Welcome, everyone, to Out and About – here to catch you up on what’s happening in the Lake Houston area!
Are your trees up yet? Is your house twinkling with beautiful lights? Is your Christmas list only halfway done? Don’t forget to stop and smell the bourbon in the eggnog, because it is the most wonderful time of year, after all.
Once again, Sylvia Saumell did herself proud, orchestrating the ribbon-cutting celebration of Humble’s newest jewel, a 90-bed, state-of-the art patient tower on Memorial Hermann’s Northeast campus. The Kingwood High School Orchestra, two busloads of young ladies and gentlemen, greeted guests with soothing sounds as the 250 or so VIPs entered the new building on the McKay side of the campus. Traveling all the way from the system office in Memorial City was PR Guru Lindsey Klingensmith. System CEO Chuck Stokes praised the Northeast Hospital Authority and the City of Humble while Authority President Roy Hearnsberger gave a hospital history lesson and Humble Mayor Merle Aaron raved about the facility. Former residents Heath Rushing and Vivien Bond traveled from the Katy campus to join in the festivities as Lake Houston Chamber President Jenna Armstrong and Greater East Montgomery Chamber President Rick Hatcher jointly cut the ceremonial ribbon. Who enjoyed the small cups of Starbucks coffee (yes, there’s a bistro in the new tower)? Too many VIPs to see them all but Michele Dykstra helped me spot Sue Hearnsberger, Norman Funderburk, Jason Stuebe, Tim Baker, Dr. Roger Brown, Rose Marie and Hap Hartley, Clarissa Perez, Dr. Bobby Panzarella, Sandra Milum, Paula McCreary, Mike Legoudes, Jr., Sam Schrade, Noel and Cristi Cardenas, Robert Maniscalco, Tricia Racine, Rhonda Dishongh, Becky Tucker, Mark Mitchell, Darryl Chandler, Nikki Roux, Mark Linabury, Patsy Oliver, Judy Kibler, Linda Nelson, Kim Koen, James Alexander and Rev. Johnathan Brooks. The things you can learn at a groundbreaking: The new tower has 9,000 cubic yards of concrete, enough to fill three Olympic-sized pools or pave 15 football fields. It has 800 tons of steel, enough for 300 miles of railroad track or 400 pickup trucks. It took 450 calendar days for more than 400 people to build it. The original timeline was 16 months but those 400 workers got it done in 15. Whatever the statistics, the fact is the new patient tower is a welcome addition to Humble’s skyline.
It looks like Karen and Phil Boughton are back on the grid. After moving back into their home this summer, they headed to Hilton Head Island, S.C. to check on their beach cabana. Karen and Lorie Boughton were there the month before, boarding up and riding out Hurricane Florence then back again with Phil for a long month of beach, sun and fun. You should be seeing them around Kingwood for a while as they plan on staying put at least until New Year’s!
It was an “Evening of Hope” for co-chairs Denise Mears and Lindy Schuch as well as Julie Waters, executive director of Free the Captives, a faith-based nonprofit that’s been countering human trafficking in Houston since November 2009. This first, and to be annual, fall gala was two years in the planning thanks to Harvey. There were close to 200 attendees at the Kingwood Country Club for the inaugural event which was sponsored by CRT Services, Equipment Depot, The Atascocita Dance Academy, and The Robin Bailey Team, RE/MAX Associates Northeast. Free the Captives, which has worked with girls from Third Ward, Alief, Pasadena, Humble, Katy and The Woodlands, works to rescue trafficked teenagers by working closely with law enforcement, restore victims by providing direct services such as mentoring, tutoring, shelter, and material assistance, employ victims in their job program and provide much needed income and life skills, prevent trafficking through programming for at-risk teenaged girls and providing education in schools, deter and reduce the demand by focusing on the buyers/Johns through their “Buy Sex? Bye, bye Freedom!” billboard, radio and TV campaign, conduct research and provide much-needed data to shape public policy, and educate thousands of people each year through their annual conference and trainings. They are also planning a new program of credit recovery and a GED school for the girls.
Congratulations to Chance Battenberg of Kingwood who won his first professional boxing match with a knockout in the first round against Leonardo Pena in the lightweight division at a Friday Night Fights event. Chance has been boxing for five years and practicing martial arts for fifteen. His family’s Battenberg Martial Arts and Fitness facility recently celebrated their 30th anniversary in Kingwood. Great job, Chance!