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Contents and Staff
6 FEATURE STORY
With its showcase of artists, entertainment, cars and contests, Art In The Bend has a little bit of “something for everyone,” as it intends to represent all arts and bring people together.
10 TALK OF THE TOWN
A little “beetique” in Fort Bend celebrates nature’s little pollinators through products, services and education, and Annabelle’s Amazing Graces will host its annual fundraiser to continue supporting research into the GNAO1 mutation.
12 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Foster HS's Mia Huckman has been named the 2023 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo School Art Grand Champion.
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‘Something for everyone’ Art In The Bend has artists, entrainment, cars and contestsby MARQUITA GRIFFIN | firstname.lastname@example.org
Following an inspiring rebrand, the Historic Richmond Association announced its upcoming Art In The Bend in Richmond, featuring food, art, cars, pet contests and plenty of entertainment.
The event may sound familiar to many in the community because it used to be called The Art Walk and Motor Madness, said Jessica Rose Huang, Historic Richmond Association’s Committee Chair for Art In The Bend.
“We’re really looking into making it bigger and better every year,” said Huang, explaining that the name change more accurately reflects the Historic Richmond Association’s intentions and aspirations.
“And since Richmond is the county seat, we wanted this event to be Fort Bend County-wide and represent all of the arts. We wanted to increase [the Fort Bend] culture and have a way for people to come together.”
Artist Elizabeth Marie — the festival’s featured artist for 2023 — said the new name is substantially more fitting.
“Art Walk is so common, too common, and the event in Richmond on historic Morton Street is way beyond common,” she said.
Art In The Bend is “about community,” she added. “Art in all its forms from performance and music to the energy of art created by local artisans.”
So when someone shouted “Art In The Bend!” during one of the meetings when name-changing was considered, Marie felt invigorated.
“The name change is a true representation of Richmond being located at the bend of the Brazos,” Marie said. “Art In The Bend is a fabulous name. It’s a refreshing, energized, one-of-a-kind branding.”
A GOOD TIME ALL AROUND
Art In The Bend is set for March 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Morton Street in Historic Richmond.
“We know there are a lot of festivals and happenings on this day,” Marie said. “[but] we’d love you to spend Saturday with us in Richmond.”
Huang said she understands that most residents have become accustomed to the HRA’s annual spring event kicking off in April, but considering Sugar Land will host its festival that weekend, the association decided to change the date.
“It is the same day as the Bayou Art Festival,” she noted. “But Art In The Bend is a free event with free parking and there will be a lot to do.”
The event will include more than 20 local artists showcasing and selling their art — “the artists are local, most of them from Fort Bend, with some from the general Houston area,” Huang, noted — as well as food trucks and the opportunity to dine in the downtown restaurants or patronize the downtown stores.
And, of course, Motor Madness is included in the festivities.
“For the people into cars, we’re still having Motor Madness, it just isn’t in the title of the event,” Huang said, adding that it’s estimated that between 100 and 300 vehicles will be on display, depending on the weather.
Motor Madness will also include a contest and prizes. It cost $35 to register for the automobile-centric affair.
“It’s always really fun and there are so many beautiful cars,” Huang said.
Cisco Tucker’s popular Bark in the Park will return, including its contest and “doggie parade,” and the scheduled live band — James Wilhite and The Classix — is comprised of two Grammy-winning musicians. Around mid-day, festival-goers will also have a chance to watch a 25-minute play performedArt In The Bend's winning artwork by Elizabeth Marie, the festival's featured artist this year. Artists, cars, pet contests, sidewalk chalk, live entertainment and more can be expected at Art In The Bend. For updates or more information visit www.artinthebend.com.
by young actors from 8 to 17 years old from Rosenberg’s Creative Learning Society theatre.
Behind Blockhouse Coffee & Kitchen (611 Jackson St, Suite C) there will be more art activities for the children, Huang noted.
ENTERTAINING AND UPLIFTING THE COMMUNITY
While Art In The Bend is inherently a lively event for the community, Huang noted it’s also about supporting the community. Aside from the artists, car enthusiasts and pet lovers, Art in The Bend is also “bringing in nonprofits that focus on art to expose them the public.”
ARTreach, a nonprofit organization that provides mentoring and art-related support for children, Expose Excellence Youth, a Fort Bend County program that promotes positive self-expression and the development of life skills in children, and Lamar Consolidated ISD, which will participate in an art contest, are also included in the event’s lineup.
“The benefits of an organization like this, is that you can dive into the community and get to know everyone,” Huang said of her time with the Historic Richmond Association. “And I love it.”
Because of its relationship with The City of Richmond, which she called “a great supporter of Art In The Bend,” the HRA has deepened its community ties, and support, grown in membership and progressed its initiatives.
“People are happy to give time and talents,” Huang said, adding that contribution will be evident at Art In The Bend.
“It’s a great atmosphere — the food, the arts, music, the fun —it’ll have everything for everyone. So if you’re brining children, your four-legged furry friends, or coming alone, there’s something for everyone.”
COMMUNITY IS CONNECTION
What Marie said she most looks forward to at Art In The Bend, is the connectivity. The event is the “true embodiment of community,” she stressed.
“[In] the world we live in now, where so many people work from home and shopping is via a photograph on the Internet, events like this bring back the goodness of sensory living,” Marie said. “There is something so exceptional about feeling the energy of others, shopping with your eyes and senses and making that purchase [and] seeing how you are positively enhancing an entrepreneur’s life.”
“Art is an experience,” she said. “And community is about connection.”
Keep in mind: Art In The Bend is the first of three Historic Richmond Association events. Art In The Bend is the spring event, followed by Motown on Morton in the fall and Miracle on Morton in the winter. Follow the Historic Richmond Association on F @ hra.tx
Q&A with the 2023 Art In The Bend Featured Artist: Elizabeth Marie
MARQUITA GRIFFIN: How did you become this year’s featured artist?
