NEWS TO KNOW

Destination Moon now open at Space Center Houston

The alpha and the omega of the Apollo era are now together 

In a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit, see the Apollo 11 command module as part of Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. The Apollo 17 command module and other artifacts from the last mission to land astronauts on the moon are in Starship Gallery and part of Space Center Houston’s permanent collection.

Space Center Houston is the first of four stops of the new Destination Moon exhibit and marks the first time the Apollo 11 command module from the first mission to land astronauts on the moon has left the Smithsonian on a national tour since 1971. Houston is where the Apollo astronauts lived and trained for their missions.

The new exhibit dives into the rich history of the Apollo program. This rare tour showcases more than 20 one-of-a-kind Apollo 11 artifacts, some of which flew on the first moon-landing mission including the crew module hatch, the Saturn V F-1 rocket engine injector plate, a lunar sample return container, astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s extravehicular visor and gloves, astronaut Michael Collins’ Omega Speedmaster Chronograph watch, a star chart and survival kit. This incredible display features stunning, interactive learning experiences for space enthusiasts of all ages.

The center also is featuring an array of Apollo artifacts such as training spacesuits worn by Apollo 13 Astronaut Fred Haise and Apollo 9 Astronaut David Scott as well as a flown toolkit, a lunar module controller and more. Guests will see new detailed images of the landing sites for Apollo 11 and 17.

Tickets at https://spacecenter.org.

Lone Star College welcomes record number of students

Lone Star College opened its doors to a record 89,413 credit students for fall 2017, representing a 4.4 percent increase in credit student enrollment over fall 2016.

“Education is even more critical today as our area continues to recover from Hurricane Harvey,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor. “We are honored so many students selected Lone Star College for their higher education needs.”

LSC has grown its student population from 49,267 to 89,413 over the past 10 years, representing a 81 percent increase. Enrollment figures are recorded each fall on “Official Day,” 10 days after the start of fall semester classes. This year’s official day numbers were impacted by Hurricane Harvey due to LSC-Kingwood delaying the start of fall semester classes at that campus.

LSC-Montgomery and LSC-University Park recorded the largest percentage of increase – 10 percent – welcoming 15,914 and 13,273 students respectively. LSC-CyFair continues to be the largest LSC with 22,125 students enrolled for fall 2017 classes.

LSC-Kingwood, which had six of its nine buildings destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, registered a 5 percent increase year to year, helping 12,950 students start close and go far.

The Thread Alliance Donates $15,000 to  Rebuild Texas Families

The Thread Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of child abuse and founded by Sheila Aron, has awarded $15,000 to organizations that are rebuilding Texas families in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

In efforts to support communities devastated by the recent hurricane, The Thread Alliance donated $10,000 to the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s Rebuild Texas Fund. The Dell’s are both Texas natives and have been helping children and families across Texas for more than 18 years. Through the coming years, the Rebuild Texas Fund will be supporting the communities along the coast of Texas on the road to recovery.

To help local families recover from physical and emotional damage, The Thread Alliance awarded $5,000 to Jewish Family Services, a non-profit human service agency for people of all ages and all walks of life. The non-profit’s goal is to provide light, hope and help to individuals struggling with life challenges.

Wondering Where to Take Your Harvey Relief Donations?

The Harvey Relief Hub, a “one stop shop” for those who need help and those who want to help. Donation intake and distribution. Volunteer coordination and deployment. Information and resources.

Taking ALL volunteers and ALL donations. Offering direct, hands-on assistance to those in need in the entire region. With the capacity to store donations for days, weeks, months and transport them to shelters in need.

Centrally located at 2500 Summer Street, drop off is located on Crockett St, just next to Target Stores.

Email help@harveyreliefhub.com or call 281-635-4387 whether you need help or want to help. You can also drop your donations off at Studio Fitness Gym at 2215 Lawrence.

