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Community Volunteers at Serving Our Seniors Event


Welcome to Volume IV of The Book The Woodlands. For the last four years, we have had the privilege and honor of sharing unique lifestyles and human interest stories of our beloved hometown, The Woodlands, Texas, through the pages of The Book The Woodlands. Every person and organization highlighted in the articles and advertisements has a story; a deep connection to our community that surpasses a place to live or work. Each one has accepted the unique opportunity that allows our neighbors to make a home, build a livelihood and create a life. The Book The Woodlands was created in 2016 to help supplement funding for the many community programs Interfaith shares with children, families and senior neighbors in need in our area. Interfaith’s mission is simple: To Build a More Loving and Caring community Through Service. This publication is completely advertiser-supported, and all proceeds are directed back into our community—to provide basic needs to individuals and families in crisis, to support Senior Services and more. From preventing homelessness to fighting food insecurity, transporting senior adults to providing job training, Interfaith exists to provide the tools and resources necessary to help our neighbors in need become or remain self-sufficient. Interfaith is able to carry out this mission only because of the support and generosity of our neighbors. Each year, Interfaith is able to touch hundreds of thousands of lives through our programming, because you choose to care; sharing your time, talents and resources so that ALL neighbors are given the ability and opportunity to grow and prosper. Thank you for reading! With a most grateful heart,

Missy Herndon Executive Editor President and CEO, Interfaith of The Woodlands




2019-2020, VOLUME IV A Community Publication Benefiting the Programs and Services of Interfaith of The Woodlands

INTERFAITH OF THE WOODLANDS Presid en t & CEO: Missy He rndon

MISSION STATEMENT Th e Book T he Woodlands is a lifestyles pu blic ation a bout , fo r a nd of T he Wood lan d s, Texas. Th e in ten t is to highl i ght t he soft wa re o f our great area, th e good of th e people wh o l ive, work a nd play he re an d th e valu es that make ou r area u n iq u e. Si mply put , i t i s a beau tifu l d isplay of th e qu ality an d gen erosi t y of cul t ure , l ux ur y, an d elegan ce of Th e Wood lan d s area.



E xec u tive Edi tor: Miss y He rndon E d i tor i n Chi e f : L uc y G o me z Man ag i ng Edi to r: Janelle Rom ano C re ative Di re ctor: Jen McDonald Fas h i on Edi tor: Elvira G raham

Karen Carroll Luc y Gomez Missy Herndon Mindy Jones Ana Beatriz Priego Janelle Romano Jennifer Taylor

Adve rt i si ng Ma na ge r: Cathy Mogle r Adve rt i si ng A ssoci a te : A n n Ryde r Adve rt i s i ng A ssoci a te : Sh aron Vandrick Adve rt i si ng A ssoci a te : Kare n Cahill Graph i c De si gne r: Yan ess a Be rde c ia Soc i al Me di a A ssoci a te : Kylie B oyd

P HOTOGRAP H E RS Chief Photographer: Derrick Br yant Contributing Photographer: Tara Flanner y

E DITORIAL O FFI C E 4242 Interfaith Way The Woodlands, Texas 77381 281.367.1230

The Book The Woodlands is published annually by Interfaith of The Woodlands. The inclusion of advertising is considered a service to readers and is not an endorsement of products or concurrence with advertising claims. Copyright © 2019 by Interfaith of The Woodlands. No part of the contents of this publication may be reproduced by any means without the permission of Interfaith of The Woodlands. The publication is not responsible for the return of unsolicited materials provided for editorial consideration. POSTMASTER: If undeliverable, please send to: 4242 Interfaith Way The Woodlands, Texas 77381. The Book The Woodlands publication is edited to inform and entertain readers about The Woodlands, Texas and surrounding areas for their enjoyment. It reflects the many viewpoints of contributing readers, writers, photographers and designers.


NEXT ISSUE 2020-2021 Contact thebookthewoodlands@woodlandsinterfaith.org if you are interested in becoming an Ad Partner.


Doug Whittle DiscPro Printing & Graphics Norm Pegram Absolute Color Mailplex

2019-2020, VOLUME IV

INTERFAITH BOARD OF DIRECTORS Ale x Sutton, Chairman Todd G. Durke e Fathe r Pat Garre tt Je ff Harde r Pastor Gar y He ath Ke rrie Gue rre ro Br ynn Ballard Huntsm an Re ve re nd Dr. Dav id F. Jone s Kate L aukie n Nanc y De cke r L e nt Pastor Rodne y Mills Patrick Mulle n William H. Murphy Jr. Jim Parisi Ste ve Pate Fathe r Tom Raffe rty Sallie Raine r Fathe r Ge rald Se v ick Richard A. Shappard Ty Tillman, P h.E d. Josh Urban Mar y Anne Whitne y Rob Johnson, E x- Off ic io

INTERFAITH BOARD OF ADVISORS Ge orge Lindahl, Chair Pe te r Huntsman Jim Blair Arthur Bre dehoft Joel De re tchin Re v. Don Gebe rt Dan Hause r Ray Sande rs Ann Snyde r, P h.E d Tim Welbe s Debra F. Sukin, P h.D.


Haley Garcia Knows The Woodlands Specializing in The Woodlands and Greater Houston, Haley Garcia and her team have been one of the leading real estate groups representing buyers and sellers successfully for over 18 years.

Haley Garcia, Broker Associate 281.701.6174 | haley@haleygarcia.com haleygarciagroup.com

INTERFAITH OF THE WOODLANDS MEMBER CONGREGATIONS With a variety of organized religions participating in Interfaith’s daily activities, we truly are an “Interfaith” organization that promotes benevolence and compassion within the community.

Adventist Church of The Woodlands

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church

Alden Bridge Presbyterian Church

Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic Parish

Bahai Faith of The Woodlands

StoneBridge Church

Celebration Church of The Woodlands

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Central Church of Christ

College Park Ward | Cypress Creek Ward

Christ Church United Methodist

Glen Loch Ward | Harmony Ward

Community Baptist Church

Imperial Falls Ward | Imperial Oaks Ward

Congregation Beth Shalom of The Woodlands

Lake Creek Ward | Legends Ward | Oak Ridge Ward

Covenant United Methodist Church

Sam Houston YSA 1st Ward | Spring Ward

Crossroads Baptist Church

Spring Trails Ward | Woodlands Texas Stake

Faith Bible Church

Woodlands 1st Ward | Woodlands 2nd Ward

Faith United Methodist Church

The Crossing Church

First Church of Christ, Scientist

The Redeemed Christian Church

Flask of Oil Church

of God–Tower of Refuge

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

The Shepherd’s House

Grace Presbyterian Church

The Woodlands Christian Church

HopePointe Anglican Church

The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church

Impact Church of The Woodlands

The Woodlands First Baptist Church

International Christ’s Fellowship

The Woodlands United Methodist Church

Joyful Life Church

Timber Lakes Baptist Church

Living Word Lutheran Church

Trinity Episcopal Church

Lord of Life Lutheran Church, ELCA

Unity of The Woodlands

Masjid Al-Ansaar–Woodlands Masjid

White Stone Faith Church

New Haven House of Prayer

Woodlands Church

New Hope Christian Church

Woodlands Community Church

Northway Church

Woodlands Islamic Center

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church

Woodland Oaks Church of Christ

Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church, ELCA


20 YEARS OF HOMETOWN Article by: Missy Herndon



n 1999, in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of The Woodlands, an initiative was started to honor our local Hometown Heroes: individuals and businesses who exemplify the values of our great community. A Hometown Hero is a positive role model, usually with an extensive history of volunteerism who has sacrificed personal gain to achieve noble goals. Some may have received special awards or recognitions; others may have brought positive recognition to our hometown. All are leaders, who have shown courage and strength, who have been nominated by their fellow neighbors and peers. Mr. George P. Mitchell inducted the first class of Hometown Heroes over 20 years ago at the very first Celebration of Excellence Gala. Since that time, 133 individuals, businesses, institutions and non-profit organizations have received this honor. All of this has been made possible through the generosity of The Woodlands Development Company and The Woodlands Villager. This year, we are excited to add seven more Hometown Heroes to our distinguished list of honorees! Once again, we celebrate these individuals and organizations, along with all of our Hometown Heroes at The Woodlands’ Celebration of Excellence Gala, which will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott. Nominations for Hometown Heroes open every year, mid-May, and are selected by a committee of Hometown Heroes from previous years. Please join me in congratulating our 2019 Hometown Heroes.



M A R Y-L O U E . F I T C H

Mary-Lou Fitch arrived in The Woodlands in 1989 and hasn’t stopped working in support of the community ever since. Mary-Lou was instrumental in forming many organizations in The Woodlands area including Class Act Productions, Grogan’s Point Residents’ Association and The Woodlands Orchestra. Mary Lou has been an active volunteer with a number of local groups, including Meals on Wheels, The Woodlands Pavilion Partners Wine Dinner, Cypress Woodlands Junior Forum, National Charity League – The Woodlands Chapter, and CASA. She has served on The Planning Committee for The Celebration of Excellence Gala since inception and regularly volunteers for Interfaith of The Woodlands driving senior neighbors to their medical appointments. She has also served as a former Board Member at MCYS and in various other roles with the organization. Most recently, Mary-Lou joined the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red, volunteering for their Go Red Luncheon. She is also a member of The Montgomery County Republican Women and has served on their board as Vice President of fundraising. She loves her community and is always willing to help out, hosting many fundraisers and events in her home. Mary-Lou has called The Woodlands her home since 1987 and doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon, adding to her 30 years of volunteering and service. In her spare time, Mary Lou enjoys traveling to visit her four grown daughters and six grandchildren. S T E P H E N C . H E A D, P H D.

