Pecan Grove - November 2021

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November 2021

Pecan Grove monthly

A publication of the

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Contents and Staff November 2021

6 FEATURE STORY Sculptor Jordan Dimitrov opens up about his passion of nautical art and his


unconventional approach to create it.

8 IN THE SPOTLIGHT One of Fort Bend County’s favorite holiday traditions is right around the corner.


10 TALK OF THE TOWN New campaign spotlights ‘It’s OK not to be OK’ mental health message.



Pecan Grove


CHAIRMAN, EDITOR & PUBLISHER Clyde King ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Marquita Griffin ADVERTISING Stefanie Bartlett Ruby Polichino GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Melinda Maya Rachel Cavazos WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Marquita Griffin Scott Reese Willey Ryan Dunsmore TO ADVERTISE If you are interested in advertising in the Pecan Grove Monthly, please call 281-342-4474 for rates, information and deadlines. PHOTO & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS We are looking for fresh story ideas and enjoy publishing your articles in the Pecan Grove Monthly. If you have an story idea or photo to publish please send your information to with “Pecan Grove Monthly” in the subject line. © 2021 Pecan Grove Monthly. All Rights Reserved. Pecan Grove Monthly is a sister publication of Fulshear Living Monthly, Greatwood Monthly, West Fort Bend Living and is a publication of the Fort Bend Herald. Our publishing headquarters is 1902 S. Fourth Street, Rosenberg Texas 77471.

The Laceys Ladybug twirlers shined at the 2021 AAU Junior Olympics.

OctOber 2021



4 • Pecan Grove Monthly

Peca n Grove monthly

Revolutionary heart disease treatment is

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Nautical sculptor Jordan Dimitrov at the 2021 Festivalof arts in Laguna Beach, California.

6 • Pecan Grove Monthly

Jordan's luxury nautical sculptures have been purchased by private collectors around the world from America, Italy, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Antalya (Turkey), Barbados, Aruba, and Bulgaria

Jordan Dimitrov began carving ships as a little boy in Bulgaria.

Continued on page 7 To advertise, call 281-342-4474


In the Spotlight 8 • Pecan Grove Monthly


PROTECT YOURSELF. PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY. GET YOUR FLU SHOT TODAY. We can all do our part to keep Houston healthy and safe. And it starts with getting a flu shot. It protects you, your family and our community. It also helps minimize the stress on Houstonʼs healthcare system as the pandemic continues. Plus with enhanced safety measures in place at Memorial Hermann facilities, you can get your flu shot safely and with peace of mind.

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Talk of the Town

Finding support during a pandemic


hen the pandemic hit, Sarah Pitman, a single mother of twins, had to learn how to navigate working a full-time job, be a mother and manage a child with special needs on her own.Yet, the busy mother noted the silver lining she saw in all of the chaos: spending more time with her children. And it was that extra time that allowed Pitman to recognize the signs of autism spectrum disorder in her son Arthur. While early detection is crucial to receive significant and successful therapies and services, Pitman didn’t have the funding to get the resources her son needed. After frustrating and deflating experiences trying to find a center or program that could meet her son’s needs, Pitman came across Hope For Three and discovered it provides financial assistance to county residents year-round. Pitman received a family assistance award to cover early intervention therapy known as ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis). ABA therapy gave Arthur the support to attend school successfully, and he responds positively to his therapies and schooling and loves being outdoors, running, climbing, and blowing bubbles with his twin sister, Elise. “Words cannot adequately express how much this funding means

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photo by Sarah Pitman | Arthur, age two, plays relentlessly with bubbles. Unlike hard-to-operate toys that may require an adult to help, he can master the art of blowing bubbles which encourages interaction.

to me,” said Pitman.“More importantly, my son can now continue the services that will afford him the best chance of catching up with his peers and being successful in the world. For this, I am eternally grateful.” Hope For Three is the only Fort Bend County autism-focused nonprofit that provides financial assistance to county residents yearround. These funds help children receive therapy, specialized schooling or classes, and crucial medical treatments during their autism journey. The local nonprofit and advocacy organization also offers customized programs, resources, and referrals to support families with children living with an autism spectrum disorder. Since its inception, Hope For Three has awarded over $1,250,000 in financial aid to families, provided 6,000 resources and referrals to inquiring parties, and trained over 2,250 law enforcement members on the characteristics of autism. To find autism resources, learn more about Hope For Three, or support local families during this giving season, visit www.

