The Woodlands Methodist School Boots & Bling

The Woodlands Methodist School held its 5th annual fundraiser and auction, Boots and Bling , at the architecturally stunning Glade Cultural Center. At the museum-themed event, guests enjoyed the steady flow of flavorsome hors d’oeuvres from Truluck’s and the smooth sounds of Jeremy Schwanke. The school’s volunteer-based Parent Enrichment Organization, led by Fundraising Chairperson Tina Stackhouse, orchestrated the event to raise funds in support of The Woodlands Methodist School.

The Woodlands Methodist School provides a Christian education for children 18 months through 8th grade. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit twmschool.org.

Photo credit: Ouh La La Photography by Bella Lataste and TWMS Parent

Fundraising Chairperson Tina Stackhouse and PEO President, Salley Chung

Tina Stackhouse and Melinda Brieger with auctioneer

Salley Chung, Mary Beth Beijers, Melinda Brieger, Tina Stackhouse, Kristin Weaver, Laura Graham, Rebecca Schneider

 

Women Empowering Women Luncheon Helps Interfaith Community Clinic Serve Uninsured

The 7th Annual Women Empowering Women Luncheon presented by CHI St. Luke’s Health was held on January 31 at The Woodlands Resort. Nearly 400 guests were uplifted by inspiring and talented Grammy Award Winning Artist Mandisa, the featured speaker of the event. Mandisa spoke candidly about overcoming her struggle with depression through faith, counseling and help from her friends, and the importance of access to medical and mental health resources like those provided by the Interfaith Community Clinic (ICC) for individuals in need.

The Women Empowering Women Luncheon raises vital funds for the Interfaith Community Clinic, the only clinic that provides medical, dental and mental health services to the uninsured for all of Montgomery County. Since inception, the Women Empowering Women luncheons have raised over 1.1 MIL for healthcare services for individuals in our community with no medical coverage. The ICC opened in 1996 and is the epitome of neighbors helping neighbors, with approximately 90% of the services performed by licensed professionals volunteering their time. The clinic serves over 10,000 patients annually through the support of generous donors, volunteers and the Women Empowering Women luncheon proceeds.

Photo credit: Derrick Bryant and Jen McDonald

To volunteer, donate or learn more about the Interfaith Community Clinic, please visit https://interfaithcommunityclinic.org/.

The Woodlands Chamber Hosts Taste of The Town 2020

Foodies from every village in The Woodlands came out earlier this month at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott to feast on tastings from over 40 local restaurants at The Taste of The Town organized and hosted by The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce.
The annual event attracted over 2,000 attendees that enjoyed a wide range of samples showcasing bites from simple to refined for every palette. In addition, guests were able to help determine who receives bragging rights by casting votes to select “Best of Taste” winners. The winners taking home the accolades this year are as follows:

People’s Choice Award: Killen’s Steakhouse
Smoked pork belly burnt ends with a cherry habanero BBQ glaze

Best Appetizer: Johnny’s Italian Restaurant
Johnny’s Steak Nachos

Best Entrée: The Butler House
Malbec Braised Short Ribs, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Reduced Braising Jus, Sautéed Carrot

Best Dessert: Nona’s Italian Grill
Panna cotta (a creamy Italian jello /pudding with special berry sauce and fresh fruits)

Best Decorated Booth: Zanti Cucina Italiana

“Best thing about this event is, of course, the food,” JJ Hollie said, CEO and president of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce. “But it’s also a good event for the community to gather and enjoy the different kinds of food.”

The event spotlights Chamber members and demonstrates the wide array of options for residents of The Woodlands to eat, socialize and enjoy while supporting local businesses.

 

For more information on the event or The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce please visit www.tasteofthetown.org or www.woodlandschamber.org.

 

The John Cooper School Signatures Author Series Features Maria Semple

An enthusiastic crowd of over 720 people were in attendance for the 15th Annual John Cooper School at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott featuring Maria Semple, internationally recognized bestselling novelist (Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Today Will Be Different, This One Is Mine) as well as a producer and writer for television shows, 90210, Mad About You, Saturday Night Live, Ellen and Arrested Development.

The compelling event included an Antarctic 11-day cruise drawing prize and Warby Parker sunglasses signed by Maria Semple among other items. Another highlight of the event is the addition of visiting authors, 20 authors were in attendance this year, including numerous local authors. The funds raised from the Signatures Author Series will help fund the Montgomery County Memorial Library System to replace books lost due to Hurricane Imelda. Past events have featured authors such as Former First Lady Barbara Bush, Nicholas Sparks and Gillian Flynn.

“Lisa and I could not be more pleased with this 15th anniversary event,” said Malin Melin, who co-chaired the event with Lisa Hollingsworth. “Ms. Semple was both lighthearted and thought-provoking and was rounded out by Visiting Authors whose talents enhance our event every year. We are very grateful to the sponsors and many volunteers who create an experience to celebrate literature and authors in a festive atmosphere for a good cause.”

