absolutely! Brazos Cares About Community

Traditionally fall means both back to school and back to community events in Brazos. But this past year, our traditions – and our beloved community activities – were put on hold. So, what has happened with our valued community organizations in the past year? What is their focus, and what are their plans for the coming months?

We reached out to several organizations to find out just that – how are they are doing, and most importantly, how can we as a community help?  In this special feature, absolutely! Brazos Cares About Community, we highlight several non-profits and share a calendar of upcoming events.  We hope to see you out and about in Brazos – whether it’s virtual or in person – doing what we do best – support our community.

Texian Market Days Returns Saturday, October 23rd  at George Ranch Historical Park

Texas is known for wide-open spaces and the equally wide-open way its residents celebrate their heritage. Here in Fort Bend County, those two ideas will come together once again during Texian Market Days, held at the 23,000-acre George Ranch Historical Park, Saturday, October 23rd from 9 am to 5 pm.

When an authentic working ranch plans a party, the result is a uniquely wide-ranging event where visitors young and old can all find something to embrace. History, food, crafts and demonstrations come together in a day-long celebration of what makes Texans, well, Texans.

Food trucks, craft vendors and entertainment will be grouped near the big tent and provide a relaxing hub from which to venture out to the ranch. Activities of all types will unfold throughout the day – old-time baseball, historic home tours, riding teams and shooting demonstrations, Victorian tea parties allowing visitors to naturally create their own discovery paths. Focus on one or two activities, or sample them all as the day unfolds.

What are you doing on October 23rd? Come to “the Ranch” and make it a Saturday to remember.

To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit www.georgeranch.org.  The George Ranch Historical Park is located at 10215 FM 762 in Richmond, TX, 77469.

OakBend Medical Center’s Patchwork of Life Event 2021

OakBend Medical Center is excited to announce the ninth annual Patchwork of Life event is being offered with a hybrid option, either virtual or in person at Safari Texas. This is an opportunity for the Fort Bend County community to honor and support the only remaining independent non-profit hospital in the Greater Houston Area.

This year’s Patchwork of Life theme is “A Closer Look” and will benefit OakBend’s Radiology Department. Funds raised will be used to purchase new MRI and CT scan machines for the hospital campuses. The event is scheduled for Thursday, October 7th at 6 pm at Safari Texas Ranch. Co-Chairs for the event are Beth Johnson and Maureen Grieg.

The hybrid format will allow participants to join in person or host a small gathering in their home and tune in to the program and live auction via Zoom while enjoying a catered meal. Those joining in person will be able to experience Patchwork as it has always been with dinner, a live auction, raffle and the purchase of Patchwork quilt squares.  Some of the live auction items this year include a Tuscany Get Away, A Cocktail Party at the Fort Bend Museum, a Wine and Cheese Tasting and more.

Additionally, there will be a presentation of the Jeff Council Award for Dedicated Service to OakBend Medical Center. The recipient of this award exhibits excellence in three categories: years of service to the hospital, philanthropy support and leadership to OakBend.

Sponsorships are still available.  For more information and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.oakbendmedcenter.org/patchwork-of-life.

It’s All A-Buzz:  The Literacy Council’s 12th Annual Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee

There’s a buzz around Fort Bend County for the Literacy Council’s 12th Annual Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee.  The event, presented by Houston Federal Credit Union, is scheduled for Thursday, September 9th, 2021 from 6 to 9 pm at Quail Valley City Centre.  This year’s Grown-Up Spelling Bee is co-chaired by Ann Kingrey and Fallon Moody. Current competing teams to date include: Houston Federal Credit Union, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, Costello Inc., and Bob’s Bees sponsored by Bob and Pat Hebert.

“The Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee is the only event of its kind in our community,” said Terri Stuart, Executive Director. “The dynamics between the competitors, judges and the audience combined with the valuable return on support for donors and the students we serve, all make for a fun-filled evening.”

For $100, a sponsor can select a letter in the “A-Bee-C’s for Literacy” alphabet.  “Bee a Word” sponsors will receive admission, dinner and drink tickets for two, recognition on the website and recognition at the event. “A-Bee-C’s for Literacy” sponsors will receive admission and dinner for one, recognition on the website and recognition at the event.  Spectator Bee RSVPs are available for $50 and include admission to the Bee, dinner and a drink ticket.  Watch spellers compete against one another to win a coveted spot in the “Honey Hall of Fame!”

A huge thank you to Houston Federal Credit Union for their support of the Spelling Bee and the Literacy Council!

For more information, contact Alex Sanchez asanchez@ftbendliteracy.org or 281-240-8181.