‘It’s OK not to be OK’ mental health campaign launched in Fort Bend County


he city of Sugar Land recently revealed three Project Hope murals at Brazos River Park, Sugar Land Memorial Park, and Cullinan Park. “Blooms,” “Butterflies” and “Birds” are three murals the city commissioned to increase the visibility of mental health resources and dispel the stigma surrounding mental health.The project was started by staff as a part of the #AllInForSLTX initiative, and the three murals have been placed in city parks. Krista Birnbaum created “Birds,”“Blooms” and “Butterflies” with Hope For The Day’s core messages alongside a QR code that provides users access to mental health resources. In partnership with Hope for the Day, a suicide prevention and mental health education nonprofit organization, Sugar Land intends for the murals to serve as a resource for citizens and visitors of Sugar Land. The project is part of the city’s #AllInForSLTX initiative, a program that supports local businesses as they responded to the COVID 19 pandemic. “Project Hope Murals allow the community to start a conversation and break the stigma around mental health. Projects like this will increase resiliency for our community while simultaneously supporting our local artists, which is a part of our economy that has been significantly impacted by COVID 19,” says



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OutRun Hunger 5K raises $19,000 for charity


Director of Economic Development Elizabeth Huff. This particular project focused on support for local artists while also promoting mental health resources to the community and is being funded in partnership with Fort Bend County. Commissioner Ken R. DeMerchant added: “We’re appreciative of the opportunity to partner with the city of Sugar Land to support our local artists and to respond to the mental health needs of our community. Each mural is unique, captivating and provides access to many mental health resources available via a QR code” The Project Hope Murals incorporated one of Hope for the Day’s core messages: “It’s Ok Not to Be OK” or “Have Hope” and have been installed as part of National Suicide Prevention Month. Each location features a QR code and webpage (www. allowing visitors quick and convenient access to local, state, and federal mental health resources many of which are free. For more information about the Project Hope Murals or the city’s #AllInForSLTX initiative, email or call 281-275-2229.

unners of all ages lined up for this year’s OutRun Hunger 5k Family Walk and Run hosted by Harvest Green, raising $19,000 to feed hungry Fort Bend families. The annual race benefits Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry, a local non-profit that has been assisting families and individuals during times of temporary financial crisis since 1990. Approximately $67,500 has been raised by the run since its inception in 2018. More than 300 runners participated this year, up from 200 in 2020.The run also attracted 50 sponsors.A party at the finish line followed, featuring Messina Hof wine, Blockhouse coffee, vendors, food trucks, and more. “It was a great event,” said Stacey Williams, development director for East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry. “It was wonderful to see so many people out there walking and running for a good cause. We are so grateful to them and our wonderful sponsors.” The money raised will be used by Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry to provide food and financial assistance to children, families, and seniors. Last year, the organization distributed $616,336.49 worth of food to families in need, including 7,075 families who received 10,849 Covid-19 Relief Sacks. Harvest Green was the race’s title sponsor for the fourth year in a row. “We have partnered with East Fort Bend Human Needs

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*The Cameron Foundation awards $5K to Child Advocates of Fort Bend


The recent OutRun Hunger 5K Family Walk and Run raised $19,000 for the East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry. To date, the race has raised $67,000 for the charity.

Ministry for years,” said Jerry Ulke, General Manager for Harvest Green.“The work they do is vital to our community. It is an honor to help them in whatever capacity we can. We hope to see even more faces next year.” For more information about East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry, visit For more information about Harvest Green, visit

he Cameron Foundation announced Child Advocates of Fort Bend as a new grant recipient, and because of the $5,000 grant, the foundation is helping revive a local nonprofit that provides services for children who are victims of abuse and neglect. Based in Houston, The Cameron Foundation was established in 1966 with a mission “to promote compassionate giving that serves the needs of our community.” In a release provided by Child Advocates, officials said the foundation’s support is critical to filling the agency’s funding gap caused by the COVID19 pandemic. “While children were more desperate than ever, we were forced to cancel our in-person fundraising events and experienced a decline in donor giving, which caused a gap in funding and our ability to serve every child victim,” said Ruthanne Mefford, CEO of Child Advocates of Fort Bend. The grant will be used to further support services and programs provided by the agency, which saw a spike in abuse severity and incidents following the 2020 pandemic lockdown. In 2020, the number of children who were sexually abused, physically abused, and neglected, and were consequently served by Child Advocates of Fort Bend surged 22%. In comparison to last year’s rate, Child Advocates has experienced a 35% increase in cases. For more information on to get involved with Child Advocates of Fort Bend, contact Volunteer Services at 281-344-5123 or jbrown@ or visit

