Page 1


Celebrating Our 100th Issue

Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend



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magazine • February 2013


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COVER STORY February 2013

17 100 MOST FASCINATING THINGS ABOUT FORT BEND From a state-of-the-art minor league ballpark to a world famous rock star to annual fundraising activities that raise millions, Fort Bend has it all. In celebration of Fort Bend Focus Magazine’s 100th issue this month, here are our 100 most fascinating people, places and happenings of the Bend.

F E AT U R E S 46



FINANCIAL FOCUS Focus on your financial status and manage your money. These institutions can help you get – and stay – on the right track. SAINT VALENTINE Who was St. Valentine? The rich history of Valentine’s Day has its roots in the life of a bishop.


SUMMER FUN GUIDE Summer is the time for kids to kick back, relax and have fun! Peruse the pages and get a jump start on your summer plans.


VALENTINE’S GIFT GUIDE Find the perfect gift for that special someone just in time for the big day.

fort bend


FOCUS ON FINANCE First Comes Love, Then Comes Finances


HIGH SCHOOL HOT SHOT Ansley Boarman: “Serving” It Up


FOCUS CARES Darla Farmer: Caring for Families Through Hope for Three

magazine • February 2013










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

IN EVERY ISSUE Meet this month’s recipient on page 69!




SEEN ON THE SCENE Photos from Fort Bend County charitable events


OUT & ABOUT IN THE HEART OF THE BEND A few snapshots of people, places and happenings




SAVE THE DATE: February 22nd Exchange Club’s Spaghetti Dinner

57 58












AMATEUR PHOTO CONTEST A winning shot by a local photographer

FOCUS FAVORITES Looking for a service provider? Find one here.


LIVING THE SWEET LIFE Challenge Number Two: Write Love on Your Heart!





COMMUNITY CALENDAR Fun events the whole family will enjoy



17 & 66

2012 FILM YEAR IN REVIEW The Best – and Worst – Feature Films ON THE COVER: Celebrating Our 100th Issue

fort bend

magazine • February 2013


Joan Frances Writer Page 17

Nick Nicholson Entertainment Editor Pages 17 & 66 Will Hardee Hardee Investment Group Page 45

Stephenie Cox absolutely! Memorial Page 50

Lauren Dante Writer Page 68

Whitney Hensler Writer Page 78

Alisa Murray Alisa Murray Photography Page 80

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

Does your dentist still use a drill?

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

Does your dentist have an intra-oral camera

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

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

Does your dentist check for

2 cavities with a precise laser?

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

Does your dentist have massage chairs

7 and satellite TV?

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

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

Does your dentist offer 12 months

8 no interest?

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

Does your dentist offer before 4 & after work appointments? Before & After work appointments that fit into your jam-packed schedule. Appointments start as early as 7:30 a.m. and as late as 6:30 p.m., and of course, appointments on Saturday.



Does your dentist have an internet cafe?

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

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

Tim Cashion, DDS

Does your dentist have a movie theater?

10 No Kidding!

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

Teresa Cody, DDS A $25.00 flat fee for an x-ray & consultation A $74.00 value Low cost way to find out what’s wrong (Does not include cleaning)

Formerly Cashion & Cody Family Dentistry and Orthodontics

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

Call us now! 281-206-4482


Vol. 9 No. 4 February 2013


4655 TECHNIPLEX DR. STE 400 STAFFORD , TX 77477 281-690-4242

Dear Fort Bend Friends,


Unbelievable! I cannot believe this is my 100th Publisher’s Preview. God bless each one of you who have advertised, read and supported our journey covering the people, places and happenings of Fort Bend County. I have now worked for myself longer than I ever worked for any other company, and what a ride it has been! All of the ads sold, all of the galas attended, all of the pictures taken, all Lisa and Michael Fredrickson of the stories written and told, and now, compiled just for you, our greatest issue ever – our 100th issue! We have collected the 100 most fascinating people, places and happenings in Fort Bend so that you can keep this edition as a special collector’s issue. As we celebrate our 100th issue doing what we love, it is fitting that it happens to be February: the month of love. We truly love what we do here at Fort Bend Focus, and we have collected a special Valentine’s Gift Guide on page 70 full of things we love to help you get that perfect gift for your sweetheart. And, if you ever wondered about the origin of Valentine’s Day, we’ve got that covered as well on page 50. As we go forward with the new year, I can’t wait to see what the next 100 issues of Fort Bend Focus will bring. We look forward to seeing you around the Bend! Stay Focused, Lisa Fredrickson

EXECUTIVE PUBLISHERS Michael & Lisa Fredrickson E D I T O R- I N - C H I E F Patti Parish-Kaminski SENIOR AC C OUNT EXECUTIVE Jessica Kij AC C O U N T E X E C U T I V E S Susan Dannhaus Kay Garrett Melissa Huckabee Henry Pineda A RT D I R E C T O R Grace Belleza GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Christopher Hernandez Jesse McPeek C O M M U N I C AT I O N S C O O R D I NAT O R Sarah Greeson A D M I N I S T R AT I V E DIRECTOR Erin Sanders WEB DESIGNER Joey Belleza PHOTOGRAPHER Alisa Murray Photography Nessosi Studios

Lisa Fredrickson

CONTRIBUTORS Stephenie Cox Lauren Dante Joan Frances Will Hardee Whitney Hensler Alisa Murray Nick Nicholson


INQUIRIES 281-690-4242 E D I T O R IA L S U B M I S S I O N S

Honored JEWEL of Fort Bend “It was really a thrill to be honored as a Jewel of Fort Bend. I cannot tell you how much it means to me.” - Sandra Billingsly Praise for April’s Cover Story on Isaiah Rodriguez “Just recently, Fort Bend Focus Magazine covered a story featuring the drastic improvements made by one of our Rescue family grant recipients, Isaiah Rodriguez. We are so proud of Isaiah’s progress since starting the diet and supplement interventions. It is great to see him continuing to improve while seeking further treatment at the Texana Children’s Center for Autism…We could not be any happier for the family!” - Generation Rescue Ticket giveaways to area attractions and events. fort bend

magazine • February 2013


Published by

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. 400, Stafford, TX 77477. Copyright © 2013 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.

Welcomes You to Our New Home

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magazine • February 2013





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Dr. Shelena C. Lalji, “Dr. Shel” Board Certified Ob/Gyn Houston’s Hormone & Beauty Expert

1437 Hwy 6, Suite 100, Sugar Land, Tx 77478 |

Scan to buy book.

www .D r S h el . com

the marriage matrix New Message Series Begins February 10 Being married and staying married is one of the hardest tasks that many people will undertake in their lifetime. Do you sometimes feel like you managed to find the one person that is the complete the opposite of you? Is your relationship offering a new development at every turn? Are you looking for the one thing that can bind your hearts together for all time? The Marriage Matrix, a message series by Lead Pastor Mark Hartman will begin at Sugar Creek Baptist Church on February 10. We invite you to be our guest as Pastor Mark helps us understand marriage and how to make it work.

Snow Day // February 10 10 AM | Sienna Campus 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM | Sugar Land Campus Sugar Creek will become a winter wonderland with a 100% chance of snow. Children ages two years through 5th grade should invite their friends and bring gloves/hats to enjoy the snow. An annual tradition at Sugar Creek, Snow Day is a fun, happy day and having fun is one of the values of Creek Kids ministry. What Texas child doesn't love a chance to play in the snow? For more information go to

Dynamic Marriage // Begins February 24 Does it sometime seem as though you and your spouse are speaking different love languages? Is there room for growth, a little more excitement, and deeper intimacy in your marriage? Dynamic Marriage is a 9-week marriage enrichment experience taking place in a small-group setting. It’s designed to restore the positive energy so critical to any strong marriage. It will help you deepen the passion, intimacy, and commitment in your most important relationship. Cost is $170/couple and classes will be begin in February. $170 per couple || Register online at


Now is a great time to grab a friend and dive into an activity. There is literally something exciting for every member of the family.

Women’s Ministry Conference // March 8-9

Men’s Ministry Retreat // March 22-23

Seeking Him Together for Spiritual Awakening isn’t just a byline for our retreat, it’s a way of life. Nancy Leigh DeMoss will show you what it means to seek the Lord and then explain how to seek the Lord more fervently. There will be riveting worship, door prizes and so much more. You won’t want to miss this time as we learn about True Biblical Womanhood.

The theme for the 2012 Men's Retreat is "Lock and Load, Preparing for Life's Battles". Dr. David Self of Houston's First Church will be the guest speaker for the weekend. The retreat will be at the scenic Stoney Creek Ranch near Columbus TX. Sons are encouraged to attend with their dad. Cost is $100/person.

Cost: $50-170 || Register online at

$100 per person || Register online at

XLR8 // Begins February 10

Sienna 5K, 10k & Kids Fun Run // March 23

XLR8 is an exciting creative arts ministry for children in Kindergarten - 5th grade. This program gives children the opportunity to select the art track that they would like to explore. Tracks cover a variety of topics such as guitar, photography, dance, and more. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Sugar Creek Sienna and the Missouri City Police Officers Association are excited to sponsor an event to get your family moving during Sienna Plantation’s annual Spring Fling. On March 23, grab your running shoes and register for the 5K or 10K on certified courses. Kids can participate as well and get moving in the Fun Run. Registration begins at 7:00 AM and the races will start at 8:30 AM. Afterward, enjoy inflatables, games, face paintin painting, music, and a visit with the Sugar Land Skeeters mascot! All proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics.

For registration/info contact Nancy Curtis -

5k/10k Cost: $20 || Kids Fun Run Cost: $15



Sunday Mornings • 8:15, 9:30 & 11:00 AM Sugar Creek Baptist Church Worship Center

Sunday Mornings • 10:00 AM Ridge Point High School Auditorium

13333 Southwest Freeway | Sugar Land | TX | 77478 281.242.2858 |

500 Waters Lake Blvd. | Missouri City | TX | 77459 281.242.2858 |

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When I had breast cancer, the world’s leading care was right here. My team of experts in Sugar Land focused only on me and my cancer. They guided me through advanced MD Anderson treatment options including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, clinical trials and support services. They customized a plan just for me. Having MD Anderson in my community kept me close to my two boys and close to home. I chose MD Anderson in Sugar Land. Find Your MD Anderson today.

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Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Joan Frances and Nick Nicholson

Let’s face it



– Fort Bend is

fascinating. From a state-of-the-art minor league ballpark to a world famous rock star to annual fundraising activities that raise millions, Fort Bend has it all. As Fort Bend Focus Magazine celebrates

LARRY WADE CARRELL After growing up in Fort Bend, Larry Wade Carrell has made it a point to use his familiar local surroundings as the backdrop for all of his movies. An awardwinning filmmaker in his own right, Carrell’s last film,

our 100th issue this month, we decided to take a look at what makes our community what it is – unique and yes, fascinating. As in our mission of covering people, places and happenings, that’s where we will shine the spotlight on the fascinating aspects of the Bend. www.fortbend

.com • February 2013


Jacob, received excellent reviews not just for its compelling story, but for the localities in Richmond and Rosenberg that served the story so well. Always one to appreciate his home and where he came from, Carrell takes great pride in everything from his films, including Betty Vega’s “Dairy Treat” on the strip. Fort Bend will always be his pride and joy!

Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend released in 1971. It’s interesting to note that although his last name is Beard, he is the only member of ZZ Top who doesn’t actually wear a beard. He currently resides in Richmond where he owns and operates the Top 40 Ranch and can often be seen playing golf in tournaments and community events around the county.

The Triumphs


THE TRIUMPHS This nine-piece, Rosenberg-based band has roots that go back to the early days of rock ‘n roll and also launched the career of five-time Grammy award winner B.J. Thomas. They had several #1 hits on Houston’s KILT top 40 Survey in the early 60’s including Lazy Man, I Know It’s Wrong, I’ve Got a Feeling, Billie and Sue, recorded the still popular Garner State Park (which is still played nightly at the Garner dance pavilion) and, of course, recorded the #1 song in the nation in 1966,

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry just prior to B.J. beginning his solo career. The band, which began in 1959 in a garage, continues to perform regularly in and around Fort Bend.


FRANK BEARD Frank Lee Beard is the drummer in the American rock band ZZ Top. Beard was born in Frankston, Texas and in 1969 joined the famous group with guitarist and vocalists Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill. After honing their trademark Texas boogie-blues-rock style, their first album was

Frank Beard fort bend


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN TERRY Born in Russellville, Kentucky, Benjamin “Frank” Terry (18211861) was the son of Joseph and Sarah Terry. After his parents separated, Sarah moved her children to Texas and settled with her brother. She and her brother died leaving Frank to support his family, and he partnered with William J. Kyle in 1851 to build the first railroad in Texas. By 1856, the tracks reached the Brazos some thirty miles from Harrisburg. Terry became a successful businessman as he continued contracting to build railroads and made a profit on the Oakland Sugar Plantation he purchased located in Fort Bend. He became a leader in Fort Bend County by organizing and serving as the first commander of the Eighth Texas Cavalry Terry’s Texas Rangers for the Confederate Army, and he died for his state with top honors.

magazine • February 2013


BEV CARTER Bev Carter is the owner and publisher of the Fort Bend Star newspaper and has won numerous state and national awards for her work. She has been the people’s voice for Fort Bend’s largest circulated newspaper for over 30 years. Having founded the Fort Bend Star in 1978, county residents have consistently been able to obtain in-depth reporting from the straight shooting Carter. News without spin has always been the norm from Bev Carter and her weekly newspaper column, affectionately known as Bev’s Burner. Bev has been interviewed on the television shows 48 Hours and 60 Minutes for her interesting views on Fort Bend.


BOB PACK The work of highly acclaimed Texas-based sculptor Bob Pack has been collected worldwide. His energy level and artistic abilities appear boundless as the life-size and large bronze monuments he so meticulously sculpts.


Pack’s work can be seen in numerous places around Fort Bend including Sugar Land Town Square’s statue of Stephen F. Austin and the Richmond City Hall, which features a statue of longtime Richmond Mayor Hilmar G. Moore. His work often depicts wildlife in natural positions that show off the spirit of the subject. Pack currently resides in Fort Bend County.


ALBERT AND MAMIE GEORGE George is perhaps the most famous last name in Fort Bend. Albert and Mamie George are names synonymous with generosity and love for fellow man. They were both descendants from the early pioneers; colonists rooted in Texas soil who worked hard to keep their heritage alive. They married in 1886 and built the home that still survives today on George Ranch. Tragedy struck the Georges in two ways. First, their only son, Davis, died in 1899 of infant cholera at only 22 months. Then in 1943, Mary Jones, the daughter of Mamie’s cousin who lived with the Georges since childhood, was killed in an automobile accident. This tragedy moved them to start the George Foundation in 1945 to make sure their wealth would benefit the citizens of Fort Bend.

Over the past five years, only 25 women have received the distinction of a JEWEL — Joyous, Extraordinary Women Enriching Lives. Who are Fort Bend’s JEWELS?


THE LOPEZ SIBLINGS Steven, Mark and Diana Lopez are affectionately referred to as Sugar Land’s “First Family of Taekwondo.” Each of them medaled in their individual taekwondo events during the Beijing Olympics, with Mark having won the silver medal while Steven and Diana each won the bronze medals in their individual weight classes. They made Olympic history as the first three siblings to medal in the same games. When they each qualified for the Olympics in Beijing, they became the first set of three siblings since the 1904 games to have been on the same Olympic team. And, it truly was a family affair as the trio was coached by their older brother Jean.

The 2008 JEWELS of Fort Bend


CAROLE BROWN For over thirty years, the name Brown has been synonymous with giving in Fort Bend with virtually every community service organization. From the Oaks at Rio Bend Foster Community to the Fort Bend Women’s Center to Child Advocates, the support and leadership of Carole Brown is widespread throughout our community, and this JEWEL of Fort Bend, known, admired and loved by so many, sums up her commitment to the

place she and Bob call home with one simple statement: “We made it here; we’re going to give it back here.”

teers she states is quite simple: “I enjoying helping where I can put a smile on someone’s face.”


