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Contents and Staff September 2021
6 FEATURE STORY Oboist Kai O’Donnell says music fuels his life and performing “is like breathing.”
8 IN THE SPOTLIGHT Budding author Shay Abigail is dedicated to changing perspectives about the different ways people communicate.
10 TALK OF THE TOWN Scott Reese Willey’s in-depth look at David Rose’s five decades of sharing the Gospel.
15 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
CHAIRMAN, EDITOR & PUBLISHER Clyde King email@example.com ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Marquita Griffin firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Stefanie Bartlett email@example.com Ruby Polichino firstname.lastname@example.org GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Melinda Maya email@example.com Rachel Cavazos firstname.lastname@example.org WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Scott Reese Willey Averil Gleason Chad Washington 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 email@example.com 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.
Meet the Fair Queen candidates, give a photography contest a go, or check out the calendar of local events.
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4 • Pecan Grove Monthly
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Feature Story Above Photo: Oboist Kai O’Donnell was selected into the Texas Music Educators Association for four consecutive years — a first for a Foster HS and the school district. He now attends Bard Conservatory in New York.
6 • Pecan Grove Monthly
Kai O’Donnell: I was always a whistler. I whistled all the time. My parents would always tell me to stop [because] I was always whistling some kind of tune. When I was 8 [years old] or so, I liked the video game and the sounds of the ocarina in Zelda. I picked up an ocarina my parents got me at the Texas Renaissance Fair. At the time, they regretted the purchase, given the constant noise I made with it. In sixth grade, we had some choices for electives. I wanted to be in a class with my friends, so we all decided to play the clarinet.
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In the Spotlight
Interview on page 13
To follow or learn more about Shay Abigail, or to purchase a copy of her book My Name is Maya: www.andonthisfarmbooks.com
8 • Pecan Grove Monthly
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Talk of the Town
David Rose: 50 years of sharing the Gospel
story & photo by SCOTT REESE WILLEY | firstname.lastname@example.org
hen he was regularly ministering to the needs of his flock, David G. Rose would write a Sunday Bible school lesson, a sermon for Sunday morning, a sermon for Sunday evening, and a pen something for Wednesday night’s prayer meeting. He was also invited to give the opening prayer and benediction at countless public events over the years. He would also write eulogies for funerals and something for weddings from time to time — and each one had to be different from the last because, well, many of the same folks attended the last funeral or wedding. David confesses to having been stumped a time or two, but he never showed up empty-handed, he said. In June, David celebrated 50 years as an ordained minister. “This road of ministry began with my parents praying for me to find God’s best for my life,” he recalled. “My dad was a pastor, as is my brother and cousin. Contrariwise, I was set on becoming an architect. His parents still hoped he’d follow in his dad’s footsteps but didn’t force him along that path. During his senior year of high school, David accepted his parents’ request to attend a Christian liberal arts college in Waxahachie,Texas. “This would give me time to adjust to the college experience, and to prayerfully consider life priorities,” he said, looking back. “Then, after completing two years, I would enroll at a state university.” While working on an Associate of Arts Degree in music and speech, David traveled on weekends with the school choir and a trumpet trio. “We ministered in churches and delivered Bible Studies and sermons,” he recalled. His desire to become an architect was replaced with a desire to follow his father’s footsteps into the ministry while away at college. “Away from my parents for the first time, my priorities recalculated, and full-time ministry became a possibility,” he explained. “Late one night, while on tour with the choir, I was by myself in a host home fast asleep. During the night, I awoke in prayer and had a treasured encounter with the Lord. No words were spoken, but I sensed the Divine Presence of God filling me inside and out. It was at that time that God confirmed my call into the ministry.” A few weeks later, the college administration asked David to become the speaker for the touring choir, which included conducting services, promoting the school, and preaching. “Also, they encouraged me to obtain my License to Preach, which I After securing his degree, David transferred to the school’s headquarters college in Springfield, Missouri, to focus more on theological studies. “Again, I was asked by the administration to be speaker for their school choir,” he said. “In my senior year, I was asked to arrange and direct my own 24voice touring choir.” In 1969, after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, David was invited to serve as a church pastoral assistant in Milwaukee,Wisconsin. “This is where I met Sue, who became my bride in May of 1971.” One month later, having completed several years of prerequisite theological studies, extended field education, and assessment interviews, David was awarded my Ordination credentials. Over the
10 • Pecan Grove Monthly
Rev. David G. Rose shows off his book, “God and Texas,” which was first printed in 2019. It can be purchased on Amazon.com.
years, our two daughters were born, and David and Sue served in fulltime ministry in Texas and Wisconsin. “By the grace of God, I have preached in Europe, the Mid-East,Africa, the Caribbean Islands, South America, and in the former Soviet Union,” he said. “I have officiated hundreds of weddings and funerals, and produced radio and television programs.” After retiring from the pastorate in 2015, David created www. davidroseministries.com., which features his Bible Studies, blog, and sermons. David’s first book, God and Texas, was published in 2018, and he is a member of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE). Additionally, he serves on the Executive Committee of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission, as a board member of the Fort Bend Archaeological Society, and as a member of the Fort Bend History Association. This Spring, the National Department of the Assemblies of God recognized David and Sue for completing 50 years of ministry as an Ordained Minister with a plaque, lapel pin, personalized Bible, generous gifts, and flowers. “We gratefully stood before our fellow ministers and gave glory to God for His faithfulness.” David said his life can be summed up by the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:7-8, as presented in the contemporary translation of the Bible called The Message: “This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details.When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches, and generosity of Christ.”
