Katy Texas

The Online Resource Directory for Katy, Texas

Katy, TX News (September 15, 2017) – In June, the Katy Area Economic Development Council conducted a survey focused on the Katy area workforce.  The survey, which was organized in partnership with the newly created Katy, TX Human Resources Networking Group, was formulated to gather information from human resources managers/recruiters and business leaders on workforce trends in the Katy area.

Approximately 21 companies representing over 3,300 employees in industries ranging from energy to healthcare took part in the voluntary survey which was open to all Katy area companies.  The information gathered will provide useful data for benchmarking and workforce development purposes.

Overall, the survey highlighted numerous workforce trends in the Katy area.  Respondents made it clear they believe the Katy area provides strong access to a quality labor force, both skilled and non-skilled.  Most of the surveyed companies expect employment growth over the next five years with new jobs requiring highly-skilled employees, particularly in the technology sector.  Turnover and absenteeism were noted by companies as being low as well. Please click here for the survey report.

“The information provided will be valuable moving forward as we seek to further enhance the Katy area business climate and labor pool,” said Katy Area EDC President/CEO Lance LaCour.

Katy Human Resources Networking Group organizer Lorna Hall of Pepperl+Fuchs added, “We are pleased to be part of the growing Katy Area Economic Development Council, which was instrumental in helping us understand Katy and all of the opportunities available in this community.”

Katy Area EDC would like to thank all of the companies that participated as well as the Katy, TX Human Resources Networking Group for its support of the project.  Special thanks go to LaCenterra and Katy Mills Mall for providing prizes to be awarded to two survey participants via random drawing.

For more information on Katy Area EDC, please visit katyedc.org.

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Katy, TX Blog (June 7, 2017) – Tell dad how much he means to you with a day of fun and new memories at one of these Katy businesses.


Wednesday – Saturday, June 14 – 17, 2017 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Dad’s Day Feast
Agave Rio
1185 FM 1463 

Treat dad to a manly feast featuring one appetizer of his choice, and the choice of an 8 oz. grilled fillet with lump crab hollandaise or 8 oz. Chilean sea bass with lemon herbs, two sides, and a molten lava chocolate cake all for $55. Call 281-665-3337 for reservations.

Friday, June 16, 2017 3:00 p.m.
Macho Nacho Night
Oh My Stars
1935 Ave. D.

Dads can enjoy a yummy nacho bar while their loving wives shop for their gifts.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 8:30 a.m.
Father’s Day Breakfast
Central Baptist Church

2855 Greenhouse Rd. 

Join the CBC family for prayer, breakfast, and fellowship to celebrate all the wonderful fathers in our community. Visit centralbcs.org.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Fishing & Fun with Dad
Oil Ranch
23501 Macedonia Rd., Hockley

Dad’s get free admission when you mention their Facebook ad. Bring a fishing pole and bait for a quiet, relaxing day on the ranch or shoot some targets. The swimming pool is open as well.

Sunday, June 18, 2017 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Father’s Day Brunch
Las Alamedas Mexican Restaurant and Bar
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. 

Treat dad to a meal that includes all his favorites like beef and chicken fajitas, pollo en mole poblano, snapper, salmon, waffles, bacon, and more. Adults are $34.95, children ages five through 12 $12.95, children four and under are free.

Sunday, June 18, 2017 12:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Father’s Day Appreciation
Cane Island

2100 Cane Island Pkwy. 

Cane Island dads can stop by the Welcome Center for special mustache cookies. Visit caneisland.com.


Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant
Dad receives a special gift when you dine on Father’s Day, June 18.

Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park
Get 25% off when you spend $100 or more with dad.

Boardroom Salon for Men – LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch
Get 50% off annual Boardroom memberships, a free hand grooming with the purchase of a $100 gift card, or buy two, get the third 50% off all Black Jack Products on Fathers Day, June 18.

Splashway Waterpark & Campgrounds
Dad’s get in free on Father’s Day when accompanied by a paying guest.

Bring dad in for a free, 6 oz. frozen yogurt on Father’s Day. 

Tilt Studio
Buy one attraction, get one free on Father’s Day, June 18.

Typhoon Texas
Dad’s get in free on Father’s Day when you purchase a regularly priced above 48″, single-day ticket.

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Katy, Texas Blog (June 13, 2017) – Texas Children’s Hospital shares important information on the definition of secondary drowning, dry drowning, and how Katy families can take action if their child is submerged in water.

Recently, a mother posted on her blog, “Delighted Momma,” the story of her almost 2-year-old son developing significant breathing problems after a brief, less than 20 second, submersion in the spa. Because he seemed “totally fine after he had calmed down,” she decided to take him home rather than seeking medical care. Within an hour or so, her son seemed overly tired and began coughing, so she immediately took him to the closest emergency center. A chest x-ray showed that he had likely aspirated some of the water, which caused his lungs to not function normally. Fortunately, he was discharged after a 24-hour observation at a pediatric children’s hospital, but the parental/public interest in “secondary drowning” after her blog went viral remains a significant topic of discussion! What is “secondary drowning”?

“Secondary drowning” is a confusing misnomer that has been used to describe delayed-onset breathing problems in a child who seems to be recovering after a submersion event. When referring to “secondary drowning,” most people are referring to the complications that occur as a result of aspiration of water into the lungs. When a child aspirates any foreign substances, including fresh/salt/chlorinated water or vomit, it can cause progressive injury and inflammation within the lungs. As the lungs become more ineffective and fluid accumulates within the lungs, symptoms such as coughing, fast breathing, increased work of breathing, low oxygen levels, and altered mental status (irritability or lethargy) may quickly occur. Luckily, most healthy children who appear well after a submersion aspirate only small amounts of water, if any, and will recover spontaneously.

What do I do if my child is found under water?

If your child is unconscious, not breathing, and/or without a pulse, immediately give 5 rescue breaths, start effective CPR, and have a bystander call 911. If your child begins to vomit, gently roll your child to his/her side so that he/she does not aspirate the secretions. Also, be sure to keep your child’s neck immobilized in a straight, midline position if any trauma has occurred to your child’s head or neck (i.e., while diving in the shallow end of the pool).

If your child is awake and well-appearing after a submersion, keep your child warm/dry and call your pediatrician for further recommendations. Because most symptoms of non-fatal drowning occur within 6-8 hours from the submersion, it would be important to keep a close eye on your child and watch for breathing difficulties, skin color changes, persistent vomiting, or abnormal behavior. If any of these symptoms occur, you should seek medical care immediately.

What should I expect in the emergency center?

Dependent on the submersion events and your child’s vital signs and examination, your physician will likely order a chest x-ray and possibly some blood tests. If your child’s examination and x-ray and lab results are normal, he/she may be observed in the emergency center until it’s been approximately 6 hours from the submersion. So long as your child continues to appear well while in the emergency center, he/she will likely be discharged home with detailed return precautions.

However, if your child’s examination and/or workup are abnormal, he/she will be admitted for supportive care (i.e., oxygen, breathing treatments, intravenous fluids, etc.) and observation. Children who are very sick with decreased/lack of responsiveness, severe breathing difficulties, or very low oxygen levels are typically admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for increased respiratory support/treatment and close monitoring.

Childhood drowning is quick and quiet!

Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years, with the highest rate of drowning in the 0- to 4-year-old age group. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website, 18 Texas children have already drowned since January 2014. And, at Texas Children’s Hospital, we have seen 67 near-drownings and 6 drownings between April 2013 and April 2014.

The “Delighted Momma” blog has not only brought “secondary drowning” into the spotlight, but also the fact that childhood drownings happen unexpectedly, quickly, and quietly! Lindsay Kujawa was sitting near her child and for “less than five seconds”, turned to speak with a family member, while her child silently slipped under water. Unfortunately, this type of scenario is common, and I cannot tell you the number of times that parents have similarly told me they turned away from their child for “just a second”…to look for another child, converse with a friend, or make a quick meal….prior to finding their child in a pool, bathtub, or bucket/ice chest. Please take the necessary steps to protect your children while they’re in or around water…enclose and cover pools and hot tubs, safety proof your home (shut bathroom doors, safety-lock toilet seats, drain bathtubs, empty ice chests and buckets filled with water), enroll your children in water safety and swim classes, continuously (touch)-supervise or designate a responsible adult to watch over your children, and learn first aid and CPR!

Written by Dr. Katherine Leaming-Van Zandt, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist, Texas Children’s Hospital
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Katy, Texas Blog (June 7, 2017) – Free breakfast and lunch will be provided to all children ages 18 and under at no cost this summer. Dates and locations below.

Breakfast served from 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. | Lunch served from 10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

  • Morton Ranch Elementary 
    June 12-16, 19-22, 25-29, and July 5-7.
  • Mayde Creek Junior High
    June 12-16, 19-22,25-29, and July 5-7.
  • Raines High School
    June 12-15, 19-22,26-29, July 5-7, 10-13.
Courtesy of Katy ISD

Courtesy of the USDA

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Katy, TX Blog (June 5, 2017) – Seven Lakes High School graduate Caitlin Ricketts is now traveling the world modeling for top name brands

Written by Debbie McDaniel 

As a young girl growing up in Katy, Texas, Caitlin Ricketts only dreamed of the life she’s now living as a model for the Wilhelmina Agency in New York City. “I love being from Katy and I’m so happy I have all of my family still in Katy to come home to,” she says. She grew up in Katy ISD, attending Roosevelt Alexander Elementary School, Beckendorff Junior High School, and Seven Lakes High School. “I have lived in New York City for years now, but Katy will always be my home and a place to bring me back to reality.”

A Big Break
Ricketts was introduced to modeling at a young age. “I started modeling when I was a baby for brands like Foley’s and Palais Royal and stopped when I was about 5 years old. It wasn’t until I was 14 when my older sister Chelsea convinced me to try it out again and go to an open call for Abercrombie.” Ricketts shares how she ended up booking the job, and saw that she loved it. “I realized then how much fun and exciting it was!” The Abercrombie job jump-started her career. “It just took off after that,” she adds. Ricketts went on to sign with the New York agency Wilhelmina Models when she was 16. She moved to NYC and has been there five years now, modeling full time. “Since then, I’ve worked for brands like CoverGirl, which was one of my big dreams, Maybelline, and Garnier, and have had the opportunity to live in so many amazing countries such as South Korea, London, Japan, and Australia,” she says.

Traveling, People, & Projects
She shares that while traveling is one of the most exciting parts of her job, it can also be one of the most challenging. “I’m thankful for the chance to travel the world, and even though it can be hard to be gone for months at a time, I wouldn’t change a thing about it,” says Ricketts, who has been to 26 countries in the last few years. “My next stop is Iceland and I can’t wait.” Another fun part of her career are the people and projects. “I have had the chance to work with so many talented people like Bruce Weber and Bobbi Brown. I also had the pleasure of being a part of so many fun ads for brands such as LeSportsac and Kendra Scott, and magazines like Glamour and Shape.”

A career in modeling may seem glamorous, but Ricketts still embraces the Texas girl she truly is. “I love Tex-Mex, burgers and fries, and of course, some good ole’ Texas barbeque,” she laughs. “I grew up going to the rodeo every year and spent Friday nights dancing with my high school drill team during football season. I still cheer on the Texans from NYC and am a big fan of JJ Watt.”

Ricketts says she treasures her family, and also loves a glass of red wine and an episode of Game of Thrones. A great sense of humor is vital in her life and industry, and she recalls one of her most embarrassing moments. “I embarrass myself daily, but one memory that sticks out the most is when I dropped a shampoo bottle in a store and it busted open. I then ended up slipping in the mess and falling on my face right in front of the checkout line.”

Being looked to as a fashion icon isn’t always easy, but she describes her style as a mix of being very feminine and girly one day, to being very tomboy and gothic the next. “My style is ever-changing,” she adds. Ricketts encourages other young women to embrace their dreams and go after them no matter how big or small they might seem. She says her favorite quote has always been, “Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.” KM


  • CoverGirl
  • Glamour Magazine
  • Seventeen Magazine
  • Maybelline
  • Shape Magazine
  • Garnier
  • Kendra Scott
  • Abercrombie
  • LeSportsac
  • Marie Claire Magazine
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Katy, TX (June 2, 2017) The drum roll from the Seven Lakes Junior High Band marked the official groundbreaking on Elementary #41, which is set to be built in the fairly new community of Cross Creek Ranch.

This new campus is being made possible in part from savings from the 2014 bond and will serve to address growing enrollment taking place throughout Katy ISD.  The campus features diverse and transformative spaces that will blend learning with technology and opportunities for deepened engagement.

“In this area, we have four elementary schools which have opened up within the last five years and all of them have exceeded maximum capacity,” said Superintendent Lance Hindt.  “Elementary #41 will probably also open up near maximum capacity.”

Newly appointed Katy ISD Board of Trustees President Ashley Vann along with other board members also participated in the commemorative event. “The growth you see here in Katy serves as a testimony to the community, the culture and the legacy that we have built here together,” added Vann.

Courtesy of Katy ISD


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Katy, TX (June 1, 2017) Katy ISD recognized 88 high school seniors who were chosen by their campus administration for their dedication, perseverance and achievement during the 2016-2017 school year. Alongside each one of them, an outstanding teacher, who was selected by the student, was also acknowledged for having a profound impact in that student’s life.

These students are the finest example of the character and commitment of the Katy ISD community. Their passion for excelling embodies the Katy ISD mission and vision to prepare and inspire each student to live an honorable, fulfilling life….to create the future.

“The accomplishments of this senior class are outstanding,” said Superintendent Lance Hindt during the ceremony. “It is gratifying to know that Katy ISD will be well represented in colleges, universities, the military and the work force throughout our nation.”

Congratulations to the Class of 2017 Awards of Excellence winners!

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Katy, TX Blog (June 1, 2017) – Today is National Donut Day. Go nuts with donuts at these local shops and restaurants:

Shipley Do-Nuts
1135 S. Mason Rd.
20077 Katy Fwy.
27110 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
3811 N. Fry Rd.
Get a free glazed donut with any purchase.

Dunkin’ Donuts
3061 N. Fry Rd.

Free classic donut with the purchase of any beverage.

Tom + Chee
21788 Katy Fwy.

Grilled cheese donut sandwiches are $2 all day.

The Grove Do-Nutz & Deli
815 Plantation Dr.

One free glazed donut with any purchase. One per customer while supplies last.

More Katy, TX Donut Shops

Best Donuts
811 S. Mason Rd.

Daylight Donuts
5160 Franz Rd.
6191 Hwy Blvd.

D’ Lux Donuts & Kolaches
4327 S. Front St., Brookshire

Donuts Delight
23945 Franz Rd.

Donut Shack
21411 Clay Rd.

Fluffy Donuts
6078 N Fry Rd.

Fresh & Best Donuts
1619 S. Fry Rd.

Glaze Doughnuts
5815 Franz Rd.

House of Donuts & Kolaches
3030 Falcon Landing Blvd.

Just Glazed Donuts
6840 S. Mason Rd.

Katy Donuts
23222 Kingsland Blvd.

Mr. Donut & Kolaches
8945 S. Fry Rd.

Riley Donuts
550 Katy Fort Bend Rd.

Simply Splendid Donuts & Kolaches
1797 N. Fry Rd.

Snowflake Donuts
1316 Pin Oak Rd.
1443 FM 1463

Southern Maid Donuts
5508 S. Peek Rd.
5929 FM 1463

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Katy, TX Blog (May 30, 2017) – The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. During these months, Texas is more susceptible to powerful and destructive tropical storms and hurricanes. The City of Katy encourages everyone to assemble a disaster supply kit of emergency supplies including:

  • First-aid kit
  • NOAA Weather Radio or battery-operated radio
  • flashlight
  • necessary medications
  • non-perishable food items
  • bottled water


  • Follow the City of Katy Office of Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook for local updates.
  • Keep an eye out for storm-related hashtags on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-speed on storms as they progress.
  • Review your area’s hurricane evacuation map every year and watch for traffic updates to make the best decisions if an evacuation is needed.
  • Remember the evacuation assistance hotline, 2-1-1.
  • Always obey evacuation orders without hesitation, secure your home before leaving, and take pets with you.

Helpful Links: 


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Katy, TX Blog (May 23, 2017) – From dining and dancing to shopping and painting, here are some of our favorite places to connect, unwind, or kick up your heels in Katy.


LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
281-395-5533 | lacenterra.com
You can’t go wrong having dinner at local favorites like Dish Society or Las Alamedas. Take in social hour at Perry’s Steakhouse Monday through Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., or relax on the patio at World of Beer.

Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar
23139 Grand Circle Blvd.
832-430-2253 | whiskeycakekaty.com
Sorry boys, Wednesdays are all about the ladies. They have half off all wine bottles and glasses and other food and drink specials during their social hours on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m.

Agave Rio Restaurant & Patio Oasis
1138 FM 1463
281-665-3337 | agaverio.com
This tropical patio oasis has an adults-only patio section with live music on weekends. Catch up over wine and yummy appetizers, and make sure to try their Agave Mule signature cocktail. You’ll feel like you’re at a resort!

The Cellar Door
829 S. Mason Rd.
281-599-3303 | cellardoorkaty.com
Jazz it up with a live performance by trumpeter Preston Smith every Sunday night at 6 p.m. They have incredible wine selections and a delectable menu.

Dekker’s Mesquite Grill
8506 Syms St., Fulshear
281-533-0909 | dekkersmesquitegrill.net
Dekker’s has a super spacious outdoor deck that’s perfect for a girls’ gatherings, great food, and happy hour Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m.

MidPoint Bar & Eatery
20920 Katy Fwy.
281-829-3749 | midpointbar.com
Fancy a milkshake? This local favorite features “adult” milkshakes in flavors like pineapple upside down, chocolate stout, and salted caramel in addition to an extensive wine and food menu.


Cinemark 19 and XD
1030 West Grand Pkwy. N.
281-371-6008 | cinemark.com
With their new plush comfy recliners, huge screens, and reserved seating options, Cinemark has it all…including cocktails!

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
531 S. Mason Rd.
281-492-6900 | drafthouse.com
Alamo has all of those classic “slumber party” movies like Clueless, Mean Girls, and Pretty in Pink, plus chairside service and a great menu make for an unforgettable evening.


A Painting Fiesta
6734 Westheimer Lakes N. Dr.
832-437-4359 | apaintingfiesta.com
Throw on a smock and enjoy one of their many fun, step-bystep painting classes. You can also decorate your very own wine glass with friends, so BYOB.


Arthur Murray Dance Studio
3750 S. Mason Rd.
832-916-5500 | dancelessonshouston.com
Schedule a girlfriends’ group class and have a great time learning salsa, line dancing, and more.


No Label Brewing Co.
5351 1st St. 281-693-7545 | nolabelbrew.com
Schedule a tour of the brewery to find out how craft beers are made or participate in one of their Paint on Tap events.

KT Antiques
5614 2nd St.
281-391-2299 | ktantiques.net
Venture to historic Katy and check out the vintage treasures at KT Antiques. Fun collectibles, jewelry, decor, dishware, vintage signage, and much more.


Leafology Tea Lounge
9006 S. Fry Rd. | 832-913-8707 27131

Cinco Ranch Blvd. | 832-913-6030
Leafology has elegaant padded booth seating, free wifi, and too many delicious specialty teas, smoothies, and slushies to list. They also have affordable food. A dozen of their famous potstickers costs only $3.59! Hang out as long as you like.

Proud Pie
3522 S. Mason Rd.
281-392-2203 | proudpie.com
For girls with a sweet tooth, Proud Pie serves delicious, amazing pies in flavors like bananas foster, snickerdoodle, state fair caramel apple, and bourbon pecan, to name a few. They sometimes offer Pie Bingo so call ahead!