Stephen C. Head, Ph.D. became the fourth chancellor of Lone Star College (LSC) in 2014 after thirty years of service to LSC. Located in the north Houston metropolitan area, LSC is one of the largest community colleges in the nation. His priorities are student access, equality, success and completion; academic quality; workforce programs in alignment with community needs; and collaborative agreements with educational, business, civic and charitable organizations. He views the college as a critical contributor to the social, cultural and economic well-being of the community. His values include operating the college on a sound, fiscally conservative model based on data, efficiencies, accountability and common sense. He emphasizes transparency, ethical behavior and a culture of high expectations and achievement. Dr. Head is active in a number of local, state and national organizations that support the community college mission. Dr. Head and his wife, Linda, both work at Lone Star College and reside in The Woodlands. They have four successful children and three grandchildren.


Alex Sutton serves as Co-President of The Woodlands Development Company, a division of The Howard Hughes Corporation. He holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Rice University and a Master’s in Business Administration from The University of Houston. Alex is a Licensed Professional Engineer, a Certified Public Accountant and has authored a number of technical papers and articles, holding two patents for computer-aided management approaches to managing public works systems. His responsibilities at The Woodlands primarily focus on project and land development and commercial activities. He and his family moved to The Woodlands upon joining The Company in 1994. His civic and industry involvement includes service as the current Chairman of The Interfaith Board of Directors, Chairman of the North Houston Association, Director, The Montgomery County Foundation, Director, The Woodlands Economic Development Partnership, Director and Past Chairman, Montgomery County Youth Services, Director, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, Director and Secretary, The Woodlands Township, and he is a Member of the Urban Land Institute. An Eagle Scout, he was named The Tall Timbers District’s 2012 “Good Scout” honoree. Alex and his wife Sharon live in The Woodlands Town Center and are members of The Woodlands United Methodist Church. They have four adult children and six grandchildren, four of whom reside in The Woodlands.


C O M M U N I T Y | Hometown Heroes JOSH UR BA N

Josh Urban moved to The Woodlands in 1994 with his family. An avid runner, there was not a week that went by that most people would not see Josh and his brother, Gabe, running throughout The Woodlands on their daily long runs. This commitment led Josh to finish 2nd in the Houston Marathon, with his brother not far behind. Urban began his tenure with Memorial Hermann in 2000 as an administrative fellow reporting to Dan Wolterman, former President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System. From there, he went on to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, working his way up from Director of Hospital Operations to Chief Ambulatory Services Officer. In 2008, Urban joined Memorial Hermann The Woodlands as Chief Operating Officer under now retired CEO Steve Sanders. Just five years later, he assumed the position of CEO. In that time, he has managed expansion and renovation projects in excess of $250 million and led the hospital’s pursuit of Level II Trauma designation. In addition, Urban has been instrumental in creating a culture of excellence, which has been recognized nationally in the areas of quality, patient safety and patient satisfaction. Under his direction, Memorial Hermann is the third largest employer in Montgomery County, with over 2,500 employees in the community. An IRONMAN himself, Josh was a major influencer in bringing the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas event to The Woodlands which has generated revenue close to $14 million for The Woodlands community during each of the last nine years. A 2011 graduate of Leadership Montgomery County, Urban currently serves on the boards of multiple business and civic organizations, including The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership and Interfaith of the Woodlands. He resides in The Woodlands with his wife and son. In his spare time, he enjoys running, fishing, hunting and travel.


Market Street The Woodlands, established in 2004, has been providing The Woodlands a center for an exquisite shopping experience, a variety of fine dining establishments, a movie theater and green space where visitors can relax and enjoy the company of others. In these 15 years, they have become the go-to destination for retail therapy, as well as community events. Market Street has committed themselves to The Woodlands community in many ways. They lend their support to dozens of area non-profit organizations; not only with sponsorships dollars, but also by encouraging their employees to serve on their boards and various committees. Additionally, Market Street is known to connect their tenants with charitable organizations, helping to raise awareness of local causes and increase philanthropic support. Their Change for Charity program selects one non-profit organization for each quarter of the year as the beneficiary of the coins collected through the street parking meters. Since the program began, customer donations have exceeded $200,000. Their Central Park area features a green space, performance stage and splash pad, giving families and visitors a beautiful place to gather. This area is also home to many events Market Street produces including their Spring and Fall Concert Series, Spring Fine Arts Show, Holiday Tree Lighting and Grand Chanukah Celebration. They have also generously hosted local events such as The Woodlands 4th of July Parade, The Woodlands’ Car Club Cars & Coffee For a Cause, the annual HEB Wine Walk, Cultural & Heritage Festival, Ten 4 Texas Road Race, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk, which bring hundreds of people together for fellowship and comradery.


C O M M U N I T Y | Hometown Heroes


Leadership Montgomery County (LMC) is dedicated to developing and enhancing the current and future leaders of Montgomery County by preparing emerging and existing leaders to understand local issues, grow their leadership skills, and connect with others to better serve Montgomery County. LMC’s core program is a class of business and community leaders that spans nine months between September and May. Throughout this time, participants learn through sessions on Infrastructure, Education, Government, Public Safety, Economic Development, Healthcare, Serving Our Community and Leadership Development. The LMC program promotes knowledge, awareness and insight into our community, providing an educational forum and leadership development opportunities for participants. Leadership Montgomery County originally began as Leadership Conroe, launched in 1987 through the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce. In 1995, through a collaboration with The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, the program evolved into Leadership Montgomery County. Since that time the Greater East Montgomery County Chamber, the Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber, the Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber, and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce have also become partner chambers, as LMC transitioned into a nonprofit of its own. True to its original mission, LMC has been shaping strong leaders throughout the community, producing more than 850 graduates during the past 32 years. LMC graduates continue to grow as leaders through alumni lifetime learning offerings including educational programs, social activities, and opportunities to give back. LMC alumni can be found throughout the community serving as nonprofit board members, political leaders, CEOs, and much more.





Article by: Mindy Jones

traight from suburban Houston to New York City, Mallory Bechtel began living her dream on the Broadway stage at the youthful age of 18. And she always believed she would be there, because she simply loved the art of musical theater. “For me, because I started out so young – I don’t remember not considering Broadway as an option,” Bechtel shares. Raised in The Woodlands, Bechtel experienced a traditional childhood and education, but at a young age she began taking classes at a local theater company, Class Act Productions. She performed in shows in the heart of Houston at Theater Under the Stars in elementary school through their youth program, Humphrey’s School of Musical Theater. “I have always loved singing. All of my idols were on Broadway - that’s what we listened to in the car,” she recalls. As a professional actress and student, young Bechtel spent countless hours training with instructors, attending rehearsals and auditioning while still attending The John Cooper School, and would participate in her school productions when she was able. “They were always willing to work with me, to help me pursue my dreams,” she says. Chairman of Performing Arts at The John Cooper School and Bechtel’s high school theater teacher, Mary Rotella, believes that Bechtel’s professionalism and humility made a huge impact on her success. Watching her grow as an actress, Rotella says, “Mallory is interesting in that she is pretty low-key and takes things in stride, but she is intense in her approach. She’s a smart actress that pays attention to detail and understands the importance of authenticity when acting.” Continuing to be involved as both a student and performer at school, Rotella recalls it was important for Bechtel’s overall well-being. “With her talent and credits, Mallory could easily have been intimidating to her peers, but she was always supportive and encouraging. She truly lifted her fellow actors up and helped them to reach their fullest potential on stage,” remarked Rotella. Her first love was singing, and she always seemed to connect to singing as a character in musical theater productions. She recalls that acting and nailing auditions didn’t always come easy to her, however, Bechtel was willing to work hard to improve in those areas. As she continued fine-tuning her skills with the help of Houston area instructors and theater venues, her status as a triple threat with unique talents in singing, dancing and acting sent Bechtel on her way to making her dream a reality. “Houston has such a great theater scene. I feel lucky to have grown up so near it,” Bechtel says. Bechtel had the vision of making this her career, but she never dreamed she would be quite so young when she entered the Broadway scene via Tony award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen. At 17, she auditioned to be a vacation understudy for the lead role of Zoe and was offered the job. However, the opportunity never arose to perform on stage as the understudy. But in 2018, just after high school graduation, Bechtel was thrilled to accept the full-time role of Zoe at New York City’s Music Box Theater.