The John Cooper School is a college preparatory, independent school located in The Woodlands that has a current enrollment of 1,284 students in Pre-k through Grade 12. For more information please contact Deb Spiess at www.johncooper.org.

HOPE Under the Stars 2019

This past Winter, 600 guests filled the Grand Ballroom of The Woodlands Resort to raise funds and share the message of HOPE for The Will Herndon Research Fund at the 11th annual HOPE Under the Stars event. The guests experienced a genuine glimpse into the world of Will Herndon, a 16 year old Woodlands resident that has been battling a rare degenerative brain disease called juvenile Batten disease. The evening’s theme transformed the ballroom from black and white to a world full of color and HOPE. The transformation represented the hope and optimism personified by Will and his love for life. The event honored long-time supporters, Dr. Scott and Amy Young and corporate honoree, Waste Connections for their overwhelming support.  The event raised over $570,000 for research and funding for the anticipated clinical trial to begin in early 2020.
“The Woodlands community embraced Will as their own son and stood by our family, funding research and sharing prayers to help save our boy,” said Missy Herndon, Co-Founder of HOPE: The Will Herndon Fund. “After 11 years of support, awareness and fundraising, we are excited to share Will will be in a clinical trial in the coming month.”

For more information on juvenile Batten disease and the fight to Save Will visit www.willherndon.org or www.beyondbatten.org

Photography Courtesy Derrick Bryant & Jen McDonald

In the Pink of Health Luncheon

The Marriott on The Waterway was inundated with fabulous attire in various hues of pink and teal at the 19th Annual In The Pink of Health Luncheon. The highly anticipated luncheon always features women adorned in gorgeous vibrant garments to help raise awareness and funds for ovarian and breast cancer programs that will stay right here in greater Montgomery County. Since its inception, In the Pink of Health has raided and distributed more than $5.5 million to support breast and ovarian health.

Caroline Raiford, Andrea Raiford, Andrea Alexander, Melissa Preston

Presented by Richie’s Specialty Pharmacy, and Co-Chaired by Debra Cooper and Dee Gelsomini, In the Pink of Health raises essential funds to fight cancer and assist survivors. “We have come so far in research and cure rates for breast and ovarian cancer, but there are still women who lose their battle every day. The money we raise goes towards closing that gap and saving our sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters and friends,” said In the Pink of Health co-chair Dee Gelisomini. Allocation of the funds from the event support the Interfaith Community Clinic to provide mammograms for underserved women, and the Canopy cancer survivorship center at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands among others.

The guest speaker for the event was ordained minister and motivational speaker Dr. Rick Rigsby. Following a successful career as a television news reporter Dr. Rigsby became a college professor— including 14 years at Texas A&M University—where he also served as character coach and chaplain for the Aggies football team.

Kathy Igercich, Amanda Poole

Dr. Rigsby shared his experience with the heartbreaking loss of his wife, Trina, to breast cancer in 1996. Dr. Rigsby’s inspirational remarks focused on the lasting impact his wife made and continues to make through her life of hope, and the dramatically different outcomes available to individuals diagnosed with cancer today due to the amazing contributions of organizations such as In The Pink of Health. His heartfelt story and comedic delivery had the audience laughing one minute and tearing up the next, but all were touched by Dr. Rigsby’s message of hope.

“For years, our In the Pink of Health committee has focused on inspiring and encouraging attendees so that when they leave, they can take what they heard and integrate it into their own lives and The Woodlands community,” said Josh Urban, senior vice president and CEO of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center.

Natashia Douglas, Michele Whitworth, Leslie Reilly, Lindsay Donaldson, Heidi Goodwin, Kristyna Smith, Marylee Freund, Sondra Pekar, Brooke Milam

Memorial Hermann In the Pink of Health was founded in 2001 to fund cancer-related programs and services for patients and their families in the greater Montgomery County area. To learn more visit inthepinkofhealth.org or call 713.897.PINK (7465), or email inthepink@memorialhermann.org.

