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The Cathy Stubbs Team: The Standard of Real Estate Excellence


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Dr. Hieu Trong Do.

Photo by Nesossi Studios.

Providing Life-Changing Results for Myopia


very month, more children – and adults – are diagnosed with a common yet severe eye problem: myopia. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is considered an epidemic that is increasing at an alarming rate. In fact, diagnoses in children in the United States have doubled over the course of a single generation.

By Trish Johnson

Many studies now point to environmental and behavioral factors for children, such as increased screen time and reduced time outdoors, as playing a vital role in myopia occurrence. While many people are aware of myopia, many may not be familiar with a revolutionary treatment for the common eye problem. Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, aims at slowing the progress of the syndrome, which most often begins in early childhood. At The Ortho-K-Center in Sugar Land, board certified therapeutic optometrist Dr. Hieu Trong Do provides orthokeratology therapy aimed at prevention of myopia, or slowing the progression of myopia, especially in children. “Myopia is an epidemic right now,” Dr. Do said, “chiefly due to the high use of electronic devices like cell phones, tablets and other devices our kids are using. We’re on our cell phones in record numbers now, along with video games and computers. The result is the rate myopia progresses in children is on the rise.”

To make an appointment, call 281-491-0018 or visit theorthokcenter.com.




After noting the significant increase of myopia, especially in children, scientists can extrapolate an implied increase in the serious complications of myopia and high myopia, meaning the incidence of more visual impairment in middle to older-aged individuals, as well as the working-age population. Consequently, that may have negative economic complications. Myopia typically begins around the age of six or seven and progresses gradually through the years. It is caused by the gradual elongation of the axial length eye (front to back), changing the vision in the eye.

Patients Report Better Vision After One Night In Ortho-K therapy, the doctor fits patients with a type of hard contact lens to be worn at night when the patient is sleeping, at least six to eight hours a night. The lens reshapes the cornea of the eye, and in many cases, patients report better vision even after the first night. As a non-surgical alternative to Lasik surgery (refractive surgery), Ortho-K has been around for about 40 years but only recently became widely used. It has been in use at the Ortho-K-Center for 10 years, when Dr. Do proactively took orthokeratology out of the optometry office and opened The Ortho-K-Center. Dr. Do’s wife, Lynda, has been an OrthoK patient for eight years. Her mother is also a patient, and Dr. Do’s niece and nephews have been using the treatment for five years.

The lens used in Ortho-K therapy is worn at night.

Photo by Nesossi Studios.

Eliminate the Need for Glasses, Da The American Academy of Ophthalmology recently reported myopia is also on an increase throughout Europe putting more people at risk for sight-threatening complications of high myopia, like glaucoma. The Journal of Ophthalmology reported a study on the effectiveness and acceptability of Ortho-K for slowing myopic progression in children found myopia has emerged as a worldwide public health issue because of its dramatically increased prevalence in the past few decades. The journal also noted myopia occurs at a relatively young age and is more likely to progress to the even more serious high myopia, also known as degenerative or pathological myopia. In general, the younger a person is when myopia begins to develop, the higher the level of myopia that patient will reach. For that reason, it is most advantageous to start myopic patients on Ortho-K therapy as soon as possible. According to information published in the journal, children and teens may have a significantly higher rate of success with Ortho-K than with traditional contact lenses or eyeglasses, because they are only required to wear the Ortho-K retainers at night, unlike traditional contact lenses and glasses worn every day and This sample shows how a lens fits throughout daily activities, and looks under observation. such as sports.

Myopia Can Lead to Vision Loss High myopia, the journal reported, is associated with a high risk of blinding complications, such as myopic fundus disease, cataracts and glaucoma, as well as a higher chance of developing a retinal detachment. Symptoms of a retinal detachment include the perception of flashing lights in the eye; a recent onset, increase or change in “floaters” and the effect of a curtain coming down, up or across one’s field of vision. The report said Ortho-K could efficiently slow axial elongation in the eye(s) of myopic children. In an article published on the website BioMedCentral in 2014, researchers said modern orthokeratology, using sophisticated contact lenses, can provide faster, larger and more predictable refractive changes than the Ortho-K lenses used when the therapy was first introduced in the early 1960s, and further noted Ortho-K lens use is becoming increasingly popular. “At birth, most people have great eyesight,” Dr. Do explained. “It isn’t until kids are about six-years-old that they start developing myopia. Ortho-K is a preventative measure; early use can slow nearsightedness.” According to Dr. Do, six-year-olds can become very proficient in placing Ortho-K contacts in their own eyes. In a three-year study published in 2015 comparing cor-

aytime Contacts or Laser Surgery • Clear Vision with Ortho-K neal reshaping lenses (Ortho-K) to silicone hydrogel contact lenses (daily wear “soft” contact lenses), myopia advanced at a statistically significantly higher rate in the soft contact lens patients than in the Ortho-K lenses while maintaining the same safety rate.

vid Truong, a board certified optometrist and orthokeratologist who grew up in Houston, and Dr. Vibha Patel, a board certified optometrist who also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rutgers University. The medical staff at the center is multilingual, including Spanish, Hindi, Gujarti and Vietnamese.

Better Vision for Sports Also used to treat astigmatism and presbyopia, Ortho-K may be the solution for youngsters who want to be active in sports. With Ortho-K, young athletes can treat their myopia at night, while participating in sports – without corrective lenses or glasses – during the day. “People who wear glasses, especially children who are shy, come to hide behind their glasses,” Dr. Do said. “If we can eliminate the glasses, we eliminate the hiding.” Because vision is corrected so soon after Ortho-K treatment begins, youngsters headed back to school – and sports – this fall have time to obtain results before they begin their school year. That means this year’s sports players will have the ability to step onto the playing field with no glasses and no contact lenses. Additionally, studies have shown that young athletes with corrected vision perform better, especially in sports depending heavily on hand-to-eye coordination and depth perception. At The Ortho-K-Center, Dr. Do works with Dr. Thanh Da-

With the academic school year on the horizon, The OrthoK-Center encourages children to get their eyes checked for myopic progression. Located at 2109 Highway 6, Suite B in Sugar Land, The Ortho-K-Center also specializes in sports vision. The center is open 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and on Saturday by appointment.

To make an appointment, call 281-491-0018 or visit theorthokcenter.com.


Vision Therapy • What is the first step in a vision therapy program? A comprehensive vision exam is necessary before starting therapy. Following the exam, the eye care provider can determine whether or not vision therapy is the recommended treatment for a patient’s vision problems. • Is there scientific evidence that vision therapy really works? Yes! Data shows that vision therapy can improve visual function enough to keep it from interfering with a patient’s ability to absorb information and learn. In its own sphere, this therapy is as effective as physical therapy or occupational therapy. • Who typically needs vision therapy? Children with learning or reading problems can benefit from vision therapy. Adults can see vision improvement through this therapy as well. It can help curb eyestrain related vision processing problems brought on by working with computers all day. Dr. Hieu Trong Do.

Photo by Nesossi Studios.

hen vision problems do not require surgery for correction, vision therapy is typically an option. This form of physical therapy used on the eyes and brain is designed to resolve vision problems such as lazy eye, crossed eyes or double vision. • How does vision therapy work? Vision therapy uses progressive vision exercises performed one to two times per week in sessions lasting 30 minutes to an hour under the supervision of an eye care provider. Exercises are tailored to meet the individual visual needs of a patient and continue until visual processing problems show improvement. • What is the purpose of the vision exercises? Vision exercises are designed to help patients improve basic visual skills that connect the eyes with the brain. These exercises can improve visual efficiency by changing how a patient interprets images to help them see and understand images correctly. • Do these exercises simply strengthen eye muscles? Nothing about vision therapy is centered on strengthening eye muscles. Vision therapy is all about improving vision problems that may interfere with learning by strengthening the neurological pathways between the eyes and the brain.



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magazine • August 2016


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Brings the Community Together for Fun-Filled Fundraising


24 SUGAR LAND INSTALLS DONATED SCULPTURES The new artwork is part of the City’s Public Art Plan.


Presents First Annual Angels for Alzheimer’s College Scholarship Awards

29 absolutely! BACK TO SCHOOL Get the kids organized and ready for the new school year.

38 FORT BEND’S FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS To help you make it to your favorite team’s games, here are the 2016 Fort Bend High School Varsity Football Schedules.

44 BEAUTIFUL BALI AND ITS REMARKABLE MIX OF CULTURES The destination is a romantic hotspot, artist’s haven and marine lover’s retreat.


Health Care News You Can Use

74 BRAZOS RIVER FLOOD RECOVERY: Neighbors Helping Neighbors

COLUMNS Cathy Stubbs. Photo by Nesossi Studios.


Giving and Receiving: Getting the Most out of Charitable Gifts


14 THE CATHY STUBBS TEAM: The Standard of Real Estate Excellence

Getting a Head Start on College Savings


Back-to-School Tips

For Cathy Stubbs, selling houses is more than just a profession – it’s a philosophy of service where excellence is standard. She and her team of seasoned Real Estate professionals strive to put the “wow” into the details, and they do so with a comprehensive team approach of high quality, professional, detail-oriented service.


Learning How to Fall – Literally

42 HIGH SCHOOL HOT SHOT Meet Breanna M. Presley

48 HOMETOWN HEROES: Bob and Marilyn Ewing


TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016



Monica Hand, Janna Carandang, May Akbari, LaDonna Marie, Dr. Eric Humble, Taylor Feldman, Vanessa Rodriguez, Katie Taylor and Kaylyn Moehrig.

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Named Adult Learner of the Year


Debuts at Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center

47 THE FORT BEND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Announces Auditions for the First Symphonic Choir in Fort Bend County


Recognizes Top Sponsors to Date


Awards Scholarships to Local Texas A&M Students


26 Alex Belt Silly Silly Girls Page 28

72 2016 HONDA HR-V


Presents Annual Hearts & Hammers Golf Classic

Jason Smith Cultris Security Systems Page 35



To Help Children in Foster Care


Melissa Horn BeginnerGeek.com Page 36

36 Patrick Biron Birons Youth Sports Center Page 37

Named Finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year® Award

37 Joan Frances Contributor Pages 42 & 48



Zeenat Kassam Mitha Cultural Correspondent Page 44



Christopher Hill imagination monkey Page 50


50 Steve Kursar Auto Enthusiast Page 72


For the Fort Bend Boys Choir’s 35th Anniversary Season

72 Alisa Murray Alisa Murray Photography Page 80


Secures Presenting Sponsor

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Keith Borgfeldt Spartan Wealth Management, LLC Page 22 Susan Pappas Sanders Loggins Jewelers Page 26

Gives Back in August


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80 .com • August 2016



Vol. 12 No. 10 August 2016 4655 TECHNIPLEX DR. STE 700 STAFFORD, TX 77477 281-690-4242

Heading Back


It’s August and that means we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief as we get ready to head back – back to school, back to a routine, back to a somewhat more normal schedule. Of course, now that I have a child in college, heading back to school has taken on an entirely new meaning. It’s complicated, definitely more complicated. It’s not simply buying a new backpack, school supplies and new tennis shoes. It’s furniture, packing, securing household items, coordinating with multiple roommates and moving into West campus with 30,000 or so other college students in a 48 hour period. All in all, it’s a full scale military Kolton and Kassidi Kaminski: operation. Summer field trip at the For those of us who still have children at home, Johnson Space Center. heading back to school is a bit easier, and our Back to School section is here to help. We have several tips on organizing and finding the perfect activities for the school year, as well as the Fort Bend area high school varsity football schedules to help you plan your football Friday nights. Speaking of planning, August kicks off so many great events in Fort Bend including the Fort Bend County Fair. Their “Stylin’ In The Bend” Dinner and Style Show features the 2016 queen candidates and is the kick off to this year’s festivities. So many of our amazing community organizations kick off with activities with month. I encourage our readers to learn about the multiple organizations who work tirelessly in our community and to become involved. Find an organization that speaks to your heart, and fit them into your routine. You will do some great work, and meet some wonderful friends and neighbors. When my children were younger, I must admit that I was a stickler for routine. I was the mom who stuck to the schedule: nap time, bed time, snack time – everything was on schedule. I do confess, however, I was always a bit more flexible in the summer. That’s the one thing I will miss the most about this summer with my children: our lack of routine. Having them both home this summer has been a gift. Staying up late at night having the most amazing – and sometimes bizarre – conversations, taking impromptu field trips and just being together hearing about the escapades of their days at their jobs has been a true gift. Jackie Kennedy said, “The only routine with me is no routine at all.” After living a less than routine summer with two teenagers, I get it. Best of luck to all of our students in the new school year. Stay focused, work hard and finish strong. Next summer – with a more laid back schedule – will be here before we know it! Stay focused, ON THE COVER: Cathy Stubbs. Photo by Nesossi Studios.

Patti@absolutelyfocusmedia.com TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


PUBLISHER Patti Parish-Kaminski A S S O C IAT E P U B L I S H E R Jessica Kij M A NA G I N G E D I T O R Sarah Bearden AC C O U N T E X E C U T I V E S Nancy Dunbar Jennifer Elliott Molly Ellis Kay Garrett Andrea Rigamonti Suzanne Stiles A RT D I R E C T O R Grace Belleza GRAPHIC DESIGNER Marinela Taylor WEB DESIGNER Joey Belleza PHOTOGRAPHY Nesossi Studios CONTRIBUTORS M.G. Angulo Alex Belt Kelley M. Bentley Patrick Biron Keith Borgfeldt T. Aaron Dobbs Joan Frances Christopher Hill Melissa Horn Trish Johnson Steve Kursar Zeenat Kassam Mitha Alisa Murray Susan Pappas Sanders Jason Smith O F F I C E A D M I N I S T R AT O R Alexa Goldstein INTERN Nicole Witt INQUIRIES 281-690-4242 E D I T O R IA L S U B M I S S I O N S Sarah@absolutelyfocusmedia.com

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Subscription requests are free to all Fort Bend addresses. Annual paid subscription of $25 required outside the Fort Bend area. Fort Bend FocusTM Magazine is published by absolutely! focus media, 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste. 700, Stafford, TX 77477. Copyright© 2016 by absolutely! focus media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Fort Bend FocusTM Magazine does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial, nor do the publishers assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. Fort Bend FocusTM Magazine welcomes editorial submissions from its readers.

Houston MEtHoDIst suGAR LAnD nEuRoLoGY AssoCIAtEs

wELCoMEs DR. RonY nInAn Houston Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates is pleased to welcome Dr. Rony Ninan to the group. Together, these fellowship-trained physicians offer diagnosis and treatment of the most common — and most complex — neurological disorders, including migraines, sleep disorders, epilepsy, dementia, complex spine and peripheral neurological disorders, neuromuscular disorders, stroke, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, and more. They provide answers and options using the latest technology and therapeutic techniques, backed by the resources and staff of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. Regain your quality of life. To schedule an appointment with Houston Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates, call 281.494.6387.

Larry Tran, MD

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houstonmethodist.org/spg Houston Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates 16605 Southwest Frwy. Medical Office Building Three, Suite 600 Sugar Land, TX 77479 281.494.6387

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The Cathy Stubbs Team: Jenn LaRocca, Israel and Tara Flores, Jeff Flaxman, Cathy Stubbs, Catherine Bonnington, Mia Cardenas, Robbie Jones, Ieaun Lopez and Dena Day.

The Standard of Real Estate Excellence


or Cathy Stubbs, selling houses is more than just a profession – it’s a philosophy of service where excellence is standard. She and her team of seasoned Real Estate professionals strive to put the “wow” into the details, and they do so with a comprehensive team approach of high quality, professional, detail-oriented service.

COVER STORY Photos by Nesossi Studios TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

The Team Approach For the past 22 years, Stubbs has refined her professional approach by thinking outside of the box. Her first inspiration: to develop a team. “Just getting by was not doing it for me,” Stubbs said. “And on that premise alone, I knew I needed to create a team to deliver the type of specialized service my clients deserve.” With a talented team – The Cathy Stubbs Team – in place, Stubbs knew she had what it took to reach her goal of excellence. “These talented people make The Cathy Stubbs Team what it is — exceptional. What we have is a team that runs on all cylinders,” Stubbs said proudly. “Each one has their own niche, and they enjoy their work. They truly love what they do, and because of that, we can meet our clients’ needs and provide excellent service.” .com • August 2016


“We are very open to visiting with people about their situation and whether they are ready or not to buy or sell their home.” – Cathy Stubbs With a stellar team in place, once again, Stubbs continued her strive for excellence. She developed a professional philosophy containing five key components that she and her team execute for every client. “These key steps lead to the optimization of the best outcome possible both financially and emotionally,” explained Stubbs. “Each step has different meanings whether you are on the buying side or the selling side.”

Consulting Many people ask when is the best time to buy or sell their home, and The Cathy Stubbs Team has many conversations with people who are not quite ready. “We are very open to visiting with people about their situation and whether they are ready or not to buy or sell their home,” said Stubbs, who places a great deal of value in building relationships. “In most cases, it’s not only a financial decision, it’s an emotional decision that is driven by life events. Our Team enjoys being an asset to people in helping them achieve their Real Estate goals, and consulting is a big part of that process.” Stubbs’ advice: Don’t try to predict the market on your own; hire a professional to optimize your buying power, your personal situation and return on your investment.

Advising “For sellers, clients want to know where and how to spend their money to get their property ready – essentially how to get the biggest bang for their buck,” said Stubbs. Stubbs and her team advise clients how to get the look for less. “We show clients how to make their home look like a model home without spending $50,000.” On the buying side, The Cathy Stubbs Team advises the buyer to look at the big picture before they land on a particular house. The big picture can include the area, accessibility and the

tax base, as well as career goals. “The fact that people move more often now due to their careers means that we often get houses and clients coming back to us when they need to relocate,” said Stubbs. “We are very careful on advising clients where to buy, because we don’t want our clients to hit a curve in the road and need to make a change that will be difficult. Through the advising phase, we look at our client’s needs both today and potential needs for the future.”

Strategizing When selling a home, strategizing where a house fits into the market is key. “Defining the target market and where to price it to put it in front of the right people is a vital part of the process,” said Stubbs, and that’s one role Jenn LaRocca, marketing director, plays. “Jenn is always investigating new avenues to reach the public,” Stubbs said of LaRocca, who she affectionately calls the “team’s cheerleader.” “Jenn thinks of ways to keep the Team on the cutting edge and working outside of the box when promoting properties.” Finding new ways to entice audiences other Realtors ignore or can’t reach is LaRocca’s specialty. For buyers, strategizing is equally as crucial. “We focus on how we are best going to get the buyer what they need,” explained Stubbs. “This can include various nuances to leverage the buyer into a more powerful position to ensure the best purchase price.” The Team focuses on how to be the winning offer utilizing years of experience, including a few tricks of the trade to get the desired results for their clients.

Organizing “Organization is key for both sellers and buyers,” said Stubbs. “Knowing what needs to happen to get your home ready to sell – and having the resources and people to help organize this major effort – is key for success.” fort bend

magazine • August 2016


According to Stubbs, the order of the organizational effort is paramount. “On both sides, the process must be completed in the correct order for everything to work as it should.” From shopping for insurance, securing a lender and ordering an appraisal and inspection, each transaction must be done in the correct order at the correct time, and that’s a substantial organizational feat. Fortunately, The Cathy Stubbs Team has Dena Day. Day, the director of operations, is responsible for overseeing the day to day operations as quality assurance. “She is my anchor,” Stubbs said.