ELIZABETH MARIE: Marlene Dame of Treasure Hunters Gallery, and an HRA board member, is passionate about art. She coordinates the selfie walk tapestries with the businesses surrounding the festival area, and it was her idea to feature an artist’s work to promote the festival. Last year was the first, with the winning entry being an enhanced photo of the Richmond railroad bridge crossing the Brazos River by Rita Cinquemani.
I wanted to submit for 2023 and began working on my piece. I knew from attending the 2022 festival I had to make it about art, cars, dogs, and everything Richmond and Texas. I began with the sunset and water reflection from my Angel Transitions painting and isolated the dog from my Blue Puppy Dog painting. I asked Dave Mateer, a professional photographer, to take the picture of the Richmond water tower. And, of course, I found old photos of all things Texas: Cadillacs and pretty girls. I knew when I finished that it was a winner.
MG: And how does that feel?
EM: It’s beyond exciting to be the 2023 Featured Artist. There is something exhilarating about having a vision come to fruition and being celebrated. To be recognized for my vision and talents of how I see Art In The Bend and communicate it to the festival attendees — it has a special meaning. Not only this year but for all the years to come. It’s about the celebration of art.
I love that people get connected with me as an artist and as part of the community. And after Art In The Bend, I’ll continue to support the Historic Richmond Association and the economic development goals of the City of Richmond, which is the main sponsor of Art In The Bend. I’ll continue to go where guided and create art that yearns to be expressed.
MG: What can the public expect from you?
EM: I’ll have a booth this year. I’ll be selling my art, including these super great piggy banks and enchantment boxes and continue my $10 print palooza sale that was featured at Fort Bend Art Center. I’ll also have my books for sale, and I’m happy to autograph them.
MG: Why do you feel events like Art in The Bend are important to a community and the artists who live within it?
EM: I truly love when an artist sells their work, [and] there is something about meeting an artist and [then] purchasing their artwork for your home or office. So Art In The Bend is a super high for me [because] as an artist, I get to meet the folks who will embrace my art in their home or as gifts. I believe that feeling happens to all artists. Festivals are the one real opportunity to connect on a level that photos on the Internet just can’t do.
Follow Elizabeth Marie on F @ elizabethmariefineartArtist Elizabeth Marie
3IF: Gathering 2023
Pecan Grove Baptist Church will host its third annual in-house women’s retreat that includes a livestream of IF:Gathering March 3 and 4. The retreat starts at 6:15 p.m. on March 3 and 4 p.m. March 4. Visit www.pgbc.org. F@ PecanGroveBC
Traffic Light Eating with Dede Murff
Dede, a Master Certified Health Coach, will introduce parents to the Traffic Light Eating method, a unique and effective way to help picky eaters make healthier choices around food at Enchanted Forest in Richmond from 10 a.m. to noon.
2023 Walk of Love & 5K Fun Run
Finnegan Auto Group and Lunches of Love will present its12th annual Walk Of Love & 5K Fun Run at Long Acres Ranch in Richmond from 10 a.m. to noon. F @ Lunchesoflove
9Frost Bites: Touch A Truck & Car Show!
The Frost Elementary PTO will host its first Frost Bites: Touch A Truck & Car Show from 5:30 -8 p.m. at 3306 Skinner Lane in Rich-
mond. Featuring food, trucks and family fun.
Be-YOU-tiful Fashion Show & Luncheon
GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land will host its Be-YOU-tiful Fashion Show & Luncheon from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Sugar Creek Country Club. Festivities will include a seated luncheon, guest speaker, raffle, and a fashion show featuring our children, adults and special guests.
The Spring Market of Rosenberg will be held at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds from March 10-12 at 4 p.m. Featuring shopping in two indoor buildings plus outside tents. Complimentary drinks and snacks available in the reception area.
Citrus & Fruit Trees with John Panzarella
John Panzarella, “citrus guru” for the Gulf Coast who has extensive experience growing and hybridizing just about every kind of citrus at his Lake Jackson home, will discuss citrus and fruit trees during a free event at Enchanted Gardens in Richmond from 10 a.m. to noon.
2023 Spring Break: Exploring Natural Texas
The Fort Bend Museum will offer an interactive spring break experience March 14-17 from 9-11 a.m. Explore the “Natural Texas” elements through hands-on nature inspired activities throughout the gallery and courtyard.
FoxFarm 101 with Andy Chidester
Andy from FoxFarm will discuss gardening the “FoxFarm Way” at Enchanted Forest in Richmond from 10 a.m. to noon. FoxFarm produces some of the finest soil mixes, fertilizers, and micro-brewed liquid plant foods around, with a strong emphasis on organics. Learn about their many greenhouse-tested formulas that ensure quality and consistency year-round.
Downtown Wine & Beer Walk
The City of Rosenberg’s second annual Downtown Wine & Beer Walk will be held from 2-7 p.m. in Downtown Rosenberg. Featuring sampling a variety of wines and beers, artists booths, local merchants, foods and a live band.
24Cowboy Hall Of Fame Ceremony
The Black Cowboy Museum will host its 2nd Annual Cowboy Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony and Banquet from 5-9 p.m. at the Rosenberg Civic Center. The 2023 Hall Of Fame Inductees are David Solomon, Gary Richards, Calvin Greely Sr., Jeff Cook, Harold Miller and Sherman Richardson.
Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Creative Learning SocietyThe Agatha Mystery Theater in Rosenberg will host The Willy Wonka Murder Mystery Dinner Theater March 24 - April 29, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m.