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— Q&A with Rev. David Rose —
Rev. David Rose published “God and Texas,” a nonfiction account of the founding of Texas and God’s role in making Texas what it is today, so Scotty Reese Willey took a moment to ask about Rose’s 2019 book. SCOTT REESE WILLEY: David, what gave you the inspiration to write a book? REV. DAVID ROSE: As a committed Christian and longtime pastor, I have been disappointed in the lack of teaching our children have received regarding the importance of the Bible, prayer, and worship in the founding of the State of Texas. For obvious reasons, our education system omits the “God piece” when they teach about the motivations behind establishingTexas.Rarely do they mention theTexas Declaration of Independence, much less the inspirational writings of heroes like Goliad private J.G. Ferguson, Alamo commander William Barrett Travis, or the speech Sam Houston gave to his troops just before the Battle of San Jacinto began. I gave a personal copy of my book to each of my five Texas-born grandchildren and encouraged them to remember that we are free because people asked God to be with them as they revolted against tyranny.They need to know that today, too. SRW: What was the genesis behind your book? DR: The first cousin of my paternal grandfather wrote a book titled, “The Album of Gunfighters.”Noah H.Rose was a frontier photographer who took photos of 19th Century Texas badmen, sheriffs, and other colorful characters. He then sold the pictures to local newspapers. I grew up reading that book and it stirred an interest in me for Texas history. I often used stories from early Texas lore to better engage listeners in my sermons.After I retired, I started gathering my materials together hoping to one day publish a book.“The Album of Gunfighters” provided faces for some of the characters and made them real to me. SRW: And how did you go about writing “God and Texas”? DR: It was my desire to write a well-researched,non-fiction manuscript that someone in middle school and up would find interesting. It was important for the book to contain historically accurate and welldocumented data that could benefit school papers or dissertations.Finally, each story needed to have a devotional summation for the reader. Once these protocols were established,I determined to go back as far as I could in Texas history, and highlight various people and events from 1527 to 1900.That became the framework for the book. SRW: Did you travel to the places and sites you wrote about in your book? DR: Yes. My wife and I would travel throughout south Texas visiting significant structures and historical markers according to the outline of the book. My stalwart Nikon P600 zoom camera took all of the pictures that are in my book, except the covers. We met some wonderful people who aided me in a better understanding of their historic site. SRW: Did you study history books? DR: Yes. I have often visited the George Library in Richmond. Further, I have over 275 Texas history books in my home library.Also, some of my local friends loaned me some of their books that were extremely helpful. SRW: Did you ever Google information? DR: I almost apologize for saying yes. But, sometimes it was the quickest way to get started on an article. However, I tried to confirm the information I received online in other published books that were written by respected authors before using it. But sometimes, three different writers will have four different opinions about how an event happened. So, there’s lots of room for discussion. SRW: How long did it take you to write “God and Texas.”? DR: It took me a lifetime to write “God and Texas.” But the final research and writing started in the Spring of 2015 and was completed in early 2018 when I submitted it to my publisher.
12 • Pecan Grove Monthly
Child Advocates of Fort Bend announces first exclusively male volunteer class
ith a shortage of male volunteers and several cases that would best be served with a male advocate, Child Advocates of Fort Bend hosted a Volunteer Pre-Service Training exclusively for men called MEN OF CASA. “Studies show that children with a consistent, positive male influence in their lives achieve more academically, are more likely to abstain from using drugs, demonstrate greater ability to take initiative, have better physical well-being and better evidence of self-control,” said Child Advocates of Fort Bend CEO Ruthanne Mefford.“These new volunteers will fill that void for some of the young boys and teenage youth we serve, and we are so excited to have them as a part of the CAFB family,” stated Mefford. Six men completed the training and were sworn in as volunteers recently by The Honorable Walter Armatys of the 328th Judicial District Court in Fort Bend County.The first MEN OF CASA include: Marty Schonberger, James Idea, and Ken Quach, Carl Wagner, Gregg Dixon and Desmond Jones. Each man was interested in becoming an advocate for different reasons. Schonberger is retired and volunteers for several area non-profits. Friends had told him that should become a CASA Advocate and when he learned about the MEN OF CASA class, he decided to apply. With training suspended because CAFB’s building was under construction and then COVID, Greg Dixon had been waiting more than a year to join a training class. Desmond Jones has experience serving as a role model.An assistant principal at Austin High School, he had served as a mentor to children in foster care with criminal cases when he was in college. “I provided them with life skills and taught them how to act appropriately in different situations.” Jones received an email about the training class from a friend who is a CAFB volunteer and decided to do it. He was not familiar with the CASA program prior to applying. “Although I’ve been in education for 20-plus years and I’ve dealt with a lot of youth in foster care and group homes, I had seen a lot of CPS case managers but had never met a CASA advocate.Training as a CASA advocate changed how I work,” Jones said.“Now, when I am working with youth in foster care, I will make sure to ask if they have a CASA. Because these kids move so often, and the CASA advocate
Six men completed the training and were sworn in as volunteers recently by The Honorable Walter Armatys of the 328th Judicial District Court in Fort Bend County. From left, front row: Marty Schonberger, James Idea, and Ken Quach; back row: Carl Wagner, Gregg Dixon and Desmond Jones.
Continued on page 14
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Continued from page 9 stays with children throughout the life of their case, the advocate is a great resource and help to the child and to their academic success.” James Idea has a background in education, having previously taught in Houston and Alief school districts as well as working for a language school teaching ESL prior to opening Club Z Tutoring, which helps kids looking to improve their academic performance. “I loved how interactive the training was and I am looking forward to the opportunity to put what I’ve learned into action and to doing the good work which will help a lot of kids out there,” said Idea. Ken Quach had served as a CASA Advocate in Harris County and decided to become an advocate locally because he lives in Fort Bend County. “I am so pleased that Fort Bend has a program dedicated to serving children here and that I can apply the experiences I gained in Harris County to better help children locally.” “We are delighted to have an amazing group of men from all walks of life and backgrounds who want to make a difference in the lives of children,” said Mefford. Applications are now being accepted for the Fall Volunteer Training Class which is open to both men and women, which starts September 20. For an application or more information contact Jennifer Brown at email@example.com or 281-344-5123.
Attack Poverty will receive $150,000 in the fiscal year 2022, which started July 1. The other $150,000 is earmarked for distribution at the beginning of the fiscal year 2023. In addition, The George Foundation has agreed to match up to $25,000 for all new funds as part of the agreement. With the matching component of the grant agreement, Attack Poverty has the potential to receive $400,000 over the next two years. The grant funds will support Attack Poverty’s programs and operations in Fort Bend County, including its after-school programs, literacy education, GED preparation, home repair assistance, counseling, and food distribution. Additionally, funds will support its social enterprise initiative, Mercy Goods. Since 2018, Mercy Goods has provided employment, job training, and mentorship opportunities for at-risk teens. “Events like the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, and the Texas Winter Storm underscored why the work we do is so important in the communities we serve,” said Baca. “Attack Poverty continues to be grateful for the partnership with The George Foundation so that we are able to make a significant difference in our community. We are truly better together.” To participate in the matching campaign, visit www. attackpoverty.org.