Read more about the In The Pink of Health featured in the latest issue of The Book The Woodlands

Blair Moon, Julie Ambler, Kellie Armstrong, Amanda French, Louise Smith, Kim Murphy

Paige Hull, Hannah Hull, Kelly Hull, Eric Pham, Marian Spence

Missy Herndon, Linda Nelson, Sarah Rhea

Mandi and Pete Roach

Lynne Charbonneau, Nancy W. Charbonneau, Leta King, Nancy Charbonneau, Dee Butts

Lynn Carr, Presha Carr, Katie Holditch

Linda Smith, Kashay Mendes, Lezlie Cuellar

Karen Riggins, Amy Brooks

Karen Carroll, Alison Henderson

Kylie Boyd, Carolyn Donovan, Holly Mayer, Lucy Gomez, Lynne Pickett, Missy Herndon, Anita Phillips, Jackie Charzma

Sherry Holman, Phalen Alfaro, Kairy-Tate Barkley, Janice Swan

In the Pink

In The Pink of Health was created as an event that focuses on women’s health issues as part of the Memorial Hermann Foundation whose mission is to raise funds through philanthropic initiatives and planned giving campaigns in order to meet the ever-growing healthcare needs in the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System particularly here in Montgomery County. Ann Wolford, who coordinated the original event and still serves on the event planning committee shares, “In The Pink’s original goal was to raise awareness about women’s health issues because women are often the primary healthcare decision-makers for their families. The goal was to bring awareness and education focused on health issues women often faced including hormone treatments and breast cancer while raising funds to support local programs.” However, by the fourth year, the Memorial Hermann Foundation staff and In The Pink committee members realigned the event’s mission to focus solely on the prevention, diagnostic testing and treatment of breast and ovarian cancers with funds raised to support those efforts.


Today, In The Pink luncheon has grown into one of the largest and most generous fundraising events in our community by providing $450,000 last year to nonprofits serving Montgomery County residents. Local nonprofits continue to provide services and programming such as free mammograms, diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds, breast cancer educational programs, cancer survivorship programs such as art therapy and yoga and services like wig fittings and prosthetics for patients in treatment. Past nonprofit recipients have included: Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center, Interfaith Community Clinic, Memorial Hermann Breast Cancer Center, The Rose, Ovarcome and the Judith L. Robinson Foundation. “One of the most generous aspects of In The Pink Luncheon is that the money raised stays here in our community to help our neighbors in the midst of a health crisis or in our case provide access to care for the uninsured women with educational information and free screenings for early detection,” shared Missy Herndon, President & CEO of Interfaith Community Clinic.

 

Each year, a committee of community leaders and volunteers set out to create an inspiring and fun event that showcases the spirit of generosity unique to The Woodlands area. Event highlights include an enormous silent and live auction, boutique, local speakers that share their stories of survival and keynote speakers providing inspiration and hope to attendees contributing to the ongoing fight against breast and ovarian cancers. Past speakers include Olympic Gold Medalist, Scott Hamilton, Good Morning America’s Amy Robach and TV Host, Samantha Harris. This year’s committee co-chairs, Debra Cooper and Dee Gelsomini have led an amazing group of women in coordinating the 19th anniversary luncheon. Gelsomini states, “I attended the luncheon for several years, but when my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, I wanted to do more. I witnessed the challenges patients and their families face and I am committed to doing what I can to help them through those tough times.”


Furthermore, Linda Nelson, Business Development & Regional Marketing Director shares her reflection on the impact of this amazing event, “Memorial Hermann’s In the Pink of Health Luncheon celebrates its 19th year raising funds and has distributed over $5.5 million in the fight against breast and ovarian cancers. I’ve been a part of the committee since its inception and I’ve seen this educational and inspirational event grow year over year. We’ve helped see that cancer is not only detected earlier and that the community is educated, but also helped support cancer survivors through the free Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center.” The 19th anniversary luncheon will not disappoint this year with guest speaker, Rick Rigsby, author of Afraid to Hope and also a former Texas A&M professor and chaplain for the Aggie Football team. In the Pink of Health was held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott on Friday, October 18, 2019.

Interfaith Celebration of Excellence Gala Honors 20 Years of Heroes

The Woodlands Celebration of Excellence Gala, themed “Twenty Years of Heroes,” was held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center on Saturday, October 5th.

The 20th annual event, chaired by DeAnn Guidry, was dedicated to honoring the 2019 Hometown Heroes while also celebrating the nearly 130 heroes that have been nominated over the past twenty years. The highly anticipated annual event raises money for crisis assistance in South Montgomery County.

Upon arrival, more than 600 guests entered a beautifully decorated ballroom filled with intricate lighting and ornate floral arrangements. Pianist, George Ruehle, entertained the guests while they enjoyed the silent auction and cocktail reception.
Alex Sutton, Chairman of Interfaith’s Board of Directors, and Missy Herndon, President and CEO of Interfaith of The Woodlands welcomed guests and celebrated the Honorary Event Chair, Waste Connections, Inc. Interfaith’s service and mission were made evident by each individual who continued to take the podium.

Hometown Hero Attendees at 2019 Gala

Since 1999, when the original class of 25 Hometown Heroes were honored in celebration of The Woodlands’ 25th Anniversary, Interfaith has recognized outstanding individuals and organizations in the community by presenting them with the title of Hometown Hero. Touching videos played on the screens, reflecting the generosity of the 2019 Hometown Heroes. Each Hero was awarded a medallion, a Congressional Commendation presented by United States Congressman Kevin Brady, and a Senate Proclamation from Texas State Senator Brandon Creighton. The Hometown Heroes for 2019 are: Jerissa Belsha, MD, Mary-Lou E. Fitch, Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., Alex Sutton, Josh Urban, Market Street The Woodlands, and Leadership Montgomery County.

