Katy Texas Community Blog

Browse the Katy topics below for insights, thoughts, and opinions from Katy Area residents and local bloggers. If you're interested in writing a blog for Katy Magazine, email editor@katymagazine.com.

 

25 Ways to Stay in Joy

DEFINITION OF JOY: (NOUN) A SETTLED STATE OF CONTENTENTMENT, CONFIDENCE, AND HOPE

Your kids are arguing, the house is a mess, and you have to get everyone fed and make sure homework is finished before heading to evening extracurricular activities. Oh, and don’t forget to get that laundry out of the dryer before it wrinkles. If you’re like most Katy families, life can get so busy, it’s sometimes a struggle to and joy in everyday things. Here are 25 ways to practice seeking joy in every little moment and become a happier and healthier you.

1. Practice Daily Gratitude
From your first thought in the morning to your last one in the evening, always look for things you’re grateful for.

2. Redirect Your thoughts
Our moods go where our thoughts lead so each time your mind starts heading in a negative direction, practice redirecting it to something positive.

3. Spend Time Outdoors
Studies show that being in nature revives us and positively aspects our minds. Plus, it gives us a healthy dose of oxygen and vitamin D.
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4,000 Pieces

Autistic teen, Grant Manier, transforms scrap paper into stunning works of Eco-Art

Written by Meagan Clanahan

Katy, Texas News – From magazines to wrapping paper and tissue boxes to puzzle pieces, 18-year-old Grant Manier sees more than just paper. He sees a medium that can be brought to life through hours of work fashioned into amazing collages. He is now one of the country’s most exciting emerging artists with statewide accolades. Even more amazing, he’s done it all with a diagnosis that most would consider a disability.

Grant is grateful for the opportunity to have his work displayed at galas, conferences, and public events Photo by Manier family

Grant is grateful for the
opportunity to have his work
displayed at galas, conferences,
and public events
Photo by Manier family

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A City of Churches

Katy’s legacy of strong churches continues today through the unity and service of local congregations

Written by Meagan Clanahan and Susanna Donald | Select photography by Nicole Prosser

Katy, Texas News – In Katy’s earliest days, dozens of different cultures and religious heritages influenced the budding community. When a group of settlers led the charge to put aside religious differences in the name of Christian unity in 1898, Quakers, Baptists, Presbyterians, Apostolics, Methodists, and others came together to form the Union Sunday School. The Methodist Episcopal Church (now First United Methodist Church Katy) and Zion Baptist Church (now First Baptist Church) were also formed that year, and Katy’s first church building opened in 1904. From those humble beginnings, Katy’s legacy as “a city of churches” was born.

Crosspoint Community Church Photo by Nicole Prosser

Crosspoint Community Church

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A Day in the Life of Paige Searcy

Katy, TX – November 2, 2016

Teenage Katyite turned Hollywood actor shares about her Katy roots and life on the silver screen
Written by Kennan Buckner|Photography courtesy of JPI Studios and Marlow Photography

A typical day for recent high school graduate Paige Searcy includes getting her hair and makeup done, running lines with her co-stars, and taping scenes for Days of Our Lives. Searcy was born in Katy and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. “I attended Franz Elementary School which is right down the street from my old Katy home,” she says. “Two of my favorite Katy memories are my sixth birthday party at our community pool on Lavenderwood Drive, and sitting in the passenger seat of my dad’s Golbow’s Garage tow truck chasing down cars that needed a tow.” (more…)

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A Home for Healing in Katy, Texas

More than just a place to stay, Katy’s Ballard House provides patients, caregivers, and families in need with Texas-sized hospitality in a home away from home

Written by Susanna Donald | Select photography by Kristofor Rodriguez

Katy, TX News – It’s no secret that Katy is surrounded by premier medical facilities. People travel from all over the country – and the world – in order to get treatment here. But what happens when an out-of-town patient needs long-term care? Where do they sleep when they don’t qualify for a hospital bed? Being critically ill or having a loved one in the hospital is hard enough. Now imagine compounding the problem by sleeping in waiting rooms or spending money that should be going toward medical bills on a long-stay in a hotel.