Cathy Stubbs.

Orchestration Buying or selling a home is an intricate process. “What people may not understand about the process of buying or selling a home is the amount of moving parts,” Stubbs explained. The reality is that the home buying/ selling process includes Realtors, appraisers, lenders, inspectors and the Title company. Many times, not all of these entities always see the importance of the contractual time

restraints in a transaction. It is Stubbs’ job to keep everyone on track to the finish line. “In order to have a seamless transaction, experience is key,” said Stubbs. “There are so many intricate steps associated with the buying and selling process, it’s very intensive and can be very overwhelming. Having a team of seasoned professionals orchestrate your transaction is very important.”

The Cathy Stubbs Team Experience Seasoned professionals is what you get with The Cathy Stubbs Team. Not only does each team member understand the energy that goes into buying or selling a home, their motivation isn’t just about money made but more about the lives they touch. Stubbs, who is married and a mother of two children — a 13 year-old daughter and 11 year-old son — knows that buying or selling a home affects a family, and that is always taken into consideration when her Team meets and works with clients. There isn’t a rush to get to the “sign date” that will leave people in a tailspin. Stubbs wants her clients to

be completely satisfied with the property and how they were treated. That’s why Stubbs and her Team meet weekly to make sure they are giving their all to their work. “We meet twice a week formally. We review each individual listing, the challenges we’re facing and we come up with solutions. But informally, we meet almost daily.” The only thing that separates each Team member from one another is a wall of glass, and that’s how Stubbs likes it. The transparency allows constant communication between the Team members, and together, they stay on top of completing superior transactions. To date, the company has closed more than 1,000 transactions with more than $200 million home sales. “We work well here in this office because what inspires us is true and genuine,” Stubbs said. “It’s amazing how we bonded, and we are always on the same page to get things done. I’m fortunate to have these people who are always on board 110 percent.” For more information about The Cathy Stubbs Team, call 281-340-4120 or visit cathystubbs.com to make your dream home a reality.

Meet The Cathy Stubbs Team Tara Flores: Buyers Agent “I educate and listen to my clients to help them not only reach their goals but exceed them.”

Jenn LaRocca: Marketing Director “Correctly preparing a home for the market results in fewer days on the market and a higher sales price. I work with the homeowner to insure this result.”

Mia Cardenas: Home Specialist The Cathy Stubbs Team: Robbie Jones, Dena Day, Mia Cardenas, Tara and Israel Flores, Cathy Stubbs, Ieaun Lopez, Catherine Bonnington, Jenn LaRocca and Jeff Flaxman.


there’s one thing Cathy Stubbs wants people to know, it’s that The Cathy Stubbs Team doesn’t rush the home buying/selling process. “We don’t practice ‘sales talk’ here,” Stubbs said. “We’re here to help, to inspire and to guide the transaction to a healthy ending. The market is always changing and so are people’s needs. We work to meet those needs.” In addition to Listing Specialist Cathy Stubbs, the 11 member Team includes Real Estate professionals solely dedicated to providing the ideal Real Estate experience. Team members include: Catherine Bonnington, Mia Cardenas, Dena Day, Jeff Flaxman, Tara and Israel Flores, Robbie Jones, Sherwin Jose, Jenn LaRocca and Ieaun Lopez.

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

“In today’s Real Estate market, having an advocate with a strong grasp of what it takes to make the home buying and selling process as smooth as possible is priceless.”

Robbie Jones: Buyers Agent “I enjoy getting to know people and advising them on what is one of their most important financial decisions.”

Israel Flores: Buyers Agent “I focus on the details with every buyer – details that grow a relationship, not a transaction.”

Catherine Bonnington: Buyers Agent “To give real service, you must add something that cannot be bought, and that is a caring attitude and trustworthiness.” To consult with a member of The Cathy Stubbs Team, call 281-340-4120.

.com • August 2016


Scavenger hunt winners Team Super Focus: Alexa Goldstein, Ariana Cruz, Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Executive Director Dennis Parmer, Tisha Franks and Hillary Goldstein.

The Second Annual Heritage Foundation Scavenger Hunt Brings the Community Together for Fun-Filled Fundraising


eams comprised of friends and coworkers raced for the winning title at the Second Annual Heritage Foundation Scavenger Hunt presented by Sterling McCall Nissan and Fort Bend Toyota on June 12th. Proceeds from the event benefited the future Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Museum located on the Imperial Refinery property above the Children’s Discovery Center. To kick off the afternoon of fun, teams arrived at Sterling McCall Nissan in Stafford at 1 pm and were handed 20 clues worth five to 30 points each leading to various locations throughout Sugar Land and its extra territorial

Sugar Land Magnum PI team members Catherine Bilow, Mandy Reyes Knake and Kelly Knake.

jurisdiction. From 1:30 to 4 pm, teams were off to solve clues. When a scavenger hunt item was found, teammates snapped a photo in front of the landmark and sent the pictures back to the scavenger hunt headquarters.

Garrett Kennell won the raffle: a Nissan for the weekend!

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


Marvin Marcell and Roy Cordes, Jr.

Team members learned about the history of Sugar Land as they searched for the destinations, which included the University of Houston at Sugar Land, Sweetwater Country Club, Sugar Land Regional Airport, Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land and more. The hunt ended at 4 pm when team members arrived at Sterling McCall Toyota in Richmond for a celebratory reception with drinks, libations and appetizers. Team Super Focus represented Fort Bend Focus Magazine as a proud media sponsor and winner of the hunt! Fort Bend Focus will have its name imprinted on a brick reclaimed from the historical Imperial refinery site and displayed in the Sugar Land Heritage Museum. For more information about the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation, visit www.slheritage.org.

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magazine • August 2016


By T. Aaron Dobbs and Kelley M. Bentley



Giving and Receiving: Getting the Most out of Charitable Gifts


here are endless opportunities to make a difference in our communities. One way to advocate for your cause is to make a charitable gift. However, not all gifts are equal. While your motivation to give may be entirely altruistic, here are five ways you can make charitable gifts and gain tax-saving benefits:

est. By giving a remainder interest, the charity is assured that it will someday receive the benefit of the gift, but allows you to continue to enjoy the property for now. A gift of a remainder interest may qualify for a charitable income tax deduction and may reduce estate taxes. 4. IRA Charitable Rollover. If you are 70½ or older, you are required to make annual distributions – referred to as required minimum distributions – from your individual retirement account (IRA). These distributions are subject to income taxation. However, certain donors can donate up to $100,000 from his or her IRA in any one year directly to eligible charities and shield the donation from being counted as taxable income. This is an effective way to make a difference and lower your income tax bill. 5. Make a Gift of Life Insurance. While you can name a charitable organization as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy, there are several other methods for leveraging the gift of life insurance to reduce estate taxes upon your death and result in a charitable income tax deduction in the year you make the gift.

1. Make Gifts to Nonprofit Tax-Exempt Organizations. You may be entitled to an income tax deduction for donations made to an organization that is exempt from taxation under Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3). While you can freely make gifts to any organization or cause, you cannot take a charitable deduction for a donation to an organization that is not tax-exempt. Additionally, if you receive something of value in return for your donation, such as a meal at a gala or an auction item, you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit you received. 2. Consider Gifting Appreciated Assets. Instead of selling an asset to make a cash donation, consider making an in-kind donation, especially if the property has increased in value since you acquired it. By giving an appreciated asset to a tax-exempt organization, not only will the charitable deduction help to reduce your taxable income, you may also avoid paying capital gains on the appreciate. 3. Consider How You Gift Real Estate. If you would like to donate your real property but are not ready to stop using it, consider giving an irrevocable remainder inter-

Regardless of your charitable motivations, giving strategically can mean immediate or future benefits for your cause and for yourself or your estate. If you are considering making a charitable gift, you should consult with the charity of your choice and your estate planning attorney prior to giving so that you can develop a plan that maximizes your impact.

T. Aaron Dobbs and Kelley M. Bentley are board certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and focus their law practice on estate planning, probate, inheritance disputes and trust administration from the Fort Bend office of Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey PC. Dobbs and Bentley are members of the Planned Giving Council of Houston.

Helping PRESERVE the Past, SECURE the Present, and PROTECT the Future w Estate Planning w Probate & Estate Administration w Trust & Estate Litigation w Elder Law & Medicaid Planning w Uncontested/Contested Guardianships w Special Needs Trusts

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TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend


Dallas .com • August 2016

Kelley M. Bentley*

Texas Board of Legal Specialization Estate Planning and Probate Law

*Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation



San Antonio (By Appointment Only)

What’s your favorite? Vote August 1st – September 30th Vote for your favs in our annual Readers’ Choice of Fort Bend’s Favorites, and see who wins the title of Focus Fav in the December 2016 issue. Visit fortbendfocus.com

fort bend

magazine • August 2016



By Keith Borgfeldt



Getting a Head Start on College Savings


he United States Department of Agriculture estimates a middle-income family with a child born in 2015 can expect to spend about $275,000 to raise that child to the age of 17. That is roughly equal to the median value of a new home in the U.S. And if you have already traded that super-charged convertible dream for a minivan, you can expect your little one’s college education to cost as much as $336,132. But before you throw your hands up in the air and send junior out looking for a job, you might consider a few strategies to help you prepare for the cost of higher education.

Take Advantage of Time The time value of money is the concept that the money in your pocket today is worth more than the same amount will be worth tomorrow, because it has more earning potential. If you put $100 a month toward your child’s college education, after 17 years’ time, you would have saved $20,400. But that same $100 a month would be worth over $32,000 if it had generated a 5% annual rate of return. The bottom line is, the earlier you start, the more time you give your money to grow.

Don’t Panic Every parent knows the feeling. One minute you are holding a little miracle in your arms, the next you are trying to figure out how to pay for braces, piano lessons and summer camp. You may feel like saving for college is a pipe dream. But remember, many people get some sort of help in the form

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of financial aid and scholarships. Although it is difficult to forecast how much help you may get in aid and scholarships, they can provide a valuable supplement to what you have already saved.

Weigh Your Options There are a number of federal and state-sponsored taxadvantaged college savings programs available. Some offer prepaid tuition plans and others offer tax-deferred savings. Many such plans are state sponsored, so the details will vary from one state to the next. A number of private colleges and universities now also offer prepaid tuition plans for their institutions. It pays to do your homework to find the vehicle that may work best for you. As a parent, you teach your children to dream big and believe in their ability to overcome any obstacle. By investing wisely, you can help tackle the financial obstacles of higher education for them—and smooth the way for them to pursue their dreams. Fast Fact: According to the College Board in 2015, the average tuition for public four-year institutions in Texas was $9,120, just below the national average of $9,410. Over the past 5 years, this amount has increased by only 8%, well below the U.S. average of 13%. Keith Borgfeldt is president and owner of Spartan Wealth Management, LLC. Securities and investment advisory services offered through NEXT Financial Group, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. Spartan Wealth Management, LLC is not an affiliate of NEXT Financial Group.

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Ask about our 2nd opinion service! 281-494-1600 4690 Sweetwater Blvd., Suite 280 Sugar Land, TX 77479 www.spartanwm.com

Private Wealth Management for Select Individuals Keith Borgfeldt

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Securities and investment advisory services offered through NEXT Financial Group, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. Spartan Wealth Management, LLC is not an affiliate of NEXT Financial Group, Inc. Spartan Wealth Management, LLC 4690 Sweetwater Blvd. Ste 280, Sugar Land, TX 77479

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.com • August 2016



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Sugar Land Installs Donated Sculptures


ugar Land recently installed two sculptures in Sugar Land Town Square’s public plaza as part of a 10 piece collection donated by Sugar Land resident Samuel Levin to the City through the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to leave a legacy by enhancing Sugar Land’s quality of life. A woman story-telling to a child with books on a bench in Oyster Creek Park.

The first bronze sculpture in the plaza depicts a guitar player sitting on the ledge of a fountain facing City Walk. The second represents two girls taking a “selfie” near a bench with City Hall in the background. Both show activities common in the plaza. Other statues are located at Sugar Land Memorial Park, Oyster Creek Park and Fire Station 4 in First Colony. A future installation is planned for Highlands Park.

Two girls taking a “selfie” in Sugar Land Town Square with City Hall in the background.

This bronze sculpture in Sugar Land Town Square’s public plaza depicts a guitar player sitting on the ledge of a fountain.

“Years of citizen feedback has identified a strong interest to expand public art in Sugar Land. As early as 2008, a citizen-led Vision Task Force identified the importance of the arts,” said the City of Sugar Land’s Cultural Arts Manager Lindsay Davis. “Planning and public investments can already be seen throughout our city. Through partnerships with many great community organizations, the City has had the opportunity to invest in the Sugar Land Auditorium, the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land,

the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation and Sugar Land Town Square. Additionally, we continue to plan for future venues such as the Smart Financial Centre. “We know we must continue to build on our achievements to ensure the arts remain a common thread throughout Sugar Land. With this goal in mind, we recognized the need to establish a formal decision-making process to help prioritize future funding requests and needs in an effort to ensure public dollars continue to be invested in the most appropriate and successful ways.” The public art donations were reviewed and approved by two citizen committees – the Parks, Art, Recreation, Culture and Streetscapes (PARCS) board and the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation – before final approval of City Council. The inclusion of sculptures in the Town Square plaza aligns with the continued vision of the City and the Legacy Foundation’s com-

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


mitment to establish cultural arts amenities that enrich the artistic, cultural, educational and historical character of Sugar Land. The City proactively established the Legacy Foundation in 2010 to support the acquisition and development of capital facilities for activities such as the arts. The City’s Public Art Plan reflects the public’s strong desire for art that beautifies the city, has a place-making quality and supports places where people gather such as Sugar Land Town Square. “Our Cultural Arts Strategic Plan and Implementation Guide was approved in 2014 to serve as a roadmap for future cultural arts opportunities to enhance Sugar Land,” explained Davis. “The strategic plan called for the development of a public art plan that will help establish a vision for public art across the city, identify opportunities for projects and recommend policies and procedures for managing public art.”

One of the sculptures in Oyster Creek Park depicts kids skateboarding and rollerblading.

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By Susan Pappas Sanders


First Annual Angels for Alzheimer’s College Scholarship Awards


van knew the more impatient he became, the more illusive the memory. Panicked and embarrassed, he looked around the gas station for some clue how to proceed. His brain refused to solve the scattered puzzle of his fading memory. A gifted engineer who could no longer work a gas pump. This is a true story of how my sister and I first realized our father was ill. During the next seven years, our father traveled the all too familiar, deadly decline that had taken the dignity and lives of both our grandmothers before him. Even knowing this, Evan led his life with a friendly smile, a ready compliment and a determination to live. Whether it is a friend, family member or one day even ourselves, no one is left untouched by this terminal disease. There are no approved medical treatments that prevent, regress or cure Alzheimer’s and dementia. More than 5 million Americans have some form of Alzheimer’s. It is the sixth leading cause of death, and by age 65, one in nine Americans will have some form of Alzheimer’s. These numbers are projected to triple by 2050 – unless there is a breakthrough. To honor our father and all families touched by this horrible disease, Loggins Jewelers awarded our first annual Angels for Alzheimer’s college scholarship awards to five deserving Fort Bend area high school all-star students. In addition to top scholastic achievement, each winner has served our community as a volunteer. Each plans to pursue neurological, science or medical studies aimed at the treatment or prevention of age-related neurological disease. Our sincere thanks go to Terry L. Sheneman, Ed.D., MAC, LPC, College and Career Readiness Coordinator for Fort Bend ISD. Without his invaluable aid in helping to create our online application process and get the word out to the counselors in the Fort Bend School system, these scholarships would not Fort Bend ISD’s Terry L. Sheneman. have been awarded. TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

Loggins Jewelers’ Susan Pappas Sanders with scholarship winners Abigail Benton, Simran Rahman, Rachel Brown and Erin Porter.

Congratulations to our winners! First place: The Evan Award of $2,000 was awarded to Simran Rahman of Hightower High School. Simran will attend Rice University this fall to study neurology. Second place: $1,000 was awarded to Abigail Benton of Dulles High School. Abigail will attend The University of Texas at Austin to study nutrition and science. Third place: $1,000 was awarded to Prakul Suresh of Elkins High School. Prakul will attend Johns Hopkins University to study neurology. Fourth place: $500 was awarded to Erin Porter of Kempner High School. Erin will attend Texas A&M University to pursue a science degree. Fifth place: $500 was awarded to Rachel Brown of Hightower High School. Rachel will attend Friends University and is interested in neurosurgery. Loggins Jewelers looks forward to the bright futures of these fine students and next year’s scholarship awards! Visit logginsjewelers.com to read the winning essays. .com • August 2016




Houston Glass Club Show Combines Vintage Glass and Antiques Don’t miss the 42nd Annual Vintage Glass & Antique Show and Sale August 19th through 21st at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds in Rosenberg. Sponsored by the Houston Glass Club, the event features American glass made from the early 1900s through the 1960s, as well as mid-century glass, American made kitchenware, pottery and dinnerware. With more than 30 dealers from across America, shoppers will find a cross section of America’s glass heritage under one roof. A second building will be full of beautiful, one-of-a-kind general line antiques. From primitives, silver, linens, jewelry, postcards, furniture and European collectibles, choose items to match your glass purchases and create a distinctive look to call your own. Designers, this is your chance to select items clients will love! From plain to fancy, common to rare finds, the Houston Glass Club Show excites the imagination. Delicious sandwiches, cakes and other food items will be available at the onsite concession. Leigh Ann Winter from Texas Silver Mercantile will also be onsite to repair damaged glass, silver and costume jewelry items. Get that special family heirloom restored! Information on joining the Houston Glass Club will also be available. Hours are 2 to 7 pm Friday, 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and 11 am to 4 pm Sunday. Admission is $10 on Friday and $6 on Saturday and Sunday and is good all weekend. Parking is free. For more information, call 281-2400382.

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magazine • August 2016


Ask Alex: Back-to-School Tips


lex Belt is a mom, business owner and all around in the know kind of gal. Friends call on her relentlessly for advice on how to plan a party and what trend is “in.” With back-to-school season just around the corner, we’re doing what everyone else does – asking Alex!


Homework time is so stressful at our house, because we can never find items that we need! What are your ideas?

Last year, my friend Lara Bell posted a photo of a homework turntable that her daughter did, and I thought that it would be perfect for my daughters. We decided to use a pink basket with cups in it. Each cup holds markers, scissors, pens and so on. My girls had a lot of fun creating this station. We keep it out all year, and they always know where everything is. Being organized in a basket means that it can be transported to the bar or table as needed.


My daughter is going into middle school. Where do I get a school supplies list?

I get so tired of packing soup in my child’s thermos. What do you suggest?

I love thermoses, because they can be used for hot or cold food. My daughter Jeannette is a thermos girl. She takes a thermos to school at least three times a week. We have packed a variety of meals in them, including lo mein, hot dogs, spaghetti, Spaghetti O’s, fried rice, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, sausage rolls, chili, stew, pizza rolls, breakfast tacos, ramen noodles, Genghis Grill leftovers, baked potatoes, chicken salad, tuna salad, cubed ham and cheese, boiled eggs and tortilla rolls.


What is the right way to keep food hot in a thermos?

To pack a warm lunch and keep it warm until lunch break, first boil water in a kettle on the stove top. Then, pour the boiling water into the thermos. Close the lid and let the thermos sit for five to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, warm the food. Empty water from the thermos. Finally, put hot food into the thermos, and pack the thermos in a lunch box.

