartfelt thank you to our volunteers, presenting sponsors, Dr. Dempsey and Dr. Templeton, along with all of the Pretty in Pink sponsors: Texas Spine and Neurosurgery; TNT Dynamite; Sugar Land Vein Specialists; Pierre Chevray, M.D., Ph.D.; Consolidated Home Health; Houston Radiology Associated; Methodist Orthopaedic Specialists of Texas; Renew Laser and Skin; EmergiGroup; Greater Houston Anesthesiology; Jorge Darcourt, M.D.; Brain and Spine Clinic, PA; Colorectal Surgical Associates; Richmond Gastroenterology Associates; Sugar Land Colon and Rectal Clinic; Houston Heart Associates; Sweetwater Angiography Center; Telfair by Newland Communities; Stephen Phillips, M.D.; Advance Oncology; Charles Conlon, M.D.; Clive Shkedy, M.D.; Paresh Jadav, M.D.; Randy & Gail Parker; Sugar Land OB/GYN; Sugar Land Oncology; Sugar Land Pulmonary Associates; Uttam Tripathy, M.D.; Imran Mohiuddin, M.D. and Turner Construction Company.

To see photos from Pretty in Pink, visit our Facebook page, Facebook.com/MethodistSugarLand. You, too, can help support; donate now, even if it is something small. To donate, visit our website at MethodistSugarLand.

com and click on the “Donate Now” button. For assistance or more information regarding the funds available, call or email Frances Goerlich at 281-274-7930 or FGoerlich@tmhs.org.

City of Sugar Land lit up in pink to honor all cancer survivors.

Maria Socci, Karen Seliger, Sam Puglisi, Melissa Roca, Marlene Gonzalez and Melissa Montemayor.

National Pink Heals Fire Truck.

Marcia Barham, Kaelyn Bujnoch, Leala Hall and Kimberly Sprague.

ABSOLUTELY! WE’RE HIRING NOW! Exceptional Readers. Exceptional Clients.

EXCEPTIONAL SALES PROFESSIONALS.

Join Our Team! Send resume to lisa@fortbendfocus.com www.fortbend

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December 2012 Winner “Droplets Sitting Still” By Norma Linda Agueros Congratulations Norma, you’ve earned a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant!

ENTER TO WIN Fort Bend Focus Magazine is looking for great amateur photos. Think you have a great shot? Any subject matter will be considered, black and white or color, special effects and/or edited are not necessary. A WINNER EVERY MONTH Each month’s winner receives a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant and the winning photo will be published in our magazine. To claim your prize, call Sarah at 281-690-4242. Runner-up photos may be published in our “Readers’ Photo Album.”

Please make sure to send some basic information about every photo you submit such as: who, where, when, a title, your name and daytime phone number. By submitting an entry, the photographer gives the Fort Bend Focus Magazine the right to use and publish their photograph. There is no contest deadline.

NO LIMIT TO ENTRIES To submit a digital photo, e-mail the jpeg file to Michael@ FortBendFocus.com. Digital photos must be HIGH RESOLUTION at least 300 dpi at actual size of at least 4” x 6”. fort bend

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FOCUS FAVORITES... Your Community Resource Guide Finance/Wealth Management Hardee Investment Group 713-853-0879 www.HardeeInvestmentGroup.com HardeeInvestmentGroup@rbc.com With over 85 years of collective experience, the Hardee Investment Group is your ultimate financial planning resource. Our team is comprised of five diversified professionals, working primarily with family wealth and businesses up to $100 million. Our Group has been awarded national recognition by RBC Wealth Management, the National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices, the Houston Business Journal and Barron’s, a sister publication to the Wall Street Journal, for our award winning service and advice. (10/2011)

Jewelry J Loggins Jewelers 281-242-2900 www.jloggins.com For all of your jewelry needs, come view a large selection of beautiful pieces by various designers. Expertise in original design and construction with an emphasis on providing the best in quality

and value sets J Loggins Jewelers apart from all of the rest. Take advantage of the wide array of services including simple solders, repairs in all precious metals, repairs of some fashion and base metals, heirloom restorations, makeovers, engraving, watch battery replacement, restringing and appraisals. (05/2012)

Pediatrics MedCare Pediatric Group, LP 713-995-9292 www.medcarepediatrics.com info@medcarepediatrics.com MedCare has been providing quality healthcare services to area families since 1991. Our mission is to enhance the lives of children, and our dedicated team carries out this vision with the utmost care and compassion. In addition to our caring team, MedCare reaches out to families in the community through our non-profit foundation, MedCare Milestones. Our MedCare services include Home Health Nursing and Therapy, and three Outpatient Rehab facilities located in Stafford, Northshore and Spring. (01/2013)

Pest Control/Exterminator Integrated Pest Management Inc. 281-341-1761 • Fax 832-451-1949 www.Integrated-pest.com ipmi@comcast.net Locally owned and operated servicing Fort Bend County for 29 years, Integrated Pest Management’s knowledge and friendly staff can answer all of your pest questions. A convenient retail store located on Hwy. 90 next to the Women’s Center retail store, we are open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Stop by to check out our collection of snakes, exotic bugs and rodents. Save money by purchasing the materials yourself and let us educate you on how to apply them. Better yet, let us do the job for you. Thanks, Bob, Frank, Shirley, Daniel and Phil. (04/2013)

DID WE GET YOUR ATTENTION? Then call 281-690-4242 to have your business listed here.

