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

2018 Letter from our Editors

As we wind down 2018, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for your partnership in The Book The Woodlands. The Book was created to highlight the incredible people, businesses, and happenings in this amazing community we call home, as well as raise necessary funds for the programs and services of Interfaith of The Woodlands. Your partnership truly makes a difference in fulfilling Interfaith’s mission to serve our neighbors who come to us in their time of need.

Interfaith of The Woodlands has been able to make a huge impact in our community in 2018 with the help of your ad partnership. We are happy to share your ad in part benefited:

· 35,227 individuals for crisis assistance

· 29,406 seniors through transportation, activities and Holiday gifts

· 2,745 children for school supplies

· 18,823 neighbors for food assistance

· 3,777 individuals for clothing vouchers

Your support is appreciated not only for what it helps us achieve but also for the generosity it reflects.

Thank you again for investing and believing in Interfaith for the past 45 years as we work together “To build a more loving and caring community through service.”

We wish you a beautiful holiday season and a blessed 2019!

Missy Herndon, President & CEO Interfaith of The Woodlands

Janelle Romano, Managing Editor The Book The Woodlands

Connecting through Canopy

Coming Full Circle: Connecting through Canopy

When I first met Ann Christensen, it was early in the morning; she was perched at the kitchen counter at Canopy, and though she had been given a breast cancer diagnosis just a couple days before, she seemed very much at peace and focused. She had lists of physicians that needed to be seen and appointments that needed to be made.

She had a separate list of questions for Linda Nelson and me. She had her bearings and was ready to fight, and it’s how I will always think of her: a woman with quiet strength, incredible focus, and a deep faith. After we had talked for several hours, I walked her out during an ongoing support group. When I asked if she wanted to stay, she said, “Oh no, that isn’t really for me.”

Flash forward one year later, and she is done with treatment, regularly attends our Healing Art classes, and is one of the co-leaders of Canopy’s new breast cancer support group, The Nest. Each month she positively impacts the lives of people battling cancer. It is truly beautiful when things come full circle.

When Canopy started this group, I approached Kelly Hull because of her passion for counseling services and her experience in the industry, but we knew we needed a survivor. Someone who had been where these women are. Someone who still is. We both immediately thought of Ann, and I will admit I wasn’t sure she would do it, but she accepted without hesitation.

After the first few meetings, I sat down with her to ask her what made the change for her. Why now? Her answer was simple: she wanted to be a part of creating an environment for people to “find their person.”

She said, “When I was diagnosed and going through treatment, I didn’t want cancer to be my entire identity. I was still the same person, and I had the same passions and interests. I refused to let cancer define me, BUT I still needed someone who had walked the steps I walked. I needed someone who truly understood. My friends, family, and other survivors were an incredible help to me as well, but people who had fought this fight could greater understand the highs, and truly sympathize with the lows. Canopy provides the environment and opportunity to create those relationships, and I want to be a part of connecting people.”

The Nest meets the last Tuesday of every month. There is always space to process feelings and situations, but they also discuss stress management techniques, how to find encouragement, and even do art projects while meeting. The next meeting is May 22nd. If you’re interested in participating simply email Canopy’s manager, Amanda Poole at amanda.poole@memorialhermann.org, or call Canopy at 713.897.5939.


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!

Art N Fashion

The Glade Cultural Center showcased its newly remodeled facility by hosting the first annual Art N Fashion show. The event featured unique art, as well as beautiful art, inspired fashions in a New York-style runway show to raise funds for local charities. The benefiting charities were Interfaith of The Woodlands, Montgomery County Women’s Center, CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County, The Glade Arts Foundation and Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center. Each non-profit was represented by beautiful community models that have dedicated their time and talents to support the mission of these organizations.

Enthusiastic guests were treated to champagne, light bites, and beautiful artwork displayed throughout the gallery followed by a fabulous runway show. The event was originated by Kashay Mendes who wanted to bring something special to The Woodlands community. It was a perfect combination of fashion, fun, philanthropy, and art!

Open Your Purse for Change 2018

The Montgomery County Women’s Center held its annual Open Your Purse for Change Luncheon at The Woodlands Palmer Course. Guests entered into a room adorned with designer purses for silent auction and tables decorated with creatively designed cakes imitating high-end hand bags.

As the presentation began, guests were reminded of the need for these purses as survivor and client, Jennifer, shared her story of domestic abuse. Women often have to escape in a moment’s notice and many times leave without any of their belongings, purses included. On her way to recovery and now on a mission herself to raise awareness, Jennifer shared that she felt empowered, encouraged by the team at MCWC. Her message was clear – victims of domestic abuse need a voice, a soft place to fall and guidance. MCWC gives them hope and guides them on the road to recovery. Chairs, Terry Larson, Shirelle Chimenti, and Ally Seder, thank you for reminding all of us that Women Empower Women!