After elementary school, you will not be able to purchase a school supply packet. Each teacher will hand out a supply list on the first day, and most teachers expect supplies to be in class the next day. This part is tricky, because everyone is purchasing the same thing at the same place at the same time, and things sell out. I purchase the things that I know the kids will need earlier in the summer when items start to go on sale. The items that I always have on hand in my homework station are lined and unlined index cards, black, blue and red pens, Sharpies, highlighters, notebook paper, printer paper, graph paper, composition notebooks, a ruler, map pencils, glue sticks, a stapler, lots of dividers, tape and pocket folders with and without brads. TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016




Back to School Private School s & A f t e r S c h o o l A c t i v i t i e s F E AT U R I N G

Gingerbread Kids’ Academy Fort Bend Christian Academy Sugar Land Gymnastics Safety America Set the Stage for Success: Tips for a Smooth Transition Back to School Back-to-School Safety Back-to-School Apps for an A+ Year

fort bend

magazine • August 2016


absolutely! Back to School


Gingerbread: Quality Early Education in Fort Bend County

Where Children Learn and Grow


k To c a

l o o h Sc Now Registering for Fall

As summer begins to wind down, it is time turn our attention to a new school year. This past year, the Gingerbread Family of Learning Centers celebrated the two year anniversary of the Gingerbread Kids’ Academy in Richmond and the beginning of the 35th anniversary of The Gingerbread House Learning Center in Rosenberg. The Gingerbread Kids’ Academy and Gingerbread House Learning Center have developed an environment where children can learn and grow. The programs are designed for children ages eight weeks to 12 years and offer a variety of activities throughout the year. Research has shown that in order for a child to be successful in school and life, they must begin with a strong foundation in learning. Gingerbread has designed a curriculum that includes an emphasis on reading, writing, science, math, discovery and exploration, as well as social skills development. The infant and toddler programs focus on the development of both gross and fine motor skills along with basic language development. The three to five-year-old PreSchool and Pre-K programs focus on academics, peer relationships and preparation for entry into kindergarten and elementary school. The Gingerbread afterschool programs, located onsite at Frost, Hutchison, Hubenak and Arredondo Elementary, as well as onsite at the Gingerbread Kids’ Academy and Gingerbread House, offer homework assistance, arts, crafts, games and sports. Beginning January 2017, Gingerbread will also offer an after-school program at the new Bentley Elementary on FM 359. A new year means new beginnings. The Gingerbread Family invites you to come by for a visit. Both locations are now accepting enrollments for the 20162017 school year. For more information, e-mail Tim Kaminski at tim@gbkidsacademy.com or call 281239-2110.

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.com • August 2016


absolutely! Back to School


Fort Bend Christian Academy achieve. believe. lead. Celebrating 30 years of service to Fort Bend County, Fort Bend Christian Academy (FBCA) exists to glorify God through excellence in college preparatory Christian education. FBCA is a Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 private, college preparatory Christian school located on a 35 acre campus in the heart of Sugar Land. With an enrollment of over 800, students attend over 100 area churches and are active members of the Fort Bend County community. Students at FBCA receive an academically challenging course of study with curriculum designed to provide a superior spiritual and intellectual environment. An Honors Degree Program, Advanced Placement options and dual credit classes are offered at the high school level, and middle school students with accelerated educational development may also participate in an honors curriculum. Spiritually, academically and professionally qualified, all teaching staff are certified educators, many possessing a master’s degree or higher. FBCA boasts small class sizes, uniforms, a hot lunch program, before and after school programs, as well as enrichment classes, clubs and strong community service involvement. With competitive, state championship athletics and award-winning fine arts programs, 100 percent of FBCA graduates are accepted to college, most to their first choice school, and include National Merit scholars, military service appointees and recipients of numerous scholarship offers. For more information about FBCA, contact the admissions team at admissions@fortbendchristian.org or call 281-263-9143. See ad on page 32.

814 FM 2977 281-239-2110 Richmond www.gbkidsacademy.com tim@gbkidsacademy.com 77469 Monday thru Friday 6:30 am to 6:30 pm

Infants Toddlers 3 and 4 year-old Private, Full-Day Pre-K Programs K-5th After-School Programs for Pick-Up

from Thomas, Williams and Arredondo Elementary



magazine • August 2016



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absolutely! Back to School

The Real Deal

Houston Ballet Dancer to Teach at Sugar Land Gymnastics Huang Jun Shuang will begin a dance program at Sugar Land Gymnastics (SLG). Huang is a former principal dancer of the Houston Ballet and will teach classical ballet, modern dance and Chinese dance. Classes are set to begin this month. Huang joins a quality staff at SLG including Mei Liu, head coach of the gymnastics program. Liu competed as a member of the Chinese National Team and is a USA Gymnastics certified national judge. She has 30 years’ experience and has trained several state champions in the Greater Houston area. SLG currently offers competitive girls team programs, as well as recreational classes and tumbling. Mom-and-Me classes start kids off at 18 months old and builds skills at each and every level. SLG also offers karate classes for kids ages four to 14 years old. Five years ago, Robert Gifford purchased Bill Austin’s gymnastics and dance facility located at 16215 Lexington Boulevard. Since then, enrollment has skyrocketed and continues to climb. Gifford believes the reason for his success is in one word, “Quality. When you have quality instruction and a quality curriculum housed in a quality state-of-the-art facility, word spreads quickly.” In 2014, Gifford opened a second multi-purpose facility in Sienna. This facility will expand to 9,000 square feet in August and will offer gymnastics, cheerleading, tumbling, summer camp, birthday parties and Safety America Karate. Visit www.SugarLandGymnastics.com or call SLG at 281-240-0999 for more information.

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


What makes Safety America different than all of the other martial arts schools around? Self-defense! They don’t just talk about teaching it; they actually teach hands on, real-life, street self-defense. We live in a dangerous world, and when children are given the gift of self-defense, they are armed with the tools to help keep them safe for a lifetime. It all starts with four-year-old children, believe it or not. Safety America calls them “Little Ninjas,” and when you watch them practicing their “stranger danger” defense techniques, you will understand why. “They know when and where to strike, what to yell and when to run,” said Robert Gifford, an eighth degree black belt. “These kids are smarter and faster than you think, and when you train them properly, you increase their chances for escaping a bad situation.” Gifford has been teaching martial arts for the past 40 years and owns several successful karate schools all around Fort Bend County. He taught the Stranger Danger classes for the Sugar Land Police D.A.R.E. program for 10 years, so when it comes to teaching kids, he knows what he is doing. “It’s all about building a child’s confidence, and it takes time, practice and a mom’s dedication to bring him to class regularly. I have seen the personality of many kids change over the years from shy and withdrawn to self-assured and confident, carrying a whole new outlook on life.” Come and visit any of their three locations and try a free class. For more information, call 281-9803030.

absolutely! Back to School


“My Dad says it’s about PROTECTION... My Mom says it’s about FOCUS... and I say it’s FUN!” Our classes will make children safer, but we focus on much, much more than just SELF-DEFENSE. We develop vital skills of CONCENTRATION and FOCUS, and we build CONFIDENCE and SELF-ESTEEM. We teach ANGER MANAGEMENT and NON-VIOLENT CONFLICT RESOLUTION.

SAFETY AMERICA KARATE Classes for: Families • Adults • Kids (ages 4 & up) 3 LOCATIONS: First Colony • Missouri City Sienna Plantation

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magazine • August 2016


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absolutely! Back to School

Set the Stage for


Tips for a Smooth Transition

Back to School


or parents putting bright-eyed students on the bus for the very first time and for seasoned moms and dads who know the drill inside and out, gearing up for another year of school is a process. The shopping extravaganzas, trips to the doctor for physicals, endless forms and paperwork all culminate in a single moment: the first day back to school. Often, it’s this first day – or days – that set the tone for the school year to come. Help your child feel prepared and confident to tackle whatever the school year brings with these tips for a successful start.

Plan Well-Balanced Meals Summer break brings a lax approach to many aspects of life, and healthy eating is often one of them. However, nutrition plays an important role in overall development, and countless studies show correlation between academic performance and good nutrition. As the school year approaches, work at creating healthy menus. If hectic scheduling makes it difficult to get well-balanced meals in lunchboxes and on the dinner table through the week, allocate a portion of the weekend for a family prep session.

Reinstate Bedtimes Easing back into earlier bedtimes will make things smoother for everyone when the alarms start ringing on early school day mornings. Well before the start of school, gradually back off more time each night – in 15 minute increments, for example – to get kids back in bed early enough to capture at least 10 hours of sleep, the amount recommended for school-aged children and adolescents by the National Institutes of Health.

Get Creative to Boost Enthusiasm Part of the fun of heading back to the classroom is a shiny new set of supplies. Build your kids’ excitement by letting them select the tools they’ll use to bring home good grades, like TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

pens and pencils. Despite a keyboard and touchscreen-driven world, sales of color-focused products like felt-tip markers, fine-line pens and colored pencils are on the rise.

Explore Outside of Academics Developing interests outside of the classroom builds confidence and character, teaches discipline and may help reveal hidden passions or talents that translate into future scholarships or career choices. Now is an ideal time to explore the options available in your community and complete necessary registrations, as many extra-curricular activities are closely linked to the traditional school calendar.

Follow the Paper Trail The volume of paperwork associated with sending a child to school can be overwhelming. From registration forms and emergency contact sheets to physicals and immunization records, the list goes on and on. Keep on track with a list of all of the materials you’re responsible for completing, along with special notes for those that require visits to the doctor’s office or other appointments.

Take a Tour Especially for new students but even for experienced kids, spend some time getting familiar with the school before the big day. Seeing the bus drop-off location, classroom, bathrooms, cafeteria and any other major features ahead of time can help soothe jitters and lets you proactively answer worries or questions about how those first days may unfold.

Establish a Transition Tradition Celebrate the end of summer and the fresh start ahead by creating a special family tradition. It may be a final backyard campout for the season or a scrapbooking project that captures memories from the summer and describes goals for the school year. The time together to talk about what lies ahead can help get the family geared up for a successful school year. Source: Family Features

.com • August 2016


absolutely! Back to School By Jason Smith

Back-to-School Safety


ack to school is an exciting and busy time for both parents and children. As a dad, I know that keeping kids safe on their way to and from school is on everyone’s mind. Here are a few tips to make their journey safer.

Riding the Bus According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is no safer way to transport children to and from school than a school bus. However, that does not mean getting to and from the bus stop is risk-free. Implement these strategies to stay safe. • Have your child walk to the bus stop with a friend or group. A stranger is less likely to approach a group of children than a child waiting alone. • Create a walking plan with your child. This plan should be a direct route to and from the bus stop that has good visibility, few hazards and no dangerous intersections. • Teach your child never to talk to strangers and not to go with a stranger. If someone is trying to grab them, they should yell loudly to draw the attention of others. • Identify in advance with your child “safe” places they can go if they feel threatened or if someone follows them. This may be a neighbor’s home or a local business. Make sure they know important phone numbers by heart.

281-499-3921 3643 Glenn Lakes Ln., Highway 6 • Missouri City


Coming Home After School


Many older kids come home after school to an empty house. There are several ways to ensure they get in the house safely and stay safe while they are there. • Make entry easier for your child with a keyless lock on at least one door. These locks rely on entering a code to open the door. When integrated with your security system, they also allow your child or even you to unlock the door from an app on their phone. • Set up alerts on your phone through your security system app to notify you when your child has unlocked the door and turned off the alarm. • Answer the door from anywhere using an app on your phone with a video doorbell. It can be triggered by motion or the ringing of the doorbell. It will alert you to your child’s arrival home, and you can also see and speak directly to anyone coming to the door when you are not there. This keeps strangers from thinking your child is home alone.

Fall Registration August 8th and 15th, 5-7 pm August 16th and 17th, 6-8 pm August 25th, 4-7 pm Classes begin August 29th

Ballet • Tap • Jazz Lyrical • Hip Hop Leaps & Turns Ages 3 - Adult

Call or see website for schedule fort bend

magazine • August 2016


absolutely! Back to School

Back-to-School Apps for an A+ Year By Melissa Horn



parents and kids switch gears from fun in the sun to the frenzy of back to school, there are numerous tech tools to make the transition a little easier. As you head back to the challenges of the new school year, make technology work for you with three unique apps:

Freedom Do you have a child who is distracted easily – and who doesn’t? Freedom blocks distracting websites and apps so kids can study without the constant interruption of notifications from texts, Snapchat and other distractions. For example, you can schedule time away from social media, block troublesome websites on all of your family’s devices or block the entire Internet when kids really need “do not disturb” time.

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

This is a very popular app for creating flashcards. Students make their own flashcards using the app, or they can choose from millions of flashcards sets created by others. Once the flashcards are created, there are several study modes including multiple choice tests and study games.

Life360 This brilliant little app eliminates the need for endless texts and calls as family members wonder, “Did my child make it home? Has Dad left the office? When will Mom arrive to pick me up?” With Life360, just open the app and instantly see everyone in your private Family Circle on a map. You can message the whole group or individuals. Avoid annoying “Where are you?” calls and send a quick check-in to let everyone know where you are. Have an emergency? There’s a button for that, too.

.com • August 2016



r e n or n

C Bir ’ rick t s a id By P


Learning How to Fall – L i t e r a l l y


s a parent, there is an instinctive cringe associated with your child venturing out into the wild blue yonder of life, sports and self-

determinative play. For most children, as they progress through normal development, their exploration and movement will inevitably lead to a fall or two – or a thousand. And while it might be tempting to turn your child into a walking “bubble-wrapped” super hero, anyone who has ever learned to ride a bike knows that if you want to learn to do it without the training wheels, you have to take the training wheels off, and then fall – a lot.

So, failure is important, but that is a topic for another day. What many parents do not realize is that children are not born with instincts regarding vertigo, falls or how to protect themselves should they take a tumble. Over time, if left to their own devices, they develop certain fall reflexes that are intuitive, yet risky. I see these reflexes all the time in the form of kids falling and putting their arms straight out to catch themselves. Nothing makes a gymnastics coach cringe more than this. The truth is, most children – and adults – respond to a fall by placing their arms in front to protect their face and body, and while this might lessen the injury to certain areas, it exponentially increases

the likelihood that they will injure their wrists, arms, elbows or shoulders. An unbelievably high number of injuries in gyms are caused by this specific, nonintrinsic, learned reflex. It does not have to be so. We can protect our face and body while not increasing the injury risk to our extremities. And that is where the Ninja Roll comes into the picture. Starting as early as six-monthsold, children can be taught to get up and down off of stairs and furniture feet first and instinctively roll should they take a tumble. This special safety roll, or Ninja Roll as our new NinjaZone program calls it, transfers and dissipates the energy of the fall into rotational motion and disperses the impact across the whole body instead of focusing it on one or two joints. It is simple enough, but this critical skill is something that is being lost on today’s generation of kids. This skill – being able to fall from a tall height or at a full run and walk away probably unscathed – is universally applicable across all sports and the dayto-day adventure of play. Any reputable gymnastics center will have a wonderful preschool program in place that focuses on teaching this reflex, in addition fort bend

magazine • August 2016


to the other fine and gross motor skills, rhythm, balance and so much more. Even for older kids, it is never too late to enroll them in some form of gymnastics, cheer or ninja sport. There are plenty of incredible programs all across the area to help!

Fort Bend’s

Friday Night Lights


hey say football is big in Texas, and Fort Bend football is no exception. Each Friday night, stadiums across

the county are on fire with Friday night lights, spirited fans and rough and tumble competitions. In Sugar Land, Missouri City and Stafford, 13 high schools take to the fields fall Friday nights. The question on our minds at Fort Bend Focus as we dust off our stadium seats and wash our favorite jerseys is simple: “Are you ready for some football Fort Bend?” David Roberts, Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Fort Bend Christian Academy, said, “We are excited about the upcoming season. We have a chance to have a great season, and our players worked hard this summer lifting and running.”

Fort Bend ISD boasts 11 high schools, and their season looks equally as bright according to FBISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Christie Whitbeck. “Football season signifies the beginning of an exciting year, not just for our football players and coaches, but for all of the groups that support this sport and share in their school pride. Our teams of players, band, dance, color guard and cheerleaders have been busy practicing and preparing for another competitive and fun fall in FBISD.” The Stafford High School Spartans will play 10 games this season. “We have a very tough schedule this year,” said Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Ron Counter. “Our goal is to repeat as district champions and make a deep playoff run. With our talented and experienced senior class, this should be possible.” Regardless of who you root for this fall, fans will have plenty of opportunities this season to enjoy the game close to home. To help you make it to your favorite team’s games, here are the 2016 High School Varsity Football Schedules for Fort Bend ISD, Stafford MSD and Fort Bend Christian Academy. Stand up and holler Fort Bend fans!

The Ridge Point High School Varsity Football team advanced to the 2015 State Semifinals with an overall record of 11-4 and a District record of 6-1.