THE WOODLANDS® AND BRIDGELAND® TAKE HOME SEVEN AWARDS AT THE 2017 TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF BUILDERS STAR AWARDS IN DALLAS 

The Woodlands® and Bridgeland®, two award-winning Texas developments received a combined total of seven wins at the 2017 Texas Association of Builders (TAB) Star Awards in Dallas on August 3.

The Woodlands took home the top award for “Best Mixed-Use Community” in the multifamily category for Hughes Landing® while Bridgeland won for “Best Social Media Marketing”. The Woodlands also won awards for “Best Landscape Design”, “Best Email Message”, “Best Online Advertisement” and “Best Direct Mail Piece” while Bridgeland rounded out the evening with “Best Special Promotion.”

The awards also come as Bridgeland, which has won TAB’s Grand Award for “Developer of the Year” three times (2010, 2011 and 2016), introduces the next chapter of living in the award-winning community with Parkland Village, which will carry forward Bridgeland’s focus on community and neighborhood connections, maintaining the overall theme of locating a park no more than a quarter-mile from every home in the community.

STERLING STAFFING SOLUTIONS WINS GOLD STEVIE AWARD AS PART OF THE 2017 AMERICAN BUSINESS AWARDS 

Greater Houston Area Health Care Group Takes Home Prize For Top Minority Owned Business; Joins Past Winners Apple, Procter & Gamble, Samsung

Sterling Staffing Solutions in Sugar Land announced it has won one of the world’s most coveted prizes in business – the Gold Stevie Award – in the category of Minority Owned Business.

Sterling Staffing Solutions was recognized in one of the Stevie Award’s seven international categories in The 15th Annual American Business Awards. 

“It is an honor to be among such a high caliber of business winners,” said Stephen Carter, CEO and partner of Sterling Staffing Solutions.“The Stevie Award is special for us. Our existing clients speak highly of our work, and now the Stevie award gives us a platform to expose potential clients to our quality services.”

The Stevie Award trophy is one of the world’s most coveted prizes. Since 2002 the Gold Stevie Award has been conferred for achievement in business to organizations and individuals in more than 60 nations. 

Sterling Staffing Solutions provides contract employment opportunities for physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, nurses and social worker positions throughout Texas and Oklahoma. 

photo courtesy of Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Buffalo Bayou Partnership Announces Launch of Buffalo Bayou East Sector Master Plan

Revitalizing the waterway east of downtown from US 59 to Port of Houston Turning Basin

Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) is launching a major planning effort along Buffalo Bayou’s East Sector that will continue the non-profit organization’s legacy of transformative parks, trails and open space.  In revitalizing the waterway east of downtown (from US 59 to the Port of Houston Turning Basin), BBP seeks to establish a pioneering precedent where green space can be a catalyst for inclusive growth and community development.

“At its heart, Buffalo Bayou Partnership is about creating parks, trails and bridges to bring Houstonians outdoors,” says Tom Fish, BBP Board Chair.  “Here in the East Sector, we have an opportunity to bring together communities north and south of Buffalo Bayou that have long been disconnected from the waterfront and each other.”

BBP is committed to a plan that is based on:

  • Authenticity –Creating unique park spaces that reflect the cultural and industrial legacy of the east sector
  • Connectivity – Rethinking how parks and neighborhoods interact, activating and connecting the waterfront and surrounding neighborhoods
  • Inclusivity – Establishing a pioneering precedent where green space can be a catalyst for inclusive revitalization.

“We not only want to reinvigorate the waterfront, but bring equitable revitalization opportunities to the East Sector neighborhoods,” said Anne Olson, BPP President. She also pointed out that the Second Ward has been designated one of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s “Complete Communities.”

More information is available at www.buffalobayou.org. 

MODERN WIDOWS CLUB OPENS NEW CHAPTER FOR NORTHWEST HOUSTON/KATY AREA

Houston Nonprofit Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary with Three Area Chapters

The nonprofit Modern Widows Club (MWC) has announced the opening of a new chapter serving women in the Northwest Houston and Katy areas. This brings the number of chapters in the Houston area to three, with one in central Houston and another in The Woodlands. Modern Widows Club Houston celebrates its three-year anniversary, having been founded here in 2014. 