L I F E S T Y L E S | Ma l l o r y B e ch te l The two-show days can be tiring, but she is kept energized by her fellow actors who have so much passion for what they do. She claims it has been exciting working alongside such amazing talent. “It’s always fresh, always new. People are always changing it up. It’s just what I love to do so the best part of it is getting to do it every night,” states Mallory. Dear Evan Hansen began with quite the buzz when it debuted in 2016 and was a Tony Award winner for Best New Musical in 2017. It has continued with a strong fan base and began conversations of meaningful themes presenting both an entertaining and emotionally complex musical. “It’s about a teenager dealing with anxiety and depression which is very relevant right now. I feel very lucky to be a part of a show that has helped a lot of people,” she says. Following much hype and success, the show began touring in the fall of last year, making the award-winning musical available to far greater audiences. After completing her performance in Dear Evan Hansen ending her contract this summer, Bechtel has chosen to pursue other outstanding opportunities after her success with the musical and her debut on Broadway. Raw talent alone didn’t get her to where she is. She only realized her dream of making it to Broadway by devoting countless hours and effort, not to mention the support from her family including her parents and three siblings. “They never doubted me. And they did force me to do things that maybe I didn’t want to. They are very supportive. I’m grateful for that,” Bechtel says. Her plans for the future? “For actors, it’s hard to say. I would love to stay in New York, but it depends on what comes along.” No matter what lies ahead, Bechtel has paved her way with plenty of hard work and grit, and it seems she’ll continue in that direction. There is no easy route, she claims, but her passion for music and theater made the ride more enjoyable. Bechtel’s motto for pursuing any dream is revealed in her own path, “Put the time in. Take advantage of every opportunity. Keep putting yourself out there.”













Foods The Kitchen


Article by: Jennifer Taylor

he farm-to-table restaurant culture is bursting onto The Woodlands culinary scene with wholesome food and the freshest local products in high demand. Food lovers are savoring the inventive fusion of local and seasonal goodness from the abundance of quaint bistros and cafes that are popping up all over The Woodlands area. Whether you’re in the center of town or keen to explore the wider countryside that surrounds us, a healthy, farm fresh bowl of goodness awaits. From boutique cafes to the more established culinary names in the area, all of these restaurants embody the belief that healthy food can be delicious and flavorsome. They pride themselves on using only locally sourced ingredients and the freshest seasonal products. And what’s more, these eateries continue to build on a cause close to our hearts too - community involvement. As well as sourcing as many products from the nearby area as they can, many of these homegrown diners know what it means to give back to the community by using small, local businesses to handcraft much of their décor. These restaurants also aim to be as environmentally conscious as possible by composting and recycling. Each of the cleverly crafted menus will help you on your way to becoming a seasoned health foodie, while respecting the community and environment that allows us to enjoy the healthiest fare to our hearts desire. Here is our list of the top farm-to-table and ranch-to-fork fare in The Woodlands area that will satisfy any palate and keep you coming back for more.




CONTACT US TODAY FOR YOUR FREE CONSULTATION THE WOODL ANDS 10393 Kuykendahl Road The Woodlands, Texas 77382 281.681.1118


SPRING 2827 Waterbend Cove, Suite 300 Spring, Texas 77386 281.466.1414

C U L I N A R Y | Fa r m Fre s h Fo o d s

TRIS TRIS sits in the heart of The Woodlands and is the definition of fine dining incorporating the ranch-to-fork philosophy. Executive Chef Austin Simmons and his talented team at TRIS treat loyal customers and new guests with the perfect experience through upscale food and drink, artful service and finely tuned hospitality. Whether you’re looking for a casual business lunch or a high-end dinner, you can rest assured that you are in good hands at TRIS with an artfully crafted menu featuring some of the finest cuisine in Texas. TRIS honors its passion for true ranch-to-fork fare by partnering up with Unique Meats, a family-owned business and premier provider of exotic meat from the best ranches across South Texas. The team at Unique Meats pride themselves on the quality of their meat, which starts with free-range ranches where the deer are raised on grass and free of steroids and medications. Unique Meats ensure their meat is delivered humanely from the field direct to the table. TRIS now has a new exclusive steak program with HeartBrand Ranch, a beef company specializing in bringing 10-year-old beef to consumers. Heartbrand Ranch, recently featured in Texas Monthly and The Wall Street Journal, is carving out a market for cuts from more mature animals. The ranch, headquartered in Harwood, Texas, is an Akaushi cattle ranch dedicated to breeding superior beef. TRIS was one of only a handful of restaurants nationwide to receive a portion of the first 10-year-old cow and is now proud to be bringing Woodlands consumers an exclusive steak experience. Try: Chef’s Burger. Two smashed Akaushi Wagyu patties, bacon jam, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, English muffin The Wheel Kitchen Serving up farm fresh food since October 2016, this charming eatery is set on a lush area of farmland on the outskirts of The Woodlands and has become a top favorite on the farm-to-table scene. Serving and catering for both breakfast and lunch, the menu items feature only homemade, organic or farm-raised ingredients. It’s easy to feel right at the heart of the real food movement here with plates that change with the seasons and beautifully crafted dishes bursting with the freshest local products. Try: The Wheel Buddha Bowl. Seasonal roasted vegetables, a spinach blend, organic brown rice, quinoa, roasted chicken breast and an herbed chia yogurt sauce. True Food Kitchen With a philosophy that food should make you feel better, not worse, True Food Kitchen ‘celebrates a passion for better living’. Featuring a passionate team of chefs, restaurateurs and a doctor of integrative medicine, the True Food philosophy envisions healthy, fresh food that packs a whole lot of punch without ever sacrificing an ounce of flavor and taste. The central Woodlands location offers an extensive menu that caters for all lifestyles including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. Try: The Ancient Greens Bowl. Miso sesame glazed sweet potato, turmeric, charred onion, snow pea, grilled Portobello, avocado, hemp seed. With your choice of any protein.


C U L I N A R Y | Fa r m Fre s h Fo o d s Flower Child A vision of ‘healthy food for a healthy world’, Flower Child burst onto the fresh food dining scene, opening their Lake Woodlands location in April this year. Flower Child offers dine in and takeout options, with a promise to nourish mind, body and soul. Beautifully crafted plates and organic drinks made from scratch help bring the concept of a happy plate to life. Using only farm fresh ingredients from close to home, the restaurant aims to cater to all tastes from paleo and vegan to kids and just plain hungry! Try: The Glow Bowl. Spicy sweet potato noodle, bok choy, zucchini, onion, jalapeno, shiitake mushroom, coconut milk and sunflower butter. Herb & Beet Head on over to Herb & Beet’s new Sawdust location for a true taste of Texas. Its handcrafted menu changes seasonally to offer the best of the area’s produce all year round. This fast-casual restaurant has partnered with dozens of local farms to bring the freshest farm food to The Woodlands area. With a three-tiered focus on food roots, sustainability and staff appreciation, Herb & Beet honors its environmentally friendly approach from the ground up, from its expansive patio garden to its efficient kitchen equipment. Try: Hickory Smoked Cobb Salad. Crisp romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, avocado, house smoked bacon, tomato, blue cheese crumbles, deviled egg and smoked poblano dressing The Kitchen Another popular choice in The Woodlands culinary scene is The Kitchen. Formerly known as Hubbell & Hudson Kitchen, the restaurant first began serving meals to Woodlands diners back in November 2010. Kick back in a relaxed, casual setting as The Kitchen brings its executive chef Austin Simmons’ culinary vision to life. Offering hot and cold sandwiches, live oak wood grilled meats, burgers and farm fresh vegetables, The Kitchen also offers a 65 item salad bar and eight homemade soups daily. Try: Oak Grilled Mahi Mahi. Ginger soy glazed, butter whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus, arugula and cilantro. Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar A firm fixture in The Woodlands Village of Creekside Park, Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar, is a popular restaurant known for its quality of local-sourced ingredients. Working with 44 Farms in the Houston area, as well as small wineries and craft brewers, the restaurant is the epitome of farm-to-table creativity. The impressive, ever-changing menu features steaks that are hand cut and beef that is dry-aged on the property. The kitchen makes its own pasta and bakes all of its breads and pastries daily. The restaurant also pays homage to the environment from which it receives its array of succulent ingredients, having been built using as many repurposed and energy efficient materials as possible. Part of its bar is made of reclaimed whitewashed wood and all booths and bar stools are recycled leather. They even have a filtering water system for cooking and drinking water. Try: 12oz 44 Farms, Texas Prime Ribeye. Dry-aged 40 days.


C U L I N A R Y | Fa r m Fre s h Fo o d s Bellagreen Hailing itself as ‘the greenest restaurant in Texas’, Bellagreen is an American bistro for the new age. Every item is made from scratch in their kitchen, located on Research Forest. Bellagreen aims to deliver the most flavorsome tastes as possible by using the freshest and finest local ingredients. The kitchen is more than happy to modify items on an individual basis to align with any dietary choice whether it’s gluten or dairy free, to vegetarian, keto and paleo. Bellagreen also reinforces its Green Philosophy by focusing on reducing its ecological footprint through water-saving devices and alternate power sources. By practicing exactly what they preach, Bellagreen’s green practices keep them in harmony with the environment. Try: Honey-Fried Goat Cheese & Arugula Salad. Baby arugula, fresh jicama, almonds, raisins, shaved carrots & mango, tossed with mango ranch dressing & topped with parmesan cheese & a honey-fried goat cheese medallion.