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


Bush High School

Austin High School 8/26 9/3 9/9 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/22 10/29 11/5

Hastings Kingwood Alvin Hightower Kempner Clements Travis Ridge Point Dulles Bush

Crump 7 pm Mercer 6 pm Alvin Memorial 7 pm Hall 7 pm Mercer 7 pm Mercer 7 pm Mercer 7 pm Hall 6 pm Mercer 1 pm Mercer 1 pm

8/25 Alief Taylor 9/2 Madison 9/10 Westside 9/23 Dulles 9/29 Hightower 10/6 Kempner 10/13 Clements 10/21 Travis 10/28 Ridge Point 11/5 Austin

Mercer Butler Mercer Mercer Mercer Mercer Mercer Mercer Hall Mercer

6 pm 7 pm 6 pm 7 pm 6 pm 6 pm 6 pm 7 pm 7 pm 1 pm

“Football season signifies the beginning of an exciting year, not just for our football players and coaches, but for all of the groups that support this sport and share in their school pride. ”

– Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Clements High School 8/25 9/3 9/9 9/24 9/30 10/7 10/13 10/20 10/28 11/4

Sam Rayburn Alvin Clear Lake Travis Ridge Point Austin Bush Hightower Kempner Dulles

Hall Hall Veteran’s Mercer Hall Mercer Mercer Mercer Mercer Mercer

6 pm 6 pm 7 pm 6 pm 7 pm 7 pm 6 pm 6 pm 7 pm 7 pm

Dulles High School 8/26 Alief Elsik 9/1 Terry 9/10 Willowridge 9/23 Bush 10/1 Travis 10/7 Hightower 10/15 Ridge Point 10/22 Kempner 10/29 Austin 11/4 Clements

Home Games are Bold Homecoming is Red fort bend

magazine • August 2016


Mercer Hall Hall Mercer Mercer Hall Mercer Mercer Mercer Mercer

7 pm 6 pm 6 pm 7 pm 6 pm 7 pm 6 pm 6 pm 1 pm 7 pm

Elkins High School 8/26 9/2 9/8 9/23 10/1 10/8 10/14 10/20 10/28 11/5

Dickinson Sam Oak Ridge Travis Santa Fe Galena Park Willowridge Manvel Marshall Galveston Ball Texas City

Hightower High School

Vienza 7 pm Conroe 7 pm Mercer 7 pm Santa Fe HS 7 pm Hall 6 pm Hall 6 pm Hall 7 pm Hall 7 pm Courville 7 pm Hall 6 pm

8/26 9/2 9/9 9/23 9/29 10/7 10/13 10/20 10/27 11/3

Eisenhower Houston Lamar Spring Austin Bush Dulles Kempner Clements Travis Ridge Point

Hall Delmar George Hall Mercer Hall Hall Mercer Hall Hall

7 pm 7 pm 7 pm 7 pm 6 pm 7 pm 6 pm 6 pm 6 pm 7 pm

“Our goal is to repeat as district champions and make a deep playoff run. With our talented and experienced senior class, this should be possible.” – Coach Ron Counter

Kempner High School 8/25 9/2 9/8 9/22 9/30 10/6 10/13 10/22 10/28 11/3

Mayde Creek Nimitz Alief Hastings Ridge Point Austin Bush Hightower Dulles Clements Travis

Mercer 6:30 pm Mercer 7 pm Crump 6 pm Mercer 6 pm Mercer 7 pm Hall 6 pm Hall 6 pm Mercer 6 pm Mercer 7 pm Mercer 6 pm

Marshall High School 8/27 9/2 9/8 9/23 9/29 10/7 10/14 10/20 10/28 11/4

Madison Hastings Klein Galena Park Willowridge Manvel Galveston Ball Elkins Texas City Santa Fe

Home Games are Bold Homecoming is Red TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


Butler 6 pm Hall 7 pm Hall 7 pm GPISD 7 pm Hall 7 pm Alvin Memorial 7 pm Courville 7 pm Hall 7 pm Stingaree 7 pm Hall 7 pm

Ridge Point High School 8/26 9/1 9/9 9/22 9/30 10/8 10/15 10/22 10/28 11/3

Kingwood Lamar Con. Stratford Kempner Clements Travis Dulles Austin Bush Hightower

Turner Traylor Hall Mercer Hall Mercer Mercer Hall Hall Hall

Travis High School

7 pm 7 pm 7 pm 6 pm 7 pm 6 pm 6 pm 6 pm 7 pm 7 pm

8/27 9/2 9/8 9/24 10/1 10/8 10/14 10/21 10/27 11/3

Reagan Katy Taylor Elkins Clements Dulles Ridge Point Austin Bush Hightower Kempner

Tully Rhodes Mercer Mercer Mercer Mercer Mercer Mercer Hall Mercer

6 pm 7 pm 6 pm 6 pm 6 pm 6 pm 7 pm 7 pm 6 pm 6 pm

Fort Bend Christian Academy 8/12 8/18 8/26 9/2 9/9 9/23

John Cooper John Cooper Northland Christian FBCA St. John XXIII FBCA Austin Regents Austin Regents KIPP Collegiate FBCA Arlington Pantego FBCA

6 pm 6 pm 7 pm 7 pm 7 pm 7 pm

9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/4

St. John Lutheran South Victoria St. Joseph Westbury Christian John Paul Second Baptist

Willowridge High School 8/25 9/3 9/10 9/22 9/29 10/8 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/5

Aldine Westbury Dulles Manvel Marshall Elkins Texas City Santa Fe Galena Park Galveston Ball

Thorne Stad. 7 pm Butler 6 pm Hall 6 pm Hall 7 pm Hall 7 pm Hall 6 pm Stingaree 7 pm Hall 7 pm GPISD 7 pm Hall 1 pm

7 pm 7 pm 7 pm 7 pm 7 pm 7 pm

Stafford High School 8/26 9/2 9/9 9/16 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/28

North Forest Port Lavaca Calhoun Bellville Navasota Bay City West Columbia Needville Brazosport Sealy El Campo

Home Games are Bold Homecoming is Red fort bend

FBCA Lutheran South FBCA Westbury Christian John Paul FBCA

magazine • August 2016


Cowart Stadium 7 pm Port Lavaca 7 pm Stafford 7:30 pm Navasota 7 pm Stafford 7:30 pm West Columbia 7:30 pm Stafford 7:30 pm Brazosport 7:30 pm Stafford 7:30 pm El Campo 7:30 pm

High School HOT SHOT

By Joan Frances

Meet Breanna M. Presley


tafford High School in Stafford Municipal School District “provides a diverse and innovative education to prepare responsible, life-long learners.” Students graduate with so much more than an education. They develop skills in sports and extracurricular activities. One senior who has excelled in every aspect of her education is Breanna Presley. Breanna has a strong academic background with successful completion of several Advanced Placement classes throughout her high school career. She is a member of the National Honor Society and earned Academic Honor Roll and a scholarship award for Youth in Philanthropy. Breanna has also been engaged in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program at Texas Southern University and Houston Community College. She was nominated to attend the National Academy of Future Physicians & Medical Scientists in Washington D.C. She also completed dual credit English composition, sociology and college algebra at Houston Community College in Stafford. When asked what value she lives by, Breanna said, “A few core values I live by are my faith, dedication and creativity. I believe that with God all things are possible. My goals and dreams cannot be accomplished without putting God first. Creativity is another value I lean on, because I feel that you should always leave a good, lasting impression. Education is a very competitive environment, and there is no possible way to be recognized if you attempt to ‘fit in.’ Everyone wants to be remembered,

Breanna and the best way to achieve that is to set yourself apart from others. Be unique.” Through her leadership skills, Breanna is committed to encouraging and supporting her peers. “Being inducted into the National Honor Society since junior high has taught me to be a leader,” Breanna said. “It is fulfilling to me as a leader to see that I have motivated others not to give up and to keep pressing on. I am happy when I see that I have made a difference in someone’s life for the good. “There are so many people who talk students into doing the wrong thing. So, I have an opportunity to stand for what is right and not be afraid to do so in front of my peers. By doing this, others will be encouraged to do the same. I have always been taught to be a leader and not a follower. Helping others in any kind of optimistic way is my purpose, and it fulfills my soul.” In addition to her academic accomplishments, Breanna was engaged in Saturday Morning Science at Baylor College of Medicine and the Delta GEMS (Growing & Empowering Myself Successfully) Program at Houston Community College. She has played

volleyball, is a member of the choir and track team, and in her free time, Breanna enjoys volunteering. Breanna treasures the friendships she has gained through her high school experience. “Students from all different walks of life coming together for an education is a wonderful sight to see. We learn from our teachers, as well as from each other. I love the diversity and the respect for one another. I will continue my friendships outside of high school. They have left a lasting impression on me, and I will never forget them.” At the top of Breanna’s list of potential universities are Baylor University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, The University of Texas and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Breanna will major in biology or kinesiology and aspires to become a physical therapist. Congratulations on your undeniable dedication to improve life both physically and spiritually, and good luck as you continue to benefit society in your future.

“Helping others in any kind of optimistic way is my purpose, and it fulfills my soul.” – Breanna Presley TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016



“Stylin’ In The Bend” to Kick off the 2016 Fort Bend County Fair Bling, boots, buckles and bunches of fun will be seen at the Fort Bend County Fair’s (FBCF) “Stylin’ In The Bend” Dinner and Style Show on Friday, August 12th at Safari Texas Ranch. “The committee has been hard at work to combine fashion and fun,” said FBCF Director Vickie Autrey. “Our event features local VIPs, hot fashions and of course introduces our 2016 FBCF queen candidates.” This year, event goers will be treated to fashions provided by several Fort Bend County boutiques and businesses, including Wardrobe: The Boutique, Corral Western Wear and Anything Bling Boutique. Styles ranging from western chic to vintage retro will sizzle on the runway. “This is our New York Fashion event. It’s a fun and exciting time of year,” boasted FBCF Director Elizabeth Duff-Drozd. “This event is the kick-off for the Fort Bend County Fair.” This year’s event will be produced by the FBCF’s very own longtime committeeman and proud supporter Lucas Chavez. Tickets are available at the Fair office and can be purchased as an individual for $55, as a couple for $100 or as a VIP table of 10 for $500. A limited number will be sold at the door. Festivities will begin with a trunk show at 5 pm, followed by the dinner and style show at 7 pm. “With this event, we have the opportunity to support the Fort Bend County Fair scholarship fund in a fun, fabulous and exciting fashion kind of way,” stated 2016 Fair President Neil O. Yelderman. For more information, visit www. fortbendcountyfair.com or call 281-3426171.

My 36 year career with the City of Rosenberg allowed me to help thousands as police officer, police chief and city manager. Now, it’s time for me to help you. Allow me the chance to be your Realtor and help you navigate through the real estate process.

Call 281.851.9796 robertgracia@kw.com robertgracia.kwrealty.com fort bend

magazine • August 2016



By Zeenat Kassam Mitha

Beautiful Bali and Its

Remarkable Mix of Cultures


hen one thinks of the island of Bali, images of the beautiful Indian Ocean, weddings and Balinese dancing come to mind. Several in Fort Bend who have visited Bali also know it for its developing arts, music, sculpture, painting, leather and metal works. The popular tourist destination is also the site of the annual Indonesian International Film Festival, bringing visitors from all over the world. What one may Aiysha Lalani and Zoltan Kovari not know is Bali’s close proximity released two white doves at their wedding on the Bali to other countries, such as Auscoastline as a sign of love, hope tralia, Hong Kong, Singapore and and a herald of good tidings. Vietnam. “Bali is my favorite destination on earth, as it’s green with so much vegetation and offers such amazing culture, delicious food, beautiful beaches, incredible crafts and lovely paintings,” said Ford Bend County resident Sapurah Lashari. For those who love adventure in water, there are over 950 species of fish in the waters around Bali and plenty of dive sites around the coast, where visitors can view the marvelous diversity of fish and marine life and an assortment of coral. Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. The Coral Triangle, named for its astounding number of corals, is located in the waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Solomon Islands. There are approximately 600 different species of reef-building corals alone, along with more than 2,000 species of reef fish and six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles. Tuna is commercially imported from the Coral Triangle, stimulating jobs and a multi-billion dollar A traditional Balinese temple. global tuna industry. This region has more than 2,000 languages communicated, and the various cultures share a tight connection to the sea. Bali offers a host of hotels and resorts, including the Conrad Bali, Elephant Safari Park Lodge, Four Seasons Resort TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

Bali at Sayan and The Grand Mirage Resort and Thalasso Bali, where I recently stayed. The Grand Mirage Resort and Thalasco Bali offered beachfront views, pools, yoga classes, kids’ activities and a luxurious spa. Guests had a choice of including food and beverage in their stay or purchasing just the hotel room nights. The food was delicious, and the chefs catered to numerous cultures. Places to visit in Bali include Seminyak, a tourist shopping area with several choices of wonderful restaurants. Other places to consider are the Tanah Lot Temple, the Elephant Safari Park, Bali Zoo, Bali Sunset Dinner Cruise and the town of Ubud featuring the Agung Rai Museum of Art, Ubud Palace and Ubud Monkey Forest. Balinese culture is a mix of Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian and predominantly Hindu, starting from the 1st century AD. Inscriptions from 896 and 911 reveal an independent Bali with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism, a branch of Hinduism, were practiced concurrently. The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293 – 1520 AD) on the Eastern Java established a Balinese colony in 1343, and that began a huge Javanese emigration in the next century. Today, the majority of the population in Bali practice Hinduism. The first known European connection with Bali Zeenat Mitha visited an ornate temple in Bali.Visitors borrow sarongs for a small is believed to have been in donation before entering the temple and 1512, when a Portuguese wear them as a sign of respect. expedition directed by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Abreu arrived at its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual convoys. Then in 1597, the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived in Bali. In 1602, the Dutch East India Company was established. During the second half of the 19th century, the Dutch government stretched its power across the Indonesian archipelago. Bali was recently the host of the 2011 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit, the 2013 APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Corporation) and the 2013 Miss World Pageant. A romantic hotspot, an artist’s haven and a marine lover’s retreat, Bali is a beautiful destination with widespread appeal. .com • August 2016



Brandani’s Restaurant & Wine Bar Gives Back in August

Connor Michael Olympia.

Every Tuesday this August, Brandani’s Restaurant & Wine Bar, located at 3340 FM 1092 Road in Missouri City, will donate 50 percent of its restaurant sales in support of the Connor Man Defeat DIPG Foundation, a Fort Bend County non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and research funds for the deadliest pediatric cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG). Brandani’s support of the organization stems from owners Ron and Claire Brandani’s desire to serve Fort Bend residents. The Connor Man DIPG Foundation was created in memory of the amazing Connor Michael Olympia, a Missouri City resident who lived life to the fullest. On December 15th, 2014, Connor was diagnosed with DIPG, a rare, inoperable tumor in his brainstem. Once DIPG is detected, a child’s average life expectancy is nine to 12 months. Upon diagnosis, Connor underwent radiation and chemotherapy for 30 days. After this intensive course of therapy, however, there was no other viable treatment option to pursue. Connor’s medical team explained that any benefit from his radiation and chemotherapy would slip away as the tumor continued to grow. After a courageous 10 month battle, Connor gained his angel wings on October 29th, 2015, just three weeks shy of his fifth birthday. The Connor Man Defeat DIPG Foundation exists to identify and fund research dedicated to finding effective treatment – and ultimately a cure – for DIPG. For more information about The Connor Man Defeat DIPG Foundation, visit connorman.org.

Giving Back in August Dine with us every Tuesday in August. 50% of RESTAURANT SALES will be donated in support of the Connor Man Defeat DIPG Foundation. The Connor Man Defeat DIPG Foundation is a Fort Bend County non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and research funds for the deadliest pediatric cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG.

3340 FM 1092 Rd., Ste. 160 | Missouri City, TX 77459 | 832-987-1313 www.brandanis.com

Photo by Alisa Murray.

fort bend

magazine • August 2016



Yanle “Lele” Liu.

Literacy Council of Fort Bend County English as a Second Language (ESL) and GED student Yanle “Lele” Liu was recently named Adult Learner of the Year by Literacy Texas, a statewide literacy coalition supporting communitybased service providers through training, networking and advocacy. Each

Literacy Council of Fort Bend County Student Named Adult Learner of the Year year, providers are able to nominate an adult learner deserving of special recognition at the state level. Liu was chosen for this prestigious award because of her hard work and commitment to learning. In 2012, Liu enrolled with the Literacy Council and began ESL classes. She worked diligently, meeting in group ESL classes with volunteer tutors each week. After improving her verbal and written English proficiency, Liu began studying for her GED exam. Her GED classes emphasized math, English language arts, social studies and science instruction. After completing GED classes, Liu was matched with a 1 x 1 volunteer tutor to refine her skills before completing her exam. In 2015, after three years of hard work, Liu passed all sections of her GED exam!

In May, Liu received the Jan Schiff Memorial Scholarship. She opted to donate her scholarship back to the Literacy Council, contributing to the success of future programs. Since obtaining her GED, Liu enrolled in Wharton County Junior College but continues to be a resource to new Literacy Council students through mentorship and translation. She now volunteers to help new Literacy Council students register for classes and feel comfortable in their new learning environment. Liu will be presented with an award at the Literacy Texas Annual Conference in San Marcos, Texas on August 2nd. The Literacy Council of Fort Bend County and Fort Bend Focus Magazine congratulate Liu for her outstanding work!

Art Exhibit by Fort Bend Christian Academy Students Debuts at Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center An impressive collection of art by the students of Fort Bend Christian Academy is now on display through August 28th at the all-new Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, where visitors can enjoy student interpretations of a Marvelous Light. The inspiration for the exhibit is to show that “art is not just a gift or passion, but that passion and gift is connected to a Creator and a Savior.” Lining the walls of the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center’s Kids’ Hall, dozens of works by children ages five to 18 years of age showcase a collection of oil, color pencil, charcoal, color reliefprintmaking, graphic design, watercolor and photography. Presented by Fort Bend Christian Academy, the inaugural exhibit is the first of many planned for the space. The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center – A Very Special Project of the Children’s Museum of Houston opened Memorial Day weekend at 198 Kempner Street and Highway 90 in Sugar Land. “We’re honored to host the first of many art exhibits in the Fort Bend Children’s

Kennedy Slate, Harrison Vaughn, Laycee McGrady and Lily Grace Baker.

Discovery Center that will certainly engage and inspire children for years to come,” said Kim Rice, director of public relations for Fort Bend Christian Academy. The year-round Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center is housed in a repurposed building within the former Imperial Sugar factory where families can explore the wonders of science, shop in a replica grocery store, report for a newspaper, solve crimes, run a bank, teach in a school classroom, serve customers in a nostalgic soda fountain café and more. Interactive exhibits and galleries man-

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


aged as platforms for learning are ideal for children up to 12 years. Hours for the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center are 10 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Saturday. General admission for adults and children ages one and older is $12. Annual family memberships starting at $120 are available, which entitle up to six family members in the same household to unlimited visits to the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center and the Children’s Museum of Houston. Visit www.childrensdiscoveryfb.org for more information.


The Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra in concert. Photo by Britany Lovett.

The Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra Announces Auditions for the First Symphonic Choir in Fort Bend County for symphony musicians of all ages will be held both days from 3 to 4 pm. There are currently orchestral openings


“Be A With Star” Us!

The Fort Bend Junior Service League Sustainers, Fedrick, Harris Estate Homes by Newmark and The Johnson Development Corporation Host the 2016 Membership Coffee

Submit newsworthy items Sarah@absolutelyfocusmedia.com

Fort Bend ladies 50 and older are invited to learn how meaningful it is to be a significant part of the League and how we continue to help the Fort Bend community.

Thursday, August 11th 10 – 11:30 am The Fedrick, Harris Estate Model Home

Photo by Mary Favre.

In honor of its upcoming 25th season, the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra (FBSO) announces the creation of the first symphonic choir in Fort Bend County. Open call auditions for singers of all ages will be held on Saturday, August 13th and Sunday, August 14th at Grace Presbyterian Church’s music department, located at 10221 Ella Lee Lane in Houston. Applicants may audition solo or as a small group, and an accompanist will be provided. For solo auditions, please come prepared to perform one classical solo or two musical theatre tunes. There will be a sight reading exercise, as well as tonal memory exercises. Small groups will be asked to perform vocalizations and to sight sing a Haydn choral selection. There will also be tonal memory exercises. Sight singing may be performed with solfege, numbers or a neutral syllable. Group auditions will be held both days from 1 to 2 pm and solo auditions from 2 to 2:30 pm each day. Auditions

for bassoon, percussion, double bass, cello, viola and violin. The FBSO Chorus will sing with the symphony during the regular season, September through May, joining the orchestra at the annual holiday concert, Deck the Halls, on Sunday, December 4th and at the season finale performance of Carmina Burana on May 21, 2017. Both performances will be at the Stafford Centre at 2 pm. The chorus will also perform stand-alone concerts beginning with the First Annual Choral Classics Concert on Saturday, September 24th at 2 pm at the Ismaili Jamatkhana Center in Sugar Land. Audition forms and links may be found on the FBSO page under the “Chorus” tab or the “Audition” tab at www.fbso. org. Email chorus@fbso.org for more information.

The 2016 Membership Coffee Committee: Woods-Wilson, June Joseph-Steele, Wanda Sdao, Linda and Rita Brown. Cindy Dempster, June Stanley, Patsy Jones

FBJSL is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, to developing the potential of women and to improving the Fort Bend County community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. fort bend

magazine • August 2016


The Enclave at Riverstone 58 Enclave Manor Drive Sugar Land, TX 77479 For more information, contact Cindy Dempster at sustainerpresident@fbjsl.com or visit www.fbjsl.com.

