Greatwood - February 2023

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A publication of the

+A mother pleads for people to open their hearts and homes to children in need

Contents & Staff February

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FEATURE | Child Advocates of Fort Bend focuses on transforming the lives of children through its support services, programs and outreach, and one mother stresses why fostering and adopting children is crucial.


TALK OF THE TOWN | The annual grown-up pajama party, Girlfriends Giggle, a Fort Bend Women’s Center event, aims to raise money to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.


Time is running out for artists to register for the Sugar Land Arts Fest.


MANAGING EDITOR Marquita Griffin


Stefanie Bartlett

Ruby Polichino


Marquita Griffin


Melinda Maya Rachel Cavazos


If you are interested in advertising in the Greatwood Monthly, please call 281-342-4474 and ask for Stefanie Bartlett or Ruby Polichino. We’ll be happy to send rates, and deadline information to you.


We are looking for fresh story ideas and enjoy publishing your articles in the West Fort Bend Living. If you have an story idea or photo to publish please send your information to with “West Fort Bend Living” in the subject line.

©2022 Greatwood Monthly. All Rights Reserved. Greatwood Monthly is a sister publication of Fulshear Living Monthly, West Fort Bend Living Monthly, Pecan Grove Monthly and is a publication of the Fort Bend Herald. Our publishing headquarters is 1902 S. Fourth Street, Rosenberg Texas 77471.

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Sometimes people say to Jodi: “I don’t know how you do it,” when they discover she and her husband are foster parents.

“I always liked being around children,” said Jodi Harris, who started her first year as a fourth-grade teacher in August. “I looked into it when I was really young, when I was single and before I had children, so it was easy for me to jump into it.”

Through their biological children and adoption, Jodi and Tony Harris created a blended family of nine children ranging from adults to toddlers, and it’s a household dynamic that Jodi describes as “just so natural.”

“Fostering is an important need,” explained Jodi, who has been a foster parent for a decade. Tony, she said, stepped into that role around five years ago.

Although she’s gone through an adoption process before, in November, she and her husband were one of several families feted for adopting children during the Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s National Adoption Day celebration. The Harris family grew by two children that day, welcoming two siblings.

It was a decision for which Jodi doesn’t seek validation. Adoption isn’t about her or her husband, she said, but about the children.

The siblings, a boy and a girl who are 2 and 1 years old, first came to the Harris family as foster children.

“They’re a good family and they really care,” said CASA advocate Austin Falcon, who worked with the Harris family.

CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s trained and screened volunteers — specifically called advocates — who, along with other appointed professionals, visit children in foster care and attend court proceedings to ensure the well-being of the children.

Their ultimate goal is to reunify children with their parents whenever safe and possible, but if that option isn’t available, they advocate for the child to live with and be adopted by other family members, friends or an unrelated but devoted family.

“Our entire focus is whether the needs and the best interest of the children are being met. We look at their physical health, emotional needs, the stability of the home and what’s good for them in the long run,” Falcon said, explaining that advocates collaborate with other professionals working on the child’s case. “The social workers, CPS case workers or attorneys assigned to the children all have different roles. CASA volunteers only have one focus, and that’s the child.”

He added that while upwards of 15 children can be assigned to one CPS case worker, CASA advocates are appointed one to two children.

Falcon said Jodi and Tony Harris’ relationship with the adopted siblings started when they fostered them as babies and “loved them as their own.”

“They foster out of the goodness of their hearts and they know it’s needed,” he said.

Jodi explained that she doesn’t think of her and her husband’s children with the qualifiers of “biological” or “adopted.”

She prefers instead to focus on “being a good parent all the time and be all that [she] can be for them.”


In the weeks following the Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s National Adoption Day celebration, the nonprofit’s CEO Ruthanne Mefford found herself enthusiastic about the toy drive the nonprofit was hosting for the children before the onset of the holiday season.

But beyond the festivities of the drive and oncoming holiday season was a grim reality: an increasing number of children need stable homes.

“In this season of sharing and thankfulness, let’s not forget the kids, these children,” Mefford said. “We don’t want them to fall through the cracks. When we’re sharing with our families, take a minute to think about those kids, who are not having those opportunities. Say a prayer, go on website to make a gift, or become a volunteer — just take a minute out for them.”

Since its inception in 1991, the nonprofit agency Child Advocates of Fort Bend has served child victims of sexual and physical abuse and neglect through two nationally-affiliated programs — Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC).

To date, the nonprofit has provided services to more than 20,000 Fort Bend children.

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, around 6,000 children are waiting for adoption. The department’s most recent adoption data, which is from the 2021 fiscal year, states 712 children were on the adoption waiting list of the Region 6 area of the state. Region 6 includes Fort Bend, Harris, Walker, Montgomery, Liberty, Chambers, Waller, Galveston, Brazoria, Matagorda, Wharton, and Colorado counties.