1645 Winding Hollow Dr.
832-321-5849 | cocohodo.us
Cocohodo is known for their Korean walnut-shaped pastries, but they also serve specialty crepes and liquid nitrogen ice cream for every palate. KM

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Katy, TX Blog (May 22, 2017) – LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch will now be offering shuttle and valet to the public for free.

  • Valet: Thursday – Sunday, 4 – 11 p.m.
  • Shuttle: Daily, 12 – 8 p.m.
Courtesy of LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch 

Visit lacenterra.com.


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Katy, TX Blog (May 10, 2017) – Unique Summer Camps for girls ages 12 – 15 in Katy, Texas

Written by Katrina Katsarelis

Be Unique is a new program offering Teen Camps designed to empower girls to recognize their unique qualities, increase self-confidence, and develop a mature Christian perspective. All camps include the guidance in creating a sophisticated and well-rounded young lady who is confident within herself, secure in her environment, and has a positive direction for her life. Call for dates. Space is limited.

Girls will learn about self-confidence, developing a healthy lifestyle, and identifying her greatest strengths. Choose one of two five-day sessions, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This program teaches skin care routines, facial symmetry, use of foundation, highlighter and contour, liquid eyeliner, and much more! Choose one of three five-day sessions, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Lessons will be given in the importance of conversation, posture and walking, social stances and hand positions, the art of writing thank you notes, and more. Skills are tested in a final three-course lunch on the last day of camp. Choose one of two five-day sessions, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Topics include knowledge of clothing styles, necklines, skirt lengths, handbag styles, use of belts, accessorizing, and more. Offering one four-day sessions, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Emphasizing the balance of body, mind, and soul, this camp covers the importance of body care, antioxidants, making healthy choices, portion size, and more. A healthy lunch is included. Choose one of two two-day sessions, 10 a.m. to 1p.m. KM

5529 FM 359, Richmond
GOT A CAMP? List it here.

Visit our Katy Magazine Summer Camp Facebook page! 

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Katy, TX Blog (May 10, 2017) – We’ve got something for every kind of Katy kid!

Written by Kennan Buckner and Katy Magazine’s Editors

Take a look at these area summer camp offerings to find the perfect camp connection for your Katy kid. Regardless of what your child is interested in, there’s a camp available for making summer memories last a lifetime.


Becky’s Academy of Dance
2501 S. Mason Rd.


Becky’s offers day camps for kids kindergarten through sixth grade, as well as dance and drill prep camp for junior high and high school students. Connolly Dance Arts 22760 Westheimer Pkwy. 281-693-1232 connollydancearts.com Dancers kindergarten through sixth grade can attend dance intensives. Dance and drill team prep is also offered for junior high and high school students.

The Conservatory of Music
23922 Cinco Village Center Blvd. 3719 N. Fry Rd.
832-437-4511 | 832-321-3382

Guitar camps are held July 10 through14. Camp A is designed for the camper with no prior knowledge of the guitar for ages 8 to 12. Camp B is for ages 13 to 15. The camps are two hours daily, Mon through Fri. Camp guitar materials and camp T-shirt included in price. Call for details.

A Painting Fiesta
16734 Westheimer Lakes N.

Campers can choose to attend a full-day or a half-day, but either way they are going to have a great time getting their hands dirty and learning some great painting skills. Snacks and materials are included in the cost.


ESN Health
Healthy Kids Camp
2770 FM 1463
Kids ages 8 to 12 will participate in daily fitness games, make fun crafts, and assist in preparing healthy snacks in the ESN Healthy Kitchen. Camp runs June 19 through June 22 from 12 to 3 p.m.

Circle Lake Ranch
1102 Circle Lake Dr.

A horseback adventure awaits your animal loving campers ages 6 to 12 at Circle Lake Ranch’s horseback riding lesson camps. Learn riding and horse care. They have an fantastic indoor classroom, too! Camps are held 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. weekdays. The camps run through August. Register early.

Club SciKidz
700 S. Westgreen Blvd.
CrossPoint Community Church

Outstanding week long science and technology day camps for first through eighth graders. Kids love their themed programs like space engineer, emergency medicine, programming, special effects, video game maker, grossology, chemistry concoctions, jurassic, quadcopter aerial robotics, and more.

Citizens for Animal Protection
17555 Katy Fwy.

Kids & Kritters camp is the place for future veterinarians in third through sixth grade. Campers will enjoy games and crafts as well as hands-on animal experiences. Enroll early!

Spanish Learning Castle
5024 E. 5th St.

A unique Spanish immersion summer camp with themes like safari adventure, dramatic play, and two weeks of under the sea adventure. Camps are offered through July 24 for ages 18 months to 7 years old from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with extended hours available.

Listo Translating Services & More
830 S. Mason Rd. Suite B2-A

A terrific way for kids ages 3 to17 to learn Spanish while enjoying summertime fun. Listo offers three different camps: Children’s Spanish immersion summer camp, bilingual art camp, and summer AP language camp. Visit the website for more information.

Montessori Kids Universe
2004 S. Mason Rd.

Kids will be able to stamp their passports as they travel around the world this summer. Students kindergarten and up will “visit” several interesting countries exploring the culture through activities and hands-on projects and themed traveling fun.

Camp in the City
Multiple Locations in Katy

Camp in the City is Pine Cove’s summer day camp programs that are offered at local churches. Kidsentering first through sixth grade will enjoy bungee trampolines, water slides, and climbing walls. Camps held at Grace Fellowship UMC (July 10-14), and The Fellowship (August 7-11).

Vacation Bible School
Multiple Churches in Katy

Numerous churches are having fun, themed camps for school-age kids. These are usually held in the mornings for a few hours a week. Check with your local church.

Katy Kips Gymnastics Club
923 S. Mason Rd.

Children ages 5 and up will enjoy jumping, bouncing, and tumbling at Katy Kips’ annual summer fun tumbling camp. All day classes are available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Weekly camps held all summer.

Double T Hideout
Typhoon Texas

Weekly day camp starts with a swim lesson followed by games and activities galore. Offering both full-day and half-day camps for school-age kids. Camps run through August 11, but space is limited so register early.

Aqua-Tots Swim School – Fast Track Swim Camp
1542 W. Grand Pkwy. S.

Fast Track Swim Camp gives children a jump start on their swimming because they receive 10 continuous days of swim lessons. Classes are offered at different levels based on the student’s needs. The courses are aimed at children who need to learn to swim or improve their swimming techniques.

Katy GT Academy
21020 Highland Knolls Dr.

Offering innovative camps like public speaking, young chefs, debate, chess, mental math, origami, critical writing, and many more, Katy GT Academy has something for every kind of advanced learner.

British Private Prep School
Multiple Locations in Katy

Make memories at one of British Private Prep’s summer camps. Themes include lights, camera, action; science adventures; and lions, tigers, and bears! Camp is for students kindergarten through age 12. Includes a camp T-shirt and water carrier.
Kids R Kids
Multiple Locations in Katy

Kids R Kids offer a 10-week summer camp series, where kids explore their hidden talents, passions, and interests. Each boy and girl will experience art and cooking, engineering, community service, and everything in between! The full-day program is open to ages 5 through 12.

Primrose Schools
Multiple Locations in Katy

These fun-filled, age-appropriate themed camps for ages 2 through 12 include basketball, flag football, soccer, cheerleading, art, robotics, science, drama, fashion design, and more. Camps will be running all summer.

Discovery Schoolhouse
4900 Falcon Landing Blvd

Programs are offered for children Pre-K through 13 years old which can be attended either three or five days a week. Children will experience field trips, charitable events, arts and crafts, and so much more. Educational activities include learning a new language, participating in a spelling bee, visiting the public library, and reviewing math skills.

Foundations Academy
20817 Westheimer Pkwy.

Students will build a time machine and visit cavemen, dinosaurs, gladiators, outer space, and more. Plus field trips, science experiments, team challenges, cooking, and splash pad play will have your kids wanting to go back each day. Camps run through Aug. 18 for kindergarten through sixth grade.

The Goddard School
24025 Cinco Village Center Blvd.

5220 Ranch Point Dr.

Get ready for some great field trips, STEAM activities, splash days, sports, and games galore. Also, fun mini-camps with cheer, dance, music, and cooking are available. Chose Preschool camp (ages 2 to 5) or Kids Club (K-5th grade.)

Kiddie Academy 
Multiple Locations

CampVentures, for ages 2 to 12, features age-appropriate programs, plus field trips, special visitors, and more. Day campers will create, explore, construct, design, investigate, and invent!


Monty Ballard YMCA 
15050 Cinco Park Rd.

Nestled in a woodsy park-like area, YMCA’s Camp Cinco offers exciting activities like archery, ropes courses, swimming, and more. It’s held at the 200- acre Camp Cinco behind Creech Elementary and features sports fields, a basketball pavilion, misting stations, and a brand new playground. Camp is held from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for campers ages 6 to 15.

Camp Willow Fork
21055 Westheimer Pkwy.

Campers will receive training in tennis, golf, and soccer. Includes a tennis racket, T-shirt, snack, and lunch. There are eight week-long sessions for ages 6 to 12. Camps run through August 4.

Falcon Point Country Club
24503 Falcon Point Dr.

The Club offers PGA Junior Golf half-day camps that run weekly through August 11. Two full-day camps will be held on June 27-30 and Aug. 8-11. Tennis camps are also offered. Call for details.

Golf Club at Cinco Ranch
23030 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Weekly half-day golf camps run through July 31. School-age kids will learn fundamentals of golf, as well as participate in friendly competitions, games, and more.

Katy Volleyball Academy Camp
2211 Porter Rd.

Get ready for fall tryouts or just hone your volleyball skills with evening camps held four nights a week from 6 to 9 p.m. Various camps for fourth through 12th graders are held through
August 10. Call for details.

Stampede Basketball Camp
Camps held at Taylor High School

A camp for second through eighth graders to learn basketball techniques from top coaches in a fun, positive atmosphere. Camps are held June 5-8 and July 10-13.

Katy Youth Football

Offering both conditioning camps and tackle camps for first through sixth graders. Camps are held July 11-14 and July 18-21 respectively. Camps are held in the late afternoon and evenings.

Tiger Rock Martial Arts Taekwondo
625 S. Mason Rd.

5757 Katy-Gaston Rd.

Offering martial arts trick camps where students learn flips, twists, kicks, and master the jump track. They also have a camp of champions, and a combat sword camp for juniors and teens (green belt and above). Led by skilled masters, camps run various weeks June through July. Call for details.


FFPS British Soccer Camp
FFPS Soccer Complex
George Bush Park
800-828-7529 ext. 101

Camp for ages 6 through 16 will be held July 10-14 and will cover dribbling, moves, passing, shooting, and more. Coaches use a positive approach and are British certified.

Pro’s Katy Indoor Soccer
1005 Airline Dr.

They have a great summer camp program for ages 6 to 12. Campers will learn the sport of soccer with trainings and scrimmages and play a game or two of dodgeball all while staying cool in their indoor facility. Camp runs June 5 through August 11, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Register in person at the facility.


Katy Blazin’ Red Camp
Held at Katy High School

This track and field camp has two sessions Mon. through Thurs. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for kids ages 3 to 12. Choose June 5-29 and/or July 6-16.

Katy Tennis Academy
Camps held at Beckendorff JH or Seven Lakes HS

Weekly camps cover areas like stroke technique, drills, singles and doubles, match play, serving, and more. Beginners, intermediate, and advanced players welcome. Ages 5 through 17. Camps run through Aug. 11.

Texas Rugby Kids

Multiple Locations

Five fun-filled days of non-contact rugby fun for boys and girls,ages 3-14. Weekly camps run Mon- Fri 9 am-noon throughout June and July. Teamwork, physical activity, and coordination for the little ones; skill development, off-season training, agility work and game play for our older ruggers.

American Robotics Academy
700 S. Westgreen Blvd.
(CrossPoint Community Church)

Their mission is to excite, inspire, and motivate youth about the fun, importance and impact of robotics technology in today’s world. Their classes teach students to understand “how things work” through hands-on activities that demonstrate the principles of simple and motorized machines. Offering both morning and afternoon camps. Camps run through August 11.

Spotlight Acting Academy
The Villagio Town Center
22758 Westheimer Pkwy.

Offering summer camps, classes, and workshops for ages 3-18 including the Triple Threat Workshop and the Never Grow Up Preschool Camp. Be part of the High School Musical, Jr. performance. Providing excellent theatre instruction through fun activities for thespians of all ages.

The Lifelong Learning (LLC) Summer Camp
1701 East Ave
(346) 387-6955

Their summer camp specializes in youth and adults ages 12-22 with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Weekly activities consist of arts and crafts, cooking shows, field trips, game days, and much more. KM

Got a camp? Email editor@katymagazine.com! Call to confirm individual camp sessions and prices.
Visit our Katy Magazine Summer Camp Facebook page!

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Katy, TX Blogs (May 9, 2017) – Treat the most special woman in your life to a delicious food, fun, and pampering on Mother’s Day. Here is a list of events and specials in Katy, Texas. Don’t forget to tell them you found it on Katy Magazine!


Friday – Sunday, May 12 – 14, 2017 11:00 a.m.
Mother’s Day Combination Special
Los Cucos Mexican Restaurant 

Katy Mills
5303 Bell Patna Dr. 

Historic Katy
5831 Highway Blvd. 

The Mother’s Day special will include four grilled shrimp, one fish filet sauteed with crab, pico, and lemon butter, chicken and beef fajitas, and a small queso with chorizo with rice and beans for $44.99. They will also have Mother’s Day cocktails like blackberry sangria and watermelon margaritas for sale.

Saturday, May 13, 2017 8:45 -9:45 a.m.
Free Mother’s Day Boot Camp
LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch – Central Green Park
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. 

Join other moms for a free, fun baby boot camp in celebration of Mother’s Day. Bring a stroller, water, and snacks.

Saturday, May 13, 2017 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Mother’s Day Card Crafting
Cane Island
2100 Cane Island Pkwy.

Little ones can make special cards for their moms.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 8:00 a.m.
Whiskey Cake Katy
23139 Grand Cir.

They will open an hour early and offer their usual brunch menu items for Mother’s Day.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
All-You-Can Eat Buffet
Agave Rio Patio Oasis & Restaurant
1135 FM 1463 

Surprise mom with a fun, all-you-can-eat buffet. Price is $55 for adults, and $12 for kids 6 years and up, and includes a salad station, omelet station, scrambled eggs and frittata, bacon, sausage, barbecue carving station, crawfish, shrimp and grits, chicken picatta, and a children’s buffet. There will also be a cash bar. Call 281-665-3337 to make reservations.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Mother’s Day Buffet
Hasta La Pasta 
1450 Grand Pkwy.

They will be serving a special buffet to celebrate Mother’s Day. Call 281-392-0045 for reservations.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Landry’s Seafood House
22215 Katy Fwy. 

They will offer a special menu with brunch favorites from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a carving station, a starters bar, seafood and farmhouse favorites, a children’s table, and desserts. Price is $32 adults and $11 for children ages 4 to 10 years old.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:30 a.m.
Jimmy Changas Fresh Mex Fun
300 Westgreen Blvd.

In honor of Mother’s Day, they will offer a special Cancun platter complete with lobster tail, shrimp, and beef and chicken fajita for $23.99.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:30 a.m.
Mother’s Day Brunch
Omni Houston Hotel at Westside

13210 Katy Fwy.

Mother’s Day plates are $56.95 for adults, $27.95 for children ages 6 through 12.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s Mother’s Day Brunch
Alamo Drafthouse – Mason Park
531 S. Mason Rd. 

Treat your mother to a special screening of a movie that leaves everyone divinely and utterly happy, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Their brunch menu will include Danish pastries, creole crab cake, salad, caviar, and panna cotta.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Mother’s Day Special Menu
Antonia’s Cucina Italiana Katy
2001 Katy Mills Blvd.

They will offer a selection of delicious special menu items from appetizers to desserts in celebration of Mother’s Day. Call 281-644-6000.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Orleans Seafood Kitchen
20940 Katy Fwy.

Moms can enjoy a grilled lobster tail with shrimp and scallops served with a summer squash medley and dirty rice for only $23.99.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Mother’s Day Live Music
LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Trumpeter Preston Smith will perform smooth jazz live from Heritage Square.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Perry’s Steakhouse
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

They will offer a three-course Sunday Supper special that includes a salad, a sweet, smoky Perry’s pork chop, and a dessert trio for only $29.95. Make a reservation at PerrysSteakhouse.com.


BH Hair Studio – Complimentary deep-conditioner, champagne, and sweet treats from Friday, May 12 – Saturday, May 13, 2017. Call 281-395-5010 to book an appointment.

Black Walnut Cafe – Purchase a $25 gift card for mom, and receive a $5 Walnut Bucks card.

Cici’s Pizza – Get a free adult buffet for large, one-topping pizza to go when you purchase at $25 gift card for mom.

Las Mananitas Mexican Restaurant – Their Mother’s Day special will include a free, small margarita and live mariachi music from 1 to 3 p.m.

Tilt Studio – Moms get a free game for every game of mini-golf and mini-bowling purchased.


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Katy, TX Blog (May 8, 2017) – After weighing two pounds at birth and suffering multiple organ failures, Logan Buelna proves that life is worth fighting for

Written by Meagan Clanahan | Select photography by Candace Cook

For Dr. Molly Obergfell and Dr. David Buelna, the early stages of their first pregnancy with their son Logan was picture perfect by all medical standards. After meeting at Kingsland Animal Hospital where they were both employed as veterinarians and subsequently marrying in 2013, they were overjoyed to be expecting their first son. They never expected the twists and turns that would come when he burst onto the scene in the early hours of June 18, 2015.

Unexpected Arrival
It was early June when Molly started to feel like something wasn’t right. One Saturday she landed in the hospital, but was sent home being told she had Braxton Hicks contractions. The next week she noticed that she felt extremely sluggish, but chalked it up to working long hours and not knowing what to expect during a first pregnancy. Little did she know that she would find herself in the emergency room fully dilated at just 25 weeks pregnant. Her doctors at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital did everything they could to slow down delivery including doses of magnesium and steroids, but it was too late. Logan David Buelna made his appearance weighing in at a tiny 2 lbs., 2 oz. and 13 inches long. Molly tearfully recalls those first moments. “They took him immediately to intubate him and get him stabilized,” she remembers. “There was plastic stuff all around him and I could barely see him.” Because the NICU at the local hospital could not accommodate a micro preemie, plans were immediately made to chopper him to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Medical Center. “I was still recovering, so I had to stay behind while David made the trip with Logan,” she says. “I had one chance to see him and he grabbed my finger before they left. Not being with my baby was the longest night of my life.”



Predictably Unpredictable
Seven long days passed before they were even able to hold their precious son using skin-to-skin, a.k.a kangaroo care. A few weeks into their NICU journey, he went into congestive heart failure because his PDA (patent ductus arteriosus) never fully closed, thus leading to multiple organ shut down, including his liver and kidneys. The Buelnas made the difficult decision to transfer Logan to Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) for heart surgery on his PDA. Once at TCH, doctors were able to stabilize him, repair his heart, and get the rest of his organs functioning again. From there, it became a feeding and growing game, as well as also working on his ability to breathe without the use of the CPAP and oxygen.

The Will to Fight
While both David and Molly spent every weekend at the hospital with Logan, Molly was the primary caregiver for Logan during his NICU stay while David held down the work front. She spent weeks pumping precious breast milk for Logan, setting her alarm every three hours for a session, day and night. With the exception of a few frightening nights, the Buelnas made a deal that she needed to come home every night, but she was right back crib side every morning for rounds to catch up on the latest news. “Just seeing our baby down there, it broke my heart to leave him every day,” she recalls. “He was fighting so hard, you could see it. He wanted to be with us. I was his advocate, I had to be there. His will to live was my will to fight.”