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• 13


Wait! – Don’t throw away those fallen leaves Courtesy of THE FORT BEND COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS


e sometimes think of those fallen leaves in our yards as a nuisance – or worse, but before you go through the process of raking and bagging up all of those leaves for the trash man, consider adding the leaves to your flowerbeds. Your plants just might thank you, and your trash man certainly will thank you. It has been estimated that up to 20 percent of the solid waste that is generated by Texans comes from landscape wastes, including tree leaves. Landscape wastes that are discarded occupy limited landfill space, deny the soil valuable nutrients,and adds to community taxes and service fees. Why amend your soil with leaves Our soil along the Gulf Coast is generally a nutrient-poor, claydominated soil that needs nutrients added regularly. While there are plenty of options (such as fertilizers) that help to maintain nutrients in the soil, we often overlook the value of our tree leaves as part of this solution. It has been established that one acre of trees will shed up to two tons of leaves each fall. That is a lot of leaves that can be beneficial to your soil. This natural carpet of leaves over the soil helps to conserve moisture,modifies temperatures,and helps to reduce clay compaction. Organically, the bacteria, fungi, and other organisms in the soil will decompose the leaves.This is like having a time-release fertilizer for your plants. Incredibly, they still contain 50-80 percent of the nutrients that they had as a living part of your tree. The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension (Earth-Kind Landscaping) has published several articles on this issue. One article in particular (Don’t Bag It – Leaf Management Plan) was very helpful and can provide further information. HOW TO USE YOUR LEAVES: Mowing • Mowing the leaves will distribute them on the lawn • Mow with a mulching mower once a light layer has accumulated Mulching • Use a mower with a bagging attachment to collect shredded leaves • Shredded, or mulched, leaves will decompose faster • Apply a 2-3 inch mulch of shredded leaves in flower beds Direct application • Distribute raked leaves into flower bed soils

• Tilling the leaves into the soil will improve aeration and drainage Composting • Add leaves to your existing compost pile (grass clippings, pine needles, prunings, etc…) • If you have the space, a compost bin or pile works well • Smaller areas such as vegetable gardens can use trench composting if limited on space • Prepare compost mixture in heavy-duty trash bags • Purchase a composting device such as a box, bin, or barrel to start the process Be sure and see that the leaves that you are putting into your flower beds or compost piles are healthy. Diseased leaves should not be used and should be disposed of by sending them to the landfill. So when the leaves start falling, think about adding them to your flower beds. After all, your plants just might thank you. Happy Gardening! Fort Bend County Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in educating the community using research-based horticultural information.

Learn all about tree care in an upcoming online gardening program


ort Bend County Libraries will present an online gardening program,“Tree Care Basics,” on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. Part 8 of the Texas AgriLife Extension Office’s Landscape Success series for homeowners, this program will be live-streamed via Webex; it will NOT be in person. James (Boone) Holladay, County Extension Agent with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office in Fort Bend County, will provide an overview of tree care for the Texas Gulf Coast region. Learn about different varieties of trees that perform well in this area, which ones are high or low maintenance, where to plant them, and how to water them. Hear about the optimum soil recommended for different varieties of trees, as well as nutrient requirements and types of fertilizers. Holladay will also talk about common pests and diseases that affect trees in this region and how to combat them. Holladay received his undergraduate degree in Horticulture from Stephen F. Austin State University and his graduate degree in Agricultural Education from Texas A&M University. The program is free and open to the public. Registration is required for the program so that a link to the Webex session can be emailed to all who register.To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx. us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program on the date indicated. Participants may also register by calling Fort Bend County Libraries’ Communications Office at 281-633-4734.