KM_DecJan_14_Ballard House-Katy Magazine Winter 2014 by Kristofor Rodriguez 16

The Ballard House, a Cinco Charities community, serves to house families who have traveled to the area for long-term medical treatment

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A Letter from Katy ISD Communications Regarding Terra Kubala and Trent Weber

Katy, TX News (December 6, 2014) – The Katy ISD Communications department has issued a letter regarding the tragic deaths of Terra Kubala and Trent Weber:

“Dear Parents and Guardians,

The faculty and staff of Seven Lakes and Cinco Ranch High School are deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of  two students who tragically lost their lives in a vehicle accident over the weekend. We ask that you please join us as we extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the families as they mourn their loss.

Grief counselors will be on campus on Monday to help our school community deal with this loss. We will be doing everything we can to help your child and our staff through this heartbreaking experience.

Over the next few days, you may wish to encourage your child to express his or her feelings and listen attentively. It will be helpful to recognize the various steps that we all go through in the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s reaction to this loss, please contact your child’s teacher, school counselor or any member of the administrative staff. Thank you for your concern and support during this difficult time.”

Katy ISD

*Katy Magazine would like to express their deepest sympathies for the families of these students, and send wishes for comfort and healing in this time of incredible loss. 

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American Ninja Warrior Artis Thompson

Katy, TX – November 14, 2016

Written by Tassie Hewitt | Select photography by Anetrius Wallace and NBC Studios

Inspiring athlete and amputee, Artis Thompson III, is a winning example of dedication on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior

Artis Thompson III, whose goal is to be the next American Ninja Warrior, stretched his physical and mental strength to the limit and inspired amputees and others all over the world. He competed on the NBC reality TV show and says he will be going back for more. This powerful Katyite demonstrated that no obstacle is too great. km_oct-nov_16_artis-thompson_am-ninja-warrior_photo-by-anetrius-wallace-48

Thompson, who is also a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness in Katy, accepts no excuses from his clients, or himself. He boxes and plays semi -professional football with the Fort Bend Storm. Like many athletes, he spends hours in training, sprinting, doing calisthenics, and working on his upper body strength, all with a prosthetic leg.

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Announcing the 2016 Hall of Honor Inductees

Katy, TX – December 16, 2016 From Jeff Stocks, Principal of Taylor High School:

In May 2015 our graduating senior class officers decided that their class funds would go to the creation of a Hall of Honor which would recognize prominent alumni of Taylor High School. So that summer we launched the James E. Taylor Hall of Honor which is located in a prominent hallway in the school. Our inaugural class of inductees included some really amazing people. (See the blog post from November ’15 for the list.) We invited this inaugural class of inductees to a ceremony which included a pep rally, school tour, and luncheon in their honor, and on-field recognition at a home football game. What transpired was incredible!

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Benefits of Foam Rolling

Katy, TX (April 13, 2017) – One of the most commonly used modalities in stretching routines is the foam roller, which mimic a therapist’s myofascial release techniques and has been shown to increase range of motion, reduce soreness, improve tissue recovery and decrease the overall effects of stress placed on the body. Rollers come in several different lengths, densities and surface structures.

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Blue Brunch at Centerra Ranch Montessori School

Katy, TX (October 25, 2016) Centerra Ranch Montessori School in Katy invited local law enforcement officers to their facility to show their appreciation and respect. Officers visited with students, let them sit in their vehicles, and explained the various technology they used. Students had a great time meeting officers and learning more about what they do. Owner Angeline Labbè-Auzenne adds, “We wanted our children to tour their police cars in hope of dismissing any anxiety our young children may have recently developed.”

blue-brunch-at-centerra-ranch-montessori-school-16 (more…)

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Caraline Miller: Out of the Ashes

Morton Ranch student Caraline Miller survived brain cancer and child abuse, but chooses to be victorious, not a victim

Written by Zilah Miller | Select photography by Juliana Evans

Katy, Texas News – After moving from Katy to Chicago in 1998, my 2-year-old daughter Caraline and I encountered more than a change in climate. Six months after settling into our new home, I knew something was amiss. My jolly, active little toddler began to sleep 12 to 18 hours a day. When awake, nothing she ate stayed down.

Misdiagnosis Mix Up
The first occurrence landed us in the emergency room with a diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning. After two days, we were back at the ER with Caraline complaining that her neck hurt. A spinal tap revealed no meningitis, and this time, the doctor diagnosed her with stomach flu. Another two days passed, and I took her to our primary care doctor. I told him that Caraline rode her wheeled horse down the staircase in December, tumbling all the way down, and asked if the neck pain and vomiting could be related to the fall. Our doctor ordered a CT scan.