By Joan Frances

Hometown Heroes:

Bob and Marilyn Ewing


ort Bend County is privileged to have residents who take time out of their busy lives to invest in helping to make the world a better place to live. Great minds combine forces to assist the less fortunate and improve their quality of life. These difference makers spend countless hours generously giving their time, resulting in tangible outcomes and undeniable gratitude. Bob and Marilyn Ewing are two such heroes. Bob and Marilyn have been married for 53 years and have two sons, Brad and Rodney, and one grandson, Tim. After living in Stafford, IndiaMarilyn and Bob Ewing. napolis, Indiana and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, they made their home in Richmond in 1986 and initially became involved in The Arc of Fort Bend County, a community-based organization that advocates and serves people with disabilities and their families, to help Rodney. To further support the organization’s purpose and growth, Bob joined the board of directors for Oyster Creek Industries, an early sister organization of The Arc of Fort Bend, and Marilyn helped at the Arc gift shop at First Colony Mall. As time progressed, Bob became involved in The Arc of Fort Bend County Foundation, where programs such as Special Olympics, job training and rehabilitation are an active part of the daily curriculum. Together, Bob and Marilyn have been involved in The Arc for over 15 years. Both volunteer

at the Arc of Fort Bend’s annual Best in the West dance, a widely popular and successful fundraiser that was the first charity event in Fort Bend County. This year, the western dance anticipates 1,500 patrons will come out to support The Arc. Marilyn also volunteers at Texana Learning Center in Rosenberg and Special Olympics with Rodney. In addition to their devotion to The ARC of Fort Bend County, Bob and Marilyn are also actively involved in Faith in Practice, a non-profit, nondenominational organization that seeks to improve the physical, spiritual and medical conditions of the poor in Guatemala through short-term mission trips and health-related educational programs. These missions began in 1994 to help provide relief for Guatemalans in need of medical attention. Since 1999, Bob and Marilyn have joined other volunteers to spend weeks assisting doctors and serving the people. Bob has also served on the board of directors of Faith in Practice for a number of years, and Marilyn volunteers in the office. Bob and Marilyn recently returned in April from their 86th mission trip to Guatemala with Faith in Practice. Bob recalled bringing an older gentleman a new walking cane. “The old man was using a cane cut from a tree limb, crooked, primitive and weak. When it was given to him, he gave me his stick in return. It is kept in the corner of the kitchen as a reminder of how fortunate we are, living in this country, and how much we take for granted every day. For these Guatemalan people, little gestures go a long way.” Together, these two incredibly humble people continue to focus on what matters most: helping their fellow man. Thank you Bob and Marilyn for making this world a better place to live, one person at a time.

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

Marilyn and Bob Ewing with some of the people they served in the small village of Chevarrito located in north central Guatemala. TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016



Sugar Plum Market Recognizes Top Sponsors to Date The Sugar Plum Market is a great way to kick off the holiday season in Fort Bend County, but more importantly, it is a wonderful opportunity to give back to a number of worthy charities. “Making Spirits Bright” is the theme of the 16th Annual Market, which will pay tribute to the many organizations that have benefited from Market proceeds through the years. The Fort Bend Junior Service League (FBJSL) and Memorial Hermann invite the community to join them for what is sure to be another stellar event. The Market will take place at the Stafford Centre Performing Arts Theatre and Convention Center Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th. Preview Night is set for the evening of Thursday, November 3rd. The 2015 Sugar Plum Market raised a record-breaking $285,000, which benefited more than 17 charitable organizations in Fort Bend County. The continued success of the Market would not be possible without the support of sponsors and donors. In addition to the 2016 Sugar Plum Market’s title sponsor, Memorial Hermann, top sponsors to date include the City of Stafford, Pamela Printing, Fort Bend Lifestyles & Homes, absolutely! focus media, Audi Sugar Land, Randalls and H-E-B. “We’d like to say thank you to our amazing sponsors,” said Sugar Plum Market Co-Chair Danielle Hames. “FBJSL and the Sugar Plum Market are proud to partner with an outstanding group of area businesses willing to give so generously to benefit our community. They are truly ‘Making Spirits Bright!’ We’d like to invite others to become part of this amazing event that helps support so many worthwhile causes and organizations.” Several sponsorship and underwriting opportunities remain available, ranging from $250 to $10,000 with a variety of benefits suited to both individuals and businesses such as event

Dana Clement, Monica Henderson, Alison Haralson, Rebecca Hathorn, Sherri Ebarb, Kim Zeiner, Laura Taylor, Ann Smith, Danielle Hames, Jim Brown, Jamie Hill, Patti Parish-Kaminski and Katie Harris.

signage, website and program recognition, plus Preview Night tickets with early sponsor entry. For information on sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, visit www.sugarplummarket. com or email information@sugarplummarket.com. Sugar Plum Market tickets may be purchased beginning September 1st at www.sugarplummarket.com. General Admission tickets are $12, and a limited number of Preview Night tickets are available for $75. General Admission tickets may also be purchased at local Randalls stores beginning October 1st and at the door on Market days.



fort bend

magazine • August 2016


SUGAR LAND 16100 Kensington Dr. (281) 491-0275

HOUSTON Woodlake Square 9650 Westheimer Rd.

(713) 780-0800

By Christopher Hill


Photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

he year 1984 was a magical time. The Los Angeles Olympics were a spectacular hit. ColecoVision was the hot new video game system, and Ray Parker created a pop song that became a cultural phenomenon. The jingle also had the advantage of being the theme song for one of the hottest movies of that summer – and a seminal motion picture for the Gen Xers among us – Ghostbusters. The movie spawned a lot of toy sales, cartoons and a sequel that did well, but not well enough to warrant a return. It took 27 years for another full-featured reoccurrence of the franchise. This time around, testosterone was replaced with far more estrogen than anyone anticipated. In August 2014, it was announced that Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) was set to direct an all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. The collective zeitgeist of the male-dominated Internet commentators union lost its collective mind. “Sacrilege,” they swore, and they attacked the premise unmercifully. These attacks seemed counter to the trend lines permeating our society. Women, with increasing regularity, are shattering traditional gender roles. One of the sole holdouts has been at the box office. The Annenberg Center at the University of Southern California (USC) released a report showcasing that of the 700 top-grossing movies released between 2007 and 2014, only 30 percent had speaking parts for women – a surprising discovery. However, even that traditional bias is changing. Based on the trend lines, the time for an all-female reboot seems about right. But is it? The cast contains some of the top comedians available. Feig has raided his own past, recruiting Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Spy), as well as Saturday Night Live residents and alumnae Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. It is an ensemble of some of the funniest women on the planet – let down by uneven writing and form over substance.

Patty (Leslie Jones), Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Jillian (Kate McKinnon) are your new Ghostbusters. TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

It’s not that there are no funny parts in the movie. It has several good one-liners, and nearly everyone has comedic moments. However, those moments come at the expense of consistency and uniqueness. The comparisons to the original Ghostbusters will be nauseating in their volume alone, but I will focus on only one. Each original Ghostbuster was unique with a distinctive personality. The new Ghostbusters are far more similar than not, so much so that by making them so interchangeable, viewers miss out on some of what made the original special. Leslie Jones epitomizes what could have been. She steals scenes throughout Ghostbusters, but in between these moments, her character is a one-dimensional, tall, angry woman. She is in danger of being typecast, which is unfortunate, because her skills are far greater than just being the loudest woman in the room. She has the best chance to become the most irreplaceable character. Instead, she becomes the most clichéd. One of the interesting parts of the film is the role-reversal on the stereotypical role of secretary. Hollywood has a dark history of objectifying women, and now Chris Hemsworth (Thor) gets the treatment. Like the rest of the film, this handling is somewhat uneven, but it hits close enough to be uncomfortable. The original film’s premise was uncharted and so far beyond the norm that it stood out, but the latest remake doesn’t have the same opportunity to be mysterious. The premise is known. In fact, in many respects, this is less of a reboot and more of a beat-by-beat recreation of the original, just with better special effects. For fans of the original installments, nearly the entire original main cast makes an appearance in this new film. Each cameo is enjoyable to watch and had me wishing for a continuation with the new Ghostbusters instead of a do-over. Ghostbusters is not a bad movie. Despite a dull final act, the jokes are constant and varied. So, fans of various comedic styles will find their moments, but these are just appetizers. The full meal never comes, and throughout the film, I hungered for sharper dialogue and more unique characters. The performances by the new Ghostbusters are all solid, but the writing failed to provide them with enough support to develop a classic. Unfortunately, moviegoers will be more likely to call another film before they call Ghostbusters.

Ghostbusters Now Showing: In Local Theaters MPAA Rating: PG-13 Violence: Action based; be warned some of the ghosts could scare younger viewers. Language: Minor Sexuality: Some sophomoric suggestive humor .com • August 2016


Medical Focus H e a l t h Care News You Can Use

F E AT U R I N G Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists Houston Plastic Craniofacial & Sinus Surgery Greg A. Linney, D.D.S., Inc. OakBend Medical Center C&C Dental David H. Korfin, DPM, FACFAS UT Physician’s Women’s Center Sugar Land Elissa R. Wedemeyer OD, FCOVD, FAAO, PLLC Body by Ravi Discover Wellness Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Dr. Shel Wellness & Medical Spa Little People’s Dentistry Lemke Orthodontics Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital Sugar Land Plastic Surgery Sugar Land Women’s Care Sugar Land Face and Body Plastic Surgery The Center for Craniofacial and Dental Sleep Medicine

fort bend

magazine • August 2016


Medical Focus


281-242-FEET (3338) Call Today to schedule your visit

Certified Provider

We Treat Many Common Foot Problems Including:

Dr. Y Bryan Lee Informed patients choose Board Certified Podiatrist Dr. Y Bryan Lee for all their foot health needs. LOCATED AT

56 Sugar Creek Center Blvd. #250 (Sugar Creek Offices) Sugar Land, TX 11100 Southwest Fwy Houston, TX



Say Goodbye to Toenail Fungus NEW! FDA Approved Patented Laser Technology

PinPointe is a quick, safe, and painless procedure that involves no anesthesia. It’s usually effective after only one treatment.


Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists Adults, children and seniors choose Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists for personal, quality care. With multiple board certifications in foot surgery, Dr. Y. Bryan Lee uses the most current techniques to reduce downtime and heal with minimal scarring. Heel pain is the most common complaint from Dr. Lee’s patients. It impacts their ability to exercise and sometimes can cause so much discomfort that they are unable to get out of bed. Treatment for heel pain ranges from simple stretching techniques to surgery. Custom Orthotics, physical therapy, injections and medication can also help. For those who have tried everything short of surgery, a new treatment called shockwave therapy (EPAT) may be the answer. It is applied in the office using special equipment, is painless and does not involve downtime or anesthesia. Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists has the only shockwave therapy unit in Sugar Land. It has a high success rate, and patients have been thrilled to avoid surgery. With two convenient locations, Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists gets patients back on their feet! Visit www.advancedfootdocs.com or call 281-242-FEET (3338) for more information.

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


New Moms Loving Life and Benefiting From Mommy Makeovers Few things exceed the joy and wonder of giving birth. New mothers are thrilled to welcome their little bundle of joy. They are often less than thrilled with the effects pregnancy has on their body. When dieting and exercise do not work, a “Mommy Makeover” can help new moms tighten up their bodies and love the skin they are in again! Dr. Rukmini “Vinaya” Rednam of Houston Plastic Craniofacial & Sinus Surgery has made it easier than ever to get the look moms want after giving birth. Her services range from breast reduction, hair restoration without stitches, face lifts and even tummy tucks. For women who are struggling with a certain area, there is a way to conquer it. It is understandable for a new mother to want her body back to the way it was before she gave birth, and it is a very achievable goal when there is a plan specifically designed and customized for her. “Every effort will be made to listen to a patient’s concerns and goals and together come up with a detailed plan to achieve them,” Dr. Rednam said. Some strong candidates for a “Mommy Makeover” are women who had a Csection or gave birth naturally. Even if it has been a couple of years since giving birth, there are still plenty of options to get the desired look. If you are considering plastic or reconstructive surgery, call Dr. Rednam’s office at 713-791-0700 to schedule an appointment today!

Medical Focus


Joyce Long’s

Colonic - Detox - Lymphatic

Wellness Institute Established 1989

“Our clients become family and we are here to celebrate their WELLNESS”

Joyce Long

Internationally Certified Colon Hydrotherapist & Instructor Nationally Certified Massage Therapist # ME0170 Services by appt only.

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


281-344-0095 www.joycelong.biz

1308 James Street • Rosenberg, TX 77471

• Hygiene Assistance • Meal Preparation • Light Housekeeping • Medication Reminders • Joyful Companionship • Low Hourly Rates

Senior Homecare By Angels Licensed • Bonded Insured

• Errands • Up to 24-Hour Care • Temporary or Long Term • Weekends, Holidays • Respite for Family Caregivers

...Because ...There’s No Place Like Home! 19901 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77479

281-207-1259 www.visitingangels.com

Greg A. Linney, D.D.S., Inc. Cosmetic and Family Dentistry Dr. Greg A. Linney and his staff set themselves apart by focusing on customer service and long-term dental health. Dr. Linney and his friendly staff take the time to listen to all of a patient’s oral health concerns. Equipped with a spacious, high-tech facility, they utilize the latest tools and technology available to provide patients with the best in oral health care and cosmetic dentistry. By merging patient care with technology, they are able to provide the best care available while focusing on each patient’s individual needs. Dr. Linney has been making people smile for over 30 years, and through Vivaneers, he can restore a person’s smile without reducing tooth structure – and in only two visits with no shots! Call Dr. Linney today to find out how he can help you create the smile you have always wanted. Greg A. Linney, D.D.S., Inc. is located at 4660 Sweetwater Boulevard in Sugar Land. For more information, call 281-980-1733 or visit www.drlinney.com.

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


When Should I Go to an Emergency Room? Each year, there are approximately 136 million visits to emergency rooms (ER) around the country with 40 million being directly related to injuries. But how does a person decide when he should go to an ER? First, decide the seriousness of the injury or illness. Going to an ER can cost as much as two to three times what it would cost to go to a doctor’s office. Second, how quickly do you need to receive care? If a person could die or be permanently disabled, it is an emergency. Call 911 in the following cases: choking; stopped breathing; head injury with passing out, fainting or confusion; injury to the neck or spine, especially if there is loss of feeling or inability to move; electric shock or lightning strike; severe burn; severe chest pain or pressure or a seizure lasting three to five minutes. Go to an ER or call 911 for help for problems such as trouble breathing or a severe allergic reaction; pain in the arm or jaw; sudden inability to speak, see, walk or move; suddenly weak or drooping on one side of the body; sudden confusion; possible broken bone or loss of movement; coughing or throwing up blood; severe pain anywhere on the body or a high fever that does not get better with medicine. OakBend Medical Center has four emergency centers throughout the area, all with a no-wait policy. For more information, visit www.oakbendmedcenter. org.

Medical Focus Featured in Angie’s List Magazine as a Top Dentist 2013 – 2016


A Healthy Smile is a Beautiful Smile

Ask About Our NEW Oral Cancer Technology

Free Teeth Whitening (Valued at $350 Mention of Ad) When you schedule a New Patient Appointment which includes: Cleaning • X-Rays • Exam







GREG A. LINNEY, D.D.S., Inc. 4660 Sweetwater Blvd., Ste 230, Sugar Land, Tx 77479 office@drlinney.com • www.drlinney.com

281-980-1733 All Major Credit Cards Accepted





fort bend

magazine • August 2016



Medical Focus

Straighten Your Teeth Without Braces Suffer No More In the dental office, the C&C Dental team hears it just about every day: “Hey, doc. I would love straight teeth, but I don’t want to wear braces!” Let’s face it. Who does? Teenagers don’t mind, since all of their friends wear them. Adults, on the other hand, are a different story. Fortunately, there is a solution. Invisalign is a patented technique of wearing a series of clear retainers to gradually straighten the teeth. The benefits of Invisalign are extensive. There are no brackets or wires to poke the lip and cheeks and no embarrassment with meals, since patients simply remove their retainers while eating. Invisalign is virtually invisible for photos and social events. The average case takes about 12 months, and the process involves very little to no soreness. Patients can even check their progress with state-of-the-art CAD/CAM virtual models. Invisalign is a great idea for health savings accounts, and interest-free financing is available. A smile says so much. Think how it will feel to finally go out in public with the confidence of a beautiful smile. You deserve it. This is your year! For more information or to schedule an appointment at C&C Dental, call 281-2420241. See ad on page 3.

Dr. David H. Korfin Provides Personalized Treatment Plans for Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Surgery David H. Korfin, DPM, FACFAS is board certified in foot and ankle surgery by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He received his doctorate of Podiatric Medicine in 1982, graduating from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Korfin has been in private practice in the Fort Bend/Houston community since 1984. He specializes in reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, including endoscopic heel surgery, bunions and hammertoes along with treatment and management of sports injuries, trauma, wound and diabetic foot care. Dr. Korfin’s practice provides care to patients of all ages with a special interest in helping athletes maintain foot and ankle health to effectively pursue their athletic goals. Striving to provide a personalized treatment plan, Dr. Korfin utilizes state-of-the-art medical and surgical techniques all within a warm, compassionate and caring environment. He offers his patients cutting-edge surgical techniques, such as endoscopic heel surgery, laser surgery and the use of dissolvable pins and fixation techniques. Dr. Korfin’s office is located in the Sugar Land Medical Plaza attached to St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital at 1327 Lake Pointe Parkway, Suite 510 in Sugar Land. For more information, visit www.drdavidkorfin.com or call 281.313.FEET (3338).

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


Millions of women suffer from extremely heavy periods. Every month, they fear that they will have an embarrassing incident, be unable to leave the house due to the need for frequent trips to the bathroom and possibly even miss work. These women may never seek treatment, because they think it is “natural” and part of normal life. This condition, also known as menorrhagia, is actually a medical condition and has several treatment options. One basic treatment option is the use of birth control pills. Although most people associate birth control pills only with preventing pregnancy, they are used for a variety of medical conditions, including heavy periods. Another option is an intrauterine device (IUD), which can make menstrual periods extremely light. This small device can be placed during a simple office visit. For women who are completely done with childbearing, a popular solution is endometrial ablation. This is a minimally invasive procedure that neutralizes the inner lining of the uterus. This simple procedure can be performed in the office, surgery center or operating room. Recovery is quick, and most people are able to return to work within a few days. A final treatment option for those women who are done having children is a hysterectomy, a procedure to remove the uterus. This is the only guaranteed way to completely stop menstrual periods. This procedure can be performed using advanced, minimally invasive techniques and will completely cure heavy menstrual periods. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call UT Physicians Women’s Center Sugar Land at 713486-1250 or visit UTPhysicians.com.

Medical Focus


Women’s Center

at Sugar Land

Compassionate, Comprehensive Care for Women

Brian R. Heaps, MD Board Certified Ob/Gyn

Azeema Moosa, MD

Michelle Wong, MD

Board Certified Ob/Gyn

• Adult & Adolescent Gynecology • Minimally Invasive Surgery/Robotic Surgery • Reproductive and Pelvic Health Issues

Board Certified Ob/Gyn

• Well Woman Care and Preventative Health Screening • General & Complex Obstetrics & Gynecology

17510 West Grand Parkway South, Suite #550 • Sugar Land, TX 77479

Call 713.486.1250 for appointments


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

David H. Korfin DPM, FACFA S

Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon Podiatrist - Foot Specialist

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

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

281-313-FEET (3338) 1327 Lake Pointe Pkwy, Ste 510 • Sugar Land, Texas 77478 Located in the Professional Building attached to St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital

www. d r d avid k orfin.com fort bend

magazine • August 2016


Call today and take the first step to walking in comfort!