Trade FAIR



Article by: Ana Beatriz Priego

hink of a product you purchased recently. Do you know where it was made, or by whom? Did you know everyday purchases can have a positive impact on the world? When we buy fair trade products, we are profoundly benefiting the lives of artisans and farmers around the globe who operate under fair trade principles while making their wares. Fair trade products are handmade by artisans and farmers who are producing beautiful, high-quality goods including bags, jewelry, home goods, candles, scarves, ornaments, olive oil, coffee, chocolate, spices and a variety of items. Every product is unique and not mass produced. The purchase of a fair trade item allows one to form a link with the person who made it. The goods usually feature a handwritten nametag and sometimes even a picture of the artisan themselves. The Fair Trade Federation regulates the fair trade movement in North America; it creates opportunities intended to alleviate poverty by strengthening and promoting only organizations that are fully committed to complying with fair trade principles. The Federation ensures that farmers and artisans are compensated promptly and fairly for their hard work; it also safeguards the rights of children, respects their cultural identity, and promotes environmental stewardship.


Assisted Living and Memory Care

Kristen Welch is a blogger and published author who has been a fair trade pioneer in our community. Ten years ago, she founded Mercy House, which funds a maternity home in Kenya, which rescues pregnant girls from extreme poverty through partnerships, teaching them sustainable, fair trade practices. Later, she opened Mercy House Global Market, a nonprofit fair trade retail store with two locations in The Woodlands. Here she is educating people about the differences between a fair trade product and something they purchase from a big box store. “We see fair trade as a way to come alongside people without giving them a handout, it is more of a hand up, giving them an opportunity, by providing them jobs so they can solve their own problems,� commented Welch. When we purchase products that are made according to fair trade principles, we are empowering women and minorities, by purchasing affordable, high‑quality products. We are cutting out exploitative intermediaries who hold an unfair advantage over the vendors, thereby increasing the margins earned by these social enterprises, supporting their families and the wider community.


FAITH | Fair Trade Markets

“Everything has a special story,” said Lisa Rose while describing some of the beautiful quilling crafts inside Hands of Faith, a nonprofit fair trade store located in the Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Rose is the Chair of the Hands of Faith Committee, and she leads the volunteer-only store that works with crafters and producers in over 30 countries. “Fair trade is a way of helping people in a way that is sustainable, giving them a skill and a sense of pride in being able to create something that someone would like to buy, not just because it is supporting a good ministry but because it’s an item people actually want to purchase,” she added. Another store in The Woodlands is The Trading Co., a fair trade shop operated by The Woodlands Church. Caroline Shook, a store representative and active member of the congregation, emphasized the importance and honor they feel being able to serve the community locally and internationally through their store. “We want to make sure that the fair trade vendors we work with have the core beliefs that we share, that they are faith-based, that our missions align. We want to love the artisans even if we don’t have direct contact with them,” Shook remarked.


FAITH | Fair Trade Markets

These local options allow one to buy with purpose, to give back, by shopping for gifts or themselves. “I think people primarily are compassionate; they want to be a part of making a difference when purchasing things that help people. They just don’t necessarily know how to find them or source them,� mentioned Welch. Every purchase makes a difference because, through the collective efforts, it fuels entrepreneurship and provides stability and well-being to entire families and their surrounding communities. Every time one picks a fair trade item, it is a step towards the eradication of global poverty, and we contribute to increased global equality.



Article by: Mindy Jones


avid’s life has not been forgotten as his legacy lives on in his hometown of Shenandoah and neighboring community The Woodlands. Not only has he been an inspiration in science and medical progress, but David Vetter touched hearts of people all over the world with his courageous spirit amidst unimaginable challenges. His impact far outreaches our community affecting lives throughout the United States and beyond. Delivered into a “bubble,” or isolator, at birth in 1971 to protect him from illness, David was born with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID) which left him without an immune system to fight off even the smallest of sicknesses. Only the 6th “germ-free delivery” in the world at the time, a common cold or virus could have taken his life. Loving parents, David and Carol Ann, knew their child needed to have normal life experiences and so the isolated area, or bubble, grew with him. He lived, learned, ate meals alongside family and played – all within his bubble. He became very close to his medical team who spent a great deal of time with David, including the late Dr. William T. Shearer, who led his care team and blazed trails for pediatric immunology. David’s life was spent inside the germ-free zone, however, human interaction was so important to him. “He showed such affection and love for his family and others. He had a huge capacity for loving and caring,” his mother, Carol Ann Demaret says. David Vetter endured a life filled with obstacles, but he always looked on the bright side and found joy in his close bond with his family, including his older sister, Katherine. David cherished connections with others and made even the smallest interactions special. “One year at Halloween, he wanted to give out candy instead of dressing up, so he’d reach in his gloves which extended outside his space to give candy to other children,” says Carol Ann. His world was expanded when NASA designed a customized suit resembling a space suit protecting him so he could venture outside of his enclosed unit. Previously displayed in The Smithsonian, his famed suit and David’s brave story continue to be remembered by so many. David chose to live life to the fullest and grasped every opportunity presented to him. A student in Conroe ISD, teachers would visit his home or Texas Children’s Hospital weekly for his education. Occasionally, a teacher would bring a small group of students to visit David and teach a lesson as though he was in a classroom setting. “I felt that everybody had something unique to offer David. He was very inquisitive and enjoyed visitors,” Carol Ann says. Not long after David’s death in 1984 at age 12, Texas Children’s Hospital approached David’s parents about an idea to create The David Center, honoring their son, with the hope that children born with compromised immune systems would have a place to be treated. They agreed and in addition, approved the preservation of his cells for research. “I didn’t realize the importance at the time, but I trusted that it would be for generations to follow. They are still testing David’s cells,” she says.


C O M M U N I T Y | D a v i d Ve tte r

Photo: Derrick Byant

Javier Chinen, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of The David Clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, became involved with the clinic even before it expanded to Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands in 2016. “It is not a secret that part of David’s legacy has been its essential role in the public awareness of SCID. This awareness has promoted the research leading to the inclusion of SCID in the U.S. newborn screening panel for inherited diseases,” he says. The David Center and The David Clinic are within the Allergy and Immunology division at Texas Children’s Hospital where Carol Ann is a regular volunteer. Carol Ann began advocating for SCID newborn screening in Texas after joining the Board of Trustees for the Immune Deficiency Foundation following David’s death. “My prayer when David passed away is that the bubble had burst for all time,” she says. And that prayer has been answered over the years. Texas followed many other states adding SCID to the panel in 2012 with early diagnosis of key importance. Now, every state has added the SCID to their newborn screening panel. Today, children with SCID do not live in isolation, and families often turn to stem cell transplantation for treatment with gene therapy in current development. “At Texas Children’s Hospital, we are part of these worldwide efforts and actively receive infants with SCID for diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Chinen says. During David’s life, the media protected his last name and he was referred to as “David.” So, in 1990, when David Elementary opened honoring his name, the community rallied around the family and took it a step further in commemoration. David’s Dream Run and David Day have been meaningful traditions at the school for 26 years. A community-wide 5k event, organized by the David Elementary PTO, David’s Dream Run raises crucial funds for The David Center and The David Clinic. Tamara Herod, Committee Chair for David’s Dream Run and David Elementary School parent, says, “This event is mostly about teaching our students the importance of helping others and honoring David’s life. I believe they will carry the compassion and awareness they learn from this event with them throughout their lives.” David’s Dream Run rallied 1,000 participants for this year’s race and raised a record $43,000 going to The David Center and The David Clinic. Walls adorned with the students’ artwork line the clinic halls and demonstrate the David Elementary School commitment to teach their students kindness, compassion and service. “This event has raised funds that advanced our research in SCID. We are very thankful for the community support of the research focused on improving the care of SCID patients,” Dr. Chinen states. Each year on the day prior to the run, Carol Ann visits the students at David Elementary. The day has lovingly been named David Day, when Carol Ann speaks about David’s life as well as how the fundraising event helps others. “They ask so many questions from his favorite color to many other things. I always want to end on a positive note. I don’t want the children to be sad about David. I think the children will carry the spirit of David throughout their lives,” Carol Ann says. Residents in The Woodlands continue to be touched by David’s memory in various ways – whether they are driving down David Memorial Drive in his hometown of Shenandoah, having a child attend David Elementary School, participating in David’s Dream Run or visiting Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands where The David Clinic resides. “I’m overwhelmed by the community’s continued embrace and support of David’s memory,” Carol Ann says, “He would be pleased to know his sacrifices were not forgotten. His gallant life and death have meant something to the world.”




Article by: Janelle Romano | Photography: Derrick Bryant



“blessing” to the community, Dr. Adrienne Blessing moved to The Woodlands in the early ‘90s, and nearly 30 years later she feels blessed to call The Woodlands home again. Educational pursuits took Blessing across the country, first to the University of Miami for her undergraduate degree and later to Drexel University in Philadelphia for a graduate degree in business, but she couldn’t escape the pull of Texas, of home. Her answer? Return to the area for medical school at The University of Texas, Houston. Fast forward a few years which included a fortuitous blind date, Blessing found herself finishing up her residency at Memorial Hermann in Houston with an amazing husband, Jordan, and expecting her first child. It was at that moment that she became determined to return to The Woodlands for the amenities and treasured environment she hoped to now share with her new family. The perfect opportunity soon presented itself in the form of a job offer with Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital. Adrienne and Jordan now reside in Creekside Park Village and have two beautiful daughters. She has established a successful medical practice at Houston Methodist and has been able to rekindle friendships from her childhood as well as establish new ones. She attributes the prevalence of values such as compassion and caring for others, as well as the abundant sense of community she experienced growing up in The Woodlands, as key factors in her decision to return. Blessing had an idyllic childhood that included attending Sally K. Ride Elementary followed by Collins, Knox and culminated with her role as a Highlander cheerleader at The Woodlands High School. A self-described animal lover, Blessing will not hesitate to stop traffic to help a turtle or assist a lost dog to find its owner. Her hope is that her daughters will learn by her example that all living things should be treated with kindness and compassion; these lessons that were instilled by her parents but were reinforced by the individuals and the environment in The Woodlands. “People have such a compassion for others here, outside of their family. I have seen it in many areas but most notably through my involvement in Junior League of The Woodlands, as well as serving on the Giving Goes Glam and HOPE - The Will Herndon Fund Committee,” she shared. Blessing feels that they are in the perfect place to raise their daughters. Citing author Esther Wojcicki’s book, How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results, she shares Wojcicki’s belief, “It’s important to show our kids that the most exciting and rewarding thing you can do is to make someone else’s life better.” That is the spirit of The Woodlands and we are fortunate the Blessing Family is home in The Woodlands.