Zilah and Caraline Miller stand strong

Zilah and Caraline Miller stand strong

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Eternal Food Ministry: Feeding Mouths and Hearts

More than 17,000 pounds of food distributed to families in need in the Katy area

Written by Kenzie Stanfield | Select photography by Marissa Hugonnett

Katy, Texas News – Once a month at a community park you will see volunteers gather with boxes and brightly colored bags. To the untrained eye it may look a little like a party, but for many in need in the community it’s food distribution Saturday.

Reaching the Hungry
The Eternal Food Ministry (EFM) is a faith-based, non-profit, mobile food pantry that serves a large portion of West Houston, including parts of Harris, Fort Bend, and Waller counties. According to Pastor John Taylor, evangelist and mission leader for EFM, “The primary goal is to reach the hungry and food-insecure with necessary food supplies through soliciting, collecting, and packaging of food for distribution.”

EFM is heavily dependent on local volunteers

EFM is heavily dependent
on local volunteers

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Explosive Blessings – The Rebekah Gregory Story

 

Two years ago, a terrorist’s bomb at the Boston Marathon blew Rebekah Gregory’s life apart. Now, the local mom is using the tragedy to inspire others and live a life without limits.

Written by Susanna Donald | Select photography courtesy of Rebekah Gregory

When the first bomb exploded at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, Rebekah Gregory and her 5-year-old son, Noah, were just three feet away. They were waiting to see her boyfriend’s mom cross the finish line, and Noah was bored. “It was so crowded, and I wanted to keep him right by me,” she recalls. “I told him to sit on my feet and pretend he was a scientist looking at rocks in the pavement.”
That decision saved Noah’s life. Moments later, Gregory’s legs shielded her son from the brunt of a massive explosion that killed three, injured more than 260 others, and filled the nation with an all-too-familiar fear.

Rebekah today with  her son Noah, age 7

Rebekah today with
her son Noah, age 7

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From Katy to College Station, and Back Home Again

Growing up in Katy was one of the best things my parents could have done for me. I was raised a Winborn Eagle, A Katy Tiger, and a member of girl scouts, KYF, and more. Although I didn’t get to fulfill my dream of being a Katy Tiger, I was still able to appreciate everything Katy had to offer. However, besides a great education and amazing town experiences from little league games to the Katy Rice Harvest Festival, my most favorite treasures are my friends.

College station
Diane Winborn Eagles to Texas A&M Aggies
(Left to Right: Ashley McElmurry ’15, Brecklyn Gordon ’15, and Stephanie Ellis ’15)

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From Trash to Treasure in Katy, Texas

Katy artist Kathleen Wedemeyer makes it her business to turn other people’s trash into treasure and inspires with her messages of hope and faith

Written by Tassie Hewitt | Select Photography by Country Park Portraits

KM_DecJan_14_people of passion_Wedemeyer, Kathleen-115_photo by Country Park Portraits

Wedemeyer learned how to weld to better hone her skills

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Full Circle

Katy, TX (February 20, 2017) – Childhood cancer survivor and Seven Lakes High School graduate, Samantha Loos-Polk, goes back to where it all began.

Written by Anna-Catherine Rose | Select Photography by John Glaser

 

The afternoon Samantha Loos-Polk was training at the gym was like any other. In preparation for an upcoming Taekwondo tournament, the then 13-year-old freshman at Seven Lakes High School and second-degree black belt was performing strength and conditioning training. But when she swung a dumbbell as part of a squat exercise, she immediately felt pain in her back and knew something wasn’t right. The events that followed, and the diagnosis that awaited her, would change the course of her life forever.

KM_Feb March_17_Samantha Loos-Polk_Photos by John Glaser (5) copy

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Good News in Katy, Texas

Katy, TX (March 29, 2017) – Katy Magazine gives a shout-out to all the good news happening in our community.

Compiled by Katy Magazine’s Editors

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HCC gets Katy moms’ take on education

School officials and politicians are normally at the helm of discussions on the state of education, but Houston Community College is providing an opportunity for Katy moms to chime in. In an informal and filmed discussion, HCC gathered Katy mom bloggers and social media influencers to discuss their concerns and possible solutions to pressing issues in areas of education such as standardized testing and college affordability. The college gave the women a platform to voice their opinions and will dedicate an entire week allowing the community to chime in.