Cornhole Tournament & Fundraiser
Scotty’s Saloon in Richmond will host a George Ranch H.S. Choir Cornhole Tournament & Fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. F @scottyssaloonba
LCISD Auto Fest 2023
LCISD Automotive Technology Program will host its 8th annual LCISD Auto Fest Car Show Fundraiser from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on the parking lot of the LCISD Natatorium. Featuring a live DJ, Door prizes, car show, food, moonwalk inflatables for kids, a vehicle-bash and swap
meet. Visit www.lcisd.org/autotech. F @ lcisdautotech
10th Annual Keepin’ It Renal Run Walk
The Chris “CJ” Johnson Foundation, Inc will hosts its 10th Annual Keepin’ It Renal Run Walk to combat renal medullary carcinoma from 8:30 -11 a.m. at Sugar Land Memorial Park in Sugar Land and virtually. Visit chrisjohnsonfoundation.org
F @ chrisjohnsonfoundation
Friends of University Branch Library will host its Book Sale from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Meeting Room. Numerous items will be available for sale, such as new unopened DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and a variety of books, including children’s, teens’, classics, special interest, romance, and foreign-language selections, such as Chinese, Spanish, and Turkish. This book sale will also include homeschool materials and textbooks, as well as a large
collection of books on Islamic, Pakistani, and Indian Art. Prices range from 50 cents to $2; special items may be slightly higher. 30
Walk For Seniors & Wellness Fair
The Venardos Circus, a animal-free, Broadway-style circus, is returning to Dry Creek Social Club in Richmond from March 30 through April 9. Visit drycreeksocialclub.com.
Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels will host its Walk For Seniors & Wellness Fair from 8 a.m. to noon at Sugar Land Memorial Park. The route will be approximately 1 mile around the pond. F @ fortbendseniors
Featuring live performances by the Bryan Shayne Band, live and silent auctions, and Texas-themed fun.F@thegeorgeranch
Family Fun Fest
Hope for Three’s Family Fun Fest will be held from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Rievr Pointe Church in Richmond. Featuring bounce houses, a giant slide, games, balloon art, face painting, caricature artist, performers, giant bubbles, food trucks, a raffle, and more. F@HopeForThree
Enchanted Forest in Richmond will host its Spring Fling April 8 from 10 a.m. to noon featuring a food truck, the Easter Bunny, face painting, balloon artistry, a spring craft and candy for the kids, and golden egg hunt for the adults. F @enchantedforestrichmond
Local Vendor Day
Enchanted Forest in Richmond will host another Local Vendor Day from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. featuring a food truck, handmade gifts, artisans and local businesses. F@enchantedforestrichmond
Lone Star Stomp
Fort Bend History Association will host its 32nd Annual Lone Star Stomp: Shooting for the Stars from 6-11 p.m. at the George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond.
Charlies Chocolate Factory Gala
The Child Advocates of Fort Bend will host its Charlie’s Chocolate Factory Gala from 6 -11 p.m. in Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. The attire is elegant. Featuring a live and silent auction, raffle, gift card pulls and more.
Talk of the Town
A ‘beetique’ in Fort Bend
SweetNes Honey Apiaries & Beetique celebrates nature’s little pollinators through products, services and educationby MARQUITA GRIFFIN | email@example.com
It was a shrub, a Wax Leaf Ligus trum to be exact, that was posi tioned beneath the kitchen win dow of her childhood Houston, Texas home that unintentionally sparked a passion in Danessa Yaschuk that she would rediscover decades later.
“It was springtime and it was cov ered in bees,” Danessa recalled about the shrub that became the starting point of her fascination with the buzzing pollinators.
“I would watch them for hours,” she said.
Decades later, Danessa owns SweetNes Honey Apiaries & Beetique in Needville with her husband, Brent.
The beetique, as the honey farm and honeybee rescue business is cleverly called, had its grand opening in December 2022. It’s the first storefront for the couple whose bee products are also sold in retail stores, including the Painted Tree Boutique shops, sev eral HEB locations, Hinze’s Country Kitchen in Wharton, Texas and Needville Feed & Supply.
Now with their first storefront, the Yaschuks can directly offer products, such as local raw honey, infused and creamed honey, honey sticks, honeycombs and pollen.
“We offer bee pollen that can be used as a daily supplement,” Danessa said, explaining the preference for using local honey as a natural remedy to combat seasonal allergies. “It’s a better option for peo ple who are diabetic or don’t like the taste of honey.”
Accessories like jewelry, clothes, charms, gifts, hon eybee colonies, a skincare collection and bee equip ment are also included in the product lineup.
SweetNes Honey Beetique also offers bee removal, pollination and education services. The Yaschuks additionally offer bees and beekeeping services for Ag Exemption in Fort Bend and Brazoria counties.
Danessa and Brent weren’t always beekeepers, though.
After marrying and starting a family, they lived the
suburbia life in Missouri City, Texas, working within the oil and gas industry.
Danessa, who was running the office for her husband, was efficient at her job and didn’t mind the profession, but she was considering other pursuits.
“I was working on bank statements in the bed one night and I told my husband: ‘What I really want to do is be a beekeeper.”
She laughs heartily before sharing her husband’s reaction to her random confession.
“He looked at me like I had grown a third eye.”
But no matter how absurd her fixation may have seemed, Danessa knew she was meant to be a beekeeper.
“I started playing with bees as a kid,” she recalled. “I would catch bees in my yard and, yes, I would get stung.”
Her mother advised her to stop, but Danessa didn’t. Unlike her peers, bees didn’t unnerve her, she said, noting that she even had a kingsnake.
“[The stings] hurt, but I’d keep catching and studying them,” she said. “They were just so fascinating.”