Surpassing Expectations
As his official due date drew nearer, Molly and David began to breathe sighs of relief. After passing his mandatory carseat test with flying colors and receiving good news on his retinal optic tests, it was finally time to go home, three and a half months after their journey began. After stocking their freezer with over 400 bags of breast milk from Molly, the family was finally released from TCH with their tiny fighter weighing almost five pounds more than he did at birth.

One would never guess today that Logan had such a tumultuous start. While still on the smaller side of the charts, he is a rambunctious, happy, and healthy 19-month-old who is the resident comedian of the household and a daddy’s boy through and through. He has surpassed all medical expectations and was released from all outside therapies including occupational and physical. The future is bright for this little warrior and he’s especially enamored with his new little brother, Eli, whom his parents welcomed full term in November 2016. KM


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Katy, TX Blogs (May 5, 2017) – “After 26 years in international education, one of the things I have enjoyed the most has been the rich, diverse and rewarding discussions with colleagues around the world. One of the common themes across Nord Anglia Education in recent years has been, how do we educate our students for their future?

Part of that discussion has been increasingly around the design of school buildings and learning environments. How can we expect to develop learning to meet the needs of 21st century learners when the buildings we work in still follow the same ‘industrial’ concepts used for years?

So, imagine being given the opportunity to be part of designing, building and opening a brand new, state-of-the-art, ‘school of the future’. Along with the Nord Anglia Corporate Development team and lead architect, Ed Schmidt, that’s exactly what we just did in Houston.

The basic premise was quite simple, instead of building a school around a standardized model of education and the requirements of teachers and teaching, what happens if you build it around the varied and personal needs of learners and their learning?

The usual concept for school buildings has traditionally been classrooms, each belonging to a teacher, all connected by corridors. Students move from room to room either based on their age or based on the subject they are being taught at that time. Rooms, furniture, displays are usually fixed. Of course, this model matches the traditional, industrialized and standardized model for education that has been in place for many years. In addition, rectangular boxes, joined by straight corridors are cheap and easy to build.

But, the real world does not work in isolation and we know that learners do not learn best in isolated classrooms. Connectivity is everywhere and modern schools must be willing to adapt.

Imagine the conversation with our teachers a few years ago. It went something like:

We are going to have a new campus (lots of cheers).

But, teachers will not have their own classrooms (fewer cheers).

There will not even be offices for individual administrative staff (even fewer cheers).

There will be no teacher’s desks, teacher’s white boards or even fronts to rooms (deafening silence and obvious shock in the room).

I have to give full credit to our staff. They have been incredibly open minded, hardworking and willing to try new ideas. This transition could have been very tough without such a team and they deserve a great deal of the credit.

Our new 275,000 square foot campus opened this summer. Spanning 34 acres and accommodating over 2000 students, the school features an array of facilities and exciting learning areas that enrich the student experience.

General Concepts:

  • The entire campus was designed and built around the varied and personal needs of learners and their learning
  • All learning spaces are variable and flexible
  • Teachers are not assigned to a specific room. Instead the campus is built in ‘neighborhoods’ to which teachers are assigned
  • Each neighborhood has eight learning spaces, with flexible and moveable furniture
  • Learning environments within neighborhoods can be adapted, changed and developed to support teacher and student needs
  • Many teachers allow the students to design the learning environment most appropriate for the learning at that moment
  • The interior is mainly glass, very transparent and very light
  • Each neighborhood has a variety of floor to ceiling collaborative writing walls, interactive projectors as well as large screen TVs
  • All projectors and TVs are connected wirelessly via Apple TVs; this 1:1 environment allows any student to project their work in any place at any time

One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is that every time I walk around the building the layout is different. The neighborhoods change every hour, depending on the needs of the learners.

Architectural Learning Concept

In his book ‘From the Campfire to the Holodeck: Creating Engaging and Powerful 21st Century Learning Environments,’ David Thornburg talks about the need to create a balance in spaces such as caves, campfires, watering holes and mountain tops. Each has a particular learning function, from quiet reflection to research, discussion, collaboration and presentation.

Similarly, every area in our school purposefully has possibilities.

The center of the building is the Agora, the Greek ‘Market Place’ where anyone can come to share ideas, research and collaborate. This is the heart of the building, from where you can see the whole school in motion. The glass allows visibility in to all learning spaces and sometimes I just like to sit here and observe.

At any time in the Agora you will see younger children reading, older students researching, a class being taught, teachers lesson planning and a few parents chatting over a coffee, all at the same time. You will also see several administrators working, since this has become the chosen ‘office space’ for the leadership team. It’s a great place to be easily found.


While we need more time and a larger study to measure the full impact of the new learning environment, some things have been immediate and obvious. We have had many visitors come in the new facility since it opened and everyone seems to have the same feedback: students in all year groups are highly engaged and move around the building with a high level of purpose and ownership of their learning.

This is very clear to all of us who work in the building on a daily basis. We need to study it in more detail, but we believe it has a lot to do with the fact that the entire building is built for learners; it is their school. In this school, learning is not something that is done to students. Instead, it is something that we empower our students to embrace and nurture, encouraging them to take responsibility for their individual growth on every level.

I have to say that this project has surpassed our expectations in many areas. We learned so much from our NAE colleagues around the world and from visiting other schools, so we would like to warmly invite anyone who is in the area to come and take a look. We never get tired of showing people around.”


Courtesy of Andrew Derry, BISH Principal

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Katy, TX (May 5, 2017) – Polling locations for the City of Katy mayoral and city council election.

Election Day
Saturday, May 6, 2017 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Ward A
Katy City Hall
901 Ave. c

Ward B 
Katy Municipal Courthouse
5432 Franz Rd.

Click here to see the most current City of Katy Ward map.

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Katy, Texas News (May 2, 2017) – Katy families may have seen and taken photos with the brightly-painted locomotive on the railroad tracks in Historic Katy. What Katyites may not know is that the train is more than a great photo op. The #1988 SD70ACe locomotive is part of a larger, Presidential Heritage fleet from Union Pacific that pays tribute to the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad, and the historical significance it plays in American history.


Other locomotives in the fleet include: 

  • UP Western Pacific, #1996
  • UP Southern Pacific, #1983
  • UP Denver & Rio Grand Western Railroad, #1989
  • UP Missouri Pacific Railroad, #1982
  • UP Chicago & North Western Railroad, #1995

“Union Pacific has introduced the latest addition to its Heritage Series locomotives – the Katy locomotive. Incorporating historic colors and graphic elements of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, the new locomotive pays tribute to the men and women of the Katy.

“Our reputation as America’s greatest railroad has been strengthened by the many lines that are now a part of the UP,” said Dick Davidson, chairman and CEO. “The creation of our Heritage Series is just one way we can pay homage to those railroads and the generations of men and women who helped to build a great nation and the foundation for our future.”

The Katy Heritage Series locomotive joins the Missouri Pacific and Western Pacific locomotives unveiled in July. Three more Heritage Series locomotives, the Chicago & North Western, Southern Pacific, and Denver & Rio Grande, will be introduced in 2006. All honor the people and the railroads that have made Union Pacific what it is today.

The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, affectionately referred to as the Katy, was created in 1865. By the time it joined Union Pacific in 1988, the Katy served six midwestern states with more than 3,377 miles of track. It was an important north-south link between the Midwest and Texas, especially for the growing coal business. The Katy had primary operating centers in Denison, Texas; Bellmead, Texas; and Parsons, Kan.; and was headquartered in Dallas.

The new Katy Heritage Series locomotive is numbered 1988 to reflect the year its namesake joined Union Pacific, and the locomotive will initially operate within territory served by the Katy.

The Heritage Series marks the fifth time in company history that Union Pacific has painted locomotives in colors other than the traditional UP “Armour Yellow” paint scheme. Previously, locomotives were custom painted in 1991 to honor UP employees serving in the Persian Gulf War, in 1994 to call attention to the United Way Campaign, in 1996 for the Atlanta Games Olympic Torch Relay Train, and in 2002 for the Salt Lake City Games Olympic Torch Relay Train.

Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America’s leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.”

Courtesy of Union Pacific
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Katy, Texas (May 2, 2017) – The Katy Flyer was built by American Car & Foundry in 1953 as 44-seat coach No. 5468. It was renamed the Katy Flyer in 1993.

In 1896, the Missouri Kansas & Texas Railroad announced the inauguration of the Katy Flyer, with service between St. Louis, Mo., and southwest Texas. By 1905, “The Fast Train to St. Louis” raced between Galveston, Texas, and St. Louis in about 37 hours. The Flyer carried a boilerbuffet-sleeper for the convenience of those passengers who wished to have their meals served aboard the train. Other passengers were permitted to detrain at Parsons, McAlester or Dallas, Texas, to eat at the company-owned dining station where “the price is only fifty cents and the railway spares no pains or expenses to please the most fastidious.”

By the mid-1920s, the Texas Special and Katy Limited were receiving most of the attention on the Katy. Nevertheless, Nos. 5 and 6 still carried the St. Louis-to-Galveston passengers, handling not fewer than six sleepers, many of them destined for San Antonio, which Katy proclaimed “The Winter Playground of America.” In 1936, for the Texas centennial, the temporarily renamed Katy Centennial Flyer carried tourists to a variety of celebrations on the Katy’s service area.

By the end of World War II, the Katy Flyer was on a downward slide, meal services were cut back, and by 1961 the train name disappeared, with Nos. 5 and 6 offering only coach service. All passenger service ended June 30, 1965. Nonetheless, Katy and its passenger train service played an important role in opening and promoting the Texas Southwest. No Katy train was more prominent in this effort than the Katy Flyer.

Courtesy of Union Pacific 
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KATY, TX (April 27, 2017) – The Quality Texas Foundation has awarded Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE). The prestigious award recognizes strong dedication to quality and high performance.

“We are honored to be among the select group of organizations to achieve this distinction from the Quality Texas Foundation. Winning the TAPE award is a reflection of the focus on clinical excellence, quality, and patient safety that the team at Memorial Hermann Katy provides every day,” said Heath Rushing, Senior Vice President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Katy.

The Quality Texas Foundation, known as a national leader in its field, was chartered to recognize the best organizations in Texas. The group uses an extensive evaluation process that includes hundreds of hours spent through on-site visits to evaluate and score applicants in several criteria.

Dr. Mac McGuire, CEO Quality Texas Foundation said, “This award is no small achievement. It’s not about a particular test, or one day evaluation. It is a critical look at both the processes and results shown by Memorial Hermann Katy, in accordance with the Baldrige Criteria. Those who receive the TAPE award have a proven record of excellence.”

The Baldrige Excellence Framework is used by businesses, healthcare providers, schools, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations to improve and excel in their industries. This distinction takes Memorial Hermann Katy one step closer to achieving the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital received the prominent award in 2016.

“We know the hard work isn’t over yet. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is a lofty goal, but we believe our staff already provides the high quality care outlined by the Baldrige Excellence Framework, and we are confident that we will prove that to the organization in the coming months,” said Rushing.

“I want to congratulate the team at Memorial Hermann Katy on this significant award,” said Dr. Benjamin Chu, President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Health System. “It is a rigorous journey to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and this is an impressive step in the right direction.”

Memorial Hermann Katy will receive the award during the Quality Texas Foundation annual conference June 27, 2017 at the Houston Westin.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX (April 26, 2017) – Katy ISD namesake and career educator, Catherine Bethke, continues to fuel a love for reading and passion for learning in students.

Written by Lacey Kupfer Wulf | Select photography by Anetrius Wallace

Catherine “Gigi” Bethke has devoted her life to young children, literacy, and reading. She developed reading intervention programs and a literacy library to help all students feel the same love of reading she has, allowing her to reach students beyond her kindergarten class. Carrie Lowery, principal of Catherine Bethke Elementary (CBE), adds, “When students are comfortable with literacy skills, their world is opened up for learning geared toward their passions.” It is little wonder why Bethke was chosen as the namesake for Katy ISD Elementary 39, which opened in August 2016.

As the sixth of 12 children, Bethke had plenty of practice teaching – helping her younger siblings with homework, and reading aloud with them. That love of teaching never faded. She says, “Even now at Bethke Elementary, my enthusiasm for teaching is renewed when I look into the beautiful faces of the children, hear their sweet voices, and feel their arms around my waist.”


A Special Gift
Bethke’s reading programs included more than just reading books, “We read daily affirmations, recited jivy jingles to help them with word attack skills, and sang songs to help them with comprehension in addition to standard reading practice.” These other activities not only helped students improve their reading skills, but also built students’ confidence in their ability to learn. “She has a gift for making everyone feel special,” adds Lowery. As Bethke’s former student and special education resource and in-class support teacher at Bethke Elementary, Christin Puyol adds, “When you go through your teaching certification courses, they often ask you to picture your favorite teacher and think about what you liked most about that class. I always pictured Mrs. Bethke’s class because I felt so welcome.

Celebrating Success
Through the reading intervention program REACH (Reaching Empowers All Children), which she created and coined, Bethke has learned how to help those students in first through fifth-grade who have negative feelings about reading and learning in general. She says, “An educator needs to take the time to build a trusting relationship with kids so they will be willing to put forth their best efforts.” She also believes that preventing these negative feelings from developing in the first place is the best course of action. “In the beginning it is necessary for the teacher to accept and celebrate small successes because they lead to reading gains.” Bethke’s example and experiences show that this teaching philosophy works.

Bethke Bisons
“When I was told that a school would be named in my honor, I felt blessed, humbled, and amazed,” Bethke says. “I feel a huge responsibility to help CBE become another successful Katy ISD campus.” She is already impressed by the strong leadership, dedicated teachers, and parental involvement. “I am very proud of this beautiful school and I am delighted to have a permanent link to Katy ISD.” Even the kids have had to adjust to the new school name and mascot. Bethke says, “It is not unusual to see and hear some of the sweet kindergarten or first-grade students eagerly waving and smiling at me as they call out, ‘Hi, Mrs. Bison!’ or ‘Hi, Bethke Bison!’”

Lasting Contributions
Even after retiring in 2012, Bethke continues to volunteer at Alexander Elementary, where her two granddaughters attend school, and Bethke Elementary three times a week tutoring, reading to classes, and teaching junior achievement. “Every time I hear her read a book to students, it reminds me of the excited feelings I had in kindergarten during story time,” Puyol adds. Bethke also works as a substitute GT proctor for Katy ISD. “I still want to be involved in a school setting as long as I feel I can contribute effectively,” she says. For Bethke, teaching has many rewards. “When struggling readers beam with pride because they can read a word today that they didn’t know yesterday, or when they leave the classroom hugging a book they can read, it is extremely gratifying,” she says. “I think my favorite is just four simple words: I love you, teacher.” KM

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Katy, TX News (April 24, 2017) – Early voting for the May 6, 2017 election starts Monday, April 24 and ends on May 2. The Harris County Clerk’s office will conduct elections for eight political subdivisions serving over 900,000 registered voters in Harris County. Fifty-four additional political entities in Harris County will also conduct elections on the same day. The deadline to submit an application for a mail ballot is April 25.

Voters residing in the political entities in which the County Clerk is running the election can find sample ballots, the early voting schedule, and the election day polling locations at www.HarrisVotes.com. The County Clerk’s office is conducting elections for the City of Humble, City of Pasadena, Houston Independent School District, Humble Independent School District, Northgate Crossing Municipal Utility District 2, Northwest Harris County Municipal Utility District 28, Oakmont Public Utility District, Harris County Water Control & Improvement District 91.

Voters in the other political subdivisions within the county may visit the www.HarrisVotes.com website to find out if there is an election taking place in their area by searching via the “Find Your Poll” search engine. Over half of the county’s 2.2 million registered voters are eligible to vote in a May 6 election.

“Contact information for the political entities is provided via the “Find Your Poll” search engine on www.HarrisVotes.com.” said Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart, the county’s chief election officer. “Voters should communicate directly with political entities conducting their own elections to obtain more information about their elections and voting locations.”

For more information about the acceptable forms of photo identification and other means to vote at the poll, the requirements to vote by mail, the early voting period and voting on election day in the upcoming May elections, voters may visit www.HarrisVotes.com or call 713.755.6965.


Courtesy of the Harris County Clerk’s Office


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Katy, TX (April 20, 2017) –  As the Houston Rockets continue to lead in their playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Academy Sports + Outdoors is taking 20% off all Rockets gear (including clearance items) at the Katy locations on Grand Parkway and FM 1093, as well as other Houston locations. The discount will last until Sunday, April 23, 2017.

Courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors
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Katy, TX News (April 20, 2017) –  On Thursday, April 27, 2017, Wood Group will host a community recycling drive at its Park Ten campus to support its environmental stewardship program. A portion of the recyclable proceeds will benefit the Heart of Mustang, Wood Group’s 501 (c3) charitable organizations.   Heart of Mustang raises money to benefit a variety of causes, and its success is a direct result of dedicated employees who generously volunteer their, time, labor and monetary gifts.

Wood Group is committed to protecting the environment and supporting its local community. Drives like this and other initiatives throughout the year allow Wood Group to provide employees and the community a convenient way to donate recyclable items, promote environmental awareness and encourage environmental best practices. The Greater Houston community is invited to drop off their recyclable materials.

Acceptable donations include:  E-waste recycling for outdated or end-of-life electronics – provided by TechnoCycle. Paper, cardboard, aluminum, and free onsite shredding of confidential documents – provided by SE Shred. Boys and Girls Harbor & Katy Christian Ministries accepting donations for new and gently used clothing, furniture, housewares; non-perishable food. New Eyes collecting used eye glasses, frames, eye glass accessories. Pet food, new or gently used pet supplies for local animal rescues.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ten West Center One in the parking lot. The address is 17420 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77094.

Contact Bobbie Ireland at Bobbie.Ireland@woodgroup.com or 281.828-3505.

Courtesy of Wood Group Mustang
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Katy, TX News (April 20, 2017) – The Katy ISD Volunteer Celebration will be held in the Merrell Center on Friday, May 12th from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Hosted by Partners in Education and the Volunteers in Public Schools Executive Board, this annual event honors the thousands of school district volunteers who donate their time and talents to our students and teachers.

This year’s guest speaker is former NFL player and sportscaster Spencer Tillman. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Tillman was part of the 1985 National Championship team and won MVP of the Orange Bowl that year. He went on to have a successful career in the NFL, playing for the Houston Oilers and the Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers. Tillman is now the Color Analyst for Fox Sports 1 alongside Tim Brando. He can be seen just about every College Football Saturday on FS1 and every NFL Sunday on KTRK, giving expert analysis on our Houston Texans. Off-camera, Spencer Tillman has been the featured keynote speaker at some of the country’s most notable companies.

The VIPS Celebration entertainment will include students from every high school, the West Memorial Junior High Theater Troupe and a surprise performance from one of the district’s principals. The morning will also honor the 2016-2017 Campus Volunteers of the Year and debut this year’s principal video homage to volunteers.
All Katy ISD volunteers are invited to attend and should RSVP no later than May 9th by visiting the “Community” page at www.katyisd.org and clicking “Partners in Education.” Doors will open at 8:15 a.m. and the program will begin at 9:00. For more information about the event, volunteers should contact their campus VIPS Liaison or marthabrown@katyisd.org.
Volunteers in Public Schools, a Katy ISD Partners in Education program, offers moms, dads, family and community members a wide variety of volunteer opportunities at their chosen campus. To learn more, visit Partners in Education under the “Community” tab at www.katyisd.org or contact your campus Volunteer Coordinator.