“The numbers are exploding. Across the nation, more than 100,000 children need to be adopted,” Mefford said. “And they are of all ages. When people think of children needing to be adopted, they instantly think of babies. They’re not just babies, they’re young kids, siblings and teenagers.”

Teenagers, she noted, are the last to be adopted.

“Teenagers and the ones who are in the [foster care system] for long periods are the ones, perhaps, that suffer the most because they feel like a ‘throw away’ child. They’re [also] looking for safety, love and caring families.”

And that word, family, is one that Mefford takes a moment to define.

“There is no one way a family looks,” she said. “A family is a collection of people who love each other, and gives children stability and consistency.”

Like the Harris family, she stressed.

“By them creating a blended family, they’re transforming lives.”

During the National Adoption Day celebration, Child Advocates of Fort Bend partnered with the Fort Bend County 328th, 387th, and 505th District Courts to finalize adoptions of children from foster care.

Thirteen children were adopted from foster care in Fort Bend County in 2022.

Mefford said the course Child Advocates of Fort Bend uses to connect children to families is through its Collaborative Family Engagement services.

This approach, open to all children in foster care, tries to connect children with family members who weren’t previously involved with the children.

In 2021, six of 23 children adopted from foster care in Fort Bend County were adopted by family members.

“Children are often adopted by relatives,” Mefford said. “We look at family members first because we’re looking for the best permanent outcome for the children. We also talk to the children themselves to see if they will share memories or milestones that provides a lead for a potential adoptive parent, who is usually a relative.”

“When we think about adoption from foster care, many of us think of it in terms of adoption by a non-relative. What we don’t all realize, however, is that adoption can take many forms. It’s also quite common for a child to be adopted by or live with a relative or family friend,” Mefford continued.“Often, when a child cannot safely go back home with their parents, then their grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members step up to care for them. This is known in the system as ‘kinship care.’ In some cases, children live with family friends, coaches, teachers or mentors - ‘fictive kin.’”

But when the adoptive parents and the child are unrelated, Mefford dispels the notion that they will have a harder time than a relative would or that bond between parent and child can’t or won’t feel authentic.

“When you’ve been in a child’s life from birth, or even [fostered] a child for longer than a year, you have this bond,” said Jodi Harris offering her stance on the question. “And you just can’t let it go unless you know they’re going to a family member.”

Mefford adds that through the adoption process, parents have resources and support at their disposal. Even after an adoption is complete, resources are still available for parents to implement.

“Access to these resources and support [from others who have adopted], makes for successful and permanent adoptions.”


Although Child Advocates of Fort Bend celebrated recent adoptions, the nonprofit continues to address child abuse and neglect, a topic “we don’t talk enough about,” Mefford said.

“The awareness isn’t high enough,” she said. “Almost 5,000 children [in 2022] were served by Child Advocates. Every school and community in the county has a child suffering from neglect.”

But this statistic isn’t without a resolution, she said.

“People in our community are incredibly caring. They become volunteers, donate, host toy drives, and some step up and say: ‘I want to take a child into my home’ — which is a huge gift and commitment. That’s why when we have events like National Adoption Day, the kids are happy and the parents are too. It’s very fulfilling.”

Aside from becoming a foster parent, Mefford said an individual can become a CASA advocate as another option to help the children.

“That’s a commitment to complete 35 hours of training, which can be extensive but it prepares you for advocacy and becoming comfort-

able with advocacy.”

The position requires 5 to 8 hours a month, and advocates are assigned a child whose emotional, physical, academic and health needs must be determined. This work includes visiting with parents, doctors, and teachers before composing court reports to present to judges.

“Our advocates are incredible,” she said. “The program here is unequaled because of the community support. 100 percent of the children in foster care in Fort Bend is matched with a CASA advocate. Child Advocates of Fort Bend is the only one in the state doing that.”

Child Advocates of Fort Bend has a staff of about 50 professionals, is governed by a 30-member board of directors and has a volunteer base of more than 800 people.

“It’s a really good organization,” said CASA advocate Falcon, who went through his training in 2019. “I encourage people to apply to become a volunteer. Especially men because there aren’t a lot but there are a lot of young boys who want that [male] mentor and role model.”

Mefford adds that other ways to support the efforts of Child Advocates of Fort Bend include volunteering for the nonprofit’s Advocacy Center, which requires 16 hours of training and a time commitment of once a week for a few hours.

She also encourages people to “get a behind-the-scenes look” at how the nonprofit benefits Fort Bend children during its bi-weekly, 45-minute Voice For Children Tours.

During these tours of the nonprofit’s facility, guests meet the professional staff and clinicians, hear real stories of children helped through the nonprofit’s program, view the interview rooms where forensic interviewers provide a safe place for children to tell their stories, and the therapy rooms.

“You get to actually walk the path a child would take,” Mefford said.

Guests will also see that the partner agencies — the Child Abuse Divisions of the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office, County Attorney’s Office, Law Enforcement and Child Protection Services Investigations — are housed on-site at the Child Advocates of Fort Bend building.