BILLIE WENDT If Fort Bend had royalty, its reigning queen would be Billie Harris Wendt. Since the Civil War, the Harris’ have claimed Fort Bend as home and have laid a foundation of education and service to our community rich in preserving our heritage and history. From heading up the Lone Star Stomp benefitting the Fort Bend County Museum Association to serving as the first female board member at Polly Ryon Hospital, now OakBend, Billie has made her mark in giving in Fort Bend.

DEE KOCH When you think of giving in Fort Bend, one name immediately comes to mind: The George Foundation. But equally as familiar as the foundation, there’s another name that is synonymous with giving and has become an institution herself in Fort Bend. It is the woman who has been at the helm of The George Foundation for over twenty years, and the woman who has touched virtually every community organization through her giving, volunteerism and leadership: Dee Koch.




When this JEWEL and her family relocated to Fort Bend over 15 years ago, she rolled up her sleeves and joined the community in a big way. From Girl and Boy Scouts to the Highland Elementary PTO to Cinderella/Cinderfella, Tami McGuire’s devotion to the children in our community has made a difference. And, the reason Tami volun-

If you’ve ever attended a Fort Bend Junior Service League event, odds are this JEWEL has had a hand in it. From serving on the PTO to heading up the Sugar Plum Market to receiving the League’s Volunteer of the Year in 2004, KK West has devoted much of her time to helping others. “My family inspires me,” said KK. “I know that I


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have been led to give in this wonderful community full of compassion, concern and consideration for others.” And give, this JEWEL does.

The 2009 JEWELS of Fort Bend

14 BILLIE NEUHAUS In December of 2012, Fort Bend lost one of its JEWELS. Billie Neuhaus devoted her life in Fort Bend to giving from heading up committees at the Fort Bend County Fair to being active in politics to driving a school bus in Sugar Land when the transportation program was young and in need of some assistance. If Billie could help, she did, and while doing so, she made an indelible mark on Fort Bend. Now, this JEWEL’s star shines brightly in heaven.

15 ANN SMITH “The single most important thing in my life is to have raised a family that cares deeply about others and does something about it.” That’s the philosophy of Ann Smith, and this JEWEL has accomplished what she set out to do. Each year, Ann heads up the ARC’s “Best of the West” with her two longtime co-chairs and family at her side. Giving truly is a family affair to the Smiths, and

Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend with Ann at the helm, this tradition of giving is secured for generations to come.

16 LIZZ SANSONE Giving has been at the forefront of this Richmond family for generations, and Lizz Sansone carries on the family tradition well. With a passion for leaving a better community for the future, this Fort Bend Junior Service League member has touched many through her work with the League, the Literacy Council of Fort Bend and Common Threads. As past president of the Literacy Council, Lizz believes the impact that service can make in someone’s life. “Service makes a positive difference in people’s lives,” said this JEWEL. We couldn’t agree more.

W. 17 MAY TAPE It’s all about the kids with this JEWEL who has a passion not only for her work as a pediatric dentist, but a passion for helping others where she lives and works. A staunch supporter of children’s organizations including Casa de Esperanza, Child Advocates and Girl Scouts, May is a board member of OakBend and led the American Red Cross Super Ball team to victory for many years with their annual fundraising event. “I can cite over and over many people who serve as

fantastic role models for my children,” said this JEWEL and mother of two. Her girls – and our community – need only to look to May when searching for role models.

KAY 18 DONNA TUCKER Born and raised in Rosenberg, this JEWEL is homegrown and has devoted her life of giving to the county she calls home. From 4-H to FFA to the Fort Bend County Fair, Donna Kay’s commitment to community has deep roots. While agriculture has been her passion, she is a staunch supporter of the Fort Bend Museum, the Rosenberg Railroad Museum and ARC. “Our family motto is ‘When you are serving your fellow man, you are serving the Lord.’ I try to help anybody I can,” said Donna Kay. And help, she does.

The 2010 JEWELS of Fort Bend

19 CAROLYN BANFIELD This JEWEL has spent her entire life supporting the community she loves – the community where she and her partner of sixty plus years chose to live, work and raise their children. Mother of five, Carolyn Banfield belonged to every PTA board for her children and at one time, served fort bend

as president of each. Education is and was her passion for giving. A longtime supporter of the Lamar Educational Awards Foundation (LEAF), Carolyn assists with awarding grants to LCISD teachers by boarding the bus to deliver the good news – and checks – to deserving teachers. “The bus ride is the highlight of my year!” said Carolyn who plans to be on that bus for many years to come.

20 PEGGY DUGGAN Choir director, Girl Scout, producer and First Lady of Sugar Land all describe this JEWEL who has spent much of her life in Fort Bend doing what she was raised to do: serve her community. Peggy Duggan directed her church choir for twelve years and produced a Christian musical at Dulles High School Auditorium. An original board member of the Tri-Cities Resale Shop, Peggy has spent her life in service to others. “You can never replace the joy in your heart that you get from giving. It comes back to you one hundred fold.” Well said, First Lady.

21 BRIGIT ENGLEMAN The only JEWEL to give birth just in time to walk down the runway at the annual event, Brigit Engleman gave birth not only to baby Cade but to a heartmagazine • February 2013

felt commitment and passion to help others. From the Fort Bend Junior Service League to Child Advocates to The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Brigit has already made a huge impact on our community during her young life. Awarded the “Blue Ribbon Award” by Child Advocates for her work as an advocate, Brigit’s heart belongs not only to her two sons, but to all children. “It’s very rewarding when you are able to work collaboratively to close a case with a happy ending for a child,” said Brigit. With Brigit on their team, children in need will have many more happy endings to look forward to.

22 LYNN HALFORD From assembling backpacks for Child Advocates children for back-to-school to chairing the first gala for the Fort Bend Education Foundation, this JEWEL gets it done. A Vacation Bible School teacher for over twenty years, Lynn Halford’s passion is children and education. “I’ve never regretted anything that I’ve given,” said Lynn. “I love to volunteer.” Lucky for Fort Bend, Lynn loves to volunteer, and she does so extremely well.

23 CASSANDRA WEN If you have been to a fundraising event in Fort Bend, chances are


you’ve been personally touched by this JEWEL’s generosity, hospitality and community spirit. Cassandra Wen and her husband, Allison, purchased a little 44-acre ranch and have turned it into a staple of giving in our community: Safari Texas Ranch. A quick glance on the calendar will reveal that there are not many fundraising events in Fort Bend that are not hosted at Safari Texas. Why? Because of this JEWEL’s philosophy: “Community is so important. We always wanted to give back to the community with this place.” And give, she does.

The 2011 JEWELS of Fort Bend

24 DORIS GURECKY For over 70 years, this JEWEL has made Fort Bend her home, a home filled with people she describes as “the friendliest and most generous you will ever find.” From the Lamar Educational Awards Foundation to scouting to the Rosenberg Railroad Museum, Doris Gurecky has led major fundraising efforts in the community she loves. When the City of Rosenberg built a Regional Sports Facility but couldn’t afford a concession stand, this JEWEL stepped in. Today, Little Leaguers have a concession stand thanks to the Gurecky’s generosity and giving spirit.

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Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend

25 PAT HEBERT If you’ve been to the county fair, a local political event, a Girl Scout meeting or even the Lone Star Stomp, odds are you’ve met this JEWEL. From starting her HOA newsletter to running political campaigns to serving as a board member for Fort Bend Seniors, Pat Hebert knows the importance of community and teamwork. “No one person can do it all, but if we all work together, we can make our community a better place.” Mission accomplished, Pat.

26 CARI MIDDAUGH With a passion for serving children, this mother of three has headed up events for the Fort Bend Junior Service League and the CASA Christmas Home Tour. Despite the long hours and crazy schedule of event leadership, Cari Middaugh tackles community service projects with both passion and pride. “If I can just help out a little bit, it’s worth the hard work and long hours it takes organizing these events, because I know the money is going to help so many in need,” said Cari.

27 JUDY SCHMID Texas women are resourceful, spunky and above all else, a force to

be reckoned with, and this JEWEL is the epitome of a Texas woman. Educator, author and advocate, Judy Schmid’s commitment to community has spanned over thirty years helping a very special group of people at the Richmond State School. Now called the Richmond State Supported Living Center, this unique facility serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “I want people to know that I truly care about people, my community, my faith, family and country,” said Judy. Fort Bend knows that this JEWEL not only cares; she does something about it.

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The 2012 JEWELS of Fort Bend

28 LUCIA STREET With a passion for literacy and education, this JEWEL works tirelessly to achieve her dream: “My home and dream for the future is that every child would have the opportunity to succeed in school and in life.” From her work in adult literacy at the Literacy Council of Fort Bend to starting up ACHIEVE Fort Bend committed to dropout prevention and recovery, Lucia Street’s commitment to education spans over forty years when she helped develop the 1 to 1 Tutoring Program at Lakeview and Dulles Elementary Schools to help children get off to a good start in their elementary years. This JEWEL has done her homework.

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SANDRA BILLINGSLEY A history buff at heart, this JEWEL has spent her time in Fort Bend caring and sharing many gifts, but one stands out above all of the rest: the gift of hospitality. Sandra Billingsley readily volunteers to host meetings, cook meals and organize food for many organizations from the Fort Bend County Museum’s events to Lunches of Love where she makes lunches for children in need. In the Lamar Educational Awards Foundation’s annual “Surf’s Up” fundraising event, Sandra regularly bakes beautiful cakes that fetch thousands of dollars. This JEWEL spreads her love of commagazine • February 2013

munity through food and good, old-fashioned hospitality, and we’re glad she does!

30 JACQUELINE BALY An advocate for Fort Bend who has spent countless hours working in the community, this JEWEL has held many titles. From Sugar Land Mayor Pro Tem to Councilmember to President of the Fort Bend Boys Choir, Jacqueline Baly has touched numerous organizations with her time and talents. An ABC 13’s Women of Distinction Award winner, Jacqueline regularly emcees community events and has served on the boards of several community organizations. A recipient of Fort Bend Entrepreneur of the year, this JEWEL not only knows the importance of a strong community, she


Don’t blink, or you’ll miss this JEWEL of Fort Bend who snaps photos at virtually every community event. Mary Favre’s role “behind the camera” is just a small part of what this JEWEL does to serve her community. From Child Advocates to Casa de Esperanza to Sugar Land Cultural Arts, Mary’s passion for community runs deep. “I work to seek opportunities to encourage citizens to become involved by utilizing their unique gifts and talents,” said Mary. For using her talents and making community service a part of her “big picture,” Fort Bend is grateful to this JEWEL.

32 MELISSA HAYSLIP Whether it’s chairing an event or helping out at her children’s school, it doesn’t take long to realize why this JEWEL has been dubbed a “Golden Volunteer” by the Fort Bend Junior Service League. In addition to serving as an officer of the League, Melissa Hayslip has served on event committees for the American Cancer Society, the Fort Bend County Women’s Center and on the PTO board at her children’s school. “I’ve been told that Fort Bend is a non-profit

mecca,” said Melissa. “I think this is a great thing because it means that we live in a community that is willing to give back and support all of our non-profits.” Fortunately for our community, we have JEWELS like Melissa to step up to the plate.

HUEBNER 33 KATHY Many people take family vacations each year, but for the past several years, this JEWEL has gone on another type of trip regularly: mission trips. Kathy Huebner has traveled to Guatemala at least 16 times on Faith in Practice mission trips where she and her husband serve as medical missionaries to assist Guatemalans with their medical needs. But her community service doesn’t end there. Kathy volunteers with The Community Cloth, an organization dedicated to empowering refugee women in Houston through enterprise, and she is the Coordinator of Merry Ministries, an ecumenical Bible Study of over 400 women at Sugar Land First United Methodist Church. A heart of service and devotion summarily describes this JEWEL.

LAND SKEETERS 34 SUGAR The Sugar Land Skeeters are an American professional baseball team based out of Sugar Land. They are members of the Atlantic League and began playing its home games at Constellation Field. After a lengthy team-sponsored fan poll, the public chose the name “Skeeters” for their team due to the common finding of mosquitoes in Fort Bend summers. The Skeeters are the first independent league baseball team in the Houston area since the Houston Buffaloes’ final season back in 1961. www.fortbend

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Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend

35 WAYNE SLATEN An international award-winning filmmaker, Wayne Slaten is a name synonymous with cinematic success. Slaten’s first film, Backroad, was shot in and around Fort Bend County and tells a rather compelling story of a man’s struggle with his own identity. Constantly on the lookout for film shooting locations throughout the county, Slaten loves showing off the architecture and hospitality of the local citizenry. Slaten’s next project, Patriot Act, is now in the midst of shooting in both Harris and Fort Bend Counties and will be a major blockbuster in the feature film arena.

36 SUGARLAND Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush comprise the American country music duo of Sugarland. Breaking into the music scene in 2002, the group decided to name themselves after the city of Sugar Land, due to the “sweet” sound the city had to it that came about from the Imperial Pure Cane Sugar

factory that was headquartered here. Nettles liked the “sweet” name even though the group hails from Georgia. The Grammy-award winning group has received numerous nominations and recorded a song, Guide You Home, for the 2012 movie, Act of Valor.

George W. Bush. DeLay was one of the most powerful forces in Washington and was responsible for putting Fort Bend on the DC radar screen. DeLay was convicted of wrongdoing in connection with campaign finances and was sentenced to three years in prison. He is appealing his conviction.


DELAY 37 TOM Sugar Land resident Tom DeLay is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives having represented Texas’ 22nd congressional district from 1984 until his resignation in 2006. He served the Republican Party as House Majority Leader and was affectionately referred to as “The Hammer” for his staunch enforcement of party discipline and retribution against those that didn’t support the legislative agenda of President

Crystle Danae Stewart from Missouri City is an American beauty pageant titleholder who won Miss USA 2008. Stewart showed tremendous resiliency as she competed numerous times around the pageant circuit, finishing close to the top in each attempt until her win in 2008.

She graduated from Elkins High School and holds a degree in consumer science and merchandising from the University of Houston. Stewart shot even further to stardom having won the role of Leslie, a welloff real estate agent, fort bend

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on the TBS comedy television series, Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse.

39 ROSANNA PACE At the age of 23, Rosanna Pace was crowned the 53rd annual 2012 Miss Rodeo Texas. Pace grew up in Richmond and has a Bachelors degree in Art Communication. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at Texas A&M University. Pace isn’t new to winning competitions, as she owns many awards including serving as the Fort Bend County Fair Queen in 2005.

40 ALISA MURRAY Award-winning columnist Alisa Murray created an original column, The Sweet Life, in Fort Bend Focus Magazine over five years ago. With her column, Murray writes of her life experiences – and lessons – in a poignant and uniquely southern manner. Originally from North Carolina, Murray lives in Fort Bend where she is a well-known portrait artist. Through her Medicine and Arts series of works, Alisa has published calendars featuring cancer survivors benefitting the American Cancer Society and The Snowdrop Foundation.


BEND 41 FORT CHRISTIAN ACADEMY LADY EAGLES VARSITY BASKETBALL Fort Bend Christian’s Lady Eagles are on the greatest winning streak in the school’s history, and as of mid January, district play had not even started yet. The Lady Eagles are currently 33-0 on the season and have five tournament championships under their belt. Coached by Jon Froelich, Brad Simmons and Cieara Watts, the varsity squad of 15 is currently Fort Bend Christian’s most successful sports team. After winning a 67-27 non-conference game against Woodlands Christian on January 2nd in the Toyota Center, the Lady Eagles entered district play on January 11th with an unbelievable record that is sure to improve throughout the season.