SurveyMonkey Link to RSVP to the VIPS Celebration

Courtesy of Katy ISD
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Katy, TX News (April 19, 2017) – The dates for early voting and election day for the 2017 Katy ISD Board election have been announced. The Board is comprised of seven members who are elected at-large to fill available positions. In accordance with the provisions of the Texas Education Code, a person may not be elected as a trustee of Katy ISD unless the person is a qualified voter.

An individual seeking election as a member of the Board of Trustees must have been a resident of the state for 12 months and a resident of the District six months prior to the last date on which the candidate could file to be listed on the ballot. The following persons have filed as candidates for the upcoming election.

Dates, candidate information, polling information, and more below.


Monday, April 24, 2017 – Tuesday, May 2, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Cinco Ranch High School
    23440 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
  • Morton Ranch High School
    21000 Franz Rd.
  • Seven Lakes High School
    9251 S. Fry Rd.
  • Taylor High School
    20700 Kingsland Blvd.
  • Leonard Merrell Center
    Rooms 143 – 144
    6301 S. Stadium Ln.


Election Day is Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Precinct 1 – Seven Lakes High School
    9251 S. Fry Rd.
  • Precinct 2 – Cinco Ranch High School
    23440 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
  • Precinct 3 – Katy City Hall
    901 Avenue C.
  • Precinct 4 – Katy Municipal Court Building
    5432 Franz Rd.
  • Precinct 5 – Hayes Elementary
    21203 Park Timbers Ln.
  • Precinct 6 – Taylor High School
    20700 Kingsland Blvd.
  • Precinct 7 – Maurice Wolfe Elementary
    502 Addicks-Howell
  • Precinct 8 – Morton Ranch High School
    21000 Franz Rd.
  • Precinct 9 – Mayde Creek Junior High
    2700 Greenhouse Rd.
  • Precinct 10 – Bear Creek Elementary
    4815 Hickory Downs
  • Precinct 11 – Pattison Elementary
    19910 Stonelodge Dr.
  • Precinct 12 – Shafer Elementary
    5150 Ranch Point Dr.
  • Precinct 13 – Beck Junior High
    5200 S. Fry Rd.

Click here to locate your precinct based on county boundaries.


Position 3 Candidates 

  • Candice Perkins
  • Ashley Diehl Vann
  • Dr. David Velasquez

Position 4 Candidates

  • Courtney Doyle
  • Carlos Young

Position 5 Candidates

  • Henry Dibrell
  • William E. “Bill” Lacy

Courtesy of Katy ISD. Visit katyisd.org for more information .

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Katy, TX News (April 19, 2017) – 2017 Prom Dates for Katy Area High Schools

  • April 22
    – St. John XXII College Preparatory at Dukessa
  • April 28
    – Strake Jesuit College Preparatory at Lakeside Country Club
  • April 29
    – Morton Ranch High School at Hilton Houston Post Oak
    – Tompkins High School at the Westin Galleria
  • May 12
    – Houston Christian High School
  • May 13
    – Faith West High School at the Clubhouse at Firethorne
    – Katy High School at Four Seasons Hotel Houston
  • May 20
    – Cinco Ranch High School at The Westin Galleria
    – Mayde Creek High School at Hilton Houston Post Oak
    – Seven Lakes High School at The Citadel
    – Taylor High School at The Corinthian
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Katy, TX Blogs (April 19, 2017) – Elena Carlberg and her husband David have been best friends since they met over 20 years ago when she was just 18. Today, she’s mom to their 11 biological children and counting her blessings one by one. Katy Magazine caught up with Elena to compile some of her best advice for other Katy supermoms.

Written by Kennan Buckner

1. Less is More
Since organization has never been one of Elena’s strengths, she relies on minimalism to keep things running smoothly. “I have 13 of everything in the cupboard,” she says. “Thirteen white plates, 13 white bowls, and 13 cups.” And in her hall closet, there are 13 towels. “Each child has enough clothes for two weeks’ worth of school, and that’s all,” she says.

2. Have Humor
Elena is always making her family laugh; whether it’s by talking in her silly Marilyn Monroe voice or encouraging Arya to use her English accent. “I don’t know if I’m funny, or if my husband and kids are just easily amused,” she laughs.

3. Do Something for Yourself
Being a mom doesn’t usually lend itself to time alone. Her guilty pleasure is recording episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful and binge-watching them later. She also plays bunco and has joined her mom in her home décor business. She adds, “I spend a few hours a night designing items after the kids go to bed.”

4. Stay Calm
Elena describes herself as calm, but not quiet. The couple’s laid-back style reflects in their children’s natures, too. “People are usually shocked at how well-behaved our children are, and we quite often get complimented on it.”

5. Work as a Team
When it comes to the nighttime routine, they divide and conquer. “David and I tackle it together and high-five each other when they’re finally all in bed. It’s like completing a marathon,” she says. Her husband’s support doesn’t end there. “When I’m having a rough day, I can always count on him to try to make me feel better,” she adds.

6. Get a Support System
While she would tell her younger self to accept advice, she says not to take to heart every opinion. Elena finds balance by getting support from those who matter most. “I couldn’t do it without my family – especially my mom,” she says. “She’s been through this journey with me every step of the way.”

7. Plan Ahead for Meals
“We order our groceries online and use the pick-up service. This new option has been life-changing for us,” she says. Every night’s dinner has a theme. Monday might be breakfast for dinner and Tuesday is Italian night. The following week, they just change up the menu items but still follow the theme.

8. Everybody Helps
With more kids come more messes, but also more help. Alec and Aidan do laundry and take out the trash. Andrew and Abby are the sweepers, Adam is the duster, and Ashton cleans counters. Addison and Adrian are in charge of getting everything off the floor. “Annie keeps an eye out for me, ensuring everyone is doing their job properly,” says Elena. Annie, who has cerebral palsy, is also in charge of their music and the family agrees that she has amazing taste. They often listen to John Williams, The Beatles, or Prince.

9. Celebrate Victories
“There’s no such thing as a little victory in this house,” Elena says. “Anything that was achieved through hard work gets met with a huge cheering section.” Last year, Andrew came in last place in a race during field day. This year David trained with him, and he placed first. The whole family called to congratulate him. “You’d think he was just elected president,” Elena boasts. “He couldn’t stop smiling for days.”

10. Focus on Relationships
Elena says David uses any spare time to play with or teach the children new things. “David listens intently when the kids talk,” she shares. As a result, the kids shower him with love, devotion, and sincere affection. “When you focus on the individuals you’re around, rather than just the things that need to get done, the result is deeper relationships. What you get out of a relationship is dependent upon what you put into it,” she adds.

11. Count Your Blessings
Counting her blessings comes easily for Elena. “I’ve been blessed with getting to stay home with my kids and having the best role models in my mom, grandma, and aunts,” she says. “I’ve been blessed in having a husband who always puts us before anything else. I’ve also been blessed with 11 of the most kind-hearted, unique, and gracious children in the world.” KM


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Katy, TX News (April 14, 2017) – Phaneendra Kondapi, a veteran engineering educator who helped develop the nation’s first subsea engineering program at the University of Houston, has been named founding director of engineering programs at the University of Houston at Katy.

Kondapi is returning to the University after serving as director of subsea engineering at Texas A&M University for the past year.

The UH Cullen College of Engineering began offering two energy-focused engineering courses at the Houston Community College (HCC) Northwest-Katy Campus last fall, in advance of the planned opening of a new UH System facility in Katy in 2018. The UH System site will be home to UH Katy and the University of Houston-Victoria at Katy. The graduate-level course offerings are focused on areas in high demand in Houston’s Energy Corridor, including petroleum, subsea, electrical and environmental engineering.

Five graduate-level classes will be offered at the HCC Katy campus this fall, in electrical engineering, subsea engineering and environmental engineering. Kondapi will teach one of the subsea courses, flow assurance.

“Dr. Kondapi was vital to developing the first subsea engineering program in the U.S. here at the Cullen College. I am tremendously proud that he will now help to bring our top-ranked engineering programs to the Katy community,” said Joseph. W. Tedesco, Elizabeth D. Rockwell Dean of the Cullen College of Engineering.

Kondapi taught the UH subsea engineering program’s inaugural course, flow assurance, in 2011, and has worked on to standardize global subsea education through the UH-led Global Subsea Education Alliance.

Formerly an adjunct professor of subsea engineering, Kondapi has more than 20 years of experience managing engineering projects at energy industry giants FMC Technologies and KBR.

He said he wants students to learn not just the technical material but to gain an enthusiasm for the field. “My motivation is to make my students successful by encouraging them to get ready for industry,” Kondapi said.

Kondapi was awarded the 2013 SPE Teaching Excellence Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) International, which recognizes petroleum engineering faculty who have demonstrated innovative teaching techniques and creative pedagogy methods in the classroom.

The HCC building in Katy is easily accessible for Energy Corridor professionals pursuing degrees or certificates to enhance their skills. “We are here in Katy to serve both the community and the industry to improve their technical and engineering careers,” Kondapi said.

Courtesy of the University of Houston and the Katy Area EDC
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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.

When to Use

Foam rolling should be done before dynamic or static stretching exercises to increase body temperature and improve the tissue’s ability to lengthen during a stretch.

How to Use

When using the foam roller before exercise, roll eight to 10 times at a moderate pace along the muscle and follow with dynamic stretching. When using post-exercise, slowly roll the targeted area until the most tender spot is found. Hold on that targeted area for 20 to 30 seconds until discomfort is reduced. If discomfort becomes intolerable, back off the area.

Common Areas

The most common troubled areas cyclists experience are the iliotibial bands (IT bands), hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, hip adductors, calves and the back. These areas are very susceptible to tightness, which can lead to injury. With rigorous training programs and competitions it is vital that these areas are addressed to decrease the chances of injury and potentially increase performance.


Individuals who have been medically diagnosed or are experiencing symptoms related to osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, varicose veins or pregnancy, or who are unsure about their condition, should consult a physician before beginning to apply soft-tissue therapy.


Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital 
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Katy, TX (April 3, 2017) – Katy Summer Academic Term (KSAT) is a seamless extension of the academic school year which provides Katy ISD students differentiated learning experiences and opportunities to earn original and restoration credit. See below for locations, registration information, and schedules.

SEMESTER 1:  June 13 – 27, 2017 

SEMESTER 2:  June 28 – July 13, 2017

Original Credit & Credit Recovery
Seven Lakes High School
9251 S. Fry Rd.
7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

EOC/TAKS Remediation Clinics & Summer Testing
Taylor High School
20700 Kingsland Blvd.

High School – Original Credit Courses

1 Semester Courses2 Semester Courses
US GovernmentMath Models
EconomicsIntegrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC)
HealthWorld Geography
Professional CommunicationsPre-AP World Geography
PE: Foundations of Personal FitnessGeometry
PE: Individual & Team SportsPre-AP Geometry
Digital Arts & Animation



High School – Credit Recovery Courses

Algebra IEnglish IIIProfessional Communications
Algebra IIEnglish IVSpanish I
Aquatic ScienceGeometrySpanish II
BiologyHealthUS Government
ChemistryIntegrated Physics & ChemistryUS History
Economics FEMath ModelsWorld Geography
English IPE: Foundations of Personal FitnessWorld History
English IIPhysics


Register online at katyisd.org.


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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

Katy ISD’s Lunch Angel
An anonymous donor contributed $650 to pay off negative balances for free and reduced lunch students at Mayde Creek Junior High, Cardiff Junior High, Mayde Creek Elementary, and Mayde Creek High School.

Katy Million Meal Pack-A-Thon
Host churches Redeemer Community Church, The Fellowship, and Westland Baptist Church held an event where 626,000 Feed the Hunger meal packages were packed by 2,500 Katy area volunteers.

Katy High School Faculty
Faculty and staff raised $4,450 to donate to The Ballard House.

Santa Cops
Katy ISD’s Santa Cops program helped 674 children and more than 330 families by providing toys and clothing.

Raising Cane’s
The chicken finger restaurant sold white plush puppies to patrons. The sales of the puppies went to help the animals at Special Pals Shelter.

Fort Bend Rancher’s Ball
The ball raised almost $290,000 through the hard work and dedication of Katy residents as well as Commissioner Andy Meyers. The money has been donated to Katy Christian Ministries, Simonton Christian Academy, and Katy Contemporary Arts Museum.

Watercrest at Katy
Residents of Watercrest at Katy raised $1,746 to donate to Katy Christian Ministries.

During an evening charity event, the upscale clothing boutique donated 20% of its sales to Clothed by Faith.

Cinco Ranch Giving Circle
The members, made up of Katy area residents, collected $1,521 to donate to Child Advocates of Fort Bend.

Employees brought clothing items to their company party and donated everything to Hope Impacts.

Impress Computers
The company collected teddy bears to donate to the Joe Joe Bear Foundation.

Fulshear Police Department
For every Red, White, & Rescue calendar sold, the police department donated funds to Special Pals Shelter.

Camp Bow Wow
Katy Employees and patrons dropped off pet food, toys, and other needed items for animals in foster care.

Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch
The health and fitness club partnered with Cigna to offer free health screenings to help people find out their four health numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and BMI.

BH Hair Studio
The salon gave away free makeovers to five lucky patrons.

Girl Scout Troop 129068
Scouts prepared pancakes, bacon, and eggs for dinner, then served them to residents at The Ballard House.

Katy Triathlon at Firethorne
The event raised more money than expected and is increasing scholarships from $1,500 to $2,000.

Houston Methodist West Hospital
Volunteers from the hospital visited families delivering teddy bears donated by Beckendorff Junior High, tigers from Katy Junior High, and blankets donated by National Charity League Katy Chapter.


Have something GOOD to share? Email good@katymagazine.com.
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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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Katy, TX (March 21, 2017) Stretching and soft-tissue therapy are essential components of a complete exercise program. Incorporating them into your fitness routine will increase performance, reduce injury, improve range of motion and benefit overall physical fitness.

Static stretching is a slow and constant stretch, with the end position held for 20 to 30 seconds. A static stretch includes the relaxation and elongating of the stretched muscle. Dynamic stretching is a type of stretching that actively moves a joint through the full range of motion. It closely duplicates movements required for a sport or activity.

Soft-Tissue Therapy
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.

When to Use
Foam rolling should be done before dynamic or static stretching exercises to increases body temperature and improve the tissue’s ability to lengthen during a stretch.

How to Use
When using the foam roller before exercise, roll eight to 10 times at a moderate pace along the muscle and follow with dynamic stretching. When using post-exercise, slowly roll the targeted area until the most tender spot is found. Hold on that targeted area for 20 to 30 seconds until discomfort is reduced. If discomfort becomes intolerable, back off the area.

Common Areas
The most common troubled areas cyclists experience are the iliotibial bands (IT bands), hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, hip adductors, calves and the back. These areas are very susceptible to tightness, which can lead to injury. With rigorous training programs and competitions it is vital that these areas are addressed to decrease the chances of injury and potentially increase performance.

Individuals who have been medically diagnosed or are experiencing symptoms related to osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, varicose veins or pregnancy, or who are unsure about their condition, should consult a physician before beginning to apply soft-tissue therapy.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, Texas – The top five ailments to watch for in Katy this year

Written by Lana Timbs

Being sick is no fun for families, and is often inevitable. Katy doctors and pediatricians see certain illnesses often. Learn more about some of these common diagnoses and how to protect your family.

1. Ear Infections

Ear infections commonly occur when fluid behind the eardrum, or in the middle ear, becomes trapped due to inflammation and becomes infected. Colds, sinus infections, throat infections, or even allergy attacks can cause the inflammation. Symptoms include ear pain and fever.

  • Treatment
    Ear infections are commonly treated with a seven to 10 day prescription of oral antibiotics. Some patients do not require antibiotics, as the ear infection can heal without them. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce fever and alleviate ear pain. Chiropractic care can also be used to treat certain illnesses, such as ear infections.
  • Prevention
    Nose health is important in the prevention of ear infections. Keep your nose as healthy as possible by using nasal saline daily when well, or several times a day when experiencing allergies, a cold, sinus, throat, or ear infection.

2. Strep (Streptococcus) 

Streptococcus bacteria, commonly called strep or strep throat, has been a prevalent illness among children and families. These contagious bacteria can cause chills, headache, stomachache, vomiting, fever, and sore throat – many of which are flu-like symptoms. Anyone can get strep, but some are more susceptible to it. Families with multiple children may have one child that gets strep more often than any other children in the family.

  • Treatment
    Strep throat has to be treated, not only because it is contagious, but also because if left untreated, it could be dangerous, causing rheumatic heart disease or an autoimmune disease. Pediatricians often prescribe regular antibiotics or even a strong antibiotic given as a shot in the office. Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help with fevers. Gargling with salt water and drinking warm drinks can help soothe the throat and relive some of the pain.
  • Prevention
    Try to not let little ones share drinks or food, as that’s a very quick way for another child to get strep throat. Keep the sick child or person isolated as not to spread the bacteria. Hand washing and keeping the house and living areas clean also helps with not spreading the strep bacteria.

3. Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is very common in childhood. This is a contagious, viral disease, originating from the coxsackievirus. Symptoms include a pimple-like rash around the mouth, soles of the feet and on the palms of the hands. Sores can occur in the back of the throat causing pain, and most children will refuse to eat even their favorite foods. There will also be a low-grade fever, around 101 to 102 degrees.

  • Treatment
    Hand, foot, and mouth disease is most contagious during the first week, but can stay in the body for up to a month or longer. The virus is a self-limiting virus, meaning the body fights it on its own. Once the rash begins to scab over, usually after two to three days, it is safe for children to return to school or daycare. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be administered for the fever and mouth pain; popsicles, pudding, and ice cream can also help soothe the throat.
  • Prevention
    Hand, foot, and mouth is more prevalent in the summer months. Prevention includes hand washing with soap and warm water, wiping toys and play surfaces with disinfectant wipes or sprays, as well as trying to isolate the child from other children during the first few days of the illness.

4. Impetigo

Impetigo is a skin rash, seen commonly in preschool and school-aged children. The rash is caused when streptococcus (strep) or staphylococcus (staph) bacteria get into a cut or abrasion or an area that is already irritated, like under the nose after blowing it a lot. The rash causes sores that resemble blisters that ooze fluid and look crusty. There is no fever with impetigo, and the rash is contagious. Scratching can cause it to spread from one area to another.

  • Treatment
    Impetigo is typically treated with a prescription-strength local antibiotic ointment. If there are a lot of lesions, an oral antibiotic can be prescribed. There is no fever or pain typically associated with impetigo. Cool compresses can help relieve itching.
  • Prevention
    Impetigo is seen most commonly in early fall months. Keeping sports equipment clean (close-contact sports), hand washing, and keeping the lesions loosely covered are all ways to help prevent the spread of impetigo.

5. Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Conjunctivitis, commonly called pink eye, occurs when the eye conjunctiva, clear tissue lying over the white of the eye, becomes inflamed. There are two types of pink eye, infectious (either bacterial or viral) or non-infectious (due to allergies). The infectious type of pink eye is a common illness in younger children. Symptoms include redness and discharge in one or both of the eyes, and sometimes swelling of the eyes and eyelids.

  • Treatment
    A physician can determine what type of pink eye it is, and according to the type, can prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment. Viral conjunctivitis is self-limiting, and the body will heal itself of that type. Warm or cool compresses can be used to relieve swelling or any eye pain.
  • Prevention
    Pink eye is contagious, so precaution should be used to not spread the illness. Hand washing and reducing hand-to-hand contact with others while infected are both important in reducing the spread of the bacteria or virus. Pink eye can last a week or longer, and can still be contagious even after beginning drops or ointment. KM
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Katy, TX (March 10, 2017) – Has the “stomach bug” hit your household? It might be the highly contagious Norovirus. Read on for some information and tips from Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

What is norovirus?