The George Foundation Awards Attack Poverty a Multi-Year $300,000 Grant
ttack Poverty, a local nonprofit organization committed to strengthening under-resourced communities through spiritual growth, education, revitalization, and basic needs, announced it will receive a multi-year $300,000 grant from The George Foundation with a $25,000 annual match opportunity for the next two years. The George Foundation serves Fort Bend County to enhance the community and quality of life for those in need by providing grants to local nonprofits and scholarship opportunities for local students. “We are humbled by the opportunity to receive support from The George Foundation. These funds allow our nonprofit to equip individuals to attack poverty in their lives and communities,” said Brandon Baca, CEO of Attack Poverty. “We are excited to increase our capacity to serve individuals by awakening potential and provoking transformation in their life and community.”
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he quest to be Fort Bend County Fair Queen is in full swing. Nine young ladies are vying to carry on the tradition and will be the recipient of the Fair Queen Scholarship. The candidates took part in a mandatory meeting and posed for group and individual pictures. “We are always excited to meet our queen candidates as they begin their journeys,” said Jennifer Williams, Fort Bend County Fair Co-Director in Charge of the Queen Scholarship Contest. “It is very rewarding to see our candidates soar in their self-esteem and communication skills. We are proud to be able to carry on the tradition of naming a Fair Queen, but to be able to also help these young ladies get prepared for their futures.” Running for 2021 Fort Bend County Fair Queen are Taylor Rich, who attends Foster High School and lives in Richmond; Tabitha Webster, who attends Foster High School and lives in Richmond; Lilly Fiser, who attends Foster High School and lives in Richmond; Valeria Salazar, who attends Tompkins High School and lives in Fulshear; Skylin Bromonsky, who attends Needville High School and lives in Needville; Delayna Zepeda, who attends Terry High School and lives in Richmond; Tristen Drury, who attends Needville High School and lives in Needville; Meadow Votis, who
The 2021 Fort Bend County Fair Queen candidates are from left, front row: Taylor Rich, Tabitha Webster, Lilly Fiser, and Valeria Salazar; back row: Skylin Bromonsky, Delayna Zepeda, Tristen Drury, Meadow Votis, and Christie Koerth.
attends Elkins High School and lives in Missouri City; and Christie Koerth, attends George Ranch High School and lives in Missouri City. The candidate that is crowned queen will serve as an ambassador throughout the fair’s 10day run. She will attend receptions, livestock shows, and auctions as part of her duties. Throughout the year, the Fair Queen will represent the Fort Bend County Fair at community events, luncheons, holiday gatherings, and other fair activities. The 2021 Fort Bend County Fair Queen will be crowned on Friday, Sept. 24. For more information, visit fortbendcountyfair.com or call the Fair Office at 281-342-6171.
FOSTER THEATER ARTS STUDENTS RECOGNIZED
Art & Entertainment
85th Fort Bend County Fair & Rodeo MEET THE FAIR QUEEN CANDIDATES
INCINNATI — Broadway has the Tonys. Hollywood has the Oscars.Thespians have the Thespy. And Foster High School’s theater arts department will soon have a Thespy trophy in its display case. The International Thespian Excellence Awards, or Thespys for short, recognize the highest level of achievement in school theatre performance and technical theatre. The second annual awards presentation was the culminating event at the Educational Theatre Association’s International Thespian Festival, the ultimate celebration of school theatre. The educational program gives Thespians — students who have been inducted into the International Thespian Society, the honor organization for theatre students — the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on prepared theatrical material and technical designs. Students who achieve overall Superior ratings at their chapter event and earn top scores in their category at the International Thespian Festival earn Thespy Awards. Thirty-nine students were honored at this year’s ceremony. “The Thespy Awards represent the highest level of achievement in school performance and technical theatre,” said EdTA executive director Julie Cohen Theobald. “These award winners have shown tremendous dedication and effort to earn this recognition. We’re thrilled to be able to honor them during the Showcase and
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throughout the year.” Foster High School theater arts students Nicole Gee, Christopher Duncan, Ashwin Hillenbrand, Mia Subora, Kenzi Patton, Rachel Lazarou, and Hannah Bronsell won the Thespy for their performance of “Skid Row,” from Little Shop of Horrors.
CULLINAN PARK CONSERVANCY SEEKING PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST
ullinan Park Conservancy invites photographers of all levels to submit photos to its annual photo contest. The contest is held in conjunction with the Conservancy’s fifth annual “Picnic for the Park” luncheon to be held on Friday, Oct. 22 at River Pointe Church in Richmond. The deadline for photo contest submission is Friday, Sept. 24 to allow time for judging as the winners will be announced at the luncheon. “We had 258 amazing entries in the Photo contest in 2020, but we expect to surpass that this year. We’ve had a surge in park visitors as more and more families discover Cullinan,” said Cullinan Park Conservancy President Robbin Mallett. Located in Sugar Land, the 754-acre Cullinan Park is one of the largest nature parks in the greater Houston area with two lakes,
2020 Youth 2nd Place in the Wildlife Category, “Hoverfly on Buttonbush” by Anika Patel of Sugar Land.
miles of shady pedestrian-only hiking trails and abundant wildlife. The park’s Conservancy was created in 2010 to advocate for, enhance and protect the natural beauty of the park. “Many people coped with the pandemic by spending more time outdoors,” Mallett added. “And Cullinan is a fabulous place for nature exploration and photography.” Photographers may submit up to five total photos in the following categories: birds, wildlife, flora (trees, flowers, plants), landscape and photographer’s choice. To encourage young photographers, the Conservancy has an “18 and under” category so youth and teenagers can be judged with their peers. There is no fee to participate, and winners will receive both bragging rights and prizes. Anyone is eligible to participate, but photographs must be taken at Joseph S. and Lucie H. Cullinan Park, just north of Sugar Land Regional Airport on Highway 6 in Sugar Land. The photos may be taken at any time of year. For full details and Contest Rules, please visit www. cullinanparkconservancy.org/Contest.
40 YEARS STRONG IN SONG 2020 1st Place in the Bird Category “Hunting for Breakfast“ by Mike Cassity of Sugar Land.
2020 1st Place in the Wildlife Category, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” by Tracey Woodard of Houston.