BECOMING A BEEKEEPER
Although Danessa was ready to evolve into a beekeeper, she wasn’t sure how to become one, so she began researching.
“I heard about beekeepers but I didn’t have a clue about it. I had never met one,” she said.
She joined bee clubs, collected books and followed beekeepers on social media. Then she became involved with the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association and “kind of forced a senior beekeeper to be [her] mentor.” She laughs at her unrelenting pursuit to absorb all she could from that mentor, who was a bit reluctant. Soon enough, Danessa took her initial step into the beekeeper role by catching her first swarm of bees in her backyard.
“I caught my first, then a second swarm and I was thinking: ‘Now I’m a bee keeper’,” she said. “I started catching them left and right. Then a lot of people started coming to me to ask me to catch bees [on their property] and I started being known for bee removal.”
In early 2015 she teamed up with another beekeeper who
knew her husband, and the two removed bees from their community and relocated them to apiaries on someone else’s property. At the same time, she and Brent initiated a farmer’s market in their community of Sienna Plantation and sold honey. She also began teaching herself how to make beeswax products, including candles, which she started to sell on Etsy.
That’s when she had to think of a name for her budding business. Interestingly enough, she decided on the perfect name nearly three decades prior.
“When I was a kid I said if I ever owned a boat, I would call it SweetNes,” she said, explaining that her nickname is “Nes” or “Nessa.”
The name felt a little prophetic if she was being honest, so without hesitation, she launched SweetNes Honey Apiaries & Beetique in 2015.
BUILDING A BUSINESS
Through the bee removal services, Danessa was able to amass 26 apiaries, but the location turned out to be unfortunate. The arrival of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 flooded that property, resulting in the Yaschuks losing all but four apiaries.
“It was so sad,” she said.
Although a setback, the couple didn’t succumb to the blow. Instead, the Yaschuks left the suburbs for Damon, Texas, where their home rests on enough acres that allowed them to rebuild their business and apiaries. During this time, Brent also purchased a honey business from a retiring Fort Bend Beekeepers Association member and the move grew their hives from 50 to 150. It also seemed to catapult Brent into becoming a beekeeper.
“At the beginning he handled the business side,” Danessa said. “Now he’s into the bee side of it.”
She said between the two of them — with Brent being more analytical and her being more creative, she explained — they form a balanced dynamic for their business, which has been beneficial.
“We’ve entered some of our products in contests and won,” she said.
In the 2022 Texas Beekeepers Association Honey Show, the Yaschuks earned three Best of Show Winner titles, including People’s Choice in the Black Jar Honey, Best Sideliner Honey and Best Photos. They also won first place in the “Chunk Honey,” “Comb Honey – Cut Comb,” “Wax Plain Block,” “Beekeeping Arts and Crafts,” “Photo Scenic,” and “Candles” classes of the show. They earned second in the “Extracted Honey Medium/Amber” class and third in the “Extracted Honey Light/Amber” class.
INCREASING AWARENESS AND EDUCATION
Although delighted about their first storefront, Danessa said she remains focused on spreading awareness about the benefits of beekeeping and bees’ salient impact on the environment.
In addition to its honeyed products, SweetNes Honey Apiaries & Beetique makes appearances at elementary schools, with boys and girls scouts troops and even at senior homes to educate and discuss the significance of bees. She hopes the Spring will allow her to reach more people.
“I really want to bring people up here and do different classes,” she said. “The more you learn, the more you realize everything has a place.”
SweetNes Honey Apiaries & Beetique is located at 8922 Main Street, Needville, Texas. Contact the beetique at 832-303-1595 or www.sweetneshoney.com.
Annabelle’s Run races into fifth yearby MARQUITA GRIFFIN | firstname.lastname@example.org
When the van Deursens were given the diagnosis of their oldest child six years ago, in the gravity of that moment, they said they couldn’t imagine how many people would fight alongside them to save their daughter’s life and to spread awareness about the rare GNAO1 mutation, a neurological disorder.
Typically marked by developmental delays, irregular muscle contractions, early infantile seizures and poor muscle tone, the GNAO1 mutation isn’t a straightforward diagnosis because it also has variants.
As it stands now, there is no cure for the disorder, but parents Daniel and Shelley van Deursen are working to change that.
After founding Annabelle’s Amazing Graces, the nonprofit that bears their daughter’s name, the van Deursens have raised funds to donate to The Bow Foundation, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit which funds research projects centering on the mutation and similar neurological conditions.
The nonprofit’s inaugural fundraiser was held in 2019, and to date, the nonprofit has raised more than $300,000 for The Bow Foundation.
“We had our best year last year, donating over $100,000 to GNAO1 research,” said Shelley van Deursen, Annabelle’s mother and co-founder of the nonprofit. “We are so grateful and blessed by an amazing community filled with family, friends, and strangers helping us cure our Annabelle. People from all over are helping us bring awareness to the GNAO1 mutation and helping us cure GNAO1 by supporting research.
“I hope that we can continue to grow, so that we can continue to bring awareness to the GNAO1 mutation and ultimately fund enough research to cure Annabelle and all of her friends who have this mutation.”
On April 1 Annabelle’s Amazing Graces will host its annual fundraiser — Annabelle’s Run— at No Label Brewery in Katy, Texas. The event kicks off at 8:30 a.m.
The 5th annual Annabelle’s Run is a 5K run and 1-Mile Walk event that includes coffee from Humble Grounds, kolaches from Kolache Factory, breakfast tacos from Snooze, cookies from Sugarberry Cookie Shoppe, a snow cone truck, cookies from Tiffs Treats, waters from The Brielle Group exp realty, beer from No Label, a wine pull, live music, princesses from Fairest of All Parties, face painting, a balloon artist, and more.
