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The Jewels of Fort Bend

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magazine • September 2011


Cari’s whole family together for her Grandmother’s 90th birthday in February 2010.

Jewel of Fort Bend

Cari Middaugh schools,” said Cari. “About five years ago, I was asked to join the League, and the timing was just right.” Of course, Cari didn’t just join the FBJSL. In typical Cari fashion, she been asked to serve on another jumped right in. “I really wanted event committee. Though to work for Child Advocates as my Scott had seen her spend placement, but my good friend, a couple of sleepless nights Melissa Hayslip, who was president working on the previous event at the time, encouraged me to work , he told Cari that he felt it was an event the first year so I could meet an honor that they had thought people. She was right! Working on an of her to participate in such an event was great hands on experience, and I important role. Scott and Cari Middaugh with Tyler, Morgan and Makenzie. met so many wonderful people in the League.” “We really didn’t know what to expect Cari was familiar with Child Advocates as she had with Glitter & Gloss,” said Cari. “But working on served as a Hostess, a House Captain, and eventually, as a the ball was a different story.” Cari signed on as co-chair Neighborhood Chair for the CASA Christmas Home Tour for the 2008 event and devoted months to organizing one of which she has done each year since 2005. But, she decided to the FBJSL’s largest annual events. Two weeks prior to the follow her friend’s advice and served on the committee for the event, the co-chairs lost some key committee members and League’s first Glitter & Gloss event. Cari was put in charge volunteering for the event became a 24 hour a day job. “The of the luncheon tickets. “I really didn’t know anything about last two weeks, I literally spent the entire day and much of the the job, but I was willing to learn,” recalled Cari. “Thank God evening with my co-chairs,” recalled Cari. “That was a really, for KK West because she really helped me that year. We were really trying time for my whole family.” at Safari Texas until 2 am the morning before working on the Despite the long hours and the crazy schedule, the 2008 seating. I slept for maybe an hour, finished the place cards Charity Ball was a great success. “I couldn’t have done the ball and went back to the event. I didn’t know if I would ever do without the tremendous support of Scott, along with all three any event again after that!” of our kid’s, patience,” said Cari. “My family has been very Glitter & Gloss was extremely successful and. “At the supportive, and Scott attends every event I work on and does wrap-up party, I was asked to co-chair the Charity Ball,” said whatever he can to help.” Cari. “I said, ‘Are you kidding? Let me get over Glitter & From there, Cari tackled leadership positions in the Gloss!’” Cari went home and told Scott that she had already League’s Sugar Plum Market where she has served for the past three years, the past two year as a co-chair. “I think my work with Sugar Plum is far from over,” said Cari who plans to help lead the event for the next two years. “I really think that my next step is taking a class and becoming an advocate for Child Advocates. I really want to be involved with these kids.” Over the years, raising money for multiple charities, especially the ones serving children, has really touched Cari’s heart. “Participating in the check presentations is so gratifying to me,” said Cari. “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.” For devoting those long hours and sleepless nights all to benefit her community and for her passion for helping children, Fort Bend Focus Magazine is proud to honor Cari Middaugh as Cari with her children on a cruise in August 2010. a JEWEL of Fort Bend. ■ FBF fort bend

magazine • September 2011


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Jewel of Fort Bend

Judy Schmid


“I want people to know that I truly care about people, my community, my faith, family and country. I’m very much a patriot, and I love this area and the people here...”

n Texas, everything is known for being big, and we all know that Texas women live up to that motto. They give big, they care big and they volunteer in a big way. Above all else, Texas women are resourceful, spunky and frankly, a force to be reckoned with. That’s certainly true of JEWEL of Fort Bend Judy Schmid– a Texas girl born and raised – who is an educator, author and advocate with a heart and a will to give – as big as the state itself. For over forty years, Judy has been giving to her Texas community. While she’s lived many places, she’s never lived outside of the Lone Star state, and she can’t remember a time when she didn’t volunteer. She grew up in Port Arthur, and her parents were active volunteers in their church always helping neighbors, family and friends. “People took care of each other when I was growing up,” recalled Judy. “We didn’t have all of these services then. Families and neighbors helped each other out. It was just part of my life growing up.” As a young girl, Judy was involved in Camp Fire Girls, National Honor Society, and of course, church. Her parents instilled the virtue of giving leading by example. “Before I was born, my mother’s sister became ill, and she had a husband and three children. My daddy got my uncle a job, and he fixed up the upstairs for their family. They lived with fort bend

us until I was four years old. I thought my cousins were my brothers and sisters.” Judy attended Lamar University and received degrees in physical education and biology. She later returned and became certified in mental retardation, as well as earned a masters degree in educational supervision. Judy began her career working in Beaumont, and one day her sister asked her to help out at a basketball tournament at the Beaumont State Center. “I couldn’t understand how my sister could do it,” said Judy. “It was very challenging working with people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, but pretty soon, I found myself going more and more to the center and helping out.” Judy’s volunteerism led to a full-time job at the Beaumont State Center in the Recreation Department, and she set her mind to upgrading their programs. “At the time, Beaumont was one of only two community-based centers in Texas that served individuals with mental retardation,” said Judy. At that time, only state supported schools served that population. While there, Judy began what would be a forty-year endeavor to change the system for the better. “Our goal was to create a system where we could put the mentally retarded in group homes and only have the most severely retarded at state schools,” said Judy. “This was a much better alternative to serve this population, meet their needs and assimilate them into society.” Over the past forty years, Judy is pleased that she has seen these changes put in place just as she had envisioned, and it’s made a significant impact and improvement on the mentally retarded. Of course, this small but mighty Texas girl had a hand in seeing these changes come to fruition. In 1972, Judy published a book as a curriculum guide for teaching basic skills, and later moved to a private company in Wharton that had a 106 bed facility for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. There, she faced quite a battle on behalf of her children with the school board. Public schools are responsible for providing education for every child regardless of their level. Wharton’s school district

magazine • September 2011

continued on page 30


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Jewel of Fort Bend

Judy Schmid was the last district in the state who had not assimilated special needs children, regardless of their city of origin, into their system. “Wharton was the last hold out in the state,” said Judy. “I had 106 children, and out of those 106, the Wharton school district would take only one Judy and Mike Schmid child. They wouldn’t serve the other 105 because their parents did not live in Wharton. The children were living in Wharton, but the district refused service because their parents did not.” When told by the district that they didn’t have to take the children because their lawyers said they didn’t have to take them, the battle was on. “I told the school board you better get yourself another lawyer.” Judy’s battle helped pave the way for the Texas Education Agency’s mandate stating that all public schools serve all children where they lived regardless of where their parents resided. While in Wharton, Judy met a man who would change her life doing of all things, volunteering. “Every year our company hosted an event to give back to a community organization, and that year, they picked the Ronald McDonald House,” said Judy. Naturally, Judy was in charge of the event, and a McDonald’s from Rosenberg got on board to help out. The event was in the parking lot of a strip mall complete with a marching band and radio station remote. “I had just finished an interview with the radio station when a big gust of wind came up,” recalled Judy. “The band’s sheet music started blowing away. I ran over to pick up the music, tripped over some wires and fell flat on my face!” The owner of the Rosenberg McDonald’s took notice and came to her rescue. “Mike always says that I fell for him!” “Mike and I went out that night, and we’ve been together ever since,” said Judy. “Both of us have always tried to give back to our community so it’s perfect that we met when we were working at a fundraising event.” Though the Schmid’s have only lived in Fort Bend for eight years, they have been supporting the community for 36 years both through their business and personally. They own seven McDonald’s in Fort Bend, and Judy volunteered for the Richmond State School for 30 years serving as president fort bend

Clockwise from top left: Pictured with Santa are Granddaughters Cassey and Samantha with Tracey and son Mark; Ashleigh and Michael, children of son Jay and Amanda; Son Kevin with wife Kim and their sons Collin and Conner.

of their Volunteer Services Council, co-chairing their annual gala and receiving the award for Outstanding Volunteer. She worked professionally at the school for almost 13 years, and in 1994, she “quit her paying job” to focus on her grandchildren. “I never thought I would be working with the mentally retarded,” said Judy. “But my work at the Richmond State School has meant so much to me.” Judy has been involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities since 1990 helping raise money for much-needed facilities for families with sick and needy children in the areas of health and education. And her children, have followed in their mother and father’s footsteps. “We’ve always instilled the importance of helping your fellow man to our kids,” said Judy. “Our kids all have the same philosophy that we do. They know everything that Mike and I do for our community, and they’re pretty proud of that. They have followed the example.” That example includes more than community volunteerism. The Schmid’s family of four children grew unexpectedly when a friend of Judy’s died suddenly. She left a fifteen-year-old son who needed both help and a family. “I saw something in Jay,” said Judy. “He was always getting little jobs, always helping his neighbors. I knew that he needed us.” Mike and Judy became Jay’s guardian, and he moved in. Today, he has two children and is considered as the Schmid’s third son. “I am Nana to his two children,” said Judy. “That was the greatest gift that my friend could ever give me because I would have never had those two grandkids without her.” This JEWEL says she’s at a place in life where she wants to be. “I want people to know that I truly care about people, my community, my faith, family and country. I’m very much a patriot, and I love this area and the people here. Mike and I are a team, and it is our pleasure to give back to our community especially working with people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Working with them has truly been an inspiration to me.” For her gift to inspire big, to give big and to care big, Fort Bend Focus Magazine is proud to honor a small but mighty Texas woman with a heart as big as the state – Judy Schmid – as a JEWEL of Fort Bend. ■ FBF

magazine • September 2011


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Jewel of Fort Bend

Lucia Street


“I have to be trying to do something worthwhile. I really do want to make a difference, and I couldn’t just sit around and play when I know there are things that need to be done.”

hen I talked with JEWEL of Fort Bend Lucia Street, I knew that she had retired from the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County after serving for thirteen years as their Executive Director, and of course, that she still was very involved in community service as a volunteer. What I didn’t realize, this JEWEL explained to me as she was putting the finishing touches on a grant for her latest volunteer endeavor, was that Lucia was not only still involved in community service, but that she still takes on leadership roles in causes close to her heart – causes like ACHIEVE Fort Bend County – where she currently serves as president, spokesperson and yes, chief grant writer. Not surprising at all once you get to know this JEWEL of Fort Bend. Service is literally in Lucia’s DNA as she not only grew up with community service in San Angelo, she has continued the tradition of giving throughout her life. “I remember taking food to families with my mother and helping her carry it in,” recalled Lucia. “We were always doing service projects through the church – collecting coats, distributing food. Both of my parents taught Sunday School, and they had me working at Vacation Bible School from a very young age.” fort bend

Lucia continued her focus on community service while attending Trinity University in San Antonio where she graduated with a degree in religious education. “I wanted to be a minister, but of course, I couldn’t because at that time, women weren’t encouraged to do that.” But that didn’t stop Lucia from pursuing her passion. After she graduated, Lucia directed education programs at churches combining her two loves: religion and education. Lucia credits her experience at Trinity University for inspiring her to continue community service as a young adult. “Trinity was a wonderful school. Perhaps when you grow up with community service as a priority, you might change your ideas when you go away, but Trinity really encouraged students to participate in volunteerism before community service in colleges was really cool. It was a wonderful way for me to keep volunteering. It was just natural.” Community service, and of course, an education, were not the only things that Trinity University gave to Lucia. While there, she met her husband of 52 years, Larry. “My very first day at Trinity, we were standing in a reception line to meet the president,” recalled Lucia. “Larry and his dad were standing in front of me, and his dad accidentally stepped on me. He turned around to apologize and introduced our families.” After that chance meeting, Larry and Lucia dated throughout college and when they graduated, they married in August and moved to Houston. Lucia worked in religious education at two Presbyterian churches before her children, Lyle and Lauren, were born, and when Lyle started first grade in Sugar Land, so did Lucia. In 1972, 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. “Every child needs someone who truly cares about them and elementary school is such an important foundation for children and their education,” said Lucia.

magazine • September 2011

continued on page 34


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Jewel of Fort Bend

Lucia Street In her quest to support education, Lucia ran for and won a seat on the Fort Bend ISD School Board of Trustees and served as president of the Houston Junior Forum. The Forum sponsored a pre-school and a program for senior citizens which included life-long learning, and Lucia continues her service with the organization today. “All of my volunteer work really has The Street Family: Back row: Liz and Lyle a common thread of education and Street, Larry, Steve and Lauren Zarvos. Middle row: Caroline and Olivia Street and learning,” said Lucia. “My hope and Lucia. Front row: Ava Street, Zachary and dream for the future is that every Alexa Zarvos. child would have the opportunity to succeed in school and in life.” From the Commission of Adult 40’s and 60’s regretting not finishing Basic Education to Literacy Texas to school. They’ve shared what not the Fort Bend Regional Council, Lucia finishing did to their family and their continues her service as a board member life. If we could get more students Larry and Lucia Street to several organizations. Her thirteen years to finish high school and help them of service to the Literacy Council of Fort Bend understand how important it is to their future ended in 2005 with her retirement from the agency. – and to the community because of the economic “I just failed retirement,” said Lucia who remains as impact – it could make a big difference.” active as ever in the community. “I have to be trying to ACHIEVE couldn’t have a better advocate than this do something worthwhile. I really do want to make a former college cheerleader. In July, Lucia was interviewed difference, and I couldn’t just sit around and play when I on Fox 26 News to help spread the word about the know there are things that need to be done.” importance of staying in school. She shared that the Lucia’s drive and can do spirit is evident in her newest average annual income for a dropout is almost $10,000 less cause: ACHIEVE Fort Bend. Committed to dropout than that of a high school graduate, and these dropouts are prevention and recovery, Lucia is one of the founding three times more likely to live in poverty. “Our schools are members of ACHIEVE. “I feel so passionate about swamped due to the cuts in education,” explained Lucia. ACHIEVE having talked to so many people in their 20’s, “Kids need someone who will truly care about them and their future. Those of us in the community need to step up and fill in some of those gaps.” Stepping up and filling in the gaps is all in a day’s work for Lucia. And why does this JEWEL give so much? “I really do feel like I have been blessed, and someone who has been blessed really needs to return some of that to the community. If I can scrub a floor, move a table or tote a box, I can contribute. It’s just so natural for me, I don’t even think about it – I just do it.” Fortunately for Fort Bend, Lucia can – and has done – much more than simply tote a box. For her willingness to give, her ability to create a worthwhile, effective organization from the ground up and her steadfast support of education, Fort Bend Focus Magazine is proud to honor Lucia Street as a JEWEL of Fort Bend. ■ FBF Lucia with Former President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush, 1998.

fort bend

magazine • September 2011


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Provided by RBC Wealth Management and H. H. “Will” Hardee, AWM – Financial Advisor

Crisis du Jour


iven the current situation in Washington D.C., I thought this might be a good time to update our investment outlook since I wrote “Storm Flags Flying” in June. What’s changed? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! We have been expecting an unpredictable summer and that’s what we’ve gotten. Just like hurricane season, it’s next to impossible to predict when and where a storm will hit. Therefore, a prudent person buys bottled water, candles, flashlights, canned food, etc. not knowing if they will need them. We have done the same in our portfolios by increasing money market balances, owning precious metals, CDs, municipal bonds, master limited partnerships, etc. We plan for the worst and hope for the best. Every crisis is different, yet every crisis is the same. They are different in that the cause usually doesn’t repeat itself. Recent examples are: Y2K, 9/11/2001, Enron

(2002), Bear Sterns (2007), Lehman Brothers (2008), Bank Crisis of 2009, and the Debt Ceiling of 2011. All of these examples had different root causes. They are the same in that they evoke confusion and panic which almost always leads to fear. When emotions drive investment decisions, you can almost count on the wrong outcome. In my 36 years of investing, there have been multiple times when “the world was ending.” I know I’m being melodramatic, but that’s where the opportunities also exist. We don’t have a crystal ball and have never been able to forecast outcomes. I doubt if we can do that now. However, we have a track record of successfully navigating through these crises. It takes years to earn someone’s trust and confidence. It takes a nanosecond to lose it. We do not take this responsibility lightly. We will endeavor to navigate our way through this storm and future

storms always remembering to do so in our clients’ best interests. Call 713-853-0879 or visit www. for additional resources on the Hardee Investment Group and to learn about the various services the Team provides. The views presented herein are solely those of H.H. “Will” Hardee, and do not necessarily represent the views of RBC Wealth Management. Current status of issues discussed in this letter is subject to change based upon market conditions and industry fundamentals. Clients should work with their Financial Consultant 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 Consultants 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. H

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By Nick Nicholson


awrence Kell is a true family man. He works the best he can to create the best situation possible with his meager salary for his pregnant wife, Edith, (Krystn Caldwell) and son, Jacob (Dylan Horne). When Lawrence discovers he has inherited a house, his excitement turns into something completely different as he works to fix the place up and turn it into the house of his dreams. Unfortunately, there are other forces at work, and as the suspense mounts, so too does the stress on Lawrence. A situation gets out of hand at the Rusty Nail, the local saloon, and Edith finds herself with Jacob and an unborn baby, alone and wondering what to do and where to go next. We jump ahead a handful of years to discover Edith has had a witty and charming daughter, Sissy (Grace Powell), who plays the perfect sidekick to her son, the lonely and disturbed Jacob. He loves his sister more than anything and she, as the

Travis Hester and Dustin Lane in Jacob.

Grace Powell as Sissy in Jacob.

younger sibling, is often the defacto parent to Jacob - praising him when he is good and scolding him when warranted. Since the death of her husband, Edith has become attached to Otis (Larry Wade Carrell), an unbelievably crude and abusive individual that doesn’t care much for kids, let alone the two he has living with him. When Sissy is tragically murdered by Otis, Jacob loses the last remnant he had to reality and goes on a maniacal killing spree, exorcising his vengeance on anyone and anything that gets in his way. Filmed entirely on location in Houston, much of it in Fort Bend, director Larry Wade Carrell pro-

vides an interesting glimpse into the mind of a pure schizophrenic. The film comes out of the gate with impressive speed and with some casting surprises that will leave many in awe. The cinematography is simply beautiful, a fact that isn’t surprising when you notice Houstonian Stacy Davidson was behind the lens. The cast is down right perfect, starting with the selection of young Grace Powell as Sissy. Powell provides the power and presence on the big screen unlike any other child actor I have seen since Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine). The chemistry between Powell and Dylan Horne (Jacob) is incredible, and the interactive relationship between Grace and her mother will bring tears to your eyes. The power of successful casting is clearly evident between the rest of the players, particularly those in supporting roles such as Leo D. Wheeler and Larry Wade Carrell, both of whom represent the law enforcement officers in the film. Jacob isn’t a mindless slasher film at all, quite the contrary. In the vein of the classic film Of Mice and Men, Jacob is a tale from the heart that tells the story of the unrequited love of a brother and a sister. The film tugs at your heartstrings and dares you to not feel emotion. Powerfully gripping from beginning to end, Jacob is arguably the strongest independent film to come out of Texas in over a decade. H Jacob Starring: Grace Powell & Larry Wade Carrell Director: Larry Wade Carrell Company: 20th Century Fox Now Showing: At Splatterfest on September 30th MPAA Rating: NR Grade: A

Photos by Stacy Davidson, courtesy of Odyssee Pictures Nick Nicholson is the Film and Entertainment Critic for CNN Radio, the Fort Bend Star, Fort Bend Focus, Pearland Focus as well as Focus on Women. 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.