Modern Widows Club Houston is part of a national organization which provides widow mentoring, leadership and empowerment through member services, active social media sites and an inspirational blog. The organization aspires to be a bridge of understanding, comfort, compassion and positive change between a widow and her community and is non-denominational. 

The Northwest Houston/Katy chapter of MWC will meet the third Wednesday of every month at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 15015 Memorial Dr. near Eldridge Road at 6:30 p.m. Women of all ages, faiths and backgrounds are invited to attend. 

“Modern Widows Club serves to empower widows to lean into life, build resilience and make a positive difference in society,” says Natalie Lancaster, Regional Leader over the Houston chapters of Modern Widows Club. “We welcome women of diverse backgrounds and beliefs into our organization. It’s not a grief counseling group, but women find comfort and solace in sharing their stories with others, in building fellowship and even in job networking.” 

Lancaster explained that education is an important aspect of the Modern Widows Club, especially in the area of finances. 

“Money and money management can be big issues for many women, and now they no longer have the husband’s income to support them,” says Lancaster. “Guest speakers can help educate on financial topics. We also brainstorm jobs and new careers that women might consider if they are returning to the work force after a long absence.” 

The MWC chapter for central Houston meets the second Tuesday of each month at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church at 2450 River Oaks Blvd. Meetings for The Woodlands chapter are held the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at The Canopy in Memorial Hermann Woodlands Hospital, Medical Plaza 1, 1120 Medical Plaza Drive, Suite 250 in The Woodlands.

For more information, go to  modernwidowsclub.com or email natalie@modernwidowsclub.com.

MOODY GARDENS WELCOMES HARBOR SEAL SIKU TO THE AQUARIUM PYRAMID

Moody Gardens welcomed a new addition to the North Pacific Exhibit this month with the arrival of harbor seal Siku, who comes to Moody Gardens from the Milwaukee County Zoo.

After his 1,230 mile trip, 2-year-old Siku settled into his new home in the Aquarium Pyramid, joining harbor seal Porter and two California sea lions, Squirt and Sam.

“Harbor seals are very social animals. We’re excited to have Siku join Porter, Squirt and Sam in the North Pacific Exhibit. His arrival will now give us two harbor seals for guests to see and learn more about,” said Diane Olsen, Moody Gardens assistant curator of seals and penguins. 

Harbor seals, also known as common seals, are found throughout the arctic and temperate marine coastlines of the Northern Hemisphere. They are often found along rocky shores in small groups.

Guests can see Siku in his new habitat at the Aquarium Pyramid, but also on the live seal cam at www.moodygardens.com/sealwebcam/ which is available 24 hours a day seven days a week. For more information please visit www.moodygardens.org or call 800-582-4673.

photos courtesy of Moody Gardens

George Springer and SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young hit the ball out of the park at the George Springer All-Star Bowling Benefit

The Benefit, held on Sunday, June 11, 2017, at Lucky Strike Houston hosted Springer along with fellow teammates, other celebrities, Co-chairs Lara Bell and Melissa DeAyala, Junior Chair Matthew DeAyala, Honorary Chair Dr. Carolyn Farb and almost 300 fans to raise more than $150,000.

Proceeds from the event will send children from families-in-need to Camp SAY, a life-changing summer camp for young people who stutter.

Springer, a person who stutters, hosted the Bowling Benefit to provide financial aid help and ensure that children from all socio-economic backgrounds have access to Camp SAY.

Springer, national spokesperson for Camp SAY, stepped up to the plate to voice his support for young people who stutter welcoming the kids in attendance and all kids who stutter to become a part of his team.

He encouraged them to embrace their stutter and find their voice, and was followed by special performance by Director of Programming Travis Robertson and an inspiring speech from SAY teen Reuben Polanco.