The event offered a fantastic live auction and fund-a-need opportunities that featured numerous luxurious experiences including a VIP trip to Disney, naming rights to the longest pedestrian bridge in The Woodlands Town Center, SEWELL for all Seasons, and various other unique items. Thomas Markle Jewelers provided a Tudor watch that one lucky winner was able to claim in the raffle.
Interfaith typically serves over 1,500 clients in crisis monthly, with those numbers expected to increase as the Holiday Season approaches. Gala guests were among the first to view a video testimony from a client who fell on hard times and utilized the many programs and services at Interfaith to help her and her children get back on their feet. The impact of this storytelling was felt throughout the room as attendees were asked to lend their support.

“We are so grateful to live in a community that shows up to celebrate and support each other,” says Herndon. “For 46 years Interfaith has walked alongside our neighbors in crisis. No matter the magnitude, we step in to help families rebuild. Being able to offer hope in the midst of devastation is only possible through the generous donations we are blessed to receive. We are forever grateful to our donors.”

Interfaith of The Woodlands is a nonprofit social service agency providing programs and services to meet the needs of The Woodlands and the surrounding area. Interfaith provides basic needs assistance and special programs to families experiencing a financial crisis, and supportive service through care and wellness programs to senior adults 62 and over, in addition to many community programs dedicated to improving the lives of individuals in need. For more information on Interfaith’s programs and services or to become a volunteer, please visit woodlandsinterfaith.org or call 281-367-1230.

 

 

Hope Soars at Spirit of the Woods Gala

Nearly 500 guests gathered at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott for the Spirit of the Woods gala benefiting Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands recently. Guests were treated to highflying acts and daredevil drops all in support of the outreach and care Texas Children’s provides to underserved families in the community.

Michelle Riley-Brown addressing the nearly 500 gala guests to share the remarkable milestones from Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands since opening in 2017

Michelle Riley-Brown, president of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, provided updates on the hospital’s successes since opening in 2017, including the remarkable milestones of completing 351,000 patient visits, more than 86,100 emergency center visits, and 18,787 surgeries. She also commended the astounding generosity of The Woodlands community, which – through this gala – helped raise more than $800,000 to care for the area’s most vulnerable children.

The stunning event honored Missy and Wayne Herndon who are an integral part of the community and continue to make a lasting impact on Texas Children’s. The gala was made possible by Stacey and Steve Bourque, as well as the dedicated gala committee.

Eric and Denise Lipar

Inspiring artwork by Will Herndon auctioned live during the event

Janet Wong and Brooke Schmidt

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands leadership team: Ketrese White, Dr. Paul Sirbaugh, Ivett Shah, Michelle Riley-Brown and Dr. Jeffrey Shilt

teve and Stacey Bourque; Wayne, Missy, Magnus, Will, and Steele Herndon

Highflying act by Antigravity

Guests take in the festivities at the Spirit of the Woods gala benefiting vulnerable patients cared for by Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands

Content Provided: Chinh Phan

Yes to Youth Gala

Elaborate costumes and intricate décor blew guests away as they entered the Ignite Their Light Yes to Youth Gala, a themed event benefitting Yes to Youth. The ballroom was striking with ornate lighting and elegant floral centerpieces. The lights served as a reminder for the cause-inspiring and helping children who have experienced difficult hardships. The Yes to Youth Gala, presented by Tricia and Jack Futcher, was chaired by Katrina Savage and Michelle Maggert, and honored Tom Pisula as well as Waste Connections.

The evening benefited Yes to Youth Montgomery County Youth Services, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth and their families overcome challenges. Yes to Youth offers crisis counseling, shelter programs, and prevention services aimed to keep youth in school and prepare them to be productive citizens.

Haley Garcia and Travis Ellard

The evening was full of powerful, emotional moments. A special dance performance to “This is Us’ by Boni’s Dance and Performing Arts Studio kicked off the night. Katrina Savage and Michelle Maggert, the Gala Chairs, shared various testimonies explaining the profound impact that this organization has had on so many. A powerful music performance by Theresa Black, Hannah Johnson, and Special Guests left the audience moved and inspired to give back. The live auction and raffle concluded the evening. The attendees left the Yes to Youth Gala with a kindled spark to truly Ignite Their Light and make a difference in the lives of others.

Patti, Dr. Lucian Rivela, Dr. Ann, and Jerry Snyder

Linda Freede, Worthing Jackman, Keith Gordan, and Michelle Little

Live Auction

Bret and Angela Strong

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