“The tours are open to the public,” she said. “Come see all that Child Advocates does for our children.”

For more information about the tours or how to volunteer with Child Advocates of Fort Bend visit


Jodi implores those with the means to foster to consider the children.

“You have to put yourself in the kid’s position,” she said, sentiment creeping into her voice. “There are challenges in these kids’ lives. Some of these kids have nowhere to sleep. That is their truth and it’s real for them —”

She pauses to compose herself and then apologizes: “I’m sorry, I get emotional about this,” she said. “I would like more people to be open to fostering because these kids need help. Open your hearts and open your homes. Foster, volunteer, be a mentor, do something.

“It’s not easy all the time,” she continued. “But if you care about kids and people, you’ll care about the needs of these children. There are challenges, so sometimes I question my choice but I ask God to place me where I’m supposed to be. And He always makes sure we’re OK. He always does.”

She sums up her fostering and adopting experience in eight words: “We love them and they bring us love.”

“They are our future,” she said firmly, punctuating every word. “But they need someone. You never know the impact you can have. And time moves so fast — you look up and they’re something special.”

Jodi and Tony Harris were one of four adoptions celebrated during the 2022 Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s National Adoption Day in November.

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Talk of the Town


Girlfriends Giggle 2023 aims to raise $150K

Through what has been called an annual grown-up pajama party, the Fort Bend Women’s Center has raised more than $1 million to fund its initiative of supporting, protecting and providing resources to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The Fort Bend Women’s Center is a nonprofit that assists survivors of domestic

violence and sexual assault and their children achieve safety and self-sufficiency through free services and programs. Since its inception in 1980, the Women’s Center has provided support to more than 54,000 women and children.

To fund this mission, the center hosts fundraisers, one of which is Girlfriends Giggle, also known as the grown-up PJ party.

Girlfriends Giggle is open to women at least 21 years old and features food, pampering experiences, live entertainment, dancing, and boutique shopping for more than 600 attendees who arrive in pajamas.

“It’s #womensupportingwomen,” said organizers. “That’s what Girlfriends Giggle is all about.”

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the center stated it needs the community’s “support now more than ever,” explaining the findings of the National Commission on COVID-19 and criminal justice which show an increase in violence against women across the nation by a little more than 8 percent.

“Which is why we have set an even higher fundraising goal of $150,000 for this year’s Girlfriends Giggle,” organizers said.

This year’s Girlfriends Giggle, sponsored by PCCA, will be held from 6-11 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Stafford Center, 10505 Cash Road in Stafford.

Guests can self-park for free, but a valet parking service will also be available for a fee.

Individual tickets are $125, and several sponsorship options are available, all of which are on sale at

To learn more about becoming a sponsor or a vendor at the Girlfriends Giggle event, contact Patty Holt at 281-344-5761 or pholt@ or visit If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, please call the Center’s 24-hour Hotline at 281-342-4357 (HELP).

Annual Boots & Badges Gala set for Feb. 11

The Behind the Badge Charities Gala will continue its aim to raise funds for college scholarships intended for the children of Fort Bend County public safety professionals through its annual fundraiser, Boots & Badges.

This year’s gala is set for Saturday, Feb. 11 at Safari Texas Ranch in Richmond. The event will feature casino games and a live and silent auction.

“We’d like to thank our faithful title sponsor, Safari Texas, for their commitment to our mission,” said Ben Simpson, Behind the Badge Charities board president. “Their contribution of the Infinity Ballroom allows us to give more of the money raised to deserving children of our public safety professionals.”

At the time of publishing, the time for the gala was not released. Tickets and sponsorships are available at

Each year Behind the Badge Charities awards college scholarships valued at $2,000 each to deserving young men and women of first responders. The 2023 scholarship applications are open and the deadline to complete the application is March 31.

To be eligible for scholarship consideration, the applicant must be a graduating high school senior or current college student whose parent or legal guardian is a current or honorably retired peace officer, reserve peace officer, correctional officer, probation officer, emergency medical technician/paramedic, firefighter, or 9-1-1 dispatcher serving with a governmental or volunteer emergency response agency within Fort Bend County, Texas. Past scholarship recipients are also eligible to reapply for a scholarship for up to four years while meeting all other eligibility criteria.

For more information about the scholarship application visit

“Raising money for college scholarships is our way of saying thank you to our Fort Bend County first responders who risk their lives every day for citizens they’ve never met,” Simpson said. “We appreciate your support.”

Following its founding in 2011, Behind the Badge Charities, whose board of directors volunteers to serve more than 2,500 first responders in Fort Bend County, has provided support and assistance to all first responders working in Fort Bend County through emergency assistance grants and college scholarships for their children.

Since its inception, the organization has awarded more than $500,000 in assistance and scholarships.

For more information visit

Ranch events spotlight Black Cowboy legacy & history

Learn the enduring legacy of Black cowboys in Fort Bend County history on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the fourth annual Black Cowboy Legacy Rodeo at the George Ranch Historical Park Arena at 10215 FM 762 in Richmond.