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magazine • September 2011


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By Nick Nicholson


imply put, The Victim is a grindhouse film. Unless you were a theatergoer in the 60’s and 70’s, chances are you missed some of the most explosive and energetic films ever made. That time of both political and emotional unrest created the perfect opportunity for the law abiding folks of the country to go into a theater and watch things being blown up to blow off steam rather than going out and actually committing the acts. Sadly, the Hollywood folks let the grindhouse film genre fall into extinction shortly thereafter. Yes, you could say those under the age of forty-five missed it! Well, that is unless you are a fan of Robert Rodriguez. See, Rodriguez made revitalized the genre in 2007 with his Planet Terror and Death Proof double feature films. Michael Biehn starred in Death Proof and was so very impressed with the genre and the work of Robert Rodriguez, it served as his inspiration to write, direct and produce his own grindhouse film.

pled with the low budget, the fact there was virtually no preproduction and that the picture was shot in 12 days makes this feat even more remarkable. The enigmatic Biehn obviously learned a thing or two from James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez about pacing and how to keep the attention of the auRyan Honey and Denny Kirkwood in The Victim. dience. Like a heavyweight fight, the story lands punch after punch, rarely allowing you to take in a breath to recover. The chemistry between Biehn and Blanc is tremendously strong. Denny Kirkwood and Ryan Honey portray their roles with the gusto of used car salesman. Every time they hit the screen, they ooze sleeze. Ryan Honey, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and Michael Biehn. I would be remiss if I didn’t also point out the chemistry between JenBiehn’s film begins simple enough. nifer Blanc and Danielle Harris is enough You have best pals Annie (Jennifer Blanc) to put steam into a man’s stride. The film and Mary (Danielle Harris) looking for an provides suspense unlike any other that I exciting dating experience with two local have seen in the past year. With all the law enforcement officers (Ryan Honey subtlety of a kick to the groin, The Victim and Denny Kirkwood) that soon leads is a roller coaster ride of emotion and plot them into a situation of life and death. As twists that will keep you guessing all the expected, something happens and Annie way to the end. Bottom line is this: If any finds herself running for her life. She of your theater going friends tell you they comes across a cabin in the middle of noguessed the ending, call them liars right where (think the unibomber) and meets now. Pay attention! The Victim is a film the reclusive Kyle (Michael Biehn). Kyle definitely worth checking out. H is just a man who wants to be alone and live in circumstances that he can control - a true obsessive compulsive who works The Victim and thinks best away from the dramatic Starring: Michael Biehn, Jennifer hustle and bustle of the city. Then comes Blanc and Danielle Harris the knock at the door. Obviously torn beDirector: Michael Biehn tween the uncomfortable feeling he gets Company: Blanc/Biehn Productions from his intrusive visitor and his own Now Showing: Local Area Theaters disdain for law enforcement, Kyle must MPAA Rating: NR decide who to believe in this psychological Grade: A thriller. Photos by Nate Rollo, The Victim is surprisingly good. Coucourtesy of Blanc Biehn Productions

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

fort bend

magazine • September 2011



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Skeeters Name First Manager Former Major League All-Star Gary Gaetti To Manage Sugar Land Team

Gary Gaetti


he Sugar Land Skeeters today announced the hiring of former Major League All-Star Gary Gaetti as the first manager in franchise history. The Skeeters – with Gaetti at the helm – will play its first game at StarTex Power Field in Sugar Land in April, 2012. Entering his 30th season associated with professional baseball as either a player or coach, Gaetti and his baseball operations staff will build the expansion Skeeters baseball squad from the ground up. With Opening Day at the state-of-theart StarTex Power Field fewer than nine months away, Gaetti begins his managerial role immediately. The Atlantic League will hold an expansion draft for the Skeeters in early 2012, and details to be announced at a later date. “We are thrilled to have Gary lead this ball club,” said Matt O’Brien, President of the Sugar Land Skeeters. “We are confident that his leadership, Major League experience and impeccable knowledge of the game will represent the club and the community very well. “As a full-time Houston resident, Gary also will play a major role in the ball club’s community outreach.” A veteran of 20 Major League seasons, Gaetti welcomes this opportunity.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity,” Gaetti said. “I have always enjoyed the teaching and coaching aspect of the game. There is no better place to do that than right here in Fort Bend County. I’m excited about building winning tradition from day one. “This will be a tremendous platform for minor league baseball. This is going to be something new and fresh, and the Skeeters will bring a level of excitement to Sugar Land and the Houston area. This will be a real positive for baseball everywhere.” During his Major League career, Gaetti played for six different teams: the Minnesota Twins (1981-90), California Angels (1991-93), Kansas City Royals (1993-95), St. Louis Cardinals (1996-98), Chicago Cubs (1998-99), and Boston Red Sox (2000). The two-time All-Star infielder (1988-89) won four Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (1986-89) and earned a spot on The Sporting News’ Silver Slugger Team (1995). In 1987, he was named the American League Championship Series MVP, batting .300 with two home runs and five RBI, as he helped the Twins win their first-ever World Series championship.

Gaetti ranks sixth all-time among third basemen with 360 career home runs, and he is one of 38 players all-time to record 2,200 hits (2,280) and 360 homers. He also moved into the Major League record books on July 17, 1990, when he initiated two triple plays for the Twins vs. Boston at Fenway Park. Following both the 1989 and 1990 seasons, he was named the league’s best defensive third baseman by Baseball America. Gaetti found success in debuts. On Sept. 20, 1981, he became the 47th player to hit a home run in his first Major League at-bat. He also hit two home runs in the first game ever played in the Metrodome (April 6, 1982), and he was the first player ever to hit two home runs in his first two at-bats of postseason play in the 1987 ALCS vs. Detroit. From July, 2004 to July, 2006, Gaetti served as the Astros full-time hitting

Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson and Sugar Land Skeeters’ President Matt O’Brien.

ABOUT THE SUGAR LAND SKEETERS Set to debut in April 2012, the Skeeters will play in the $35 million-dollar StarTex Power Field, which is being constructed by the City of Sugar Land and the Skeeters at the intersection of State Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 90A. The Sugar Land Skeeters will play 70 regular season home games annually, starting with the 2012 season. Season tickets start at $575 per seating, an average of $8 per game. StarTex Power Field will play host to a multitude of other events, including football, soccer, lacrosse, cheerleading and band competitions, as well as concerts, group outings and scout sleep overs. Total stadium capacity will be approximately 7,500 for baseball (expandable to 10,000) and 10,000-plus in concert configuration. The Sugar Land Skeeters offices will be located at the new ballpark but are temporarily located at 16160 City Walk in Sugar Land Town Square, Sugar Land, TX 77479. Get your season ticket priority number today at www. or call 281.240.HITS (4487). fort bend

magazine • September 2011


Same Location

New Owner

Serious Fun

Sugar Land Skeeters’ Manager Gary Gaetti.

coach after serving three seasons in Houston’s minor league system. Gaetti was Houston’s hitting guru when the Astros played for the 2004 National League pennant and in 2005 when the Astros made their first-ever World Series appearance. Prior to his stint with the parent club, Gaetti coached the Astros’ Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs for three seasons. Gaetti also spent two seasons (2007-08) for Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate Durham Bulls. Gaetti was selected in the first round (11th overall) by the Minnesota Twins in the June 1979 draft. He attended Lake Land Junior College and Northwest Missouri State University, and he was inducted into the NWMSU Hall of Fame in 2003. After making his professional debut in 1979, he earned Double-A All-Star honors in 1981 and finished fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1982. He played in all 162 games during the 1984 season, missing only eight innings; he batted a career high .301 in the 1988 campaign; his career-high 35 homers came in 1995 while playing with Kansas City; and he helped the Cardinals to the NLCS in 1996. Born on August 19, 1958, in Centralia, Ill., Gaetti and his wife, Donna, make their home in Houston with their daughter Gigi. Gaetti has two sons: Joseph and Jacob. Joe Gaetti was selected in the 12th round of the 2003 draft by the Colorado Rockies out of North Carolina State and played in the minor leagues in five different farm systems, including two separate stints with the Twins Double-A club, the New Britain Rock Cats. Joe spent 2010 playing for the Atlantic League’s Lancaster Barnstormers. H

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.com • September 2011



Focus CareS Mary Ann Geist Wellsprings Village Volunteer Extraordinaire! Mary Ann Geist, a retired nurse, moved to Missouri City 16 years ago from Buffalo, New York. Soon after her arrival, she was introduced to Wellsprings Village, where she has been a dedicated volunteer ever since. Wellsprings Village is a transitional residence program for homeless and abused women. Many of the women have been incarcerated or are in recovery from addictions. The Village provides a safe, growth-filled environment to empower these women to become economically and emotionally self-sustaining, contributing members of society. Mary Ann has filled an essential role for Wellsprings Village by helping gather furnishings, linens and kitchenware to prepare the homes in the Village for the residents, and she has assisted at all receptions and holiday parties. Since moving to Quail Valley, she has worked on all events held to raise money for the Wellsprings Program, which have included fashion shows, parties, golf tournaments, garage sales, plant sales, and galas. She has cochaired several of the galas and walked

Mary Ann Geist her feet off yearly soliciting for program booklet ads and silent auction items – all of which directly benefit the Wellsprings Village women. Additionally, Mary Ann

For the faithful service of Mary Ann Geist, and our many other volunteers, Wellsprings Village is most grateful!

serves on the Board of Directors of Wellsprings Village and was recently elected President of the Wellsprings Guild, a support and fund-raising auxiliary. Mary Ann also finds time to generously volunteer at St. Laurence Church as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and Elementary School Catechist. She’s a member of the St. Laurence Ladies’ Guild and Pastoral Care Ministry at Sugar Land Methodist Hospital. She’s also a member of Sugar Land Christian Women’s Connection and is a Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels volunteer. Without the thousands of hours volunteers give to our non-profit community, those in need could not receive the help they do. For the faithful service of Mary Ann Geist, and our many other volunteers, Wellsprings Village is most grateful! For volunteer opportunities at Wellsprings Village, contact Valerie Beckham, 713-529-6559, ext. 106, or For other volunteer opportunities in Fort Bend County contact Volunteer Fort Bend, 281-340-1919, or visit H

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magazine • September 2011


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.com • September 2011


FORT BEND NEW NEIGHBORS Raising the Bar... Introducing Sugar Land Gymnastics And Dance!!!

Surveillance Private Investigator New to Community

Sugar Land Gymnastics & Dance (formerly Bill Austin’s Gymnastics & Dance) is now open for classes. With new ownership comes a new focus and a highly energized approach to gymnastics in our community – we’re raising the bar! We take our gymnastics and dance programs VERY seriously, and we thank you for the opportunity to work with your kids. Each and every student in our program is special and appreciated. It is an honor and a privilege to instruct and train them during these developmental years. Our new Preschool and Recreational Program is all about how to learn gymnastics and have FUN!!! It starts with toddlers (mom & me) programs for kids ages 18 months to 2-1/2 years. Then, we have the tiny tots, ages 2-1/2 to 3-1/2, and the super tots, ages 3-1/2 to 4 years. And of course, we have bunches of gymnastics and dance classes for kids 4 – 14. Our competitive dance programs will feature Ballet, Jazz, Creative Movement, and Hip Hop. If high school cheerleading or drill team squads are your thing, our tumbling classes can get you to where you want to be. Our new, philosophy with our competitive boy’s and girl’s teams is also about FUN. Of course, we still have to set challenging goals, and follow through with the dedication and hard work to achieve them. These teams will define our success. It’s a whole new game… Let us help you “raise the bar” for your child. The NEW Sugar Land Gymnastics and Dance. For more information, please call 281-240-0999. H

DCI Resources, Inc. is a fully insured, licensed, private investigation firm (A-09214) that has previously focused solely in the field of background investigations for employees for your home or business,. Now, DCI is pleased to announce that their private investigative services have expanded into the field of undercover surveillance for the Sugar Land and Fort Bend County area by offering a new surveillance investigator. Michelle, our new surveillance investigator, is a native Texan and has been a part of the Sugar Land Community since 1999. You can be assured your cases will always be handled professionally, ethically and tenaciously with her on your team. We understand our client’s need for privacy, and every discussion you have with our investigators is held in the strictest confidence. Whether your concerns are what your teenagers may be up to, what your spouse is doing during those long hours in the office, what your employees are doing on their work computers, or if your ex-spouse is following the child custody arrangements, DCI can provide you with answers. With the ability to travel to remote locations in a timely and cost effective manner, Michelle is experienced in working difficult cases through various investigative techniques. She works from a retainer basis and charges by the hour and mileage, plus all expenses incurred. She also offers consulting sessions for those that would like to perform the investigations themselves, and rents surveillance equipment with instructions on the legal use of them. If you need surveillance involved investigation, Michelle can be reached at (281) 773-6938 or H

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fort bend

magazine • September 2011


1/12/11 4:18 PM


HEADLINERS Send your news via www.FortBendFocus. com. Deadline for submission is on or before the 10th of the month for the next month’s publication. All submissions are subject to the publisher’s approval, editing and space availability. Specialist in dentistry for children from 6 months to 17 years of age

Riverstone Slates October 15 Heart and Sole 5K and Boo Bash Sponsorships are available for Riverstone’s annual Heart and Sole 5K Run and Walk set for Saturday, Oct. 15. The event benefits Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels which provides services to more than 1,000 seniors daily. The race begins at 8 a.m., with racers following a certified course through Riverstone. Racers, supporters and the general public are invited to the postrace Boo Bash, which will include midway games with prizes, an inflatable obstacle course, dunking booth, highstriker game to test strength and more. Children and adults can vie for top honors in a costume contest and two disc jockeys will keep the atmosphere lively. Food will be available on-site for purchase. Last year, approximately 200 people raced in Riverstone’s inaugural event raising $4,000 for Second Mile Mission, another Fort Bend-based charity. “We hope to top last year’s results with more runners and more money raised for a good cause,” said Riverstone’s lifestyle director Melanie Rushé, who is organizing the event. Several sponsorship levels are available, including Ghostbusters, a $500 sponsorship; Spooktacular sponsors, $250; Boo-tiful sponsors, $150; R.I.P. (Really Important People), $100; and Sweet Treats, $50. Sponsors already on board are Texas Running Company and Elements Massage. Heart and Sole registration is now open. For more information, visit www. or phone Rushé at 713817-6427. Headliners continued on page 49

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The 2011 Fort Bend County Fair Queen Candidates: Front row: Kaylee Mikolas, Kasey Bronsell, Myranda Melchor, Bailey Blasingame and Caitlin Herrera. Back row: Kirstie Land, Shelbie Ingram, Alicia Ortiz, Anyssa Silva and Kathryn Thompson.


he 75th Annual Fort Bend County Fair opens to the public on Friday, September 23rd and runs through Sunday, October 2nd. There are some new events – and some returning activities – to help celebrate the Diamond Anniversary. Themed 75 Years – What A Ride, thousands of spectators will line the streets as the Fair officially kicks off with the parade that travels from Richmond to Rosenberg at 9:00 am on September 23rd. In 1933, Dr. Cecil Greer and a group of friends formed the Fort Bend County Fair Board of Directors. The first Fort Bend County Fair was held October 6-8, 1933 and has become a tradition for the past 75 years. The original Fairgrounds were

located between Richmond and Rosenberg on the property now occupied by Fiesta on Avenue H. In 1974, the Fairgrounds moved to the existing location on State Highway 36 just south of U.S. Highway 59 in Rosenberg. During World War II, no fair was held because the fairgrounds became the site of a prisoner of war encampment. Fairgoers will be treated to outstanding rodeo action, livestock shows, carnival, exhibits and great entertainment. Slated to appear on the Brazos Stage are Stoney LaRue, Bart Crow Band, Roger Creager, Cody Johnson Band, Brandon Rhyder, Rich O’Toole, Sunny Sweeney, Josh Thompson and Kevin Fowler to name a few. Returning again for its second year is The Rapture Project – Birds of Prey. The fort bend

magazine • September 2011


Wade Henry Show will be a new addition to the Fair. For a complete schedule, please visit This year, ten lovely young ladies will be competing for the title of Fort Bend County Fair Queen. They are already hard at work selling fair tickets to help earn them scholarship money. The contestants can be found selling tickets at various locations throughout the county or you can purchase tickets online for your favorite candidate at A tenth day is being added to this year’s fair. The gates will be open on Sunday, October 2nd and a PRCA Bull Bash with mutton bustin’ will be held in the rodeo arena. Country Legend Johnny Rodriquez will close out the 2011 Fair. The Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo offers entertainment and competitions for all ages. There are many special activities for the children including Student Fun Day, Coloring Contest, Talent Contest, McDonald’s Show, Stick Horse Rodeo and Children’s Tractor Pull. For the young at heart, Senior Citizens’ Day is scheduled for Monday, September 19th. The grills will be heating up on September 30th and October 1st as teams compete in the BBQ Cookoff in hopes of taking home the Grand Champion award as top cook. It is time to dust off those hats, shine those boots and make plans to head to the Fort Bend County Fair. Everyone is invited to help us celebrate our diamond anniversary – 75 Years – What A Ride! For more information on the Fort Bend County Fair and tickets, visit www.fbcfa. org or call 281-342-6171. H

Scheduled to appear on the Brazos Stage is Stoney LaRue.

Headliners continued from page 47

Remember these jeans? Do they fit like this?...