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes acute gastroenteritis. Following introduction of rotavirus vaccination, norovirus has become the most common cause of gastroenteritis in adults and children. Viral gastroenteritis is an infection that can cause diarrhea and vomiting. It happens when a person’s stomach and intestines get infected with a virus. Both adults and children can get viral gastroenteritis. The Center for Disease Control estimates norovirus to be responsible for 19-21 million illnesses, including 50,000 to 70,000 hospitalizations as well as 570 to 800 child deaths every year in the U.S. alone. Anyone can get infected with norovirus and become sick.

How do kids contract it?

Your child can become infected with norovirus by accidentally getting vomit or stool from infected people in their mouth. While that may sound weird, this usually happens by: consuming contaminated food or drink, touching contaminated surfaces or objects then putting fingers in the mouth or having contact with someone infected with norovirus. Typically, norovirus outbreaks happen when infected people spread the virus to others. Outbreaks can occur in numerous institutional settings including schools, child care centers and colleges because it lives on surfaces and is resistant to many common disinfectants.

Someone with norovirus is most contagious when they are sick and the first few days after they recover.

What are the symptoms of norovirus?

The most common symptoms of norovirus include; diarrhea, throwing up, nausea and stomach pain. Other symptoms can include; fever, headache and body aches.

These symptoms usually appear within 12 to 48 hours of being exposed to norovirus. For most people, norovirus illness is not serious and they get better in one to three days. A person may become extremely ill and throw up or experience diarrhea multiple times a day which can lead to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include; decreased urination, dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up. Young children who are dehydrated may cry with fewer tears and usually are sleepy and fussy.

How do you treat norovirus?

Unfortunately, there is no specific medicine to treat people infected with the norovirus illness. Norovirus cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral – not bacterial – infection. If your child has the norovirus illness have them drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid lost from throwing up and diarrhea to help prevent dehydration.

What’s the best way to prevent Norovirus?

These tips will help protect you and your child from norovirus.

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water before eating, preparing or handling food and especially after changing diapers or using the restroom.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly before preparing or consuming them.
  • Do not prepare foods or care for others when you are sick and for at least two days after symptoms stop.
  • Immediately remove and wash clothes or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or stool. You should handle soiled items carefully by wearing gloves and washing your hands after.
  • Clean and disinfect any surfaces thought to be contaminated.
    • The CDC recommends using a chlorine bleach solutions with a concentration of 1000-5000 ppm; about 5 to 25 tablespoons of household bleach per gallon of water.
Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and Dr. Stan Spinner
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Katy, TX (March 9, 2017) – Everybody loves a freebie now and then. We’ve tracked down all the places in Katy to get a free product, service, or meal. Take a look!


Applebee’s – Get one free birthday entree.

Arby’s – Diners get a free small shake with any purchase on their birthday.

Auntie Anne’s – One free birthday pretzel.

A&W Restaurants – Get a free root bear float on your big day.

Baskin Robbins – Get one 2.5 oz ice cream scoop on the house for your birthday.

BJ’s Restaurants – Birthday boys and girls get a free pizookie dessert.

Buffalo Wild Wings – Free snack-size wings.

Camp Bow Wow Katy  – All birthday dogs will get a free bath, a “Happy Birthday” bandanna, and a photo on their Facebook page. No credits – baths must be given on your dog’s birthday. (Dogs must pass all camp requirements.) Visit campbowwow.com.

Chuck E. Cheese – Birthdays get 100 free tickets.

CiCi’s Pizza – One free buffet with the purchase of an adult buffet and a regular drink.

Corner Bakery – A free cookie or bakery sweet.

Denny’s – Their Grand Slam Breakfast is free on your birthday.

Fuddrucker’s – $5 off your check, and kids receive free burgers on their birthday.

Great American Cookies – Get a slice of cookie cake at no charge with the purchase of a regular drink.

Grimaldi’s – Get a large, one-topping pizza for free on your birthday.

IHOP – Birthday diners get a free stack of Rooty Tooty Fresh N Fruity pancakes.

James Coney Island – Enjoy a cheese coney on the house on your birthday.

Jason’s Deli – Receive a $5 discount on your check.

La Madeleine – Get a free pastry on your special day.

Landry’s Seafood House – Choose from a complimentary appetizer or dessert with the purchase of an entree.

Marble Slab Creamery – Receive a free small cup or cone.

Marco’s Pizza – Anyone celebrating a birthday can get a free medium, one-topping pizza.

Nothing Bundt Cakes – Free Bundtlet cake on your birthday.

Olive Garden  – Get a free app or dessert with the purchase of two adult entrees.

Panera Bread – Get any bakery item at no charge on your birthday.

Rainforest Cafe  – Birthdays get a free appetizer with purchase of an entree.

RedBox Movie Rental – Complimentary Blu-Ray or DVD rental.

Red Lobster – Go in on your birthday and receive $5 your check with the purchase of two entrees.

Rita’s Italian Ice – Get a free regular Italian ice on your big day.

Schlotzky’s  – Redeem one free sandwich on your birthday.

Smashburger – Enjoy a hand-spun shake on the house with the purchase of an entree.

Smoothie King – Birthdays can purchase a 20 oz. smoothie for only $2.99.

Starbucks – Free hot or cold drink, bottled beverage, or food item on your birthday.

Taco Cabana – Birthdays get a free flauta plate that includes three chicken flautas, rice, beans, pico de gallo, sour crea,guacamole, and two tortillas.

Texas Roadhouse – Chow down on a free appetizer or sidekick of ribs with the purchase of an entree on your birthday.

Which Wich – Redeem a free small sandwich on your birthday.

Wing Stop – Enjoy a free order of large fries on the house.

Zaxby’s – Birthdays will receive a free Nibbler sandwich.

Zoe’s Kitchen – Enjoy a free entree on your special day.

NOTE: Please visit individual websites for more details – as most offers are valid only through e-mail subscriptions or app downloads. 


Barnes & Noble – Teachers get a 20% discount on qualifying purchases when they are a part of the B&N Educator Program.

Leafology Tea Lounge Katy – Katy ISD teachers and faculty will receive 25% off a menu item when they present a valid ID. Visit leafologytealounge.com.

McDonald’s – Katy ISD teachers and faculty will receive a free small McCafe coffee when they present their school ID during the 2016-2017 school year. (Participating locations – see our blogs page for details.)

Katy Budget Books  – Teachers will receive 20% off in-store pick-up or school delivery when they order new books for their classrooms. They also have a Used Book Credit Account that has been donated to public school teachers for the purchase of used books for the classroom. Visit katybooks.com.

Michael’s – Teachers can get 15% their entire in-store purchase.

Peter Chang Restaurant – Katy ISD teachers and faculty can receive 10-50% off in January and August. Visit peterchangtx.com.

Texas Roadhouse – Teachers can get 10% off their meal every Tuesday with a valid school ID.

Verum Vi CrossFit Katy – Full-time teachers and students receive 10% off of their membership.


24 Hour Fitness – Active, reserve, and retired military and dependents receive 10% off their membership, and free workouts on Memorial Day weekend.

A&W – Active military can present valid military ID for a special discount at their Katy store. Details vary by location.

Aeropostale – Active, retired, and reserve military and their dependents get 20% off their purchase at any store nationwide.

Anne Taylor Loft – The Katy Mills Mall location offers 15% off full-priced items for active, reserved, and retired military and their dependents.

AT&T – Active, reserve, and retired military as well as veterans will receive a 15% government discount with a valid military or VA ID. Veterans must show a copy of your DD214 at all Katy locations.

AutoZone – Offers free shipping for online orders for any FPO or APO address for active, retired, and reserve military. Check with individual Katy stores for additional military discount programs.

Banana Republic – Their Katy Mills location offers 10% off in-store purchases on the first Monday of every month for active, retiree, reserved, veterans, and dependents.

Bass Pro Shop – From the 15th to the 22nd of every month, active, retired, reserve, veterans, and dependents can receive a store-specific discount when they present active military ID or DD214. Discount does not include reels, electronics, firearms, ammunition and reloading equipment, scopes, bows, arrows, taxidermy, gift cards, Tracker boats, Mercury motors, or ATV’s.

Camp Bow Wow – All military personnel receive 10% off all boarding and day camps, and 5% off of retail services. Just show proof of employment for the discount to be applied. (Dogs must pass all camp requirements.) Visit campbowwow.com.

Country Park Portraits– Active military personnel can receive a complimentary portrait session and 8 x 10 photo when they present a military ID.

Eddie Bauer – Active, retired, and reserve military and their families can receive 10 – 15% off in-store purchases. Must ask about veteran discounts at your location.

El Pollo Loco – Military service members receive 15% off of their order.

Goodwill – Offers 30% discounts to first-responders and their families every Friday.

Lowe’s Home Improvement – They offer a 10% military discount to active military, retired veterans, and immediate family. Must present a valid DD214 or other proof of service. Personal purchases only.

Michael’s – Military and immediate family can receive 15% off their entire in-store purchase when they present a valid military ID.

Peter Chang Restaurant – Police officers can get discounts in  April and October, family members of military in the month of May, and firefighters (regular, volunteer, and family) in the month of September. Discounts range from 10 – 50 percent and valid occupation ID is required. Visit peterchangtx.com.

Texas Roadhouse – Military members get 30% off their meal every day.

Verum Vi CrossFit Katy – Police, firefighters, EMT, and active military receive 15% off of their membership. Veterans receive 10% off of their membership.

WellPet Center Veterinary Hospital – Pets of active or veteran military and public service members get 15% off of their service.

Applebee’s – Diners aged 60 and up can get 10 to 15% off their meal at certain locations.

Burger King – Ages 60+ receive 10% off their order plus additional discounts on coffee and soft drinks.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – AARP members get 15% off their entire meal.

Denny’s – Most locations offer 15% AARP members who are 55 and older.

Dunkin’ Donuts – AARP members get a free donut with the purchase of a large or extra large coffee.

El Pollo Loco – Seniors 60 and over receive 10% off their order.

Fuddrucker’s – Get 10% any senior platter if you are over 55 years old.

IHOP – They offer special pricing on breakfast items for diners over 55.

Office Depot/Office Max – AMAC members get 10% off office products.

Stein Mart – Shoppers over the age of 55 get 20% every Monday.

Please call to verify these deals and offers, as some vary by location or require an app download or coupon to redeem. 
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Katy, TX News (March 8, 2017) – Teachers can get their coffee fix every Monday during the school year at one of these McDonald’s locations.

Seven Meadows
7104 S. Fry Rd.

Cross Creek Ranch
6748 FM 1463, Fulshear

Spring Green
27140 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Stop by and present a school ID for a free small McCafe coffee.


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Katy, TX (March 7, 2017) – Katyites can pack up the family vehicle and embark on a spring break adventure without ever leaving Texas.

Written by Kennan Buckner

Make special memories with your kiddos as you make new friends, both human and animal, at these spring break hot spots. From cooling off by a lake to sipping drinks poolside, vacationers are sure to have fun they’ll never forget at these Texas destinations.


Visit the Austin Aquarium for a close-up with sharks, stingrays, corals, and a giant Pacific octopus. You might even see a mermaid on weekends. Buy tickets online and save $3.

Inside Zilker Park, you’ll find your own oasis at Barton Springs Pool, fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 70 degrees.

Bring your fishing reels for shoreline fishing and a picnic basket for lunch beside beautiful Lake Travis. Thrill-seekers can visit Austin Outdoor Zipline Adventure to zip through the trees and over

the water. Lodging is also offered.

KM_Feb March_17_Lake Travis Zipline Adventures(2)



After a day at the sandy beach, head over to the Hurricane Alley Waterpark which offers everything from a lazy river and water slides to a kid’s cove with mini slides and a swimup bar offering kid-friendly beverages.


Resting in Corpus Christi Bay is the USS Lexington, which served as a carrier during World War II. Take a self-guided tour of the ship or visit the museum, virtual battle stations, or the 3D mega theater.


Touch and feed stingrays at the Texas State Aquarium or make friends with sea turtles at Tortuga Cay. Families will also enjoy the underwater view of a 125,000-gallon exhibit featuring an entire ecosystem. Save $3 on weekday tickets online.

KM_Feb March_17_Texas State Aquarium



Trot the globe without ever leaving Texas at the Dallas Zoo. From elephants to penguins, visitors can embark on a fun day of discovery. The children’s area features friendly goats, pigs, and other farm animals.


Go from swimming and splashing back to your wolf denthemed room or premium suite without ever having to get in your car. The Great Wolf Lodge offers endless indoor water fun, character appearances, dining, shopping, spas, and more – all under one giant roof.


A LEGO lover’s dream, this one-of-a-kind experience offers a LEGO factory tour, 4D cinema, and adventures like the Merlin’s apprentice and kingdom quest rides. Visitors can also build and test their own LEGO car or explore the Star Wars miniland model display.

Coffee Shop exterior



Ride the Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry from the mainland to Bolivar peninsula. The free trip, which sails 2.7 miles, lasts about 18 minutes. Then visit the peninsula’s lighthouse built in 1852. It’s survived the 1900 and 1915 storms and Hurricane Ike.


Have an educational adventure while exploring Moody Gardens. The Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, Discovery Museum, and 3D and 4D theaters immerse visitors in a tropical paradise. Adventurers can also try the five-tier ropes course or zip line over Palm Beach.


Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark opens March 4 and features indoor family fun on the Boogie Bahn surf ride or amid the 70,000 square feet of slides, pools, kids’ area, and secluded beaches. Open daily March 11 to 19 for spring break.

KM_Feb March_17_Travel Spring Break Destinations_Sclitterbahn (3)



Visit the Lone Star State’s historical landmark where the first stone for the Spanish mission was laid in 1744. It’s open year-round and entrance is free. Last July, archaeologists discovered an adobe wall about 23 inches below the flagstone surface.


Shopping, dining, art, and river taxi rides await along the San Antonio Riverwalk. Visitors can walk the Riverwalk all the way from the hip Pearl District to the Shops at Rivercenter, Tower of Americas, and the Mission Reach.


Meet Jack Hanna during the family favorite “Wild Days” taking place March 4 to 26 when SeaWorld brings you brand new shows, rides, and attractions. Or get up close with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, beluga whales, and sea lions during an interactive swim at Discovery Point. KM

KM_Feb March_17_San Antonio Riverwalk(2)

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Katy, TX (March 6, 2017) – Katy Magazine has compiled a list of Easter Sunday services and family events for 2017.



Church services in Katy, Texas on Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bridgepoint Bible Church
13277 Katy Fwy., Houston

Services will begin at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. There will be an Easter egg hunt for children immediately following the 11 a.m. service. Visit bridgepointbible.org.

Central Baptist Church
2855 Greenhouse Rd., Houston

There will be an Easter drama performance in lieu of a service at 11 a.m. Visit cbchou.org.

Higher Dimension Church
5819 10th St.

There will be services at 8, 9:15, 10:30, and 12:30 on Easter Sunday. Visit higherd.net.

Kingsland Baptist Church
20555 Kingsland Blvd.

They will have a 7 a.m. sunrise service, and services at 8, 9:30, and 11 a.m. There will also be a Saturday service at 3, 5, and 7 p.m., and a Spanish service at 6:15 p.m. in the Courts. Visit kingsland.org.

Second Baptist Church – West Campus
19449 Katy Fwy.

Join the SBC family for 9:30 and 11 a.m. services. Visit second.org.

Bethel Bible Fellowship
25335 Fulshear Gaston Rd., Richmond
9:30 and 11:00 a.m.

The Church at Cane Island
Katy High School
6331 Highway Blvd.
9:30 a.m.

Church of the Holy Apostles
1225 W. Grand Pkwy. S.
8 and 10:30 a.m.

CrossPoint Community Church
700 S. Westgreen Blvd.
9 and 11 a.m.

Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church
1530 Norwalk Dr.
8, 9:45 and 11:30 a.m., and 5:30 p.m.

The Fellowship
22765 Westheimer Pkwy.
8:45, 10:05, and 11:25 a.m.

First Baptist Church of Katy
600 Pin Oak Rd.
8:30 and 10:30 a.m.

First United Methodist Church
5601 5th St.
8:30, 9:45, and 11 a.m.

Grace Anglican Community
24968 Katy Ranch Rd.
9:30 a.m.

Grace Community Fellowship
Exley Elementary
21800 Westheimer Pkwy.
10:45 a.m.

Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church
2655 S. Mason Rd.
8:45 and 10:45 a.m.

Grand Lakes Presbyterian Church
6035 S. Fry Rd.
9, 10, and 11 a.m.

Holy Covenant Methodist Church
22111 Morton Rd.
8:30 and 11 a.m.

St. Edith Stein Catholic Service
3311 N. Fry Rd.
9 and 11 a.m., and 6 p.m.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
5373 Franz Rd.
8 and 11:30 a.m.

St. Peter’s United Methodist Church 
20775 Kingsland Blvd.
6:30, 8, 9:30, and 11 a.m.

The Waters Church
2710 N. Mason Rd.
9:15 and 11 a.m.

Westland Baptist Church
1407 W. Grand Pkwy S.
8:30, 9:45, and 11 a.m. (11 a.m. service will have a deaf interpreter)


A list of family-friendly Easter events in Katy, Texas

Saturday – Sunday, April 15 – 16, 2017 10:00  a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Easter Extravaganza

Blessington Farms
510 Chisolm Trail, Wallis

Families can enjoy a day of Easter fun with egg hunts, playing in Farm Funland, and picking strawberries. Visit blessingtonfarms.com.

Friday, April 14, 2017 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Hop Into Spring with the Easter Bunny
LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Families can take a photo with the Easter Bunny while enjoying musical performances, games, and more. Visit lacenterra.com.

Friday, April 14, 2017 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Journey to the Cross and Personal Lord’s Supper Family Walk-Through

Kingsland Baptist Church
20555 Kingsland Blvd.

The Journey to the Cross walk through is a brief, come-and-go experience for preschool and children’s families to gain a better understanding of the events that led to Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice. Interactive stations will encourage discussion and participation for the entire family, located in the Crawford Center. The Lord’s Supper is a powerful way to remember Christ’s sacrifice. Guides will be provided to walk families through an intimate time of reflection, located in the Worship Center. Visit kingsland.org.

Friday, April 14, 2017 6:30 p.m.
Bethel Bible Fellowship
25335 Fulshear Gaston Rd., Richmond

Join them as they remember Christ’s sacrifice on Good Friday. Childcare will be provided for ages 4 and under.

Saturday, April 15, 2017 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Easter Festival
Central Baptist Church
2855 Greenhouse Rd.

Enjoy the Easter festival with family and friends. They will have games, food, candy, a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, and much more.

Saturday, April 15, 2017 10:00 a.m.
EGG-Stravaganza Easter Show and Egg Hunt
The Fellowship
22765 Westheimer Pkwy.

Children and parents alike will enjoy award-winning ventriloquist, story-teller, and musician Dennis Lee. Kids can visit with the Easter Bunny and the Chick-fil-A Cow. Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved online at thefellowship.org.

Saturday, April 15, 2017 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. or 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Easter at the Ranch
Smith Ranch
25440 Beckendorff Rd.
Kids can run, play, and hop until their hearts content with a special day of fun at this 40-acre ranch. Hunts will be divided by age. Visit smithranchkaty.com.

Saturday, April 15, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Cypress Custom Pools
14119 Grant Rd., Cypress

They will have an Easter egg hunt, games, and food for everyone. Visitors will have the opportunity to look around the design center and see two demonstration pools. There will be door prizes so make sure to invite the whole family.