42 JANE HERBERT WILKINSON LONG In a male dominated society, Jane Long (1798-1880) set an example for all women of her time to be strong and self-sufficient. Born in Maryland, she moved to Natchez after the death of her parents. Jane met James Long, married him on May 14, 1815 and gave birth to Ann. As time went on, she lost two other children. James died in 1822 after being captured by Mexican forces, and Jane never

remarried. At age 39, she opened a boarding house in Richmond and purchased a plantation. She bought and sold land, raised cattle, grew cotton and became a very successful business woman. In 1936, a centennial marker was erected in her honor. She is considered “The Mother of Texas” by many.

HILMAR 43 MAYOR GUENTHER MOORE Hilmar Guenther Moore was appointed Mayor of Richmond in 1949 and held office until his death on December 12, 2012. Born in San Antonio and raised by his parents, Dorethea and John Moore, Hilmar lived his whole life in Richmond attending high school there and graduating in 1938. He attended college at the University of Texas in Austin majoring in law and was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He joined the U.S. Air Corps in 1942 earning several Medals of Honor. He returned to Richmond in 1946, and three years later was appointed Mayor of the city to fill an unexpired term. Mayor Moore won 32 consecutive elections for two year terms, a total of 63 years in office, and he is believed to be the longest serving mayor in the United States.

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Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend to serve as Mayor of Richmond. Moore has contributed many years of service to her community as President and docent of the Fort Bend County Museum Association, a trustee of the Southwest Cattle Raiser’s Association, an officer in the Richmond Garden Club, a board member of OakBend Hospital and active in Friends of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission. Her first term expires May 2014.

MOST 45 THE DIVERSE IN NATION AND REGION The accolades are impressive. According to a study by Rice University in March 2012, Fort Bend County is the most diversified of the five largest counties in the Houston Metropolitan area with Missouri City named

the most diverse city. It is the regional leader in ethnic diversity and in High School Graduation rate by the U.S. Census Bureau – American Community Survey, with the lowest cost of living among major metropolitan areas. It is forecasted Fort Bend will lead the region in job creation, averaging more than three percent growth per year through 2015.

Fort Bend Focus Magazine’s Man of the Year Each year since 2006, Fort Bend Focus Magazine has selected a gent from Fort Bend County and dubbed him as Man of the Year. What makes someone a Man of the Year? Check out our Man of the Year Hall of Fame and see for yourself.

MAN OF 46 2006 THE YEAR BOB BROWN Giving with a focus and purpose sums up Bob Brown’s philosophy on community service, and he is intent on giving in the community where he has chosen to live and work. “If the check is cashed outside of Fort Bend County, well, it just won’t happen,” said Bob. Bob has either donated to or served on the board of nearly every philanthropy in Fort Bend. But perhaps Bob is best known for his vibrant participation in auctions. If Bob buys it, chances are he’s going to make the donation and donate the item back to sell a second time, doubling the money for the charity. Now that’s how you double down!

MAN OF 47 2007 THE YEAR ALLISON WEN Jeff Wiley, President of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council, said it best. “Safari Texas Ranch is a wonderful asset in the community, but it is not the facilities or location that makes it so special. It is Allison Wen.” Commitment to community, commitment to family, commitment to caring. That’s Allison Wen. No job – or event— is too big or too small for Allison to undertake fort bend

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including creating an annual special event, Salute to Fort Bend, designed solely to support worthy organizations in our community.

MAN OF 48 2008 THE YEAR COMMISSIONER JAMES PATTERSON When Ann Patterson Smith was five years old, she asked her mama and daddy for a baby brother for Christmas. “Now Santa was late that year,” Ann recalled, “but on January 20th, he delivered.” Fortunately for Fort Bend, Santa came through and gave Fort Bend a gift as well in James Patterson, a man who has served his community as an educator, an auctioneer, an elected official and an event leader. Thanks, Santa!

MAN OF 49 2009 THE YEAR JOHN NULL A wise man once said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” For this Man of the Year, the things that count are the most important in life – family, community and people. For nearly 40 years, John Null has cultivated a culture of giving in his accounting firm and in his life. “If you’re supportive, it causes others to be supportive,” said Null, who yes, is the wise man with a passion for adages as well as his community.


MAN OF 50 2010 THE YEAR MIKE FLORY Ho, ho, who? Why, it’s Mike Flory in that Santa suit bringing joy to children at Missouri City’s Snow Fest and to wounded soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. and Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Through Impact a Hero, Flory brings the spirit of the season to soldiers and their families. “Everybody needs assistance at some time in their life, and the best exercise is to bend down and lift someone up,” said Flory. Ho, ho humble.

MAN OF 51 2011 THE YEAR DON KERSTETTER Who roared into town in 2009 with a fast-paced passion for community service? The owner of Classic Chevrolet, Don Kerstetter. When Kerstetter brought the “Classic Chevrolet Difference” to Fort Bend, he brought it by community outreach. The list of community organizations Kerstetter has supported is endless, and he has made the “Classic Chevrolet Difference” in Fort Bend philanthropy. “Don has gone above and beyond what is expected of him,” said Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson. Yes, Fort Bend has relaxed and enjoyed the Classic Kerstetter difference.


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MAN OF 52 2012 THE YEAR KEVIN KLINE Radio personality and founder of the Snowdrop Foundation, Kevin Kline has stepped up for his community in a big way by caring for children with cancer. In December of 2009, Kline made national news by running from Dallas to Austin to San Antonio to Houston – 482 miles— in 13 days. “The purpose of that run was to raise awareness for pediatric cancer since only one cent of every dollar raised for cancer goes to pediatric cancer research,” said Kline. Run, Kevin, run. We’re on Team Snowdrop!



SWEETWATER COUNTRY CLUB Founded with the entire family in mind, the Sweetwater Country Club is conveniently located in Sugar Land. Activities range from casino night to dancing to how to save money for retirement. There are also a large number of activities for the kids as well, including organized sports competitions. You can also participate in one of the many Bingo games that are conveniently scheduled for its mem-

bers as well. The SCC is also one of the most sought after locations for weddings and other scheduled social events.


SHRI 54 BAPS SWAMINARAYAN MANDIR HOUSTON BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Houston is a Mandir, or Hindu temple, located in Fort Bend County and was the first traditional mandir of stone and marble to be constructed in the United States. The mandir opened on July 25, 2004 after 16 months of construction. It was created entirely according to ancient Hindu architectural manuscripts known as the Shilpa Shastras. It is 25,620 square feet constructed entirely of marble from Italy and limestone from Turkey without any iron or steel in the structure. The stone that makes up the temple was shipped to India where it was hand-carved with traditional Vedic deities and motifs. Approximately 33,000 individually marked pieces were then shipped to Houston and assembled like a giant threedimensional jigsaw.

55 MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE SUGAR LAND Whether you’re interested in priceless works of art or the fascinating bones of a tyrannosaurus rex, there is something for everyone fort bend

Museum of Natural Science Sugar Land at the Museum of Natural Science in Sugar Land. Even the building that houses the museum is interesting! The Main Unit of the Central State Prison Farm— which reopened as the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land on Saturday, October 3, 2009 — and three barns were built in 1939 to replace existing wood structures on the older Imperial Prison Farm, which was located on the same grounds.

56 CONSTELLATION FIELD The Skeeters play in the Atlantic League division at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas. Beginning play in 2012, Constellation Field has a capacity of 7,500 spectators for baseball games. Of particular interest at the stadium is the scoreboard, which is one of the largest in magazine • February 2013

minor league baseball. Designed by TS Sports, the scoreboard rises 100 feet above the field and was constructed to resemble the border of the great state of Texas!

TACO 57 BOB’S STATION Established in 1991, family owned Bob’s Taco Station is known for being the best Tex-Mex restaurant in Rosenberg and the rest of Fort Bend County. The menu consists of specialty dishes, made to order tacos, and breakfast and luncheon plates. Featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, DriveIns and Dives, their signature menu items include their homemade tamales, homemade tortillas, carne guisada, and hot sauce. Bob’s Taco Station is the place to be along the strip, and it’s not uncommon to see civic and community leaders waiting in line for the tremendous food available at this cultural landmark.


GRILL Conveniently located on Highway 6 in Missouri City, the Star Cinema Grill has definitely raised the bar on what the expectation should be when it comes to going to the movies. Star Cinema Grill is a Houstonbased dine in theater concept that offers its guests first run films, an extensive menu of food items, as well as a full service bar that provides its patrons with a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits. With its mission firmly in place of providing each guest with an unforgettable experience through unmatched service in a glamorous, Hollywood inspired setting, you will be wowed by everything you see and do at Star Cinema Grill.

LAY 59 FRITO With over 300 employees at the Rosenberg plant, Frito Lay is very important within the community. Producing everything from Doritos, Tostitos and even Cheetos, the Frito Lay plant does everything from peel and bake the potatoes to the cooking and packaging of the items as well. The Rosenberg plant ships its homemade products all over the country in order to feed the nation with some of the most popular comfort food ever made. And it’s not

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LAND 60 SUGAR TOWN SQUARE The Town Square is an inviting mix of Main Street activity that attracts people at all times of the day. The shopping, working and living all combine with making every opportunity more rewarding than the next, including the playing opportunities that exist for people of all ages. With a world-class hotel and restaurants that are truly outstanding, the Square is home to some of the nation’s most successful retailers and businesses. Sugar Land Town Square provides something for everyone in its pedestrianoriented central business district.

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JESTER PRISON FARM The Jester State Prison Farm is in Fort Bend County and is owned by the state of Texas and worked purely with convict labor. Originally known as the Harlem Prison Farm and Plantation, it consists of a number of Jester units that comprise the entire property. At one point in time, the farm contained over 5,000 acres and utilized a large portion of the prisoners to work and process the loading of the sugar cane from the sugar mill, which gave Sugar Land its name.

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Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend Sugar Land Symphony Orchestra, the performance hall boasts a 1,100 seat performing arts theater, as well as a 90,000 square foot meeting facility. With over 28 acres of outdoor festival green space, the Stafford Centre has everything you could imagine, and then some!


THE COLE THEATRE Opening in 1919 with the film Wanted for Murder, the historic Cole Theatre has been a landmark in downtown Rosenberg for over 90 years. For 64 years, the Cole had the distinction of being the longest continually operating theatre in cinema history when it closed in 1983. No films have been shown in the Cole since then, but that’s about to change with the purchase of the landmark by Imperial Arts. With a capital campaign and restoration underway¸ Imperial Arts is bringing life back to Rosenberg’s Cole Theatre, which is scheduled to reopen in 2014.

64 RICHMOND STATE SUPPORTED LIVING CENTER In 1968, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Centers (DADS) opened the first state supported living center in Richmond that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are medically fragile or who have behavioral problems. This living center provides 24-hour residential services, comprehensive behavioral treatment and health care including physician, nursing and dental services. Other services include skills training; occupational, physical and speech therapies; vocational programs and services to maintain connections between residents and their families. This facility is on 241 acres, home to about 390 people and serves a 13 county area.

MUSEUM 65 THE OF SOUTHERN HISTORY Southern history is alive and well in Fort Bend and Houston. Houston Baptist University has a museum that chronicles the south during the mid 1800s with displays of clothing, fine furniture, uniforms, tools and weapons. Southern National Bank of Sugar Land is home to the Confederate Museum that preserved artifacts and memorabilia. Also, a two story brick structure modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s fort bend

retreat home, Poplar Forest. Exhibits include a handgun collection from the Civil War, a bell from the Union ship Harriet Lane, furnishings and clothing from the antebellum era, an exhibit of Terry’s Texas rangers, medical supplies and surgical instruments and authentic Confederate uniforms.

BEND 66 FORT COUNTY MUSEUM Located in downtown Richmond, this Museum documents the settlement of the region, agriculture and community development with focus on Stephen F. Austin’s Texas Colony, from 1821 - 1836 and through World War II in 1945. There are thousands of artifacts and historic photographs on display depicting life as it was over one hundred years ago. The complex includes the museum, the Long-Smith cottage, the John M. Moore

has proclaimed this museum “one of Texas’ best local history showcases.”

FOSTER 67 JOHN DULLES HIGH SCHOOL Fort Bend Independent School District was formed on April 18, 1959 by the consolidation of the Missouri City and the Sugar Land Independent School District. A site was purchased on Lester Road and construction began on the first high school named after John Foster Dulles, a History Scholar who wrote 12 books and articles on 20th Century Brazilian History. In 1960, Fort Bend ISD had the first graduating class and continued to strive for education excellence by building more quality schools. At one time Dulles High School had over 4,000 students, but now the population is around 2,100. Today, Fort Bend ISD boasts 74 quality schools and is one of the largest districts in Texas.


home and the McFarlane house. With a focus on the importance of the Plantation business, cotton and sugar cane industries, the Brazos and Fort Bend story is well told. The Texas Historical Commission magazine • February 2013

The Brazos River is the longest river in Texas and the 11th longest in the United States. Early Spanish Explorers named it “Rio de los Brazos de Dios” translated “the River of the Arms of God,” because the waters saved so many men from death. Every pioneer who came through Galveston followed the river to settle. This river runs 840


miles from Lubbock in west Texas and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It was explored by some of the most famous men of the time: Cavelier and LaSalle. Today, the Rio de los Brazos de Dios is as vital to the public as it was over one hundred years ago. It is a source for power, irrigation, flood control, municipal use and recreation.

69 BRAZOS RIVER BRIDGE In the early pioneer days, life was centered on the Brazos River. Transportation was a top priority. In 1888, a wooden bridge was constructed in Richmond to increase public travel from city to city. The early Brazos River Bridge was constructed without any standards or state regulations. Five years later, it collapsed and then was replaced with a sturdier steel structure. When the railroad came through Texas and ran through Houston to Missouri City, Stafford, Sugar Land, Harlem, Richmond, Rosenberg, Damon Junction, Randon, Wenzell, Tavner and on to Columbus, this bridge was used on a daily basis to continue growth and prosperity.

TEXAS RANCH 70 SAFARI Safari Texas Ranch, owned by Allison and Cassandra Wen, is a fullservice facility on a 44 acre southern plantation setting that specializes in custom events. Established in 1997 and incorporated in Texas, the staff has over twenty years of experience to make any event one to remember. Ten banquet facilities are available with accommodations for 50 to 1,000 people. With seven ballrooms, Safari Texas Ranch will cater to weddings, ceremonies, galas, company picnics, corporate meetings and holiday parties. They also have exotic animals in the back of the property, which makes the ambiance of this setting an unforgettable experience.

ANTIQUE 71 VOGELSANG’S EMPORIUM One of the oldest buildings in downtown Rosenberg, the two story brick structure was built in 1910 by Jacob Gray, then leased in 1912 by Louis Vogelsang who later bought the property in 1922 and opened a general merchandise store. A saloon was opened, and the Cochran brothers ran a law office and wagon, buggy and harness shop. Through the years, it has weathered storms, flooding and age. The building, built over one hundred years ago, still stands today and remains in the Vogelsang family. A restaurant, wine room, antique emporium, theater and ghosts complete the mystique of this historic building.

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Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend

72 EBELL HOUSE Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a business woman at the turn of the century? In the world of exploration, a woman’s place was cooking, cleaning and having babies. Louise Ebell was one of the first settlers in Rosenberg. A widowed woman, she was courted by Major J.A. Carter in 1902, who later became the eighth mayor of Rosenberg. He built her a lovely home as a wedding proposal. She said yes and opened the first boarding house in Rosenberg. Charging $1 a night, the seven furnished rooms were rented often, although most of this small community lived in tents. Today it is owned by former Rosenberg Mayor Joe M. and Doris Gurecky and remains the oldest brick home in downtown. It is currently under extensive renovation.

73 MORTON CEMETERY One of the oldest cemeteries in the area, this Richmond cemetery was named after William Morton, who was the first actual settler on the west side of the Brazos River. The land was granted to him by the Mexican Government in 1824 where he and his family resided. In 1825, a wounded stranger arrived on the property, Robert Gillespie, a fellow Mason.