Wende Lewis-Buckley, Executive Director, PCD Management LLC; Catherine Kubala-FBJSL President; Shana Sonnier, Marketing and Event Manager, Sugar Land Town Square and Elizabeth Butler, FBJSL Director of Community Relations.


Fort Bend Junior Service League to Participate in Sugar Land Town Square’s Restaurant Week The Fort Bend Junior Service League (FBJSL) is thrilled once again to be selected as a recipient of part of the proceeds of Sugar Land Town Square’s Restaurant Week. Money received will be added to FBJSL’s Community Assistance Fund (CAF) from which grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to nonprofit organizations serving Fort Bend County. Returning for a third year, Restaurant Week will start with a kick-off event on Saturday, October 8th called The Taste of Town Square where patrons will be encouraged to sample food from participating restaurants while strolling the Square and enjoying live music. The fun continues throughout the following week, October 9th – 15th, during which participating restaurants will offer three-course meals, with a portion of the proceeds donated to FBJSL. To find out more about FBJSL and their involvement in our community, please visit . To learn more about Restaurant Week, go to www.sugarlandtownsquare. com/events.


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Headliners continued on page 50

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.com • September 2011


Headliners continued from page 49


& Bart Crow

Sat: 9/24 ger Roger Crean Band

“75 Years – What a Ride”

Cody Johnso ghter & John Slau


Sun: 9/25

DAY GO TEJAdaNO & More! Groupo Vi

Wed: 9/28 Band Jr. Gordon Thur: 9/29 yder & Brandon Rh oole Rich O’T

w Acoustic Sho

Fri: 9/30

pson Josh Thom eeney Sw y nn Su &

Friday, Sept. 23rd





to A School LL ‘til 6pmKids Openin on g Day

1:00pm – 9:00pm AG’TIVITY BARN Where agriculture comes alive!

Sponsored by Texas AgriLife Extension Service of Fort Bend County

1:00pm - 3:00pm Student Fun Day Activities Old Fashioned Fun & Games WIN A NEW BIKE & OTHER PRIZES Classic Pro Rodeo PRCA Championship Rodeo Nights September 30th & October 1st

Sat: 10/1 ler v e K in Fow

PCRA Bull Riding Bash & Mutton Bustin’ Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011

WINE EVENT Sun: 10/2 quez ri Johnny Rod

October 1st

Grapes on the Brazos Sept. 23 to Oct. 2, 2011


TOUGH ENOUGH TO WEAR PINK In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

FORT BEND COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS • 4310 Highway 36 South • Rosenberg, Texas 77471 Purchase Tickets: or 281-342-6171 Complete Schedule of Events:

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Direct Cremation $995 A direct cremation includes removal of remains to funeral home alternative container, minimum services of Director & staff. fort bend

281-238-4443 magazine • September 2011


Dr. Teresa Cody, founder of Changing Minds Foundation, and David Moehlman, organizer of the Changing Minds Foundation Golf Classic.

Changing Minds Foundation Golf Classic Tees Off October 28 Registration and sponsorships are now open for the 2nd Annual Changing Minds Foundation Golf Classic at the Wildcat Golf Club on October 28. Changing Minds Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports treatment and research for Down syndrome, the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder in the U.S. It was founded by Dr. Teresa Cody, of Cashion & Cody Family Dentistry, to support her son and others born with Down syndrome. In her quest to do all she could to help him, Dr. Cody worked with scientists and researchers to develop a treatment to help advance learning in those with Down syndrome. The Golf Classic is the largest single fundraiser for the organization and includes a full day of golf, lunch, dinner and a silent auction. Prizes are given for the longest drive, closest to the pin and the top three finishing teams. One of the highlights of the day is the Golf Ball Drop Contest when 2,000 golf balls are dropped from a helicopter over the driving range. Sponsor of the ball that lands in the hole, or closest to the pin, will win a trip to the Four Seasons Resort in Costa Rica. Cost to sponsor a golf ball is only $25 per ball. The event also needs corporate sponsors, which will include a team of golf and signage. Support continued research and education about Down syndrome treatment through involvement in the Golf Classic. For more information, visit www.

Councilmember Jacquie Chaumette Elected Mayor Pro Tem of Sugar Land

Located behind Kohl’s in the Offices of Riverstone

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Jacqueline (Jacquie) Baly Chaumette Mayor Pro Tem

At the City of Sugar Land’s July 19 city council meeting, Jacqueline Baly Chaumette was unanimously elected as the new Mayor Pro Tem. She is a senior member of the City Council, currently serving her second term. As Mayor Pro Tem, Chaumette will act as Mayor during the absence of Mayor Thompson and has the power to perform every act the Mayor would perform if present. Chaumette is the second woman, youngest person and first black person to be appointed Mayor Pro Tem in the City’s 52-year history. In May 2008, Chaumette won election to Sugar Land’s City Council. Chaumette won her position on her inaugural run with over 69% of the vote. She was unopposed for her re-election bid in 2010. Away from Council, Chaumette is President and CEO of BalyProjects, LLC., where she counsels corporations on transportation, environmental and infrastructure policy issues. She is a former Commissioner of the Brazos River Authority, a statewide appointment she received from Governor Perry, where she represented Harris, Fort Bend and surrounding counties on water and wastewater issues. She has been featured on KUHF, KTRH, KTRK and several radio stations discussing policy matters. She also lectures on public policy and urban politics at the University of Houston. She and her husband, David, have two sons, Raphael and Alexandre.

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(281) 344-8955 Headliners continued on page 52

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11th Annual FBJSL Sugar Plum Market to Feature Big & Exciting Changes The holidays and shopping go hand in hand. For many, shopping with friends and family for gifts is an annual tradition. And for truly savvy shoppers, Fort Bend Junior Service League’s (FBJSL) Sugar Plum Market, presented by Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, is the ultimate shop ‘til you drop extravaganza. This year’s “Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland” themed event will be held on Thursday, November 3rd from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday, November 4th from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Stafford Centre Performing Arts Theatre and Convention Center. Proceeds from the 2011 Sugar Plum Market will benefit local Fort Bend County charities. In lieu of the fashion shows and luncheons, the event will be adding vendor spaces and increasing the shopping opportunities for guests with more than 100 vendors. The 2011 Sugar Plum Market will feature a wide variety of new and returning vendors from across Texas. One very popular vendor returning to the market this year is Latte Tots. Jamie Rohlich of Latte Tots remarked, “Sugar Plum Market is my favorite market I do because everybody comes with their girlfriends ready to shop and have a fantastic time.

Sitting: Mandy Vogt, Princess & Frogs; Lizz Sansone, ooh la lizz candles and gifts; Megan Harraman, The Festive Touch; Sharon Dimicelli, Simply Sassy Paper; Jamie Rohlich, Latte Tots. Standing: Jill Aycock, SPM Co-Chair; Cari Middaugh, SPM Co-chair; Karla Aranda, SPM Vendor Committee; Jana Baumann, SPM Co-Chair; Laura Taylor, SPM Co-Chair.

The whole ambiance is fun and you forget you are there to work!” With the expanded vendor space, opportunities for additional vendors are still available. Not only have the shopping opportunities been expanded, but so have the Preview Night hours. Preview Night will be back for a second year with extended hours held on Thursday, November 3rd for all the early shoppers wanting to get a head start and have a night out with the girls. This year a special VIP hour from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. will be provided to all sponsors of the Market. For a $60 ticket, preview night shoppers get an exclusive night of shopping while tasting delicious samples from area restaurants. In addition,

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they will receive two drink tickets. The Preview Night Ticket is also good for readmission to the Market on Friday and Saturday for even more shopping. Individuals and businesses wishing to be featured in front of over 6,000 anticipated patrons may sponsor the Market as well as place advertisements in the program received by all attendees. Sponsorships are still available with opportunities ranging from $250 to $5,000. Preview Night Tickets will be $60 each. General Admission tickets will be $10 each. For information on sponsorship opportunities, vendors, or purchasing tickets to the 2011 Sugar Plum Market, visit www., call 281-636-6272, or e-mail

Pictured from back left: Pamela Shaw, coordinator with Fort Bent School District; Cara Snell, curriculum coordinator at Kids ‘R’ Kids Missouri City; and Bobbie Steinert with start of dreams; Second row from left Jessica and Emma. Front left Myles and Caleb.

Kids ‘R’ Kids in Missouri City Donates Backpacks and School Supplies to Students in Fort Bend ISD Kids ‘R’ Kids of Missouri City donated seventy-five backpacks filled with school supplies for kids in need at Fort Bend ISD elementary schools who cannot afford to purchase their own. Students, families, and teachers have been rallied together to help raise the funds necessary to purchase these school supplies. As a private preschool, Kids ‘R’ Kids focuses on building a sound foundation for life-long learners and they understand how important it is for students to be well prepared for the school year. Unfortunately, there are several families in our community that are unable to purchase supplies for their students, and Kids ‘R’ Kids recognizes the need to ensure these students can start the year off right. Over the span of a month, the students and teachers at Kids ‘R’ Kids collected enough donations. Kids ‘R’ Kids greatly appreciates the hard work that went into providing these backpacks for Fort Bent students, and would like to thank the community contributors such as Old Hickory Inn, EmbroideMe of Sugarland, and K K & B. To find out more information, contact Erica at (281)261-6442 or email

The Andreason Law Firm Now you don’t have to drive to Houston for experienced Estate Planning.

Kurt M. Andreason, Attorney-at-Law Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Estate Planning, Probate Law and Commercial Real Estate. 4840 Sweetwater Blvd, Suite B (at rear), Sugar Land, TX 77479 281-265-1561

26 years experience in Texas




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8th Annual Pink Ladies Golf Tournament Slated for October 27th at Quail Valley Golf Course, this nine-hole tournament is geared towards beginner women golfers and will help raise funds to support cancer victims and their families. The event features a silent auction, games on four holes, and prizes for “Best Decorated Cart,” “Pinkest Dressed Lady” and “Pinkest Dressed Team.” Individual registration is $75 and teams of four cost $300. Sponsorships are available and start at $200. For tournament registration, call Kathryn Anderson at 281-460-4290 or Colleen Wittoesch at 713-706-5645. For Sponsorship information, call co-chairs Barbara Montgomery at 713-898-3938 or Terri McCutcheon at 281-798-9300. To purchase a flag for the Pink Tribute Garden, call Barbara Rozell at 281-980-2244. Flags can be purchased to “Honor the Memory,” “Encourage the Fight” or “Celebrate the Victory.”

Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land has generously donated a weekend car rental as an auction item. Pictured are Committee Members Linda English, Lisa Fredrickson, Krisann Nething, Peggy Jackson, Barbara Montgomery, Barbara Rozell, Kathryn Anderson and Nancy Wells. Not pictured is Terry McCutcheon.

The Pink Tribute Garden honors family and friends who have battled or are battling cancer. Those interested in purchasing a flag for the tournament may do so on or before October 20th for $25.

Fort Bend Junior Service League Sustainer’s Annual Membership Coffee

Mary Beth Lobin & Karen Shaw.

Evelyn Traylor & Debbie Marcell.

Judy Madison & Mary Favre.

Fran Steele & Betty Adams.

Lynn Halford & Laura Leatherwood.

Linda Page & Cheryl Foster.

Check out our selection of photos at and have your photo made into a wonderful souvenir to commemorate the event. Only photos taken by Focus Magazine staff will be available. fort bend

magazine • September 2011


Headliners continued from page 53

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Front row (L to R): Alex Chaumette, Olivia Munsey, Jackson Munsey, Rachel Wang. Back Row (L to R): Jeff Stublar, General Manager; Terri Wang, Ling Yuan, owner of Gattitown; Brenna Smelley, Executive Director of the Fort Bend ISD Education Foundation; Traci Munsey, marketing representative and Jacqueline Baly Chaumette, Sugar Land Mayor Pro-Tem.

We focus on the health of your practice so you can focus on the health of your patients. Qualify for $44,000 from Medicare for meeting Meaningful Use of an EHR. Call us to find out how and receive 6 months of EHR free when you sign up!

Fort Bend Education Foundation Teams Up with Gattitown Fun Center for a MEGAFUN Back to School Event Join the Fort Bend Education Foundation September 20th and 21st at Gattitown Fun Center, 3412 Highway 6 South in Sugar Land for a Back to School Benefit. Gattitown is located between Williams Trace and Settlers Way on Hwy 6 South. The 57,000 square feet Gattitown includes an All You Care-to-Eat buffet featuring a variety of pizzas, pastas, a full salad bar and more, plus an expansive Midway arcade, VIP/birthday rooms, and attractions like bumper cars, indoor go karts, putt-putt golf, and mini bowling. Visit Gattitown at, or call (281) 313-0307. Fifteen percent of the proceeds each day, September 20th – 21st, will benefit the Fort Bend Education Foundation which provides opportunities to enrich and enhance the quality of education for all students in Fort Bend ISD through their grants to teachers and school programs.


10701 Corporate Drive, Ste. 228 Stafford, TX 77477

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The Central Fort Bend Chamber Alliance and Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce Meet Your Elected Officials Dianne Moore & James Patterson.

(Front Row) Cynthia McConathy, Joe Sergura & Vincent Morales. (Back Row) Tom Suter, Juan Salazar, Dwayne Grigar & Bill Benton.

Crystal Tyler, Daryl L. Smith & Mike O’Connell.

Charlie Howard, Gary Gillen & Lee Duggan.

Keri Schmidt, Gary Pearson & Grady Prestage.

Oyster Creek Manor Meet and Greet Southminster School’s Denim & Diamonds Gala

Oyster Creek Manor, a state-of-the-art assisted living and memory care facility, hosted its first Meet & Greet for their guest HealthSouth. Attendees enjoyed snacks, cocktails and toured the building.

Jeni Scarborough, Jenny Dinh, Lisa Collins & Michael Abdelsayed.

Lawrence Ribbeck of Sugar Land brings new meaning to the phrase “diamond mine” as he scoops up a one-carat diamond at Southminster School’s Denim & Diamonds Gala. The stone was provided by Diamond Cutters International, one of many sponsors that helped raise more than $100,000 for the school. Photo courtesy of Trish Badger Photography.

Michael Abdelsayed, Natalie Rogers, Lisa Collins, Jenny Dinh, Mallory Evans & Jeni Scarborough.

Check out our selection of photos at and have your photo made into a wonderful souvenir to commemorate the event. Only photos taken by Focus Magazine staff will be available. fort bend

magazine • September 2011


Blessed Be Hope for Three Autism Advocates Annual Luncheon

Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland Benefiting Fort Bend County Charities

Presented by

Janice King, Sharon Wilson, Jill Curtis & Pat Somers.

Preview Night

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The Fred & Mabel R. Parks Youth Ranch Announce New Board Members

Stay for a Lifetime

Your YMCA has a variety of health and wellness programs and special events to make family time a special time. There is something for everyone. Fitness, dance and martial arts are offered for adults, teens and youth as well as youth and teen programs including sports, cheer, art and tennis. Y After School programs in the Stafford MSD and Lamar Consolidated ISD ensure a brighter future for your child.

FORT BEND FAMILY YMCA 4433 Cartwright Road, Missouri City, TX 77459 (281) 499-9622 TW DAvIs FAMILY YMCA 911 Thompson Highway, Richmond, TX 77469 (281) 341-0791 YMCA Mission: To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Everyone is welcome.

New Board Members Kavita Self, Laura Thompson, Shannon Bloesch & Aaron Clark.

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Texana Cooking Class Raises Funds For Leukemia & Lymphoma Society


exana’s Learning Center at Rosenberg’s newly formed Cooking Class discovered that Sue Abke, a member of Texana’s Supported Employment team, and is planning to run a ½ marathon in San Francisco to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Abke lost her daughter, Heather at the age of 23 to lymphoma it had been their dream that when Heather got better, they would run to raise money for LLS. As Heather’s birthday would have been in October, what better way to honor her than to join 20,000 other women and race through the streets of San Francisco in Heather’s memory, raising funds and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and helping to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure! When the Texana Cooking Class members and volunteers, Marilyn Ewing and Jeannette Reis, heard about what Sue was about to do, they decided they would help by organizing a Breakfast Taco Sale to donate to her run. Early on a Wednesday morning, the volunteers and a handful of clients arrived in the Learning Cen-

ter kitchen and got busy. Soon, a great smell permeated from the kitchen and the tacos, coffee and juice were ready, a line had already formed – Dianne Wilson, Fort Bend County Clerk was there to pick up an order for thirty-plus tacos for the County Offices. She later wrote, “Please express my thanks to all who cooked and prepared the tacos. They were delicious!” The Cooking Class learned a lot from their first Breakfast Taco Sale. The Texana clients learned how to make breakfast tacos, and they also learned about giving back and supporting others. They raised $97.00 within two hours. Manuel Lopez, learning Center Manager said, “As a nonprofit organization ourselves, we know how important it is for Texana to have support from the community; however, we also know that it is equally important to give back, which is why we encourage our clients to participate in fundraising and volunteering for other organizations. It also helps to fully integrate our clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities into the community.” Sue Abke’s goal is $3200 and to date,

Texana Volunteer, Marilyn Ewing, shows her son, Rodney, how to crack the eggs for the Breakfast Tacos. she has raised over $1,000 through other fundraisers and raffles. She will also be walking in honor of Cory Morton, a 3rd grader from El Campo, her sister Jo Ann Dorr, and brother-in-law, Wayne Abke, who are all battling cancer. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is committed to curing leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and helping patients and their families. If you would like to make a donation, mail checks or money orders made payable to the LLS to 2805 Madison Avenue, Rosenberg, Texas 77471. ★

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The House Special with Representatives Charlie Howard, Ron Reynolds, and John Zerwas The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce serves up The House Special at the Governmental Affairs Luncheon with Representative Charlie Howard, Representative District 26, RepreCharlie Howard sentative Ron Reynolds, District 27 and Representative John Zerwas, District 28 on Tuesday, September 27th. The luncheon will be held at The Fort Bend Chamber of ComRepresentative merce, Sugar Land, Ron Reynolds from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce Governmental Relations Division continues to provide Chamber members with access to local and state governRepresentative John Zerwas ment officials, to promote understanding of current legislative issues, and to provide the business community with an opportunity for input on these issues. Details of upcoming seminars can be found at Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Individual member reservations are available for $25 and nonmember reservations are available for $35. Tickets are available at the door for $40. Register today at or contact Farrah Gandhi at 281-566-2152 or Farrah@


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Home Is Where Your Heart Is


hat does home mean to you? A place that gives you unconditional love, happiness, and comfort. Any place can be home as long as you are comfortable and secure. Peruse the pages of this featured section to find a service provider to prepare your home for any season. From new homes, kitchen remodeling to lush landscaping and insurance, too. This section contains everything you need to spruce up your space.