16 • Pecan Grove Monthly
ort Bend Boys Choir holding auditions and Music Magic returns! Boys can sing, and have done so successfully amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, reported the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas. The Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas is the only children’s choral group meeting in person in the Greater Houston area, and the choir has been meeting in person since August 2020. Additionally, the choir also performed public concerts for socially distanced crowds in December and May, complete with masks and the Tour Choir went on a week-long mini-performance tour to the Dallas area. Armed with a long list of safety protocols and following CDC guidelines, everyone remained safe and healthy for the 20202021 school year. The Fort Bend Boys Choir is looking forward to all musical ensembles returning this coming fall 2021 season, for their 40th anniversary. “With more adults being vaccinated and vaccines now available for older kids, it is time for children to return to activities. We look forward to having more of our membership return while we continue to audition for new members as well
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as restart our Music Magic program for six and seven-year-old boys,” said William R. Adams, the founder and artistic director of the FBBCTX. “We will continue to offer the mask option for the safety of our choirboys and music staff,” said says Tiana Mortimer, the choir’s executive director. “In addition, we will continue to uphold the social distancing during rehearsals and performances as an added layer of safety. “We want our choir parents and boys to feel safe.” Auditions are ongoing this summer by special appointment. If you know of a boy who will be at least eight years of age or in the third grade or older (with an unchanged voice) for the fall 2021 semester, he is eligible to audition for the Fort Bend Boys Choir’s milestone 40th anniversary season. Choristers learn many life lessons including responsibility, leadership, etiquette, citizenship, and confidence; they become part of a supportive community. Rehearsals are held Thursday evenings at the First United Methodist Church-Missouri City from 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. Music Magic, an eight-week music program for six and sevenyear-old boys is currently enrolling for its fall 2021 semester, meeting on Tuesday evenings starting October 5 from 6:30 – 7:15 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church-Missouri City. No auditions are required – just a love of music and singing. This enrichment program brings music alive using movement, singing, musical games, instruments, and more. For more information about auditioning for one of the Fort Bend Boys Choir’s three treble choirs or their Music Magic program for six and seven-year-old boys, visit their website at www.fbbctx.org or call (281) 240-3800 for more information. Learn more about how the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas continues to “make a difference … one boy at a time” during the COVID-19 pandemic through its website, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Twitter.
THE BENEFITS OF AUDIOBOOKS FOR BOOK LOVERS
eople who love to read often get lost in a good book. Reading is a beloved hobby across the globe. But even avid readers cannot be immersed in books all of the time … or can they? Reading while driving or engaging in other tasks is challenging or even dangerous, but audiobooks provide a way to enjoy a good story even when you’re otherwise engaged.
18 • Pecan Grove Monthly
Though dedicated readers may feel like they’re “cheating” by turning to audiobooks, these alternatives to traditional books can be beneficial in various applications, particularly among learningdisabled individuals or second-language learners. Audiobooks have grown in popularity. Data from the Audio Publishers Association indicates that audiobook sales reached $1.2 billion in 2019. That figure supports the notion that audiobooks can provide a host of benefits to people who can’t wait to begin their next page turner. • Improve punctuation and fluency: Audiobooks tend to be read by professional narrators or even well known actors and actresses. Listening to audiobooks can help people learn proper pronunciation of words, how to read with punctuation in mind and also to take notice of speed, stresses and pauses that are important in developing reading fluency. • Introduce new material: Reading Rockets, a resource for teaching reading, says audiobooks may introduce readers to books above their reading levels or to subjects they may not normally delve into. • Expand vocabulary: Listening to audiobooks can introduce readers to new words and teach readers how to pronounce unfamiliar dialects or old literary styles. • Experience vivid images: Audiobooks may evoke feelings of what it was to be read to as a child. According to Psychology Today, listeners can use the narrator’s words and form mental pictures of characters and the plot. • Escapism: Rather than listening to music while commuting, exercising or doing work that doesn’t require much concentration, people can use audiobooks to stimulate their minds. • Relax and relieve stress: Audiobooks can help people feel happy, thus improving their overall health. Relaxing voices and vivid scene descriptions can soothe a person and even help them get ready to sleep.
• Manage time more effectively:A notable benefit of audiobooks is that they can be utilized as people perform other tasks, helping to free up time throughout the rest of the day while still ensuring people get to enjoy a good story.
IMPROVE CROSSWORD-SOLVING SKILLS
rossword puzzles are an integral component of newspapers. In addition to their entertainment quality, crossword puzzles can help improve cognition and brain health in individuals of all ages. The first known crossword puzzle to be published was created by a British journalist named Arthur Wynne, who is often credited as the inventor of crosswords. The first puzzle appeared in the New York World on December 21, 1913.The original crossword was diamondshaped and did not feature the familiar black squares. Throughout the 1920s,crossword puzzles became a standard offering in many newspapers. During this period, puzzle shapes evolved to the more familiar form, and certain puzzle standards were established. Puzzles now appearing in most North American newspapers and magazines feature solid areas of white squares. Each letter is usually part of both an “across” word and a “down” word, and usually each answer must contain at least three letters. In these puzzles, shaded squares are typically limited to about one-sixth of the total. It is estimated that around 50 million people in America routinely partake in crossword puzzles. Each year, one best-of-the-best is crowned in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Everyone wants to improve his or her crossword-puzzling skills. These tips can help.
· Practice . a lot. Practice makes perfect, even with crossword puzzles. Start with simple puzzles and work up to the more difficult ones. · Divide and conquer. Divide the puzzle into smaller sections and complete each cluster before moving on. It’s easier than completing all of the across or down clues. · Watch “Jeopardy.” Puzzles used to be comprised largely of definitions, but they now incorporate just about every subject. Improving general knowledge and perhaps watching trivia shows can help with puzzle completion. · Learn repeat offenders. Over time you may recognize certain words appear in puzzle after puzzle.You’ll soon be able to match the clues to these repeat words. · Familiarize yourself with multiple word meanings. Remember to think like a puzzle creator, who is probably trying to stump you.The word “flower” may not imply the blooming plant. It may represent something that “flows.” · Take a break.Taking a few moments to step away from the puzzle before returning to it can clear the mind and make answers more apparent. Enjoy a crossword puzzle on page 21.
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THIS MONTH’S EVENT HIGHLIGHT | Fair Time: A Return to Tradition The Fort Bend County Fair will celebrate 85 years this year, and the community is fired-up for the beloved tradition to return. “We look forward to being able to have the fair for our community, especially our youth,” said Brian Graeber, the 2021 Fort Bend County Fair president in July. The family-fun event is a tradition in Fort Bend County, and was significantly modified last year due to COVID-19. Graeber emphasized that the fair’s board, staff, health officials, and community stakeholders worked together to help this year’s event reach fruition. “My family and I have been part of the Fair just like many other families for generations,” Graeber said. “And I look forward to doing my part to make it happen.” For 40 years, Graeber has been involved with the Fort Bend County Fair, having volunteered at the Jaycees’ food booth to co-chairing the Fair’s BBQ cook-off. “Being able to safely return to the tradition of supporting agriculture, western lifestyle, culinary competitions, and top of my list- the kids,” he added. “That is what it is all about.” The 85th Fort Bend County Fair & Rodeo will run Sept. 24 to Oct. 3, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds in Rosenberg, Texas. The Fair’s 10-day run is
Annual Walk, Run, Stroll, or Roll Hope for Three will host its 2nd Annual Walk, Run, Stroll, or Roll fundraising event from Sept. 4 through Sept. 12. Visit www. hopeforthree.org/events.
