I was recently talking to a group of golfers in an airport lounge far away, who were on their way to a golf retreat somewhere in Australia. You know what I learned? I learned that although I do occasionally play golf, I have not appreciated the truly world-class opportunities to play this game right in our backyard. These men from all over the world waxed poetic about some of the fabulous courses they have played in Houston, how they couldn’t wait to get to play others and how Houston was always on their list when they planned their next getaway. Huh. I think it’s time to smell the roses around me – and some wonderful charitable golf tournaments are coming up allowing me to do just that.

Humble Area Assistance Ministries is fortunate to again be a recipient of the ClubCorp Charity Classic Golf Tournament at the Kingwood Country Club June 17. A lot of us volunteer or donate to HAAM in some way throughout the year. Proceeds go to help fund the many programs HAAM provides to those in need our community. HAAM provides service to more than 40,000 individuals and 11,000 families with such diverse needs as housing, food assistance, holiday meal baskets, medical services, job assistance and so much more. Why not put a fun foursome together to enjoy a day of low-key golf together. No need to be good – it’s for charity, after all!

The fifth annual Kingwood Fallen Heroes Memorial Golf Tournament is coming up April 23, also at the Kingwood Country Club. The event will honor Brandon Bury, Luke Yepsen and Bill Meeuwsen, three hometown young men who died in Afghanistan and Iraq while serving their country. Proceeds help fund scholarships at Kingwood High School in the young men’s names as well as other charities that provide services to veterans, and the military families who have special needs. If you haven’t yet, take a walk to the Fallen Heroes Memorial on West Lake Houston Parkway in front of Creekwood Middle School. It’s a beautiful space and a touching reminder of the many we have all lost.

It’s graduation time again! And many of our local high schools are gearing up for Project Graduation which provides graduating seniors a safe, drug- and alcohol-free environment to celebrate with the rest of their graduating class. Annie McClung, this year’s Kingwood Park High School Project Grad director, announced this year’s theme – “Back to the Future” and invites everyone to a fundraising dinner April 2 at the school cafeteria with the seniors serving dinner and the choir and band providing entertainment. I personally know just how much help these groups need both in volunteers and financially to put on a Project Graduation, and it is such a worthy cause. If you have time, don’t forget to tour the school when it’s all set up and decorated on the day of the event when they open it to the community. It’s a massive undertaking.

Congratulations to Kingwood local Leah Grace Woodard of Riverwood Middle School, who won first place in the junior division of the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Rockstar competition. The judges – Cowboy Dave from New Bull 100.3, Rodeo concert director Phil Nudelman and music critic from the Houston Chronicle Joey Guerra were blown away by Leah Grace’s rendition of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.” Leah’s prizes include scholarship money, a spot in the Downtown Rodeo Parade next year and professional productions of radio-quality recordings.

It was a beautiful day in the sun at Back Pew Brewery where more than 300 friends and customers came to the Grand Opening Celebration. Blue Testament, Cedar Swill and Black IPA were the stars of the day! The dark beers are the "sinners" and the light beers are "the saints." Tin Roof BBQ was the "savior" with their food truck! Spotted in the crowd were Sharon and Ben Gould, Pam and Dale MacNaughton, Joan and Mike Fredericks, Cheryl and Dawn McGeough, Chad and Devon Alexander and Casey Christman.
Friend to all, Howard Pitman, celebrated his 88th birthday with 75 of his closest friends at Italiano's in Humble March 13. Wine was not in short supply as guests tasted different varietals and chatted the afternoon away. Carol Hunt baked a stunning wine-themed cake for the event. Faces in the crowd were Gary and Theo Christman, Paul and Sybil Margaritis, Don and Debbie McGuire, Pam Dickson and Bob Singletary, Tim and Andrea Burgess and birthday boy Howard Pitman and his love, Anne Viault.

The sun was shining, the pots were boiling, and the weather was perfect at Bill's Cafe this weekend. It's the "mudbug" time of year and for the first time, Bill's Cafe is now servings the most amazing crawfish and shrimp each Friday -Sunday. Festive music could be heard provided by "The Cranky DJ." A good time was had by all! Spotted at Bill's enjoying crawfish were Emmy and Greg Lee, Jessica Beemer, Carol-Leigh Harvey, Danell Fields, Jeremy and Brittany Ward of Bike Werks, Judy Cox, David and Kathy Neal and the smiling face of Danny Sullivan.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Humble Intercontinental Rotary’s annual Fish Fry and Car Show April 16. With more that $1.5 million donated to humanitarian needs, event chair Tom Gibbins encourages everyone to “Eat Fish, Change Lives.”