Who’s Looking in Your Windows?

Riverstone Launches Open Homes Spectacular October 8-23

Need to update your window treatments? Overwhelmed and can’t decide? J & L Distributors is proud to announce that Michael-James Russo has joined our team as a Design Consultant. Russo has over 20 years of experience in design as a Window Coverings Specialist, and can guide you with fabrics and colors that will complement your rooms and accentuate your window fashions. Windows are one of the most important elements in the architecture of a room and are the base for any window treatments. Let J & L Distributors help protect your investment while providing privacy, light control and energy savings. As a Hunter Douglas Gallery Dealer, our window treatments will help set an atmosphere for your rooms – whether light and airy, formal and elegant, or warm and cozy. New woven woods, vane sizes, hardware, and fabric options are being introduced this fall. Old favorites and popular motorization options are still in demand. Come see all the products available. We also offer Shutters Today, an affordable alternative to custom shutters. Our shutters can be brought home and easily installed the same day, and cover a wide variety of window sizes. These shutters are perfect for the DIYers. Come in and visit our Gallery Showroom. Learn about available tax credits, lifetime warranties, the Right Choice Promise, and more. We’ll even schedule home visits and installation services upon request. Our low price guarantee assures great quality, service and value. Look for our ad on page 4 for additional savings! J & L Distributors is located at 707 Avenue E, Stafford, TX 77477. Call (281)403-6733 or visit www. ★

This October, Riverstone is welcoming the public to a community-wide event that will showcase the many housing styles available in the Fort Bend development. During the Open Homes Spectacular, Oct. 8-23, more than 25 homes will be on tour throughout Riverstone, including those in the community’s newest neighborhoods. “Riverstone is experiencing tremendous growth this year,” said Tom Wilcox, the community’s general manager. “This event will be particularly exciting as it literally opens the doors on everything we have introduced during 2011.” Just some of the neighborhoods opening in Riverstone this year include Nandina, which features patio homes by Darling Homes on 65-foot properties; The Orchard, a wooded neighborhood with homes by David Weekley and Trendmaker; Shadow Glen, which features homes by Highland and Perry Homes; and Sweetbriar, a neighborhood of 55-foot homesites by Newmark Homes and Perry Homes. Silver Grove is Riverstone’s newest neighborhood which offers semi-custom homes from Toll Brothers and Partners in Building. Other builders in Riverstone are Ashton Woods Homes, Coventry Homes, Meritage Homes and Westin Homes. Also in Riverstone are The Manors townhomes and custom builders Bayou Bend Homes, Christopher Sims Custom Homes, Peterson Homebuilders, Sterling Classic Homes and Westport. Prices are from the $200,000’s to the millions. Also underway in Riverstone this year is the extension of University Boulevard which will connect Highway 6 and U.S. 59 when the segment opens late next year. For more information on the event and Riverstone, visit ★

Please see ad on page 4. Advertorial

fort bend

magazine • September 2011












mes o H 5 2 r e v O orplans

New Flo borhoods New Neigh

Luxurious Waterside Living in Fort Bend


Fall in Love with Riverstone as we showcase a stunning array of beautiful open

homes in a variety of sizes and architectural plans. With our new neighborhoods from the $200s to the millions, new model homes, wooded homesites—and thoughtful masterplan enhanced with 200 acres of lakes—you’re sure to Downtown find a great Galleria selection of homes from some of Houston’s best-known builders with a lifestyle that’s just right for you! 610 Med Center



dP k wy


t. B


Williams Trace Blvd.



Ashton Woods . Bayou Bend . Christopher Sims Custom Homes . Coventry Darling . David Weekley . Highland . Meritage . Newmark . Partners in Building Perry . Peterson Homebuilders . Sterling Classic Homes . Toll Brothers Trendmaker . Westin . Westport

From US-59 in Sugar Land, take Hwy 6 south 3 miles



Home Is Where Your Heart Is Create a Private Wildlife Sanctuary Dynamic Duo Two hometown gals have taken the design world by storm. Teena and Lauren Caldwell, a mother daughter duo, had a crazy idea of opening a retail store to pair with Teena’s already successful design business almost two years ago! Today, the store is a year old, is quickly finding its place in the retail stores of Sugar Land and will be expanding in the next few months. Twenty-Two Fifty specializes in Interior Design and Teena’s design business has taken her to places such as San Diego, Napa Valley, the Texas Hill Country and Colorado. Twenty-Two Fifty will be expanding in the coming months to make way for their wonderful Christmas displays and merchandise. The designers at Twenty-Two Fifty are ready to help with any job small or large. Stop in to see the wonderful furniture, gifts and accessories that fill the store. They are located at 2250 Lone Star Drive in Sugar Land Town Square. ★


A Boutique for the Home

Jan Barboglio Lafco Candles GG Collection Virgin Saints & Angels Jewelry Antiques

281.265.2250 • F: 1.877.402.0210 • 2250 Lone Star in Sugar Land Town Square


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magazine • September 2011


Listen to the sound of the songbirds and see the butterflies sipping nectar from wildflowers. Hear the splash of a cardinal bathing in your birdbath and see your children learning more about God’s creatures. This could be your backyard! It doesn’t matter what part of Fort Bend County you live in or how much space you have, Garden Guy can create a habitat for wildlife, guaranteeing your plants for one full year and help you certify it as an official Backyard Wildlife Habitat site with the National Wildlife Federation. How Do We Create Backyard Habitats? Provide food for wildlife. Your habitat needs: seeds from a plant, berries, nectar, foliage/twigs, nuts, fruits, pollen, suet, bird feeder, squirrel feeder, hummingbird feeder and a butterfly feeder. Provide a water source. Install a bird bath or small pond. Provide a cover. A place to hide in order to feel safe from people, predators and inclement weather. Places for wildlife to raise young. Wildlife need a sheltered place to raise their offspring. Let Garden Guy plan and install your private wildlife sanctuary today! We love working with the homeowner integrating your ideas with our professional experience. Ask about how we guarantee all of our plants for one year! Mention this ad and we will get you Ready...Set...Certified! Once you have installed these elements to make a healthy and sustainable wildlife habitat, Garden Guy will help enroll you in the NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. Email: for your consultation. ★

Home Is Where Your Heart Is • Creative Design • Stone Work • Waterscapes • Illumination • Arbors & Gazebos • Pavers •



ThIS IS The yeAr for your neW GArDenS...








It’s e Ti m for ing t n a l P LL A F

IG N & I M P L


Allow Todd Farber owner of Garden Guy, Inc. to design and install a well-planned landscape, with a variety of height, texture and color — plants that will GROW more beautiful with time. • Celebrating 20 years in Landscape Design & Installation • 10-year FIRST COLONY RESIDENT Sabrina & Todd Farber

• B.S. in Horticulture from Texas A&M, 1991


.com • September 2011

Contact Us 281• 208 • 4400



Home Is Where Your Heart Is Ameristar Roofing & Restoration, LLC

Give Your Home A Facelift ABS Improvements has over eighteen years of experience helping Fort Bend residents renew the appearance of their homes. Many of our clients have asked us to paint their homes to get them ready to sell and then have been so pleased with the result that they don’t put their homes on the market. We are specialists at exterior painting, wood replacement, hardy replacement, stucco painting and custom interior painting, including antique finishes. We do custom texture drags, stucco finishes light to heavy, brush, roll, brush and drag, glazes and tea stains. Our emphasis is on preparation so that your paint job lasts much longer than before. We can open a room up or close one off. We can build you a beautiful deck to entertain your friends on. Should you want to give your home a facelift, give us a call. If you would like to see our work, we will make arrangements with our former clients to show you what we have done. They are happy to show off their beautiful homes. We are members of the BBB and owner Mitch Alison has been a member of the Sugar Land Rotary Club for over 16 years. If you give ABS a call for a free estimate, you will speak with Peggy Alison, Mitch’s mom, who has been a tremendous asset to our company. Give us a call at 281-265-3924, and ask Peggy to schedule a time for a free estimate to make your home look like new! ★

Custom Interior & Exterior Painting Residential & Commercial Specialty Textures • Antique Finishes • Stain Work Wood Replacement • Stucco house Painting • Hardie Siding Jobs


Over 18 Years in Business in Fort Bend Member of Sugar Land Rotary for 15 years

281.265.3924 We Accept All Major Credit Cards • FREE ESTIMATES


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Owner Mitchell Alison Fort Bend County Resident

magazine • September 2011


Ameristar Roofing & Restoration, LLC is your full-service roofing company for all your roofing needs. No job is too small or too big. Our management, sales team and installers have all successfully passed both the Certainteed Quality Master Exam and Master Shingle Applicator Exam and have met all criteria required to gain the elite certification of “Shingle Master Company.” Ameristar Roofing & Restoration has demonstrated extensive knowledge of shingle technology, installation safety, customer service and shown a solid track record of quality-roof installations, while focusing on total customer satisfaction. As a Certainteed Shingle Master Company, Ameristar Roofing & Restoration is an elite member of only 1% of roofers within the United States, authorized by Certainteed to offer 3 STAR, 4 STAR and 5 STAR Extended Warranties. With over 50 years of combined experience, our sales team is highly experienced with insurance claims, so let us help you with all of your insurance claim needs. We are an active member of the BBB and proud member of the Richmond/Rosenberg Chamber of Commerce. We are fully insured and bonded for your safety. At the end of every job, we perform a quality control inspection and instill one belief throughout our company: THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. We want your recommendation because of our reputation. Please feel free to contact our office, 281-238-4230, any time, 24 hours a day, for a free estimate or inspection for your roof. We are located at 3821 FM 359 in Richmond. ★

Home Is Where Your Heart Is


.com • September 2011



Home Is Where Your Heart Is

Custom Furniture for Your Stairs... Replace the carpet on your stairs with hardwood. Custom crafted stairs, railings, balusters and newels.



Contact us for a free estimate.



Waterfront Living

Located on beautiful Copano Bay, this 6.27 acre property boasts an (approx.) 520 ft. waterfront. The (approx.) 5500 sq. ft. home has 4 bedrooms and 4 baths with an attached garage and a 4000 sq.ft. shop. A must see! By appointment only. $1,950,000. Mr. Jerre Ledbetter, Luce Properties 1819 Broadway, Rockport, Texas 78382 361-729-9161 Advertorial

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magazine • September 2011


Give New Life To Stairs Carpeted stairs take a beating from constant traffic. Since most staircases are in home entries, it’s one of the first things guests see. Fort Bend Stairs can give your home’s interior fresh appeal simply by installing hardwood treads and risers directly over your stairs’ frame. For more dramatic changes, outdated balusters and newels can be replaced with a different style. Fort Bend Stairs builds its treads with a custom over-hanging “bull nose” on the front so there is no visible seam between the treads and risers. Using only solid hardwoods (no veneers or pre-manufactured flooring), stairs built by Fort Bend Stairs will last a lifetime with only minimum maintenance. Replacing carpet with elegant wood stairs will transform your entry. Call us for a free estimate, and we will schedule an appointment around your busy calendar: (281) 202-5303. ★

Seeing the Solar Light: Custom Comfort Homeowners across the globe are seeing the solar light. The reasons vary for each person, though they mainly come down to the following: It’s free. Solar-energy systems allow you to capture free sunlight and convert it into usable power in your home. It’s clean. Solar energy can be used to heat and cool your home, but it has almost no impact on the global climate. By comparison, electricity generated by power plants produces carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say pose serious threats to the environment. It’s infinitely renewable. While nonrenewable energy sources like oil, gas and coal are becoming increasingly scarce, the sun’s energy is limitless. Wherever

Home Is Where Your Heart Is sunlight shines, electricity can be generated. It can reduce your utility costs. Having a system that creates solar energy means you use less electricity from your utility company, and that can contribute to lower heating and cooling costs. This is significant, especially when you consider 56% of energy use in a typical U.S. home comes from heating and cooling. To find out how much you can save by harnessing energy from the sun, use our solar calculator. It comes with incentives. The U.S. federal government and some states provide tax credits for renewable-energy systems. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for incentives through your utility company. To find out what incentives are available in your area, visit dsireusa. org. It increases your energy self-reliance. The more sunlight harnessed by the system, the less electricity you need from your utility supplier. It can also increase your home’s value. An investment in a solar-energy system may improve the value of your home, thanks to its ability to lower the cost of heating and cooling. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have shown that home values rise an average of $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills. It’s extremely reliable. The sun has been around for billions of years and is likely to burn on for billions more to come. And when you consider how a trusted name like Lennox is putting it to economical use in the home, it’s easy to see solar energy’s future is bright. Visit us at for more information. Follow us on ★

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TACLB27392E Advertorial

Home Is Where Your Heart Is When It Comes To Your Great Outdoors... Let’s Plan It Together! Crenshaw Landscapes has been doing just that for all of our residential clients for over 30 years. We are a full service landscape design and installation company in Fort Bend County. We believe that building a quality relationship with our clients is as important as building quality landscape solutions. We design entire landscape layouts from top quality plants and trees to decks, patios, water features and shade structures. We can also put pools and outdoor kitchens into your design. Your satisfaction and our reputation are very important to us. We listen to what you want. Our experienced designers meet with you to discuss what you envision and offer ideas on how to achieve that goal. Our professional installers make the design come to life. Your landscape should accent your home and blend with your way of living. Let us handle all the details so you can enjoy your own little oasis in the city. If you are considering beautifying your outdoor area, check us out. Our website can give you a taste of our ability to provide a space you want to spend time enjoying. Also, we are proud of testimonials from our past clients, and would love for you to read them. Together we can plan a place to entertain family and friends, or just relax after a hard day. Give us a call: 281-903-7719 or email: to set up an appointment. Your satisfaction is our promise. ★

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“Though an old man, I am but a young gardener.” - Thomas Jefferson

“It was the time of roses. We plucked them as we passed.” - Thomas Hood

“May your garden be a place where you can find peace - where time stands still.”

magazine • September 2011

Watch “What Is Home Health Service?” at: Non-Discrimination Policy: This Agency does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, or age in admission, treatment, or participation in its programs, services and activities, or in employment.

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Home Is Where Your Heart Is Sienna Plantation: Live Well, Play Hard and Have Fun Visit Sienna Plantation and experience a 7,000acre master-planned community nestled in a serene, wooded landscape in the heart of Fort Bend County. With three resort-style water parks and five highlyrated Fort Bend Independent School District schools, residents can have it all – the finest in family-friendly amenities and the best in neighborhood schools – in a variety of homes priced from the $170,000’s to the millions by Houston’s finest builders. Located conveniently off of Highway 6 minutes from the Fort Bend Parkway, you don’t have to compromise quality or endure a long commute to live well, play hard and have fun in Sienna Plantation. With the opening of Fort Bend Independent School District’s newest high school, Ridge Point High School, Sienna is now home to five highly-rated Fort Bend Independent School District campuses including two Exemplary-rated schools making the Johnson Development Corporation community more

appealing than ever. With the addition of the $73 million dollar campus accommodating students 9th through 12th grades, Sienna residents can enjoy quality neighborhood education for children from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Sienna boasts an impressive amenities list perfect for families including three resort-style water parks, two community pools, a lakeside amphitheater, lighted tennis courts, playgrounds, a championship golf course, a world-class fitness center and the Camp Sienna sports complex. Sienna’s on-site Director of Recreation and Fun oversees a full slate of classes, sports teams and events for all ages, and with the opening this spring of The Resort at Sienna Springs, Sienna is the only master-planned community featuring three resort-style water parks. Sienna is located near Hwy 6 and the Fort Bend Parkway, call 281.778.7777 or visit www. ★

Which home Fits you? ■ First timers Close to downtown, Med Center, ■ and BaBy makes Three Reliant, Greenway, Sugar Land and everything in between. ■ and BaBy makes Four or More No Traffic Lights ■ eek! there are from Hwy. 6 to Loop 610 teenagers in the house!!! ■ one story Living ■ say no to mowing oUR BUiLDeRs hAVe ■ Large and in Charge siZZLiNG hot iNceNtiVes FoR YoU



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Home Is Where Your Heart Is Sugar Land Antiques… The Ultimate Recycling Program Sugar Land Antiques, located on Brooks Street in Sugar Land, is the ultimate in GOING GREEN! No plastics involved. Owners James and Lisa Anhaiser take great pride in the fine woods, sturdy frames and beautiful glass. Renew and Reuse, taking something old and making it new again! Well made furniture frames are stripped down, restuffed and recovered, creating a brand new item created around the craftsmanship of yesterday. Sugar Land Antiques carries an eclectic variety of old and new. Elegant furniture from as early as the late 1800’s, depression glass and crystal, European butter churns, Germanic end tables and fine art. Sugar Land Antiques is a great place to visit for the perfect gift as well. Sugar Land Antiques carries a wide assortment of Round Top Collection metals and garden lamp lights, handmade metal art (including the iconic giant roosters out Front!), candles, flags and Lollia soaps and fragrances. Monogramming, custom baby blankets, burp rags and aprons are handmade on site. Sugar Land Antiques is the home of Southern Hospitality Coffee Company and their own special blend, Texas Sunrise. SLA boasts 18 gourmet flavors and blends in regular and decaf, whole bean or ground. Visit our location at 210 Brooks Street, in the heart of Old Sugar Land. Store hours are Monday 12 to 5 pm and Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5pm. Call 281-494-7082 or email Follow us on facebook at ★

“Creating Beautiful Events and Lasting Memories…” Linens by Lisa, owned by Lisa and James Anhaiser, is the premier party rental in Fort Bend County. Linens by Lisa specializes in table cloths and chair covers but can also assist your party plan by providing a full line of tables, chairs, glassware and china. Linens by Lisa has one of the largest selections in the Houston area with chair covers in 16 different colors and a full line of satins, sateens, and taffetas, as well as an incredible variety of textures. The Anhaiser’s are proud residents of Sugar Land and Fort Bend County and feel that there is a real need to give back to the community, and do so every day. Linens by Lisa has been in business in Fort Bend since 2001 and has provided linens for many of the county’s charitable events including Fort Bend Jr. Service League, Fort Bend Seniors, CASA and Fort Bend County Women’s Shelter. The holidays are just around the corner and it’s time to start planning. Schedule an appointment with Lisa or her staff to bring your next party to life. Linens by Lisa is conveniently located at 210 Brooks Street, in the Heart of Old Sugar Land, located in the historic district inside Sugar Land Antiques. Available Monday 12 to 5 pm and Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, call 281-498-0021 or visit us online at Follow us on facebook at ★ See ad on page 72.