Saturday, April 15, 2017 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Fun Glow Run & Flashlight Egg Hunt
Jordan Ranch
30722 Sonora Ridge Dr., Brookshire

You don’t want to miss this nighttime Easter adventure. Families can participate in a 3-mile run, walk, or bike ride through the neighborhood. After the race, children and teens can participate in an egg hunt by flashlight. Proceeds benefit the March of Dimes Foundation.

Sunday, April, 16, 2017 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Easter Brunch
Sammy’s Steakhouse
7035 W. Grand Pkwy. S.

Specialty drinks and a custom brunch menu for those with a reservation. Call 281-762-0866.

Sunday, April 16, 2017 11:00 a.m.
Easter Celebration
The Church at Cane Island
6331 Highway Blvd.

There will be a fun, day filled with Easter egg hunts, crafts, music, and more.

Sunday, April 16, 2017 12:30 or 1:00 p.m.
Glow-in-the-Dark Hunt
TILT Studio
5000 Katy Mills Cir.

Get your glow on with two Easter egg hunts! Kids ages 2 to 6 will pick an egg from display in the Black Light Mini-Golf course at 12:30 p.m., while kids ages 7 to 11 will hunt in the Black Light laser tag arena at 1 p.m. Visit tiltstudio.com.


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Katy, TX News (March 2, 2017) – Are you and your family headed out to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this year? We have great news! You can get carnival ticket packs for half-price if you order by Saturday, March 4, 2017.

$10 Carnival Pack ($34 Value)

  • 1 Fun Card with 22 tickets for rides and games
  • 4 refreshment coupons
  • one free game coupon
  • $5 off show merchandise

$50 Carnival Pack ($133.50 Value)

  • 2 fun cards with a total of 150 tickets for rides and games
  • 9 refreshment coupons
  • 2 free game coupons
  • 2 free rides (Ferris wheel or fun house)
  • $5 off show merchandise

$20 Carnival Food Card ($30 Value)

Half-Price Carnival Packs may be used during the WCBBQ from March 2 – 4, 2017, and a show from March 7 – 26, 2017. Order online at rodeohouston.com/carnivaltickets.

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Katy, TX News (March 2, 2017) – When it comes to working toward a successful business, Sam Zavary says the key is planning, planning, planning.

That was the message of the Exclusive Furniture CEO’s presentation Thursday night at the University of Houston-Victoria Katy Campus. Zavary shared his knowledge with UHV students, alumni, faculty and staff, and community members as part of the UHV School of Business Administration Distinguished Speaker Series.

“The Distinguished Speaker Series gives UHV students access to some of the wisdom and personal experiences of leaders in the business world,” said Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. “Sam Zavary’s presentation was full of insight and advice that reinforces many of the concepts taught in our classrooms. We are grateful for his participation in the series.”

Zavary began selling furniture 18 years ago in a 2,000-square-foot store. Now, the company has access to 250,000 square feet of space, including warehousing and seven Exclusive Furniture locations throughout Houston.

The CEO took a more interactive approach to his presentation than many previous speakers. Instead of a long lecture, he opened with a 10-minute presentation, then took questions from the large audience.

“This was a great opportunity for our students to have personal interaction with someone who was just like them 18 years ago,” said Jifu Wang, associate dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. “Students can learn the theory of how to be successful in the classroom and even get some experience through simulations, but it’s important for them to see these high-caliber, successful stories in person.”

In addition to planning, Zavary emphasized the importance of communication and training. Poor communication can lead to all kinds of problems for businesses, he said. And because the market constantly is changing, it is vital that employees go through training that reflects those changes.

“My employees undergo training every day,” he said. “It is what makes us different from our competitors.”

At the end of the discussion, Zavary referred to the changing attitude many people have toward shopping and making major purchases. Today, more and more customers are interested in buying everything from clothes to furniture online instead of going to a store. If retail businesses want to remain successful, they must find a way to integrate those changes into their business models, he said.

“The point about the importance of integrating online sales and social media is an important one for today’s students,” Wang said. “At its core, business is about getting results, and we train our students to create solutions to the changes in customers’ preferences and shifts in the business environment.”

In addition to Zavary’s presentation, the winners of the December 2016 undergraduate and graduate Case Conferences were recognized during the event. The first-, second- and third-place teams and honorable mentions were given plaques and honored for their achievement.

Since 2011, the UHV School of Business Administration Distinguished Speaker Series has brought in area executives to discuss contemporary business issues. Past speakers have included Mike Rydin, Heavy Construction System Specialist CEO; Helen Sharkey, a former consultant with Dynegy; Ben Keating, president and owner of Keating Auto Group and Viper Exchange Racing; and Roger Dartt, DeLorean Motor Co. president.

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Katy, TX News (March 1, 2017) – Katy ISD is sharing information about the State, district and your child’s campus as part of our obligations under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). An information letter, along with a copy of the 2015-16 Federal Report Cards for the State, district and individual campuses are available for review online at tea.texas.gov.

An optional notification letter in English and Spanish is available if you choose to use this method of communicating. This is not a requirement. It is not necessary to send the Federal Report Card home with students.

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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


The path of life is different for every family, with unique plans for everyone. A big part of the Brown family plan was revealed over five years ago, when Dave and Leah Brown found out they were going to be the parents of a very special little boy.

At Leah’s 20-week ultrasound, where doctors commonly check the anatomy of the growing baby inside the mom, it showed that Parker had an excess of fluid in his brain, a condition called congenital hydrocephalus. The fluid surrounding Parker’s brain was not allowing his brain to grow as a normal one would, and was causing great damage. Fluid was pushing his brain to the outside of his skull, making the brain appear almost non-existent.

Parker Mason Brown was born at 36 weeks on September 16, 2011 via C-section. Two days after his birth, Parker had his first brain surgery, where the doctors removed two pounds of fluid, and inserted a brain shunt. A shunt is a device with tubing that allows the cerebrospinal fluid from the brain to flow out through a tube down to the abdomen where the fluid is absorbed back into the body. Parker’s first shunt was placed at the back of his skull, near his neck area.

Parker was at Texas Children’s Hospital in the care of the NICU for 16 days following his birth. “Saying that now, it sounds very short, only 16 days, but when you are going through all of that, those days feel like a lifetime,” says Leah. Leah and Dave learned how to feed baby Parker through the use of a feeding tube enabling them to bring him home.

KM_Feb March_17_Parker Brown Story_personal photos
Photo courtesy of the Brown family

Getting Through as a Family
A side effect of hydrocephalus is epilepsy, and at 3 months old, Parker began having seizures. His seizures, controlled with a daily medication, usually occur now when he outgrows his dosage. “You learn to deal with it and how to handle it,” says Leah, as this is just part of her everyday life.

At 6 months, his brain shunt failed. Shunt failure is very common, and Parker had a second brain surgery to receive a new one placed near the front, right side of his head. When Leah discusses the shunt and the procedure, little Parker will reach to the top of his head and feel for it. He doesn’t mind if others see and touch it; he’s even proud to show off the scars on his neck and abdomen.

KM_Feb March_17_Parker Brown Story_personal photos (8)
Photo courtesy of the Brown family


Living Life
Currently, Parker attends a PPCD (preschool program for children with disabilities) in Katy. He has a daily routine and seems to love school. Leah and Dave want Parker to be around other children his age because he rarely is and interacts mostly with adults. When asked what his favorite part of school is, Parker says, “riding the school bus,” which makes sense, as Parker is infatuated with cars and garages. He loves to go for rides around the neighborhood, and different neighbors will swing by to take him for a ride. Parker says shyly, “My favorite car is a Corolla.” He loves them so much that a Corolla even made his Christmas list!

Parker works with physical therapists to build up his weaker muscles, on applied behavior therapy for life skills, and occupational therapy for motor skills. Parker is about the size of his little sister Emery who is 2 years old. Leah says that Emery and Parker are starting to interact some, and Emery has a sense that Parker is not typical. She often lends him a hand with things; for example, when they are playing with bubbles. Parker has a tremor with his arm and hand so sometimes it is hard for him to hold the bubble wand, so Emery will help her brother out.

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The Most Loving Boy
Sweet and cuddly definitely describe Parker. He loves to touch, feel, and be loved on. Leah recalls a time when they were out shopping, waiting to check out, and Parker reached out and started rubbing on another shopper’s behind. “It is quite embarrassing. People look at us as if we are crazy because my son is rubbing on them. They don’t realize that he doesn’t know not to do that to strangers,” says Leah.

In the words of Leah, “Parker is truly one-of-a-kind, no one in the world is like him.” She means that literally, as no one in the world has the same amount or type of brain damage as Parker. KM

LANA TIMBS is an Aggie and mother of two who loves spending time with family and friends.

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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

More Than a Routine Injury
Aside from sore muscles following her injury, Samantha was also unusually fatigued. Accustomed to a rigorous schedule with her studies, choir, and martial arts, she suddenly wasn’t able to keep up. “I was exhausted all the time, and it was difficult to walk from class to class,” she remembers. She also began to develop bruises on her legs, along with tiny red spots on her wrists and eventually throughout her body.

Concerned and on a mission for answers, she and her parents, Margaret Loos-Polk and James Polk, visited a battery of doctors, and she eventually underwent blood tests. Around 4 a.m. the morning after her tests, Margaret received a call instructing them to take Samantha to a hospital immediately. Her platelets were extremely low, so much so she could have bled to death.

Samantha and Binx

The Diagnosis
Samantha was eventually taken to Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH). It was here, in room one on the ninth floor of the West Tower, her symptoms were given an official name: acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She soon underwent 10 days of intensive chemotherapy. And while the treatment effectively fought the cancer, it wreaked havoc on her immune system.

When Samantha was eventually released, she was very weak and in constant pain. A few days after being home, she developed a fever and was rushed back to the hospital. After a series of tests, doctors determined she had acquired a rare type of fungal infection called Fusarium. It was prevalent in her blood, in and around her lungs, kidneys, left eye, and skin. From here, Samantha endured eight eye and four nose surgeries over the course of a nine-month stay at TCH. To date, she is the longest-known survivor of this type of infection.

KM_Feb March_17_Samantha Loos-Polk_Photos by John Glaser (8) copy

Destiny Determined
Samantha’s journey nurtured a passion within her to help others with similar obstacles. So inspired by the level of care she received from the nurses at TCH, she set her mind on achieving a nursing degree, with a specialty in pediatric oncology, from University of St. Thomas. She reflects, “I knew I wanted to pursue a career that made a difference in people’s lives prior to my diagnosis, but I didn’t know what exactly that would look like until I survived cancer and the fungal infection. From that point on, I knew the superhero I wanted to be was a nurse.”

And now, from the very place she was diagnosed and treated, the ninth floor of the West Tower of TCH, she cares for and comforts young patients facing cancer. “I know I can help others in their battle because of my personal understanding of what they’re going through. My unique perspective enables me to treat patients holistically and ensure their families are provided much needed support,” she says.

When asked about her greatest source of encouragement during her toughest times, she credits her parents, who were by her side every minute of every day. She is also grateful for several organizations that ministered to both her and her family, including Harley’s Helpers Angel Ministry, Snowdrop Foundation, and B.I.G. Love Cancer Care. These groups supplied parking tokens, gas and gift cards, groceries, laundry baskets, blankets, and regular visits. In fact, Samantha was awarded three scholarships from two of these organizations.

Ryleigh and Sam at BIG Love Cancer Run

The Path Ahead
Samantha is now a five-year cancer survivor. She undergoes yearly checkups at TCH, along with regular assessments by her ophthalmologist. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and boyfriend, Ryleigh; snuggling with her cat, Binx; reading; and watching movies. She also serves as co-secretary of St. Thomas’ Sigma Theta Tau International nursing honor society.

Her story is one of struggle, determination, perseverance, and triumph. It’s also a poignant reminder that adversity, when met with hope and a fighting spirit, can be an unexpected but most impactful teacher. KM

ANNA-CATHERINE ROSE lives in Katy and is a firm believer that struggle is what connects us and is always accompanied by a purpose.

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Katy’s 2020 Kids Birthday Party Places Guide

Here are some fun, unusual, and  traditional birthday parties that has something for every kind of Katy kid. Enjoy this list of the coolest and most creative places to throw a kids birthday party in Katy. 


by Katy Magazine Editors


22570 Franz Rd.


Book your child’s awesomely fun gymnastics party package that includes supervised gym time, obstacle courses, games, a private party room and more.

Call 281-215-3442 or visit their website to make a reservation.


615 S. Mason Rd. 281-819-6363

Specializing in science themed birthday parties, Funtastik Labs hosts terrific birthday parties in fully furnished labs loaded with fun hands-on experiments and activities.  Choose from Science Lab, Magic Potions & Eruptions, Ooey Gooey Science, Escape Room, Spa Scientist, Slime & Mega Slime, Robotics, Ceramic & Canvas, and more.


24984 Katy Ranch Rd.

281 394-5083

Two levels of Kart racing, NASCAR Simulators, Bowling, iBlast, Hologate Virtual Reality, Arcade Games, Garage Bar and Restaurant. Awesome Party Suites are available.


22564 Franz Rd.

281 394-1986

A full physical fitness program for today’s youth ages 4-17. Every obstacle course includes corresponding conditioning and flexibility stations. The desired result of this program is to improve children’s strength, flexibility and all-around athleticism.


9540 Katy Fwy.

281 942-4359

Indoor skydiving is the perfect activity for Katy daredevils. iFly offers birthday parties to corporate events and everything in between. It’s a fun activity for kids of all ages and we have a feeling skydiving could become families with kids new hobby, right here in Katy!

Cinemark 19
1030 W Grand Pkwy N,

Parties include a party room and movie. Upgrade to a private movie screening with 20+ guests.  Each child receives a Movie Snack Pack. Contact the Theater Manager to schedule.

The Crazy Canvas

You Choose Your Location

(281) 253-3294

Now mobile with no permanent studio location, The Crazy Canvas brings the party to you. Kids paint parties are $30/guest for a 2-hour party which includes 30 minutes for cake, presents and painting supplies for an 8×10″, 12×12″ or 16×20″ canvas paint class and you select the painting to be instructed.

Katy Inflatable

2482 South Mason Road, Katy


Katy’s only private Inflatable Birthday Party Place and bounce facilities in Katy. Custom designed 16,500 ft facility designed with safety and functionality in mind. Use their online reservation system to book and confirm birthday party packages online.

Alternate Reality Escape Rooms
21788 Katy Fwy,


Choose from 3 rooms…Bunker 57, Piece Meal, and Steampunk. For children 12 & up and parents can book a game room for up to 20 people for $150 per hour.

Jo-Ann Stores
1219 N Fry Rd,


Craft birthday classes include 2-hours of an instructor led craft class for children 5 – 12 years old. Parties also include a gift for the birthday child and invitations. Parents can bring snacks, cake, drink and decorations.

Dear Marlowe Photography

Board & Brush Creative Studio
1315 W Grand Pkwy S,


The wood sign party includes a staff member to guide them during the 2 hours of studio time. Parents can bring in cake, snacks and drinks. Geared towards children ages 6-15 years old.

Katy Go Karts, Mini Golf & Batting Cages
2482 S Mason Rd,


Packages can include a combination of a round of golf, batting cage and/or go cart . You will have an outdoor table for 2 hours and we provide plates and eating utensils. Pizza can be added for an additional charge. Parents supply cake/cupcake and drinks.

830 Katy Fort Bend Rd,

There are five uniquely themed party rooms to choose from like private access to Nerf Cannons, XBox Gamer Room, Interactive Dance Floor and Just Dance 15, and a customizable dance floor. Seat 20 – 25.

Pros Katy Indoor Soccer
1005 Airline Dr Suite B,


Rent this facility for 2-3 hours playing games such as soccer, dodge ball, and kickball with a game director. Facility provides paper good. Parent supplies food and other decorations

Painting with a Twist
20020 S Fry Rd,


During your 2 hour party, an Instructor will guide your children (6+ years) to create a painting chosen by you. Parent provides the food and decorations.

TopGolf Katy 
1030 Memorial Brook Ln.

281 406-3176

TopGolf has Interactive golf games for all ages and skill levels that are a nice change from traditional arcade games. Two hours of Topgolf game play and selection from kids menu options for birthday party packages.

TILT Studio  

5000 Katy Mills Cir.

281 644-2340

A one stop entertainment guarantee inside Katy Mills Mall, with arcade games, mini golf, and laser tag, four party packages to choose from including party host and food.

Stephanie Durango

Paloma Trails
10655 Katy Hockley Rd,


Choose between 3 birthday packages each includes time with a pony/horse. Parents provide food and decorations.

Smith Ranch
25440 Beckendorff Rd,


Two party options includes waterslide/bounce house, pizza, drinks, pavilion, invitations, paper products, balloon bouquet and gift bags. Add-ons include paddle boating, pony ride, hayride, petting zoo, snow cones and cotton candy. Parent supplies the cake and decorations.

Jamie Mills

The Storybook Cottage
5814 1st St,


Four tea party options. Everything provided. Parties for children 4 & up.

Typhoon Texas Waterpark

555 S Katy Fort Bend Rd,


Base birthday includes pizza, drinks, birthday shirt and reserved space at the Birthday Barn. Add-ons include goodie bags, cupcakes, cabana, fast pass, VIP host and souvenir bottle.

Vortexic Martial Arts
3760 S Mason Rd.

Choose between the Ki-Hap, Ninja, and Samurai parties that includes an 1.5 hour basic training in Tae Kwan Do by a certified black belt instructor. Parents provide food, drink, and decorations. The guest of honor will enjoy cutting their cake with a samurai sword and having the unique opportunity to break a real board in front of their friends.

More Birthday Party Places in Katy 

Altitude Trampoline Park

24952 Katy Ranch Rd


Build-A-Bear Workshop

5000 Katy Mills Circle


Chuck E. Cheese

2002 Gulfmont Dr,


Giggles and Fun

20117 Park Row,


Hooray Indoor Playground

3750 S Mason Rd,


Inflatable Katy

2482 S Mason Rd,



5000 Katy Mills Cir,


Main Event

24401 Katy Freeway,


Mason Road Skate Center

535 Applewhite Dr,


Monkey Joe’s

511-A S Mason Rd,


My Gym Katy

414 W Grand Pkwy,


The Little Gym

23010A Highland Knolls,


Times Square Entertainment

402 W Grand Pkwy S,


Westwood Gymnastics & Dance

23333 Taswell Dr,


Katy BIRTHDAY Cuties

Stephanie Durango

Jacob By Jb Photography – Time Captured

Fazzarna Rabbi

Rebecca Navarette Lucero

Jaime Lannou Shipley

 Alexandra Marie Herrera

Michelle Daniel

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Katy, TX (February 16, 2017) –  Time is running out to submit your nomination for the naming of the second stadium! This new facility will join Rhodes Stadium in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Student Activities Complex this fall.

The deadline for nominations is tomorrow, February 17 at 4 p.m.

For specific facility naming guidelines check out the Katy ISD Board Policy CW (Local).  To submit a name for the Katy ISD second stadium, please use the Nomination for Naming a New School or Facility Form which can be submitted:

  • Personal delivery to Education Support Complex (ESC)
    Communications Department
    6301 S. Stadium Lane
    Katy, TX  77494

To learn more about the facility naming process visit the Katy ISD School or Facility Naming webpage.

Courtesy of Katy ISD
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Katy, TX (February 13, 2017) – Valentine’s Day has become a holiday filled with lots of candy and treats. Try to take the focus away from all of the candy this year by making some delicious and healthy treats with your children instead! Red fruits like strawberries, cherries, pomegranates and raspberries are natural ingredients for Valentine’s Day treats. Frozen fruits are a good substitute if you can’t find a fresh alternative and will work in many of the recipes below.

