Hometown Heroes: Bradley Stavinoha

By M.G. Angulo –

Cecilia and Bradley Stavinoha.

Bradley Stavinoha is a genuine man with simple motives. He loves to kiss his beautiful wife hello and goodbye, is grateful for his growing children  and values his work as an independent insurance agent and owner of Needville Insurance Agency.

And — to no surprise of anyone who knows him — Stavinoha is energized by the time he spends supporting his community of Needville. As a member of the American Legion honor guard, Stavinoha has taken a role in many funerals as the one who folds the flag when Taps is played. “I always think about how do I want to be remembered,” he said. “What will people say about me at my funeral.”

It is the possible influence he can have on people that motivates Stavinoha to invest his time into the community he calls home. “Life,” he said, “is about making an impact, not an income.”

Stavinoha describes himself as a man who likes to stay active, and that is probably why his face is easily known  around Needville and beyond. He is the president of the Needville Chamber of Commerce, president of the Rotary Club of Rosenberg, where he is also the membership chair, and SPJST Lodge 81 treasurer and District V Director. “I represent the Houston area for the board and help all the lodges in the Houston area be successful,” he explained.

He is also an adjutant for American Legion Post 350 Needville and District Commander for 9th District of Brazoria County, in addition to serving on the Fort Bend County Historical Society Preservation committee, where he helps document buildings built prior to World War II and assists with oral history. “We write monthly articles for the Needville newspaper, Hometown Journal, he added.

As a member of the Fort Bend County Czech Heritage Society, Stavinoha, along with his father, cooks chicken noodle soup, usually around 16 gallons each year. Stavinoha also lends his culinary skills to make the 80 gallons of gumbo for the Rosenberg Rotary Club’s Gumbo Fest.

On top of this, Stavinoha is also on the board for the SPJST-run Kebena summer camp in Ledbetter, Texas and is the youth chair for the Knights of Columbus, where he is also responsible for scholarships and the Easter egg hunt. “My community supports me, so I am just trying to give back,” he said of why he will help in as many roles as possible.

In the recent past, Stavinoha was the Continuing Christian Education (CCE) teacher at St. Michael the Archangel Church and assistant youth leader for SPJST. He has also been on boards with OakBend Medical Center, the Fort Bend Extension Office and Needville ISD.

The ability to maintain all of his various efforts in the community seemingly came from Stavinoha watching his father. “My dad had me out at all of these Knights of Columbus, youth fair and church events helping him. It was way we could do stuff together,” Stavinoha recalled of his initial experience with volunteering. He added that his father also taught CCE, the altar boys and was the Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus. “He did all this and also held down two jobs.”

It was an inspirational demonstration that would bear fruit in the years to come. “After college all my friends and family were helping out different places, and it was a way for us to get together,” Stavinoha explained regarding the beginning of his volunteer efforts. “I think people in Needville have such as sense of community that many people come out and help at all events.”

Stavinoha, a husband, father and community businessman, champions opportunities for people to give back — like the American Legion, for example. “I saw organization where I could contribute immediately with veterans who were still serving their country and community,” said Stavinoha, who was a sergeant in the Texas National Guard from 1990 through 1999. “With the Legion, I found so many great mentors. When I was 25 they made me commander, and I became best friends with guys in their 80s.”

Volunteering in the community teaches how to engage with different people and personalities, and how to become a leader, Stavinoha said. It connects people, who otherwise would probably have never met. There are the chances to make new friends, make fun memories and most importantly, enrich the surrounding community.

And, Stavinoha noted: “Like the Bible says, you’re letting your light shine.” He quotes the scripture Matthew 5:16: “‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’”

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