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magazine • September 2011


Home Is Where Your Heart Is

The Terrace at First Colony Offers Unmatched Services and Amenities

For more than a decade, The Terrace at First Colony has proudly served the Sugar Land community, offering older adults a retirement lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose. The community is conveniently located in front of the First Colony Mall, near shopping and medical centers and just minutes from the Sweetwater Country Club. Our apartment-style community offers all the conveniences of home without the work. The Terrace features an on-site movie theater, a heated pool and spa, four spacious courtyards, putting greens, rose gardens, and a fitness center. With ten different floor plans to choose from, The Terrace has something for everyone. Each apartment home features full kitchens, paid utilities, emergency alert systems and balconies. Residents enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle with laundry services and scheduled transportation around the city and to doctors’ appointments. With flexible hours and restaurant-style dining daily, our dining services offer regional cuisine, featured items and a wide variety of choices every day. The Terrace offers Horizon Bay’s award-winning LiveWell! Lifestyle Programs & Events, which is a comprehensive wellness program for the body, mind and spirit. With an exciting array of social, educational and cultural programs, residents are encouraged to renew old interests and explore new ones. Popular events include card games, computer classes to stay in touch with loved ones, special movie nights, musical entertainers, walking clubs, tai chi classes and dinner outings. The choices and options are plentiful. Call 1-888-636-4344 to arrange a visit, and experience for yourself the meaningful lifestyle our residents enjoy every day. We are located at 16900 Lexington Blvd., Sugar Land, TX 77479 or visit ★


“It’s hard to think life is passing you by

when you’re always on the go.” Call toll-free today! 1-888-636-4344


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Your Donations Help Save Lives Every Day

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Please call 281-344-5770 to schedule large item pickups. RICHMOND STAFFORD MISSION BEND 1120 Highway 90A 13945 Murphy Road 6808 Highway 6 S 281.344.5770 281.344.5782 281.344.5791 Assisting Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and their Children www.fortbend

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Home Is Where Your Heart Is The Designer’s Niche Residential & Commercial Design

• One Day Makeovers • Hourly Consulting • Full Service Design for Residential & Commercial • Retail & Custom Design Services • Custom Faux

Dina Holleron, Designer

B.F.A. Interior Design Faux Finish Artisan Allied Member A.S.I.D.


P.O. Box 841161, Pearland, Tx 77584


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The Designer’s Niche was established in the Pearland area in 2008 by Dina Holleron. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Houston, and she is also an active Allied Member A.S.I.D. Dina has over 12 years of hands on design experience in both residential and commercial projects, and works very closely with her clients to achieve a design that is tailored to suit each individual need in regards to their style and budget. Dina feels that when you invite her to design your space, you are inviting her into one of the most personal areas of your life. She works with you one-on-one to create an atmosphere that best suits you both aesthetically and financially. “My client’s sentiment plays an important roll in the design process, and when that is combined with our award winning expertise in style, function, and design, each client ends up with their own signature space. There is no template that is one size fits all for style nor budget.” The Designer’s Niche offers a variety of services at no obligation including hourly consultations, one-day makeovers, and full service design for both residential and commercial projects. Unique home décor, rugs, lighting, custom cabinets, upholstery and custom window treatments are also available. Dina also has formal training in the art of faux and can offer over 40 different finishes and textures for walls, ceilings and cabinets/ furniture, transforming rooms and pieces from boring to “wow.” For more information, please call 281-323-3630 or visit ★

Headliners continued from page 59

Sugar Land Rotary ShrimpFest 2011 Set for Saturday, September 10


Sugar Land Rotarians are selling raffle tickets, and are pictured with the raffle Grand Prize choice of 2011 Buick Regal (courtesy of David Taylor Cadillac) or a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro (courtesy of Classic Chevrolet). Sugar Land Rotarians pictured from left to right are: Jeff Tallas (Shrimpfest Co-Chair), Craig DeSerf (General Manager David Taylor Cadillac), Bob Bilski, Jared Jameson, Dennis McAfee, Sugar Land Rotary President Greg Pendley, Brian Barnes (Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land), Ward Pendleton, Mitch Rahim (Shrimpfest Co-Chair) and Bouche Mickey.

Come to Sugar Land Rotary’s ShrimpFest 2011 on Saturday, September 10, at Fluor Building complex in Sugar Land on Highway 6. “ShrimpFest is a popular community gathering for the entire family and much more. The food and fellowship are the best, but the impact you can make by giving back to our wonderful community is even greater,” said Greg Pendley, President Sugar Land Rotary. By participating in ShrimpFest, you will enjoy more than a popular feast, you will also find an opportunity to give back to the community and especially those in need. All proceeds from the event will benefit Sugar Land Rotary charities. ShrimpFest starts at 5:00 p.m. and the food will be served until 7:30 p.m. The Live Auction will begin at approximately 7:00 p.m. There’s an exciting reverse drawing for the Shrimpfest Raffle prizes. The Grand Prize is a choice of a 2011 Buick Regal (courtesy of David Taylor Cadillac) or a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro (courtesy of Classic Chevrolet) and will be the last ticket drawn. The prize for the second to last ticket drawn is a $500 gift certificate. Also, back by popular demand, when every 25th ticket is drawn, a $100 prize will be given to the ticket holder. Raffle tickets are $100 each and come with two meal tickets. Raffle tickets can be purchased from any Sugar Land Rotarian. For more information visit the ShrimpFest 2011 web site at “The Sugar Land Rotary legacy of excellence has continued for over two decades through giving back to our community, state, nation and world through the proceeds from ShrimpFest,” said ShrimpFest Chairs Jeff Tallas and Mitch Rahim. If you would like to be a sponsor or have live or silent auction items to donate, visit for details. There will be entertainment for the entire family throughout the evening. Kids’ games will be provided. The food tickets can be purchased from any Sugar Land Rotarian or at the door. Tickets prices are: Adults - $15, Children 12 & under $10 at the door. Children under 5 are free and will be served a hot dog. All of the proceeds raised at ShrimpFest are returned to the community throughout the year. In the 22-year history of ShrimpFest over $1,700,000 has been raised to support organizations. Rotary is an organization of business and professional persons united globally who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. For more information about Sugar Land Rotary, go to www.sugarlandrotary. org. Come and share the fun and fellowship at the 22nd Annual ShrimpFest with Sugar Land Rotarians! Headliners continued on page 74 www.fortbend

.com • September 2011



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


Got Tickets? Join us on Facebook

“Like” Us Today!

Win ticket giveaways to area attractions and events!

Headliners continued from page 73



on Visit our Seen on the Scene photo galleries and turn your picture into a great gift! ORDER ONLINE

Prices start at $150!

Make a Focus Moment Last a Lifetime! For more information, call 281-690-4242.


Shape Up Sugar Land to Host Documentary “Health Needs a Hero” Childhood obesity is at an epidemic level in the United States. Texas ranks 6th highest in the nation for obesity in children ages 10-17 year olds. Children, over weight by the age of 12 have a 75% likelihood of being overweight adults, in danger of serious medical issues, according to the PE3 website. PE3 is a 501c (3) non-profit organization that has designed an elective (PE) course which specializes in working with individual students in the areas of physical fitness, nutrition, social skills, and mental health. The PE3 Curriculum is posted on the PE3 web site. Shape Up Sugar Land and Fort Bend ISD School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) will host a V.I.P. showing of the “call to action” documentary titled, “Health Needs a Hero” produced by PE3. The film, told through the hearts of children and key stakeholders, will provide a powerful message and “call to action” for the community to bring this curriculum to Fort Bend County. The showing will be at the new Star Cinema Grill, in Missouri City on Oct 5,

2011 at 6:30PM. Tickets are $50 each or $75 each for preferred seating for a group of 10 and include hors d’oeuvres and libations. Visit and click on “Health Needs a Hero” tickets to purchase tickets. Seating is limited. Minute Maid and Star Cinema Grill are the presenting sponsors for the V.I.P. showing. Other sponsorships are available. The documentary will also be available for general public viewing, mid-morning on Oct 7, 8, and 9 at AMC Theater in Sugar Land for a $5 donation. Shape Up Sugar Land is a 501c (3) with a mission to connect the community, raise awareness and encourage activities that foster a healthy lifestyle. For more information contact, Joy B. Dowell, President/CEO at 281-844-4982 or

Antoinette Reading Junior High School PTO Hosts Fundraising Events That You Won’t Want to Miss



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This fall, join Antoinette Reading Junior High School (ARJH) for the Reading Round-up Carnival on Saturday, October 8, 2011, from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., on the Reading Junior High grounds. The event is open to the public. Bring the family for a day of fun activities, such as a dunking booth, rock climbing wall, game trailer, bungee trampoline, great concessions and more. In the spring, the Second Annual Denim & Diamonds Dinner-Dance and Casino is set for February 17, 2012, at the Safari Texas Ranch. Join us for dancing, gambling, dinner, a silent aucfort bend

magazine • September 2011


tion and tons of fun for the grownups. If you are interested in donating or volunteering for the Round-up Carnival or Denim & Diamonds, please contact Michelle Rhone at As the event dates near, please check the Reading Junior High PTO website for updated information. All proceeds from the events enable the PTO to provide athletic, educational and fine art services for the students and teachers at ARJH. Headliners continued on page 76

“The Little Train Museum That Could”

Headliners continued from page 74

Board of Directors of Rosenberg Railroad Museum to Host 9th Annual Fundraising Gala

Front row (L to R): Rosenberg-Richmond Auto Mile Guardian Angel sponsors Mike Shaw, Ron Ewer and Chris Gillman. Back row (L to R): Child Advocates of Fort Bend Development Director Patty Green and Executive Director Ruthanne Mefford. Photo by Brenda Perry and Liz Furman.

The Rosenberg-Richmond Auto Mile Becomes Child Advocates of Fort Bend Guardian Angel Taking advantage of a new sponsorship opportunity for Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s CASA Christmas Home Tour, The Rosenberg-Richmond Auto Mile has become a Guardian Angel sponsor. As such, The Auto Mile is sponsoring one of the six homes on the agency’s 2011 CASA Christmas Home Tour. This is the second year in a three year partnership between Child Advocates of Fort Bend and The Rosenberg-Richmond Auto Mile. A Fort Bend holiday tradition, the Tour offers guests the opportunity to view six beautifully decorated homes in Fort Bend, while helping to raise much needed funds to support CAFB’s programs serving abused and neglected children. The Presenting Sponsor for the 2011 Tour is Fred and Mabel R. Parks Foundation. The Tour’s success not only lies in ticket sales but from generous corporations and individuals who sponsor the Tour through monetary contributions or in-kind donations. Home Tour sponsorship opportunities range from $100 - $15,000. For more information, contact Patty Green at 281-344-5106 or pgreen@

The board of directors of the Rosenberg Railroad Museum, a museum for all of Fort Bend County, will host its 9th Annual Fundraising Gala on Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Safari Texas Ranch Ballroom in Richmond. Commissioner Richard Morrison will serve as the keynote speaker at the event. He will discuss the growth of Rosenberg and Fort Bend County, now known as the number one fastest growing county of the ten largest counties in Texas. Dr. Larry and Mrs. Linda Wilkinson will be the honorees at this year’s Gala. Over the last nine years, the Rosenberg Railroad Museum has grown from a dream into a major tourist attraction for Fort Bend County. Thousands of guests visit the museum each year from all over the world. Programs and services are continually being added and the museum has several certified Operation Lifesaver presenters who work in cooperation with the Texas Operation Lifesaver, a program that teaches railroad safety to citizens of the Gulf Coast region. The Rosenberg Railroad Museum offers two merit badge

programs for the Boy Scouts of America, the Railroad Merit Badge and Heritage Signaler Merit Badge. Some of the Eagle Scout projects include the “Tot Spot,” a hands-on learning center and children’s library. Executive Director, Jerry Hoover is committed to expanding the museum’s exciting educational opportunities with cutting edge programs and hands on learning experiences for the children of Fort Bend County. Rail has always been a critical component of Fort Bend County. The first 20mile rail trip in Texas occurred in 1883 when a train trip ran from Harrisburg in Harris County to Stafford’s Point in Fort Bend County. Today, freight rail operations are prominent in Fort Bend County especially down the U.S. 90 A Corridor. Fort Bend area residents and businesses are encouraged to attend the gala or make a donation. The museum is a private non-profit institution with 501(c) (3) status. All donations are tax deductible. Tickets and sponsorship information is available at www.rosenbergRRmuseum. org/gala.

Have You Ever Wondered? Public Safety Message The Richmond Fire Department offers one hour information sessions on subjects pertaining to the following: • How Emergency Calls are Dispatched: Your 911 Service. • What Happens When the Fire Department Gets a Call: The process of responding and caring for citizens during emergency situation. • Fire Prevention Programs: Programs and Safety Information provided to the Community by the Richmond Fire Department. • General Information about your Fire Department: An opportunity to no more about those who serve your community. Fire Chief Michael Youngblood

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said, “Offering these scheduled events provides a great opportunity for homeowners associations, civic groups, or businesses to become more aware of how Emergency Services operate.” Deputy Fire Marshal Albert Cantu said the Richmond Fire Department offers information on Safe Practices in the Kitchen, Keeping Kids Safe around Swimming Pools and more. Providing safety information from professional firefighters can enhance the safety of any home or business. For information on how you may schedule a session for your organization, group or business, contact: Dawn Engeling at (281) 232-6871 or e-mail: H




















September 2011 Winner “Baby Love” By Lauren Pham Congratulations Lauren, you’ve earned a $40 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 $40 gift certificate to a restaurant and the winning photo will be published in our magazine. To claim your prize, call Norma @ 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”. www.fortbend

.com • September 2011



rie Fridge F



Community Calendar

September 2011 16th & 17th FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 8 PM ABBA THE CONCERT At the Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Rd. in Stafford. Hear classics including Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia and Waterloo. Visit

3rd SATURDAY, 9 – 11 AM SATURDAY WITH THE MASTER GARDENERS Visit the 4 acres of demonstration gardens and talk to the volunteers who design and maintain them. Park at 1402 Band Road in Rosenberg and take one of the sidewalks back to the area behind the building. Call 281-341-7068 or visit 8th THURSDAY, 9:30 AM QUAIL VALLEY GARDEN CLUB Meet at the Quail Valley Townhome Clubhouse, 2600 Yorktown. This month’s program will be presented by Elizabeth Barrow of Paper Shell on Art In The Garden. New members are welcome. Call Penny Johnson at 281-499-6014 or JoAnn Mayhall at 281-438-5064. 10th SATURDAY, 9 AM – 3 PM AMERICAN RED CROSS FIRST AID AND CPR TRAINING A standard first aid and adult, child and infant CPR training at 2610 B. F. Terry Blvd. in Rosenberg. Pre-registration required. Call 281-342-9480 or visit 15th THURSDAY, 9 AM – 2 PM DISABILITY LEADERSHIP NETWORK TRAINING For parents, adults with disabilities and people interested in learning about disability issues. Develop skills to advocate for people with disabilities from an individual level up to and including public policy changes. Registration is also open for October 20th, November 17th and December 8th sessions. Register at familytofamilynetwork. org/programs/disability-leadershipprogram.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Events, schedules and information may change without notice. Please refer to the event’s contact person or check the event’s website for more information.

On Thursday, September 15, attend Fort Bend Friends and Neighbors’ first luncheon of the 2011-2012 club year, Girlfriend’s Gala. Pictured clockwise from top left are Nancy Frank, Susie Eschet, Paula Ruskan and Eva Fackeldey. 15th THURSDAY, 10 AM – 2 PM FORT BEND FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS GIRLFRIENDS GALA Held at Safari Texas Ranch, 11627 FM 1464 in Richmond. Featuring a champagne and shopping, cupcakes and couture, gourmet popcorn, punch and panache, lunch and a fashion show. Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for non-members. Visit

17th SATURDAY, 10 AM – 6 PM HISPANIC HERITAGE DAY Held in Rosenberg’s Historic Downtown District. Features mariachi bands, dance performances and cultural exhibits by the Fort Bend Hispanic Heritage Forum. Enjoy children’s activities, food contests and specials from downtown merchants throughout the day. Visit 17th SATURDAY, 11 AM – NOON MURDER & MAYHEM BOOK CLUB At the Missouri City Library, 1530 Texas Parkway. New members are always welcome. Come and discuss Cemetery Road, written by Gar Anthony Haywood. Call 281-238-2100.

15th THURSDAY, 7 – 8 PM MASTER GARDENER MEETING Hear Joe Williams, from the Houston Zoo, speak about plants toxic to animals and horticulture at the zoo at the Bud O’Shieles Community Center, 1330 Band Road in Rosenberg. Visit

17th SATURDAY, 11 AM - 4 PM FREE BACK-TO-SCHOOL BASH Celebrate the start of the new school year at the Sienna Branch Library, 8411 Sienna Springs Blvd. in Missouri City. Enjoy a special Story Time and craft activities. Also see a demonstration of the libraries’ online Homework Help tool, a free tutoring resource for students grades 3 and up, in a wide variety of subjects. Call 281-238-2900.

16th & 30th FRIDAYS, 9:30 AM – NOON FAITHFUL MOMS A Christian Mothers’ group providing fellowship, speakers, crafts, breakfast, and childcare in a safe and positive environment. Monthly Moms’ Night Out and playdates. Call 281-342-3437 or visit

17th & 18th SATURDAY, 11 AM – 6 PM SUNDAY, NOON – 5 PM HOUSTON HOT SAUCE FESTIVAL At the Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Rd. in Stafford. Admission costs $5. Enjoy cold drinks, food, entertainment, children’s activities, contests and more. Visit

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Send your events via Deadline for submission is on or before the 10th of the month for the next month’s publication. All submissions are subject to the publisher’s approval, editing and space availability.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:30 – 1:00 pm | Safari Texas Ranch

Honors the

Luncheon & Style Show Benefiting The Literacy Council of Fort Bend County Tickets & Sponsorship opportunities 281-690-4242 or


26th FRIDAY. 1:30 – 5 PM GULF COAST REGIONAL BLOOD DRIVE Held at Fort Bend Toyota – Richmond, 20465 Southwest Freeway. To schedule an appointment, visit, login to Digital Donor and enter sponsor code B240 or call Nick Landoski at 281-341-5900. 27th TUESDAY, 7 – 8 PM SUGAR LAND BOOK CLUB At the Sugar Land Branch Library, 550 Eldridge. Discuss Empire of the Summer Moon, on the life of Quanah Parker and the Comanche Indians, written by Samuel C. Gwynne. Call 281-238-2140. 29th THURSDAY, NOON – 2:30 PM AMIGA BOOK CLUB At the First Colony Branch Library, 2121 Austin Parkway in Sugar Land. A discussion group for Spanish-speaking readers will discuss Blanco Nocturno, by Ricardo Piglia. Call 281-238-2800.