DEPARTMENT Article by: Karen Carroll | Photography: Derrick Bryant

ne interesting benefit of living in a community like The Woodlands, where land use and infrastructure are designed for optimal effectiveness and aesthetic appeal, is that generally things run so smoothly we are seldom aware of its working parts. Foundational services for public welfare, for example, are often taken for granted. Until we need them. The Woodlands Fire Department (TWFD) is one such entity. Born humbly in the early ‘70s with a handful of volunteer firefighters working from a trailer on Grogan’s Mill Road, the organization has continually risen to the many challenges of a changing industry and flourishing population. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. Today’s TWFD is a model emergency response task force, highly regaled and fully prepared for any need in the community. In fact, on the ISO (Insurance Services Office) scale of 1-10, which is the recognized measure of how well protected a community is by its fire department, TWFD has held the highest rating of ISO 1 since 2013. A feat less than one percent of all fire departments in the U.S. can claim. Less than one percent! This level of achievement requires excellence in staffing, training, communications, community outreach, as well as strong, continued support from civic leaders. The Woodlands Township has long understood the importance of providing residents with the best possible emergency response services. “With an ISO 1 rating, The Woodlands Fire Department continues to be one of the elite departments in the United States,” says The Woodlands Township Chairman, Gordy Bunch. “Achieving this goal has not only kept pace with our growth, it helps hold our residential and commercial property insurance premiums at a manageable level. This is just one of many reasons The Woodlands is so special,” said Bunch.


C O M M U N I T Y | F i re D e p a r t m e n t Line personnel at TWFD number well over one hundred these days, and they are no longer just firefighters. They are career men and women of the highest caliber, cross-trained as EMTs, paramedics, and fully equipped with Advanced Life Saving technology and gear. They are on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Additional department teams specialize and train for response to hazardous materials calls, collapse, heavy, and high-angle rescue, swift water and trench rescue. Bolstered with a gleaming fleet of specialized engines, trucks, ambulances and rescue boats, TWFD is prepared for any fire, medical or rescue emergency. And with eight fire stations now in The Woodlands, typical response time is a reassuring 4.71 minutes. Station One on Grogan’s Mill Road is the communications hub for TWFD, as well as Montgomery County 911. Twelve roundthe-clock dispatchers field emergency calls. During large community events like The Woodlands Marathon, or natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, Station One’s large Fire Com room becomes command central. Numerous computers and large, elevated television screens with live feed from multiple locations allow emergency managers to work alongside one another, monitoring and directing conditions in real time.

A 20,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Emergency Training Center near I-45 and Highway 242 facilitates the continually honed expertise of our firefighters. It is also the location for public education. Because safety begins with citizens, TWFD offers regular CPR, first aid, and fire prevention instruction to the community. Strong leadership by a succession of five fire chiefs has been key to the department’s success. After fourteen years of stellar management and direction, Chief Alan Benson retired earlier this year. A nationwide search for his replacement is underway, however Deputy Chief Doug Adams currently serves as Interim Fire Chief. Just as life these days is not as simple as it used to be, neither are our emergencies. TWFD Battalion Chief Jason Washington says, “We don’t get cats out of trees anymore, but if your house is on fire, if you think you’re having a heart attack or whenever there is a life at risk, The Woodlands Fire Department is fully prepared to respond.”


2 Consecutive Years



Article by: Ana Beatriz Priego


ndia is a country with multiple languages, subcultures, culinary styles and traditions, so when the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands began operating in 2011, one of the first questions the founding members began to address was: How do we bring people together? They quickly realized that the way to do that was through shared experiences. Given that Hindu culture and religion are expansive and expressed in various ways, the members of the Temple needed a way to connect despite their different beliefs. To do that, they established three guiding principles: the expression of their collective faith, preserving and enhancing knowledge and culture, and community service. Rather than homogenizing the traditions in the Temple, they respect and keep these separate distinctions but celebrate together. Indian Festivals The congregation had their first Woodlands’ Holi festivity in 2011, Holi is an ancient Hindu festival of colors celebrating the coming of spring. The Temple has seen attendance grow from 150 people in 2011 to 2,500 in 2019. Holi is unique because it celebrates music, food, color and diversity; the festival symbolizes love and friendship and people from all walks of life can enjoy it. The Temple also holds an annual Diwali festival honoring light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance, all of which are values that can be universally appreciated. Diwali is celebrated by the Temple every autumn for two days, based on the lunar and solar calendars. “We are trying to create the complete Indian experience in the Temple and are expecting 5,000 people this year,” mentioned Sudharsan Arunachalam, President of the Temple’s Executive Committee. All of the food offerings are homemade and made from scratch by volunteers. Attendees dress up in beautiful attire, enjoy food and sweets, exchange gifts and pray for the general wellbeing of the community and their families. People have many different ways of celebrating Diwali, as each region of India has a myriad of customs and traditions. Given the diversity of the Temple’s members, the holiday can be enjoyed by Hindus and NonHindus alike. Diwali and Holi, as well as the other festivals celebrated by the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands, are all about multicultural exchange. Every member of the community is welcome to join in, free of charge, and enjoy an enriching experience with their family and neighbors, including live performances and activities that epitomize the incredibly vast range of Indian culture.


A Center for Culture and Devotion “Hinduism is a set of beliefs; it is a platform of expression rather than a religion and the Temple welcomes people of all faiths,” mentioned Praveen K. Gottipati, Chairman of the Temple’s Board of Trustees. The Temple offers many activities: yoga and meditation classes as a platform for higher reality and enlightenment, youth and senior programs, as well as Hindi, Sanskrit and other Indian language classes. They also offer classical Indian dance, percussion and vocal singing lessons. “We are so excited to see so many people do yoga with us, celebrate festivals with us, get some education about what we are doing; it’s a wonderful way that we are progressing as a community within the larger community,” mentioned Beth Beckwith Kulkarni, an American-Hindu and volunteer worker who was recently awarded the Lifetime Community Service Award by Hindus of Greater Houston for being an active community member for over 40 years. The Temple is operated by volunteers, and relies on monetary donations and time contributions. Throughout the years, an active gardening community has formed among the congregation. The herbs and vegetables that they grow are used for their Annadanam Program, where every Sunday, 150 volunteers cook a meal and serve about 150 devotees and visitors. Showing remarkable long-term vision and care for the environment, the Board of Trustees and Hindus in our community are working to protect the future of the planet. The Hindu Temple is environmentally friendly, gets its energy from solar panels, and has replaced plasticware with biodegradable plates in all of their festivities. Recently, the Temple had to remove some trees to make room for new facilities, but with the help of their youth program participants and The Woodlands Township, they have planted over 1,000 new trees. To expand and offer additional programs and services to the community, soon the Hindu Temple will start construction of a new building. It will have a multipurpose hall for performances, events, dance recitals, concerts and more. It will also have a full kitchen, seating area and activity rooms. “Indian celebrations mean cooking, eating, and dancing,” said Rashmi Gupta, a Hindu Temple board member and resident of The Woodlands for 22 years. Gupta exemplifies the Temple’s success in bringing the community together by building bridges of understanding and acceptance. “I feel very close, and I feel the whole community as a family,” she remarked. The Hindu Temple members invite families in The Woodlands to come out and experience the next Diwali Festival on October 19th and the Holi Festival in March of 2020.



Health Article by: Lucy Gomez

n The Pink of Health was created as an event that focuses on women’s health issues as part of the Memorial Hermann Foundation whose mission is to raise funds through philanthropic initiatives and planned giving campaigns in order to meet the ever growing healthcare needs in the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System particularly here in Montgomery County. Ann Wolford, who coordinated the original event and still serves on the event planning committee shares, “In The Pink’s original goal was to raise awareness about women’s health issues because women are often the primary healthcare decision makers for their families. The goal was to bring awareness and education focused on health issues women often faced including hormone treatments and breast cancer while raising funds to support local programs.” However, by the fourth year, the Memorial Hermann Foundation staff and In The Pink committee members realigned the event’s mission to focus solely on the prevention, diagnostic testing and treatment of breast and ovarian cancers with funds raised to support those efforts. Today, the In The Pink luncheon has grown into one of the largest and most generous fundraising events in our community by providing $450,000 last year to nonprofits serving Montgomery County residents. Local nonprofits continue to provide services and programming such as free mammograms, diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds, breast cancer educational programs, cancer survivorship programs such as art therapy and yoga and services like wig fittings and prosthetics for patients in treatment. Past nonprofit recipients have included: Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center, Interfaith Community Clinic, Memorial Hermann Breast Cancer Center, The Rose, Ovarcome and the Judith L. Robinson Foundation. “One of the most generous aspects of In The Pink Luncheon is that the money raised stays here in our community to help our neighbors in the midst of a health crisis or in our case provide access to care for the uninsured women with educational information and free screenings for early detection,” shared Missy Herndon, President & CEO of Interfaith Community Clinic.