Movie Under the Moon First Colony Church of Christ will show “Doolittle” for free in the Sugar Land Town Square Plaza from 7:45-9:30 p.m. Visit www. sugarlandtownsquare.com.
20 • Pecan Grove Monthly
Happy Cousins Dance Wallis American Legion Hall Post 200 in Wallis, Texas will host its public dance, featuring Al Sulak Country Sounds, from 8 - 11:30 p.m. Call 281-232-3531. Walk to End Alzheimer’s Car Wash Fulshear-Katy Area Chamber of Commerce is raising money for the Walk To End Alzheimers. All proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimers Association. The event will be at 21408 Provincial Blvd. Katy. Call 832-219-1238.
returning to tradition with livestock shows, rodeo action, live music, and more. Livestock shows are scheduled, creative art competitions are seeking entries for youth and 4H departments, nine candidates are vying for Fair Queen, and committees are already working toward fair days. More than 50 committees made up of 1,500 plus volunteers work together to put on the Fort Bend County Fair. “Every year, it is a team effort. This year is no different,” said Cindy Schmidt, Fair Manager, Fort Bend County Fair Association. “We are working hard to have our fair. Our committees are working not only together within their own members, but we are working with other committees and their members to meet protocols and make this year as smooth as possible.” This year’s entertainment lineup is still being finalized but includes musical acts representing Texas Music, Traditional Country, and Tejano. Gate admission will include the concert, rodeo action, and access to the food and shopping vendors. Carnival ride tickets and wristbands will also be available onsite for purchase. For a full schedule of events or sponsorship information, visit fortbendcountyfair.com.
Back to School Scramble The Fort Bend Education Foundation will host its 22nd Annual Back to School Scramble on Monday, Sept.13, at Sweetwater Country Club. Visit www.fortbendisd.com/foundation.
Rice Recipes The Culinary Book Club at Fort Bend County Libraries’ University Branch Library will meet online on Sept. 15 at 1:30 pm. This videoconference will be live-streamed in real time via
Webex. Visit www.fortbend.lib.tx.us.
Recognizes HPD’s Chicano Squad The Fort Bend County Libraries will host an online presentation of “HPD’s Chicano Squad” on Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. The program will be presented live via Webex, so that it can be viewed from home. Visit www.fortbend.lib.tx.us.
Continued on page 24
CLUES ACROSS 1. It governs Federer and Nadal’s sport 4. Golden apple tree 8. Central Mexican river 10. Horn 11. Egg-shaped 12. With tooth 13. French modernist painter 15. Disprove 16. Painful intestinal obstruction 17. Baby shoes 18. Make the grade 21. Type of screen 22. Christian fraternal organization (abbr.) 23. Computer giant 24. When you hope to get there 25. Corporate executive title (abbr.) 26. Shout of welcome or farewell 27. Imaginary awards for good deeds 34. A citizen of Iran 35. It can be sounded 36. Making dirty 37. Romanian city 38. Baking ingredient 39. Share a common boundary with 40. Succulent plants 41. Penny 42. Jr. U.S. Senator Paul 43. “Laurie Partridge” actress Susan
Answers on page 25
CLUES DOWN 1. A type of bomb 2. Pacific island country 3. Earth is one 4. A place to gather around 5. Expressed opposite views 6. Group that lives near Siberia 7. Ore deposit 9. Language related to Eskimo 10. Narrative piece of music 12. The distance covered by normal stride 14. Glycoprotein hormone (abbr.) 15. Mathematical term (abbr.) 17. Popular beer 19. Jabbing 20. Historic Swedish castle 23. Humorous expressions 24. Christmas and New Year’s Day each have one 25. Filled up 26. Nerve that serves the forearm (abbr.) 27. One of British descent 28. A way to get at 29. Food-related allergic reaction 30. Group of arteries near the pelvis 31. Picked up 32. Being three in one 33. Obscene 34. Dravidian language 36. Growl
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What’s eating my pecan leaves?
by JAMES BOONE HOLLADAY | M.Ed. – Fort Bend County Extension Agent – Horticulture & CHRIS TAYLOR | Fort Bend County Master Gardener
re your pecan leaves mysteriously disappearing? Leaves normally fall much later in the season, but because of our wet summer so far, some leaves have already prematurely fallen. However, if they are disappearing completely out of your pecan trees, it may be due to a pesky insect called the Walnut Caterpillar. This time of year, especially after a wet summer season, is the time for Walnut Caterpillars to begin their attack of nut trees such as Pecan, Walnut, and Hickory trees. The last two years had us assuming that we were on the decline of this localized outbreak, but this year’s rainy summer seems to have started a resurgence. Now is the time to study their behavior and life cycle. So if you have pecan trees in this area, be prepared with an action plan prior to the trees losing their leaves. What are Walnut Caterpillars and why are they a problem? The walnut caterpillar, Datana integerrima, is a foliage feeder of trees in the family Juglandaceae, which includes the pecans, hickories, and walnuts. Infestations start with female moths depositing egg masses of 300 to 900 eggs on the undersides of individual leaflets of mature foliage (see photo 1). So, what can we do? The safest products for homeowner situations would be Bt (Dipel,
Photo courtesy of Ken Rivet | The larval stage (caterpillar) has five active growth stages (instars). By late summer/early fall, they have fully developed and this is when they do the majority of damage to foliage, stripping all leaf material from the canopy. Inspect trees now to gauge populations and to start working on an action plan. These photos can help to identify whether your Pecan tree has a problem.
Photo courtesy of Ken Rivet | Caterpillars devouring the foliage of a pecan tree.