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

Medical Focus


Dr. Wedemeyer and staff are happy to welcome Missouri City native Dr. Taylor Ballard Marsh to their practice.

Feel Confident Once Again

Dr. Elissa R. Wedemeyer, Donaca Farr, Katie Norris, Sarah Baker, Stephanie Rawls and Dr. Taylor Ballard Marsh.

Elissa R. Wedemeyer

Taylor Ballard Marsh

Therapeutic/Optometric Glaucoma Specialist

Therapeutic/Optometric Glaucoma Specialist


• • • • •


Medical Management of Eye Diseases: Dry Eyes, Glaucoma, Kerataconus, Eye Infections Contact Lenses: Single Vision, Multifocal, Toric, Gas Permeable, Refractive Therapy Nutritional Supplements for Age Related Macular Degeneration and Dry Eyes Complete Line of Fashion and Designer Frames Medicare and Most Medical Sunglasses for Sports and Fashion Insurance Plans Accepted

281.499.2600 • www.drwedemeyer.com 6026 Hwy 6 • Missouri City (corner of Hwy 6 & University)

Dr. Elissa R. Wedemeyer Welcomes New Associate Dr. Elissa R. Wedemeyer started her independent optometric practice in Missouri City in 1991. As modern optometry has become more medically oriented, so has Dr. Wedemeyer’s practice. Under her license of glaucoma specialist, Dr. Wedemeyer diagnoses and treats glaucoma. Her office has sophisticated equipment to diagnose and track macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, hypertensive, hypercholesterol and many other systemic health conditions that have adverse effects on the eyes. In addition to prescribing medications, contact lenses and glasses, much of her time is spent counseling patients on ways to keep their eyes healthy through vitamin supplements, nutrition and exercise. As Dr. Wedemeyer’s practice has grown, so has the wait time to see her. In an effort to get patients seen more timely, she is happy to announce the addition of a new associate, Dr. Taylor Ballard Marsh. Dr. Marsh, an honors graduate of Clements High School, Texas A&M University and the University of Houston College of Optometry, joined Dr. Wedemeyer’s practice in June. Dr. Marsh previously practiced in Bryan/College Station and has experience in medical optometry, as well as traditional optometry. Dr. Marsh and her husband Stephen, who recently graduated from Texas A&M Veterinary College, are the proud parents of recently born Camille. The Marsh family resides in Sienna Plantation and enjoys being near their family and longtime friends. Dr. Marsh is excited to be working with Dr. Wedemeyer and her staff as they continue to provide quality and personal care to their Fort Bend community patients. Visit www.drwedemeyer.com or call 281-499-2600 for more information. TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


Having children is a wonderful and fulfilling experience. Unfortunately, women are left with physical changes from pregnancy and breastfeeding that take a toll on their appearance and self-confidence. Pregnancy can leave a loose, stretched out tummy, sagging breasts and excess fat and skin. These changes are difficult to reverse with only diet and exercise for even the most fit and athletic woman. Dr. Ravi Somayazula is a board certified plastic surgeon in Sugar Land who has expertise in performing customized Mommy Makeover procedures. A Mommy Makeover is a popular surgery designed to restore a natural appearing pre-pregnancy figure. Most females choose a combination breast and abdominal procedure to be performed at the same time. Many surgeons choose to do a Mommy Makeover as staged procedures, requiring at least two separate trips to the operating room with multiple weeks of recovery. However, Dr. Ravi is able to do these procedures in one step, meaning only one trip to the operating room and a much shorter recovery time. If you have been dreaming of getting back your toned, firm tummy along with youthful, attractive breasts, then a Mommy Makeover procedure may be right for you. Get back into using that closet full of pre-pregnancy clothes, and feel sexy and confident once again. As long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle by dieting and exercising, your results can be long lasting. For more information, visit www. BodyByRavi.com or call 281-242-1061 to set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Ravi. See ad on page 4.

Medical Focus



Discover Wellness: Weight Loss That Works Discover Wellness brings one of the newest advancements in natural health and healing to Houston area residents. Their team helps patients reverse health challenges such as excess weight, diabetes, sleep apnea, thyroid disorders, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia and autoimmune issues using an advanced technology system. Weight gain can be caused by a variety of factors, including digestive issues, blood sugar handling, inflammation, toxins and hormones. Discover Wellness helps clients lose 20 to 40 pounds or more in only 40 days – guaranteed! Using a doctor supervised program, Discover Wellness awakens and resets patients’ metabolism and hypothalamus and balances their hormones without pre-packaged meals, exercise, chemicals, hunger, chemicals, drugs or surgery. Discover Wellness has locations in Cypress and Missouri City. The Missouri City center is located at 5425 Highway 6, Suite A-300. Contact them to schedule a free review of their customized and exclusive fat burning technology system. Visit www.discoverwellnesshouston. com or call 281-969-8059 for more information.

50 Restorative OFF Treatments $

Only $ New Patient Special! 69 Exam, X-Rays & Cleaning Expires 8/31/16

Top Five Reasons to Visit Our Office: Implants Orthodontics (Traditional Braces) and Clear Correct (Invisible Braces) Wisdom Teeth Extractions Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)/Sedation Dentistry (Painless Dentistry) Cosmetic & General Dentistry Evening and Saturday Appointments and Same Day Treatment 281-494-7645 4965 Sweetwater Blvd., Sugar Land, TX 77479 Cosmetic Dentistry, Crowns & Bridges, Dentures, Veneers, www.mydental4all.com Children’s Dentistry, Root Canal, Teeth Whitening We accept all PPO Insurances, Medicaid & Chip for Children • In-Office Financing

Mujib Ashrafi, DDS

fort bend

magazine • August 2016


Medical Focus


Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital: Leading Medicine

Are You Toxic?

Since opening its doors in 1998, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has been a key health care provider for residents of Fort Bend and surrounding counties. A pioneer in the advancements of medicine, Houston Methodist Sugar Land has grown into a world-class hospital. A new bed tower opened earlier this year, bringing the hospital to 347 beds and 27 operating rooms. With centers of excellence in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, orthopedics, urology and women’s services, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital brings the physician expertise, skill and up-to-the-minute technology of the world-renowned Houston Methodist to Fort Bend and surrounding counties. Patients and their families have come to know Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital for delivering quality services through compassionate, personal care with firstrate technology. Houston Methodist Sugar Land employees display integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence in their daily interactions with patients. Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is located at 16655 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land. For a referral to a physician at Houston Methodist Sugar Land, please call 281274-7500. Learn more at houstonmethodist.org/sugarland or visit Facebook.com/ methodistsugarland for the latest news, events and information. See ads on page 5 and Back Cover.

Comprehensive, compassionate and cutting edge care for women of all phases. Minimally Invasive & Robotic Surgery Adolescent Gynecology Routine and High Risk Obstetrics Wellness Exams & Contraception Evaluation & Treatment of Pelvic Pain Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms Preconception & Infertility Counseling Ann Bertles, MD Board Certified Ob/Gyn

4D Ultrasound in Office

Second Opinions Welcome

832.437.9690 (p) | 832.437.9694 (f) 23232 Kingsland Blvd., Ste. E, Katy, TX 77494 www.myobgynofkaty.com TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


People are exposed to 6 million pounds of mercury and 2.5 billion pounds of other toxins each year that can affect long-term health. Toxic metals – such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and aluminum – are some of the most damaging toxic compounds. Heavy metals can cause DNA damage, disrupt hormones, impair the immune system, damage neurological function and increases the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. The bottom line is that people were never meant to be exposed to these levels of toxins, and as long as they have a toxic overload, bodies cannot function optimally. Symptoms of heavy metal toxicity include: weight gain, fatigue, dizziness or lightheadedness, migraines, digestive distress, aching joints and muscles, depression and anxiety, menstrual irregularities, infertility, impaired blood sugar regulation, numbness, tingling of extremities and insomnia. For those who suspect they may have heavy metal toxicity, a simple lab test can be done to confirm the presence of excess heavy metals in the body. Heavy metals do not easily leave the body unless steps are taken to remove them. Chelation therapy is an IV treatment used to remove heavy metals from the blood. It involves intravenous injections of a chelating agent, EDTA, an amino acid. EDTA binds to heavy metals in the blood so that they can be excreted in the urine. Vitamin IV therapies can also be used to build the body up and restore vitality. Popular IV therapies include Vitamin C, Myer’s Cocktails and Glutathione to boost immunity, improve energy and decrease inflammation. For more information, call Dr. Shel Wellness & Medical Spa at 281-3137435 or visit www.drshel.com. See ad on page 1.

Medical Focus

Little People’s Dentistry: Because Kidz Are People Too! Little People’s Dentistry is a fun place for kids and their families. Offering a child-friendly, family-friendly, energetic atmosphere, the Little People’s Dentistry team focuses on creating a positive dental experience from start to finish. They want children to feel comfortable and special, so they have designed their office to put children at ease. From the moment a child enters the door, different wonders await them. Will they find Nemo and Dory in the fish tank? What items can they find in the discovery boxes? Or should they skip along the hopscotch into the toy shop, where they will find toys hanging from skateboardshaped hooks? Maybe the silly carnival funhouse mirror or the clown that blows real balloons will make your child laugh. From the flat screen televisions in every room to PlayStation towers, Little People’s Dentistry has something to amuse kids of every age. Dr. Bianca Sanchez, known as “The Little People’s Dentist,” and her staff happily work with patients and their parents, helping children develop good oral habits at an early age, so that one day they will have big, healthy smiles. Dr. Bianca wants to make every child’s visit to the dentist as easy and fun as possible. Every child gets balloons, prizes and stickers! Little People’s Dentistry is conveniently located at 4706 Riverstone Boulevard, Suite 200 in Missouri City behind Kohl’s in the Offices at Riverstone. For more information, call 281-261-0020 or visit www.littlepeoplesdentistry.com.


Salman Aly, MD

Sarfraz Aly, MD

PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN • Board Certified in Internal Medicine • Experienced in Geriatric and Hospital Medicine • Botox, Dermal Fillers, Low T Syndrome • Hyperbaric & Advanced Wound Care

INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST • Board Certified in Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine • Hyperbaric & Advanced Wound Care • Travel Medicine

For appointments call:

For appointments call:



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

Specialist in dentistry for children from 6 months to 17 years of age Friendly, gentle and caring staff Offering Oral and I.V. Sedation Now offering reversal to dental numbness Most major insurances accepted Ask About NO INTEREST PAYMENT PLANS Se Habla Español

fort bend

magazine • August 2016


Cool Braces!

Medical Focus


Lemke Orthodontics: Creating Healthy, Beautiful Smiles A great, beautiful smile is the best way to make a good first impression, and it’s never too late to get the smile of your dreams! Dr. Katia Lemke said, “My passion for aesthetic dental solutions led me to earn my specialty degree in orthodontics with research in ceramic braces. I am therefore one of the few providers of Incognito braces in Houston and its vicinity. “Nothing improves your appearance, attitude and confidence like a great smile, and I want to make it easier for you to get a beautiful transformation. We treat patients with patience, kindness and understanding. Children love the welcoming atmosphere and the friendly and gentle touch of this orthodontist and her staff. We offer flexible hours for school kids and working adults. I also offer a range of aesthetic solutions like clear braces, Invisalign and Incognito. “Age seven is the best time to evaluate a child. A thorough examination will show existing or potential problems, such as cross bites, crowding and other problems. It’s always good to know in advance. I love getting to know my patients and designing the best path to straightening teeth, closing spaces and achieving their great smile. As a specialist, we’ve got a range of solutions for straighter, healthier smiles – and happier kids.” Greet your future with a beautiful smile. Dr. Lemke stated, “I know adults who prefer nearly invisible ceramic braces and kids who like brackets shaped like stars or footballs. Your smile should express your personality!” For more information on Lemke Orthodontics, visit www. lemkeortho.com.

Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Expansion Nears Completion Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital recently completed Phase I of a $93 million campus expansion and renovation project. The first floor of the new six-story patient tower opened to the public May 23rd. The remaining five floors of the 155,000 square-foot patient tower are scheduled to open in early September. The first floor offers expanded conference room space, a café and a new pre-admission testing department. Once finished, the patient tower will add 90 beds to the existing 87-bed hospital, as well as an expanded nursery, neonatal intensivecare unit and an adult intermediate care unit. Intermediate care beds are for patients who do not need the level of care provided by the intensive care unit but require close supervision. In April, the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute opened on the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land campus. The Institute provides Sugar Land and the surrounding communities access to a dynamic array of sports medicine specialists and comprehensive testing and training for competitive and recreational athletes of all ages. Growth isn’t just confined to the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land campus. This past year, the Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Sienna Plantation and Memorial Hermann Urgent Care Telfair opened to provide the community with greater access to convenient, affordable, high-quality health care. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, a finalist for the 2015 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, is located at 17500 West Grand Parkway South in Sugar Land. For more information, visit www.memorialhermann.org/locations/sugar-land or call 281-725-5000. See ad on page 2.

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


Dr. Katia Lemke, DMD Orthodontic Specialist

4907 Sandhill Dr., Suite B Sugar Land, TX 77479 Located at Highway 90 & Grand Parkway

281.277.3555 TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


Medical Focus


Dr. Chau Nguyen-Tran • Dr. Lauren Phillips • Dr. Hillary Patuwo

Obstetrics • Gynecology • Minimally Invasive Surgery When Diet and Exercise Is Not Enough Staying healthy and looking good is a common goal for most women. Sometimes, a hectic lifestyle and stressful jobs make it nearly impossible to maintain an ideal body. Also, many women often gain or maintain resistant fat in undesirable areas regardless of what they do. Over time, this unwanted fat can be very discouraging and severely impact a woman’s body image. There are many options available to help address unwanted fat. By far, the most effective and reliable is liposuction. The procedure is safe, affordable and can target the difficult, stubborn areas that no amount of diet and exercise can. The Sugar Land Plastic Surgery team has seen first-hand time and time again how liposuction can make such a remarkable and immediate difference in the appearance of the body, especially in the stubborn areas. This extra help motivates patients and gives them confidence to achieve further fitness and live healthier lifestyles. Consultations with Dr. John T. Nguyen at Sugar Land Plastic Surgery are always complimentary. With your commitment and their help and support, you can achieve the results you have been working so hard for. Visit www.MyBodySurgeon.com for more information. See ad on page 7.

sugarlandwomenscare.com •


Visit our brand new, luxurious office at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Medical Plaza 2 17520 W. Grand Parkway South, Suite 230 Sugar Land, TX 77479

Make your appointment today with

Hillary Patuwo, M.D., M.B.A.


When Should You Start Taking Your Daughter to the OB-GYN? According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, girls should have their first visit with an OB-GYN, a doctor who specializes in women’s health, between ages 13 and 15. The timing may be different for each teenager, but certain issues may prompt an earlier visit, including issues with heavy or painful menstruation, a urinary tract infection or yeast infection or questions regarding sexual health and birth control. Transitioning from a pediatrician to an OB-GYN can be difficult and uncomfortable for both the teenager and parents. Dr. Hillary Patuwo and her staff at Sugar Land Women’s Care enjoy meeting with teenagers and their parents and strive to make each visit a positive, comforting experience. Dr. Patuwo believes that it is a crucial step in enabling your teenager to continue to have an established relationship with a primary care provider to meet their changing health care needs. Depending on the problem, the first visit with Dr. Patuwo may include counseling, a general physical exam and an external genital exam. A pelvic or speculum exam is only performed if there is a particular concern, such as sexually transmitted infections or abnormal bleeding or pain. A pap smear is not recommended until age 21. Dr. Patuwo recommends the summer prior to college as a great time to schedule an appointment so that your daughter will not only have a contact person to reach for questions and prescriptions but also the information and tools to maintain a healthy lifestyle. To make an appointment, call 713-578-3823. fort bend

magazine • August 2016


Medical Focus


Sugar Land Face and Body Plastic Surgery Offers Medical Spa with Breakthrough Procedures When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? Dr. Eric Humble believes “rejuvenation is about making your internal vision a reality so you can enjoy your life with joy and confidence!” Offering an in-house certified surgical center, as well as a cutting edge medical spa, Sugar Land Face and Body Plastic Surgery is a single destination with a full range of solutions, including Botox and filler injections, facial rejuvenation, body contouring and surgical procedures. Dr. Humble is a double board certified plastic surgeon and envisions Sugar Land Face and Body becoming the pre-eminent facility in the Sugar Land and the Greater Houston area for personal transformation through the medical arts of plastic surgery and skin correction techniques. Dr. Humble’s med spa offers an exclusive and breakthrough procedure called Cellfina, the only FDA approved, minimally invasive procedure clinically proven to improve the appearance of cellulite for at least two years. Performed by Dr. Humble in the office, Cellfina combines a proven approach with innovative, proprietary technology to treat the primary structural cause of cellulite – the connective bands woven throughout fat in the thighs and buttocks. These tight bands pull down the surface of the skin, creating the puckering seen on the surface of the skin. Similar to a rubber band under tension, once released, the treated skin bounces back to smooth itself out in as little as three days. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, call 281-3130555 or visit www.BeautyBecomesYou.com. See ad on page 9.

Shehnaz M. Shirazi DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Practicing for Over 23 Years • State of the Art • Saturdays Available • Gentle & Caring Staff • Accepting New Patients

20% Off Dental Services Free Exam & New Low Dose X-Ray! Not valid with insurance.

4502 Riverstone Blvd., Suite 501 Missouri City, TX 77459 (P) 281-778-8525 www.shirazidental.com

“Painless Dentistry Is What We Do Best”

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


The Center for Craniofacial and Dental Sleep Medicine Are you suffering with jaw pain? Are you unable to open wide or chew without pain? Do you wake up with headaches? Dr. Samuel E. Cress is the relief you have been looking for. Dr. Cress has expanded his dental education and treatment in the area of Temporal Mandibular Disorder (TMD) and Dental Sleep Medicine. In 2009, Dr. Cress completed a mini-residency with the Academy of Craniofacial Pain and has developed a new oral appliance that successfully alleviates jaw pain. Dr. Cress has also expanded his practice to encompass treatment options for patients suffering from Sleep Apnea and for those patients currently using a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between sleep apnea and jaw pain. “If you get the sleep apnea under control, the jaw pain usually goes away,” said Dr. Cress. In addition, Dr. Cress educates other dentists around the country in the symptoms and treatment of TMD and Sleep Apnea and illustrates how they can incorporate this knowledge into their own practice. As a comprehensive and preventative dentist, Dr. Cress looks at all aspects of the patient’s oral health, because he knows how important the oral cavity can impact one’s overall health. Dr. Cress specializes in cosmetic and full mouth restoration, as well as general dentistry, sleep apnea and TMD. If you are suffering from jaw pain, sleep apnea or are interested in a new and youthful smile, call Dr. Cress for a complimentary consultation at 281-5654100. See ad on page 19.

1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

Coming This October

Focus on the Cure

To advertise, call 281-690-4242. fort bend

magazine • August 2016



Photo by Sue Lockwood.