Each year, a committee of community leaders and volunteers set out to create an inspiring and fun event that showcases the spirit of generosity unique to The Woodlands area. Event highlights include an enormous silent and live action, boutique, local speakers that share their stories of survival and keynote speakers providing inspiration and hope to attendees contributing to the ongoing fight against breast and ovarian cancers. Past speakers include Olympic Gold Medalist, Scott Hamilton, Good Morning America’s Amy Robach and TV Host, Samantha Harris. This year’s committee co-chairs, Debra Cooper and Dee Gelsomini have led an amazing group of women in coordinating the 19th anniversary luncheon. Gelsomini states, “I attended the luncheon for several years, but when my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, I wanted to do more. I witnessed the challenges patients and their families face and I am committed to doing what I can to help them through those tough times.” Furthermore, Linda Nelson, Business Development & Regional Marketing Director shares her reflection on the impact of this amazing event, “Memorial Hermann’s In the Pink of Health Luncheon celebrates its 19th year raising funds and has distributed over $5.5 million in the fight against breast and ovarian cancers. I’ve been a part of the committee since its inception and I’ve seen this educational and inspirational event grow year over year. We’ve helped see that cancer is not only detected earlier and that the community is educated, but also helped support cancer survivors through the free Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center.” The 19th anniversary luncheon will not disappoint this year with guest speaker, Rick Rigsby, author of Afraid to Hope and also a former Texas A&M professor and chaplain for the Aggie Football team. In the Pink of Health will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott on Friday, October 18, 2019.


ON MIGUEL Cotton Cashmere Cable Crew Neck Sweater $128 Unbutton Down Shirt $88, Italian Brushed 5-Pocket Pant $148

ON WILL The M-Flex Golf Polo $68, The Tartan Golf Windbreaker $108 Highland Tour Golf Pants $128, The Clubhouse Stretch Belt $78

“Add detail with textures, prints and pops of color.”

ON IA N Satin Tuxedo Bowtie $78, Tuxedo Shirt $168 Capstone Italian Wool Tuxedo Jacket $550 Jetsetter Stretch Italian Wool Tuxedo Pant $300


ON BR ET Premium Shirt Made With Liberty Fabric $128 Jetsetter Stretch Italian Wool Blazer $400 Selvage Stretch Jeans $198, Colored Edge Belt $68

F A S H I O N | Men’s Fashion




Miguel Lopez serves as the Executive Director for the Lone Star College Small Business Development Center. He is a proud veteran, having served in The United States Marine Corp as a machine gunner (1986-1990). He has been involved in and served in leadership roles with numerous non-profit organizations throughout his years in the Woodlands, Texas where he has been a resident for 25 years. Miguel is a former Vice President of The Woodlands Lions Club, as well as an Ex-Officio of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce. He has also held leadership roles on the Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber, South County YMCA, March of Dimes and South County Community Clinic among others. He recalls his kindergarten teacher spending an extra 15-30 minutes here and there with him to learn English, that is when he first felt the power and results of someone giving back and assisting him. Miguel also finds it easy to get involved when there are so many in our community and county who also want to help and give back. Miguel’s advice for someone who is looking to get involved with a group or non-profit; “find something you believe in, something you are passionate about…then immerse yourself in it.” WILL

Will Murphy spends his days listening, understanding and focusing on client’s needs as Private Wealth Financial Advisor and Managing Director of Investments at Wells Fargo’s Private Bank. His mission is to develop and implement strategies to help his clients grow, manage, preserve and transfer their wealth focusing on the four cornerstones of wealth: Investments; Liability Management; Non-Portfolio Risk Management; and Trust and Estate Planning Strategies. The Murphy’s moved to The Woodlands following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Bringing a strong educational background, advanced training and a commitment to ongoing professional development, Will and Nicole made a home here raising their 2 children, Madelyn and Billy. The Murphys are mainstays in the philanthropic community, as they both actively sit on Boards, attend, chair events and support numerous organizations including Interfaith of The Woodlands, HOPE: The Will Herndon Research Fund, The Woodlands Christian Academy, Beyond Batten Disease Foundation, and Texas Children’s Hospital. When not in The Woodlands, the Murphy’s enjoy their little piece of Heaven in Watercolor, Florida where they Summer and spend holidays. IAN

Ian J. Ramirez is an internationally trained opera singer who has sung across the globe from Portland, Oregon to Stuttgart, Germany. He has sung with Opera Stuttgart, Portland Opera, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and Musica Sacra of Cincinnati, among others. From opera to operations, Ian serves as the Venue Director of Madera Estates, a Spanish and European inspired luxury wedding and event venue located in Conroe, Texas. In his spare time, Ian operates a private voice studio, sings as tenor soloist in The Woodlands United Methodist Church choir, and serves on the boards of Interfaith Young Professionals and the International Live Events Association Houston Chapter. A native of The Woodlands, Texas, Ian graduated Summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in music. He has received awards from the National Opera Association and a Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission. In 2018, Ian was named the Man of the Year through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman of the Year campaign, as well as PR Luxury Media’s Do-Gooder of the Year. Most recently, he was named in Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. BR ET

Bret L. Strong is the founder and managing shareholder of The Strong Firm P.C. which was formed in 2004. He has been a resident and an active community leader in The Woodlands, Texas for over 30 years. Bret spent 11 years with Shell Oil Company in the areas of contracting, finance, and information services prior to becoming licensed in the legal field and establishing his practice in The Woodlands in 1996. Bret and his team at The Strong Firm P.C. are proud to collectively support many wonderful charities and organizations in The Woodlands community including Interfaith of The Woodlands, Leadership Montgomery County, Yes to Youth – Montgomery County Youth Services, Montgomery County Community Foundation, Education for Tomorrow Alliance, CASA of Montgomery County, Meals on Wheels Montgomery County, The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce as well as involvement in numerous local schools fundraisers, sports and athletic events. Bret is proud to remain strong in The Woodlands community.


F A S H I O N | Men’s Fashion

Many thanks to Will Murphy, Ian Ramirez, Bret Strong and Miguel Lopez for being an example of gracious giving and selfless service in our town. And much appreciation to our menswear retailer and ad partner, Bonobos at Market Street, for styling and creating the looks on our models. Bonobos is focused on delivering well fitted clothing while staying current with the fashion and accessories trends. Our local Guideshop offers personal styling to help fit and build the perfect wardrobe. If what you are looking for is not currently carried in the store, have it shipped for free directly to your door. From suiting to golf attire, Bonobos is sure to please the most style conscious man for all seasons. Happy shopping!

Article by: Ana Beatriz Priego | Photography: Derrick Bryant


hen conceiving The Woodlands as a master-planned community, its founders envisioned a place where art was highly valued. They succeeded in creating a vital and robust presence of artistic expression in the area. The vehicle that provides support for the arts and sustains the founders’ goal is The Woodlands Art Council, Inc. (TWAC), a not-for-profit corporation, whose primary objective is to provide cultural enrichment through several community events that promote the performing, visual and literary arts, primarily through The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival and in the schools with numerous projects and scholarships for those students interested in pursuing art studies. TWAC strives to create a better community through the arts. Dr. Maria Holmes, recently appointed as President of TWAC Board of Directors, believes that by experiencing the creative arts in the community, the quality of life is enhanced for all residents. “It creates another way for people to build community, it’s another way for citizens to have purpose and meaning in their hometown, no matter the age, heritage, or where their original home is; it brings us all together,” Holmes stated.





The Council establishes and supports meaningful art and cultural programs throughout The Woodlands, including youth mentoring and support programs, student art scholarships, art programs in kids’ schools, interactive workshops for seniors and retirees, special needs programs and sponsorship of public arts. TWAC continues to grow and gain recognition by coordinating The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival and the Art Bench Project. The Art Bench Project The Council is responsible for twenty Art Benches that have been commissioned and installed throughout our community, in partnership with The Woodlands Township as well as with the funding and vision of art patrons who sponsor each bench. Designed by local, national, and international artists, the Art Benches are permanent outdoor collections around The Woodlands Mall, Town Green Park and Hughes Landing. Currently, Phase IV of this project will feature three new Art Benches that will be located along The Woodlands Waterway.