The rodeo will feature all the favorite rodeo events including bull-riding, team roping, and steer-riding, plus a grand entry parade, children’s activities, crafts and vendors.

“For more than 100 years, Black cowboys played an essential role in Fort Bend County ranching operations,” stated the Fort Bend History Association. “At the George Ranch specifically, four generations of Black cowboys worked

“This February, the fourth annual Black Cowboy Legacy Rodeo

spotlight this amazing history.”

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alongside four generations of the George family, leaving behind a rich legacy of Black cowboy heritage that is unique to this part of Texas. will At left Giggle Chairwomen Grace Dickson and Michele Fisher. Girlfriends Giggle Volunteer Crew Committee. From left to right top row: Stacey Lemus, Rhonda Watson, Laura Rosilez, Leslie Wendland, Tyler Fuqua, Deanne Shaw, Edith Duarte. Middle row left to right: Jennifer Breneman, Heather Lee, Kerry Albright, Denise Price, Terri Brown, JoBeth Prochaska, Kris Barzilla, Becky Watts, Patty Holt. Bottom Row from left to right: Della Leonard, Deanna Fuqua, Lisette Clark, Michele Fisher, Grace Dickson, Stacey Kuithe, Shanna Crain, and Mindy Gross.

The event schedule is as follows: 4 p.m.: Hitch’n Post Opens: Entertainment, Kids’ Activities, Craft and Food Booths; 5:30 p.m: VIP Covered Wagon and Saloon Open; 6:30 p.m.: Grand Entry Parade; 7 p.m.: Rodeo Competition Begins; and 9:30 p.m.:VIP Covered Wagon and Saloon Close.

General Admission tickets include admission to the arena only and cost $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 4 to 12 years old. General Admission will be located at the ground level of the west side of the covered arena, but arrive early because seating will be limited.

Advantage Seat tickets include admission to the Arena and Historical Park and cost $30 for adults and $10 for children ages 4 to 12 years old. Advantage Seats are located at the upper East end of the covered arena. Tickets will include a 1-day guest pass to the Fort Bend Museum or George Ranch Historical Park valid until Dec. 31, 2023 (excluding special events). It will also include a $3-off voucher for any of the food vendors at the Black Cowboy Legacy Rodeo.

For more information, visit


Before the rodeo, however, the George Ranch Historical Park will host its Black Cowboy Education Day at 9 a.m. on Feb. 10.

During this event, students can tour the park and discover what life was like for the African American cowboys that worked at the ranch in the 19th and 20th centuries. The event also includes: horse and cattle demonstrations focused on the black cowboy legacy; a mock branding station; bach house life with first-hand accounts of George Ranch cowboy Johnny Hudgins; Rail Car Round up of the Texas Longhorns; Buffalo Soldier camp; and cast iron cooking demos at the Bach house.

For more information visit

2023 Fort Bend County Day to take place in Austin

The Central Fort Bend Chamber, Fort Bend Chamber and Greater Fort Bend EDC will present the 2023 Fort Bend County Day in Austin on Feb. 23.

The chambers, business leaders and owners, local elected officials and citizens will travel to Austin to meet and hear from members of the state legislature, as well as key state agencies to discuss the matters that are directly affecting Fort Bend County.

Fort Bend County Day’s mission is to increase awareness among state legislators, legislative staff and agencies about Fort Bend County as the fastest-growing county and the largest community in the Houston metropolitan area.

The day’s objectives include: sharing needs and issues of particular interest affecting Fort Bend; educating on and incorporating the local citizens in the legislative actions which affect the community; and establishing a positive working relationship with legislators, legislative staff and agency personnel.

The day will include transportation to Austin, sponsored by GFL Environmental, a photograph at the Capitol, recognition from the House and Senate floor, a presentation from Keynote Speaker Glenn Hamer, TAB President, a legislative panel during lunch at

• 13 To advertise, call 281-342-4474
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Arts & Entertainment


The Houston Glass Show will return to the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds in Rosenberg on Feb. 17, 18 and 19.

Called “the glass event of the year,” the glass show is an annual event of Max Miller Antiques.

Max Miller Antiques specializes in American Glassware from 1850-1970, including Carnival, Fostoria, Cambridge, Pattern Glass, Imperial, Heisey, Tiffin, Fenton, Depression Glass, Vaseline Glass (Uranium Glass) and more. Founded by antique glass expert Max Miller in 1980, Max Miller Antiques is a source for collectors searching for the best selection of rare glassware.

The Houston Glass show will feature dealers from across the nation offering a large selection of rare glass, pottery, and china from the Depression Era through the 1970s.

The show’s Preview Sale is set for 6 to 9 p.m. Feb 17. The preview admission is $15 per person, and the ticket can also be used on Feb 18 and 19. Preview tickets are available at the door by calling 713-410-4780.

The Houston Glass Show will also offer its “Best Little Antique Show in Texas” on Feb 18 and 19.