For more information on Camp Say, go to www.campsay.org.

photo credit: V. Sweeten

HOUSTON’S BUD LIGHT BREWERY CELEBRATES 35 YEARS IN TEXAS AND SHOWCASES EMPLOYEES BEHIND THE SCENES

 

Off the I-10 highway, the magic of brewing Bud Light continues to satisfy the thirst of beer drinkers throughout Texas and beyond.

The Bud Light Brewery, opened in 1982, continues to thrive with their employees’ dedication to their crisp, clean light lager and customers.

See their story here on YouTube at youtube.com/watch?v=D6WVmtk10lg&feature=youtu.b. For more information on a Bud Light Brewery Tour, go to http://www.budweisertours.com/locations/houston-texas.html.

EVELYN’S PARK NOW COMPLETED IN BELLAIRE WITH GARDENS, TRAILS, CAFE AND EVENT BUILDING

Linbeck Group announces the completion of the Evelyn’s Park, a project that transformed Teas Nursery, Bellaire’s very first business, into a beautifully designed iconic green space.

Named after the late longtime Bellaire resident and philanthropist Evelyn Rubenstein, the five- acre park located at 4400 Bellaire Boulevard is now a blend of community spaces, gardens, trails and an event building and cafe.

During construction, Linbeck sought to develop the Park’s new identity while respecting the history of the site and scale and character of the surrounding neighborhood. A house from the 1900s that was occupied by the Teas Nursery is now a cafe/restaurant, and the firm constructed a new event building and office adjacent to an event lawn.

In keeping with its technology-driven methodologies, Linbeck Group applied BIM 360 to the Evelyn’s Park project to track any construction issues, distribute drawings to the field, and create and manage punch lists.

“Evelyn’s Park is both historically referential and iconic,” said Carolyn Carona-Ireland, Senior Project Manager, Linbeck Group. “With the completion of this project, Bellaire has state of the art facilities for recreation and events with restored green space rich with native trees and flora.”

The Evelyn’s Park Design Team consisted of award-winning architecture firm Lake Flato based in San Antonio, and internationally known landscape architecture firm SWA.

Sugar Land ‘Best City’ Award for Tourism

The Texas Travel Counselors awarded the city of Sugar Land with the “Best City” award, tying with popular tourist destination Galveston in a vote of top cities along the upper coastal region of Texas during Texas Travel Counselors Conference in Amarillo, Texas.

Texas Travel Counselors — an organization of industry professionals from the Texas Travel Industry Association and the Texas Department of Transportation — selected Sugar Land and another popular tourist destination, the city of Galveston, after a five-day tour of 12 Texas cities along the upper Gulf Coast.

The tourism and travel professionals recognized Sugar Land with the prestigious award after action-packed visits to Sugar Land’s historic locations, the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land, the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, Constellation Field and a behind-the-scenes tour of Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land. The attendees also enjoyed Sugar Land’s local eateries like Jupiter Pizza & Waffle in Sugar Land Town Square.

“It’s an exciting time in Sugar Land,” said Bob Phillips, Texas Travel Industry Association’s consultant, whose father started the site visits more than four decades ago. “Sugar Land offers an impressive mixture of old and new with the historic Imperial refinery and the new performing arts center. With city hall being located in the downtown development, it’s a testament of the city’s commitment to business.”

Sugar Land’s economic development and tourism initiatives enable the City to provide quality services while maintaining one of the state’s lowest tax rates. As an example, the newly opened Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land is projected to provide an annual benefit to the community of $26.1 million while Constellation Field is projected to provide a return of $169 million to the local economy over 30 years. No general fund dollars were spent to create either project.

“We’re excited to showcase Sugar Land’s rich history, family-friendly attractions and global culture,” said Tourism and Destination Services Administrator Teresa Preza. “The award from the Texas Travel Industry Association and the Texas Department of Transportation is a real honor and validates the outstanding work that’s occurred in Sugar Land to promote tourism.”