F I N E A RT S | The Woodlands Art Council

The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival is an annual and premier attraction. It is one of the top-ranked fine arts festivals in the country. The festival is made for the community by the community, and all the proceeds go back into the local arts, impacting the community while benefitting upcoming local artists. “The festival is very competitive,” said Kelly Batterson, Event Director of the 2019 Festival. There are 800 to 1,000 artists that submit applications each year providing the community with the most beautifully creative art to select from. The review and final picks are made by a blind jury. The art pieces are judged solely on merit. Art teachers, art professionals, community members and volunteers constitute the jury and collectively choose over 200 artists for each festival. “It is a well-thought-out process, a fineworking machine,” added Batterson. The members of The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival Committee worked hard to deliver a wide variety of artistic mediums including paintings, pottery, glass pieces, photography, jewelry, digital, furniture, clothing and much more. The attendees at the two-day outdoor festival were able to meet the artist, discuss and learn about their work, hear their stories and their artistic perspectives. That was possible because, as part of the festival’s requirements, the artists have to be present in their booth for their exhibition, making the experience for the visitors more dynamic and personal.


F I N E A RT S | The Woodlands Art Council In 2019, TWAC added a new feature to the festival called, Spotlight on Mexico. This gave an element of freshness to this year’s 14th event. Holmes mentioned, “We want to have a more global presence in our arts festival. Each year, we are going to select a country and bring attention to their arts, their food, and music providing education of other cultures to our citizens.” An interactive living museum was set up inside the main gate of Town Green Park, capturing the richness and beauty of Mexico in every art form. Asociación Amiga was in charge of curating the exhibit; they are a nonprofit formed by female Latin American entrepreneurs with a broad sense of commitment for the community. Diana Ontañon, President of the organization said, “Art has no language, barriers or frontiers, the Spotlight on Mexico was a way of sharing our authentic Mexican culture and artifacts, and representing our country the best way possible.” The festival is a family event; everyone enjoyed the artists’ displays, live music performances and exquisite food offerings. Younger attendees participated creatively in The Woodlands Children’s Museum special exhibits. “We have a little something for everybody, making or having art is the main focus. We are proud of it; we love our mission and want to cultivate it,” concluded Batterson. The next Arts Festival is scheduled for April 4th–5th, 2020.

Trips DAY


Article by: Karen Carroll

ollowing years of careful civic planning in accordance with George Mitchell’s original vision, The Woodlands has everything residents need. Unless a job or special event draws us outside peripheries, we’re just fine right where we are to live, work and play. On occasion, however, a change of scenery is good for the soul. For those with a yen to explore our stretch of the greater Houston area, there are nearby locales that clear the mind, entertain the kids and satisfy the palate.


Less than an hour’s drive from The Woodlands, nestled in one hundred acres of rolling Willis, Texas countryside is a farmhouse J.C. Hill built for his family in 1885. Time and the elements had taken a toll on the place when the Bradbury Family purchased the house and land in 2017 with a vision for restoration, expansion and repurposing. The result is Historic Hill House and Farm, an enchanting Bed and Breakfast featuring first-rate service, accommodation and recreation. The main house, the barn house and two cottages offer seven well-appointed rooms and suites for overnight booking. Upscale farmhouse in design and comfort, these rooms offer true repose. Dining here is an equal treat. The talented and passionate culinary team at Hill House serves fine country fare three times daily to guests in the same dining room, incidentally that same room has been hosting friends and family for over one hundred and thirty years. Active families enjoy time by the swimming pool at Hill House, fishing from a massive pond, hiking, jogging, biking and wildlife watching among its ample acreage. Inside the pool barn, an activity room equipped with board games, lawn games, crafts and puzzles are yours for the taking. And for those seeking a more tranquil escape, there is massage, painting and photography lessons and enough distance from the real world for midnight stargazing. Hill House is a perfect location for family reunions, book clubs, yoga, writing or corporate retreats. A recent restoration of the Hill’s historic barn has added a dreamy venue to the property; 7500 square feet of climate-controlled country-chic ambiance. Not surprisingly, Hill House has additionally become a sought-after wedding location.


Roughly the same distance from The Woodlands, halfway between Conroe and Plantersville on Highway 105 is a similar escape. Named Melrose House when it was constructed in 1854 by Richard Willis, this humble yellow farm-style home and its grounds quickly became a central location for social gatherings in Montgomery County. During the Civil War, resident and local surgeon Dr. John Irion treated patients here, and Sam Houston is rumored to have been a frequent guest. Several subsequent owners renamed the place for their use as a private residence. When the Weems family purchased the property in 2012, the goal was to restore the original social aspect of the historic property. Following renovation, the estate was reopened to the public as the Hodge Podge Lodge, a delightfully rustic Bed and Breakfast and event venue.


L I F E S T Y L E S | D a y Tr i p s Current owners Jeff and Mistie Angelo recently acquired the dream and took it up a notch, adding a pergola, an open-air pavilion and other wedding and event accoutrement to the grounds. The greatest challenge, and pride for Jeff, a ‘retired-refired’ entrepreneur, was the addition of a commercial kitchen and restaurant inside the historic house without compromising its delicate original features. The Eatery at Hodge Podge Lodge has become a celebrated addition to the gourmet dining scene in Montgomery. Head Chef Rick Adams along with Jeff Angelo (also a chef) created The Eatery’s nicely balanced menu of hearty entrees, light salads and sides. Locally sourced produce and meat, and dishes made daily from scratch are hallmarks of the operation’s excellence. Whether in need of a location for a girl’s weekend getaway, a nearby escape for the family, or a beautiful environ for time alone to read or write, the Hodge Podge Lodge fits the bill.






Article by: Mindy Jones

estled behind a thick layer of trees on Research Forest and Gosling, originally intended by The Woodlands founder George Mitchell to be an area of technology and research, the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) now solely dedicates itself to sustainability challenges and providing research analysis on energy, air and water with the consistent focus of helping organizations thrive while maintaining an environmentally sound strategy. In 1982, Mitchell founded HARC with a segment of the nonprofit focused on sustainability and environmental themes, a particular passion of the successful oil and gas businessman. Almost twenty years later in 2001, HARC’s entire mission was restructured to look solely at sustainability issues and analysis based on related topics. Lisa Gonzalez, President and CEO of HARC, says, “Everything we do, whether it’s energy or water, we always try to bring in these three perspectives: economy, community and environment.” HARC approached the development of their new building centered on those three fundamental viewpoints in 2016. The new, ultra environmentally conscious building unlike any structure in the Greater Houston area was a concept its leaders recognized as something exceptional, yet quite attainable. “It aligns with our sustainability goals as a research organization,” says Mustapha Beydoun, Vice President and COO of HARC, “If a nonprofit organization can operate this kind of building, then it’s certainly possible for any sized company to do this.” With the guidance of architects and engineers from Gensler, CMTA, Walter P Moore and Vogt Engineering, they designed HARC’s new headquarters to be energy-efficient from the slightest detail to large-scale technologies delivering significant impact. To begin with, an ecological assessment was performed on the 3.5-acre site to preserve plant species and animal habitat, which meant only developing on 30% of the total property. No irrigation is necessary on site due to native, water-smart plants which thrive there and bioswales, vegetative areas that filter water and pollutants away from the building while maintaining habitat. The price for their water bill? Minimal. Most homeowners pay more for their residential water bill than this 18,600 square foot commercial space and property. The only U.S. Green Building Council certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum facility in The Woodlands, HARC has an even greater goal: to become Net Zero Energy in 2019, which means producing more energy than is consumed over the course of the year. Its 250 Texas-manufactured solar panels are helping lead the way as is the geothermal heating and cooling system which uses 37 deep wells underneath the modest parking lot, all without the use of natural gas. “There are a lot of systems operating behind the scenes that make it highly efficient and on the path to Net Zero. We wanted this to be a model for other commercial development projects around the region,” Gonzalez says. Not only are they fully engaged in conserving energy and water themselves, but information abides through every system and plug outlet. If the coffeemaker or a specific computer is using more than its share of energy, it is investigated and solved with energy-efficiency as top priority. Dirk Kestner, Director of Sustainable Design at Walter P. Moore and structural engineer for the project, says, “HARC took a holistic approach to the definition of “Net Zero” and looked not only at the impacts associated with operating the building, but also minimized the environmental impacts caused from the materials and processes used to make the building. Very few owners take such a comprehensive approach.”



The interior is just as significant as the structure itself. Ample daylight above the tree line tames the need for much artificial light. Walls of windows display a beautiful nature scene rather than buildings or concrete. As an employee, it would not be unusual to see a grey fox, a bobcat, or a hawk as you go about your day. Minimalistic in design, green-conscious materials are utilized and functional workspaces are evident, such as doors that double as writing boards and adjustable desks for standing or sitting. The building and its unique “green” attributes have not gone unnoticed. HARC’s headquarters won the prestigious 2017 Urban Land Institute Award which identifies commercial developments that stand out in the greater Houston area. Beating out Moody Gardens for the top nonprofit choice, HARC’s structure hopes to be an educational tool fostering community outreach as well as a model to inspire other organizations to make the same bold, environmentally responsible progress. Cost-effective from design to implementation, HARC strives to keep a comfortable workplace while working toward its Net Zero goal. “It’s not that we’re giving anything up to be this efficient. It’s the exact opposite. We’re enhancing the work environment, and people are happy,” Beydoun says. “We want it to be a center of community activities, especially those that tie back to Mr. Mitchell’s legacy of sustainability,” says Gonzalez. HARC opens its doors to organizations like The Woodlands Township and Master Naturalist, a welcome place to hold educational community events related to sustainability and the environment. Groups such as Girl Scouts, environmental organizations, builders and others are invited to tour the facility. Referred to as a “living lab,” HARC not only desires to provide their research capabilities, but to inspire more people and organizations to think about the impact they can have in their communities by providing education and real-time information. “The goal was to deliver a building that embodied HARC’s commitment to holistic environmental stewardship and that would serve as a teaching tool,” Kestner says, “I’m very pleased with the outcome.” With almost 3,000 visitors since its opening, HARC’s goals were never one-sided. Education and outreach along with maintaining a sustainable workplace headed towards Net Zero Energy is the only path that makes sense, “For us it was an important mission. We need to walk the walk,” Gonzalez says.