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14 • Pecan Grove Monthly

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he Fort Bend Teen Service League had a great time volunteering at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land at their annual Fossil Wash. Twelve of the teen girl members,who are in grades 9-12,volunteered at the arts and craft stations for the children including Dinosaur Names, Fossil Imaging, and Dinosaur Hats. The Fort Bend Junior Service League 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. For more information,visit the FBTSL Facebook at @FortBendTeenServiceLeague.

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he Friends of the George Memorial Library will host a Fall Book Sale on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the front entrance of the library, located at 1001 Golfview in Richmond. People who love books, people who love bargains, and people who need to get rid of some spare change will find a lot in common at the book sale, where they will discover adult and children’s books, teen/ Young Adult books, paperbacks in various genres, DVDs, books on CD, and music CDs, all at prices that are hard to beat.

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the direction of University of Houston alumni and Needville High School alumni Amanda Warncke, Michelle Castle, and Raeven Lehmann, the twirlers competed at the George R Brown Convention Center in Houston and returned home with gold, silver, bronze, and copper medals. Gavin Warncke won the gold in boys solo, and KayLynn Rieger and Savannah Warncke won gold in the individual All-Around Championship in their age division. Additionally, Madelyn Martinez, Gavin Warncke, and Savannah Warncke also received an award for a no-drop routine. In total the Ladybugs brought home 10 gold medals, one silver medal, two bronze medals, and three copper medals. Prices range from 50¢ for paperback books up to $2 for select hardback books. Proceeds from the book sale and annual membership dues also help to underwrite the costs of special programming and various cultural events at George Memorial Library. For more information visit or call 281-3424455.



he Laceys Ladybugs School of Twirling represented itself and Fort Bend County at the 2021 AAU Junior Olympics in Baton Twirling Aug. 2-4. The Laceys Ladybugs teams, under



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From left, bottom row: Faith Hernandez, Brooklyn Jimenez, Eliana Hernandez, Payton Zapalac, Gavin Warncke, Savannah Warncke, Sienna Lehmann; middle row: Madelyn Martinez, Jillian Hernandez, Dakotah Lehmann, Peyton Gamino, Leila Svatek; top row: Directors Michelle Castle, Raeven Lehmann, and Amanda Warncke.

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16 • Pecan Grove Monthly

Madeline Martinez, Gavin Warncke, Savannah Warncke and KayLynn Rieger.

All Around Champions KayLynn Rieger and Savannah Warncke.

From left, bottom row: The Gold medalists —Brooklyn Jimenez, Peyton Zapalac, Eliana Hernandez, Gavin Warncke, Savannah Warncke; top row: The Bronze medalists — Peyton Gamino, Dakota Lehmann, Sienna Lehmann, Faith Hernandez, Madeline Martinez and Jillian Hernandez. (Lelia Svatek is not pictured)

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• 17


Revolutionary heart disease treatment arrives in Fort Bend


ouston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the first in Fort Bend to offer a new treatment option for patients with severely calcified coronary artery disease. The new technology is a novel application of lithotripsy, an approach that uses sonic pressure waves to treat problematic calcium in the coronary arteries that can reduce blood flow in the heart, similar to the approach of breaking up kidney Michael H. Koo, M.D., Interventional stones. Cardiologist Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Each year, more than 600,000 people in the United States die of heart disease. As people with heart disease, specifically coronary artery disease, grow older and their disease progresses, plaque in the arteries evolves into calcium deposits, which can narrow the artery. Physicians often use stents to open an artery, and of the approximately one million patients that undergo a stent procedure each year, 30 percent have problematic calcium that increases their risk for adverse events. Calcium makes the artery rigid and more difficult to reopen with conventional treatments, including balloons, which attempt to crack the calcium when inflated to high pressure, and atherectomy, which drills through the calcium to open the artery. While atherectomy has been available for several decades, its use remains low, as it can result in complications for patients who are undergoing stent procedures. The new shockwave technology, also known as intravascular lithotripsy or IVL, allows physicians to fracture the problematic calcium - using sonic pressure waves - so that the artery can be safely expanded, and blood flow is restored with the placement of a stent and without unnecessary complications. “The cardiology team at Houston Methodist Sugar Land is steadfast in our commitment to give our patients access to the latest cardiovascular innovations to treat heart disease,” said Michael H. Koo, M.D., board-certified interventional cardiologist with Houston Methodist Cardiology Associates at Sugar Land.“It is exciting to start a new chapter in the treatment of heart disease in some of our most complex patient cases after using the same tools for the last 30 years – especially one that improves the safety of the procedure for the