Morton erected a brick tomb over his grave that was said to be the first Masonic landmark in Texas. Morton disappeared during the flood of 1833, and his widow, Nancy, sold the land. Then in 1854, Michael DeChaumes acquired the burial ground and named it DeChaumes Cemetery. The Mortons reclaimed it in 1890, and the name returned to Morton Cemetery where today, it is the resting place of over 2,800 individuals. Early Texas settlers and their families buried here include Jane Long, “The Mother of Texas,” Mirabeau B. Lamar, the first Vice President and second President of the Republic of Texas; Walter Burton, a freed slave who served on the Texas Senate for seven years and Albert P. and Mamie E. George, benefactors of Fort Bend County.

74 DOZIER’S GROCERY AND MEAT MARKET Texans have a reputation for making great barbeque. In 1957, Ed Dozier opened Dozier’s Grocery and Market in Fulshear introducing the community to the tastiest barbeque around. People from all over the area make the drive to sample their delicious brisket, pork ribs, sausage, beef, turkey, ham and chicken. Patrons such as politicians, celebrities, sports figures and townsfolk still savor the 50-year-old recipes. Today the menu and the fort bend

place are the same as in 1957. “If it ain’t broke, we don’t fix it” is their motto. The restaurant is owned and operated by Scott and Smedley Evans.

OF THE 75 ONE FASTEST GROWING COUNTIES Fort Bend is the fastest growing county and number one in population growth according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau. Forbes February 2010 places Fort Bend as number one on the “Best Places to Get Ahead” list. With the reputation of regional leader in household income, Fort Bend is becoming a popular suburb of Houston for residents to live and work. Number one in employment growth in the United States, Fort Bend ranks fifth of the top 20 master communities in the nation and is top 10 in the nation for economic strength. It is third in the nation among fastest growing counties with a population of over 200,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau 2007.

76 ANOTHER TIME SODA FOUNTAIN Remember Happy Days? The soda shop where the Fonz and Richie went to eat burgers is a short drive away. Renee Butler has been the owner for nine years, but the ambiance of this charming restaurant is much magazine • February 2013

older. Consider the 103-year-old building it resides in. Originally, it was a Land and Loan Company. In the early 1900s, it became Ed’s Pharmacy and Soda Fountain. Eventually, it became an antique store and soda fountain. When Butler took over, she gutted it to expose the original walls and left the rustic look of age. The vintage knick knacks complete the time travel atmosphere. Oh, and the food is good, too!

77 IMPERIAL SUGAR FACTORY In 1843, Stephen F. Austin came to Sugar Land with 100 families to commission the first Sugar Mill. The oldest successful business in Texas to this day refines raw cane sugar and blackstrap molasses. Around 1879 E.H. Cunningham acquired most of the land and built

Sugarland Industries Currency


a large sugar refinery. This plantation survived the Civil War and in 1906 Isaac H. Kempner and partner William T. Eldridge purchased the 5,300 acre Ellis Plantation. The adjoining 12,500 acre Cunningham Plantation was purchased in 1908, which had a raw sugar mill and cane-sugar refinery. The partnership agreed to the name “Imperial Sugar Company” associating the name with the Imperial Hotel in New York.

LAND 78 SUGAR CURRENCY Loyal employees are crucial to the success of a company. From 1906 through 1930, Imperial Sugar Company made available books of coupons and aluminum coins for employees to spend at the company store. Most of the time the money was used for workers who needed an advance in wages; they were issued coupons or coins for the sole purpose of spending the money at the local store. The company was repaid every time because the employee signed an agreement that the

company could deduct the value of the coupons from the next wages. The founding fathers, Kempner and Eldridge, had the foresight to do the things necessary to keep quality employees.

PLANTATION 79 SIENNA In 1824 on the east bank, Capitan William Hall and Capitan David Fitzgerald bought land and began farming at Sienna Plantation in Missouri City. Fitzgerald died, and the Plantation was sold to J.B. Capels. Jonathan D. Waters from South Carolina arrived in 1840 and set out to acquire the claims of Hall and Capels. By 1860, Waters Plantation was a 6,500 acre farm of sugar cane, cotton and other crops. War and debt forced the land to be bought and sold. Finally in 1908 T.H. Scanlan assumed ownership of the property, and after his death, his two remaining daughters Lillian and Stella, dismantled their home in Houston, and rebuilt it on what they named Sienna Plantation. Today, Johnson Development’s Sienna Plantation is a 7,000-acre master-planned community with an impressive amenities list including three resort-style water parks, two additional community pools, a lakeside amphitheater, lighted tennis courts, playgrounds, a world-class fitness center, a golf course and the Camp Sienna sports complex.

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Where History Meets Opportunity Mayor Evalyn W. Moore • Commissioner Bill Dostal • Commissioner Gary Gillen VALLEY 80 QUAIL Boasting 2,530 acres of beautiful land nestled along Oyster Creek, Quail Valley was the first master planned community in Fort Bend County. Started in 1969, this scenic land is the center for Missouri City’s tremendous growth. J.H. MacNaughton, a developer with ambition and foresight, purchased the property with intentions to build a golf course subdivision. By 1970, the first family moved into the area. Thirty years later, Quail Valley is comprised of 4,115 homes with a population of over 12,000. In 1973 and 1974, the Houston Open Golf Tournament was hosted there, and recently, the course was renovated as a public golf course accompanied by a public community center, the City Centre at Quail Valley, owned and operated by Missouri City. • 281-342-5456

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Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend

81 BRAZOS BEND PARK Purchased by the state in 1976-1977, this Needville park covers roughly 5,000 acres and was opened to the public in 1984. This land was a part of the early settlers passing through several landowners. Amazing artifacts still remain including a brick cistern, built with slave labor and rustic cabins. Located on the southeast border of Fort Bend County, the Brazos River is a haven for over three hundred species of wildlife including migratory birds, armadillos, raccoons, river otters, white tail deer and notably alligators. Patrons come to fish, camp, bike ride, walk and picnic and experience the Nature Center and the George Observatory. The park is run by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

82 LAKEVIEW AUDITORIUM Now called Sugar Land Auditorium, this historic auditorium is the property of Fort Bend Independent School District. In 1918, Imperial Sugar Company designed a beautiful auditorium adorned with intricate details and quality wood work for the purpose of community gatherings from band concerts to watching silent movies. Unfortunately, the test of time left the building neglected and deteriorating as it sat empty for many years.


Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation took notice. With extensive fundraising, renovation began to take place. Today, it is revitalized and used by many community organizations and Sugar Land schools. In 1993, a historical marker from the Texas Historical Society was awarded to protect this historical treasure.

83 HERFORT DIAMONDS In business for over 60 years, Herfort Diamond Ring Factory in Rosenberg specializes in designing and customizing rings and jewelry. The business began with John Herfort, who came from Berlin, Germany as a watch maker and moved to Houston to work. He noticed that many Railroad watches were brought in by people from Rosenberg and Richmond. He decided to move to Rosenberg where he opened a small business at the Old Texas Motel. He found a small building for rent and began selling watches, china, silver, and rings. In October of 1960, John and his family opened the same building that stands today. John passed away in 1988, but his wife and children still work there to keep his dream alive. fort bend

84 MOORE HOUSE This breathtaking Richmond home was built by John Moore and his wife, Lottie Dyer Moore, the year they married, 1883. Lottie’s relatives were a part of the original colonists who came to Texas with Stephen F. Austin, and she inherited the land after they passed away. The home was designed by Thomas Culshaw and still stands majestically today as a Victorian four bedroom, two story mansion with a center tower and cupola. The First Baptist Church of Richmond was founded in the home until a building was built in 1889. Through the process of time the home was remodeled and updated to accommodate interior improvements. Today the property is deeded to the Fort Bend County Museum Association.

85 GEORGE RANCH Preserving history is an obligation society has to future generations. George Ranch Historical Park takes visitors back over one hundred years to 1824 when Texas was still a part of Mexico. Viewing the 23,000 acre working ranch is overwhelming, and several farms are still a part of the landscape. The 1830s Jones stock farm is still working with crops, livestock and weaving demonstrations. View the 1860s Ryan Prairie home and the 1890s Davis Victorian Mansion, a sharecropper’s farm, and witness a working blacksmith shop. There is even a family cemetery. The 1930 George house is filled with original furnishings, barns and working pens. History is alive and well at George Ranch.

Great things begin with simple ideas. In 1986, Haley’s Comet glazed through the sky, and 7,000 people traveled to Brazos Bend State Park to watch in amazement. A man named Leonard Patillo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science decided they needed to purchase a telescope that would be easily accessible to the public. Many meetings and discussions were held until finally they were notified that LSU had a telescope they could purchase. The Fort Bend Astronomy Club helped raise the funds for three domes to be placed at Brazos Bend State Park. By 1994 it was a reality. They named it George Observatory, a nonprofit organization dedicated to astronomy by teaching, sharing and observing.

Dew House

87 DEW HOUSE One of the last remaining Sugar Plantation buildings of its kind, the two story Victorian home dubbed the Dew House was built by Dr. Hugh Saunders Dew around the 1900s. He left his medical practice in Thompson, Texas to become a businessman.

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Most Fascinating Things About Fort Bend With his father, Thomas Tristan Dew and brothers, George and Henry, they raised cattle, sugar cane, cotton and corn. The Dew brothers took advantage of the Imperial Sugar Company opening in Sugar Land by shipping the sugar cane to the refinery. They also began a new business venture creating the Dew Brothers Syrup Company. They are considered part of the founding fathers of Missouri City. The Dew Plantation is still in the family to this day. It is open to the public as a reminder of the accomplishments of the past.

LAND 88 SUGAR AIRPORT Dr. Donald “Doc” Hull was an oral surgeon in the early 1950s for the Texas Department of Corrections providing dental care at prison units. He grew frustrated with the commute when the major airports forced his closure. In 1952, Doc Hull landed his biplane in a cow pasture near Sugar Land and later purchased the land with a loan from a friend. He opened “Hull Field” and invited other pilots to use the air strip and founded Hull Aviation. He continued to improve it by paving and extending the runway. The airport gained

public recognition and in 1990 the city of Sugar Land purchased the airport as a self-sustaining enterprise. In October 2002, a new name was given to this little idea that grew big, Sugar Land Regional Airport.

89 ROSENBERG RAILROAD MUSEUM Transportation is the key to the growth of society. The city of Rosenberg has preserved the rich history of the railroad industry in Fort Bend with the Railroad Museum. Modeled after the original depot, the museum takes you back to the years 1883 through 1913 when the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads were the only major form of travel. View the maps of the journey the railroads took daily. Observe the cases of memorabilia of days gone by, artifacts of the people who ran and lived on the railcars. Stroll through a Caboose and a railcar exquisitely decorated to take you back in time. A miniature train set is meticulously set up with detailed cities to enhance the effectiveness. The Rosenberg Railroad Museum has the best visual history around.

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GRAND 90 THE WINE & FOOD AFFAIR Hosted by the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce and the Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management and attracting more than 7,000 fanatic foodies annually, the Grand Wine & Food Affair is recognized as the most anticipated culinary attraction of the year. Located in historic Sugar Land just 15 minutes from Houston proper, its tastings, dinners and seminars have achieved a reputation as a rollicking good time. It is a place where top chefs share secrets, sommeliers get uncorked and you have exclusive access to the best wine and food around.

91 CATTLE BARON’S BALL Located each year at the George Ranch in April and benefiting the American Cancer Society Houston Chapter, the Cattle Baron’s Ball is definitely worthy of

magazine • February 2013

your attention. Having given over $33 million dollars to the local American Cancer Society to date, the Victory organization behind the Ball definitely does its share of work towards reaching their goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem through prevention, saving lives and diminishing the suffering from cancer through research, education advocacy and service, a truly noble cause for everyone.


On December 4, 2012, Congressman Pete Olson of Texas District 22, addressed the House of Representatives to introduce the American people to Kevin Kline. Kline had just been announced as Fort Bend Focus Magazine’s Man of the Year, and Congressman Olson stated that Kline earned that honor because of the Snowdrop Foundation, an organization he and his wife, Trish, created to help children fighting life-threatening cancer. Olson spoke of Chelsey Campbell, Kline’s inspiration for Snowdrop Foundation, and thanked Kline “for sharing Chelsey’s story with me so I could enshrine her life forever in the Congressional Record of the United States of America.” Olson wrote a personal note to Fort Bend Focus publishers Michael and Lisa Fredrickson thanking them for naming Kline as the Man of the Year. A copy of the Congressional Record along with Olson’s personal note hangs proudly in


the offices of absolutely! focus media. Thank you, Congressman Olson, for representing us in all matters and for taking the time to read and care – about your constituents.

93 IMPERIAL IMPLOSION On an early December morning in 2010, Sugar Land shook when two metal buildings at the historic Imperial Sugar Company refinery located on Highway 90A in Sugar Land were imploded to make way for Johnson Development Corporation’s newest project: Imperial. Two metal buildings came down, but the historic char house, an icon of Sugar Land, remained part of the project. The demolition was coordinated by D.H. Griffin of Texas, Inc., one of the nation’s foremost demolition and dismantling contractors, and ESE Partners, LLC, the project’s environmental engineer. An official viewing area was set up along Highway 90A and t-shirts were sold to commemorate the historic event.

BEND 94 FORT COUNTY FAIR The first Fort Bend County Fair (FBCF) was held back in 1933 and since that time, the FBCF has grown into one of the largest and most successful fairs in the state of Texas. The fair is historically important as well, as the fairgrounds were origi-

nally located between Richmond and Rosenberg but have been in its current location since 1974. The focus of the fair has always been youth education, having provided 30 scholarships annually to deserving Fort Bend County students.


In 2008, Fort Bend Focus Magazine created a signature event designed to honor five extraordinary women whose contributions made them real gems – all to benefit a selected community service organization. The event honored five JEWELS– Joyous, Extraordinary Women Enriching Lives – selected because of their commitment and service to the Fort Bend community. The event officially presented the JEWELS and featured a style show, luncheon and raffle. For the past five years, Fort Bend Focus Magazine Honors the JEWELS of Fort Bend has benefitted six community organizations: Fort Bend Lawyers Care, East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry, Rosenberg-Richmond Helping Hands, Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels, Literacy Council of Fort Bend

County and CASA de Esperanza. Through this event, Fort Bend Focus Magazine has donated over $100,000 to these non-profits.

the past five years, the event has raised approximately $300,000 each year.


96 ARC WESTERN DANCE The Arc of Fort Bend is a group of people whose vision is to be advocates for the special needs of all people with disabilities from birth to death. They are a privately funded non-profit organization and fundraising events are a necessity. “The Best of the West” event began in 1976 and is one of the largest in Fort Bend drawing on average 1,200 generous patrons each year. To commemorate 35 years of service, this “Quality of Life for All” celebration was held at George Ranch Arena on November 17, 2012 and chaired once again by Commissioner James Patterson, Ann Smith and Jo Ann Stevens. The trio has headed up the event since the mid 1990s. The dance is filled with live and silent auctions, a band and delicious food. For

EXPRESS The Sugarland Express is a 1974 film that starred Goldie Hawn and Ben Johnson. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and was his directorial debut. The film was based on a true story centering on a couple, Fae Holiday and Robert Dent, who were trying to outrun the law after the wife helped the husband escape from the Beauford Jester Prison Farm in Sugar Land. Setting the foundation for Spielberg’s brilliant career, The Sugarland Express also showcased the beautiful scenery of Fort Bend County.

98 NONPROFITS IN FORT BEND According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are approximately 1,600 registered nonprofit organizations

Ann Smith, James Patterson and Jo Ann Stevens head up “Best of the West.” www.fortbend

.com • February 2013

public – charities, private foundations and others in Fort Bend County. The list is much diversified. There are over 100,000 non-profit organizations in Texas. These registered groups have generated millions of dollars to benefit a wide range of public needs. Fort Bend has a reputation for generosity and compassion. Foundations are established to assist in all levels of funding. From education, housing to medical, our people look for ways to be instrumental in helping their fellow man.