Saturday’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday’s hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6.

For more information, visit


Since the early 70s, Joan Fullerton’s work has appeared in galleries, juried shows and museums, and in February, she’ll make an appearance in Fort Bend during a 4-day workshop at the Fort Bend Art Center in Rosenberg.

The workshop, “Intuitive Exploration with Acrylic and Collage,” runs from Feb. 20 -23.

Fullerton’s background consists of studying watercolor with Edgar Whitney, Frank Webb, Charles Reid and other nationally known watercolorists; earning her BFA and MFA degrees in painting from the University of Wyoming in the 1980s; and being hired in 1990 to head the art instruction at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

In 2003, she relocated to Taos, New Mexico to paint full-time for eight years, which included some teaching. She now lives in Denver, where she works and exhibits in her home studio and conducts workshops nationwide and internationally.

During her February workshop at the Fort Bend Art Center, “we’ll touch on notions of confidence, procrastination, vulnerability, curiosity, courage, play, metaphor, symbolism, and competition,” the Art League of Fort Bend stated in a release.

“You will create compelling art not only by focusing on technique, but by discovering your unique voice. Beginning students will find encouragement and confidence, while more advanced students will benefit from Joan’s insightful solutions to their artistic challenges. Be prepared for a light-hearted imaginative experience.”

To register for the workshop, visit

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Lady Mary Beth and Max Miller at the 2022 Houston Glass Show.
Continued on page 16
Joan Fullerton will lead ‘Intuitive Exploration with Acrylic and Collage,’a four-day workshop, at the Fort Bend Art Center in Rosenberg from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (with a one-hour lunch each day) Feb. 20, 21, 22 and 23. For more information visit or Joan Fullerton. To view her works visit
Joan Fullerton’s ‘Nourished and Triumphant,’ 24x24

Fruit Trees for sale in Fort Bend County

The ideal time to plant containerized fruit trees is in early spring after the chance of a freeze has passed. So, if you’re thinking about adding a fruit tree to your landscape, now is the time to begin planning for your purchase.

The Fort Bend County Master Gardeners’ February fruit tree sale will be just in time for you to choose from a wide selection of trees carefully chosen to suit our climate.

If you’ve never grown a fruit tree, consider starting with some of the easier-to-grow, lower-maintenance fruit trees. These types of trees include several varieties of Fig, Pear and Persimmon. Improved Meyer Lemon is another good choice for a beginner wanting to grow citrus.

This year there will be an estimated 75 different varieties of fruit trees, berries and topicals/sub-tropicals for sale with approximately 1,000 different plants available. Fort Bend Master Gardeners will be available at the sale to answer questions so you can obtain the best information about how to plant and care for your new tree or plant.

A complete list of fruit trees and plants that will be available at the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners fruit tree sale will be available at sales. The sale will be Saturday, Feb. 11, from 9 a.m. to noon. (or earlier if sold out) at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds.

Proceeds from the sale support the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners’ educational programs and demonstration gardens. Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in providing horticulture education for Fort Bend County residents of all ages.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners Hotline and Research Team at

Annual Vegetable Conference set for Feb. 7

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Fort Bend County announced it will be hosting the 38th Annual Fort Bend Regional Vegetable Conference in-person on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds.

The conference is a celebration of vegetable production along the upper Gulf Coast region. Counties of Waller, Wharton, Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Colorado and Austin join with Fort Bend to put on this event focusing on teaching sustainable practices to help producers maximize efficiencies and profitability.

Visit for more details.

Order caladium bulbs before Feb. 17

The Garden Club of Richmond is again offering No. 1 “fancy-leafed” caladium bulbs for sale, which the club explained is best for the Fort Bend area and Feb. 17 is the last day to place an order.

The bulbs are available in the following colors: Red Flash (red) and Carolyn Whorton (pink), which grow well in full sun or shade; Candidum (white), which thrives in partial sun or shade; White Christmas (white with intense green veining); Fanny Munson (flamingo pink with green edges) which need shade; and FM Joyner (green netted veining with shades of pink and white), which is sun tolerant.

Native to the banks of the Amazon River in South America, Caladiums are tropical plants grown from a tuberous root often called bulbs. They add a lush, exotic touch to summer gardens in our area. Easy to care for, the bulbs can provide a focal point for a sunny garden, enhance shady areas, or look stunning in patio containers.

Planting should take place in late April or early May when all danger of frost has passed, and the temperature reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bulbs can be pre-ordered and will be available for pick-up on March 1, 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Joseph’s Coffee & Cigars, 202 Morton Street in Richmond.

Bulbs are only sold in batches of 25 of a single color. Prices, including tax, are $36 for 25 bulbs, $68 for 50 bulbs and $134 for 100 bulbs. All orders must be paid for in advance.