22 • Pecan Grove Monthly
Thuricide, Caterpillar Killer) and products with spinosad (such as Green Light Lawn and Garden with Spinosad).These products need to be applied to the leaves where caterpillars are actively feeding.Apply with a surfactant to get better pest contact and always read the product label before application. If you cannot reach the top of the tree where the caterpillars are feeding, you may be able to catch them when they move down the tree and cluster to molt. This is usually about 6 to 15 feet up the tree and easy to spot with a little inspection. If you can catch them then, you can spray the cluster with dish soap and water (10 drops to 24 oz. water), insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, or approved contact insecticides. Be aware of the potential for acute poisoning to pets and wildlife if you use some chemical pesticides on these insects. With the large populations of these, ingestion of treated insects by birds and other beneficial organisms may prove deadly. We ask that if you scout any young populations of the Walnut Caterpillar in your area, that you contact our office at fortbend.agrilife. org. We will then visit the area to confirm the outbreak and if confirmed, will add it to our mapping.Thanks ahead for your help. 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.
Pre-winter perennial pruning pointers
oliage and football might be two things people instantly associate with fall, but there’s more to this beloved season than brightly colored leaves and action on the gridiron. Gardeners know that spring is an ideal time to plan and plant their favorite flowers and most flavorful fruits and vegetables. However, seasoned gardeners know that gardening is a year-round commitment. Pruning is one of the keys to keeping perennials coming back for years to come, and fall is an ideal time to take on this important task. Pruning perennials in the fall is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, some perennials can be cut down after the first killing frost, while others can be left to benefit wildlife, including birds and insects. Understanding pruning and when to do it this fall can help gardeners lay a strong foundation for their gardens that will benefit them next spring. Why should some perennials be pruned? The College of Agricultural Sciences at Pennsylvania State University notes that perennials that have become diseased or infested with insects are pruned to prevent those problems from resurfacing in the spring. In addition, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, many herbaceous perennials have old foliage and dying stems after several hard frosts. If dead foliage or dying stems aren’t pruned, disease, slugs and other pests can overwinter in the plants. Cutting these plants down to the ground after several hard frosts allows the base of the plant to remain dormant over the winter but makes the plant less hospitable to disease and insects. Which perennials should I prune? The first step to pruning perennials is to recognize which need to be pruned and which can be left intact for the winter. The Old Farmer’s Almanac notes that bee balm and phlox are prone to powdery mildew and should be cut back once they’re gone. Hostas harbor slug eggs, so they, too, should be pruned after a hard frost. Hosta leaves that have fallen on the ground should be removed as
well.There’s no need to cut back certain perennials if they’re healthy. For example, hardy geraniums do not require pruning in the fall, and Penn State Extension notes that hardy perennials like garden mums are more likely to survive a cold winter if they’re left intact. That’s because the tops of such plants will collect leaves and snow for insulation and moisture over the course of winter. Gardeners who are unsure about fall pruning can speak with their local gardening center for additional advice regarding which plants to cut back before winter. When to prune perennials Gardeners need not rush to prune perennials in the fall. Diseased or infested plants can be pruned at the first sight of disease or infestation, but gardeners can wait until several hard frosts have occurred before they prune healthy perennials. In gardening parlance, a hard frost refers to when temperatures drop below 28 F. Several hard frosts kill the uppermost growth of most perennials, making this an ideal time to prune them. Pruning perennials in fall can be the first step toward creating an awe-inspiring spring garden.
Fresh veggies are not exclusive to spring and summer
pring and summer may be the seasons most often associated with gardening. But people who love to grow their own vegetables can do so even when the weather outside is frightful. Various vegetables thrive in cool temperatures.The home and garden experts at HGTV note that some winter vegetables are hardy.That means they can handle frosts in temperatures as low as 25 F without being damaged. Others are even sturdier in the face of all that winter can throw at them, capable of tolerating temperatures that dip into the high teens. Growing vegetables in winter requires a different approach than growing in spring and summer, as gardeners must be ready to prevent damage from frost if temperatures get especially chilly. For example, the experts at Michigan State University Extension note that gardeners may need to utilize floating row covers to protect sensitive crops from frost. Gardeners interested in planting winter vegetables can speak with a local garden center professional about which crops to plant and what to do if temperatures push winter vegetable gardens to the brink. Though it’s up to gardeners what they want to plant, the following are some popular winter vegetables that can make for wonderful, fresh additions to any dinner table even after the traditional gardening season has come and gone. • Arugula • Broccoli • Brussel sprouts • Cabbage • Carrots
• Collard greens • Endive • Parsley • Parsnips • Kale
• Radishes • Rutabagas • Spinach • Swiss chard
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History of Brazos River Bridges in Fort Bend County.” This video presentation will be pre-recorded. Visit www. fortbend.lib.tx.us.
Continued from page18
Autism Speaks Autism Speaks is hosting running or walking an 8K/5K/1K on Sept. 18 from 7 -11 a.m. at Sugar Land Town Square. Visit www. sugarlandtownsquare.com.
Online Gardening Program Fort Bend County Libraries will present an online gardening program, “Controlling Landscape Pests & Diseases,” at 2 pm. This program will be live-streamed via Webex. Visit www.fortbend.lib.tx.us.
DisDance with Rhythm A free Bollywood dance demo will be held Sept. 18 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Sugar Land Town Square Plaza. Class is open to all ages. Visit www. sugarlandtownsquare.com.
Music in the Plaza Cornerstone Community Bible Church will present music, featuring some of Houston’s top musicians, in the Sugar Land Town Square Plaza on Sept. 24 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Brazos River Bridges Fort Bend County Libraries will present an online local-history program, “A
On the Horizon:
Bowling Tournament The Fulshear Katy Area Chamber 5th Annual “B.O.B.” Bowling Tournament will be held noon to 4 p.m. at Main Event, 24401 Katy Fwy, Katy, Texas. Call 832-600-3221.
Fall Fun Fest The Rosenberg Railroad Museum will host its annual Fall Fest fundraiser from 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. rain or shine. Visit www. rosenbergrrmuseum.org.
24 • Pecan Grove Monthly
6th Annual Golf Fore Autism Hope For Three is hosting its 6th Annual Golf Fore Autism at the Sweetwater Country Club, 4400 Palm Royale Blvd., in Sugar Land. Visit www.hopeforthree.org/events.
Fort Bend Salutes Fort Bend Salutes The Honorable Bob Hebert will be held from 6:3010 p.m. in the Texas Ballroom of the Safari Texas Ranch, 11627 FM 1464 in Richmond. Email FBSalutes@gmail.com or visit bit. ly/fbsalutes2021
Needville Harvest Festival The 2021 Needville Harvest Festival will take place on Oct. 15 and 16. Visit www.needvilleharvestfest.org
Zombie Fun Run HOPE, Hispanics Offering People Education, will hold its annual Zombie Fun Run scholarship fundraiser at the Seabourne Creek Nature Park in Rosenberg. Cost is $25 on day of the fundraiser. Visit www.hopefortbend.org.