Theatre Under The Stars Raises Nearly $700,000 with One Night Only 2017 Gala

photo credit: Priscilla Dixon

Bart & Becky McAndrews, Margaret Alkek Williams & Paul-David Van Atta

The Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) One Night Only 2017 Gala, which honored Margaret Alkek Williams for her many contributions to the arts community in Houston, was held on Saturday night at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. The evening raised nearly $700,000 with all proceeds from the evening benefiting the TUTS Education and Community Outreach Programs.

TUTS One Night Only gala and Grand Finale after party was supported by longtime partners who provided items for the evening’s festivities including Zadok Jewelers, Elaine Turner, Kendra Scott, Van Cleef & Arpels, Gillman Automotive Group, West U Travel and Katz Coffee.

photo credit: Priscilla Dixon

International  Mothers Day Soiree Kick off Party announces 12 Houston women to be honored at May 11 event

Neiman Marcus in the Galleria hosted LCA Houston’s 5th Annual International Mothers Day Soirée Kickoff Party on Wednesday, February 22nd. Host/ Founder, Ruchi Mukherjee, along with Stacey Swift put on an amazing event ahead of what is sure to be a spectacular Soirée.

Shawntell McWilliams and Ruchi Mukherjee

2017 Honorees include Merele Yarborough, Dr. Monira Kundi, Toni Tate, Denise O’Brian, Ishwaria Mohan Subbiah, Shabnam Shaikh, Jill Shull, Carrie Brandsberg Dahl, Brigitte Kalai, Jane Seam, Ping Sun and Rekha Muddaraj.

Spotted at the kick off: Bashar Kalai, Vipul and Geeta Anand, Howard Tate, Nancy Marcus Golden, Tracy and Harry Faulkner, Ella Markovsky, Rebecca Brinkley, Mario Gudmundsson, Darin Davis, Dr. Monica Patel, Brian McCulloch, Carl Hahn, Sobi Qazi, Colin Gildroy, Stephanie Von Stein.

LCA Houston’s International Mothers Day Soirée will be held at the Asia Society Texas Center on May 11, 2017.

photos courtesy of LCA Houston

Lone Star College and Sam Houston State University form partnership to create program to program agreements for students wishing to transfer between  two institutions 

“Sam Houston State University is one of our closest partners,” said Dr. Stephen C. Head, LSC chancellor. “This agreement provides a clear pathway for students to start at Lone Star College and finish at Sam Houston State University.”

The newly signed agreement allows the institutions to create program to program agreements, affording students the opportunity to transfer credit hours in a variety of different programs such as nursing, business and criminal justice. The partnership also helps eliminate the risk of taking unneeded courses which could slow down completion.

More than 1,900 LSC students transferred to SHSU in fall 2015, ranking it as the third largest transfer partner.

LSC has agreements with many other universities in Texas and nationwide to create seamless transition from a LSC associate degree to bachelor’s degrees. For more information go to www.LoneStar.edu/academic-programs-transfer.htm.

MOODY GARDENS LAUNCHES EARLY-STAGE SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM WITH ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION®  

Moody Gardens is hosting “Growing Together, ” the first of a seven part series, this week at the Moody Gardens Education Center to help people living in the early-stage of Alzheimer’s remain mentally and socially active post diagnosis.

“We are very excited to debut a program like this at Moody Gardens,” said Jennifer Lamm, Education Curator, who added what the impact of this series will symbolize. “It’s important to build a sense of community and we’re eager to do so by having participants engage in the many resources we have right here on property.” IMG_20161030_131752961_HDR.jpg

The Alzheimer’s Association Early-Stage Social Engagement Program offers a fun and comfortable way for people in the early-stage of the disease to get out, get active and get connected with one another through a variety of community-based activities and events. This month’s activity will focus on the biology and characteristics of various bird species found all over the world via presentation by a Moody Gardens Biologist. Participants will then engage in a painting session to create a self-portrait of which bird most defines them.

Participants in last summer’s pilot programs indicated a high level of satisfaction and interest in joining in these types of programs again. Early-Stage Social Engagement Program participants commented, “The group provided me with a feeling of acceptance and a sense of normalcy” and “The focus isn’t on our illness or being a caregiver; just having fun.”