99 FARMERS MARKET AT IMPERIAL Debuting on October 1, 2011, the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce sponsors this innovative event every Saturday all year from 9 am to 1 pm. Patrons come from all over to purchase local produce, specialty foods, enjoy children’s activities, live music, cooking demonstrations, artisans, craftsmen and a morning of overall fun. The Chamber has cleverly placed the market in front of the Imperial Sugar Silos and historic Char House. In 2006


the City Council of Sugar Land designed the redevelopment of Imperial property to enhance the area and entice the public to make the Farmers Market at Imperial a destination point for all Fort Bend and Houston residents.

BEND 100 FORT JUNIOR SERVICE LEAGUE’S SUGAR PLUM MARKET “Women Making a Difference” is the motto by which the members of Fort Bend Service League live. Founded in 2001, the league has grown from 24 charter members to a dedicated 250. These leaders contribute many service hours to benefit charities as well as volunteer in a mentoring program for teens, which is extraordinary. But, perhaps their most famous activity is the annual Sugar Plum Market held every November to raise money for charitable community organizations. “Shop ‘til you drop” is the motto of this annual event held at the Stafford Centre that kicks off the Holiday season. With a Thursday night preview, the market is open Friday and Saturday. Vendors book well in advance to be a part of this well-organized and successful fundraiser that has given away hundreds of thousands of dollars to deserving community organizations.





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Salute To Fort Bend Honors Joe B. Allen The Safari Texas Salute to Fort Bend 2013 will honor Texas legend Joe B. Allen and his wife, Helen, with “An Evening With a Texas Legend” on Friday, March 1st. Joe B. Allen Joe B., as he is widely known, has announced his retirement after 45 years of practicing law, including 37 years of representing municipal utility districts and other special districts in the state of Texas. He began his career at a law firm in Waco, Texas, before moving to Houston to join Vinson & Elkins. In 2003, he formed his own firm, Allen Boone Humphries Robinson, LLP, which focuses on public law and finance. The principal author and lobbyist of major laws for special districts, most dealing with water and financial issues, Joe B. has served as both general counsel and bond counsel to public entities in a wide variety of financings, including tax-increment reinvestment zones for major retail developments and the first toll road in Fort Bend County, Texas. Noting the importance of Joe B.’s work for Fort Bend County, Jeff Wiley, President of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council, said, “Joe B. Allen has provided advocacy and leadership in Municipal Utility District and Special District powers, allowing master-planned communities to thrive in the Gulf Coast region and in Fort Bend County specifically, which has five of the top 20 masterplanned communities in the country.” “An Evening With a Texas Legend” is scheduled for Friday, March 1st at Safari Texas in Richmond. For more information, call 281-344-7643 or 713385-5592.

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magazine • February 2013


sagging or full neck makes one look aged and overweight. Dr. Kutty now offers a minimally invasive procedure known as the iGuide to shape the neck and sharpen the jawline. It is done in the office with local anesthesia. It involves several small punctures and no incisions. The advantages are minimal discomfort and a quick recovery. Most patients are back to work in three days. The results are dramatic without being “obvious.” Another exciting development is in advanced materials for permanent lip augmentation. Traditional permanent materials produce inconsistent results, and fillers have to be injected every four to six months. Since fillers have to be repeated to maintain results, the shape is slightly different each time. New soft, permanent implants produce an aesthetically pleasing result that is subtle. Because the implants are so soft, they cannot easily be felt. The result is also highly predictable. This permanent lip augmentation is done in the office with local anesthesia in as little as 10 minutes. Another advance is in the treatment of varicose veins. Millions of people suffer with them, yet only a fraction receive treatment. Dr. Kutty can use a small catheter to eliminate the problem veins,

and it is done under local anesthesia in the office in less than an hour. Visit Dr. Kutty and the knowledgeable team at Luxe Plastic Surgery in Sugar Land to learn more about looking better—with the newest, least invasive technology.

The Complete Approach to Cosmetic Surgery Planning cosmetic surgery is an exciting process. A desire to feel better about yourself (and fit into your older clothing size) is a common reason to consider cosmetic surgery. When that feeling goes beyond a basic dissatisfaction in your appearance and becomes a more serious frustration, it is more important to think about the reasons you’re thinking about it. For example, it’s not unusual for someone to be a few pounds overweight and to want liposuction. The best way to get a better shape in that case is to lose the weight. The shape of the area will certainly improve as well as your general health. Liposuction is not a good way to lose weight. In fact, clients who are significantly overweight are very poor candidates for it. It is not a cure for being overweight, but is intended to tailor body shape. Patients find that getting the right shape only reduces their weight by a small amount. In order to keep your weight down, it’s important to exercise and eat right. Many people think that since they’re having liposuction, they can eat whatever they want beforehand and not really take care of themselves. In fact, the opposite is true. Your result will be much, much better if you’re in better physical condition, because more accurate shaping can be done. Malik Kutty, MD is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon at Luxe Plastic Surgery in Sugar Land and the office can be reached at 281-313-0551.

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The Best Little Secret in Sugar Land Isn’t a Secret Any More: Sugar Land Prep Academy Once upon a time, there was a mom who wanted the best secondary education for her child. This mom had a very special background. Her husband and his mother owned a renowned teacher training institute, training more than 50,000 teachers annually in strategies to help students thrive. Such a background made it harder for this mom to find the perfect school, one that implemented state-of-the-art strategies. The mom thought she would have to settle until one day she was inspired to utilize her qualifications and thought, “Why can’t I start a secondary school for grades 6 through 12 that incorporates all of the best strategies?” That was the

Kinley Stokes, Brittany Harris and Sofia Mirza.

beginning. She started the school with two students in her home. The school grew as parents learned about it. Soon, the secret was out, and she moved from her home to a building. Parents kept coming because they liked the way their

children thrived with no homework! Sugar Land Prep Academy is for parents, like this mom, who want the best for their children. The Academy features: • Outstanding curriculum that helps students excel • Zero tolerance for discipline problems • High student - faculty ratio • Students who prefer peers who are serious about their learning If you want the best for your child, call 281.780.8713 to schedule a visit. This is a school where your child will excel in grades 6 through 12. You have to see it to believe it. Visit for more information.

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magazine • February 2013


Provided by the Hardee Investment Group and RBC Wealth Management


First Comes Love, Then Comes Finances


ove is in the air. Pretty pink and red items adorn store shelves. Pop up tents in grocer parking lots appear full of roses, chocolates and stuffed teddy bears once again. ‘Tis the season for love. I’m fairly confident there will be plenty of proposals on and around Valentine’s Day. First comes love, then come marriage, then comes blending finances. And this may have some seeing more red than they wish. We’ve all seen the statistics. A simple Internet search provides main causes of divorce and finances are often listed as a major contributor. How unfortunate! Let’s take a moment and talking about finances in a relationship or marriage. More often than not, households divide financial responsibilities. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this, there’s one task on which both of you need to be on the same page: wealth management planning. Doing this together ensures both partners have equal input into managing family finances. Its unfortunate the number of times I’ve encountered a situation where a widow comes to me seeking financial guidance, but doesn’t have the slightest clue how her husband handled the investments. Tackling your finances together means

making sure that both partners are on the same page. It may sound pretty basic, but start by talking about your cash flow. You should both know how much money is going out and how much is coming in. Next, look at your debt. If only one of you is making the financial decisions, the other person may not even know what you owe in debt. Break down the debt and look at ways to reduce it. This should be a top priority – especially if you have children. Do you want to leave them a nest egg, or a financial burden? One of the most crucial aspects of wealth management planning as a couple is making sure you both know where all of your important documents are located. While you may not want to think about the “what ifs,” not knowing where financial records are could cause a big headache if a crisis were to strike. Consider keeping your important financial and legal documents in a safety deposit box. You should also make sure that others, such as an attorney, your children or even your financial advisor know where these documents are located. When you’re rounding up your important papers, it’s also worth your while to check all of your assets that require a beneficiary. Who are the beneficiaries of your life insurance policies or your retire-

ment plans? Do you even have a beneficiary listed? Are these documents all up to date? Remember to review your wills and trusts as well. If you don’t have a will, you should strongly consider getting one. Remember, when you fail to plan, you place the burden on the ones you love most. While tackling your finances as a couple may bring up some tough questions, it should ultimately give you peace of mind. Even if one person in the household takes on the responsibility of saving, investing and paying the bills on a regular basis, both partners should feel better knowing that they understand the family’s overall financial situation and that important financial decisions are being made together. Tired of trying to self-manage your family’s portfolio? Let the Hardee Investment Group help give you peace of mind. We understand simple and complex financial issues and often develop creative solutions to these problems. Our five member multi-generational team is set up to help you, your children and your children’s children achieve the financial future you’ve dream of for yourself and for them. Call us at 713-853-0879 or visit us online at We look forward to hearing from you.

The views presented herein are solely those of H.H. “Will” Hardee, AWM, Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager- Portfolio Focus, and do not necessarily represent the views of RBC Wealth Management. Clients should work with their Financial Advisor to develop investment strategies tailored to their own financial circumstances. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The name Hardee Investment Group refers to a group of Financial Advisors working in the Houston, Texas office of RBC Wealth Management. The Hardee Investment Group is not a separate legal or corporate entity. All services offered and all memberships referenced in the presentation refer to the services offered or registrations held through RBC Wealth Management. RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC.

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.com • February 2013


9/12/12 1:39 PM

Financial Focus

Our Newest Banking Center in Katy is Now Open.

Gilbert Limones At First Victoria National Bank, we take pride in keeping pace with your needs with our Banking Center Manager “customer-first” attitude and local decision-making. And as the community continues to grow, that also means bringing you new and convenient locations, like the new Spring Green Banking Center now open in Katy. Experience full-service banking, three drive-thru lanes, a 24-hour Image Enabled Deposit Taking ATM and a Children’s Corner, as well as club-style business center amenities at our V-Source Center®.

So, stop in soon and discover the first-rate service of First Victoria. 9610 Spring Green, Katy, TX t 281.574.8660


New First Victoria Banking Center Now Open In Katy

Submit your request and get the next issue of


irst Victoria National Bank proudly opened their newest banking center in Katy on Friday, November 16, 2012. The banking center is located at 9610 Spring Green Boulevard. With the new location, First Victoria has expanded its presence in Katy with two banking centers to go along with two other nearby banking centers in Rosenberg. The new location features traditional banking services as well as a “V-Source Center®,” which can best be described as a third space away from the home or office that provides customers with non-traditional services, including financial resource materials, copying machine, faxing services, coin counter, Internet access and more business center amenities. In addition, a 24-hour image capture ATM is available for withdrawals and deposits as well as three drive-thru lanes. First Victoria National Bank is the oldest independent bank in Texas and currently has 34 banking centers, 41 ATMs, assets in excess of $2.4 billion and more than 85,000 customers in the Texas Gulf Coast, the I-45 corridor north of Houston, the Brazos Valley, Fort Bend County and the San Antonio/Austin corridor. For more information about this or other First Victoria banking centers, visit or call 1-800-242-3120.

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magazine • February 2013


We’ve opened a new financial center at 620 Hwy 6 at University Blvd. Stop by and say “hello” to bankers who’ll actually enjoy meeting you and providing the kind of personal service that’s all too rare these days. And while our coffee’s pretty good, we think you’ll be even more impressed with our banking. SUGAR LAND: 620 HWY 6 AT UNIVERSITY BLVD



.com • February 2013


Masterworks Focus ad_Layout 1 12/28/12 5:28 PM Page 1


Dr. Héctor Agüero Music Director

Dr. Dominique Røyem Assistant Conductor

Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013

Save the Date: February 22nd Exchange Club’s Spaghetti Dinner

2:00 pm • Stafford Centre 10505 Cash Road • Stafford, TX 77477

Featuring the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition Winner!

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magazine • February 2013


Exchange Club of Sugar Land Spaghetti Dinner Chairman Jim Kij thanks Don Kerstetter of Classic Chevrolet for again stepping up as title sponsor. Photo by Sue Lockwood.

The Exchange Club of Sugar Land’s 26th Spaghetti Cook-Off will be held on Friday, February 22nd from 5-9 pm at the Fluor Cafeteria, 1 Flour Daniel Drive in Sugar Land. The fundraising event is the largest and longest single sustaining family event in Fort Bend County since 1987. This year’s event promises to be exciting with the competition of the spaghetti sauce cook-off teams from the Fort Bend County Police, Fire, Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and Emergency services. The event features live entertainment, a raffle drawing, live and silent auctions, a children’s area with games, prizes, a cake walk and much more. This family community event is attended by over 3,500 each year and is the club’s major fundraiser. In its first 25 years, the Exchange Club of Sugar Land has distributed over $2.5M to charities in Fort Bend County. Classic Chevrolet is the Title Sponsor for the second year. Tickets for adults are $10 if ordered in advance and $12.50 if purchased at the Fluor cafeteria door. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Raffle tickets are $100 each and include two meal tickets. Prizes include “Design Your Own Vacation,” and both dinner and raffle tickets can be obtained from any Exchange Club of Sugar Land member or at



Dr. Darcourt has extensive experience in treating cancer and blood disorders and is highly respected in his field. He delivers individualized, compassionate care through an integrated, team-based approach that ensures each patient’s unique needs are met. At Methodist Oncology Partners, Dr. Darcourt is supported by the leading technology and highly skilled medical professionals of The Methodist Hospital System. And as an active member of The Methodist Research Institute, Dr. Darcourt can offer patients access to a wide range of clinical trials and the latest therapies to fight cancer. This is the Methodist level of cancer care—from diagnosis to survival—where technology and compassion are leading to a cure.

Call 281-276-5200 today to schedule an appointment. • Jorge Darcourt, M.D. is board certified in hematology and oncology. • Located on the Methodist Sugar Land Hospital campus in Medical Office Building Two, Suite 151. • Call 281-276-5200 to schedule an appointment.

Medical Office Building Two 16659 Southwest Freeway, Suite 151 Sugar Land, Texas 77479 281-276-5200

Saint Valentine By Stephenie Cox


he sweet exuberance of February and Valentine’s Day is here. It is the time of the year when lovers’ hands are clasped together, and lips are puckered for loving kisses. It’s that time when loving moments last for eternity, and the beautiful hours spent together just don’t seem to disappear. This is the month when red is the color of the season, and hearts are worn on the sleeves for all to see. Flowers bloom in all their hues and fragrances. Clouds float lazily, and cloud nine feels so much closer. Everything gets so beautiful when you’re in love this month, doesn’t it?

Valentine’s Day

It is one of the most glorious days of the year, especially if you are in love. It is a beautiful day dedicated to lovers all around the world: St. Valentine’s Day. It is the special day when you eat more chocolates than food, the day when you smell more flowers than perfumes and the day when love seems to have taken an entirely different meaning to something that is truer, deeper and so much sweeter! It’s great to enjoy the loving spirit this month, but as with every great day, it comes with a story that is just as fascinating.

The History of Valentine’s Day

The history of Valentine’s Day is impossible to be obtained from any archive, and the veil of centuries gone by has made the origin behind this day more difficult to trace. Legends are our source for the history of Valentine’s Day. There are several stories about the origin of this day, and all of them are associated with a saint by the name St. Valentine. One legend says that he was a priest near Rome during the reign of Claudius II. Rome was a huge empire that was in constant battle from all sides. The empire had grown too large to be shielded from external aggression and internal chaos with existing forces. More capable men were required to join as soldiers and officers. When Claudius became the emperor, he felt that married men were more emotionally attached to their families and would not

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make good soldiers. So, to assure the high quality of soldiers, he banned marriage. This came as a blow to the soldiers, who could not imagine leaving their lovers behind without even a promise of love and togetherness, to have a reason to fight the battle and reunite with their lovers in matrimony. Valentine, a bishop, seeing the trauma of young lovers, met them in a secret place and joined them in the sacrament of matrimony. Claudius learned of this “friend of lovers” and had him arrested. The emperor, impressed with the young priest’s dignity and conviction, attempted to convert him to the Roman gods to save him from certain execution. Valentine refused to recognize Roman gods and even attempted to convert the emperor, knowing the consequences fully. On February 24, A.D. 270, Valentine was executed, but we’ve been celebrating this day ever since.