CALENDAR Send Your Event

SUGAR LAND TOWN SQUARE Call 281-313-SLTS Thursday, September 1 & 15 7 – 9 p.m. Music in the Plaza Friday, September 2, 9, 16 & 30 7 – 9 p.m. Music in the Plaza Saturday, September 3 7 – 9 p.m. Opry on the Square Saturday, September 10 7 – 9 p.m. Music in the Plaza Saturday, September 17 7 – 9 p.m. Movie Under the Moon Thursday, September 22 7 – 9 p.m. 2nd Annual Catwalk on City Walk Fashion Show Friday, September 23 7 – 9 p.m. Dancing Under the Stars Saturday, September 24 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. David Taylor Cadillac Car Show


22nd THURSDAY, 7 – 8 PM AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR BOOK SIGNING At the First Colony Branch Library, 2121 Austin Parkway. Local award-winning author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni will read from and sign copies of her novel, One Amazing Thing. Call 281-341-2677. 24th SATURDAY, 8:30 AM – 1 PM SUGAR LAND GARDEN CLUB FALL PLANT SALE At the Sugar Lakes Clubhouse, 930 Sugar Lakes Dr. in Sugar Land. Unique and hard to find plants suitable for the Gulf Coast climate, garden art, jewelry, crafts and more. Visit


SLHF Staff and Board Members gear up for the Sugar Land Heritage Hike scheduled for Saturday, October 8. Pictured are Roy Cordes, Shay Shafie, Eleanor Barton, Bruce Kelly, Sharon Ehrenkranz, Bob Brown, Merle Smithers, Don Smithers, John Whitmore and Dennis Parmer. Photo by Geof Nesossi. www.fortbend

.com • September 2011


8th SATURDAY, 10 AM – 2 PM SUGAR LAND HERITAGE HIKE Join the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation and spend Saturday on a walk through old downtown Sugar Land and the historic Hill neighborhood. Activities will take place at 198 Kempner Street and include a walk through the Heritage Foundation offices, browse the history exhibit, see a restored 1919 Model T fire truck, and a raffle for prizes! The hike lasts an hour and a half and starts every half-hour beginning at 10:30 am, with the last group leaving at 12:30 pm. The hike is free for children under 12, $10 for adults and $5 for teens ages 12 and up. Visit

FORT BEND KIDS CHALKBOARD The published photos came from Press Releases submitted to Fort Bend Focus by the schools/organizations of these children.

Introducing the Dulles Doll Officers of 2011-12! Pictured front row (L to R): Vice President Ellen Steinmetz, President Nina de Britto, Captain Casey Cardenas, Sr. Lieutenant Ashlee Wolf; Back Row: 3rd year rep. Devika Tijerina, Secretary Beth Chuang, 2 year rep. Ellery Capuozzo, Historian Lauren Williamson, Jr. Lieutenant Karly Wilkins, Jr. Lieutenant Lindsey Grace, Jr. Lieutenant Kalynn Grace, Jr. Lieutenant Joanna Yuen. The Dolls dance team is under the direction of Angela Hayes. Come out and support the Dulles Band and Dolls this football season!

Four members of the First Colony SynchroStars Synchronized Swim Team competed at Age Group Nationals in Federal Way, Washington. Representing the SynchroStars were Christy Lee, Isabelle Duenas, Elizabeth Oh and Hannah Chiu. Way to go, girls!

The Lamar American 10U All-Stars won the Texas State East Little League Tournament by going 13-0 through the season. Pictured are Cade Sitka, Patrick Rutledge; Zach Schroeder, Ethan Cox; Luke Richards, Johnny Luvender, Chance Van Cleave, Luke Matula, Henry Harrison, Jake Flores, Garrett Arredondo, Fisher Byers; Coaches Chris Sitka, Rusty Richards and Robby Byers.

The First Colony Bucks placed 1st out of 12 teams in the 10 and under division of the West University Summer Slam invitational baseball tournament. Layla Villegas and friends, the Jazzy Angels, handcraft and sell bracelets and necklaces to earn money for canine cancer research in memory of Layla’s standard poodle Jasmine. To date, the girls have earned over $600 with all proceeds going to the American Academy of Veterinary Medicine Foundation. Pictured are Layla Villegas, Annika Weber, Amy Bhatti and Jasmine Pirooz. fort bend

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Send your news via Deadline for submission is on or before the 10th of the month for the next month’s publication. All submissions are subject to the publisher’s approval, editing and space availability.

Boy Scout Troop 1631 left its footprints on the challenging trails of Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. The high adventure camp is one of the pinnacle challenges of scouting, and these 31 scouts rose to the challenge and conquered such climbs as Tooth of Time, Baldy, and Phillips during their 11 days on the trail.

HEADLINERS Send Your Event

Athletes from Lopez Tae Kwon Do Academy took home medals from the AAU National Competition. David Noltensmeyer won silver, Dillon Noltensmeyer won bronze, Noor Ahmed won gold, Saabreen Ahmed won bronze, Weston Byrum won bronze, and Alex Byrum won bronze. They are coached by U.S. Olympic Coach Jean Lopez.

Hunter Farber (middle) of Missouri City received the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) Youth Volunteer of the Year Award for his service to the Texas Youth Hunting Program. Making the presentation are TWA President Glen Webb (left) and Vice President Neal Wilkins.

Congratulations to the Rosenberg National Little League All Stars for winning the Southwest Region Junior League Championship! Top row: Manager Stephen Sulak, Wesley Thompson, Peyton Noser, Jacob Castro, Sammy Trevino, Cody Wilson, Josh Balba, Colten Sulak, Coach Jeff Noser and Coach Richard Arriaga. Second row: Chris Leal, Joe Fonseca and Jaxon Williams. Bottom row: Ray Sanchez and Jeremy Arriaga.

Boy Scout Troop 557 recently visited Enchanted Rock where the scouts and the adults climbed Enchanted Rock twice and camped on the grounds.


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High School HOT SHOT

By Melinda Wood

Courtney Jackson: Drumming Up a Good Year


s Courtney J a c k s o n starts her senior year at Lamar Consolidated High School, she is looking forward to what this year will hold. For this multi-faceted teenager, it’s sure to be another year juggling important tests with soccer practice and her social life with marching band. But, one thing is for sure – Courtney is determined to make it her best year yet. This year, Courtney is turning in her trumpet for a baton as she steps out on the field this football season as the drum major for the Mustang marching band. Courtney has been in band since she decided to take it as an elective in sixth grade. “I’m looking forward to being drum major,” Courtney says. “I’m excited to stand on the podium and conduct the band during our performances. This year, we have the opportunity to qualify for state, so we’re all really hoping for that.” However, marching band is not the only activity that will keep Courtney busy during her final year in high school. Courtney also plays soccer for both Lamar Consolidated and on a club team outside of school. “I’ve played soccer since I was about four years old,” Courtney starts. “I just enjoy playing the sport, and I’ve made so many friends along the way.” When it comes to soccer, for Courtney, the feeling of winning

y e n t r u o C

“Ever since I was little, I have always had something to do after school, so I’v e learned to get my work done on time...” – Courtney

games and advancing in play-offs never grows old. “The moment when you score a goal is amazing.” In fact, Courtney’s competitive edge was recognized last year when she was named the Defensive MVP in the district – a feat she calls her proudest moment in high school so far. While Courtney hopes to receive similar honors during her senior season, she is focused on helping her team make it to play-offs this year. “We’ve made it to play-offs every year since my freshman year,” Courtney says. “We’ve had a couple of rough seasons, but we’re hoping to become district champs this year.” Between soccer and marching band, it’s hard to imagine Courtney having much time for anything else, but Courtney is also excited to serve as president for her high school’s National Honor Society chapter. Balancing it all seems to come natural to Courtney. “Ever since I was little, I have always had something to do after school, so I’ve learned to get my work done on time. I’ll try to get things done in

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class or sometimes I’ll stay up a little later than I would like to do, but I always get my schoolwork done.” Courtney also credits her parents with keeping her focused. “I would definitely say my parents have been a huge inspiration for me,” Courtney says. “They have never forced me to do anything, but have always expected the best out of me. I’ve always tried to do my best for them.” Looking toward her future, Courtney is beginning her college search. Though she’s still exploring her options, she is looking closely at Baylor University and Texas A&M University and wants to major in either math or business. Whatever Courtney decides to do, she has already laid the groundwork for a successful future. As a talented musician, a dedicated athlete and an honor student, Courtney has the world at her fingertips. Good luck on your senior year, Courtney! H


Congratulations to Emily Premont, a Graduate of Clements High School, for being selected as Texas Direct Auto’s “Scholarship Star” for September! Jessica DeMarr, Director of Business Development, presents the $1000 check. Premont received many honors in the Clements Band and Choir, as well as membership in National Honor Society. She will be attending University of Houston and majoring in Music Education. Premont 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 • September 2011


Jared Jameson Again Named in Texas Monthly Best in Client Satisfaction survey

The Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse, Inc. Announces New Development Director The Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse, Inc. organization is proud to announce Irene Wisner as their new Development Director. Irene is a Irene Wisner long-time resident of Fort Bend County and brings a wealth of professional and philanthropic experience to the organization. She is passionate about the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and wants to highlight the benefits of Fort Bend Regional Council’s programs to the community. Fort Bend Regional Council has served Fort Bend County for 35 years striving for the goal that young people grow up drug free. Through it’s mission of providing families and individuals substance abuse prevention, education and treatment services they need for positive change for themselves and the community, Fort Bend Regional Council’s youth counselors are on 35 school campuses where they teach students the skills to stand against the immeasurable pressure to try drugs. In the summer, youth camps build on the skills learned during the school year with leadership training that will serve them for a lifetime. For more information on FBRC, please call Irene Wisner at 281-2072409, or visit website at www.forbendcouncil. org. H

For the third year running, Jared Jameson has been named in the 2011 edition of Texas Monthly magazine’s FIVE STAR: Best in Client Satisfaction survey. Jared Jameson “Texas Monthly partnered with Five Star Professional to identify the wealth managers in the Houston region who provide exceptional service and overall satisfaction as indicated by clients, peers and industry experts,” said Charlie Wesser, managing partner for Five Star Professional. “I am honored to continue to receive this recognition from our clients and peers,” said Jameson, managing partner and vice president for WJ Interests, LLC, in Sugar Land. “It is always gratifying to be recognized for client satisfaction, since this is the most important measurement of our success.” As many as 200,000 consumers and 10,000 financial service professionals were asked to evaluate up to three finan-

cial wealth managers, which included financial planners, investment advisors, life insurance agents, attorneys and bankers. Respondents were asked to evaluate only wealth managers who they knew through personal experience and to evaluate them based on nine criteria: customer service, integrity, knowledge/expertise, communication, value for fee charged, meets financial objectives, post-sale services, quality of recommendations and overall satisfaction. Each wealth manager was then reviewed for regulatory actions, civil judicial actions and customer complaints as reported by FINRA and other regulatory agencies. “Customer satisfaction has always been paramount to WJ Interests’ goals and objectives,” Jameson said. “Our only objective is to ensure our clients’ financial success.” WJ Interests provides financial planning and investment management services for an array of clients, including individuals, families, businesses and foundations. For more information, contact WJ Interests at 281-6349400 or H

Child Advocates of Fort Bend Expands its Voices for Children Under the Leadership of New Development Director Child Advocates of Fort Bend is expanding its Voices for Children under the leadership of Patty Green, its new Development Director. Voices for Children Patty Green is a public awareness program launched in 2010 to let people know how the growing epidemic of child abuse is impacting our children, families and community. The Voices for Children program is designed to change those outcomes so that Fort Bend County can bring an end to this tragedy. The public is invited to be a part of this special program. Contact Patty Green at 281-344-5106 or pgreen@cafb. org for a 45-minute interactive presenfort bend

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tation to hear stories of the children and learn how you can make a difference in our community. Patty Green is a fundraising professional with over 11 years of development experience. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and the Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives at Rice University and has achieved her CFRE designation. Prior to joining Child Advocates of Fort Bend, Patty worked for The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston as a Major Gifts Officer. Her fundraising background includes four years as Executive Director at Brazosport Health Foundation where she founded The Mermaid Project, a comprehensive breast cancer program for low-income and uninsured patients in Southern Brazoria County. H

Oyster Creek Manor Senior Living Names Community Relations Director Oyster Creek Manor Senior Living is proud to announce Jeni Scarborough will be joining Ray Aguilar, Executive Director, as their Jeni Scarborough new Community Relations Director. Jeni comes to the Oyster Creek Manor team with several years of sales and marketing experience in the senior living industry. She will be working in partnership with Ray to make Oyster Creek Manor a flagship in senior living as they both share the same passion for seniors. Their overall mission is to provide residents, families and staff an environment thriving on integrity, compassion and honor. “When I learned about the philosophy of the developers – Dave Wallace and Costa Bajjali – and the management team of the 410 Group and Ray Aguilar, I knew I had to be a part of this community,” said Jeni. The team at Oyster Creek Manor plans to spend the final months of construction selecting the rest of their management and front line team, conducting a specialized training program called “Service You Can Touch,” and preparing for the Founding Club Members’ “move in” day. The Oyster Creek Manor Grand Opening is scheduled for the beginning of November 2011. For more information or a tour of Oyster Creek Manor, please contact Jeni Scarborough, Community Relations Director, at 281.261.1217 or jeni. H


Send your news via Deadline for submission is on or before the 10th of the month for the next month’s publication. All submissions are subject to the publisher’s approval, editing and space availability.

Classic Chevrolet in Sugar Land Named “GM Dealer Of The Year” Being recognized for extraordinary customer service and top performance in sales is an accomplishment that takes even the very best dealerships years to achieve. Classic Chevrolet in Sugar Land is not your typical car dealership, however. In just their first full Dave Nottoli, Regional Director, Chevrolet; Don Kerstetter, Owner, Classic year in business, Chevrolet; Steve Flynn, Chevrolet; Howie Bentley, Classic; Manny Sosa, Chevrolet; Bill Elbert, Chevrolet and Mark Kolon, Classic. Classic Chevrolet has been chosen by General Motors as “GM Dealer of respect your customer, and respect your the Year.” This award represents the fellow employees. We don’t play cat and highest honors in the industry and recmouse games with our customers; we ognizes the top 2% of all of the nation’s honor what we advertise, and we make Chevrolet dealerships. Only 51 Chevy the entire sales transaction completely dealers nationwide out of over 3000 retransparent.” Indeed, one of the most ceived this prestigious award. To win unique things about Classic (besides the “GM Dealer of the Year” award, a the fact that employees were jeans in dealer must not only be a top performer the winter and shorts in the summer) is in sales and customer satisfaction, but that the sales person at Classic is emalso show uncompromising dedication powered to handle the entire transacto their customers. tion with the customer from start to fin“It’s a huge honor for us,” explained ish. “There is no ‘let me check with my Don Kerstetter, owner of Classic Chevmanager’ nonsense,” explained Kerstetrolet. “When we took over this facility, ter. “The salesperson has the authority we replaced a dealership with one of to sign off on the transaction himself. the worst reputations in the market, if It’s fast, it’s non-confrontational, and not the country, and turned it into one it’s easier for everyone.” Interestingly, of the best. Earning this award in our the focus of everyone at Classic is not first full year of business is something on profit. “We encourage our employees that all of us at Classic are extremely to keep their focus on building our reproud of. It’s really extraordinary.” peat and referral business and earning When Don Kerstetter and partner a customer for life, rather than on how Tom Durant of the Durant Auto Group much money we can make from a single in North Texas purchased the facility, transaction,” explained Kerstetter. “We changing the reputation of the dealwant to earn our customers’ trust first ership was priority number one. “We and foremost.” heard some horror stories about what Apparently, the business model went on here and that’s 180 degrees opworks. In fact, three of the large Chevy posite of how we do business at Classic dealerships owned by The Durant Auto Chevrolet.” Since the day they opened, Group all received the GM Dealer of the Don took the radio airwaves himself, Year award. All three stores share the personally explaining the Classic way same philosophy and now have the troof doing business to the market. “Our phy that symbolizes that they are truly culture is one of respect. You need to “the Best of the Best.” H www.fortbend

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Oyster Creek Manor: Fort Bend’s Newest Senior Community

You may have heard the name, read about them in Fort Bend Focus or possibly watched as the building was being constructed. Developed to be the most service and care oriented community, as well as the campus with the most cutting edge technology in the senior industry, Oyster Creek Manor is committed to excellence. “We are committed to providing top notch senior care to our residents, as well as be a resource for the public through our new senior resource center,” says Ray Aguilar, executive

Karyn Dean and Ray Aguilar. director of Oyster Creek Manor. Aguilar and Karyn Dean, publisher of the Senior Resource Guide, are partnering to bring this innovative senior resource center to local residents through a “Next Step™” program. The senior resource center will be a place where anyone with questions regarding senior care can get information and if need

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be, speak to someone about developing a plan for the next step in the care of a senior. Visitors can expect to find information on senior healthcare, products and services, as well as the opportunity to speak with someone in person all provided at no charge. Regardless of whether Oyster Creek Manor is selected as part of the next step in a senior’s care plan, assistance in navigating through the senior industry including recommendations on finding the right place for the senior will be provided. Oyster Creek Manor is extending an invitation for local residents to come for a visit and experience the new senior resource center. “We are committed to being senior advocates by assisting families as they navigate through the different stages of the senior care process,” said Aguilar. “We are at your service!” H