Adult registration is $40, youth registration is $25, and as with every Annabelle’s Run event, 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit The Bow Foundation for GNAO1 research.
Shelley added that Annabelle’s Amazing Graces also participates in Giving Tuesday to double the donations to The Bow Foundation for GNAO1 research and in GNAO1 Awareness day, which occurs every October 1.
“The more awareness we can bring to this ex-
Annabelle with her service dog, “Weller,” who came from Canine Companions in August. “They are an amazing organization that provides service dogs to people with disabilities,” her mother Shelley said. “Weller is so amazing to Annabelle. He knows over 40 commands to help Annabelle. He can pick things up for her, push a push plate to open a door, open doors for her, go on walks with her wheelchair, and mostly he loves on her by giving he kisses and snuggles. She of course adores him and sneaks him an occasional bite of her food.”
tremely rare mutation, the better for Annabelle and all children with this mutation,” she said. “We need the continued support of our community and businesses in the community, who have been wonderful. We could never have been so successful without [their] help.”
Multiple GNAO1 research studies are underway including one that will help in understanding how GNAO1 precisely affects the brain and another that is using approved medication to determine if those medicines can help manage GNAO1 symptoms.
The Bow Foundation is also opening up two $100,000 research grants this year, one of which Annabelle’s Amazing Graces fully funded.
“So amazing,” Shelley said.
For more information about Annabelle’s Amazing Graces or the 5th annual Annabelle’s Run, visit annabellesamazinggraces.org.
CATCHING UP WITH ANNABELLE
When Fulshear Living covered Annabelle and her journey for the first time, she was a 3-yearold toddler defying the odds. She was participating in therapy — usually accompanied by her younger brother James and her mother at that time — getting support from family at home, and was enrolled in a school district supporting her needs.
These days, Annabelle is 7 years old, in first grade, “loving school” and thriving. She’s still hippotherapy at Reining Strength in Richmond and “loves riding her horse, Keke,” Shelley said.
Not to mention she’s the big sister to not only James, now 5 years old, but also 3-year-old brother Matthew and 1-year-old sister Madeleine.
“Everyone is doing really well and growing too fast,” Shelley said happily. “The kids are all great and love playing with each other. It’s so fun right now and never a dull moment at home.”
Annabelle, who Shelley said “continues to be so happy, sweet, kind, smart and helpful,” also has “Weller,” her service dog.
“They’re best buds,” Shelley said. “He is amazing with Annabelle and she just adores him.”
Shelley is still a pediatric nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital, and her husband Daniel still works in commercial construction at Aluminum Techniques, Inc. When the duo isn’t working, “the kids keep us busy and on our toes,” Shelley noted lightheartedly.
But not a day passes when the van Deursens aren’t thankful for the benevolence surrounding them — and not just during the annual fundraiser. Every day.
“It is so beautiful to be a part of and to witness how many amazing, generous, and kind people there truly are in this world,” Shelley said. “Thank you so much to everyone helping us help Annabelle and every child with a GNAO1 mutation and rare disease.
“We are making a difference.”
Richmond FD gives strength to sick childby SCOTT REESE WILLEY |email@example.com
Jack Crown, 4, of Richmond, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy when he was only 5 months old. SMA is a disease in which the body lacks the proteins to make muscles grow — including the muscles needed to breathe, walk and talk.
“Prior to 2017, SMA was one of the hardest diagnoses you could get, because there were no drugs available to extend your life span,” explained Jack’s mother, Paige. “But since 2017, new drugs have been developed that can extend the lifespan of those with SMA.”
Still, little Jack’s daily battle with SMA means that even simple colds can lead to hospitalization. And that’s what happened just before Thanksgiving.
“For most people, a cold is a normal respiratory illness, but for Jack it really took him out,” she said.
Jack was taken to Children’s Memorial Hermann in downtown Houston where he had to be intubated — have a hose inserted down his throat to provide oxygen to his lungs. Jack spent eight weeks at the hospital and he was intubated for six of those weeks.
When the hoses were removed and he was awakened, all he wanted to do was go home, Paige recalled. During his stay at Children’s Memorial, Paige and her husband Johnny befriended another Fort Bend family whose daughter was also being treated at the hospital.
Just days before Jack’s release, the girl’s grandfather, Larry Riendean, asked Paige and Johnny if it would be all right for him to reach out to the Richmond Fire Department and see if firefighters would be willing to welcome Jack back home.
Larry, a retired Fort Bend County sheriff’s deputy, still has plenty of friends on the force and knows plenty of other public servants. The Crowns thought it was a delightful idea.
“Jack loves the color red, he loves trucks and big red trucks,” Paige said.
The youngster returned home in an ambulance because the family was worried something would happen while they were in traffic. When Jack arrived at his Pecan Lakes home, friends, family and neighbors were there to welcome him home. Parked out front was a Richmond fire engine and standing by to welcome Jack home was a squad of firefighters, much to the little boy’s delight.
“It was lovely. All our neighbors were there. And the firefighters were amazing. Jack was so happy,” Paige recalled. “I can’t thank Larry and the fire department enough for what they did. They put a big smile on Jack’s face. They made him very happy.”
Fort Bend Seniors Celebrates March for Meals with special deliveries
Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels announced that it will be participating in the 21st annual March for Meals – a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meal on Wheels and the seniors it serves.
On March 22, local community leaders will participate in a Community Champions Celebration, delivering meals to homebound seniors in our area.
“In the last year, we have experienced a 31% increase in new clients in Fort Bend and Waller Counties,” said Bob Hebert, Executive Director of FBS. “We are in awe of the outpouring of support from our local communities, and there’s still much we can do to ensure everyone in need of our vital services can benefit from being well-nourished and more connected to our community through this challenging time and beyond.”