What Really Happened to Valentine? There are varying ideas about what exactly happened to Valentine after his arrest. A few historians say that he was beheaded, whereas others say that he became sick and died in prison. In 1835, Pope Gregory XVI gave the remains of St. Valentine to Father John Spratt. The gift was in a black and gold casket and can still be viewed every Valentine’s Day at the

magazine • February 2013


Whitefrair Street Church in Dublin, Ireland. There was another Valentine, a bishop of Interamna during the same time, and some critics say that it was the Valentine of Interamna who is the actual Valentine. On the other hand, we also have a few historians who are convinced that both Valentines were the same person.

From Your Valentine

While Valentine was in prison awaiting his fate, he came in contact with his jailor, Asterius. The jailor had a blind daughter. Asterius requested Valentine to heal his daughter. Through his faith, he miraculously restored the sight of Asterius’ daughter. It is believed that he fell in love with this girl, who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a heartfelt letter, which he signed “From your Valentine.” Years and centuries after this letter was written, the expression has touched our hearts, and we still use the same words of love that were once used to express an emotion that has no words to explain.

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Hil ton Co

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Be nef icia

Why February 14th?

In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th in the name of St. Valentine. It remained a church holiday until 1969, when Pope Paul VI took it out from the calendar. On February 13th and 14th, the ancient Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia in honor of Juno, the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. Juno was also the goddess of women and marriage, so honoring her was thought to be a fertility rite. At the feast held the next day, the women wrote love letters and put them in a large urn. The men chose a letter from the urn and for the next year, pursued the woman who wrote the chosen letter. This custom lasted until the 1700s when people decided their beloveds should be chosen by sight, not luck. But people continued to write love notes and exchange gifts on February 14th; hence, this day was dedicated to the priest who died trying to bring lovers together and to all lovers over the world. Thus, Valentine became a patron saint and a spiritual overseer of this loving annual festival of love and togetherness.


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Purses For a Purpose hosted an extraordinary ladies’ afternoon out to support the Purse-A-Nality Purse Event for Boogie 2013. The January 13th event benefited the Fort Bend County Women’s Center, and guests donated new purses in lieu of an admission fee.



Nancy Olson and Cathy Ebeck.

Marte Mohan and Caron Marble.

Vonda Cummings, Nancy Frank and Anne Beatty.

A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe hosted “Women, Wine & A Good Time” for the members of Friends of Fort Bend Cares on January 10th. Guests enjoyed nibbles by Mia Trattoria and wine by Braman Winery along with complimentary facials, skin analyses and massages. Jackie Castaneda and Riki Linn.

Hope Montgomery and Darla Farmer.

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magazine • February 2013

Christine Jue and Evelyn Traylor.

Jill Curtis, Jacquie Baly and Jennifer Vance.


Sanjuana Maldonado, Jorge Darcourt, Isabel Cantu and Luz Hernandez.

Janet Leatherwood and Jeffrey Jackson.

Sugar Methodist Hospital hosted an open house for the new Methodist Oncology Partners facility and welcomed Dr. Jorge Darcourt. Methodist Oncology Partners provides cancer care excellence combining technology and compassion.

Kim Sprague, Kaelyn Bujnoch, Leena Taneja and Lela Hall.

Fort Bend Regional Council honored David Young at the Fourth Annual Helen Cordes Award Luncheon on January 17th for helping Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse grow and prosper over the past eight years. The event was held at Safari Texas Ranch in Richmond. Kathy and John Robson.

David Parker and Roberta Avery.

Pat Somer and Bobbie and Jim McClellan with Irene Wisner.


.com • February 2013

Lucia Street, Teresa Reading and Deanna Clapsaddle.



OF THE BEND The Fort Bend Christian Lady Eagles Varsity Basketball Team beat Dallas Lutheran to win Fort Bend’s Holiday Tournament for the first time in the school’s history. Four players, Taylor Forrest, Briana LaChapelle, Kat Mantel and Bailey Wood, were selected for the All-Tournament Team. Pictured are Julia Tape, Bailey Wood, Jessica Zak, Leah Dibble, Coach Jon Froelich, Morgan Urich, Olivia de St. Remey, Coach Brad Simmons, Kat Mantel, Briana LaChapelle, Danielle Thiessen, Taylor Forrest, Lexy Sanford, Kassidi Kaminski, Dilora Ezenwukwa, Jennifer Andersen, Parker McCarley and Coach Cieara Watts. Way to go Lady Eagles!

Chief Joel F. Fitzgerald, Sr and City Councilman Don Smith.

Stephen Reed, Noel A. Pinnock and Frank McKinney.

City Centre at Quail Valley recently celebrated its grand opening. Festivities included a special video tribute to residents of Missouri City, live music, refreshments and tours of the facility, including the magnificent Magnolia Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 300 guests.

Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen, C.W. Gibbs, James Patterson, Jerry Wyatt and Floyd Emery.

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magazine • February 2013


On January 12th, Sugar Land Face and Body Plastic Surgery celebrated the completion of their new state-of-the-art center with their Grand Opening Gala benefiting the Fort Bend Junior Service League. Eric Humble and Dr. Lin Humble.

Rob and Bibi McDonald.

Linda Holifield, Tapan Rami and Dolon Das.

Allison and Jim Grover.


SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER AT Denise Manos, Georgia Dragonir, Jacquie Baly, Michelle Christ and Maggy Horgan.


.com • February 2013


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Fort Bend Symphony Presents A Trio Of Master Works Following a fall of holiday-themed concerts, the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra (FBSO) welcomes spring with Orchestral Masterworks featuring a trio of works by the great composers Ravel, Sibelius and Elgar. The February 17th performance, under the musical direction of Dr. Héctor Agüero, begins at 2 pm at the Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Rd in Stafford. The concert opens with the beautiful “Karelia Overture” by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. This nationalistic piece celebrates the simple but noble spirit of the people of Karelia, a Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra musicians Jami historical province of Finland that is Thomson, Sean Huston, Ryan San Miguel and now divided between Finland and RusHaley Packer take a break from rehearsals for the sia. Also featured is Maurice Ravel’s February 17th Orchestral Masterworks concert. “Pavane pour une infante défunte,” Photo by Charles Lin. a piece that suggests how a princess would have danced a slow processional in the Spanish courts in earlier times. Both the original piano composition and the orchestral version that followed express the enthusiasm of Ravel, a French composer. The first half of the concert concludes with the winner of the FBSO Young Artist Concerto Competition. The second half of Orchestral Masterworks is devoted to Edward Elgar’s Variations on an Original Theme for Orchestra, commonly called Enigma Variations. History holds that Elgar began playing a theme on the piano, then altered it slightly to reflect the characteristics of his friends. The resulting composition features 14 people in the variations, starting with Elgar’s wife and ending with a self-portrayal. “Although FBSO concerts always include classical music, this is the first one since I became music director in 2008 that features all classical music,” said Agüero. “Orchestral Masterworks is a wonderful opportunity for our audience to listen to and enjoy music they might not know. The program will also provide a great challenge for our players! They have asked for a program like this, so I’m excited to finally have a program for their needs.”  Adult tickets are $12 and $17. Discounts are available for seniors 55 and over, students, military and groups of 10 or more. Tickets are available at or by calling 281-276-9642.


.com • February 2013




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Texas Physical Therapy Association Honors Deborah Nicole Volek Deborah Nicole Volek, PTA, founder of Shape Up Sugar Land, received the Texas Physical Therapy Association’s (TPTA) Joy Davenport Award for her significant contributions to the Physical Therapist Assistant community in Texas. Volek was recognized during the TPTA Annual Conference on Saturday,

Deborah Nicole Volek, PTA, and Dr. Cynthia Fisher, PT, DPT, MS, PCS, Texas Physical Therapy Association President.

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October 27, 2012 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. The Joy Davenport Award was established in honor of Joy Davenport, a physical therapist dedicated to furthering the educational and professional level of the physical therapist assistant throughout her professional career. As the founder of Shape Up Sugar Land, Volek’s foundation lies in her personal motto: “Exercise should be a daily part of our routine like brushing our teeth – our bones and muscles need to be brushed daily no matter what age or disease process.” Volek is active in the community in a variety of leadership roles, including the Mayor’s Health and Fitness Advisory Team, a facilitator for the Texas Department on Aging and Disability and as an executive board member for the Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels. Volek’s love and dedication for the physical therapy profession is demonstrated through her consistent involvement and leadership skills in the TPTA PTA Special Interest Group. In 2011, she was elected as the TPTA PTA Caucus Representative and has worked diligently to ensure PTAs in Texas were made aware of the House of Delegates RCs and provided PTAs the opportunity to discuss concerns. For more information about TPTA, visit

Don’t Replace Broken Devices, Repair Them at Fix Ur Gadget

We live in a gadget world. These devices are part of our everyday lives in work, school or personal life. What happens if your smart phone or tablet breaks? Now a Houston area business has a solution. Does your iPhone, iPad, iPod, Droid, Blackberry, Samsung or HTC have a cracked screen? Accidents happen. Now if you break your phone, you have an option other than insurance or buying a new device! Call Fix Ur Gadget at 713-4685100, and get it repaired. Most repairs are less than your deductible if you have cell phone insurance. You won’t have to mail your phone away and be without your lifeline of communication. Most repairs are made while you wait in the store. Fix Ur Gadget repairs screens, charging ports, trackballs, buttons and even liquid damage on all models of cell phones and tablets. Fix Ur Gadget also offers repairs on iPads, Kindles and all tablets. For the gamers, they repair Xbox, Playstation, PSP and Wii game consoles. They can also repair disk drives, Red Ring of Death, Yellow Ring Errors and many more issues with your game console. Remember your neighborhood Fix Ur Gadget when you have a broken device. Their fast, friendly service will send you home with a repaired device and a smile! Fix Ur Gadget has locations in Memorial, Sugar Land and River Oaks. Call 713-468-5100 or visit


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Sugar Land Gymnastics

• Jedi Sword Fighting • Gymnastics • Giant 20’ Slide • Ice Skating • Ninja Hide & Seek • Stranger Danger Seminars • Moonwalk • Dodge Ball • Arts & Crafts • Games & Movies

• Ages 4 to 10 • Boys & Girls • Family Discounts • Register for 1-Day or All Summer

Sugar Land Gymnastics 16215 Lexington Blvd.


Ask About Our DANCE Classes • Modern • Ballet • Hip-Hop • Tap • Zumba • Jazz


M E R I C A’ S

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• Indoor Rock Climbing • Incredible 90’ Zip-Line • Karate • Ice Skating • Basketball • Jedi Sword Fighting • Stranger Danger Seminars First Colony Mall

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magazine • February 2013


2595 Cordes Drive (off Lexington) Sugar Land

SUMMER FUN GUIDE Not 100% happy with the education your teenager is receiving? Sugar Land Preparatory Academy (Grades 6-12) is your answer! SLP will provide your child with: • A learning environment conducive to academic excellence. • Minimal homework. In fact, usually no homework! • A system to organize information making it easier to absorb, remember, and recall. • Low student to teacher ratio. • A motivating and success driven environment with individualized attention. • A path developed and specifically tailored to high achieving middle and high school students.

Learn about our

SPRING BREAK CAMP! • 281.780.8713

MYSATPOWER SAT & ACT Prep Designed With You In Mind MYSATPOWER Differs Significantly From Other Prep Programs We DO NOT take your valuable time to re-teach high school. MySATpower provides you with personalized coaching to help work through the PSAT, SAT and ACT tests using our unique and specialized test-taking strategies. MySATpower helps you enter college by customizing an easy to follow college readiness plan tailored to your specific needs. MySATpower assists you with scholarship information, processing the necessary college admissions, and funding paperwork along with deadline reminders. MySATpower helps you see dramatic increases in test scores by sharpening strengths, nullifying weaknesses, and helping conquer the PSAT, SAT, or ACT test.

Call Today 281.780.8713 www.fortbend

.com • February 2013


SUMMER FUN GUIDE Kn.I.L.E CENTER Knowledge + Intelligence = Learning Excellence

Tired of the same old thing?

Your Holiday Headquarters for novelty toys, crafts, party supplies, concession and game rentals

Discover a SMART Summer! Join us for our SMART Summer, not your typical summer camp: Rediscover how fun learning can be while challenging your intelligence in our 4-day camp. Our camp includes

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Science, Math, Art, Reading and Training


(Brain training, that is). Campers will explore these subjects in a very unique and captivating, hands-on way. Come experience the difference for yourself!

One-on-One Coaching also available throughout the summer

Bring this coupon and we will take


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Check out our website or call for details and dates


Purchase of $20 or More Exp. 2/28/13

Special Discounts for Churches & Schools!

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scan QR code for promotional details

4611-1 S. Main @ Dulles Stafford, TX 77477

245 Gonyo Lane • Richmond, TX 77469 •

“Raising the Barre”

Come by and Visit our NEW State of the Art Facility

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Each duplex can accommodate four adults and four children or rent both for groups. More pictures at

book at magazine • February 2013




The Walden School You have high expectations... and so do we.

Now Accepting Registration for Fall Infants through Pre-Kindergarten Private Kindergarten through 2nd Grade

281-980-0022 •

Fine Arts Camp 2013 Come join the fun this summer! Art Water Colors, Acrylic Painting, Cartoons Creative Needlepoint, Carpentry, Plaster Masks, Craft Projects Sewing Music and Guitars, Cookie Joe Dance, Xylophones, Theater Drama, Puppets, Voice Science Gemstone Geodes, Robots PE Cowboy Lasso Tricks, Yoyos, Outdoor Sports Kitchen Cooking Class, Dessert Cupcakes Elementary aged children July 15-18 and July 22-25 Cost: $125 per week Sugar Land Baptist Church 16755 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land TX 77479 .com • February 2013


mp! •Swim L •Gymnaesssons •Tae Kw tics on Do •F •Readinigeld Trips & Math L abs I n fa nts thr u Call for d Age 12 etails

16103-A Lexington Blvd. (behind First Colony Mall) • 6:15am - 6:45pm




Transportation to Area Schools Kindergarten through Age 12

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magazine • February 2013


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

Make Your Reservation for

Valentine’s Day Thursday, February 14th

Special Sweetheart Menu Enjoy live piano music

Dr. Charles A. Murphy, Sr. Pastor


14019 SW Frwy, Sugar Land 281.277.2599 • Sun-Sat 11 am-Midnight

2223 FM 1092 Missouri City, Texas 77459 www.fortbend

.com • February 2013


FILM REVIEW By Nick Nicholson




ith 2012 now completely under wraps, I am in the unenviable position of ranking the best and worst of the year in film. Over the course of this year, I have seen over two hundred and twenty different movies, many of which I have thankfully long since forgotten. I would have to admit, however, this has been a good year

for films. I have been surprised by actors who have pushed the envelope such as Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln. On the opposite end of the spectrum are films in which actors scraped the bottom of the barrel, such as Rihanna in Battleship. As the multitude of award shows hit the airwaves, you will have the opportunity to learn about films you


have and have not seen. When the opportunity arises, check out some of these movies and see how they rate with you. I am anxious to see what the 2013 cinema masterpieces have in store, but until then, here is my list, ranked in order of the best and worst of 2012. Until next time, have fun at the movies, and try not to eat too much popcorn!


Lincoln Perhaps Spielberg’s best film since 1998’s Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, brilliantly portrayed by the legendary Daniel Day Lewis, brings to vibrant life the legacy of one of America’s most important presidents. This spectacular film shows what the best in the industry are capable of doing when all are working at a high level. Les Misérables Each of the performances were absolutely amazing. Almost everything about this movie is thrilling, including the renovated musical score that drives the musical along to its sad and touching conclusion. Life of Pi This film focuses on a boy trapped on a life boat in the middle of the ocean with a ferocious tiger.  Life of Pi is the pinnacle fort bend

of our visual arts capabilities. The film gives the sense that it belongs in a museum rather than a movie theater. Django Unchained Everything you might expect from a Quentin Tarantino Western and more is delivered in this terrific film about an unusual pairing of sidekicks. It is violent, offensive and hilarious, as are all of Tarantino’s infamous films.