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M edical F ocus Every second of life, brain cells are communicating with each other. The brain waves come in frequencies and create patterns that can be monitored by an electroencephalogram or EEG. There are three important scenarios in which the utilization of EEG can make a huge impact in the clinical outcome. A-Video EEG monitoring: Epileptic seizures are caused by sudden abnormal electrical discharges in the brain. Psychogenic or non-epileptic seizures are attacks that look like epileptic seizures, but are not caused by abnormal electrical discharges. They are stressrelated or emotional and usually occur in those who have been abused sexually, emotionally or physically. These spells, which may occur decades later, are called psychogenic non-epileptic seizures or PNES. “PNES are the most common condition misdiagnosed as epilepsy. In general, one in five patients sent to epilepsy centers for seizures actually have PNES. These spells resemble epilepsy with the blank stares, shaking or a full seizure – brought on by stress and repressed memories,” said Dr. M. Faisal Khan, Board Certified neurologist and fellowship trained in Neurophysiology (EEG)/ Sleep at Duke University. Triumph-Kindred Hospital-Sugar Land can offer Video EEG monitoring (the

Community Hospitals in Fort Bend Continue to Raise the Bar in Patient Care Impact of EEG on improving Health care gold standard to diagnose in mental status. The only PNES) to Fort Bend Counway to detect this is to do ty residents. extended EEG monitoring. B- Application of hy“This advanced technolpothermia along with ogy is being used to help EEG for cardiac arrest improve outcomes for critipatients: cally ill patients” Dr. Khan “When someone has said. a heart attack, the brain “These techniques procan convulse due to lack of vide additional patient blood. Even if CPR is adcare to help return them to ministered in time to save Randy Briones, director, Triumph- health,” said Randy BrioKindred Hospital-Sugar Land and the patient, the brain can Dr. M. Faisal Khan, Board Certified nes, director, Triumphbe affected to the extent neurologist, Triumph-Kindred Hospital- Kindred Hospital-Sugar the patient becomes brain Sugar Land. Land. dead even if their heart is revived,” Dr. Triumph-Kindred Hospital - Sugar Khan said. Land has changed the face of long term “Using an EEG, we can monitor brainacute care by bringing this technology to waves and with the proper application of Fort Bend County as they continue leadhypothermia techniques to cool the hot ing the way, as part of their campaign to brain down, so the person’s brain can be raise the bar in patient care. salvaged.” Dr. Khan said. Combining our Strengths C- Long –term EEG monitoring Kindred Healthcare and Triumph in Critically sick patients: Healthcare are pleased to announce that This is a very common scenario in ICU we are now working together to provide where patients are dealing with multiple aggressive, specialized, interdisciplinary organ dysfunctions (MODS). The brain is extended acute care hospital services in the most sensitive organ in our body. It is 118 locations in 21 states. With our comfirst to get affected and the last to recover. bined expertise we are in a better position The brain can be seizing in response to to serve the patients more effectively than MODS but the body is not which we call ever before as non-convulsive seizures and the preFor more information, contact Dr. M. sentation can be as subtle as alteration Faisal Khan, M.D., 281-494-6387. H

Richmond Bone & Joint Clinic Names Director of Clinical Research Richmond Bone & Joint Clinic is excited to announce Dr. Christina Hannah as the Director of Clinical Research for its newly established RBJC Department of Clinical Research and Education. The RBJC Department of Clinical Research and Education has been created to provide for a collaborative effort between the RBJC orthopedic team, encompassing orthopedic surgeons, pain medicine physicians as well as rheumatologists, athletic trainers, and rehabilitation therapists. This effort is geared towards improved treatments, delivery of services, and advancement of less invasive but more effec-

tive technology and medication. Research conducted by the Department will be disseminated to further educate medical professionals and the public through publications, presentations and continuing education programs. “The research branch was the next natural step for Richmond Bone & Joint Clinic which has historically gone beyond standard of care,” said Dr. Hannah. Dr. Hannah, who received her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, stated that “we are very excited about conducting clinical trials for lupus patients as well as a trial for ankle fort bend

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sprains and a disc injection trial for early lumbar back pain.” With additional training during her residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of Dr. Christina Texas Medical School, Hannah where she was Chief Resident, and fellowships in Anatomic Pathology and Molecular Genetic Pathology from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Hannah is uniquely qualified to lead the Center’s research efforts. The RBJC Center for Research and Education is based at the Sugar Land location but will access patients from all three locations. H

SonoSite Recognizes Memorial Hermann Healthcare System for Patient Safety Excellence and Leadership Increased Use of Bedside Ultrasound Drives Remarkable Patient Outcomes: Zero Incidents of a Common Complication- Iatrogenic Pneumothorax (Collapsed Lung)- for Up to 36 Months SonoSite, Inc., the world leader and specialist in bedside ultrasound for pointof-care medicine, congratulates Memorial Herman Healthcare System (Memorial Hermann), one of the Nation’s largest nonprofit healthcare systems, for its excellence in delivering the highest level of patient safety by achieving “inspiring” safety results previously never thought possible. Four years ago, Memorial Hermann instituted a network-wide patient safety initiative as a part of its “journey to providing high reliability healthcare” and to meet national patient safety goals. To reward safety success stories, the healthcare system created a “Certified Zero High Reliability Award” acknowledging facilities that achieved a zero complication rate for a full-year or more for certain events and procedures. By introducing new safety protocols, including the integration of ultrasound guidance for central line placement, several of Memorial Hermann’s hospitals have successfully prevented and/or eliminated adverse outcomes and reduced costs from complications. One significant complication is an iatrogenic pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung. This serious and potentially lethal complication can easily occur with a misguided needle during the placement of a central line or thoracentesis. Remarkably, multiple Memorial Hermann facilities were able to attain a zero complication rate for iatrogenic pneumothoraces for more than a full-year. Raising the standard for hospitals around the globe, the following facilities received the “Certified Zero High reliability Award” for zero iatrogenic pneumothoraces: Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and eight community hospital “emergency departments” that receive more than 370,000 patient visits per year and place more than 100 central lines per month. “Two years ago, we set the expectation that all central line insertions by our emergency physicians be performed with

ultrasound guidance,” said David C. Pelini, MD, Senior Vice President, Regional Medical Director, TeamHealth West, Emergency Services- Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. “We then developed and implemented an ultrasound training program to ensure all physicians acquired the skills to completely utilize ultrasound for central vascular access. As a result, our department has an excellent success and safety profile and many of our physicians commented that ultrasound has made complex vascular access easier and increased their confidence under various difficult circumstances.” Spearheading the patient safety initiative and the integration of bedside ultrasound at Memorial Hermann is M. Michael Shabot, M.D., the healthcare system’s Chief Medical Officer, “We are pleased to change practices and behaviors whenever we have an opportunity to improve safety. As our governing Board has clearly stated, ‘Safety is our Core Value’.” “We are very proud of our excellent outcomes and feel very confident that

with consistent use of ultrasound guidance, we can continue to keep our rate of iatrogenic pneumothorax at zero,” said Mayank C. Patel, M.D., Chair of Critical Care Medicine, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital. “Memorial Hermann’s experience is further corroboration of the value that ultrasound can have on patient safety and healthcare,” said Kevin M. Goodwin, SonoSite President and CEO. “We are motivated by the success of their hospital network and are excited to honor them with the SonoSite ‘Star Award’, a new initiative developed by our company to recognize health systems for reaching tremendous patient safety goals that were thought to be unattainable. Memorial Hermann is the first hospital to inspire the SonoSite ‘Star Award’ and we look forward to congratulating more networks for their leadership and contributions to patient safety.” To learn more, visit, or call 713.222.CARE. H

New Device Provides ‘Voice’ For Patients Who Can’t Speak

Brenda Abraham, speech language pathologist at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, and patient, Vernia Moore.

When Vernia Moore suffered a stroke, she took full stock of her functions in the recovery room. Arms and hands moving? Check. Legs and feet okay? Check. Memory intact, with full comprehension? www.fortbend

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Check, check. All seemed good, but when the nurse asked her a simple question, the words would just not come. Though her brain was trying to speak, Moore was literally at a loss for words. “This is not an uncommon situation and it is not just related to stroke victims,” says Brenda Abraham, a speech language pathologist at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “It can be a result of a brain injury or other traumatic event and it can affect young and old. Too many people are left with cognitive ability intact, but without communication skills. These patients lack a practical way to ask for directions, express their feelings, or phone a friend — things we take for granted each day.” Fortunately for Moore, her physician, Dr. Julie Hung, referred her to the Speech Continued on page 90

M edical F ocus Continued from page 89 Pathology Department at MSLH for evaluation. Working with Moore, Abraham recognized that she was a good candidate for the Lingraphica, a speech-generating device that is easier to use and more understandable than many alternative communication (AAC) devices available on the market. The Lingraphica is a speech-generating device that has been specifically designed for people with aphasia (impairment in the ability to use or comprehend words) and apraxia (difficulty executing the movement patterns necessary to produce speech even though there is no paralysis or weakness of speech muscles). The device is the size of a laptop. It has a touch screen with graphics relating to everyday life. There are frequently used phrases and words stored in each of the graphic folders so that when the user needs to communicate – say, for instance,

to ask for a piece of toast – he or she simply touches the “kitchen” button to find or build the phrase. The device then speaks the words for the patient. “There’s also an application that patients can download onto their iPods allowing them to carry certain phrases with them without the bulk of the bigger device,” says Abraham. One of the most exciting things about the Lingraphica, according to Abraham, is that insurance coverage is often available for AAC devices. “Before she received the Lingraphica, Vernia would have to find alternative ways to communicate and they weren’t always effective,” says Abraham. “For example, she was in our office and wanted to explain to the receptionist that her address had changed. She showed the receptionist her driver’s license, but the receptionist did not understand what Vernia was trying to tell her. With the Lingraphica, we have been able to build her a library of phrases to encompass those types of things.” Most recently, Abraham helped her patient build phrases that would allow her

to independently phone her doctor’s office. “For the first time in three years, Vernia was able to schedule her own appointment,” says Abraham. “From the look on her face, you would have thought she had just won the lottery.” Moore is not the only patient Abraham is assisting with the Lingraphica. MSLH neurologist Dr. Muhammad Khan recently referred stroke patient Bertha Silva to her for help with communication. Silva has quickly become accustomed to using the device. In fact, by the end of her first training session, she was already building a library of phrases with the help of her husband. While the Lingraphica is an amazing tool for many, Abraham cautions that AAC devices are not appropriate for every patient. “Many of these people will recover full use of their speech,” she explains. “But for others with limited or slow return of their speech ability, a trial period with a device such as the Lingraphica can be very helpful.” For more information or to schedule a speech therapy appointment, please call 281-274-7175. H

Enlarged Prostate? Get Relief

Carl Ogletree, M.D.; John Boon, M.D.; Henry Pham, M.D.; Lawrence Baum, M.D. and Antoine Makhlouf, M.D.

It’s been said, “All men will have an enlarged prostate if they live long enough.” Also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, this condition is not cancer and doesn’t raise your risk of prostate cancer, but it can be quite uncomfortable. Fortunately, help is available. “The prostate is a walnut-sized

gland that surrounds the urethra (the tube urine passes through) between the bladder and the penis,” says Lawrence Baum, M.D., board-certified urologist on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “As men age, the prostate gland slowly grows bigger and puts pressure on the urethra, which may slow urine flow.” BPH rarely causes symptoms in fort bend

magazine • September 2011


men younger than 40, but about 50% of men in their 60s and most men in their 70s and 80s have some symptoms. “Severe BPH can cause serious problems over time, including urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones and incontinence,” says John Boon, M.D., urologist on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “An enlarged prostate can also cause sudden and complete bladder blockage.” If you are unable to urinate at all, this is an emergency and not a normal symptom of BPH. Contact your health care provider. Finding BPH early lowers your risk of developing complications. Symptoms of BPH include: • Frequent need to urinate • Difficulty starting and stopping urine flow • Decreased size and strength of urine stream • Painful urination or bloody urine (these may indicate infection)

If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of BPH, your doctor will likely perform a digital rectal exam to determine your prostate’s size and shape. Your doctor may also check your urine for infection and take a blood sample. “Although BPH isn’t caused by prostate cancer, a rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level is often an indication of BPH,” Dr. Boon says. “We may also order an ultrasound exam or biopsy of the prostate to help make the diagnosis.” “If we determine that you have BPH, we may suggest a wait-and-see approach if you have mild symptoms,” says Antoine Makhlouf, M.D., boardcertified urologist on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “The most common symptoms that lead to treatment include interrupted sleep because of needing to urinate at night and extreme urgency to urinate.” “Or antibiotics may be prescribed to clear up any infection before treating the BPH itself,” Dr. Baum adds. Drug treatments are available for BPH, including hormone blockers that shrink the prostate and alpha-blockers that relax muscle cells in the bladder neck, making the flow of urine easier. “Surgery can shrink or remove prostate tissue for severe, persistent symptoms,” Dr. Makhlouf says. If you’re having urinary problems, ask your doctor about what kinds of treatment can help. To make an appointment with a urologist in your area, please call our physician referral line at 281-274-7500. H FREE PROSTATE CANCER SCREENINGS Join Dr. Baum, Dr. Boon, Dr. Makhlouf, Dr. Ogletree and Dr. Pham for FREE Prostate Cancer Screenings September 19 and 20, 5:00 to 8 p.m. Located at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Cancer Center with easy access off Town Center Blvd., 16675 Southwest Freeway. Limited appointments available. Call 281-274-7500 to schedule your screening. Prostate-specific antigen blood tests and digital rectal exams (DRE) will be given.

Spotlight on Minimally Invasive Surgery With potential benefits such as quicker recovery and less pain, minimally invasive surgery has become popular for a variety of surgical procedures. For some operations, Timothy such as gallbladder reOppermann, M.D., moval, it is more wideboard-certified general surgeon ly used than conventional open surgery. Minimally invasive surgery, also called laparoscopic or endoscopic surgery, may require a few incisions of less than a halfinch each, compared with an incision of 5 to 8 inches or longer with open surgery. The surgeon inserts a rigid scope consisting of a camera and light into a port through one of the incisions. Images are sent to a screen, which the surgeon watches while performing the surgery using instruments inserted through one or more of the other incisions. “Not all surgeries can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, but the list is growing,” says Timothy Oppermann, M.D., board-certified general surgeon and on staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “Major cancer, heart or other surgeries may require a more open surgical field. In some instances — even if a laparoscopic procedure is performed routinely — a physician may determine that a particular patient is not a good candidate based on his or her overall health or surgical history.” However, when laparoscopic surgery is determined to be a good option, it may offer the following benefits: • Shorter recovery time. Since small incisions usually heal faster than large ones, some surgeries can be done on an outpatient basis. Surgical patients who are admitted to the hospital may be released sooner and return to their regular activities faster. • Less pain. Smaller incisions generally mean less post-operative pain. • Lower risk of infection. Smaller wounds are generally at less risk of infection. • Less blood loss. The tiny incisions involved in minimally invasive surgery can usually result in less blood loss than www.fortbend

.com • September 2011


would be experienced with open surgery. • Less scarring. This can be a significant consideration for some patients. “Gallbladder removals, hernia surgeries and appendectomies are among the most commonly performed minimally invasive procedures,” Dr. Oppermann says. “Minimally invasive techniques are now used in most fields of surgery.” Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has been in the forefront offering minimally invasive surgical options in the following specialties: • Bariatric • Cardiovascular • Colorectal • Gastroenterology • General Surgery • Gynecology • Neurosurgery • Otorhinolaryngology • Orthopedics • Urology If you are anticipating surgery or want a second opinion, Dr. Oppermann will discuss your options with you and determine whether minimally invasive surgery is appropriate for you. For an appointment, call 281-275-0860. H

The October issue of Fort Bend Focus will be dedicated to breast cancer awareness and breast cancer survivors. To advertise your business, call


FOCUS FAVORITES... Your Community Resource Guide Accounting & Bookkeeping Books With Integrity 281-978-6916 Assisting small businesses with bookkeeping & payroll. Services range from onsite training to fullcharge bookkeeping. Have your receipts or Excel data turned it into a valuable resource for your business. Already have a set of books? We can ensure they are set up properly. Using QuickBooks? Let us assist you with utilizing all the software features available to optimize your bookkeeping process. We provide accuracy, professionalism & enthusiasm, allowing you to focus on big-picture issues. (07/2012)

Acupuncture LIFEnhance Acupuncture Clinic 713-661-8822 Health insurances accepted. Our clinical services include acupuncture, acupressure, massage, evidence-based botanical medicine, dietary supplements, and special diets. We treat: Headaches (Migraine, Facial, Sinus, Muscle Pain, Trigeminal Neuralgia), Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Back Pain, Joint Pain, Chronic Pain due to Trauma, Bell’s Palsy, Infertility (IVF/IUI) Support, Menopause, Cancer Support, Stress/Depression, and Weight Management. We accept many health insurances. (05/2012)

Advertising/Printing/Graphics Fort Bend Focus Magazine 281-690-4242 Fort Bend’s only feature magazine direct mailed to nearly 30,000 homes, subscribers and high value homes in Sugar Land, Richmond, Katy, Missouri City and Fulshear. Complimentary at on demand distribution locations throughout Fort Bend. Subscribe for free. (10/2010) Focus On Women Magazine 281-690-4242 Finally, the magazine that you have been waiting for. A new publication showcasing one of the best and brightest resources – our women. Full of interesting, thought-provoking stories. Focus on Women is a celebration of today’s women – their lives, their passions and their spirit. (10/2010)

Star Printing 281-690-4200 Professionally designed and printed flyers, postcards, brochures, magazines, newspapers and catalogs with high-quality digital graphics. (10/2010)

Children Sports/Gymnastics, Tumbling & Cheer GYMTEX Gymnastics & Cheerleading Inc 832-876-9888 Ten years in Fort Bend has allowed GYMTEX to provide families with children ages 3 to 18 quality gymnastics and cheerleading training in a safe, fun and clean environment. Not only does GYMTEX produce state champions, but they build your child’s character! Take advantage of Olympic caliber gymnastics equipment, an indoor rock wall, rope-net climbs, 40 foot trampoline and a giant foam block pit and more! Change your child’s life today with classes at GYMTEX and produce a champion for life! (06/2012)

Counseling DF Counseling Services 281-380-9518 Change can be challenging. A positive outcome is the goal. I believe that a fulfilling life is complete with supportive relationships, feelings of selfworth, and continued personal growth. If you are struggling with some difficult life issues and need some helpful guidance, hire the Licensed Professional Counselor who is experienced, compassionate, and effective - Dallas Ferguson. Individuals, couples, and families are welcome. (11/2010)

Dentistry Texas Urban Smile 281-277-1545 We care for your dental, oral health and beauty. To help you smile, we use top-of-the-line digital, low radiation x-rays, intraoral cameras, and much more. We have practiced general, cosmetic, implant and orthodontic dentistry for over 20 years. For your satisfaction, we offer a free consultation, $299 Zoom Whitening, $999 Bicon Short Implants, $2400 Invisible Braces and much more. Don’t wait! These deals will end soon. Call us and talk to one of our friendly staff and make an appointment today. (02/2011) fort bend

magazine • September 2011


Estate Planning and Probate Andreason Law Firm 281-265-1561 With over 25 years experience in Texas, Kurt M. Andreason can meet your estate planning needs with everything from basic wills and disability planning documents to sophisticated estate planning strategies, including family limited partnerships, life insurance trusts and other recognized methods of estate tax reduction. Convenient Sugar Land location. Handicap Accessible. Board Certified in Estate Planning, Probate Law and Commercial Real Estate. Listed over 10 years in Best Lawyers in America. (11/2010)

Home Remodeling & Construction Services Villa Construction & Remodeling 281-344-2732 Villa Construction and Remodeling recognizes the privilege that you extend to us in serving your home construction and remodeling needs. We offer a full range of quality products and professional services. We have served the communities in Sugar Land and Fort Bend County since 1991. We are members of the Better Business Bureau and Texas Residential Construction Commission. We accept credit cards and insurance claim work. Please contact us for a free no obligation quote. (11/2010)

Horseback Riding Sienna Stables 281-778-7433 The premier Southwest Houston area Equestrian Facility offers horseback riding lessons for youth and adults in both English or Western styles. Other activities include kids’ camps, birthday parties, special events and therapeutic riding. For the horse owner, horses can be boarded and or trained by professionals. Sienna Stables also hosts many styles of horse shows. Nestled among centuriesold shade trees in Sienna Plantation this little slice of heaven is conveniently located in Fort Bend. (11/2010)

NEED HELP? Please call the experts from our list of Focus Favorites.