Their discussion will be aired on the college’s social media channels from May 4 until Mother’s Day, May 10. The social media community at-large will also be able to interact with this discussion by adding their thoughts to the HCC  posts or using the hashtag #KatyMomsChat.

(more…)

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Julian Salinas Continues to have Rolling Success

The mother of Julian Salinas, a young bowler formerly featured in Katy Magazine’s summer 2011 Notes and News section, recently updated us on her son’s current endeavors.

As a fifth grader at Hubenak Elementary, Salinas is staying busy both academically and through outside extracurricular activities. Over the past few years, Salinas has continued to practice, compete, and improve his bowling game, helping him become one of the top ranked bowlers in his age bracket in Texas. Salinas currently bowls with three different leagues – COYSL Youth League at Times Square Entertainment in Katy, SSS Sport League at Copperfield, and HS Travel League with the regional high school bowlers in Katy/Houston.

Through bowling, Salinas has won awards and over $2500 in scholarships that will go towards his college fund. During summer he will compete against the best bowlers in the country in the USBC Junior Gold Championships in Buffalo, NY.

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Katy ISD Art Students Recognized by NASA

Katy, TX (January 10, 2017) A Katy ISD student’s dream of sending something into outer space has become an “out-of-this-world” reality when her artwork is selected by NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to become a part of a space calendar.

sylvie-mei-lim

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Katy ISD Holds Moment of Silence for Paris Attacks

Katy, TX Blog (November 16, 2015) – From Katy ISD Leadership – “As you may already know, on Friday the world was shocked to learn of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Today, as a mark of respect for those victims, our flags were flown at half-staff and will remain as such until sunset on Thursday. Furthermore, many Katy ISD schools and facilities participated in a moment of silence today at 12:00 noon to honor the memory of the victims.

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Katy Magazine Announces Katy People of the Year Awards

The publishers of Katy Magazine honored 10 extraordinary citizens at the Katy Area Economic Development Council’s general assembly meeting

Katy, TX December 13, 2016—Today, Katy Magazine officially announced their People of the Year award winners at the Katy Area Economic Development Council General Assembly meeting held at the Education Support Complex. Ten outstanding Katy area residents were presented with awards in front of a large audience of business and community leaders at the Katy Area Economic Development Council’s monthly assembly meeting. The 10 honorees are also featured in the Dec/Jan issue of Katy Magazine and will be showcased in their upcoming Katy Business Magazine launching in early 2017.

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Katy Magazine Talks to Andy Dalton

Katy, Texas- October 20, 2015 

Catching up with the NFL quarterback and former Katy Tiger to find out how he makes it work as a first-time dad, devoted husband, and fearless leader of the Cincinnati Bengals.

“Growing up, I went to Texans games at Reliant Stadium, and I played there as a Katy Tiger and as quarterback for TCU; but the coolest feeling ever was playing at NRG (formerly Reliant Stadium) for the Bengals and getting the win on my dad’s birthday.”

“Growing up, I went to
Texans games at Reliant Stadium, and I played there as a Katy Tiger and as quarterback for TCU; but the coolest feeling ever was playing
at NRG (formerly Reliant Stadium) for the Bengals and getting the win on my dad’s birthday.”

During the last interview with Andy Dalton, he was a young athlete from Katy on the brink of a promising future in professional football. Now, he is a seasoned pro quarterback, family man, and philanthropist ready to reflect on the last four years of life, love, and football.
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Katy Students host Teacher Luncheon

A handful of dedicated Katy High School students eagerly await the rush of teachers and staff to come. The time is 10:15 AM. With tables decorated, and salad, desserts and 30 pizza boxes set out, KHS Student Council is ready to host their second annual Teacher Luncheon.

  IMG_8560

The previous year, a simple pizza lunch was served solely to teachers and hailed as the first time the entirety of the teachers had been fed students.

IMG_8556

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Katy was a rail-road town, a poem by George Knaak

Dear Editor,

I married a beautiful lady here in Katy, last December. She encouraged me to write poetry, after my brain surgery a year ago, to keep my mind (what’s left of it) sharp. So I began to try & then began to post what I wrote on my Facebook page.