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benefit of Fort Bend and surrounding community residents.” To schedule an appointment with Dr. Koo or another cardiologist with Houston Methodist Cardiology Associates at Sugar Land, call 713-776-9500.Visit to learn more about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

Dr. Joseph Elias joins Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital


ouston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital recently welcomed boardcertified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, Joseph Elias, M.D., to its medical staff. Elias will open a new practice, Houston Methodist Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Associates at Sugar Land, with two office locations on the Houston Joseph Elias, M.D., Methodist Sugar Land campus. physical medicine and He will treat spine and musculoskeletal rehabilitation specialist injuries and perform electrodiagnostic (EMG/NCS) testing and ultrasound injections at the Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine building located at 16811 Southwest Fwy., Suite 200, Sugar Land,TX. He will also treat post-acute neurological injuries, such as stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury, at 16605 Southwest Fwy., Medical Office Building 3, Suite 600, Sugar Land,TX 77479. Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, often referred to as physiatrists, work to restore or improve mobility and function to patients who have injuries or conditions that impact their brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones or joints. Elias specializes in the management of spine and musculoskeletal injuries; electromyography/nerve conduction studies (EMG/NCS) for peripheral nerve injuries; ultrasoundguided peripheral joint injections; rehabilitation management of neurological and musculoskeletal disorders including stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury or amputation; and spasticity management for patients who have movement disorders. He will work closely with the physicians at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine and the Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center. “I treat patients with a wide range of physical challenges, but the goal is always the same,” said Elias. “I work to enhance my patients’ ability to manage their day-to-day activities and improve their quality of life. I am very excited to build this new practice

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and help patients across Fort Bend County and surrounding areas.” Elias comes to Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital from Multicare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, WA. He earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX where he also completed an internship in internal medicine. He completed his residency in physical medicine & rehabilitation at the University of Washington in Seattle. To schedule an appointment with Elias, visit houstonmethodist. org/spg or call 281-729-0076. To learn more about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, visit for the latest news, events and information.

Breakthrough technology for urinary incontinence unveiled


ouston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the first in the area to use a breakthrough technology to treat female urinary incontinence. In May, board-certified urologist Laura Martinez, M.D., successfully implanted the Remeex Female adjustable urethral sling in a patient during a short surgical procedure. Urethral slings are medical devices that lift the urethra into its normal position, eliminating or reducing urine leakage due to stress incontinence. The system is unique in that it is a lifetime solution that can be adjusted – and readjusted – in the physician’s office while the patient is awake and standing. Currently, it is being used in

women who have had recurrent incontinence after a prior traditional sling. “With this device, we have the ability to observe as the patient undertakes the activities that typically cause leakage, such as coughing, and adjust the tension of the sling accordingly to eliminate incontinence without causing unwanted urine retention,” said Martinez. “And as the patient ages or her body shape changes, we can readjust the sling without the need for surgery.” Urinary stress incontinence is a common issue for women because tissue or nerve damage during labor and delivery can weaken the pelvic floor or urinary sphincter muscles, causing the urethra to shift because it is not properly supported. “At that point, whenever the patient does certain physical activities, such as coughing, laughing, sneezing or heavy lifting – she puts stress on the unsupported bladder that causes urine leakage,” said Martinez. Urinary stress incontinence can also result from normal aging, obesity or illnesses that cause chronic coughing. Athletes who participate in high-impact activities, such as running or jumping, can also develop urinary stress incontinence over time. “Of course, bladder leakage can be debilitating, and many women find themselves limiting their activities because they are uncomfortable or embarrassed,” said Martinez. “This is a proven solution that can make a significant improvement in many patients’ quality of life.” For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Martinez, call 281-276-5280. Visit to learn more about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

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• 23


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 Aneurysms Brain tumors Neuropathy

• • • •

Parkinson’s disease and tremors Sleep disorders Spinal disorders Stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA)

Your health is our priority. You can be confident we are taking every necessary precaution to keep you safe, including requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all of our physicians and staff.


TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT To schedule an appointment, scan the QR code, visit or call 281.274.7979.

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