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

Yes to Youth- Montgomery County Youth Services 40th Anniversary Celebration Luncheon

YES to YOUTH- Montgomery County Youth Services celebrated 40 years of serving at-risk youth in our community with a luncheon honoring Sylvia Caracio for her 21 years of service with the organization. However, rather than resting on this impressive milestone, YES to YOUTH took the opportunity to kick off a capital campaign to fund the expansion of the BridgeWayShelter. The expansion will allow Yes to Youth to double the capacity of the children they will be able to serve and protect.

The luncheon, held in the Legacy Ballroom at The Woodlands Country Club, featured American illusionist and magician Jason Bishop who performs one of the largest touring off-broadway shows in the United States. Mr. Bishop dazzled the crowd with his wit and astounding magic tricks. Jason Bishop also shared his powerful story of a difficult early life and growing up in foster homes. He was happy to share the difference programs like Yes to Youth made in helping him dream and achieve a better future.

Shelly Givens and Debbye Jones

Jason Bishop, Dr. Lucian Rivela, Linda Freede

Susan Fordyce, Sylvia Caracio, Dan Fordyce

Jody Collins, Melanie Stella, Tricia Kingdon, Karen Bilsing, Linda Nelson

Jason Bishop performing his magic show with dog “Gizmo” and his assistant

Sylvia Caracio, Anna Jones

Zack Richmond – Richmond Realty Group, YES to YOUTH Board Member, Ellen Schmoyer – Jason Bishop Technical Director, Dannette Suding – YES to YOUTH CEO, Jason Bishop – Illusionist, Kim Hess – Jason’s Assistant, Gizmo The Dog

Dr. Lloyd Everson, Jacque Everson – YES to YOUTH Board Treasurer, Sherry Smith, Sylvia Caracio, Peg Welbes, Tim Welbes

Dannette Suding – YES to YOUTH CEO, Sylvia Caracio, Heather Washburn – District Director for U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady

YES to YOUTH – Montgomery County Youth Services has five counseling offices that offer individual, group and family mental health counseling, suicide prevention services for youth and families, street outreach for homeless teens, and healthy support programs for pregnant and parenting teens. The BridgeWayEmergency Youth Shelter provides a home to abused, neglected and sex trafficked youth. For more information about Yes to Youth visit

CASA Speaks for Kids Gala: A Million Dreams

The CASA Speaks for Kids Gala was a magical evening filled with elegance and aspirations. The aptly themed A Million Dreams gala, heldat The Woodlands Waterway Marriott on Saturday, February 9, raised funds to fulfills the dreams of children in foster care who yearn for a safe and nurturing permanent home. Huntsman Corporation was the presenting sponsor, and Lindsay Miller served as chair of the inspiring evening focused on giving hope and a future to innocent young children.

The event showcased a silent and live auction including art created by CASA children, amazing jewelry, vacations, andan adorable golden doodle puppy. More than 600 guests in attendance heard the uplifting stories shared with successful outcomes for children helped by CASA volunteers.

“This event helps ensure we can continue to recruit and train volunteers to speak up for the more than seven children entering foster care in Montgomery County each week,” stated Ann McAlpin, CASA Executive Director. It costs approximately $1500 to provide a volunteer Advocate for one abused or neglected child for one year.

The after-party was highly entertaining and featured music and a performance by The Killer Dueling Pianos.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) speak up for the best interest of children who have been removed from their home and are under the Court’s jurisdiction. CASA’s goal is to continue to provide a court-appointed volunteer to serve as Guardian ad Litem for every child in the foster care system. For the past 27 years, CASA has been training volunteers, raising awareness in the community, and working to stop the cycle of child abuse in Montgomery County.

Gwen Box and Mercedes Milstead

Lisa Munoz, Lisa Smith, Carol Watford

Anna Keller, Lindsay Miller, Cheryl Rowell, Margaret Matherne

Lindsay Miller, Anna Keller, Jerry Rowell, Lauren Rowell

Shelby Schoepf and Christine Johnson

CASA Committee Chairs- Lisa Henthorn, Pam Miller, Stephanie Jones, Lindsay Miller, Amy Fry, Karen Cahill, Misti Jeter, Tammie Manchester

For more information about CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County visit the website at

Livin’ on a Prayer: TWCA Gala 2018

Livin’ on a Prayer was the perfect theme to bring the mission of The Woodlands Christian Academy together with a 1980’s inspired evening. The event incorporated fun and philanthropy for enthusiastic guests dressed from Ghost Busters to the likes of Madonna!  Funds raised at this annual event will enable the school to break ground on their newest building and will benefit the 650 students currently enrolled at the school. Congratulations on a successful event that was definitely one of the most entertaining of the season!

Rotary Wine Dinner 2018

The Rotary Club of The Woodlands recently held its 12th annual Rotary Wine Dinner. The event was co-chaired by Tammy Schroder and Marlys Mulkey. The successful dinner raised funds for Rotary Club’s newest project, Rotary House.  Rotary House is an inexpensive and convenient place for patients and their families to stay while receiving treatment at one of South Montgomery County’s four local hospitals. The evening festivities included honoring four charter members of the Rotary Club of The Woodlands, Tom Boak, Bill Leigh, Corky Shaw and Coulson Tough. These four gentlemen were instrumental in starting the club in 1975. It began with 12 members and has grown to 180 strong. The presentation showcased all of the great things the Rotary Club of The Woodlands has done and continues to do, to help people in the community. “It was a beautiful and successful event,” shared Judy Larson Olson, President of the Rotary Club of The Woodlands. “We wanted to honor our founders and let the community know who we are and what we do while raising money for Rotary House.”


St. Jude Miracle in The Woodlands

The inaugural St. Jude Miracle in The Woodlands Gala was a record breaking fundraising event in support of St. Jude Research Hospital! Over $220,000 was raised to fund its mission of finding cures and saving children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The personal testimonies, shared by families whose lives have been touch by such diseases, gave heartfelt praise to the role St. Jude played in their journeys! Congratulations to Michelle Till, Arlene Nelson, Janet Padilla and committee on a tremendously successful evening!