Carlos Perez was inducted as president of the Exchange Club of Sugar Land for the July 2016 through June 2017 term of office. New board members were also sworn in at an Inauguration Banquet at Sweetwater Country Club on June 29th. Fully comprised of volunteers, the club sponsors activities to promote the prevention of child abuse, development of youth, Americanism and community service.



Leo Weinberg, Duyen Le, Matt Jackson, Sue Lockwood, Nick Landoski, Jaime Williams, Vernon Hunt, Rod White, Carlos Perez and Kevin Barker. OakBend Medical Center employees showcased their July 4th spirit with a Sweets & Treats Bake-Off Contest. The homemade cakes and desserts were designed and prepared by OakBend employees at each of the campuses. Winners received gift baskets, and the entries were devoured by employees.

First place winner Felipa Velasquez.

Judges Eric Steffel, Angela Vargas, Cynthia McConathy and Robert Wolter.

Fort Bend residents and besties Amber Dorn and Marinela Taylor posed for a selfie in front of the popular statue in Sugar Land Town Square. Third place winner Regan Packard.

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


Second place winner Lois Fitzgerald.

Fort Bend Cares supporters celebrated the awarding of grants to 29 heroic non-profits serving disadvantaged children in Fort Bend County at Safari Texas Ranch. Through the generosity of event sponsors and other donors, Fort Bend Cares distributed $157,500 to these organizations.

Bob McClendon and Jim Rice.

Diane Clark and Lynda Wiles.

Angie Wierzbicki, Melinda Henry and Terri Nieser.

Liz Furman and Sharlene Jacobson.

Mary Favre and Greg Haralson.

Fort Bend residents participated in Shop and Dance for Local Veterans featuring vendor booths, a Zumbathon and a yoga session. Army veteran Celso Pacheco, Jr. shared on behalf of Mission22 how the community can make a positive difference in a veteran’s life.

Jared Padalecki and Kristen Hendricks.

Esmeralda and Celso Pacheco, Jr.

Veronica Evanicky and Cyndia Rodriguez.

Fort Bend native Kristen Hendricks spotted actor Jared Padalecki, who grew up in Texas. Padalecki currently stars in the television series Supernatural.

absolutely! focus media was pleased to have Nicole Witt as a bright and helpful summer 2016 intern! Nicole is a sophomore telecommunication media studies major at Texas A&M University.

fort bend

magazine • August 2016


Clements High School graduate Angela Lin was named most “real-world ready” out of more than 150,000 high school students competing in the H&R Block Budget Challenge. Lin earned a $20,000 scholarship through the program, as well as the competition’s $100,000 grand prize. Lin plans to enter the University of Houston this fall and study management information systems. Congratulations!


The Annual Run to Attack Poverty 5K and Kid K featured fun for the whole family! After the race, families participated in a health and fitness fair, food, music and activities for the kids. All proceeds benefited Attack Poverty.


OF THE BEND Cindy Flores checked Andy the Armadillo’s blood pressure.

Shannon Rosette.

Ray Aguilar, Lee Palmer, Larry Willman and Richard Logan.

Michael and Christa Rollock crossed the finish line!

MD Anderson lit the plaza at Sugar Land Town Square purple and green to celebrate local cancer survivors, patients and caregivers throughout the Sugar Land community. Attendees enjoyed live music, glow bracelets and educational materials.

MD Anderson volunteers Jacqueline Hamilton, Tammy McCoy-Johnson, Nyma Shah, Melissa Hyatt, Saneese Stephen, Carolina Crawford and Cristina Lafuente.

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


Kori and Terrie Hall shared a message of hope.

Fort Bend Aggie Moms’ Club Awards Scholarships to Local Texas A&M Students


The Fort Bend County Aggie Moms’ Club, an organization of friendship, education, networking and support, recently announced the recipients of the 2016 scholarships and its graduating seniors. The organization seeks to support students through scholarships and donations to campus organizations by participation in fundraising events throughout the year. The moms come together to learn the things their kids don’t tell them, have fun and share the joys and tears of parenting through the college years. The Federation of Texas A&M University Mothers’ Clubs is a unique organization uniting students’ mothers for the purpose of supporting their children and the university they attend. It is the members’ goal to continue to support their students once they graduate high school and embark on their college careers. The local club exists to give back to the community and its students. Monthly meetings and activities are held in order to raise money to provide scholarships for Texas A&M University

Scholarship winners Garrett Arrington, Joshua Grotte, Ryan Brown, Trevor Schnupp, Emma Gaas, Kathryn Gray, Zachary Ransome, Zachary Miller, Daniel Kaufman, Jennifer Kaufman, Amanda Beaver, Megan Bates, Megan Grahmann and Claudia Picou.

New graduates Julie Gaas, Travis Garcia, Morgan Williams, Matthew Bolen and Jennifer Scamardo.

students who apply and qualify. This year, during their May 16th meeting, the club awarded 24 scholarships totaling $19,000. Scholarships were awarded to Garrett Arrington, Megan Bates, Amanda Beaver, Ryan Brown, Katherine Cornell, Amy Dodson, Emma Gaas, Megan Grahmann, Kathryn Gray, Joshua Grotte, Kristen Henry, Ciara Jasso, Daniel Kaufman, Jennifer Kaufman, Jackson Klein, Zachary Miller, Macey Mulcahy, Cassidy Papso, Claudia Picou, Zachary Ransome, Victoria Rigsby, Trevor Schnupp, Michael Wang and Anjie Zhi. The Fort Bend County Aggie Moms’ Club also honored graduating seniors Matthew Bolen, Marc DeBolt, Alyssa Edgar, Shelby Edmiaston, Victoria Fortenberry, Julia Gaas, James Travis Garcia, Katrina Godbee, Aaron Griffin, Blake Hermes, Katlyn Jonas, Kelsey Kvinta, Matthew McAllister, Corryn Mills, Megan Mulchay, Lauren Nemec, Sarah Norris, Jennifer Scamardo, Kelly Teague, Paige Tipton and Morgan Williams to congratulate them on all of their success and wish them continued good luck. Whoop! If you have a student at Texas A&M University, including the College Station, Galveston and Blinn Team, and are interested in joining, visit FortBendMoms.AggieNetwork.com for more information.

Submit your request and get the next issue of Fort Bend Focus delivered to your mailbox! 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 addresses*. Name:_________________________________________________________________ Address:_____________________________________________________________ City: ____________________________________________ Zip: ___________________

* Annual paid subscription required outside the Fort Bend area. Call 281-690-4242.

Signature: ________________________________________________ Request Date: _____________________________________________

-OR- Go to www.FortBendFocus.com

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Mail completed form to: 4655 Techniplex Dr., Ste 700 Stafford, TX 77477

magazine • August 2016

and request a FREE Subscription. 69


The Fort Bend CORPS Presents Annual Hearts & Hammers Golf Classic

Andrew Paderanga, Sheena Navarro, Bob Hebert, Bob Brown III, Nell Ciancarelli and Mike Moleski.

On September 19th, the Fort Bend CORPS will host its Annual Hearts & Hammers Golf Classic at Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club in Fort Bend County. This year’s tournament will honor The Honorable Fort Bend County Judge Bob

Hebert and one of the CORPS founders, Robert C. “Bob” Brown III. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Fort Bend Community Revitalization Projects (CORPS), a 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation.

The Fort Bend CORPS’ mission is to revitalize low-income neighborhoods in Fort Bend County by engaging public and private partnerships and community involvement. Monetary donations are used to purchase paint and building materials for volunteer crews and to pay contractors for more extensive repairs beyond the capability of a volunteer crew. The CORPS relies heavily on funding from the private sector, faith based community, foundation grants and inkind donations from businesses and individuals. In its 17 years of existence, the Fort Bend CORPS has completed over 3,800 repair projects on over 2,500 homes in Fort Bend County. Sponsorships for the annual golf tournament make a difference. Consider a donation to the live auction, tournament sponsorship or by forming a team and having a great day of golf with the Fort Bend CORPS. Visit www.fbcorps.org or call 281617-7416 or for more information.

Auditions Ongoing for the Fort Bend Boys Choir’s 35th Anniversary Season There has never been a better time for boys to sing! The Fort Bend Boys Choir is kicking off its 35th anniversary season this month, and many opportunities still exist for young boys ages eight and older with an unchanged voice to audition for this non-profit boychoir organization. The Fort Bend Boys Choir offers a quality music education for young boys and is currently holding auditions by special appointment, so parents of young boys are encouraged to fill out an online audition form at www.fbbctx. org. Boys who pass the audition start the 2016 fall season in late August, with

weekly rehearsals on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 7:45 pm at the First United Methodist Church at 3900 Lexington Boulevard in Missouri City. Scholarships and payment plans are available, as well as carpool assistance for choir families. Call the Fort Bend Boys Choir office at 281-240-3800 for additional details about the organization and to make a special audition appointment. You can also learn about this organization through their website or Facebook page. For boys ages six and seven, inquire about the choir’s Music Magic program for young boys, starting at the end of September!

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


Tour choirboy Rohit Satish.




















August 2016 Winner The King Kenya, Africa By Joe Schmitt Congratulations Joe, you’ve earned a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant! ENTER TO WIN Fort Bend Focus Magazine is looking for great amateur photos. Any subject matter will be considered, black and white or color, special effects and/or edited are not necessary. The entry must not have previously appeared in any publication. 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 Adrienne 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 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 Grace@ absolutelyfocusmedia.com. Digital photos must be 300 dpi HIGH RESOLUTION at size of at least 10” wide.

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magazine • August 2016


absolutely! AUTO REVIEW By Steve Kursar

2016 HONDA HR-V The 2016 Honda HR-V is all-new and Honda’s first entry into the compact SUV/crossover segment. Its arrival into the game is a little late, but this little vehicle is a sure winner. If you like the way SUVs give you a great view of the road but don’t want to haul around a large vehicle, then the HR-V should be right at the top of your list. It’s remarkably fuel efficient and roomy for its size. And as a Honda, you can expect it to be well made and reliable. Honda has been designing and building efficient and reliable cars since the 1960s. They first got attention in the United States by introducing small, peppy motorcycles that were easy to ride and immediately caught on with young people, because they were fun and affordable. Honda then started marketing small, fuel efficient cars that became highly popular on American highways during the OPEC gas crisis. And while the market for Honda’s Accord and Civic sedans continued to grow, the Japanese carmaker was a bit slow to pick up our love for riding tall on the highway. With a base MSRP of $19,215, the Honda HR-V is only available with one engine option, a 141 hp, 1.8 liter four cylinder

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

powerplant. It may not propel the vehicle to a blazing zero to 60 time. But, it is more than adequate, and it does get great fuel economy for an SUV with fuel economy numbers of 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. There is an all-wheel drive model, but don’t expect to take it off-road.

The 2016 Honda HR-V has a dynamic, solid stance and a tapered fascia that gives off a sporty feel as if you’re driving a small coupe. A cool feature for drivers who like to maximize their fuel economy is ECO Assist, which changes the color of the speedometer from white to green when you drive more economically. The interior space behind the front seats is awfully spacious due to a center-mounted fuel tank layout that enables the second row seats to fold completely flat into the floor, creating a more spacious and versatile interior package. The Honda HR-V is the perfect alternative for empty nesters who like driving an SUV but no longer need a large one that fits all the kids. You might miss the children, but you won’t miss the big bill at the fuel pump. Follow Steve Kursar at KursarOnCars.blogspot.com. .com • August 2016



Area Businesses Give Back to Help Children in Foster Care More than 12 area businesses took part in Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s WINGS Summer Lifeskills Program, which focuses on helping youth ages 14 and up prepare for independent living when they age out of the foster care system. What began as a pilot program more than 10 years ago is now seen as a model for other CASA programs across the state. “WINGS focuses on helping youth in foster care acquire life skills, plan educational goals, develop a transitional living plan and create a support system of positive adults outside of the foster care system,” said Child Advocates of Fort Bend CASA Program Director Metoyer Martin. “Throughout the year, the youth participate in interactive, educational activities and trips where they learn critical life skills and explore post-secondary educational opportunities. By developing attainable goals and a plan for their future, the youth are empowering themselves for successful, independent lives.” “I never imagined how many opportunities you have in life,” stated one foster child on a survey after participating in the program. Another remarked, “This

Crystal Moya participated in Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s WINGS Summer Lifeskills Program with some of the teens.

program taught me life skills that I will need in the future.” The Summer Lifeskills Program is a packed week of visits to different businesses to learn skills that are critical to independent living. Youth started the week at the Houston Alumni and Youth (HAY) Center and Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Program to learn about benefits and resources available to them. They also visited the University of Houston, where they learned about college opportunities. Visits to AT&T, Nan Ya Plastics and Nalco offered information on career opportunities, resume writing

and interviewing. Dr. Ivan Mefford and the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office talked to the teens about careers in the medical field and law enforcement. Visits to Wells Fargo and CarMax addressed financial literacy and car buying, leasing and maintenance. In addition, the youth visited Depelchin to learn about the agency’s transitional living housing program and Darling Homes to learn about home buying and leasing. Every Lifeskills week contains “cooking day” where teens learn to plan, budget, shop and prepare a meal. One recent cooking day was held at the H-E-B in Telfair. “Participating and connecting with the WINGS youth was very special for me. I taught them some things, and they taught me some as well,” stated HE-B Area Community Coordinator Crystal Moya. “We are so grateful to all of the volunteers and businesses who participated this year,” said Child Advocates of Fort Bend WINGS Team Leader Heather Rashid. “Not only do these businesses provide invaluable information to the youth, but they help give the teens confidence knowing that they have options for a bright future.”

Joseph Freudenberger Named Finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year® Award OakBend Medical Center’s CEO, Joseph Freudenberger, has been named a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year® Award for the Gulf Coast Region. EY is the umbrella term for Ernst & Young Global Limited firms. According to EY, the awards program recognizes entrepreneurial leaders who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary successes in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment. EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award with a lifelong network of gravity-defying entrepreneurs. Each year, the business community comes to-

gether to celebrate regional semifinalists, finalists and winners. These honorees not only create and build market-leading businesses, but also help take the standard of excellence to new heights, transform the face of industry, create jobs and contribute to the vibrancy of communities. “OakBend Medical Center’s patients are our neighbors, our family and our friends, and we are committed to excellence in all that we do for our community,” stated Freudenberger. “I am honored to be named a finalist for this award. It reflects the successes our team has achieved in a highly competitive, ever-changing environment.” fort bend

magazine • August 2016


Joseph Freudenberger.

One of the Rosenberg neighborhoods devastated in the Brazos River flooding.

By M.G. Angulo

Photo by BAC Photography.

Brazos River Flood Recovery:

Neighbors Helping Neighbors


he historic cresting of the Brazos River in June brought a fear-imbued awe to residents throughout Fort Bend County. The mere fact it was happening, and nothing could stop it, was almost unbelievable. It was Memorial Day weekend when a heavy anxiety settled on the shoulders of city officials who knew the Brazos River would crest to the highest level ever recorded in Fort Bend County, eradicating the 50.3 foot record set in 1994.

Photo by Second Mile Mission.

The Brazos River Railroad Bridge in Downtown Richmond, June 2016. Photo by BAC Photography.

In Recovery Mode

That weekend, days before the historic crest, Fort Bend On Saturday, June 4th, two days after the historic crestCounty Judge Bob Hebert pleaded with the public to be preing, community leaders united to create Brazos River Flood pared: “This is a serious incident with a strong potential for Recovery, a county-wide hub of organizations assisting and an unprecedented 100-year flood event. Residents must conproviding relief with B. F. Terry High School in Rosenberg sider the potential impact to their lives, their property and as its headquarters. their mobility before water levels rise and it is too late.” Former Rosenberg Mayor Vincent Morales, who played The knowledge of possible flooding, however, was on ofa vital role bringing organizations together, said the willficials’ minds as early as April, which is when Hebert signed ingness to help was not something anyone gave a second a disaster declaration for the county in response to the sigthought about. “We recognized that so many of our friends nificant rain already seen in the area. “Fort Bend County and neighbors were in serious need,” Morales said. “They residents need to understand the severity of this incident,” needed immediate relief. They needed help now.” Hebert said about the declaration signed on April 18th. Working alongside Morales was Quart Graves and Cliff “This is not a normal rain storm like we’re all used to dealing Parker, both owners of Chick-fil-A franchises, Pastor Jimn with. This situation is severe, and an abundance of caution Kyles of the CHURCH, Sarah White is required of us all.” with Second Mile Mission, the Central True to the conjectures, the Brazos Fort Bend Chamber and Lamar ConRiver made its highest crest ever at solidated ISD, not to mention scores of 54.74 feet on June 2nd affecting 50,000 volunteers. At the initial Brazos River residents in Fort Bend, as well as 16.81 Flood Recovery meeting, Cliff Parker, percent of the county. As the rushing who has extensive recovery knowledge waters began to rise swallowing streets, through his experience with the Hurlawns, barriers and the wheels of vericane Katrina relief effort, provided hicles, creating an eerie water world, a plan for stationing a recovery center many residents had no choice but to at Terry High School, which is where abandon their homes and properties, the CHURCH was already meeting evand as they sought safer grounds, they ery Sunday. “We’re a portable church,” watched helplessly as the everyday Kyles explained. “So we already had the makings of their lives disappeared betools and equipment, and the volunteers, neath the murky water. to set something up.” Although families faced losses unlike Kyles then partnered with Second anything they had experienced before, Mile Mission, which quickly set up a they also were embraced by members of station at the high school to assist with their own community devoted to helping needs. “We were asked to duplicate the them reclaim a sense of normalcy. The aftermath of the Brazos River flooding outside of a Rosenberg home.

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

.com • August 2016


operations we have in our facility in Missouri City, where we serve people in need from all over the county with basic needs and resources to take next steps in their lives,” said White, the executive director of Second Mile Mission, a local nonprofit. “We set up a registration and intake area, where we listened to families and got a sense of their needs.” Kyles said despite the fact that wreckage of this magnitude was foreign to most people in the area, the participants in the Brazos River Flood Recovery movement brought expertise and dedication to the table, which is why the recovery effort was so successful. The same evening, the recovery effort was put into play. Volunteers had helped 47 people before the doors had even officially opened. By Monday, June 6th, the Brazos River Flood Recovery had serviced 1,000 people, and by June 7th, word had hit the streets of where people could go for help. “The first official day at B.F. Terry, we saw more than 200 families,” White said. “This is triple what we normally see at Second Mile in Missouri City.” Representatives from the Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management visited the Brazos River Flood Recovery center and designated the site as a Multi-Agency Resource Center. After that, organization after organization joined the recovery effort. “It has been amazing to see everyone come together,” Kyles said. “In all, 137 organizations came together to meet the needs of those in our cities.”