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Fort Bend Focus Magazine wants to provide readers with the best community feature magazine possible. We want to focus on our READERS and mail exclusively to residents who invite us into their home. Requests are FREE to all Fort Bend & Katy addresses*. Name:____________________________________________________ Address:__________________________________________________ City: ________________________________ Zip: _________________ Signature: _________________________________________________ Request Date: _____________________________________________ E-mail: ___________________________________________________

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Mail completed form to: 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste 400, Stafford, TX 77477 * Annual paid subscription required outside the Fort Bend or Katy areas. Call 281-690-4242. www.fortbend

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Living the Sweet Life:

By Alisa Murray www.AlisaMurray.com Nationally recognized portrait artist and award-winning columnist.

It’s Time to Become the Best Possible You

Dr. Victor Atun and Alisa Murray

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as it ever occurred to you that things are not what they appear to be? Everyone has a few spots that they don’t like. Most of us go through life ignoring what we see in the mirror until we see ourselves in pictures. Then, someone like me usually gets asked to “doctor up digitally” what we wish would just simply go away. Others, though, actually go get it permanently changed. Y’all know that I am a confident gal and I come by that honestly from both sides of my family. There’s not even a scale in my house because I could care less about what any of us weigh...unless, of course, I could see some ribs! As my luck in life would have it, I also come from some very well endowed women, and my grandfather was called “Big Daddy” in his day, weighing in at over 400 pounds! There was never any question or any worry or even any real discussion about the anticipated size of my tata’s or that they might someday get, as one surgeon put it, “out of control!” I had not even bothered to really see myself in the mirror until I met Victor. As the story goes, I was taking James to see a plastic surgeon because he’d had

a mole removed that came back “suspicious.” After doing some research, I selected Dr. Victor Atun to do what Daddy would have called a “punch out biopsy.” While we were in the surgical office, we began to get to know each other. He realized I was the artist who “was on the labor and delivery wing downstairs!” He also realized that I write this column. I scheduled a session for his patients and him and then we started talking about what could be done to improve me. Last December, just before Christmas, I went in and “my Victor” performed his mastery on “his friend Aliza.” I love clients that allow me to truly be their portrait artist and trust me to do what I do and order the sizes that each piece of art should be in their home. Following that tradition, I gave my Victor carte blanc to do what he saw fit to me while under his scalpel and trusted that I would come out amazingly. My journey this year through plastics has been enlightening. Having never had a c-section, I was clueless about recovery and about overall pain in general. It turns out that the happiest patients for a plastics guy are those who have their breasts reduced! There are of course, so many options for those needing more, but I am grateful to be less of myself! I ended up having four surgeries that fine afternoon last December. As I look back on the year behind me, I am so glad I did it! It turned out to be the only big thing I have ever done for myself or ever will do. It was absolutely just for me. My blood pressure thanks me, as do my shoulders and neck. fort bend

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My Victor asked me as we were going into surgery if I would do some paintings for his new office. I had my first exhibition at St. Mary’s in 1990 and have been painting my whole life. I completed the final installation of his office last week, and I encourage you to drop by. He has created a new package called “The Aliza,” which is a mommy makeover package. It has been specially priced just for you! Speaking of you, as we wrap up 2012 why not make an early New Year’s resolution to be the best you in 2013? I am pleased to announce that after much anticipation and requests I am offering Part One of Living the Sweet Life seminar on January 12, 2013. Each of us has special talents that, when discovered, open up countless possibilities of greatness! Knowing your personality type and talents allows you to begin to create your dream job. I want to help you be the best you in 2013! We will start by discovering your personality type, then move onto ideal jobs and one-on-one discussions. The information you will receive will benefit you in every aspect of your life, allowing you to see the world differently after you understand why you think and act the way you do. Cost includes test, food and of course time with me. :) It’s at the house, of course, from 9 am to 2 pm. Cost is $250. For the first 25 reservations I am also throwing in a two hour Renaissance Coaching consult valued at $500. Just call the studio line, tell them you want to “Live a Sweet Life” and they will sign you right up! Space is limited, so be sure to get me on your to-do list sooner rather than later! I hope each of you has a most memorable holiday season. I’m looking forward to seeing you next year! Take care of you!


I Survived Stage III Breast Cancer at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital

Dr. Clive Shkedy Radiation Oncologist

Dr. Charles Conlon Oncologist

Kristen Barley Breast Cancer Survivor

Dr. Kelly Dempsey Breast Surgeon

Dr. Jay Shenaq Reconstructive Surgeon

I was just 34 years old when I learned that I had stage III breast cancer. Because of my mother and grandmother’s own battles with the disease, I knew the diagnosis before I was even told; however, my cancer care team at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital gave me the strength, determination and encouragement I needed to fight for survival. Working together, my multidisciplinary team of doctors developed an individualized treatment plan that included surgery, radiation treatment and chemotherapy — all delivered close to home and with the amazing care and service only Methodist Sugar Land Hospital can provide. Now I am almost five years cancer-free, and I am proud to be a survivor!

You can survive breast cancer, but survival begins with an annual exam and mammogram. Call today to schedule yours.

— Kristen Barley, Breast Cancer Survivor

This is the Methodist level of cancer care — from diagnosis to survival, where leading technology and compassion — are leading to a cure.

To speak with Kristen Barley about her experiences — or for more information about the comprehensive breast cancer services offered at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital — call 281-242-CURE (2873). To schedule your mammogram, please call 281-242-PINK (7465).

16655 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land, TX 77479 281-242-PINK (7465) MethodistSugarLand.com


December 2012 - Fort Bend Focus Magazine - People • Places • Happenings