To order, contact Nancie Rain at 713898-8359 or nrain@ or Roberta Terrell at 281343-9932 or

• 15 To advertise, call 281-342-4474 Gardening • 15
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Following its achievement of restoring the Sugar Land Auditorium — the oldest public building in Sugar Land — through its annual gala, the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation decided to develop a new fundraiser two years ago. And since the nonprofit’s mission is to “promote the cultural, performing, and visual arts in Sugar Land,” it seemed fitting that the new venture take the form of an arts festival.

So on April 1 and 2, the foundation will again host its Sugar Land Arts Fest featuring artist booths, hand-selected wines, delicious food, and live music at the Smart Financial Centre Plaza.

The nonprofit is looking for sponsors and artists for the festival. The artist application process is free, but the booth (10 feet by 10 feet) costs $250. Applications must be completed by Feb. 28. Complete applications at

The required application documents include up to six images of artwork per artist; up to six booth images; and one photo for the artist’s profile image.

The Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation estimates the fest will accommodate 100-120 artist booths, and “depending on the interest level from the artist community, the application process could be competitive and will be based on the quality of the application.”

For more information about the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation, visit


Please note that the library is unable to accommodate daycares and school groups at these activities, and the After-School Breaks and Creative Connection will not take place in January.

Mother Goose Time: Mondays from 10:30-11 a.m. Provides caregiver/infant multisensory circle-time activities including simple sign language, folksongs and lullabies, and finger plays which are specially designed to stimulate babies’ social, emotional, and physical development through rhythm and music. Mother Goose Time is intended for pre-walking infants from ages 1 month to 12 months. This program will not take place on January 2 and 16 because of the holidays.

Toddler Time: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10:30-11 a.m. Offers caregiver/child activities, stories and songs for older babies, from 1 to 3 years of age.

Preschool Story Time: Thursdays, 10:30-11:15 a.m. Presents stories, movies, and age-appropriate craft activities for children 3 to 6 years of age.


Fort Bend County Libraries’ University Branch Library, 14010 University Blvd in Sugar Land, on the UH campus will present its monthly free children, teen and adult programs in February, along with a few Valentine’s Day-themed events. All programs are free and open to the public. For more information, see the Fort Bend County Libraries website at or call the University Branch Library at 281-633-5100 or the library system’s Communications Office at 281-633-4734.

Pajama Night Story Time: Wednesdays, 7-7:45 p.m. Gives families with children of all ages an evening option for some activities presented during the daytime.

Rise & Shine Family Story Time: Saturdays, Feb. 11 and 25, 10:30-11 a.m. Families with children of all ages are invited to come and enjoy stories, movies, and crafts together.


Young Adult Advisory Council: Thursday, Feb.9, 4-5 p.m. in Conference Room 1. Teens in grades 9-12 who are interested in an exciting new leadership opportunity and volunteer service hours are invited to attend. Members will have a chance to share ideas about library programs, help out at events, give suggestions for teen services, books, and movies, and meet new people. Meets on the second Thursday of every month, except during the summer.

YA Gaming: Bring Your Own Book: Monday, Feb. 20, 3 p.m. in Meeting Room 2. In this game, teens will search through books to find the best line to fit the prompt. Whoever has the best line gets to keep the prompt card. The player with the most cards wins the game. Teens can bring a book from home, or they can use the library’s books.


Craft Squad: “Folded-Book Hearts”: Friday, Feb.3, 2-4 p.m. in Meeting Room 1. People who enjoy crafts are invited to join the Craft Squad, where they can make new crafty friends, learn a new craft or two, and share tips, tricks, and resources with fellow crafters. In February, the featured craft demonstration will be on “Folded-Book Hearts.” Discover how to transform an old book into a unique piece of art! Those attending will learn how to form simple shapes and images by folding pages of a book, creating a work of art to be put on display or given as a gift. This program is for adults and older teens only. Registration required.

University Branch Book Club – Wednesday, Feb. 8, 6 p.m. in Meeting Room 2. The book to be discussed is “An American Marriage,” written by Tayari Jones. This title is available in print, audio on

1320 Thompson Rd. · Richmond, TX 281-342-5022

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Tamara S. Osina D.D.S . Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Mon.-Thurs. 8-5 • Fri. 7-3 (Early morning appointments available) 1320 Thompson Rd. · Richmond, TX 281-342-5022 • Tamara S. Osina-Felinski, D.D.S. & Daisy Montaño, D.D.S.

CD, and digitally as an ebook and e-audiobook on OverDrive and as an e-audiobook on hoopla; call the library to check availability of additional print copies. This book club meets on the second Wednesday of every month. New members invited to attend.

Craft Squad Social: Fridays, Feb. 10, 17, and 24, 2-4 p.m. in Meeting Room 1. At weekly Craft Squad Socials, crafters can bring their own craft and materials to work on while networking with other crafters. The Craft Squad Social is suitable for adults and older teens only.

“Galentine’s Day Party”: Monday, Feb. 13, 6 p.m. in Meeting Room 1. In honor of Galentine’s Day, celebrate friendship by crafting, eating waffles, and binge-watching popular episodes of a mockumentary following the inner workings of the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Ind; from the creators of “The Office.” All episodes are rated PG.