Texana Center: Expanding Autism Services to Meet Needs

Texana Center has expanded autism services significantly over the last 16 years. Now with over 10 unique programs, there is an option for almost everyone and any age to help them unlock their potential.

The newest expansion of autism services is in Fulshear where the Children’s Center for Autism quietly began serving children at their third location last summer. The program has their main location in Rosenberg and a second location in Sugar Land.  The Children’s Center for Autism typically serves children ages three to eight, using applied behavior analysis treatment. An individualized treatment plan is created by a Licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst to teach children how to interact and learn from their family, community and educational environments.

The Center for Advancement is the latest program created by Texana and provides classes and training for young adults with autism and/or intellectual disabilities. Classes include Social Connections Club; Computer classes for skills like coding and video editing; and the newest, a Culinary Class that includes everything from basic kitchen skills to a baking intro. With more classes waiting in the wings, this program is all about letting students explore their strengths and prepare them for competitive employment.

Finally, the Texana Fulshear campus is excited to announce the Texana Café, a retail-training center where students can get hands-on training, as well as learn to make and serve exceptional food.  The Texana Café is looking forward to being open to the public soon.

For more information, visit www.texanacenter.com or email info@texanacenter.com.

Fort Bend Hope Where Learning Never Stops

Fort Bend Hope is a happy place where learning never stops! On an average day, one can hear the laughter of children as they continue learning after school, and the sound of adults learning to speak a new language, getting a GED or becoming US citizens. Fort Bend Hope (FBH) is solely focused on education and offers these programs for children and adults as they believe education is the key to breaking the cycle of generational poverty.  Education is much more than facts and figures; education equals choices and opportunities.  Education is the key to unlocking the American dream.

To make this possible, Fort Bend Hope depends upon the generous spirit of their volunteers.  From helping a child with their homework to working with an adult who is studying for his citizenship, there are countless opportunities to get involved at FBH.  FBH prides itself on providing a great emotional return on the volunteer’s investment of time.  Kendall Boyd, a longtime volunteer, said, “I always take more home with me than when I arrived with because of the energy and excitement the children have.”  Lynette Evertson, another longtime volunteer, lives for the “Aha moment.”  “It’s so exciting to see the look on their face when they understand a new concept,” she said.

At Fort Bend Hope, the volunteers are game changers. FBH wants the community to be involved. Contact them today to impact someone’s future. For more information or to volunteer, call 346-702-3806 or email leslie@fortbendhope.org At Fort Bend Hope the learning never stops!

Reining Strength Therapeutic Horsemanship

At Reining Strength Therapeutic Horsemanship (RSTH), by partnering with horses, they help people realize their individual potential through customized equine assisted services.

RSTH is a Premier Accredited Center through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, and they provide therapeutic horsemanship programs for people of all ages – children and adults – who have physical, cognitive, social or emotional needs. By partnering with horses, RSTH helps people realize their individual potential through customized equine assisted services.

There are a wide variety of people who benefit from therapeutic horsemanship. They include, but are not limited to, individuals with diagnosis of Anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, CVA or Stroke, Down Syndrome, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Multiple Sclerosis, PTSD, Spina Bifida, Traumatic Brain Injury and various Genetic Syndromes. RSTH offers group and private riding lessons. Client lessons are taught by a Certified PATH International Instructor. Client riding sessions are available Monday thru Friday during the current session.

RSTH loves volunteers! They are the backbone of Reining Strength. You’ll never find a more rewarding volunteer opportunity. There are so many ways to help. The best way to learn about what RSTH does is to come see them in action.  Schedule a tour at the Reining Strength facility, located at 7126 FM 359 Road in Richmond, Texas, 77406, or visit the RSTH website for more information on touring, giving or volunteering at www.Reiningstrength.org or call 832-451-6874.

The Rosenberg Railroad Museum

Clang, Clang! Get on board! The Rosenberg Railroad Museum (RRM) has fully reopened and is looking forward to an amazing fall festival season!

There are so many cool things to see and do at the museum! Whether you are a train fan or just looking for a fun educational family outing, the museum has something for everyone. Check out their upcoming events planned for the fall as well as new rotating exhibits.

Kicking off their fall season on September 11th is Discovery Day with free admission.

On Saturday, October 9th, the RRM will host the ever popular Fall Fun Fest, an annual fall fundraiser be-nefiting the museum. Rounding out the month of October, the RRM will have a Halloween Family Fun Day on Saturday October 30th.

New this year, Curator Cecilia Abad introduced a rotating exhibit area to the Museum Gallery. Rotating exhibits offer an in-depth look into different topics. The current exhibit, Women in Railroading, is on display until November 7th. The next rotating exhibit will be Presidents and Railroading on display from November 10th thru February 20th.