Get the Help You Need


he voluntary agencies assisting residents with clean-up on damaged property are using a single tool called Crisis Cleanup to assign work to individual work teams to make sure no one falls through the cracks. These teams will help tear out drywall, rip up carpets, move trash to the curb and sanitize for mold and disease prevention. To get added to the site, call Crisis Cleanup at 1-800-451-1954. If you need help for housing, bills, rent or more, call 2-1-1 for the United Way of Greater Houston’s help line. The United Way phone operators are trained specialists who have access to a list of resources and know how to find you appropriate help. When you dial 2-11, press a number to select the language you speak the most, press 1 for “Services Available in Your Area,” enter your zip code, and the system will connect you with a specialist who will find you help. Representative Pete Olson’s office will assist constituents needing help with federal recovery assistance. Visit his website to begin the casework process at www.olson.house. gov and click on “How Can I Help.” Local assistance is provided at the following areas:

Exceptional Volunteers Like the wheels in a large machine, the volunteers of the relief effort — more than 2,800 people who have contributed more than 21,000 hours as of late June — kept things moving forward. “The volunteers are a perfect example of people who came together for a cause that is much greater than themselves,” Kyles said. “They’ve done so much more than they even realized to make this possible,” White said of the volunteers, most of whom came from the CHURCH’s volunteer base. “They’ve done a world class job of feeding, receiving and receipting every donation, sharing stories on social media and bringing awareness of the conditions at ‘ground zero’ of the flooded areas.” Volunteers from throughout the community showed up to do what they could to help those in need, as well as show their support for the organizations coordinating the relief effort. United States Representative Pete Olson and his wife Nancy toured and volunteered at the center where he said, he, too, was gratified by the efforts of ordinary people doing exceptional work. “As our region continues flood recovery efforts, I put hundreds of miles on my truck touring the areas of Texas 22 most impacted,” Olson said. “It was heartwarming to see folks stepping up to help one another in a time of need. Texans helping Texans is what

Rosenberg-Richmond Helping Hands, Inc. 902 Collins Road Richmond, TX 77469 281- 232-4904 Catholic Charities Mamie George Community Center 1111 Collins Road Richmond, TX 77469 281- 202-6200 Katy Christian Ministries 5510 1st Street, Katy, TX 77493 281-391-5261 Fort Bend County Social Services 4520 Reading Road, Suite A-900 Rosenberg, TX 77471 281-238-3502

Photo by Nesossi Studios.

Second Mile Mission Center 1135 Highway 90A Missouri City, TX 77489 281- 261-9199 Brazos River Flood Recovery Flood Survivor Care Line 281-967-3072

Kerstin Becker, Elizabeth Chalfin and Sarah Tapp volunteered in the data entry room at the Brazos River Flood Recovery center. fort bend

magazine • August 2016


In It for the Long Haul

Volunteering at the Brazos River Flood Recovery center were Deanna Mellas, Kristy Santeoia, Kami Sosa, Ariana Flores, Quyen Nguyen, Briana Kyles, Madelina Martinez, Zelda Sosa, Brian Sosa, Caden Kyles, Carson Kyles, Steven Gomez, Kaylin Sosa, Max Vides, Brianna Thomas, Brian Thomas, Will Pineda, Marjorie Villafranco, Jaela Mohr, Jessica Mohr, Alexis Alamia, Leilani Tellez, Marleny Pineda, Maxie Garcia, Ashley Navarro, Annie Rule, Krystal Negrete, Aaron Walsh, Vincent Flores, Brandon Kyles, Jacqueline Tran, Hannah Kirby and Matthew Puentes.

people were served at the Terry High School site. While the recovery center has been a success, it will have to relocate before school starts, but that is just one of the concerns of Brazos River Flood Recovery. “Temporary and longterm housing is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts,” White said. “It’s a top priority for the families affected and for local officials and planners. Along with that, there are immediate needs and interim gap-filling measures to support families until the long-term plan is in place.” Kyles said the recovery effort is a three-step process. The first step was meeting the emergency needs, which Brazos River Flood Recovery effort did starting June 4th, but the relief effort is in the second step, which is focused on temporary housing. “We’ve begun working with the Office of Emergency Management and city officials to make sure there is temporary housing available to people while their homes are being repaired,” Kyles said. “Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also recognizes this need and is setting up options. “In addition to temporary housing, our ongoing goal is to connect people to the right agencies,” Kyles added. “United Way, FEMA, AccessHealth and the like. And this is why we liked to have families come to us, because they could get information on three or four services at a time in one location.” But what Kyles stresses is that there is a long-term plan in play. “Those affected by the flood will not be

On Saturday, June 4th, Second Mile Mission went mobile to Rosenberg to serve flood affected families and help clean up neighborhood debris in partnership with a group of nonprofits, churches, businesses and organizations. TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend Photo by Second Mile Mission.

.com • August 2016


forgotten,” Kyles said. “There is hope, and we’re here for the long haul so we can help them rebuild their lives.” The long-term plan focuses on actually restoring the homes of those affected by the flood. Kyles said Brazos River Flood Recovery has already secured a warehouse where supplies and equipment will be stored, managed and protected so that when families are ready to start rebuilding, those supplies will make it to those in need. “We need your help. Don’t think this is over. It’s just begun,” said White. “Around 90 percent of what we received is clothing, but that’s not all we need going forward.” For the long-term, gift cards to Lowe’s and Home Depot are being requested to assist with home repair. “We will need financial help for supplies and manpower for the longterm plan to work,” Kyles said. “We will need people to come out and help clean, and those who will donate time and supplies. We need people to stay plugged in. “There is something we say at the CHURCH: ‘I was made for this,’” Kyles added. “We were made to make a difference in our cities and communities. We were made to help. I look around, and you know, I’ve never seen anything like it — people coming together to do whatever it takes with no other agenda aside from helping people. What an amazing thing to witness.” Call the donation hotline at 832449-2485 to help with the Brazos River Flood Recovery effort.

A downtown Richmond park next to the Richmond Police Department. Photo by BAC Photography.

Relief work is no stranger to White, who participated in relief work during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but she said she has noticed a key difference with Brazos River flood tragedy. “With Hurricane Katrina, people were looking for a place to land. With this flood, you have families deeply rooted. People wanted to be in their city because they love it, and they have family here. Many families stayed together, even if on the second floor of their flooded home. We met a guy who had been sleeping in the woods. Local hotel rooms were full. I’ve never seen anything like it.” “The work is far, far from over,” Kyles said, adding the Brazos River Flood Recovery has no plans of disappearing. “The work is just beginning. This is going to be a long process and it’s going to take years.” In June alone, more than 4,500

Photo by Nesossi Studios.

makes our state the best place on earth to live and raise a family.” Local officials shared Olson’s praise of an exceptional example of a community coming together. “This group did such an amazing job of coming in and pulling together all of the different organizations and resources needed to help people recover,” said Richmond Mayor Evalyn W. Moore. “They came in immediately and stepped up to help people all over the county, and when those affected couldn’t come to Terry High School, relief came to them. The recovery team went throughout the county to provide much needed supplies including AccessHealth’s mobile unit providing vital health care. I couldn’t be more proud and thankful for the many organizations involved in this relief effort.”


Special Advertising Section

AccessHealth’s Heart of Fort Bend Secures Presenting Sponsor

Coming September 2016

Home Is Where the Heart Is • Banks

• Insurance

• Developers

• Interior Designers

• Financial Institutions • Landscape Architects • Furniture and Décor • Pool and Spa Services • Home Builders

• Real Estate

• Home Improvements • Yard Maintenance Carol Edwards and Joe Freudenberger.

AccessHealth’s annual fundraising event, Heart of Fort Bend, is pleased to announce that OakBend Medical Center will serve as the presenting sponsor for the October 27, 2016 event held at Safari Texas Ranch. “Having our outstanding community hospital – OakBend Medical Center – support our efforts on behalf of AccessHealth as presenting sponsor is truly appreciated,” said Richmond Mayor Evalyn W. Moore, event co-chair. “As a partner in community health, OakBend has been both a visionary and an asset to the efforts of AccessHealth, and we appreciate their support along with all of our wonderful sponsors who have already stepped up to support this year’s event.” Along with Co-Chairs Holly Kaminga and Patti Parish-Kaminski, the Heart of Fort Bend committee is currently seeking sponsors to support the event to help raise awareness and funds to help meet the otherwise unmet health care needs of the working poor in Fort Bend. Ninety-nine percent of AccessHealth’s patients have a family income at or below 200% of the federal povetry level, and 56% of AccessHealth’s clients are uninsured. Sponsors to date include: Presenting Sponsor OakBend Medical Center; Platinum Sponsor Safari Texas Ranch; Gold Sponsors absolutely! focus media, LLC, Houston Diamond Outlet/Jay and Maggy Horgan, Houston Methodist Sugar Land, Pamela Printing, Phoenix Design Group and Sterling McCall Lexus; and Bronze Sponsors Charles and Carol Edwards, Frost Bank, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, Nesossi Studios and Patrick Richoux. Sponsors range from $1,500 to $5,000 and information is available by calling Cindy Reaves at 281-633-3169. Visit www.myaccesshealth.org for more information about Heart of Fort Bend.

fort bend

To Advertise: 281-690-4242 www.fortbendfocus.com magazine • August 2016


EVENTS August 1st and 8th, 2 pm Family Movie Series at the Library

August 5th, Sunset Movie Under the Stars

The Youth Services department at the First Colony Branch Library, located at 2121 Austin Parkway in Sugar Land, hosts a series of free summer family movies. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Call 281-238-2800.

Looking for something exciting to do with the whole family? Are movie theatre prices burning a hole in your pocket? New Territory Parks and Recreation will host a free movie showing of Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur at The Club Pool, located at 1200 Walker School Road in Sugar Land. Bring your lawn chair or blanket for an evening of free entertainment on the big screen! Visit www.newterritory.org.

August 6th, 1 and 6 pm Houston Tidelanders Good Time Shows

August 1st, 3rd, 8th, 10th, 15th and 17th, 6:30 – 7:15 pm Summer Fitness Series: Zumba Missouri City Parks and Recreation offers free Zumba classes every Monday and Wednesday at the Community Park Pavilion 4, located at 1700 Glenn Lakes in Missouri City. Come out for this dynamic outdoor class of choreographed moves inspired by various Latin Dance styles. Call 281-403-8637 or sign up at the Missouri City Rec & Tennis Center.

August 3rd, 2 pm Afternoon with an Alzheimer’s Expert Attend a free presentation from the Alzheimer’s Association covering the basics and 10 signs of Alzheimer’s disease at the Missouri City Rec & Tennis Center, located at 2701 Cypress Point Drive in Missouri City. Ask the experts and learn about the benefits of early detection. Call 281-403-8637 or visit www.missouricitytx.gov.

Join the Houston Tidelanders Chorus and Quartets for a Good Time Show benefiting the Fort Bend Family Promise at Christ United Methodist Church Family Life Center, located at 3300 Austin Parkway in Sugar Land. Tickets for the 1 pm show time are $12.50 each and include popcorn and soft drinks. Tickets for the 6 pm show time are $25 each and include a light dinner and soft drinks. For tickets, call 713-223-8433 or visit www.houstontidelanders.org.

August 11th, 10 – 11:30 am Fort Bend Junior Service League Sustainers Membership Coffee In partnership with Fedrick, Harris Estate Homes by Newmark and The Johnson Development Corporation, the Fort Bend Junior Service League (FBJSL) Sustainers will host the 2016 Membership Coffee for prospective members at the Fedrick, Harris Estate model home located in The Enclave at Riverstone at 58 Enclave Manor Drive in Sugar Land. With the theme Sustainers, Be A Star, Fort Bend ladies who are of the prime age of 50 and older are invited to attend! Contact Cindy Dempster at sustainerpresident@fbjsl.com.

August 6th, 2 – 4 pm Service and Volunteer Fair Representatives from a variety of local organizations and agencies will be on hand to share information about their programs, services and volunteer opportunities, as well as answer any questions at the Missouri City Branch Library, located at 1530 Texas Parkway. Find out where your talent, skills and time are most needed and how you can make a difference in your own community. Call 281-238-2100.

August 15th, 7 – 8 pm Learn About Essential Oils Naturalistic health enthusiast Pam Johnson will share her experiences with essential oils on her journey to wellness at the University Branch Library, located at 14010 University Boulevard in Sugar Land. Johnson will provide an overview of different types of essential oils, their history |and how to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle. Call 281-633-5100.

Presented By:

August 4th, 2 pm Computer Class: All About Apps Learn about some unique and free apps for your everyday life during this special program at the University Branch Library, located at 14010 University Boulevard in Sugar Land. To register, call 281-633-5100.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECH Water Treatment Specialists

Every Saturday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, rain or shine

TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

198 Kempner St. at Imperial Sugar Land

.com • August 2016


EVENTS August 17th, 1:30 pm Culinary Club

August 27th, 11 am Bollywood Dance Fitness

Come share your love for cooking, whether you are a beginner or a pro! There is something for everyone at Throw it Together at the University Branch Library, located at 14010 University Boulevard in Sugar Land. Call 281-633-5160.

During this heart pumping Bollywood Dance Fitness demonstration, fitness instructor Cyndia Rodriguez will show attendees how to incorporate the music and dance of India into their exercise routine with fun, easy-to-follow dance moves inspired by the lively and vibrant music of Bollywood. The fun takes place at the First Colony Branch Library, located at 2121 Austin Parkway in Sugar Land. Call 281-238-2800.

August 18th, 6:30 pm Get Hooked on Crochet People of all ages and skill levels are invited to a crafting session at the University Branch Library, located at 14010 University Boulevard in Sugar Land. Learn more about the basics of needlework art or share ideas. Samples of the library’s instructional books, crafting magazines and online sewing and crafting resources will be available. Call 281-633-5100.


August 22nd, 6:30 – 8:30 pm Adult Coloring Book Hour Explore a new form of creative expression at the Sugar Land Branch Library, located at 550 Eldridge Road. During this fun activity, learn more about adult coloring – the latest trend in relaxation and stress reduction techniques. Relax and unwind while rediscovering this favorite childhood activity and demonstrating strokes of creative genius. All coloring materials will be provided. Call 281-238-2140.

Kindermusik with Sessions Music Thursday, August 4th 9:30 – 10:30 am

Giving Spirits Concert Benefiting Fort Bend County Animal Services Friday, August 5th 7:30 – 9:30 pm

Back to School Splash Bash Saturday, August 6th Noon – 4 pm

Dancing Under the Stars

August 19th, 8:30 – 11 pm Barefoot-n-Friday Hosted by the City of Meadows Place Parks & Rec Department, Barefoot-n-Friday is a chance for kids ages nine to 14 to swim, play, dance, laugh and be themselves with their friends in a safe, supervised environment. The event will be chaperoned by the City of Meadows Place lifeguards and police officers. Call 281-983-2935.


www.sugarlandtownsquare.com Call 281.313.SLTS

Friday, August 12th 7:30 – 9 pm

Movie Under the Moon Sponsored by First Colony Church of Christ Saturday, August 13th 8:15 – 10 pm

August 27th, 2 – 4 pm Texas Parks and Wildlife Judy Strauss will provide an overview of Brazos Bend State Park’s facilities and activities at the Missouri City Branch Library, located at 1530 Texas Parkway. Learn about some of the wildlife that visitors may see at Brazos Bend State Park, as well as the park’s amenities, such as camping, hiking and biking trails, fishing and other activities. A live baby American alligator and corn snake will accompany Strauss for the afternoon. Call 281-238-2100.

Rhythm and Brews with Jupiter Pizza & Waffles

August 29th, 9 am Back to School Scramble

Music in the Plaza

Schlumberger presents the 17th Annual Back to School Scramble Golf Tournament benefitting the Fort Bend Education Foundation at Sweetwater Country Club, located at 4400 Palm Royale in Sugar Land. Each player receives breakfast, golf and cart, beverages and snacks, lunch and special gifts, including golf apparel. The entry deadline is August 19th. Contact Carol Evans at 281-634-1111.

fort bend

magazine • August 2016


Friday, August 19th 7:30 – 9:30 pm

Sugar Land Superstar Finale Saturday, August 20th 7:30 – 9:30 pm

NOLA Nights with Rouxpour Friday, August 26th 7:30 – 9:30 pm

Saturday, August 27th 7:30 – 9:30 pm

SUBMIT YOUR EVENTS E-mail events@absolutelyfocusmedia.com. Include the event date, time, location and a short description of the event.

By Alisa Murray www.AlisaMurray.com Nationally recognized portrait artist and awardwinning columnist.

Living the Sweet Life:

Coming Home


any of you are packing up your teenagers and heading to universities this month. This will be their new home as students embark on adventures, beginning a new chapter both for their lives but also for those of us as parents. I remember such an occasion on a crisp fall day in August 1987 when I left home for the first time and moved into the all-girls dorm at St. Mary’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina. Daddy’s hugs and what he called my “big crocodile tears” were a part of that day too. All at the same time, I was excited, I was all grown up, and I was scared to death! I finished my last year of high school there and earned my associate’s degree in liberal arts. My grandparents were very worried that if I got exposed to a different religion, I would convert to it. And as funny as that sounds, those Baptists are very particular about how they view other religions. St. Mary’s is an Episcopal all-girls school that as a private school is relatively exclusive. It is still today as it was in 1987 and the only existing Episcopal all-girls boarding school still left in this country. It was converted during the civil war into a hospital for the soldiers, and we found confederate money in the walls during several construction sites during my three years attending. I loved St. Mary’s, and with most things that I love, I fall deeply into them. The heart of St. Mary’s was chapel, which we attended twice a day and then a vespers service Wednesday evenings and on Sundays if we were not away visiting family. It was at St. Mary’s that I learned Latin, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and became the leading art student in the entire school. Savannah College of Art and Design courted me as a result of my art, and eventually, I went there to continue my studies in painting, art history and interior design. It was also where I became – as my grandparents feared – an Episcopalian. I have always been very active in the church attending choir and all youth activities. I quickly became a vestry member before graduating high school, and by my sophomore year of college, I was made senior warden. I remember the very first night after all of the parents had gone. We attended our first service and went over what it meant to be a St. Mary’s girl. I remember accidentally saying the “Holy Ghost,” and my new roommate glanced over at me and gave me “the look.” I also distinctly remember waiting for something terrible to happen, like for me to spontaneously combust, when they passed the Blood and Body of Christ, and I discovered it was not grape juice but actual wine they were serving! TO ADVERTISE: 281.690.4242 or www.fortbend

Father Mike Bessom, James Edward and Alisa Murray and Bishop Andy Doyle.

Many years have passed since I graduated from St. Mary’s, and Brian and I have attended many churches in both Savannah and in Houston. None were what I felt at St. Mary’s until we found St. Catherine’s. And even St. Catherine’s magic didn’t happen until Father Mike became the priest. We went and we left and we went and we left, and then Father Mike came, and we go as much as my photography schedule will allow. So, after raising my babies in an Episcopal church, I had never actually left the title of my Baptist faith and converted officially to Episcopalian. James Edward and I attended the classes, and as he discovered the nuances of the faith, I felt a sense of peace at having finally found and finished what I had meant to so many years before. It was like coming home. On a warm, yummy day last month, James Edward and I became officially Episcopalians. During Bishop’s sermon, he mentioned something that I think will stick with Jamesy hopefully for as long as he lives. It’s a message of understanding that our place here while on earth is of the walking dead. We are all here doing hopefully what God’s plan and purpose is for our lives, but we are not fully living. It is when we live in heaven and are a part of the larger Body of Christ that we are risen and are fully alive. Love is the only thing we must do, and love is most imperative in our lost world full of so much hate and discord. Thanks be to God! Take Care of YOU!

.com • August 2016


Profile for Fort Bend Focus Magazine

August 2016 - Fort Bend Focus Magazine - People • Places • Happenings  

Fort Bend Focus Magazine is an award-winning publication that features People, Places and Happenings around Fort Bend and Katy areas.  Direc...

August 2016 - Fort Bend Focus Magazine - People • Places • Happenings  

Fort Bend Focus Magazine is an award-winning publication that features People, Places and Happenings around Fort Bend and Katy areas.  Direc...


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