FOCUS FAVORITES... Your Community Resource Guide Jewelry Designs In Gems® 713-995-7975 Custom Designs - Hand Made Jewelry by Designs In Gems® since 1984. “Distinctive originals redesigned from your sentimental existing gold and stones.... We make the next generation’s keepsakes.” Custom Jewelry Designer - Bruce J. Snider M.S., G.G.- GIA. Gemological Laboratory Appraisals. Graduate Gemologist - Gemological Institute of America. Listed: Jewelers Board of Trade, Member: BBB. 16180 City Walk (Town Square - Sugar Land) by appointment. (11/2010) 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)

Marketing & Advertising The Marketing Department 281-277-7272 TMD is a friendly retail environment where small business owners can shop for affordable marketing ideas to help grow their business. The owners, Howard and Christie Spencer, will take the time to get to know you and understand your business - at absolutely no cost to you. This free consultation results in customized marketing strategies designed to fit your needs and budget. We’ll help you sell more -- to more people, more often, for more money! (03/2011)

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

Resale Shops

Orthodontics Pisklak Orthodontics 281-403-5599 Carrie W. Pisklak, DDS, MS, is a respected provider of orthodontic care in your community. Located in Missouri City, Texas, the practice’s top priority is to provide you the highest quality orthodontic care in a friendly, comfortable environment. Dr. Pisklak utilizes the latest technological advances, such as clear braces and Invisalign Teen, along with the latest in computer technology to ensure that you receive the most effective care possible. (10/2010)

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. (03/2011)

Podiatry and Cosmetic Elite FootCare of Texas, Inc. 832-539-1620 Podiatric & cosmetic medical facility providing advanced foot/ankle care in a compassionate & caring environment, located in Fort Bend. Dr. Shepherd will make sure you are comfortable, satisfied & well-informed about your healthcare through the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Services include general & cosmetic foot care, with treatments to make feet comfortable and beautiful such as: foot facials/spa and detox, toe nail bleach, treating hyperhydrosis (sweaty feet) and Stiletto Rx (high heel comfort). (03/2011)

To advertise, go to and click on “Focus Favorites.” www.fortbend

.com • September 2011


PennyWise Resale Centers Benefitting Fort Bend County Women’s Center 281-344-5770 Are your closets and home overfilled with unwanted, usable items? Declutter your home and donate your lightly used home furniture, housewares, clothing, appliances, computers and electronics, shoes and jewelry. We accept everything from jeans to wedding gowns and designer wear. PennyWise Resale stores (Richmond, Stafford and Mission Bend) depend on the community’s generous donations, and all proceeds assist survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children. Shop for unbelievable savings.

Roofing Ameristar Roofing 281-238-4230 Ameristar Roofing is your full service roofing company, No job is too small or too big. We are a certified “Shingle Master Co” with Certainteed which authorizes us to offer 3, 4 & 5 star extended warranties. We are fully insured and bonded for your safety. At the end of every job we perform a QUALITY CONTROL INSPECTION. Our company belief is, THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. We want your recommendation because of our reputation! THANKS, JOE RANGEL, REUBEN STAFFORD & JOHN YATES, MANAGING PARTNERS. (10/2010)

Transportation The Original Trolley & Limousine Company 281-491-4911 The Original Trolley Company brings back a sense of nostalgia for groups who are looking for a truly unique transportation experience. The Trolley Company presently has three trolley cars ready for hire. The Trolleys are fully air conditioned and heated, mahogany trimmed, bar set up accommodations and have a trolley brass bell. Visit our website at to view our large gallery of photos. If a trolley is too large for your group, we have added a 120 inch stretch Limousine. (10/2010)

Focus on Flavor

Dining Guide

DUMAR’S MEDITERRANEAN GRILL It’s a great new place serving middle eastern favorites with an outdoor patio and some of the friendliest service in town. The owner, Mr. Bashar F. Dumar and his wife, Ilham are natives of the Middle-East and make everything fresh daily. The Kebeh Balls, Hummus, Taboulih, Babaghanouj and Baklava. In addition to a full line of Middle-Eastern groceries, Dumar’s also features fresh feta cheeses, several types of brined Olives, Gyro Sandwiches, Greek Salads and Spinach pies. Now serving Beer & Wine. Also, Party trays available. 4518 Hwy 6, Sugar Land. Mon-Thur 10am8:30pm and Fri-Sat 10am-9:00pm, 281-313-1893.

KARL’S AT THE RIVERBEND • Offering romantic dining in the country, Swiss Chef Karl Camenzind serves a wide variety of delicious cuisine including venison, Angus beef, fresh fish and wienerschitzel. Enjoy budget dinners as well as our regular dinner menu Tuesday Thursday with the Neighborhood Menu, featuring entrees under $11.00. Regular Dinner Menu Tuesday - Saturday. Best Sunday brunch in town, including over 50 items served buffet style and featuring eggs benedict and carved roast beef. Reservations suggested, but not required. Tuesday-Thursday 5-8:30pm, Friday & Saturday 5-9pm, and Sunday 11:30am-2pm. 5011 FM 723, Richmond, TX. 281-238-9300. Visit

CHEF REY • Known for his amazing gourmet cheesecakes, Chef Rey is always professional and most importantly passionate about every dish he prepares. He pays attention to every detail in preparing a mouth watering meal that is presented with style and class. His dedication is evident with every aspect of ensuring each customer is satisfied. Seeking a new spot that offers American Cuisine with professionalism and style together with an ambience that is exquisitely quaint and personal? Then visit Chef Rey’s, 2865 Dulles Avenue, Missouri City, TX 77459. Call 281-403-2900, visit Open Thurs. 5-10, Fri-Sat. 5 -11 and Sun 10-4. Restaurant is available for private parties and catering. Gift Certificates available.

LUPITAS MEXICAN RESTAURANT • Jaime and Lupe Garcia and son, Leo Rigo, have been serving homemade traditional Mexican food to the community for 6 years. Lupitas is open 7 days a week with over twenty lunch specials Monday through Friday. Don’t miss Happy Hour Monday-Thursday with $2 Domestic Beer, $2.50 Imported Beer and $3.50 Margaritas! Lupitas is now serving Angus Beef. Hours are Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm and Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm. 281-265-6556, 3121 Highway 6, near the Williams Trace intersection. Muchas Gracias from our family to yours for your support the past 6 years!

FERNANDO’S RESTAURANT What’s new in 2011: Steakhouse cuisine, new wine selection, live entertainment by Salsa Bands, special events and more! Join us for live entertainment and dancing on the weekends. Banquets for up to 300 people, casual party room and catering is available. A special thanks to Focus Readers for your continued support! Stop by and get a free Fernando’s gift card. Come celebrate with Fernando and join his VIP list at 14135 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land. For reservations call 281-494-9087. Closed on Sundays. Visit

NAPA GRILLE URBAN WINE BAR Combines a warm, cozy atmosphere, excellent wine variety and an exceptional cuisine to provide the ultimate dining experience. Now open and serving lunch & dinner in Sugar Land, just off 59 and Sugar Creek. Come join us for Happy Hour from 4-7pm. Enjoy live music Tuesday - Saturday nights. Napa Grille Urban Wine Bar is also available for private parties. Mon-Fri 11am-11pm Sat 5pm-11pm. 14019 Southwest Fwy, Sugar Land, TX. Call 281-277-2599. For full menu and daily specials visit

GODFATHER’S PIZZA • Godfather’s Pizza, with the “Thickest Pie” now open! Not just your regular pizza place, Godfather’s offers Video Games and Party Rooms, big screen TV’s, DVD rentals (one night free with first order) and ALL YOU CAN EAT LUNCH BUFFET (ADULTS $5.99, KIDS $3.99). Try the all time favorites Taco Pie or All Meat Combo. Visit for online ordering and delivery. Catering available. 609 Dulles, across from Dulles High, 281-208-0200. Su-Th 11am to 10pm, Fr-Sa 11am to 11pm.

$6.99 LARGE(ONE PIZZA TOPPING) Golden or thin crust only. Pick up only. Limited time offer.

GREAT W’KANA CAFE • (which means “harmony” in Sanskrit) is a unique dining experience with vibrant colors, friendly staff and excellent food. Authentic and contemporary Indian dishes, such as avocado naan, tandoori, and spinach and paneer (simple Indian farmers cheese) appetizer, are prepared by owner Chef Sunil and wife Anupama in an open kitchen atmosphere right before your eyes. Try the “dum” cookery, a steaming technique that in more primitive times used tightly sealed dough to cook a dish over a charcoal fire. All of the meat served is halal. Located at 11720 West Airport and Kirkwood, Great Wkana Cafe is open Mon -Thurs for lunch 11:00 to 3:00 and dinner 5:30 to 10:00, and Fri & Sat until 10:30 with a special brunch on weekends. Call 832-886-4291 or visit ITALIAN MAID CAFE • ‘Where the locals go!’ Gourmet cuisine, priced affordably in the heart of Historic Downtown Richmond. Owners, Chef Alex Ciocca and sister Lanie Alvarez invite you to a unique dining experience. Try our delightful old world sauces over pasta, thick-crust pizza, zesty house salad dressings, flavorful soups, mouth watering desserts and of course, our great house wine. Perfect for business lunches or a romantic dinner. We serve nightly specials including creatively prepared fish, chicken and beef. Pot Roast on Tuesday night. Located 2 blocks North of the Fort Bend County Courthouse on 300 Morton Street. Call for reservations or for more info at 281-344-8955 or 832-433-0032 for catering. fort bend

OLD HICKORY INN BARBECUE • More than 40 years in business in the Houston and Fort Bend area, Old Hickory Inn Barbecue is famous for their Old Fashion Hickory Smoked Barbecue and numerous Homemade Side Dishes, made fresh daily. 3 convenient locations, with a drive-through window at the Hwy 6 location. Open 7 days a week, SundayThursday from 11am-9pm, and Friday & Saturday 11am-9:30pm. 3334 F.M. 1092 @ Hwy 6 Missouri City 281-499-8904 / 8000 Hwy 6 @ Beechnut 281983-5020 / 5427 S. Braeswood @ Chimney Rock 713-723-8908. SUSHI SUN & AUTHENTIC THAI SEAFOOD • “Home of the Best Papaya Salad

in Town” located at 5211 Highway 6 in Missouri City. Try the super spicy Thai food and vegetarian meals or sit close to the action at the sushi bar to watch the experienced culinary artists. Happy Hour meal specials all day!! BYOB!! Carry out and limited delivery available. Open Monday-Saturday. 281.403.9200.

20% OFF YOUR BILL!!! Exp 09/30/11

List your restaurant here. Call 281-690-4242.

magazine • September 2011


CatWalk on City Walk 2nd annual fashion shoW

featuring town Square faShion retailerS

Thursday, September 22 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm “Ready To WeaR” General admission - $25 “HaUTe CoUTURe” VIP admission - $55 advance online Ticket Sales

only at Proceeds benefit the Fort Bend County Women’s Center

Located at Hwy. 6 & U.S. 59 | | Follow us on 11SLTS320_Catwalk on City Plaza Ad.indd 1


SLTownSquare 8/19/11 7:29 AM

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

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

.com • September 2011


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

Living the Sweet Life:

Paying attention to the God winks


he fun part about being an entrepreneur is the ability to constantly reset the bar for what you expect from yourself. The best part, though, is “knowing it’s right” based on paying attention to what I’ve written about many times before.... those “God winks!” For many years I have called and will continue to call Fort Bend my home. My studio has been exclusively run out of my home and that has an interesting history behind it as well. Over the years, I have carefully grown my business and have taken notice of ways how I can do better. There are many studios in our area, and each one caters to a specific client. I have purposefully created a special niche in my industry and by having defined and grown it, I am better able to position myself in ways that cater specifically to the clientele of my choice. Many of my clients knew that I had been looking for a second studio, one that felt like home to the babies and also was more central to clients traveling from across town. In fact, I have been looking for years. Part of what happens though, when you have a “God wink,” is that all of it just falls directly into place. Now, over the years in my writing I have discussed such “God winks”... like when I created the Hope and Inspiration Breast Cancer Calendar and in less than a month, it was printed and on television! Those kinds of moments in our lives can only be credited with the stamp of approval of a higher power. I ask no questions, but I certainly have made notes along the way when such things occur! This started with a little Facebook contest back in June where then, there were only 1,500 or so “fans” on my professional page. I decided to run a little contest, and within thirty days, the fan base had multiplied to over 8,000! People were calling from all over the country to be photographed by little ole’ me. Kinda overwhelming... I looked at Brian one night and said almost as if we were having a baby, “Honey, it’s time.” Then, he got up, went to the computer and looked up properties in Houston “just to check it out.” On his very first search, he

Birdie Blackburn and Alisa Murray.

found “the” property. Tribeca Lofts was the place, and up until then, we never knew it existed. Oh, we had looked all over town with many a realtor over years searching, and it was not until that evening this place revealed itself to us. Ahem.... do you know what I am trying to say? I said, “That’s it!” Brian looked at me a little in disbelief. “Ah, honey don’t you think I need to keep searching and see what else is available?” I looked at him and said, “Call whoever is in charge of that property, and get me in to see it ASAP.” We went to Tribeca Lofts, and the property manager, a sweet lady that reminds me of Paula Dean, asked if we wanted to take an application and “think about it.” I told her, “No, we’ll take it!” Tribeca Lofts was an old print press back in the 1930’s. The building has retained, in a city full of “charmless other stuff,” all the old, original architectural properties of a time gone by. It could not have been more perfect than if I had designed it myself! Speaking of designing..... Many of you know Birdie, owner of The Design Source. They are a full-service interior design showroom with a 5,000 square foot space located in the heart of Sugar Land. They offer custom furnishings, renovations and designer services. Birdie is a good friend of mine, and anytime I can fly with another woman entrepreneur, I do so. I called her and said, “How do you feel about having an extended showroom in the heart of Houston?” She and I then began working with Mel and planning the new studio space. What they have done is create a remarkable “homey Auntie A fort bend

magazine • September 2011


feel.” They hand-made pillows with fur and rhinestones....they hung red velvet curtains.... they even brought in an alligator table and a clock that said Paris (which ya’ll already know is only my most favorite place in the entire world to vacation!) Better yet, they did so within less than two weeks! My clients are so impressed with their designs, and by exposing their talent to the heart of Houston, hopefully The Design Source will be gaining a client base to further grow their business! Now, if all that hadn’t been a clear enough indication that this was “supposed to be,” I’ll tell you this. I wasn’t planning on even doing shoots there until September, and as soon as the word got out, I was booked! Clients have been literally squealing with delight that they have a second option to see me and for many, it’s a drive-time cut in half. What’s more is they all understand this second location is like my home. It is a private studio where they can expect impeccable artistry and attention to detail. Their experience, whether in the city at Tribeca or out in the country at my home, will always be the same, and this newest location offers me the ability to give my clients a very special opportunity to have the best of both worlds! We have also apprenticed portrait artists that will be exclusively at the Tribeca Lofts. I encourage all of you to consider visiting us for the holiday season where we will have an exclusive offering benefiting the Fort Bend Counter Women’s Center. Five percent of our “Mistletoe and Magic” all-inclusive portrait session package will be donated to the Center, and The Design Source is offering clients who have their holiday portraits done with us a 20% coupon for in-store items. And, if you mention Sweet Life or Alisa when you book an inhome consultation, you will receive $50 off of their consultation fee. By supporting two Fort Bend, womenowned businesses, you’ll be saving and giving back to our community this holiday season. Now, there’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss! Take Care of You!

FIND YOUR NEXT CAR Search new and used car inventories online - easy, simple, fast

Scan with your smart phone to launch website See some of the ads in print in the Star every week.

back pain? neck pain? The Spine Center at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the comprehensive, coordinated option for you in Fort Bend County. For back and neck pain, there’s only one premier choice – Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Spine center. Whether you’ve had pain for just a few days or several long years, you’ll find everything you need to diagnose and treat your condition in a convenient location, with access to premier spine specialists and a complete range of treatment options. Getting started is easy. We will guide you through a customized treatment plan, with expedited access to world-class neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons and interventional pain specialists. plus, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and the most advanced imaging and surgical technologies in the world are available on-site.

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

Spine Center 16655 Southwest Freeway • Sugar Land, Texas 77479 281-274-7000 •


September 2011 - 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...

September 2011 - 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...