Zero Dark Thirty Director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal team up again in a project that started out as the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. But when Bin Laden was killed in 2010, the scope of the entire project changed. This is one folks will be talking about for years to come.

magazine • February 2013


H H H H H THE WORST FEATURE FILMS H H H Battleship Hasbro’s board game-turned-alien invasion movie proved that sometimes Hollywood has jack squat for ideas. The fact that they put over $200 million into the film proves that they sometimes have jack squat for brains also. Rock of Ages A disaster from start to finish, Rock of Ages was a great Broadway show but simply a miserable excuse for a movie. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted I am still shocked that this horrific excuse for a sequel made so much money.  The only thing I can think of is that release date is an important player and that parents were desperate for a kid’s movie.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Dear Hollywood, the Love Actually formula has only worked once, and that was in Love Actually. Please stop sending this self efficacious junk! 2016: Obama’s America Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza’s failed attempt at losing the White House for Obama was highly successful at brainwashing a very large percentage of the American public. It is amazing how far pure, unadulterated hate surrounded by lies can still get you in this day and age.



1. Daniel Day Lewis - Lincoln 2.  Jack Black - Bernie 3.  Hugh Jackman - Les Miserables 4.  Denzel Washington - Flight 5.  Jamie Fox - Django Unchained

1. Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables 2.  Samantha Barks - Les Miserables 3.  Sally Field - Lincoln 4.  Helen Hunt - The Sessions 5.  Charlize Theron - Snow White and the Huntsman

BEST ACTRESS: 1. Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook 2.  Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty 3.  Emmanuelle Riva - Amour 4.  Naomi Watts - The Impossible 5.  Helen Mirren - Hitchcock

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: 1. Matthew McConaughey - Magic Mike 2.  Eddie Redmayne - Les Miserables 3.  James Spader - Lincoln 4.  Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln 5.  Leonardo DiCaprio - Django Unchained

ADDITIONAL BESTS FROM 2012: Best Director - Ben Affleck, Argo Best Screenplay - Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained Best Animated Film - Wreck it Ralph Best Cinematography - Mychael Danna, Life of Pi Best Documentary - Searching for Sugarman Best Foreign Film - Jiro Dreams of Sushi Best Original Score - Johnny Klimek, Cloud Atlas Best Original Song - “Skyfall” from Skyfall

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


.com • February 2013


High School HOT SHOT

By Lauren Dante

Ansley Boarman: “Serving” It Up

Photo courtesy of Jamie Marie Kubelka.


senior at Clements High School, Ansley Boarman is all “set” for college. She has a scholarship, the grades, the goals and the athletic ability to excel. As a high school student, Ansley has stood out among her peers as a stellar tennis player, bright student and grounded individual who is thankful for all of life’s blessings. Ansley feels that one of her biggest life blessings has been her innate ability to play tennis. She began playing tennis at the age of eleven, just one year before she was able to compete. Ansley started practicing at the New Territory Tennis Club and moved to Sugar Creek Country Club a few years later. Last May, Ansley started attending Westside Tennis Center. Westside Tennis Center offers Ansley a more competitive environment. “Attending Westside Tennis Center has made a big impact on my game,” said Ansley. “It is everything that I could ask for in a program.” Ansley attends practice Monday through Friday for over two hours. At Westside, Ansley has learned how to be patient during the match and to not rush to get the win. She attends many tournaments where she competes with other state-ranked young ladies. One of Ansley’s goals was to be ranked in the top 50 in the state so that she would be considered for a tennis scholarship. Currently, Ansley is ranked number 36 in the state. Along with being a great tennis competitor outside of school, Ansley is also a member of the Clements

y e l s n A

tennis team. She has been on the Varsity team all four years of high school. Ansley played mixed doubles her freshman year and has played doubles since her sophomore year. “I play singles so much out of school that I want to play doubles at school when I have the opportunity,” said Ansley. “Doubles is a faster paced game and a crazy fun experience when you have a great partner.” Ansley’s partner was Laura Cardno. Ansley and Laura were ranked in the top eight doubles teams in Texas last year. As a team, Clements consistently wins the District Title. For her senior year tournaments, Ansley just wants to give it her all, not be so nervous and live for the moment. Ansley’s positive and focused attitude can be attributed to her participation in Young Life. “Young Life is my saving grace,” said Ansley. “I am

so busy, and I get wrapped up in trying to be perfect, so Young Life balances me out.” Ansley attends Young Life on Monday and Wednesday night. On Monday, “Club” is held, and on Wednesday, Ansley leads “Campaigners” for the freshman group. In the summer of 2011, Ansley attended a Young Life camp in Colorado where she realized God’s immense love for her and others. It was a life-changing experience for Ansley. One night as Ansley was driving home from Campaigners, she received a call from the tennis coach at Abilene Christian University inviting her to attend an official visit of the school. She really loved the campus, the tennis team and the tennis coach. When Ansley received the news that she would be granted a scholarship to Abilene Christian, she was ecstatic and so thankful because she had achieved her goals and her dream was now a reality. At Abilene Christian, Ansley knows that she will continue to advance her game and improve her skills. At college, Ansley would like to major in the medical field. This year, anatomy has become her favorite class and a great introductory experience for her into the medical field. Ansley is an intelligent student making straight A’s with the exception of one B all four years of high school. Ansley is truly a remarkable young lady with the determination to succeed in all things. We wish her all the best as she attends Abilene Christian University in the fall.

Ansley is truly a remarkable young lady with the determination to succeed in all things. fort bend

magazine • February 2013


ATTENTION : Fort Bend High School Seniors


Congratulations to Bailey Wood, a senior at Fort Bend Christian Academy, for being selected as Texas Direct Auto’s “Scholarship Star” for February! Jessica DeMarr, Director of Business Development, presents the $1000 check. At Fort Bend Christian Academy, Bailey is a member of National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Student Leadership Community and more. Bailey has received multiple awards for her academic performance, including the ACSI Outstanding Achievement Award, Fort Bend Christian (FBC) Soaring Eagle Award and Honors English Award. Bailey has also received awards for her athletic achievements as a varsity basketball player including FBC Offensive Player of the Year and FBC Most Improved Player. Beyond academics, Bailey is an avid contributor to the Fort Bend community. She has devoted over 160 hours to helping coach various basketball camps in the area. Bailey has also volunteered at Houston-area shelters and has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to paint newly constructed homes. Bailey plans to attend Texas A&M University as a member of the Business Honors Program. Bailey was selected as part of Texas Direct Auto’s commitment to educational excellence through the “Scholarship Stars” program. Application details are listed below.

Register now and win a



SCHOLARSHIP! Find complete details and forms at


.com • February 2013




things we


This super-soft hoodie is perfect for errands around town or hitting your favorite indoor cycling class at Revolution Studio. View the complete collection in studio. Revolution Studio, 2125 Lone Star Drive in Town Square. Call 281-313-0662;

VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL Show her your love with our featured Valentine sterling silver Lagos bracelet with triple “X” caviar design. Limited quantity at a special price of $295. Open Tuesday – Friday 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday 10 am to 3 pm. J Loggins Jewelers, 14015 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land. Call 281-242-2900;


LIMITED EDITION Glo MINERALS VALENTINE’S DAY DELUXE KIT A luxurious satin make-up case filled with must have Glo Minerals Cosmetics including gorgeous shadows and jeweled eye pencils. Come by SLPS and get the perfect all-in-one beauty go-to, and look absolutely perfect this Valentine’s Day. Sugar Land Plastic Surgery. Call 281-980-8000;

Luxurious care for hands and feet. Pamper your loved one with the gift of smooth and nourished skin. A touching gift for hands and feet. Salon Eben & Day Spa, 15510 Lexington Blvd., Ste. G in Sugar Land. Call 281-980-5160;

LUSH LASHES FOR YOUR VALENTINE Forever Young Skin Care offers Xtreme Lashes® and full sets of lash extensions by advanced trained professionals. Call today for more information on their Sweetheart promotion, available for a limited time only. Forever Young Skin Care. Call 713-269-9955;

fort bend

magazine • February 2013


HEALTHY HAIR FOR VALENTINE’S DAY FDA approved with patented laser technology to help you grow stronger, healthier hair. Clinical strength, at-home convenience. Royal Oaks Medical Spa N Skin Care Clinic,1400 Creekway Dr, Ste 401A in Sugar Land. Call 832-886-4256;

BEAUTIFUL SKIN FOR YOUR VALENTINE Take 20% off Obagi Products for your home treatment regimen. Timeless Plastic Surgery, 1327 Lake Pointe Parkway #300 in Sugar Land. Call 281-242-TIME (8463);

LOVE IN THE FAST LANE Give the gift of speed this Valentine’s Day from With thousands of vehicles in stock, you’re sure to find a ride that you will love!, 12053 SW Freeway, Stafford, Texas 77477. Call 281-499-8200;



Are you experiencing symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, depression and more? If so, I Am Woman will speak to you and start you on a path of healing. Dr. Shel Wellness and Medical Spa, 1437 Hwy 6, Suite 100 in Sugar Land. Call 281-313-7435.

Make someone’s landscaping dreams come true. Gift certificates starting in amounts as small as $150. Visit or GardenGuyHouston.


.com • February 2013




things we

JAN MARINI MD SKIN CARE SYSTEM This Valentine’s Day, give something to lessen the frustration of daily skin care. Try the Jan Marini skin care system--a complete set of medical-grade skin care products. Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. $350; starter set available from $200. Luxe Plastic Surgery, 4660 Sweetwater Blvd., Ste 150 in Sugar Land. Call 281-313-0551;

LOVE YOUR EYEWEAR Providing the best eyewear and service available, our optician is trained in all aspects of frame and lens choices, including the latest in breakthrough technology, to provide you with the best possible vision and meet your fashion and lifestyle needs. Open Tuesday – Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm and Saturday 9 am to 3 pm. Advance Eyewear, 736 Hwy. 6 S, Ste 101 in Sugar Land. Call 281-240-0810.

SWEETINIS FOR YOUR SWEETHEART HAPPY HOUR All About Cakes’ Sweetinis are martini infused and make the perfect Valentine gift for your special someone. Each Sweetini is complimented by a half dozen chocolate dipped strawberries. $28.00. All About Cakes, 13134 Dairy Ashford, Ste 300 in Sugar Land. Call 832-532-7034;


AGE SMART™ STARTER KIT For use on mature and prematurely aging skin, the AGE Smart™ Starter Kit contains a full month’s regimen you can use every day for firmer, smoother, healthier skin. A Beautiful Smile & Med Spa at Lake Pointe, 1447 Hwy 6, Ste. 100 in Sugar Land. Call 281-277-9200;

fort bend

The Camaro isn’t just a performance car, but an extraordinary presence in a new age of precision. The all new Camaro is efficient and technologically savvy – 21st century on every level. Classic Chevrolet of Sugar Land, 13115 SW Fwy @ Hwy 90A. Call 281-491-9000;

magazine • February 2013





















February 2013 Winner “The Cistern” 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. Think you have a great shot? Any subject matter will be considered, black and white or color, special effects and/or edited are not necessary. A WINNER EVERY MONTH Each month’s winner receives a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant and the winning photo will be published in our magazine. To claim your prize, call Sarah at 281-690-4242. Runner-up photos may be published in our “Readers’ Photo Album.”

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

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


.com • February 2013


EVENTS February 9th, 6:30 pm

February 15th, 7 – 9 pm

The world-renowned Fort Bend Boys Choir will provide entertainment at the annual Gala Dinner and Auction in the Safari Lodge at Safari Texas Ranch. Bob Wilson will serve as Master of Ceremonies and auctioneer is newly elected Sheriff Troy Nehls. Festivities for this casual, fun-filled evening include a delicious buffet meal, a live auction and a silent auction. Proceeds will help support all five ensembles of the Fort Bend Boys Choir. Visit

Enjoy a live performance from Third Coast Swing who will play a variety of Big Band music as Fred Astaire Dance Studio instructors dance throughout the evening in the Plaza of Sugar Land Town Square. There will be a variety of food and beverages available from Turquoise Grill. Visit

Yeehaw! Western Gala Dinner and Auction by the Fort Bend Boys Choir

Gearing up for training are Metoyer Martin, Heather Rashid, Leroy Hodge and Casey Davis.

February 4th

Child Advocates of Fort Bend Offers Week Long Training Class

Award-winning Fort Bend Theatre’s Action Reaction Troupe returns with Into the Woods Jr. from February 15th to March 3rd with performances on Fridays at 8 pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 3 pm. In this Sondheim classic, the Brothers Grimm fairytales have been reimagined and intertwined. Tickets are $9 and are available at www. Call 281-208-3333.

February 9th, 10:30 am

February 18th – 20th 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Sugar Creek Garden Club Friendship Luncheon

Sugar Creek Garden Club members Shirley Gordon, Ann Price, Jennie Schultz, Patti Pearson, Ruth Heikkila, Diane Reeves, Sandy Rule-Allen, Karen Bradley and Bonnie Steidley.

February 15th – 24th Fridays and Saturdays, 8 pm Sundays, 3 pm Into the Woods Jr. at Fort Bend Theatre

Child Advocates of Fort Bend, a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing a voice for abused and neglected children in Fort Bend County, is offering a weeklong training class to train volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children. Volunteers must be over 21 years of age, complete an application and submit to background screening. To apply, call 281-344-5172 or

Sugar Creek Garden Club’s annual Friendship Day features a luncheon with Twilight the Clown as entertainment as well as a silent auction with items for all ages. The event also features a raffle to fund scholarships and other community outreach projects. The event will be held at Sugar Creek Country Club, 420 Sugar Creek Blvd. Call 281-494-5065.

Dance and Romance featuring Big Band Music

Tour choirboy Caeden Holly sings Dream a Dream to patron Lucia Street at the 2012 French-themed gala.

February 12th, 5-7 pm

New Creation Fat Tuesday Community Pancake Supper Enjoy an old-fashioned pancake supper, reviving the Christian tradition of eating well and celebrating with friends before Lent. Chef Carlos Vasquez of the Hyatt Regency Houston has volunteered to serve pancakes with all the trimmings for the guests of New Creation Church at the Irene Stern Community Center, 6920 Katy Fulshear Road. A good will offering will be taken. For ticket information, call 832-492-5136 or visit www.

fort bend

magazine • February 2013


Learn Job Search Survival Tips at First Colony Branch Library Fort Bend County Libraries’ First Colony Branch Library will present a free, threepart series on “Job Search Survival Tips” in the Meeting Room of the library, located at 2121 Austin Parkway in Sugar Land. Different topics are discussed each night. Learn tips on writing a better resumé, researching prospective employers, interviewing and non-verbal skills, making a great first impression, networking and much more. Call 281-238-2800.

February 23rd, 9 am –12 pm Master Gardener Vegetable-Herb Sale

Join the Fort Bend Master Gardeners at their Vegetable-Herb Sale in front of the greenhouse behind the Agriculture Center, 1402 Band Road in Rosenberg. Visit

February 23rd, 9 am – 3 pm

Youth in Philanthropy presents Healthy Children Fort Bend Style Celebration Join Youth in Philanthropy as they create awareness for Healthy Children and Healthy Eating at Sugar Land Town Square with interactive displays, kid friendly activities and a contest with high school students constructing people made out of fruits and vegetables. Local students will also lead “healthy snack” food drives at their schools leading up to this event donating all food that is gathered to local food banks. Visit

February 28th, 10:30 am – 2 pm “The Wonderful World of Pearls” Luncheon

Fort Bend Friends and Neighbors invites you to hear an international pearl expert from “Love the Pearls!” speak on the fascinating world of pearls at BraeBurn Country Club, 8101 Bissonnet in Houston. Unique pearl jewelry will be on display and available for purchase. Visit or contact

Reserve Your Spot for SPRING BREAK! Families head to Galveston each year with family and friends. Choose two or more nights from March 8 thru March 17. Stay at The Victorian in a spacious and comfortable condo suite. One bedroom condo sleeps 4 adults, minimum two-night stay. Two Night Package Rate from $350.99* inclusive (room rate, fees and tax) Or...Any Five Consecutive Nights Package Rate from $750.99* inclusive (room rate, fees and tax) * Special packages must book by March 1, 2013

Current Fort Bend Friends and Neighbors officers Sue Tanzberger, Nancy Frank and Sandra Boyd, each wearing their own pearls.