SOLUTIONS ACROSS 1. ATP 4. BAEL 8. TULA 10. CORNO 11. OVAL 12. FANGED 13. MANET 15. CONFUTE 16. ILEUS 17. BOOTIES 18. CUT THE MUSTARD 21. LED 22. STE 23. IBM 24. ETA 25. CRO 26. AVE 27. BROWNIE POINTS 34. IRANIAN 35. ALARM 36. GRIMING 37. SIBIU 38. NUTMEG 39. ABUT 40. ALOES 41. CENT 42. RAND 43. DEY
SOLUTIONS DOWN 1. ATOMIC 2. TUVALU 3. PLANET 4. BONFIRE 5. ARGUED 6. ENETS 7. LODE 9. ALEUT 10. CANTATA 12. FOOTSTEP 14. TSH 15. COS 17. BUD 19. ELBOWING 20. MEM 23. IRONIES 24. EVE 25. CRAMMED 26. AIN 27. BRITON 28. NAG 29. OAS 30. ILIAC 31. NABBED 32. TRIUNE 33. SMUTTY 34. IRULA 36. GNAR
Puzzle on page 21
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Richmond’s David Remy hoping for an exoskeleton story & photos by Chad Washington | firstname.lastname@example.org
fter walking about 60 feet with his legs in metal braces, David Remy takes a breath and a drink of water, hoping that one day he will walk normally again. Remy, 35, is a parts manager in Lamar Consolidated ISD’s transportation department. He said had to work to prove to his employers that he can do his job despite his condition. “I proved them wrong,” the Richmond resident said confidently. And that has been his stance throughout his whole ordeal. But now, David is hoping to continue his fight to regain his ability to walk on his own after dealing with a disorder that prevents him from moving his legs. And that is getting an exoskeleton that allows him to move freely. The only catch is that the exoskeleton costs about $100,000, with no insurance. That’s why David started an online fundraiser to help him to purchase the exoskeleton. Three years ago, Remy discovered that he was losing the function of his legs. “I was falling down frequently and I broke my ankle three times that year,” he said Doctors found a tumor on David’s spinal cord and he was diagnosed with thoracic spondylosis with myelopathy, which is wear-and-tear in the spine, which caused a compression of the spinal cord, named myelopathy. The disorder caused Remy to have trouble walking with constant numbness in his legs, which led him to use a wheelchair to get around. During his training at Physical Therapy Care and Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend in Richmond — where he has been going three times a week in the last two years — Remy said his doctors and therapists recommended a new kind of technology. He saw an exoskeleton made by Indego that could help him walk and move more comfortably than the regular leg braces that he had been using. “At first, I brushed it off like it was science fiction,” David said. “But (my physical therapist Dr., Rebecca Peacock) brought it up to me last year that I should try it out.” After watching the trial of the exoskeleton, David then was allowed by the company to try out the device in Austin, and it had a profound impact on him. “It was like night and day,” he said.“It’s hard to describe walking again when you haven’t done it for almost two years. It’s a little overwhelming, but (feels like) freedom.” Because the exoskeleton is programmed to move with just a bit of a nudge, it allows David to move more freely, Dr. Peacock said. That allows David to do more basic things, such as stand up on his own, reach for items on top shelves, and turning around. David is just $31,000 away from his goal in his online fundraiser to purchase his exoskeleton, which will be tailored to him and can also be operated by an app on his phone. Dr. Peacock said that she and David will have to go through some training to learn all the functions of the exoskeleton. “I would start using it around the house and put a little time into it,” David said. “But best case scenario, I can see myself walking without it several years down the line. No one will cosign on that, but I see that as a possibility.”
26 • Pecan Grove Monthly
David Remy walks with a pair of metal leg braces as he works to improve the use of his legs. Remy is hoping to purchase a therapy exoskeleton to help him walk with more ease.
David working exercising on a rowing machine to increase his strength and muscles.
David walks with his leg braces as his physical therapist Dr. Rebecca Peacock of Physical Therapy Care and Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend assists him.
But in the meantime, David continues to work hard at Physical Therapy Care to getting in proper strength to work the exoskeleton. “The goal is getting to a normal life, or as close as possible,” he said. To help donate to David’s campaign for the exoskeleton, go to https://helphopelive.org/campaign/18248/.
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Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital offering a drive-thru flu shot toy drive
ith fall around the corner and the holiday season not far behind, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is once again offering Fort Bend and surrounding area residents the opportunity to donate a gift and receive a free flu shot. Houston Methodist Sugar Land, in collaboration with the Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Fort Bend Exchange Club, Rotary Club of Sugar Land, Rotary Club of Fort Bend and Toys for Tots Fort Bend, is offering free flu shots on Saturday, Oct. 9 to community members who participate in Santa’s Gift Exchange. Fort Bend and surrounding area residents can bring a new, unwrapped toy in exchange for a free flu shot. The toys will benefit children in the Fort Bend area. “We are proud to partner again with the local Exchange and Rotary Clubs and Toys for Tots to provide this community offering,” said Chris Siebenaler, regional senior vice president and CEO of Houston Methodist Sugar Land.“Once again, we are doing a convenient drive-thru to make it easy to stay healthy and help the community while also putting smiles on children’s faces during the holiday season.” In 2020, Santa’s Gift Exchange provided toys and clothing to nearly 5,000 economically disadvantaged children in Fort Bend County. “Everyone’s assistance is needed to meet the challenge of providing toys for children who will not have toys this year without our help,” said Jim Kij, spokesmen of Santa’s Exchange 2021 and 20-year member of the Exchange Club of Sugar Land. “We’ve been working with Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital for 12 years, and we look forward to working together again this year. This is a great collaboration; get a flu shot and in return you are able to give back to the children in your community.” “Our community is well known for its philanthropic values, so we encourage you to participate by dropping off toys even if you have already had your flu shot,” Siebenaler said. DRIVE-THRU FLU SHOT TOY DRIVE If you want to participate in this community event, please bring a new, unwrapped toy to the drive-thru at the Cancer Center at Houston Methodist Sugar Land, 16675 Southwest Fwy.
Last year’s volunteers displaying toys donated to the Santa’s Gift Exchange.