I call them T.P.O.T.D, which stands for “The Poem Of The Day” in abbreviation. I refer to my postings as “Fruit from the Poet’s Tree” and today’s plucking was inspired by how much I’ve come to love Katy. I was born in Austin & still maintain a house there. I tell Roxanna (my sweet, amazing bride) that it’s now our vacation home, since we are in Katy the vast majority of our time.

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Katy’s Next Top Model in Katy, Texas

Tommie Cross-Holmes, a Mayde Creek graduate, is accomplishing his dream of modeling in New York City

Written by Cherri Northcutt | Photography courtesy of Tommie Cross-Holmes

Growing up as a student at Mayde Creek Elementary, Tommie Cross-Holmes never imagined that he would one day live in New York and have a successful modeling career. “As a kid, I was always playing outside with friends,” Tommie remembers. “My mom even got walkie-talkies so she could let me know when to come in for dinner. The only problem was, I had to stay within range,” he says.

“Tommie loved to read and play football,” his mother, Denita Holmes shares. In fact, his love of sports led him to Katy Youth Football where he met some of his lifelong friends. His dad played golf, so Tommie started playing in seventh grade. Tommie adds, “I also played football and ran track through junior high and high school.”

KM_DecJan_14_Tommie Cross-Holmes_Editorial shot by photographer Phyllis Lane

Tommie Cross-Holmes, a graduate of Mayde Creek High School, is making a name for himself as a model in mainstream editorial after moving to New York City

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Katy’s Top Models

Katy, TX January 17, 2017

Models don’t just live in Milan, Paris, or New York. There are stunning and talented models who were raised or live right here in Katy.

Written by Lacey Kupfer Wulf 

Modeling is not an easy profession. It comes with harsh criticism, working long hours in uncomfortable clothing or weather, and demanding bosses. These five beautiful girls and women share how to look past the hard stuff and revel in the spotlight of being a top model.

Legendary Model
Tatiana LaBello, formerly Tatiana Anderson, is a model with ambition. By age 9, she had over 150 trophies in modeling, beauty pageants, dance, pep squad, cheerleading, and baton twirling. She even taught aerobics classes in Katy at age 14. After graduating from Katy High School, LaBello became a professional cheerleader for three major sports teams: the NFL Denver Broncos, the NBA Houston Rockets, and the USFL Houston Gamblers; wrote a fitness book, and received many fitness pageant titles.

 

KM Dec Jan 16_Katys Top Models_Tatianna Anderson (16)

Photography by Michael Helms

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Katy, TX News – Former Katy Tiger Wins 2014 Grey Cup

Katy, TX News (December 16, 2014) – Bo Levi Mitchell, a 2008 graduate of Katy High School, recently led the Calgary Stampeders to a 20-16 win against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and took home the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award during the 2014 Grey Cup Canadian Championship Football Game.

Bo Levi Mitchell

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Leadership In Katy, Texas Education

An inside look at Katy ISD’s dedicated board of trustees

Written by Shetye Cypher | Photography courtesy of Katy ISD

As one of the fastest growing communities in the nation, Katy ISD is the perfect combination of long-standing tradition and a cutting edge approach to learning. Through collaboration, commitment, and a desire for greatness, the Katy ISD board of trustees is always striving to provide the best educational experience possible for Katy students.

KM_14_Katy ISD Board of TrusteesGroup 4x5 Large

The Katy ISD Board of Trustees (Back Row from Left to Right: Charles Griffin, Ashley Vann, Joe M. Adams, and Courtney Doyle. Front Row from Left to Right: Rebecca Fox, Bryan Michalsky, and Henry Dibrell.)

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Local Artists Create Ornament to be Hung on House Chamber Christmas Tree

Katy, Texas – December 8, 2015
This week, State Representative Mike Schofield proudly presented an ornament painted by local artisans to be hung on the Christmas Tree erected in the House Chamber in Austin.
Schofield christmas ornament

Heather and Shaun Carson are local artists who own the Carson Art School in Katy, TX, located in the heart of House District 132. They graciously hand-painted the glass ornament, adorned with the Holy Family and the words “Unto us a Savior is Born”. This ornament is one of 150 created by each House District to be hung on the House Chamber Christmas tree.
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Marriage Through the Ages in Katy, Texas

Katy couples whose love has withstood decades share how living happily ever after is not a fairy tale, but a choice of commitment

Written by Tassie Hewitt | Select photography by Juliana Evans

Demanding jobs, health issues, and money worries might mean the honeymoon is over for some couples, but these Katy husbands and wives have found the secret to wedded bliss. They agree that while falling in love is easy, staying in love requires commitment and hard work. It was 1941 when Boyd and Emily Baker met at a Christmas party in Flint, Michigan. “I was asked to sing ‘White Christmas,’” says Boyd, who was 15 at the time.