Culinary Book Club: Wednesday, Feb. 15; 1:30 p.m. in Meeting Room 1. This month, the theme is “Bake for Family Fun Month.” Because of health precautions, participants will not be bringing food this month, but are encouraged to bring a recipe and a photo of their dish or a short video showing how to prepare it. The Culinary Book Club meets on the third Wednesday of every month, and different cooking genres are explored each month. Cooking enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels — from beginners to advanced — are invited to join. Share tips, get ideas, and enjoy the camaraderie with other individuals who have an interest in cooking and good cuisine.

“Senior Series: The Truth About Finding Purpose After Retirement”: Friday, Feb. 17, 10:30 a.m.-noon in Meeting Room 1. Liz McNeel will moderate a panel of experts who will talk about exploring and finding things that bring one joy. Hear about ways to achieve a sense of purpose, gain meaning, and feel happier after retiring.

Reel Talk Documentary Series: Monday, Feb. 27, 6-8 p.m. in Meeting Room 1. Reel Talk is a series of documentary screenings with brief discussions of the films after they are shown. In February, the film to be shown is a documentary about a group of mothers who

discover that the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, the site of one of the largest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, may have exposed their children and their community to cancer. The documentary explores topics such as nuclear energy, environmental disasters, cancer, and community advocacy. This film is not rated.


Creative Learning Society - The Agatha Mystery Theater, in collaboration with Discover Downtown Rosenberg, will host the “I Love Lucy Murder Mystery” dinner throughout February.

The production, a parody of the beloved TV program ‘I Love Lucy,’ will show from 7 to 10 p.m. Feb 3. 4, 16, 17, 18, 24, and 25. Dinner service begins at 7 p.m. Theater begins at 8 p.m.

The audience can interact with the actors to tell the story and solve the crime. Audience members compete in goofy challenges to win clues and discover hidden evidence and some audience members even become characters in the story.

“It’s the perfect evening for those who like to solve crimes and those who love to participate in some seriously bad acting,” the theatre stated. Choose a Ticket with Dinner Service and enjoy a catered buffet dinner from Ol’ Railroad Cafe.

Tickets with reserved seating (private table) are $66 with dinner and $40 for theater only. General Admission Tickets (open seating) are $60 with dinner and $35 for theater only.

The Agatha Theater is located at 1909 Ave G in Rosenberg. The receipt is the ticket for the event.

There are no paper tickets for the show. All purchases are non-refundable and non-transferable.

For more information, visit or call 713-876-2585.

Greatwood Veterinary Hospital

At Greatwood Veterinary Hospital, we are dedicated to providing excellent and compassionate care for your furry, family friends. We offer full veterinary services in our new, spacious 6,500 square foot facility. Our experienced and caring veterinarians and staff strive to provide the best quality care available for your pets, with an emphasis on client education and an understanding of your pet’s specific needs. We would like to be partners with you in ensuring your pet’s good health and well-being. In addition to full medical, surgical, and dental veterinary care, we also offer boarding, grooming, and cremation services. Greatwood Veterinary Hospital has been providing affordable and quality veterinary care to the Fort Bend area for over 15 years. It is our hope that we can meet all your animal’s health care needs with our warm, friendly, and knowledgeable services.

To make an appointment for your pet or for more information, please call us at (281) 342-7770 or visit us at 401 Crabb River Road in Richmond.

To advertise, call 281-342-4474

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The Austin Club sponsored by ABHR and moderated by Trey Lary, a visit with legislators, and an evening cocktail reception at Stephen F. Austin Hotel with Fort Bend County Judge KP George and statewide delegation sponsored by TDECU.

This event is sponsored by Memorial Hermann Sugar Land and Southwest Hospitals, Republic Services, and Wharton County Junior College.

Sponsorship opportunities and registration are open. Online registration is available on Transportation Sponsor is available for $2,000. Platinum Sponsor is available for $1,500. Gold Sponsor is available for $1,000. Silver Sponsor is available for $500. Individual reservations are available for $150. Details of upcoming events can be found online at or for more information, contact Rebekah Beltran at 281-566-2158 or

National Civics Bee launched, essay deadline is Feb. 24

The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of the 2023 National Civics Bee, an initiative aimed at encouraging more young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. Organized in partnership with The Civic Trust of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the competition in Fort Bend County will inspire middle schoolers to become better informed about American democracy, to engage respectfully and constructively in the community, and to build greater trust in others and institutions.

Middle school students from public, private, charter, and home schools are invited to take part in the first-round civics essay competition. After a distinguished panel reviews the 500-word essays, the top 20 students will be selected to move on to the final round of competition: a live quiz event to test their civics knowledge. The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce will host this event in April 2023 and more information including location will be announced soon. The finalists and top winners will receive various prizes, including $500 cash for the first-place student.