Here are some recipes you and your children can make and enjoy at home:

  • Yogurt Granola Parfaits* – Making a yogurt granola parfait is a great way to start the day! Use a variety of red fruits for a pretty, layered Valentine’s Day look.
  • Fruity Greek Yogurt Popsicles – These simple cool treats can be made quickly and are a family favorite in my house.
  • Wild Berry Blast Smoothie Bowl – Looking for a fun twist on smoothies? Try a smoothie bowl – there are so many different pairings to choose from! The linked blog post includes a free e-book filled with fun, kid-friendly smoothie bowl recipes, as well as adult coloring pages. How fun is that?!
  • Mini Heart-Shaped Lemon Chia Cheesecakes – I love mini desserts since they are perfectly portioned, and this fun recipe is no exception!

Have your children help make these treats to “share the love” with family and friends:

  • Chocolate Cherry Avocado Muffins – This is still one of my favorite muffin recipes! The muffins are delicious, and they contain several heart-healthy ingredients.
  • Apple Peanut Butter Pops* – These are a fun alternative to cake pops and, when cut into a heart shape, can serve as the perfect Valentine treat. Use soy butter or sunflower butter in place of the peanut butter if nut allergies are a concern.
  • Heart-Shaped Graham Crackers – Have you ever tried to make your own graham crackers?
    It is easier than you might think. Spread with cream cheese and strawberry slices for a fun snack.
  • Sweet and Salty Pretzels* – Chocolate-dipped pretzels are simple and fun to make. They are a great way to balance a little sugar with a slightly healthier option. Wrap them in a festive goody bag to share with friends!

*Based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, certain foods like nuts, seeds, hard pretzels, etc. may pose choking or allergy risks for children under the age of 4. Please consult your child’s pediatrician before serving these foods to children under age 4.

Courtesy of Primrose Schools 
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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

Drawing Inspiration
Although she began formally training at the age of 15, she considers her sixth-grade performance her official debut. “I performed ‘Material Girl’ by Madonna at the Beckendorff Junior High pop concert,” she says. And she has been strategically placing herself in local gigs in order to build a following ever since.

“The rush of adrenaline is unexplainable; you can walk on stage and be whoever you want to be. You can be confident, a completely different person and just let loose,” she adds. “You forget everything and just feel free in that moment.” Thi spends hours at a time writing notes and lyrics. “Every song I write has a special meaning to me because I never want to write about something I don’t mean or feel.”

KM_Dec Jan_17_Taylor Thi_3_photo by David Gaona

Wildest Dreams
The young songwriter finds strength to pursue her dreams close to home. “My family has always been my biggest supporters no matter what. I’m extremely family-oriented and they are the ones I show all my music to first. Everything I do, they see or get to hear before I announce or release anything,” she says.

Thi comes from a family not afraid to pursue their wildest dreams, and credits her father for giving her the courage to try. “He was from a small town, lived on a farm, and grew up being told by everyone he knew that he would never achieve his dream of being a pilot. He has now been a pilot for 41 years. Every time someone tries to tear me down, I think about my dad, and I know I’ll prove them wrong.”

Thi recently directed her own music video for her original song, “The Real Me,” which received over 20,000 views on YouTube. “It was such an amazing experience,” she says.

Armed with a notebook full of material, Thi plans to continue working on singles and eventually produce her first EP. But her future plans also include receiving an education. “I would love to go to college for audio engineering or songwriting,” she adds. “I’m still deciding, but I’m positive I’ll be around music no matter what.” KM

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Katy, TX (January 23, 2017) – Two teachers at British International School in Katy, Texas did exceptionally well at the Houston Marathon earlier this month. Mr. Tim Barnett (primary, year six) placed second in his age category and third place overall with a race time of 39:20 and Mr. Ben Brown (primary, year one) placed second in his category at the Choco Loco 10K.


Houston Marathon


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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

Her greatest claim to fame, however, is being the host of ESPN’s top-rated fitness show Kiana’s Flex Appeal. She  also hosted a lifestyle show with Robin Leach on CBS and was interviewed on extra, Inside Edition, and appeared in episodes of Friends, Baywatch, and She Spies. Now, as a healthy lifestyle coach and owner of LaBello Lifestyle, she has relocated to Houston to be closer to family. She says, “True beauty comes from the inside. We need to work equally on the inside, mentally and spiritually, as much as the outside.”

On a Whim 
When Amy Gonzales heard about a casting call for a local Houston magazine, JMG Magazine, she decided to try out. She says, “I was so nervous when I walked in and saw so many tall, beautiful girls who knew exactly what they were doing.” Despite her lack of modeling experience, she was chosen and was shooting outdoors in 100-degree weather two weeks later. “It was quite the warm welcome to the industry!” she says.

Dec Jan 17 _ Katys Top Models_ Amy Gonzalez (6)
Photography by Francesca Murray

Since that first experience, she has modeled for JCPenney, Paul Mitchell, Mary Kay, and local designers in Houston and Dallas. Gonzales says, “Every job is different which is so fun for me! It doesn’t feel like work when you’re having fun doing it.”

Defying Standards
Like many little girls, Brianna Key grew up with a dream to participate in pageants and be in magazines. Although she did some modeling as a child, her career really started at age 12 after appearing in ads for Wimpy’s Hamburgers in downtown Houston, and participating in music video pilots for the Disney Channel. She is a former Texans Cheerleader and has won Miss USA titles like Miss Texas Continental and has modeled for Sierra Pacific Bridal and Cane Island.

Dec Jan 17 _ Katys Top Models_ Brianna Key 5_Photo by Arthur Garcia
Photography by Arthur Garcia

In her work, Key has been told that she is too short or not good enough to be a model. “Once I step outside that room, I have to realize who I am and be proud of who I am. I can’t control what I look like, but I’ve come pretty far. I have defied standards,” she says. “I’m good enough for myself, and that’s what matters.” At age 25, she now owns her own business, Key Designs, and takes modeling opportunities as they arise.

Born with a Talent
At 9 months old, Kyrie McAlpin danced on top of the table when her great-grandmother played music and acted out songs she listened to. She says, “I was born with that natural talent. I love modeling, acting, and dancing.” After attending Drama Kids Camp and taking acting and modeling classes with the Neal Hamil agency, Kyrie’s career has taken off. Her credentials include Academy Sports and Outdoors weekly ads, a Nationwide Insurance commercial, and a Macy’s showcase.

Dec Jan 16_Katys Top Models_ Kyrie McAlpin (11)_photo by Debbie Porter
Photography by Debbie Porter

Five-year-old Kyrie’s mom, Kadene says, “Be yourself and get as much training as possible. You can never have enough.” Although Kyrie occasionally travels for gigs, including to California to play a young Mary in a Mary J. Blige music video, she and her family live in Katy for the amazing schools.

A Young Pro
Unlike most toddlers, who often fight standing still for pictures, 3-year-old Cami Valverde loves having her picture taken. Her mother Patty says, “She sees a camera, and she starts posing, and she loves to look at the pictures to see how they came out after we are done.” Cami started modeling clothes and headbands for small clothing shops at just 9 months old.

Dec Jan 16_Katys Top Models_ Camila Valverde (19)_Photo by Tia Ray
Photography by Tia Ray

Her pictures have been printed in magazines like Semana News, Magnificent Magazine, Big City Kids, and Stylish Milk Magazine. She is also on Instagram for brands like Cherokee, Munchkin, and Igloo Coolers. Patty says, “She is so free-spirited, so I think her poses are always fun and different with a little bit of sass.” KM

LACEY KUPFER WULF is a wife, mother of twin toddler boys, and a freelance writer.

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Katy, TX (January 17, 2017) This year seven Katy ISD high school students earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36.  On average, less than .1 percent of all test takers earn the top score.  Only 2,235 out of the nearly 2.1 million students who took the ACT in 2016 earned a composite score of 36.

“Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare,” says ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda, in a letter recognizing the students’ exceptional achievement.  “While test scores are just one of multiple criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”

The following Katy ISD students earned a perfect score on the ACT:

Seven Lakes High School

  • Luis Alfonso Pabon Madrid, 11th grade
  • Dora Cecilia Gurfinkel, 12th grade
  • Clio Sun, 12th grade
  • Justin Zhang, 12th grade

Cinco Ranch High School

  • Russell Ku, 11th grade
  • Samuel Shenoi, 12 grade

Taylor High School

  • Richard Liu, 12th grade

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1-36.  Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.

Courtesy of Katy ISD

# # #

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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.


Katy Junior High sixth-grader, Sylvie Mei Lim, competed against submissions from across the world.  Yet her artistic masterpiece ended up winning the first spot in the Children’s Artwork Calendar for the month of January 2017.  Drawings from Spain, Romania, India, Portugal, London and now even Katy, TX, will be beamed into orbit for astronauts to enjoy during their stay in the International Space Station (ISS).

Katy Junior High sixth-grader, Drew Alvarez, was also selected for an Honorable Mention. The odds of two Katy ISD students being recognized and being the only two from Texas, is kind of “extra-terrestrial”.  Congratulations!

Click here to see Lim’s drawing and full calendar.

Courtesy of Katy ISD
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Katy, TX (January 10, 2017) It’s no secret that young children are full of natural energy, and it’s often more difficult getting them to sit still than be active. But did you know that the amount of time children spend daily being physically active is decreasing? Despite children’s active nature, it’s still important for parents to encourage and support their physical development starting from birth. Research shows that children who develop basic motor skills through physical activity are more likely to become healthy, active adults, and there is increasing evidence that daily physical activity helps children perform better academically and avoid anxiety and depression in their teenage years.

 “At Primrose Schools, we believe children’s physical development is as important as their intellectual, creative and social-emotional growth,” says Lou Ann McLaughlin, Franchise Owner of Primrose School of Woodcreek Reserve. “Through our exclusive Balanced Learning® approach, we’re able to help children build important physical skills as they’re developmentally ready through a combination of purposeful free play and meaningful, age-appropriate activities.”

As part of the Balanced Learning approach, children at Primrose School engage in physical activity each day through the Thumbs Up!® program. Through Thumbs Up!, children practice proper techniques for movement, balance and motor skills through fun exercises like running, hopping, throwing, catching, bouncing and more. Thumbs Up! balances structured, teacher-guided games and skill development with free play, which helps children develop physically and psychologically. Studies show that children exert themselves more during free play and learn essential life skills like decision-making, problem-solving, creativity and self-control as they exercise their curiosity and explore their environment. Even infants develop physical coordination and build early motor skills through group play, games and exercise.

Thumbs Up! activities are brought to life by the Primrose School teaching staff, who participate in all activities and encourage children throughout the lessons. The Primrose approach to physical development also follows the highest professional standards and guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice developed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the Council for Physical Education for Children (COPEC).

“Study after study shows us that developing healthy habits in young children leads to active, healthy adults,” says Lou Ann McLaughlin. “By building the right foundation, all children can develop the fundamental physical skills needed for lifelong health. We love partnering with parents and working together to create excitement for physical activity in young children, because we know we are planting the seeds for a brighter future.”

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.

Courtesy of Primrose School of Woodcreek Reserve
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Katy, TX – January 6, 2017  Katy ISD is pleased to announce the establishment of an Athletic Hall of Honor to recognize the efforts and contributions of former student athletes, athletic teams, coaches and special merit individuals who have brought distinction, honor and excellence to themselves and to the District.


Nominations are now being accepted through March 15, 2017.  Submissions will be reviewed by the Katy ISD Athletic Hall of Honor Honorary Board and voted on by the Katy ISD Athletic Hall of Honor Committee. Once submitted, a nominee’s application will remain active for five years with the Honorary Board. Due to the sheer volume of alumni worthy of such an honor, nominations will be accepted annually.

The Hall of Honor Committee has already selected the following four state championship teams to be honored in the inaugural class of the Athletic Hall of Honor:

  • Katy High School 1959 Football State Champions
  • Katy High School 1997 Football State Champions
  • Taylor High School 1997 Tennis State Champions
  • Taylor High School 1998 Tennis State Champions.

Individuals and state championship teams will be honored at a 2017 fall banquet and a Katy ISD football game. State championship teams will continue to be added to the Athletic Hall of Honor every year.  For more information and access to the requirements and nomination form, click here.

Courtesy of Katy ISD
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Katy, TX – January 4, 2017 Katy ISD is one of 433 school districts in the United States and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for increasing access to Advanced Placement (AP) course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.

Since 2015, the number of Katy ISD students participating in AP exams increased by 16 percent, and the number of students receiving a 3 or higher increased by 11 percent.

To be included on the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll, participating districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP course work by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of exams taken by black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students who scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam; and
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2016 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2014, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

For more information on the AP District Honor Roll, visit the College Board website.

Courtesy of Katy ISD Communications Department

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Katy, TX – January 4, 2017  Students who have not received a high school diploma because they did not meet the passing standard on sections of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) Exit Level will have the opportunity to retake the necessary subject area tests in March, 2017.  The TEAMS and TAAS tests are no longer being offered; however, individuals eligible to take TEAMS or TAAS will take the appropriate part of the TAKS Exit Level English language arts and/or mathematics tests.

Students currently enrolled in school who need to retest are automatically registered; however, those who are out of school must register online by 5 p.m., February 10, 2017. Individuals will need to register online for the TAKS test by accessing the website at www.TexasAssessment.com/taksoos. The registration process will be online only. The online submission, beginning December 12, 2016, must be completed by 5 p.m., by February 10, 2017. Online registrations received after this date will not be processed. Test-takers can register at a participating campus on the day of testing, if the campus can accommodate them. All test-takers should arrive at the test site 30 minutes before the designated testing start time of 7:30 a.m. Test-takers must present picture identification (such as driver’s license, DPS ID, military ID, school ID or resident alien card) to test.

The 2017 March TAKS tests will be administered online only on the following dates:

  • March 6, 2017                      ELA
  • March 7, 2017                      Mathematics
  • March 8, 2017                      Science
  • March 9, 2017                      Social Studies

Katy ISD is offering the March Exit retesting at Miller Career and Technology Center located at 1734 Katyland Dr. For additional information, contact Dr. Christy Gregory in the Katy ISD Department of Research, Assessment and Accountability at 281-396-2128.

Courtesy of Katy ISD Department of Communications

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Katy, TX – December 27, 2016 Deciding where to celebrate New Year’s Eve can be stressful, but if you go to one of these amazing places, you can’t go wrong. We have put together the best places to dine, stay, and ring in the new year with your family, a date, or group of friends.


The Crystal Ballroom
909 Texas St., Houston
Enjoy a night of dancing and a midnight crystal ball drop. There will be live music by Empire 6, a DJ, premium bars, and a breakfast buffet at 1 a.m. Visit crystalballnye.com.

Hotel Sorella – City Centre
800 Sorella Ct., Houston
Check in at Hotel Sorella, enjoy live music, a balloon drop, and champagne at the Monnalisa bar. Roxy Roca will light up the night with a live performance. Call 713-973-1600 for New Year’s Eve packages or visit hotelsorella-citycentre.com.

Hotel Zaza
5701 Main St., Houston
Zaza-style fun from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $75 and include entrance to the party, entertainment, and a champagne toast. Room packages are also available. Visit hotelzaza.com.

The Hyatt Regency Houston
1200 Louisiana St., Houston
Have a blast at Houston’s longest-running New Year’s Eve party! With a giant balloon drop, a live DJ, and a champagne toast, you won’t be disappointed. Visit houston.regency.hyatt.com.

Omni Houston Hotel
13210 Katy Fwy., Houston
Four Riverway, Houston
Join the Omni Houston Hotel for an unforgettable evening of dancing and bubbly to ring in 2017. This includes an overnight stay, champagne toast, balloon drop, party favors, photo booth, and DJ all just steps from your hotel room door. Call 713-871-8181.


Artisans Restaurant
3201 Louisiana St., Houston
If you haven’t tried the French cuisine at Artisan’s, New Year’s Eve is a great time to explore a new eatery. The restaurant offers reservations from 5 to 10 p.m. for $120 per person. Visit artisansrestaurant.com.

Club Amnesia
406 W. Grand Pkwy. S.
Ring in the New year at Katy’s new night club for their first New Year’s bash! Visit amnesiakaty.com.

Fireworks Dinner Cruise
Kemah Boardwalk, Kemah
Cruise the night away on Clear Lake and Galveston Bay while enjoying fireworks, dining, and dancing. Visit boardwalkfantasea.com.

The H-Town Countdown
Silver Street, 2000 Edwards St., Houston
Complete with a New Year’s Eve champagne toast, open premium bar, and a balloon drop, this event is one of the most anticipated in Houston. With two DJs from 104.1 KRBE, this party will be taken to a new level. Visit htownnye.com.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille offers diners New Year’s Eve entertainment and a set menu. Make a reservation for 5:30 p.m. and earlier for $59.95 per person. Any reservations after 5:30 p.m. are $79.95 per person. Visit perryssteakhouse.com.

Ray’s Grill
8502 FM 359, Fulshear
Enjoy fresh seafood, organic vegetables, and more dining options at this popular, unique neighborhood grill. Visit raysgrill.com.

1030 Memorial Brook Blvd., Houston
Experience a night of neon featuring live entertainment, a chef-inspired menu, and plenty of music and dancing to ring in the New Year! General bay reservations are $225 and VIP bay reservations are $450. Visit topgolf.com.


New Year’s Eve Historical Bash
George Ranch Historical Park
10215 FM 762 Rd., Richmond
Prepare for the countdown to 2017 with a historical mask-making and noisemaking craft. At noon, a countdown will be held at the 1830’s Jones Stock Farm followed by a special New Year’s Eve meal at 12:30 p.m. Visit georgeranch.org.

Rockin’ New Year’s Noon Bash
Children’s Museum of Houston
1500 Binz St., Houston
This is Houston’s longest-running New Year’s Eve celebration for kids. The bash rings in the New Year at noon with a parade and countdown to the shimmering ball drop. Visit cmhouston.org.

Sharkey’s New Year’s Eve Party
The Downtown Aquarium
410 Bagby St., Houston
Celebrate the new year with a buffet, balloon drop, contests, and giveaways for the kids. Reservations are required. Visit aquariumrestaurants.com.

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Katy, TX – December 27, 2016 All are welcome to try the facilities at any YMCA in the Greater Houston area!

At the Y, they can help you design a wellness routine that promotes positive improvements in your health and wellness. Become a part of something that nourishes the soul, strengthens your muscles, and keeps you motivated.

Members say that they feel like part of a family at the Y, and that sense of support keeps them motivated, holds them accountable and helps them attain their goals without giving up. From the greeter at the front desk who knows your name, to fellow exercisers in the locker room who make sure you won’t miss a workout, to a friend on the treadmill keeping you company as you burn calories, the Y is a place that makes working out fun.

What’s more, research from the Journal of Preventative Medicine and the Journal of Behavioral Medicine suggests that a support system helps people better adhere to their workout goals.

This is a one-day event on January 7th, and you are not going to want to miss it!

Courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston
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Katy, TX – December 22, 2016 Internationally ranked professional golfer Patrick Reed stopped by Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital with his wife, Justine, to deliver special treats for pediatric patients who are hospitalized during the holidays.


The Reeds graciously donated dozens of toys, games, coloring books and infant rattles, delivering the gifts in an oversized Santa bag much to the delight of the boys and girls at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The presents provided a welcome distraction for the children and their families, helping brighten their days during a difficult time and bringing a taste of the season to the patients who are unable to go home.

The Reeds partnered with the hospital in an effort to give back to the community that has embraced them. Patrick Reed, who is ranked eighth in the world and was a member of the 2016 Ryder Cup championship team, has established his home in Houston with his wife and young daughter.