KM Feb March 15_Marriage_Boyd and Emily Baker8 by Juliana Evans copy

“About the middle of the song, I looked down and there was a pretty young lady in a blue flowered dress. It was love at first sight.” Emily, age 13 at the time, grew up as the oldest of 17 children in her family. The couple courted for seven years, during which time Boyd went away to college and was drafted into the Navy. “Every time I returned, she was there,” says Boyd, who grew up during the Great Depression. “I never had anyone as faithful in my life. I was lucky.” The couple, now married 66 years, started out living in a 500-square-foot trailer at a time when $13 bought a week’s worth of groceries.

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Memorial Hermann’s Contributions to Operation Backpack Add Up to a Great Start for Hundreds of Area Students

 

Katy, Texas – August 29, 2016 – Memorial Hermann recently teamed up with the YMCA of Greater Houston to help make sure hundreds of area students have the supplies they need to start the school year. Memorial Hermann physicians, employees and volunteers donated money and school supplies as part of the YMCA of Greater Houston’s Operation Backpack 2016.

ymca-operation-backpack-girl-pic

Memorial Hermann campuses have long supported Operation Backpack but this year Women Leaders of Memorial Hermann along with Memorial Hermann’s Partners in Caring, worked closely to consolidate the initiative across the system. Collection sites were set up at 10 locations across the Memorial Hermann system and employees could also donate online through the Memorial Hermann Foundation.

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Mission-minded Katy Teens

Local students are giving back to others here at home and around the globe

Written by Holly Leger

Katy, TX News – As a teenager, it’s easy to get caught up in the world of adolescence. But these Katy teens received a reality check after going on mission trips – some around the world, and others in their own hometown. Katy Magazine reached out to these young men and women to hear their inspirational stories.

Parkway Fellowship students on a mission trip in Diepsloot in northern Johannesburg, South Africa
Photo courtesy of Parkway Fellowship

A World Apart
Johannesburg, South Africa may look like any other large, well-to-do city, but as the youth group at Parkway Fellowship discovered, the outskirts of the city are the polar opposite. The teenagers walked through squatter camps, performing door-to-door ministries.

Parkway student pastor Chris Sedgwick says the camps have very small square footage, yet house hundreds of thousands of residents and refugees. “It’s very hard conditions,” Sedgwick says. “It’s a maze of shacks. You have to walk sideways in between houses.” (more…)

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Parker’s Journey

Katy, TX (February 27, 2017) – Parker Brown, a 5-year-old Katy boy with hydrocephalus who loves cars and blowing bubbles, shows others that living with a disease can’t stop him from enjoying life.

Written by Lana Timbs | Select photography by Christi Harwell
KM_Feb March_17_Parker Brown Story_photos by Christie Hartwell (4) copy

 

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Pay it Forward with Donations to Katy ISD Police “Teddy Cops” Program

Katy, Texas (March 22, 2017) – Officer Luis Santiago with the Katy ISD Police Department delivered 20 “Teddy Cop” Bears to some of our students today! Their goal is to give every PPCD, ECAP, YCAP, Lifeskills & TIP child in our school district a Police Officer Teddy Bear … specialized with a uniform and Katy ISD Police Officer badge!

In the first 5 months since the program was started, they raised over $11,000 to purchase 497 bears for students at 23 KISD elementary schools. They still need to purchase about 600 more bears for 14 more of the KISD elementary schools.

We are asking for your help to PAY IT FORWARD! Please consider making a donation for this wonderful program! You may send donations to the NCE front office. We will accept cash or checks (payable to Katy ISD), or you may purchase a gift card from the Build-a-Bear Workshop at Katy Mills Mall where the bears are made.

Here are a few pictures from this morning! More pictures can be seen by visiting the Nottingham Country Elementary School Official Facebook page.

Thank you in advance for your help, and thank you Katy ISD Police Department for the bears!!