In 2022, Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels served 364,680 meals to over 2,200 seniors in our local community.
“March is an important time for us to come together to ensure that Meals on Wheels is there for all of our senior neighbors in need,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “The demand for services is already great and approximately 12,000 Americans are turning 60 every day. We must maintain and expand the programs that have helped so many get through this unprecedented time in our nation’s histo-
ry. We can’t do it alone. It takes all of us to keep the nationwide Meals on Wheels movement going.”
For more information about Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels, visit www.fortbendseniors.org.
Sweet Dew Farm grows and delivers wellness
Palm Grove at Old South Plantation was the gathering site for the January meeting of the Garden Club of Richmond hosted by Judy Adamson and her co-hostesses Barbara Wade, Mike Greenwood, Carole McCann, and Ann Crosser. Deidre Doggett introduced speaker John Truong, owner of Sweet Dew Farm and a local farmer working with organic, sustainably grown superfoods emphasizing freshness, healthy foods, and ethical farming. Starting in 2016 growing wheatgrass in his backyard, he now owns a three-acre farm in Rosenberg. In 2019 he added home deliveries in addition to delivering to stores and restaurants.
Last year Sweet Dew Farm began selling at the Farmers Market in Richmond held every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 pm. With the help of his parents and others, he offers microgreens and sprouts, herbs, pasture-raised eggs (chicken, duck, and quail), 12 different homemade herbal teas, and homemade bread. He emphasized that his microgreens germinated from seeds are harvested within 7 to 21 days promoting a more concentrated nutrient content and more flavor. He offered a website to order from: sweetdewfarm.com.
Inspired by the documentary “Back to Eden” which promotes
God’s initial plan for man tending his garden versus tilling his garden, Sweet Dew Farm implements a Permaculture philosophy, a permanent culture where the eco-system can sustain itself with a soil health emphasis. He uses compost and mulch from his gar-
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Focused on Trusted Vision Care
Our full range of comprehensive eye care services at familyfriendly prices, Including:
n Eye health care for all ages
n Treatment of eye diseases
n Immediate care for eye emergencies
n Full line of fashion and budget eyewear
n LASIK evaluation and comanagement
n Specialists in contact lens fit and Most insurance plans accepted
TIES AND TIARAS WAS A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Calvary Episcopal Prepartory’s High School students hosted their annual Father Daughter Dance “Ties and Tiaras,” which school officials said turned out beautiful is and would be a night to remember. A special addition this year was Kalette Aspaugh from Beautiful Feet Dance Studio talked about the importance of dads in the lives of their daughters will teaching the couples to two step.
The family-friendly event is free, with the Rotary Club of Rosenberg providing complimentary popcorn and the city providing free water.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their chairs and blankets. The March schedule is Minions: The Rise of Gru on March 3 and Peter Rabbit 2 on March 31.
PARKS YOUTH RANCH TO HOST KIDS FISHING DERBY
Parks Youth Ranch invites area families to its eighth-annual Go Fish at its property located at 11614 FM 361 in Richmond Saturday, April 1 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. This family-friendly fishing derby allows kids of all ages the opportunity to experience fun in the great outdoors. PYR has two ponds stocked with catfish and bass, which means all participants will have a chance to catch that special fish. Lucky anglers who catch the first fish in their age group will receive a trophy. No fishing experience or license is required. Just bring your poles, PYR will provide the bait. Wristbands for Go Fish are $20 and admission includes lunch and more.
CELEBRATES SPRING WITH KITE FLYING, ART, DAYTIME FIREWORKS AT INTERNATIONAL ART & KITE FESTIVAL
Step into springtime, and enjoy an entertaining day of fun activities and excitement at Sugar Land’s International Art and Kite Festival as the city celebrates with a full-slate of outdoor adventures for families to enjoy on Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Crown Festival Park, 18355 Southwest Freeway.
MOVIES AT WESSENDORFF RETURNS
The City of Richmond released its 2023 movie list for the Movies At Wessendorff series.
Movies will air at Wessendorff Park at 500 Preston Street on the first Friday of each month except for October and November.
Kite enthusiasts will decorate the sky with splashes of color, unique kite shapes and exceptional kite-flying skills. The main stage will feature upbeat cultural dance performances with entertainment acts to include the rhythmic beats of DRUM percussion ensemble, show-stopping performances by local dance groups and the freshest sound in steel drum music, Steel Vibrations. Non-stop children’s activities will be featured in the Kids Zone with inflatables and a stage for kid friendly entertainment. Trackless train rides will continuously depart from the Kids Zone, which will also feature strolling characters. Booths from local vendors abound at the Champion Energy Artisan Market. A variety of food trucks will be on location with an assortment of food choices and desserts available for purchase. A Beer Garden will feature complementary springtime beer from Saint Arnold Brewing Company and Texas Leaguer Brewing.
Throughout the event, attendees can participate in the Chalk Art & Kite Flying competitions. First, second and third place priz-
es will be awarded for each category. There is no cost to enter the competition and online registration is encouraged for all contests. Additionally, attendees can represent their heritage by hosting a free booth representing their culture or country of origin or by participating in the Cultural Fashion Show! Country Booths will be strategically located throughout the festival representing Asia, the United States, India, etc. Show off traditional attire by signing up to be in the Fashion Show that will take place on the Cultural Stage. General festival admission is free.
Free shuttles will be provided from University of Houston-Sugar Land, and public parking will be available onsite at Brazos River Park and Crown Festival Park. Limited handicap accessible parking will be available onsite. Plan for traffic delays.
To participate and host a Country Booth or walk in our Cultural Fashion Show, contact Sugar Land’s Parks and Recreation Department at 281-275-2825 or visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/specialevents. For other updates, follow Sugar Land Parks and Recreation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @SugarLandParks.