28 • Pecan Grove Monthly
in Sugar Land between 8 and 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9. One flu shot per unwrapped toy. No stuffed animals or clothing items allowed. Please make sure to wait in your car and wear a mask. For more information, please visit join.houstonmethodist.org/ flushot-sl or call 281-274-7976. No appointment is necessary. The flu kills as many as 20,000 people a year. The vaccine is indicated for active immunization for the prevention of influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and B. Vaccination with the flu vaccine may not protect all people who receive the vaccine. Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital will distribute a limited supply of the influenza vaccine to persons age 18 and over with no history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome or rubber latex allergy and who are not pregnant.
Palliative care specialist Dr. Phuc Vo joins Houston Methodist Sugar Land
ouston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is pleased to welcome Phuc Vo, D.O., a palliative care specialist, to the medical staff. Vo joins Channon Hudgins, M.D., and Asha Wurdeman, M.D., as hospital palliative care specialists at Houston Methodist Sugar Land. Palliative care specialists work with patients to help relieve the pain, discomfort and stress of serious, chronic illnesses. Dr. Phuc Vo They also serve as liaisons between medical specialists and family members – explaining difficult concepts, answering questions and listening to concerns. Vo is board certified in emergency medicine and has extensive experience in emergency care, including a stint as a flight physician for the air medical transport system serving in Ohio. He earned his medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Missouri and completed his residency in emergency medicine at Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Most recently, Vo completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative care at Nathan Adelson Hospice/Touro University in Las Vegas, Nev. “Palliative care specialists come from many different medical backgrounds, but they share one common inspiration – the desire to help patients and family members maintain their dignity and quality of life as they struggle with long-term illnesses or face lengthy hospital stays,” said Vo. “I am excited to work alongside my new colleagues to help continue to build the palliative care service at Houston Methodist Sugar Land and support our patients and their families.” To learn more about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, go to houstonmethodist.org/sugarland.
FBJSL and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land announce partnership
he Fort Bend Junior Service League announced the return of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital as Title Sponsor for their Sugar Plum Market signature event. This year marks a milestone for the market which has raised over $3.3 million for wo r t hy ch a r i t a bl e o r g a n i z a t i o n s a n d scholarship programs. “We are proud to recommit our support as Title Sponsor of the Fort Bend Junior Service League’s Sugar Plum Market and look forward to celebrating its 20th anniversary this fall. We value our partnership and are humbled by our shared responsibility to serve our community,” said Malisha Patel, Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital and Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. FBJSL’s 2021 Market will be held in-person this year at the Stafford Centre Performing Arts Theatre and Convention Center with an additional full day of shopping starting Nov. 4 and running through Nov. 6.The event will kick off with a special Preview Night Celebration on Nov. 3. Visit www.sugarplummarket.com for sponsorship and ticket information, or follow @sugarplummarket on Instagram and Facebook.
From left, front row: Co-Chair Cherie Lyne Bouterie, FBJSL President Heather Allen, MHSL CEO Malisha Patel, FBJSL Board Member Heather Brown, Co-Chair Emily Calbert and MHSL Marketing Specialist Karina Martinez; back row: Co-Chair Theresa Shmerling, MHSL Director of Marketing Gerrit von Wenckstern, MHSL Vice President of Operations Matt Kelly, Co-Chair Chelsi Oestreich, Co-Chair Brigit Engleman, MHSL Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kris Poffinbarger, and MHSL Associate Vice President of Finance Robert “Chase” Ogden.
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Health Highlight: The Thyroid Understanding the functions of the thyroid A small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck may not seem like a significant part of the body, but it performs many critical functions. The thyroid is a part of the endocrine system and it’s responsible for controlling various hormones throughout the body, notably T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). The pituitary gland tells the thyroid how much of these hormones the body needs. Here’s a look at some functions of the thyroid, courtesy of the University of Michigan Health. · Metabolism: The thyroid is estimated to be responsible for up to 60 percent of one’s metabolism or basal metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate relates to how many calories a person burns at baseline while performing normal functions to survive. · Hair: The thyroid affects hair texture and growth. · Energy level: The thyroid can ensure that a person has enough energy to get through the day. · Controls other hormones: Testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol are regulated by the hormones of the thyroid. · Ability to focus: People who have issues with their thyroids may experience difficulty focusing and may feel as
though they have “brain fog.” · Regulates heart rate: Thyroid hormones help to regulate heart rate by influencing how fast or slowly the heart pumps. · Digestion: The thyroid influences the rate at which food moves through the digestive tract. DID YOU KNOW? Thyroid cancer is the most common cancer to affect the endocrine system. While many cancers have decreased in prevalence, ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. indicates incidence rates for thyroid cancer have increased in recent years. The American Cancer Society expects thyroid cancer deaths to increase to 2,200 in 2021 out of an estimated 44,280 people affected by thyroid cancer. Unlike most other adult cancers, thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age. Women are three times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men. Thyroid cancer is largely treatable, most notably with the removal of a portion of the gland or the entire thyroid gland depending on cancer stage. People who have had their thyroids removed (thyroidectomy) will need to take daily thyroid hormone pills.
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Dr. McCrea has been creating healthy, beautiful smiles in Richmond/Rosenberg since 1994. Dr. McCrea and Dr. Vo are both graduates of and current Professors at the Herman Hospital based General Practice Residency Program for UTDS Houston. Their goal is to work with each patient to produce the best possible outcome based on that patient’s individual needs and desires.
Dr. Kyle D. McCrea & Dr. Victoria Vo
YOUR HOME FOR DENTISTRY
From Check-ups and Cleanings to Implants and Bra We want to be your home for Dentistry
BEND ANIMAL HOSPITAL
“my purpose in life is to take care of animals” Cynthia Estrade, DVM
From Check-ups to ImplantsVisit to Braces, us at www.mccreadds.com to learn more about our office, our outstanding team, a We want to be your home for Dentistry 601 South Second St. Visit us at mccreadds.com to learn more about our office, our outstanding team & services we offer
Richmond, TX 77469 281-342-2121
601 South Second St. • Richmond, TX 77469 281-342-2121
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COMPREHENSIVE DIGESTIVE CARE in Sugar Land
At Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, we provide you with personalized, advanced care to diagnose and treat digestive conditions. Our team of specialists treats both common and complex conditions using in-depth testing and advanced technologies, while providing compassionate, expert care to achieve the best possible outcomes — all close to home. We provide a full spectrum of personalized care for the following conditions, including: • • • • • •
Abnormal liver enzymes Acid reflux disorders and GERD Celiac disease Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis Dysphagia or swallowing difficulty Food intolerances
• • • • •
Gallbladder and biliary system diseases Gastroparesis and achalasia Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Motility disorders Pancreatitis
For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit houstonmethodist.org/gastroenterology or call 281.801.9303.