Courtesy of Katy ISD

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Praying for Preslee

Katy mom Lara Massey shares her story of living through her worst nightmare, the tragic accident involving her 6-year-old daughter, and how Preslee Nicholson’s journey of recovery has brought hope to many

Written by Lara Massey | Select photography by Sassy Massey Photography

Katy, TX News – Arriving four weeks early, Preslee was born a fighter. After spending her first seven days in NICU, she came home weighing a little less than five pounds. The first few months of her life were just a glimpse of her strength and will to live. When Preslee was 2, her dad and I divorced. He was awarded visitation at various times, mostly during summer vacation for six weeks. In time, I remarried, and in a few short years our family welcomed Kaylee and Jax. Our lives were complete.

Lara Massey has been overwhelmed by the support she and her family have received from her hometown of Katy, and people around the country who have followed their journey
Photo by Melissa Brewer

Summer Days
Friday, July 5, 2013 was normal. Our family spent the day swimming at my parent’s house counting the days until Preslee returned home in two weeks. I knew Preslee would be traveling that day, and I was nervous. She was making a cross-country journey from Texas to Virginia with her dad’s girlfriend to visit family. I talked to her that night and told her I loved her, to be good, and that I would call her in the morning. By then, she would be in Virginia. I went to sleep that night uneasy, I always worry. I kept thinking that if I could just sleep, I’d wake up in the morning and Preslee would be off the road, safe and sound.

The Call
At 6 a.m. my cell phone rang. I heard a voice on the other end asking, “Are you the mother of Preslee Nicholson?” My heart stopped, and I said, “Yes.” The doctor told me that my daughter had been in a terrible accident. The words, “her heart is still beating, but she is non-responsive. She is not breathing on her own and has critical injuries,” kept repeating over and over. (more…)

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Speaking Up For Autism

Nine-year-old Kaylee Fowler becomes an ambassador for her spectrum mates by raising over $65,000 for Autism Speaks

Written by Clare Jensen | Photography by Lara Massey

Katy, TX News – Kaylee Fowler calls herself a bookworm, ballerina, scientist, inventor, chef, comedian, and child of the Lord. For the second year in a row, she was the top fundraiser for the Autism Speaks walk in Houston raising over $65,000 in 2013. Her team, God’s Little Lambs, seeks to help local families in need by raising autism awareness. Kaylee’s fundraising efforts were inspired by a desire to increase understanding for her “spectrum mates” – because she has autism as well.

Kaylee Fowler brings awareness to those diagnosed with Asperger’s by raising funds for Austism Speaks

Autism Spectrum
Autism is often characterized by repetitive behavior, difficulty with communication, and challenges in social interactions. Within the spectrum of autism, Kaylee has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a highly functioning form of autism.

One of her special qualities is that she focuses on specific interests so intensely that she learns expert level details before continuing to another topic. For example, at the age of 3, she became consumed with maps, and methodically proceeded to learn everything she could about geography, from continents to capitals. Once she learns something, it is imprinted in her memory for an extended period of time, often verbatim from her original understanding. Kaylee’s extensive vocabulary has allowed her to read full-length novels since the age of 4 or 5.

(more…)

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Superhero Survivor

Katyite Joshua Martinez shares the story of his battle with colorectal cancer

Written by Clare Jensen | Photography by Anetrius Wallace

Katy, TX News – People often take their lives and daily activities for granted, discrediting illness as too far removed to affect them. But then one day, they are taken by surprise, and the certainty of having a next breath becomes not quite so certain. This was the case for Katyite Joshua Martinez.

OPENER 2014-07-28 KM Inspiration Joshua Martinez by Anetrius WallaceT

 

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Texas Children’s Hospital’s 2016 Radiothon Raises More Than $655,000 to Support Pediatric Care, Education, and Research

Katy, TX – December 7, 2016

Cox Media Group Houston stations – including The Eagle (106.9 and 107.5), Country Legends (97.1) and The New 93Q (92.9) – hosted a two-day live event at Texas Children’s Hospital in December which helped raise more than $655,00. These critical funds will help benefit patient care, education and research at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, the building of a new pediatric tower in the medical center for the most critically ill children, and the opening of a community hospital in North Houston – Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

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Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital
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The Adventures of Baby Beckham in Katy, Texas

Katyites Steven and Stephanie Poss’ premature son Beckham faces a life-threatening “medical mystery” and survives

Written by Stephanie Poss | Select photography by Kristen Richards

It’s been said, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” The greatest news in the world was that our family of three would be growing to a family of four. Beckham Neil Poss was due to arrive in mid-October 2013. As any expecting parents, my husband Steven and I could not be happier. We immediately started preparing his room and our daughter for the change of not being an only child anymore. During pregnancy, I threw up so much I ended up on complete bed rest. I went into preterm labor in early August, and we began shots to help build his lungs and trying to stop the labor.

