Hometown Heroes: Shelly Wendt & Scott Wieghat

Shelley and Nolan Wendt.

By M.G. Angulo –

In the eyes of longtime Needville residents Shelly Wendt and Scott Wieghat, children are the core of their volunteering efforts. “Volunteering helps teach children the value of work ethic and supporting their community,” said Wendt.

“When you teach young members of the community to work hard to be successful – whether that is with their grades, being in the National Honor Society, volunteering, sports, extracurricular activities and so on – they will do well in life and will return home to be productive members of their community,” Wieghat added.

Children, he said, are the future. They are the bearers of successful traditions and efforts. They are the ones who not only learn the cycle of caring for one’s community, but they also are the ones to continue it. For the past decade or so, Wendt and Wieghat have volunteered with the Needville Youth Fair, and while they appreciate being spotlighted for their efforts, both stressed heavily that it takes “many, many people, volunteers, board members and people from the community to put on the fair.”

“There are so many dedicated volunteers who come together to make this happen,” said Wendt, who “does a bit of everything” when it comes to the Needville Youth Fair. Wendt, who also owns a daycare in Needville, recalled her days as a teenager, itching to get away from the town. “I grew up here, and I couldn’t wait to get out,” she said with a laugh. “I ended up graduating, marrying a man I graduated with, raised a family and never left.” And she does not regret it one bit. Everything she thought she wanted to run from as a child, became appealing as an adult. The community camaraderie. The community events. The people she has grown up and embraced life with.

Kane, Tammy, Scott and Kyla Weighat.

Not only does she volunteer for the Needville Youth Fair, Wendt also volunteers for the livestock events at the Fort Bend County Fair and with Creekside Cares, a nonprofit that offers assistance following a disaster like Hurricane Harvey. “This is our village,” said Wendt who has two sons with her husband – one who is a graduating senior and one who is in middle school. “And we take care of one another.

Wieghat agrees, saying he is trying to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was always avid about giving back to the community. “They are big shoes to fill,” said Wieghat, who is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and created a foundation – the Wieghat Memorial Foundation – with his brother. “It’s in honor of our dad,” he explained. “The foundation offers scholarships to graduating seniors. My dad did a whole lot more than I do, but I will continue to follow his example.”
Through his other volunteering efforts, Wieghat also cares for senior citizens as a member of the Knights of Columbus, supports the Needville Education Foundation, and he coached and managed little league baseball and softball teams when his children were younger. Both of his children are currently in high school – his son is a graduating senior and his daughter is a junior.

“I grew up in Needville, and I enjoy being a part of the community and helping out wherever and whenever I can,” Wieghat said. “Especially with the youth of our community. It’s really nice to see a young adult, years down the road, doing good or in the newspaper because of their success. And it feels good knowing you may have had a hand in it.”

Volunteering not only “brings a community together,” it grows it as well, Wendt said. “We have people who have lived in Needville their entire lives, and we have members who are new to town,” she said. “Being involved and caring about the community shows others what we are about – and that’s helping and giving back.”

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