The recently renovated Education Station offers a large model train exhibit room, children’s playroom, a classroom for Scout Merit Badge classes, Wig-Wag Fridays for preschoolers and exhibit enrichment classes. School field trips and group tours are always welcome by appointment.

The Rosenberg Railroad Museum is a hidden gem, nestled in historic downtown Rosenberg. For more information, visit www.rosenbergrrmuseum.org or call 281-633-2846 to learn more.

The Needville  Harvest Festival 2021

The 37th Annual Needville Harvest Festival is returning this year with two days of fall fun to Harvest Park, located at 3001 Violet Street, on Friday, October 15th and Saturday, October 16th. Admission is free, and gates open at 5 pm Friday for an evening of music, the annual BBQ cook-off, fajita and margarita judging.

Saturday beginning at 7:30 am, the fun continues with crowd favorites, such as the annual Talent Show, Little Miss and Mr. Contest, Queen’s Contest, lawn mower races, BBQ cook-off with a KidzQ and live auction. The Kidz Zone is sure to keep young ones entertained. Mason and Friends Polka music will play Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, and the raffle drawing will be at 6:30 pm.  There will be plenty of activities for people of all ages. Make plans to participate in the fun-filled contests or come out and have a great time.

The Needville Harvest Festival, Inc. is a non-profit 501c3 organization that operates Harvest Park and presents the annual family-friendly festival. “All proceeds from the Harvest Fest go back into the improvement and maintenance of the park, which is for all of the community to enjoy,” said President Chris Janicek.

Janicek said the all-volunteer Harvest Fest committee is comprised of “some of the most hard-working, dedicated individuals anywhere.” Hopes are high this year’s festival will be a record-breaking success. Wearing masks and social distancing will be encouraged.

Visit www.needvilleharvestfest.org for a complete schedule, contest rules and more. For information, call 281-468-9314.

Fort Bend Junior Service League and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Announce Partnership for the 2021 Sugar Plum Market

The Fort Bend Junior Service League (FBJSL) is pleased to announce the return of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital (MHSL) as Title Sponsor for Sugar Plum Market.  This year marks a milestone for the Market which has raised over $3.3 million for charitable organizations and scholarship programs.   

“We are proud to re-commit our support as Title Sponsor of the Fort Bend Junior Service League’s Sugar Plum Market and look forward to celebrating its 20th Anniversary.  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 Thursday, November 4th running through Saturday, November 6th. The event will kick off with a Preview Night Celebration on Wednesday, November 3rd.

FBJSL is grateful to the community for supporting the Market. In addition to Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, FBJSL is pleased to recognize other sponsors including:  City of Stafford, Sterling McCall Toyota Fort Bend, Kendra Scott, Pamela Printing, absolutely! focus media, Amy & Gary Becker Foundation, Newmark Homes, KidzGrub, H-E-B, Trustmark National Bank, The Sansone Group at RE/MAX Fine Properties, Stewart Title, Johnson Development, Harris Machine Tools, Brandani’s Restaurant & Wine Bar, Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP, Title Partners and PB&J Pavement Marking.

Visit www.sugarplummarket.com for ticket information. Tickets will go on sale September 1st.  Follow @sugarplummarket on Instagram and Facebook.

Fort Bend Hispanic Heritage Forum: The End of an Era

In 2005, five residents of Rosenberg, Ernie Rodriguez, Janie Warstler, Lupe Uresti, Joe Vera and Joe Segura, met to discuss the formation of a Hispanic Heritage organization that would offer scholarships to students within Fort Bend County. In that same year, the Rosenberg City Council had the same idea of celebrating with a Hispanic Community event and appointed Council member Joe Segura to research the project. Councilor Segura joined the group and the Fort Bend Hispanic Heritage Forum (FBHHF), a 501c(3) organization, was formed.

In 2007 the first Cinco de Mayo festival was organized. This was the initial fundraiser for the Fort Bend Hispanic Heritage Forum.

The Fort Bend Hispanic Heritage Forum awarded its first scholarship of $500 to Sierra Garivey. Since then, the FBHHF proudly awarded over $200,000 in scholarships to college bound students, with the final $5,000 being awarded in 2020.

Since the formation and through community and county-wide events, the FBHHF earned recognition from officials at the city, county and state levels. FBHHF is proud of their achievements and remains dedicated to higher education and will continue to support organizations with these same goals.

With the challenges of the past year, the board of directors made the difficult decision to dissolve the organization. The FBHHF takes pride in acknowledging all of the volunteers, sponsors and the community for their continued support and participation at events. Thank you for your time, talents and contributions. You are the “feathers” in our cap.