KM Feb March 15_Stephanie and Beckham Poss by Kristen Richards 18 copy

On August 24 Beckham arrived, weighing just over five pounds. Beckham was quickly rushed to the NICU. When a child is born, you want to hold and cuddle them, but a NICU mom can’t. Each day he improved. As parents, we lived for the few times we got to hold Beckham. We struggled to not feel helpless. One month after being born, he was released to go home. He was strong enough, or so we thought.

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The Family Stockdick Legacy

Katy, Texas (September, 17, 2015)
Iconic Katy Family spans five generations, more than 120 years, making a lasting imprint on the community.

The Stockdicks were one of the pioneering families of Katy and have left their footprint by way of schools, a general store, rice farming, and more

The Stockdicks were one of the pioneering families of Katy and have left their footprint by way of schools, a general store, rice farming, and more

Written by Wendy Teng and Katy Magazine’s Editors

The Stockdicks put their footprints on Katy land long before the town of Katy even existed. In honor of the family’s contributions to Katy, many Katyites have recognized area sites named in their honor like Stockdick Road, Stockdick School Road, and Stockdick House at Heritage Park.
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The Importance of Grandparents

Katy families share their thoughts on “The Importance of Grandparents.” Four ways they enrich the lives of their grandchildren.

Written by Heather Lowrie | Select photography by Sara Isola

A grandparent inspires, educates, and loves unconditionally. This special relationship is created in love and forged by family ties that can’t be broken. Carl and Norma Lenz remember how they felt when they got the wonderful news that they would be grandparents. “An overwhelming feeling of excitement and awe came over us,” says Norma. “That was shortly followed by an awareness of the responsibility to be the best grandparents we knew how to be.” (more…)

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The Katy Lady Cavaliers Lacrosse program’s 2015 Senior class have signed/announced where they will be attending college!

Nikki Wood– University of Montevallo in Alabama and will play Division II lacrosse on a scholarship.

Samantha Farrell– University of Montevallo in Alabama and will play Division II lacrosse on a scholarship.

Marisa Braden– University of Texas, Club lacrosse

Tobi Dipelou– University of Oklahoma, Club lacrosse

(more…)

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The Real Taylor Thi

Katy, TX (February 6, 2017) – With a brand new music video, “The Real Me,” out and an EP on the horizon, this Seven Lakes High School senior is headed for stardom.

Written by Ashley Lancaster

Ever since attending her first concert with her father, Greg Conklin, at the age of 4, Taylor Thi has been consumed with a passion for performing and songwriting. “We saw James [Vernon] Taylor, and I was so amazed by all the cheering that I turned to my dad and asked him why everyone was making noise. He said, ‘See that man up there? They’re clapping for him.’ Ever since then I’ve wanted to be a singer.”

KM_Dec Jan_17_Taylor Thi_Taylor_Brown6380_photo by David Gaona

Photo by David Gaona

(more…)

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The School Scoop

Beck’s Student Discovery Contest
Julia Yang recently won Beck Junior High’s first Student Directory Cover Contest. The theme was “Just Think.” As part of her prize, Yang received a Beck Junior High hoodie and a decal. Pictured is Yang with principal Carra Fleming.

Beck's Discovery Contest

Beck’s Discovery Contest

Rachel’s Challenge at Beckendorff JH
Larry Scott, the uncle of Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999, shared with Beckendorff Junior High students about the program Rachel’s Challenge. The challenge is based on five ideas: look for the best in others, dream big, choose positive influences, speak with kindness, and start a chain reaction. Pictured are PTA vice president of programs, Amber Willingham; Larry Scott; principal Mindy Dickerson; and PTA president Ashley Vann.

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Voices of Hope

Katy, Texas- October 12, 2015

Lakewood singers, Katy residents, and siblings Steve Crawford and Da’dra Crawford Greathouse journey from award-winning gospel group to center stage at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church

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Da’dra Crawford Greathouse and Steve Crawford lead weekly worship at Lakewood Church for approximately 43,000 members

(more…)

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