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CO M M U N I T Y | Wildlife

Urban Eagles- Bald Eagles Call The Woodlands Home The most famous wild residents of The Woodlands are undoubtedly the bald eagles that now call our area home. The first eagles were spotted in The Woodlands in 1999. Fred LeBlanc, Environmental Manager at The Howard Hughes Corporation (then Mitchell Energy & Development Corporation) was alerted that a family of bald eagles was nesting in a commercial space that was undeveloped at the time (across from Mitchell Island on East Shore). Bald eagles were protected on the endangered species list and that spurred debate on the path forward. As a result, the development corporation contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and sponsored a study on eagles with Stephen F. Austin State University. They applied for a 10A permit to continue development with safety provisions. Provided they allowed sufficient buffer zones from the nest, they were permitted to continue construction in the non-nesting period of June through October. For the following four years, the eagles would come back each year to nest in that same spot. Interestingly, even once construction began in the area, still in compliance with the prescribed buffers, the development company noticed the eagles were not phased by the construction and chose to continue to nest and mate there in spite of the construction. Over the years the eagles have built five nests in various locations in relatively close proximity to that original nest, most recently at Lake Front Circle. Aptly referred to as “urban eagles�, this new breed of eagles seemingly does not seem to mind busy suburban areas such as The Woodlands. A second nest, or eyrie as they are called, which can be up to ten feet across and three feet deep, appeared a few years later in the Bear Branch area. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are now four nests in the township, although they will not disclose the exact locations. Between the various nests, The Woodlands with its multitude of lakes and abundant pine trees has been home to at least 36 eaglets hatched since 2000.


CO M M U N I T Y | Wildlife

In 2007, the bald eagle was removed from the Federal Threatened & Endangered Species Act as the eagle population began to rebound across the country. However, they are still protected under the Bald and Golden Eagles Protection Act among others, which prohibit harassment of the birds. The bald eagles have garnered quite a following in the area with one local resident, Randy Scott even starting a Facebook page called “Save The Woodlands Eagles� featuring etiquette tips to watch the birds without disturbing them. On any given day during the nesting period and now sometimes even beyond those times, you are likely to find a plethora of avid bird watchers with high-tech lenses as well as neighborhood residents trying to catch a peek with the naked eye. One of the best viewing locations is the Lake Front Circle location in Hughes Landing adjacent to The Woodlands United Methodist Church parking lot. The beauty and wonder of these majestic birds is definitely a sight to behold and a highlight of the wildlife in The Woodlands. The hope is that these urban eagles will continue to call our area home for many years to come.

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Article by: Janelle Romano

ugby, which is highly popular internationally and on both coasts in the United States has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity in The Woodlands area. Rugby began in The Woodlands at the YMCA in 2002-2003 as a touch program. Frank Rizzo, the current Head Coach of The Woodlands High School Boys Team, had two boys who participated in that early program. After a few years, the boys wanted to take the sport to the next level and incorporate tackle into the game, which resulted in the formation of The Woodlands Rugby Club in 2005-2006. At that time, there weren’t many teams in Texas (only about 4 programs) so finding teams to play was a challenge and always involved commuting to scrimmage and play in tournaments. A stark contrast to 2019 in Texas which included 18 youth teams (K- 8th grade), 24 high school girls’ teams and 32 high school boys’ teams (both junior varsity and varsity).


Development and Growth The Woodlands Rugby program has experienced remarkable growth (from 100 kids in 2016 to 300 kids in 2019) and the success of the program (an all volunteer-run organization) is attributable to a multitude of factors. Two years ago, when the President of the board stepped down and the head coach left to take a coaching job for a professional rugby team, a new board was elected. The highly active board members serve three-year terms and voluntarily invest up to 30-40 hours per week in their role during the season. The new board members got right to work with a focus on uniting the boys’ and girls’ teams. The following year, they expanded the program as well as created a new logo and mascot. Their efforts are paying off, not only in the win category, but also in their efforts to secure sponsors, in the college recruitment of players, and the size and domination of The Woodlands Rugby teams. According to Charlotte “Charlie” Hopkins, President of The Woodlands Rugby Board, Head Coach Frank Rizzo is the key, “Frank is the reason why The Woodlands Rugby Team works. He is the reason we have been so successful. He is an unbelievable coach.” Frank Rizzo, a California transplant, was literally pulled into a college rugby game by the UC Irvine coach while in attendance at a game. He went on to play for UC Santa Barbara and Select Side Rugby when he received a call from New Zealand to play internationally. His rugby career involved play and experiences that took him all over the world from Australia to England. He is very thankful for the opportunities, friendships and perspective afforded to him through the world of rugby and enjoys sharing his love for the sport with the next generation.


Safety Another reason for the significant growth in the number of rugby participants in The Woodlands and across the country is the safety factor. Although many people tend to think of rugby, because it is a contact sport, as dangerous, it is considerably safer than football and there are surprisingly few injuries. As a result, many athletes are migrating from football and other contact sports to rugby. Coach Rizzo stated, “Rugby players aren’t getting concussions. In rugby you have to wrap them up. In football, all you have to do is deliver a blow.” Hopkins adds, “Safety is our #1 priority. We want our children to be safe.” The coaches will not allow kids to play in the games until they feel comfortable. The coaches have even been known to stop games if they felt it was getting too rough. According to Hopkins, in a survey of the parents last year, the feedback indicated that 99% of the parents felt that their children were being kept safe. Community The large expat community in The Woodlands also has contributed to the popularity of the sport in the area. The international community in The Woodlands makes the rugby team very diverse and is one of the aspects that many parents appreciate about the team. Not everyone can live and travel abroad, but because of having teammates from all over the world, their children are able to experience and develop friendships with individuals from other cultures. Finally, the amazing facilities and parks available in The Woodlands set the locale and team apart from other areas. The Come and Take It Tournament, now the largest youth rugby tournament in the state, is held in The Woodlands in March each year, with proceeds benefitting local charities. In addition, The Woodlands hosted the state tournament last year and will host it again next year. “The Woodlands parks and recreation are amazing. No one else has facilities like we do,” remarked Hopkins. To say that The Woodlands Rugby Team is a powerhouse is an understatement. The teams dominate in the state and the club is by far the largest club in Texas. The Woodlands Rugby Youth Teams took home first in every single age group in the state this year. The high school boys won both the state and regional titles and the high school girls were runners up. However, if you talk to the parents and the coaches, they will tell you that although the kids like to win, rugby and especially The Woodlands Rugby Teams are not about getting the glory, but about supporting their teammates. Parents love the long-term lessons and character building resulting from participation on the team. Hopkins says, “Rugby is not about superstars. It is about being a great teammate. You win as a team, you lose as a team.” In fact, according to Hopkins, when the players were asked at the end of season banquet what their favorite part of the season was, not one player mentioned winning the state title.


What Makes Rugby Special Rugby is a good-natured sport where respect for ones teammates and opponents is evident both on and off the field. It is an incredibly social sport; games are extremely competitive, but when the match finishes both teams come together and fraternize. Rizzo stated, “No matter where you go in the world, there is a rugby team and they will welcome you to join in a game.” Girls Rugby Yes, girls do play rugby, in fact there are many collegiate scholarships available for girls who play rugby. No, it is not just for big girls either. All shapes and sizes are needed, especially quick ones. Girls Head Coach Chelsea Peper says, “Cross-over athletes, individuals who played basketball, or soccer for example, make excellent players.” Rugby gives girls confidence and an opportunity to express themselves, they also develop amazing comradery and lasting friendships through the sport. Rugby builds handeye coordination and agility, honing skills that are an asset to any sport. Although girls’ rugby is not a varsity sport for girls in the state of Texas now, it is only a matter of time.


Get Out and Give it a “Try” It is now easier than ever to take in a rugby game as the Houston professional rugby team, The Houston SabreCats, with a former Woodlands Rugby player - Kieran Farmer on the roster, had a new stadium built this year. According to Coach Rizzo, “The sport sells itself, and anyone can play rugby. The kids have the time of their lives. The clock is always running and the ball is always live, so it is a lot of improvisation. You create the game as you go.” Rugby is a great complement to other sports and even for the kids that aren’t very “sporty”. The coaches encourage youth to come out and “Give Rugby a Try” (a goal is called a “try” in rugby) in November. Every Tuesday in November, kids can try touch-only rugby for free. For more information on The Woodlands Rugby programs, please visit: woodlandsrugbyclub.org

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Profile for Interfaith of The Woodlands

The Book The Woodlands Volume IV (2019)  

Volume IV of The Book The Woodlands celebrates the many acts of service that are deeply woven into the fabric of our community. As we honor...

The Book The Woodlands Volume IV (2019)  

Volume IV of The Book The Woodlands celebrates the many acts of service that are deeply woven into the fabric of our community. As we honor...