Programs will be held on the first Tuesday of every month beginning on October 4, 2016 and ending on April 4, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to coincide with Senior Tuesdays at Moody Gardens.

Senior Tuesdays offers guests 65 and older $5 admission per attraction including the Rainforest Pyramid, Aquarium Pyramid, Discovery Pyramid, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat and movies at both the 3D and 4D Theatres. Additional details at http://blog.alztex.org/alzheimers-early-stage-programming-every-tuesday-moody-gardens.

TUTS and The River Celebrate Disability Awareness Month

River -PreP 2016-735.JPG

As part of the 20th anniversary celebration of The River Performing and Visual Arts Center (The River), Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is celebrating National Disability Awareness Month with special events and a public fundraising campaign.

20th Anniversary & River Background Story: This year marks the 20th Anniversary of The River, which began in 1996 when a three-year-old girl named Samantha wanted to take ballet lessons, but was denied access because she has cerebral palsy which affects her vision, balance, speech and movement. Samantha’s mother, Cathy Binstock – who was also a clinical social worker – took it upon herself to see that no child would ever be denied access to arts education because of a disability.

“The River believes in the power of the arts and inclusion. We see ability and use the arts to share it with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. It’s amazing what individuals with disabilities can accomplish when the bar is set high,” said Eileen Edmonds, Assistant Director of Education at The River.

With the help of arts instructors and other friends, Binstock, started with one Creative Movement class for seven little girls and The River was born. To date, The River has provided fine arts education for more than 25,000 children with special needs and their siblings.

In 2010, TUTS merged with The River to achieve a common goal of extending arts access to children of all abilities. To learn more about The River, contact Eileen Edmonds at eileen@tuts.com.

The River Celebration : On October 27th, The River will celebrate its 20th anniversary with its annual gala – The River Celebration. This year’s honorees will be Bob and Cathy Binstock. The gala will be chaired by Michele Womack with Robin and Danny Klaes as honorary chairs. This year’s Sammy Award recipients are Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien and his wife, Colleen. The event will be emceed by Sunny 99.1 DJ, Dana Tyson.

In addition to dinner, there will be live and silent auctions. The evening will also feature a dynamic musical program by students in The River’s Performance Troupe and Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. Tables and Tickets are still available. Contact Katie White Wisian at katie@tuts.com for details.

No Boundaries Program: In addition to all the things happening throughout October, TUTS is also happy to introduce a new accessibility initiative – the No Boundaries program. Through the No Boundaries program, TUTS is providing unique and inclusive ways to enhance musical theatre for individuals with disabilities. The program includes touch tours, rhythm, dance and voice workshops, as well as Audio Described, Open Captioning and American Sign Language Interpretation performances. To learn more about the No Boundaries program, contact Elizabeth England at elizabethe@tuts.com.

FamilyTime hosts sixth annual Purple Ribbon Luncheon   

familytime

Community members have joined hands to help committee chair and FamilyTime board member, Kathy Adkins, make the sixth annual Purple Ribbon Luncheon a huge success. The annual event, hosted by FamilyTime Crisis and Counseling Center, will be held on Friday, October 14 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Kingwood Country Club located at 1700 Lake Kingwood Trail, Kingwood, Texas. The Purple Ribbon Luncheon is held each year in October in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in honor of FamilyTime’s Women of Achievement 1990-2015.

The featured speaker at this year’s Purple Ribbon Luncheon is slated to a powerful message on the implications of domestic violence. FamilyTime provides services and shelter to victims of domestic and sexual violence. It is also a resource and safe haven for victims of human trafficking. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the speaker’s compelling story. Tickets for the event are available online at  www.familytimeccc.org  or can be purchased by e-mail at prl@familytimeccc.org.

The individual tickets to the luncheon are $60. Individuals can also be a “Friend of FamilyTime” and reserve a table of 10 for $600.

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