MUSIC MAGIC RETURNS
The Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas is spreading the word about its Music Magic program, intended for boys who are 6 or 7 years old.
Auditions aren’t required and the program runs for eight weeks from March 21 through May 9. The group will meet weekly on Tuesdays from 6:30-7:15 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church-Missouri City, 3900 Lexington Blvd. On May 12 the Music Magic group will perform in the choir’s Spring Concert. For more information visit fbbctx.org/our-programs/music-magic.
SUGAR LAND ARTS FEST SET FOR APRIL 1 & 2
So on April 1 and 2, the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation will again host its Sugar Land Arts Fest comprised of artist booths, hand-selected wines, delicious food, and live music at the Smart Financial Centre Plaza.
The event will feature contemporary painting, sculpture, photography, glass art, mixed media art, woodworking, and jewelry designed and created by local and foreign artists and showcase 100-plus visual artists from around the country, with paintings, sculpture, photography, glassworks, and more.
For more information about the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation, visit www.slcaf.org, and for more information about the Sugar Land Arts Fest, visit sugarlandartsfest.com
CROCHET PROGRAMS, WRITING CLUBS, FAMILY STORY TIME AND MORE FREE PROGRAMS AT THE GEORGE MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Fort Bend County Libraries’ George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview in Richmond, will present a variety of free children’s programs, adult computer classes, book clubs, and special programs for people of all ages this month. All programs are free and open to the public. Visit www.fortbend.lib.tx.us or call George Memorial Library 281-342-4455 or the Communications Office at 281-633-4734 for more information.
Craft packets will be given out at the end of each program, so that children may take them home to enjoy.
Family Story Time: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:1510:45 a.m. in the Meeting Room. Families with children of all ages will enjoy stories, songs, and action rhymes. The schedule is: March 1 and 2:Rodeo; March 8 and 9:Green Animals; March 15 and 16:Staff Favorites; March 22 and 23:Flowers & Gardening; and March 29 and 30:Ducks
Pajama Night Story Time: Thursdays from 6-6:30 p.m. Gives families an evening option for some activities presented during the day time.
After-School Break: Takes place on the second and fourth Tuesday, from 4:15-5 p.m. in the Puppet Theater. Crafts, movies, stories, and more programs are designated for school-aged children in grades kindergarten through 5.Materials for these programs are made possible by the Friends of the George Memorial Library. The schedule of activities is as follows: March 14: Build It! and March 28: No-Bake Playdough
Creative Connection: on Monday, March 13, from 10:15 to 11 a.m., the Spring Break Build-It Bash! — intended for students in grades 4 through 8 – will take place in the Middle Grades department on the second floor. Students will put their building skills to the test with some fun building challenges and games.
YOUNG ADULT PROGRAMS
Young Adult Advisory Council: Wednesday, March 15, 4-5 p.m. in Room 2C. Teens in grades 9-12 who are interested in an exciting new leadership opportunity and volunteer-service hours are invited to attend this meeting of the Young Adult Advisory Council. Members will have a chance to share ideas about library programs, to help out at events, to give suggestions for teen services, books, and movies, and to meet new people.
• Crochet for Beginners: Saturday, March 4, 2-3 p.m. in the Meeting Room. Learn the basics of crochet in this hands-on class. Library staff will provide materials, teach basic terms, and demonstrate simple crochet stitches. This class is for adults and teens. Registration required.
• Resumé Workshop: Wednesday, March 8, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Computer Lab. Learn the basics of putting together a resumé. Those attending this informal program will receive one-one-one help formatting a resumé. For assistance on a pre-existing resumé, please have a digital copy available on a USB flashdrive, saved to the cloud, or have access to it via email. Registration required.
•Adult Coloring: Birds & Blooms: Saturday, March 11, 2-3 p.m. in the Meeting Room. During this fun activity, learn more about adult coloring -- a hobby often embraced for its relaxation and stress-reduction techniques. Coloring has been shown to lower heart rates and is thought to lower blood pressure as well. The creative process of coloring can also be a way to exercise the brain. Unwind and relax while re-discovering this favorite childhood activity and demonstrating strokes of creative genius.
• Story Spinners Writing Club: Thursday, March 16, 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Room 2C. This month’s topic is “Synopsis.” From beginning blogger to published novelist, writers of all genres and experience levels are welcome to write, share, learn, support, network, and critique each other’s work. Writing prompts, brainteasers, and brief exercises will be available to ignite the imaginations of any and all wordsmiths who wish to hone their craft. This program is recommended for adults and teens aged 14 and up.
•Ancient Civilizations: Indus Valley: Saturday, March 18, 2-4 p.m. in the Meeting Room. Architecture professor Sheba Akhtar will talk about the agricultural civilization of the Indus Valley, which had the largest geographical extent and population of any ancient civilization. Located in the northwestern portion of the Indian subcontinent (present-day Pakistan), the Indus Valley civilization attained greater urban achievements than any other ancient civilization, establishing superior city-planning, water distribution, drainage, and standardization.
• Family-History Research: Genealogy 101: Wednesday, March 22, 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab. In this introductory program, beginning family-history researchers will learn how to start their research. Library staff will provide a basic introduction to many of the resources that are available to the beginning genealogical researcher in FBCL’s Genealogy and Local History department. Items that will be introduced include print resources, materials that are available on microfilm, and basic online tools such as the Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest USA databases. Learn how to fill out basic genealogical forms and organize one’s research. Registration required.
• Family-History Research: Genealogy Online: Saturday, March 25, 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab. Learn more about some of the online resources that are available for family-history research, including FamilySearch.org, HeritageQuest, and FindaGrave.com. Tips and strategies for a more efficient Internet search will also be demonstrated. Registration required.