“Preparing our students for a life as an informed citizen is crucial for our future,” said Fort Bend Chamber President & CEO, Keri Schmidt. “We have to know where we’ve been and why our country’s principles were formed to continue to prosper and grow.”

The deadline for student essay submissions is Feb. 24. For more information on the essay topic, competition rules and prizes, and to submit the essay, visit

Sugar Plum Market proceeds benefit Fort Bend County charities

The Fort Bend Junior Service League’s annual Sugar Plum Market raised $352,000 this year.

Proceeds from this year’s fundraiser were presented to 24 local charities serving Fort Bend County on Dec. 13 at a check presentation ceremony hosted by Memorial Hermann Sugar Land hospital, which was the title sponsor of the event.

Speakers in attendance included Malisha Patel, CEO and senior vice-president of MHSL and Tanesha Mosley, FBJSL president.

The city of Stafford has generously partnered with FBJSL to host the Sugar Plum Market at the Stafford Centre since 2004.

The following beneficiaries were presented with grants just in time to celebrate the holidays: Access Health, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston, Brazos Bend Guardianship, Catholic Charities, Child Advocates of Fort Bend, College Community Career, East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry, Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, Fort Bend History Association, Fort Bend Hope, Fort Bend Rainbow Room, Fort Bend Seniors, Gigi’s Playhouse, God’s Garden, Hope Fort Bend Clubhouse, Hope for

Three, Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land, Literacy Council, Parks Youth Ranch, Reining Strength Therapeutic Horsemanship, Sire, Texana Center, and the FBJSL Community Assistance Fund (CAF).

The CAF will allow market proceeds to continue helping deserving individuals and worthy agencies through FBJSL’s scholarship program and emergency/emerging grant opportunities.

“The 21st annual Sugar Plum Market was a huge success, with nearly 6,000 shoppers returning to shop from over 105 vendors,” Mosley said. “This year’s Market was a true testament to the importance of every sponsor, vendor, volunteer, and patron. The proceeds we raise will further allow us to give back to the community we love and serve. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without your support.”

Since its inception in 2001, the Sugar Plum Market has raised over $4.8 million for this community.

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

Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable as well as providing an atmosphere of friendliness, goodwill and camaraderie for all members.

To date, FBJSL has raised over $5 million dollars in grants and scholarships for charitable organizations and individuals in local communities. Over the lifetime of the league, members have worked tirelessly to provide over 400,000 uncompensated volunteer hours to our county, executives noted.

The Fort Bend County Animal Shelter recently joined forces with Maddie’s Fund and Petco Love to offer free vaccinations to dogs. Dozens of pet owners took advantage of the free program to vaccinate their dogs against canine distemper, parainfluenza, adenovirus types 1 and 2 and parvovirus. Cats were vaccinated against rhinotracheitis, feline panleukopenia and calicivirus. The animals were also given a microchip to help vets and shelters nationwide find their owners if the animals ever go missing.

A.J. Rios, left, a veterinarian technician for Fort Bend County, and Mindy Northern, an animal tech, give Brownie a vaccination and microchip during the drive-through clinic.

County veterinarian technician AJ Rios vaccinates “Buddy.”

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• 19 To advertise, call 281-342-4474 Residential & Commercial Service Licensed Insured Heath McClure, Owner M-40315 Responsible Master Plumber 832-868-8065 RANGER PLUMBING COMPANY Locally Owned & Family Operated Since 1993 (281) 2518 1st Street Rosenberg, TX 77471 341-5779 COUPON $500 O F F* A Complete Roof Job of 35 Squares or More $50 O F F A Repair *Discount May Not Be Combined with any other Coupons *Insurance job upgrade coupon Ceramic Tile Flooring Counter Tops Wood Floor Refinishing Wood & Laminate Flooring 281.342.5193 ROSENBERG Carpet & Flooring “What’s On Your Floor Matters” Ceramic Tile Flooring Counter Tops Wood Floor Refinishing Wood & Laminate Flooring Shower & Bath Remodel Neighborhood Business Directory 1223 Sixth St | Rosenberg, TX 77471 • 281-238-4443 • E.P. “ Our Family Serving Your Family” PAINTING & ALL REPAIRS / REMODELING SERVICES email: All Work Guaranteed • Insured 42YearsinKaty/Richmond cell 713-516-7879 Don’t let home repairs buck you... Rope a good deal with Nu-Kote! Business PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPING & TREE SERVICE DEPENDABLE SERVICES COMPLETE YARD WORK Ask for John 281.451.3119 FREE ESTIMATES Are you ready for the New Year?


At Houston Methodist Neal Cancer Center, we treat every aspect of your cancer. Leading oncologists work with our specialists across disciplines to minimize cancer’s effects on major organs. One comprehensive team — dedicated to your individual care — uses the latest research, treatments and technology to stop your cancer. From infusion and clinical trials to surgery and reconstruction, our innovative care is available in Sugar Land.

That’s the difference between practicing medicine and leading it.


20 • Greatwood Monthly
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