6300 Seawall • Galveston • TX • 855.268.7358 • • promo code SB2 & SB5

Got Tickets? Join us on Facebook to WIN!

Submit calendar events at

“Like” Us Today!

Ticket giveaways to area attractions and events. www.fortbend

.com • February 2013


UT MD Anderson Experts Launch Cancer Prevention Nutrition Challenge


Robotic-Assisted Surgery Comes to Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital recently received delivery of the da Vinci Si Surgical System robot, a leading-edge surgical system that is transforming surgical procedures. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land began scheduling this procedure the third week in December. “With robotic surgery, small mechanical arms are inserted into the patient through tiny incisions,” said Nina Dereska, MD, one of several members of the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land medical staff who is trained in the da Vinci system. “Memorial Hermann Sugar Land surgeons will be able to control the robotic movements, or the arms, through special hand-and-foot controls at a console several feet away from the operating table.” Initially, the daVinci robot will be used by speciallytrained Memorial Hermann Sugar Land surgeons to perform surgery in three areas: uro-gynecology, gynecology oncology and general surgery. The robot translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements at the control console into corresponding micromovements of the instrument’s tip. Similar movements also control the camera to allow the surgeon to see inside the patient’s body. “This is a remarkable system, because the da Vinci robot allows the surgeon to perform more complex, as well as delicate, procedures precisely without making large incisions,” said Dr. Dereska. The results can be a shorter stay in the hospital, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, fewer transfusions, less scarring, faster recovery and, most importantly, a quicker return to normal daily activities. Additional surgeons on the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land medical staff are currently being trained to operate the da Vinci system at the Memorial Hermann Surgical Innovation and Robotics Institute, which is located at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. “The Memorial Hermann Institute has trained numerous robotics surgical teams from around the country since we first opened in 2003,” said Peter Herrera, director of the Institute. “We are the largest training site for robotic surgery in the nation and the only one in the southwest USA.” “The robot delivered to Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital, the first in the region, includes the latest technology such as the “single-site” system – a single incision rather than the three to five small incisions required by a traditional robot. Greg Haralson, chief operating officer at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land said, “the da Vinci robot will enable our surgeons to provide their patients with an innovative alternative approach to traditional surgery. Robotic surgery is the future of medicine.” For additional information about Memorial Hermann robotics system please call 713.222.2273. fort bend

Adults with a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier foods that can potentially lower cancer risks are invited to participate in the 2013 Healthy Bites nutrition challenge, developed by experts at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Eating the right foods and staying at a healthy weight can help reduce a person’s chances of cancer,” said Mary Ellen Herndon, a wellness dietitian at MD Anderson. “But, maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult. That’s why we created the Healthy Bites program.” Focus on small diet changes Healthy Bites encourages participants to make small diet changes by completing one nutrition challenge each month in 2013: 1. Eat breakfast daily. 2. Eat every 5-6 hours when you’re awake. 3. Eat more whole grains. 4. Make MyPlate, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition guide, your plate. 5. Limit red meat consumption. 6. Drink more water. 7. Avoid processed meat. 8. Dine out less. 9. Eat more fruits and veggies. 10. Eat plant-based protein. 11. Eat less salt. 12. Drink less alcohol. “Research shows that successful nutrition programs focus on small changes,” Herndon said. “It’s these small changes that can lead to larger, more impactful behavior change.” Get nutrition support and advice People who join Healthy Bites will have access to MD Anderson nutrition materials, food journals, healthy recipes and expert tips to help them complete each month’s challenge. “Educate yourself and plan, plan, plan!” said Lyle Rhymes, a participant who completed the “eat less salt” challenge earlier this fall. Lyle is one of 12 recruited participants who successfully completed one of the Healthy Bites challenges listed above. “Completing this challenge was eye-opening for me,” Rhymes said. “I realized just about everything we consume has salt. So, you really have to plan your daily diet.” Stories and videos featuring Rhymes and the 11 other participants will be posted each month on the Healthy Bites website. They’ll share their favorite part of the challenge, obstacles they faced and advice for success to help motivate future participants. Join this challenge According to the American Cancer Society, diet and physical activity, including being overweight or obese, contribute to onethird of all cancer deaths in the United States each year. Maintaining a plant-based diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, and being physically active are some of the best ways to reduce cancer risks. For details on how to join the challenge, visit To learn more about the MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Sugar Land, visit sugarland.

magazine • February 2013


Panel of heart experts Dr. Kesavan Shan, Diagnostic Cardiologist; Dr. Uttam Tripathy, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon; Dr. B. Keith Ellis, Interventional Cardiologist and Dr. Jasvinder Sidhu, Electrophysiologist.

Heart Disease Risks That May Surprise You Free Heart Smart Seminar and Screening Which of the following increases your risk of heart disease? A. Smoking B. Sleep apnea C. Depression D. All of the above The answer is D. Some heart disease risks, such as smoking, are quite commonly known, but did you know that diabetes, sleep apnea or depression could also raise your risk of a heart attack? Read on to learn some surprising heart disease risk factors and tips to lower your risk. Diabetes. Diabetics run twice the risk of having heart disease or a stroke as non-diabetics. In fact, diabetics without a previous heart attack have the same future risk as non-diabetics with history of a heart attack! “Peo-

ple with diabetes or prediabetes have above normal blood glucose (sugar) levels,” says B. Keith Ellis, M.D., board certified interventional cardiologist on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “Over time, high blood glucose damages nerves and blood vessels, resulting in vascular disease. It’s important to carefully monitor your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and work with your doctor to keep them under control.” Kesavan Shan, M.D., board certified diagnostic cardiologist also on staff, further advises, “If you have prediabetes, you can lower your risk of adultonset diabetes 60 percent by losing 7 percent of body weight and exercising at least 30 minutes daily, five days a week.”

Poor sleep. Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects at least 12 million Americans, typified by insomnia, snoring and daytime fatigue. Most sufferers have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where tissues in the throat collapse and obstruct the airway, causing blood oxygen levels to drop. The sleeper awakes enough to cough or gasp for air, then falls asleep again with the cycle repeating throughout the night. “Sleep apnea puts extra stress on the circulation and raises the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure and diabetes,” says Dr. Shan. Sleep apnea is associated with obesity, chronic nasal congestion, large tonsils or other airway blockages. A sleep study is used to diagnose the condition. Mental health. Depression and stress can also raise the risk of heart disease. Dr. Ellis adds, “A study of 63,000 women found that those with depression were 50 percent more likely to die of heart disease than women without the condition, even when other risk factors were taken into account. To combat depression and stress, experts suggest exercise, turning to friends and family, relaxation techniques and seeking professional help, if necessary.” Free Heart Smart Seminar To learn more about heart disease please join us on Wednesday, February 20 from 6 – 8 p.m. at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital—Conference Center. Learn your 10-year risk for heart disease including cholesterol and blood pressure screenings for the first 200 people to register. Registration required and screenings provided if you meet government screening criteria. To see if you qualify and to register call 281-274-7500 or visit MethodistHealth. com/HeartScreenings.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers® — Seminars A caregiver is someone who has taken on the very selfless role of caring for a loved one. Many times the caregiver has the great responsibility of making sure their loved one’s basic needs are met which requires work and dedication. By taking care of his or her own needs, the caregiver will be able to better care for those who depend on them. Powerful Tools for Caregivers® is an educational program to help family

and friends caring for older adults with long-term health conditions. The free seminar consists of six classes, each of which focuses on different tools that will help guide the caregiver through the caregiving journey. You will learn about setting goals, staying motivated and dealing with feelings of anger, guilt and depression, giving you the increased confidence and ability to cope with the demands of caregiving. www.fortbend

.com • February 2013


This six-week course begins Monday, March 4 and runs through Monday, April 8, 2013. Classes are held every Monday from 6:30 - 8:30 pm in the Sweetwater Pavilion Chapel at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. To register or for more information, call the Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Spiritual Care department at 281-274-7164 or email Seating is Limited.

FOCUS CARES By Whitney Hensler

Darla Farmer: Caring for Families Through Hope for Three


Bend community, we recognized that there were arla Farmer was volunteering at Child so many families affected,” said Farmer, who notAdvocates of Fort Bend when she met ed that there are approximately 2,200 children diHope Montgomery, an employee with the agnosed with autism or autism-related disorders organization who became pregnant with identical in the county. triplet girls in 2008. Farmer said the organization has two main “All the ladies at Child Advocates stepped in focus areas, “raising awareness and providing reto help when she got pregnant with triplets,” said sources and support for families living with auFarmer. “Over time, the friends kind of wandered away—life gets busy—and I ended up staying tism,” the latter of which is accomplished through a friend to the family and helping out as best I the Family Assistance Awards, financial aid assistance that is given to families after a thorough could.” Darla Farmer application process. The family’s needs intensified when in 2009, “No other organization in Fort Bend County Lakin, the middle triplet, was diagnosed with a provides financial aid,” said Farmer. “We’re the only organidisorder on the Autism spectrum known as PDD-NOS, or zation that focuses solely on the epidemic of autism, nothing Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified. else, which makes us unique in itself, and we’re the first that In June of 2010, the other girls, Londyn and Lauren, were directly impacts families by providing financial aid.” also diagnosed with PPD-NOS. Farmer said that since the organization received non-profFarmer said she recognized the “financial, emotional, it status in 2011, they’ve been able to provide support for 10 and physical strains” that were put on Montgomery and her families affected with autism in the community. husband as they tried to find treatment and services for the “There is a need to have this kind of organization, and seetriplets, while also trying to maintain a normal home life for their son, Collin. Their struggle inspired her to start the oring it grow and develop, it has expanded beyond my wildest ganization Hope for Three, a non-profit that aims to spread dreams.” Farmer said. autism awareness in the Fort Bend community and to conFor more information regarding Hope for Three, visit nect families affected by autism to the services they need. or call 713-858-7965. For additional volun“It was founded because I was inspired by the Montgomteer opportunities in Fort Bend County, call 713-965-0031 or ery family, but once we started making our way in the Fort visit

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magazine • February 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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.com • February 2013


Living the Sweet Life:

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

Challenge Number Two – s we are working on being the best we can be this year together, I have broken down three ways I see the people living. One is to live a life filled with panic and anxiousness, stirred by worry and stemmed from not loving oneself and trusting that each of us has a true purpose. The second is to live life filled with a reflection of what we want the world to think we have and to say what we think others want to hear instead of finding one’s true path. The last way is to love oneself and to love one another, and in doing so, everything else will indeed turn out right.


Father Mike and Alisa Murray.

The facts are in, folks. We live in a world that is full of both good and evil and somewhere in between. I know it, you know it and even animals know it. Hate is a powerful thing. Hate is evil. The opposite of hate, of course, is love, and there is a sinister dichotomy to the ebb and flow of the universe that literally sways and lies in the arms of these two ways of life. It was when I discovered the

Write Love on Your Heart!

continuum of this love/ hate thing that I finally understood why people make bad choices. Most of the time, we are confused about only one thing: ourselves. This explains murders, wars and the way we as humans walk away from each other in need and act as if bad things don’t exist. I believe that if I ever were to get the chance to sit and talk to all the people who have done really bad things, that the one thing I would find as a common denominator would be self-hate. There is no other explanation for all the wrong in our world. To me, this makes perfect sense. The answer to all the evil in our world is that at the deepest point in the heart of a soul, something changes and in that transformation, the soul has truly turned in on itself. So one asks, “How do we change it? How do we begin again with renewal of our spirit and fill ourselves with hopes and dreams and love?” The answer is that it starts with you. As we look to a new year, a new Valentine, a year filled with so much, we should feed our spirits with love. Take time for yourself to be in the moment, and think on who the most important people are in your life. Are you loving them? I’m not asking if you are you providing for them, disciplining them and getting along with them. Doing all of those things is what is expected. I am asking you to actively find a way that is absolutely nothing more or less a way to show them love. It is a contagious thing. Perhaps Father Mike stated it best in a sermon I was attending over the holidays concerning rules fort bend

magazine • February 2013


and following a life in Christ. He explained that in the Bible, there are over 700 laws and rules for us to follow. Going even further, the word “heart” is mentioned over 800 times. Father didn’t think that this was a coincidence, and neither do I. The idea that one follows the law and has hate in one’s heart is a fake kind of love…a Pharisee kind of love. God never wants us to follow a law only because failing to do so creates a consequence. Rather, we should as humans desire to become transformed and want to do good towards one another because it is the right and just thing to do. Father Mike explained that our spirit fills and is at home in our hearts. “Live a life that transforms you; it spreads and transforms humanity. We all desire to see a world transformed through mercy received and given, grace received and given, and of course, love received and given. All of these things are done by the heart in our daily lives and through our interactions with one another. The spirit lives in the heart and that is the place where life with God begins.” Simply put, living a life in Christ is to do so with a consciousness towards love. The road to a world filled with love starts with each of us first loving ourselves so that we can see goodness and grace and mercy and love back. If you write love on your heart, you will reflect love on others. You cannot do this fully until you can love yourself, and then as you give love, all of the rest will take care of itself. Finding your purpose and passion in life first starts with love. Take Care of You!

Texas Direct Auto Proudly Supports Women In Need


n their continuing commitment to community, Texas Direct Auto is a proud sponsor of the 8th Annual Girlfriends Giggle benefitting the Fort Bend County Women’s Center. The annual event is scheduled for Thursday, February 7th from 6:30 to 11 pm in the “Diva Den” at Fluor of Sugar Land located at One Fluor Daniel Drive. The Girlfriends Giggle is the ultimate “Girls’ Night Out” for hundreds of ladies each year. Billed as a “Grown Up Girl Pajama Party” celebrating female friendships and supporting women in need, the evening includes a live deejay, dancing, pajama contest, restaurant fare, a martini bar, live and silent auctions, boutique shopping, dance lessons and personal indulgences including manicures, massages and hair styling. Last year’s Giggle raised more than $100,000 for the Women’s Center largely due to the support of generous sponsors. Texas Direct Auto is proud to sponsor the valet on this great evening. “The Fort Bend County Women’s Center provides such a vital and important service to our community,” said Jessica DeMarr, Director of Business Development for Texas Direct Auto.

“Assisting survivors of domestic violence and providing them with the resources they need to start a new, self-sufficient and safe life is a mission we are proud to support.” Tickets for the Girlfriends Giggle are $67 which is also the amount it costs to shelter a survivor of domestic violence and/or sexual assault at the Fort Bend County Women’s Center which has a 65-bed emergency shelter. In more than 30 years of serving Fort Bend, the Women’s Center has helped more than 35,000 women and children achieve violence-free lifestyles through their mission of assisting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children. Title sponsors of the Girlfriends Giggle include Sweetwater OB/Gym Associates, Houston Fertility Institute and Dr. Jay Shenaq, M.D., F.A.C.S. To purchase the specially priced $67 tickets to the Girlfriends Giggle, visit or stop by the Women’s Center office located at 905 3rd Street in Rosenberg. For more information on becoming a sponsor or vendor at the event, call 713.291.7323 or email

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Stop enduring pain. Call or email today and begin your personal treatment plan. 281-313-BACK (2225) or

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February 2013 - Fort Bend Focus Magazine - People • Places • Happenings  
February 2013 - 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...