ADULT BOOK CLUBS
Book Break Book Club: Thursday, March 16, at noon in Room 2A. A variety of popular fiction is discussed in this book club, which meets on the third Thursday of every month. Those attending may bring a lunch. This month, readers will discuss Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, & the Last Trial of Harper Lee, written by Casey N. Cep. This selection is available in print and audio on CD; call the library to check availability of additional print copies.
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den with the addition of fruit pulp, vegetable waste and coffee grounds supplied by his customers’ businesses. This encourages microbes, earthworms, and beneficial bugs that help keep the soil full of nutrients and workable. His greenhouse uses natural sunlight and fresh air. His future goals include more fruit trees and blackberries added to the farm thus creating a polyculture environment where many species intermingle with others under trees and ground cover.
After members enjoyed a box lunch of chicken salad, fruit salad, toast rounds, chocolate fudge and a sampling of the bread from Sweet Dew Farm, president Courtney Raska opened the meeting. Claudia Wright gave the thought for the day, “Happiness is not ready made. It comes from the heart”.
Marilyn Long reported the Anniversary Garden survived the freeze but will require a clean-up day before planting caladiums.
Nancie Rain encouraged members to help promote more caladium sales and sign up for bagging and distribution. Pick-up for the bulbs starts on March 1.
Barbara Benes reminded the ladies that the Caladium Tour for members will be held on the first of the summer and encouraged everyone to get their caladiums planted.
Pam Scarborough solidified arrangements for the members’ social trip to the Music Box Theater.
Keely Knipling and Emily Scherer announced that medical forms are due for the spring trip to Nashville. Members going on the trip need to check their emails for any new information.
Lynn Hewitt and nominating committee members Nancie Rain and Laura Hartman presented the 2023-2024 slate of officers: president- Deidre Doggett, vice president- Susan Farris, secre-
So... How’s your
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Heavy Inks Graphic Novel Book Club: Saturday, March 18, 11 a.m. - noon in Room 2B. Readers of all ages who enjoy illustrated novels and comic books are invited to join this book club specifically for graphic-novel enthusiasts. For March, readers will discuss Locke & Key, Vol. 1-3, created by Joe Hill. Call the library to check availability of additional print copies. This book club meets on the third Saturday of every month.
Live Online: FBCL Reads Online Book Club: Wednesday, March 22, 10-11 a.m. FBCL Reads book-club meetings will be livestreamed through Webex so that readers can participate virtually and interact with others in real time; the book club will meet online on a permanent basis. The book to be discussed in March – Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, written by Cho Nam-Joo — is available in print and digitally as an ebook on OverDrive. Call the library to check availability of additional print copies. Registration is required.
HUCKMAN NAMED 2023 GRAND CHAMPION AT HOUSTON LIVESTOCK SHOW & RODEO ART SHOW
Foster High School senior Mia Huckman has been named the 2023 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo School Art Grand Champion. This is Huckman’s fourth time to have artwork in the HLSR’s School Art Auction and the first time she has placed first. She received this year’s honor at the HLSR School Art Awards Ceremony on February 11 at NRG Center. Her painting, “Our Last Round Up,” was ranked #1 out of 72 auction lots and 4,500 artwork pieces entered from school districts from across Southeast Texas.
Last year in 2022, Huckman was the 2022 School Art Reserve Grand Champion. Her painting, “Partners in Time,” broke the world record with a selling price of $265,000. It sold for $15,000 more than the Grand Champion painting.
Three other Lamar CISD student artists will also have artwork in the auction including Foster High School juniors Mia Caycedo and Hannah Horton, as well as Fulshear High School junior Trina Ha.
THE HLSR SCHOOL ART AUCTION IS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE
ON SUNDAY, MARCH 12 AT 12 PM AND WILL BE
Want to become a Fort Bend Master Gardener?
Master Gardeners are volunteers who assist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Fort Bend County with promoting research-based horticultural practices to help residents succeed in creating and maintaining their home landscapes.
Classes begin with 35 hours of comprehensive training conducted by Texas A&M professors and extension specialists and delivered over 10 weeks.
That training is then supplemented with Fort Bend County local classes to round out the training.
Volunteer opportunities are many and varied, including maintaining demonstration gardens, responding to gardening inquiries, making presentations to small community groups, teaching youth about the fundamentals of gardening, assisting in community gardens, and writing articles and social media posts to name a few. A member must re-certify each year by satisfying minimum volunteer service and continuing education requirements.
EDIBLE GARDEN PLANNING
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Fort Bend Coun-
ty and the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners will offer a six-class program on creating a productive edible garden in the home landscape, starting March 4 from 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at the Bud O’Shieles Community Center, located at 1330 Band Road in Rosenberg. Participants will learn how to start a garden, the keys to success, what to plant and when, and how to reap the benefits of year-round food production in Fort Bend County.
Registration is required.
VEGGIE & HERB SALE COMING
On March 11 the Fort Bend Master Gardener’s annual spring Vegetable-Herb Plant Sale will run from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bud O’Shieles Community Center.
For more information about becoming a master gardener or upcoming events visit www.fbmg.org.
COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS
Treated in Sugar Land
At Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land, our physicians collaborate across specialties to diagnose and treat common to complex neurological disorders. With innovative and advanced treatment options, we provide personalized comprehensive care — close to home.
Our team of physicians treats a variety of conditions, including:
• Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders
• Brain tumors
• Multiple sclerosis
• Parkinson’s disease and tremors
• Sleep disorders
• Spinal disorders
• Stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA)
TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
To schedule an appointment, scan the QR code, visit houstonmethodist.org/neuro-sl or call 281.274.7979