“We are so grateful for their thoughtful gesture which brought joy and cheer to the children across our hospital,” said Susan Distefano, Senior Vice President and CEO of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “This time of year can be a struggle for families in the hospital, but kind acts like this help restore a little magic back into their holidays.”

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital


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Katy, TX – December 22, 2016 Fourth graders at Griffin Elementary gave the gift of warmth, and advice, to newborns and their mothers at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. The students knitted caps for the newborns and wrote letters to the parents, offering “words of wisdom”. It’s a part of their “Caps for Cubs” program.  Women who give birth at Memorial Hermann Katy will have the opportunity to take home the caps and letters over the next few weeks.


Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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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!

The honorees came with spouses, old friends, parents, and even former teachers. In the reunion-in-motion that ensued, we got a glimpse of these prominent individuals as they were in high school – just good, fun-loving normal kids, having a laugh and sharing stories. It reminds us that we cannot predict the arc of a person’s life. We cannot look at a high school student and say, “that person will be _______” (Fill in the adjective.)
So our Hall of Honor reminds us not only of the hard work and commitment that leads to success, but also that this success can come to anyone who wants to work for it. Not one single student who roams the halls of Taylor High School has been eliminated from the running for future greatness. The Hall of Honor is a beacon of hope for all who pass before it.
Last month a committee consisting of school administrators, alumni, former teachers, and current teachers met to select this year’s inductees. The nominations were incredible! We discussed and argued and persuaded. In the end we settled on this remarkable class of inductees to the James E. Taylor Hall of Honor:
Nathan Dagley (’91) Prominent local businessman and community leader. Owner of Dagley Insurance and Encompass Lending Group. He started a youth sports league in Katy to enrich the lives of Katy youth through exercise. He is always giving back to the community that has given so much to him.
Russell Faldyn (’82) Longtime educator, active community member, and Ambassador for Taylor High School. Russell is a member of the first graduating class from Taylor. He has worked in education for 30 years, 10 of those as an administrator at Taylor. He is currently the Director of Community Education and Elections at Katy ISD.
Dr. Brandon Gunn (‘92) Prominent physician at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Associate Medical Director of Proton Therapy and Associate Professor, Dept. of Radiation Oncology. He was named Chief Resident, Radiation Oncology, UTMB Galveston in 2008; Most Outstanding Resident, UTMB Galveston 2009.
Dr. Lawrence “Lance” Hindt (’83) Superintendent of Schools, Katy ISD. Former Superintendent, Allen ISD and Stafford ISD. Dr. Hindt served as Head Football Coach at Dulles High School, Principal of Dulles High School, and Assistant Superintendent in Fort Bend ISD.
Dr. Richard Knabb (’86) Director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. He received his Bachelors’ in Atmospheric Science from Purdue, and a Masters and Doctorate in Meteorology from Florida State University.
Dr. Azra Ligon (83’) Associate Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School. Director, BWH Clinical Cytogenetics Laboratory. In her work she has conducted critically important research and published dozens of articles and studies on cytogenetics and the treatment of cancer.
Kim Newton (’83) Los Angeles-based television writer and producer. In her 20 year career, Kim worked on, or wrote for many TV shows such as The X-Files, Las Vegas, and The Blacklist. She was featured in a 2006 New York Times article titled, “My Mother the TV Writer.”
Serving as the principal for Taylor High School fills me with pride every day. The experience of working with our students, staff, and community; upholding the traditions that have stood the test of time; working to find ways to keep improving and stay up to date, is always rewarding. But nothing has inspired me like discovering the amazing life trajectories of our former students. It is humbling and reminds me of the awesome responsibility that comes with being an educator, for as talented as the above recipients are, none of them got to their level of prominence without a nudge, push, or shove from a school person. So to you school people: when we honor our alumni we also honor you.
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Katy, TX – December 12, 2016  Children who bite others cause a great deal of concern for the parents. The parents of the child who has been bitten are also usually very concerned about infection. Biting is an unacceptable behavior that needs to be stopped at an early age to prevent it from happening again.

Why young children bite

Biting is fairly common in young children, and it is often worrisome to adults. A family member, playmate, or classmate at daycare or preschool may be the one bitten. Biting can be painful and frightening when it happens. It upsets other children and often angers teachers and other adults.

Biting is usually caused by 1 of 4 different factors, including the following:

Experimental biting

Experimental biting is done by infants and toddlers as they explore their world. They put everything in their mouths and sometimes bite in the process. You can help decrease biting by telling them, “No—biting hurts!” and being firm. Offer them things that they can safely bite on such as teething rings.

Frustration biting

Frustration biting happens when young children become frustrated and unable to cope with a situation. Until they learn how to play cooperatively, they may respond to the demands of other children by hitting or biting. Some helpful guidelines for decreasing this type of biting include:

  • Keep playtimes short and groups small.
  • Supervise young children’s play closely. Try to recognize frustration and intervene before the biting happens.
  • If biting happens, say, “No, don’t bite. Biting hurts.” and remove your child from the situation right away. Stay with your child and help him or her to calm down. Explore other, better ways to handle the situation with your child, so he or she learns to handle emotions differently next time.

Powerless biting

Powerless biting happens when a child is in need of feeling powerful. Sometimes, the youngest child in the family uses biting to gain power. To help prevent this type of biting:

  • Make sure your child feels protected and is not always being “picked on” by others.
  • Explain the situation to bigger or older children and get their help to make things more equal.
  • If biting happens, tell your child that he or she is not to bite and remove him or her from the situation right away. Stay with your child and help him or her to calm down. Explore other, better ways to handle the situation with your child, so he or she learns to handle emotions differently next time.

Stressful biting

Stressful biting is done when a child is under a lot of emotional stress. Biting may be a sign of distress or pain when the child is upset or angry. If this occurs:

  • Try to find out what is bothering your child. Watch for what happens right before the biting happens.
  • Help your child to find other ways to express his or her feelings. Let him or her know that biting is wrong and remove him or her from the situation right away.

If your child bites, respond firmly, but calmly, to the biting. Let your child know that you disapprove and remove him or her from the situation. Help your child learn new ways to handle things. If your child bites repeatedly, be sure to talk with your child’s healthcare provider about the problem.

What do I do if my child is biting others?

While every child is different, the following are some recommendations that may be used to help with the child who bites:

  • Be firm. Tell your child that you will not accept biting and why. Tell him or her biting hurts others.
  • Offer another behavior the child may use instead of biting. If the child bites because he or she is angry, have the child come to you and tell you this instead. A child who is younger than 18 months may need a toy that is allowed to be chewed on.
  • If you catch your child biting, use a firm “no” to stop the behavior, or try to stop the child before the biting actually happens.
  • Use time-out if your child bites, or take away a favorite toy or activity.
  • Do not bite your child for biting someone else. This teaches your child that biting is still acceptable. Do not bite your child in a playful manner, as this might teach him or her to bite others.
  • Give praise when your child does not bite.
Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital
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Katy, TX – December 16, 2016 It’s the season of giving and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) is getting in the spirit by unveiling a new installment in the Rick Smith Gallery entitled The Ultimate Gift. The latest installation highlights the importance of organ donation through the portraits of organ donors, donor families and recipients. Gratitude, sacrifice and hope can be seen in the eyes, smiles and embraces of those photographed, who all share one thing in common: their lives have been forever changed by the ultimate gift – the gift of life.

The Ultimate Gift was a deeply personal project for all those involved, including local photographer Troy Fields who captured all of the moving images for the gallery. Fields’ 7-year-old daughter, Abby, will likely need a lifesaving liver transplant in the future. A self-portrait of Fields with his daughter is featured in the installation.

“When I was 10 years old, I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, which required a liver transplant,” said Tyree Hunter, who is also featured in the gallery. “Now, 20 years later, I work as a surgical technologist assisting with transplants here at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. It really has come full circle. I hope that people are able to see these photos and realize the importance of organ donation, and how it has an effect on the lives of so many different people.”

The Rick Smith Gallery, which was funded through employee contributions to the annual employee campaign several years ago, was created in memory of Rick Smith, the late director of Chaplaincy Services at Memorial Hermann-TMC who understood the importance of healing the body, mind and soul. Located near the main lobby of Memorial Hermann-TMC in the Hermann atrium, it is open to all employees, patients and visitors, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This is the gallery’s ninth installment since it opened in 2012. Previous exhibitions have featured a tribute to the late Dr. James H. “Red” Duke, Jr.; paintings, photographs, mixed media and sculptures by physicians and hospital employees; professional photographic images of the Campus’ beloved therapy pets; hand-drawn portraits of caregivers by pediatric patients; Holocaust Museum Houston’s Butterfly Project; and a history of Memorial Hermann Life Flight®.

Watch the behind-the-scenes video that takes a look at how the project came together, and sign up to become an organ donor today.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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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.

This list of honorees includes Katy area residents from all walks of life– extraordinary educators, volunteers, heroes, and community leaders across Katy. The oldest honoree is 93-year-old Avadele Short, an active volunteer who’s logged more than 10,000 hours serving at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. The youngest honoree is Nolan Stilwell, age 27, a beloved Katy entrepreneur who thrives despite having Down syndrome. One honoree, Stan Stanley, was named posthumously, for his dedicated service and humanitarianism in Katy.

stan-stanley-katy-magazine-people-of-the-year-award kay-callender-katy-magazine-people-of-the-year-award

The 2016 Katy People of the Year Honorees are as follows:

  • Andy Kahan, a dedicated crime victims’ rights advocate
  • Avadele Short, a 93-year-old avid hospital volunteer
  • Bob Bryant, Katy ISD’s former director of Fine Arts and new school namesake
  • David Morrison, a community superhero who volunteers as HolyBatman to brighten the lives of children
  • Karen Sparks, Katy ISD Restorative Practices Coordinator who has inspired hundreds of students
  • Kay Callender, founder of Keep Katy Beautiful whose projects have won many awards
  • Nolan Stilwell, creator of Sweet Heat Jam Co. and who also has Down syndrome
  • Peter McElwain, Katy ISD’s leading planner and architect who is retiring after 18 years
  • Stan Stanley, founder of the Katy Area EDC, school namesake, and community leader (Posthumous honoree who passed away March 29, 2016)
  • Tina Hatcher, founder of Hope Impacts, an organization that helps transform the lives of Katy’s homeless


“We couldn’t be more honored to celebrate these extraordinary citizens who are definitely making Katy a better place for all of us,” says Publisher Katrina Katsarelis. “Each honoree exemplifies the loving, caring spirt of Katy, Texas.”

katy-people-of-the-year-katy-people-of-the-yearLast year’s 2015 Katy People of the Year recipients included: Da’dra Greathouse, singer, songwriter, musician, and speaker; Rebekah Gregory, Boston Marathon bombing survivor; Andy Dalton, NFL quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals; Christina Dismuke, 2016 TASA Region IV Elementary Teacher of the Year; Alton Frailey, former Superintendent of Katy ISD; Coach Gary Joseph, head coach for the Katy Tigers; Shari Nightingale, founder of Lindsay’s Light; Mayor Fabol Hughes, elected mayor in 2013 and reelected in 2015.






CONTACT: Katrina Katsarelis, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher Katy Magazine 281.579.9840 katrinak@katymagazine.com

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Katy, TX – December 8, 2016

Michael Guevara, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of The Conservatory of Music at Cinco Ranch and North Katy, has recently been named as one of America’s PremierExperts® in recognition of his knowledge and passion in music.

Michael Guevara has recently been acknowledged by America’s PremierExperts® as one of the leading experts in his field. America’s PremiereExperts® recognizes leading experts, across a wide array of industries, who are willing to provide information and education to consumers as a public service.

Michael is a composer, musician, speaker and business mentor. He is a founding member of the Katy Jazz Association and member of the Katy Jazz Festival Committee. In 1986 he received his Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance, and he moved to Houston to begin his career in insurance.  Throughout the years he taught children to play the piano when his scheduled allowed. In 2006 Michael and his wife, Berta, opened their first school of music, The Conservatory of Music at Cinco Ranch, which is inclusive of being the only founding school of Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program in the greater Houston area.  The Conservatory of Music currently teaches more than 25,000 lessons a year and was recently named as “The Best Music Studio / Lessons in Katy for 2016.”



Courtesy of Dicks and Nanton Branding Agency
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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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Katy, TX – December 7, 2016

Patients at Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Texas Medical Center now have access to hands-on music therapy thanks to a multiple guitar donation from Joan Holst and Michael Fuller, of Fuller’s Guitar, a guitar store located in Houston’s Greater Heights. Fuller and Holst were inspired to make the donation by their friend, Paul Jardell, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment at the Center. The guitars will be available as a musical diversion for patients to play while they receive treatment. They will also be used by the Center’s music therapy support group.


“It’s important to me that the patients are engaged in the music, not just by listening, but by participating,” said Maegan Morrow, music therapist with TIRR Memorial Hermann, who also dedicates some of her time to Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-TMC. “By picking up a guitar during long treatments, it can be a distraction that puts the brain in a more positive state. Some patients might already know how to play guitar, but now we have the resources if someone wants to learn as well. We are so grateful to Fuller’s Guitar for their generous gift.”

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital


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Katy, TX  – December 7, 2016 A recent survey found that Americans plan to spend more than half of their total holiday budget on non-gift items like holiday decor, entertaining and gifts for themselves. While incorporating these expenses into your holiday spending plan is smart, it’s easy to overspend in these areas and break your budget while wrapping up the rest of your gift list.

Fine-tune your holiday spending by avoiding these common gotchas and start the new year without a massive credit card bill.

1. Self gifting.
According to the National Retail Foundation, nearly six in 10 Americans plan to buy gifts for themselves, spending around $140, up 4% from last year and marking the second-highest level of personal spending in the survey’s 13-year history. If you get in the habit of buying a gift for yourself every time you pick one up for a loved one, you’re going to find yourself over budget and in debt. When you find yourself reaching for an impulse self gift, give yourself 24 hours to consider the purchase. Chances are the urge to buy that unnecessary present will pass and you’ll save yourself big bucks. Alternatively, you can add the item to your wish list and help a loved one with their holiday shopping!


2. Indulging in decor.
Many consumers get swept up in the holiday spirit and indulge in new decor to deck their halls. If you already have bins full of lights, ornaments, garland and other holiday tchotchkes, don’t buy more before Christmas. Wait until Dec. 25 passes to pick up a few new decor pieces for next year when you can expect to save over 70% in most cases.

3. Missing out on savings.
The holiday season is filled with promotions of all kinds and if you don’t know where to find the best deals, you could miss out on major savings. Sign up for retailer newsletters to get coupons and learn about upcoming sales events. Create a new email so you don’t get bombarded with such offers though! Use money-saving apps like Coupon Sherpa to get coupons right to your phone or check their online database for offers from popular retailers such as 20% off with a JCPenney coupon. Lastly, it’s important to track price drops with MyAlerts.com so you know when to request a price adjustment on any gifts that you buy that go on sale shortly afterwards.

4. Spending more to save more.
A popular promotion offered during the holidays, the “buy more, save more” deal often compels shoppers into spending more money than they planned. Such tiered offers as $25 off $75 or $50 off $150 are designed to make you think you’re getting a better value when you spend more, but you actually save the same percentage in most cases. Instead, spend what you planned and enjoy whatever savings you receive as a result. And whenever you see that slogan, remind yourself that when you buy more, you spend more!

5. Opening a new store card.
An additional 10 to 20% off your purchase tempts many shoppers into opening a new store card, especially during the holiday season. However, this savings strategy is anything but smart; store cards carry low credit limits and high interest rates which can prove dangerous to your credit score if not carefully managed. Plus, you’re likely to buy more during that transaction to benefit from the limited deal. Unless you shop with the store frequently and can commit to paying off balances in full each month, it’s best to avoid these cards. While paying with cash is the best strategy to stay on budget, sticking to one credit card that provides cash back or miles and earn rewards faster is another good option.

6. Overstocking stockings.
Most shoppers don’t budget for stocking stuffers as they do regular presents that go under the tree, yet these small gifts can put a dent into your spending. Make a plan of how much money you will spend per stocking for your family members and don’t waste your money buying junk just to fill it! To keep your budget in check, consider making little gifts to fill out stockings. You can make a small ornament with a favorite picture or bake a few small treats to supplement the gifts you purchase.

7. Picking up extra gifts at checkout.
Checkout aisles are stocked with all sorts of impulse buys because retailers know shoppers can’t resist festive fuzzy socks, coffee mugs and scented candles. While they’re cheap, these small purchases of $1 here and $5 there can add up quickly and eat into your budget. Distract yourself when checking out at any store by reviewing your haul for unnecessary impulse buys, updating your gift list or checking in with your shopping budget to ensure you’re still on track.

8. Buying more to get free shipping.
While free shipping is a popular promotion, more online retailers are requiring minimum order thresholds of $50, $75 or even over $100 before free delivery kicks in. Spending more to qualify for free shipping means it’s not free. Look for free site-to-store pick-up options or sign up for a free 30-day trial at ShopRunner for free, two-day shipping from hundreds of popular stores like Eddie Bauer, Express and Lord and Taylor. Otherwise, wait for Free Shipping Day on December 16 when hundreds of retailers waive minimum order requirements, offer extra discounts and guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.

9. Racking up debt to pay for gifts.
A new survey conducted by MagnifyMoney found that more than one in four Americans plan to rack up holiday debt and many of those shoppers expect they will take three months or more to pay it off. Accepting that you’ll go into the debt for the holidays is a dangerous kind of complacence and something that shouldn’t be taken so lightly! Instead, determine what you can afford and boost your budget by shopping the sales, using coupons, stocking up on discount gift cards, re-gifting gently-used products or even selling items for extra cash.


Source: Andrea Woroch is a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. 
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Katy, TX – November 23, 2016 Katy Aquatics received a special appearance from Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin earlier this month on Tuesday, November 15th at the Katy High School Natatorium. Ervin’s visit was part of an outreach effort presented by the USA Swimming Athlete Partnership Program to encourage young swimmers to lead champion lifestyles and stay physically active. These appearances directly promote the sport and the healthy lifestyle it represents.



Anthony brought his Olympic gold medal from Rio to share with the kids and inspire them to continue and persevere in the sport of swimming. Ervin was able to speak to our Age Group swimmers and share his journey from learning how to swim, to becoming an Olympic athlete. He spoke about his struggles, successes and how he used both to make his come-back during the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Anthony did a great job speaking to our athletes on their level and relating to them through his own experiences in the sport. Anthony captivated both our athletes and their families in a very motivational speech and concluded the evening with group photo sessions.


All of the Katy Aquatics swimmers and parents thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet Anthony on a personal level and would like to extend a heart-felt Thank You to USA Swimming for creating an awe-inspiring visit with our team. This event was a special memory for our athletes to share with one another for years to come!  This was truly an exciting day for our entire club, and we wish you all the best in your future career Anthony!         Katy Aquatics has professional coaches on our competitive and non-competitive staff who provide challenging and innovative training to support the development of each individual swimmer.  We offer instruction for swimmers of all ages and abilities, as well as host Water Safety events in our local Katy area throughout the year.


Courtesy of Katy Aquatics
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Katy, TX (November 22, 2016) According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), more people die every year from lung cancer than of breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and physicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital are encouraging people to be screened for lung cancer.

“Current and former smokers are at a higher risk for having lung cancer. Unfortunately, those who grew up around smokers are also at a higher risk for developing lung cancer. As with all cancers, early detection is key to fighting the disease successfully,” says Qi-Ming Zhu, D.O., a pulmonary and critical care specialist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy.

The ACS recommends the following guidelines for lung cancer screening:

  • 55 to 77 years old
  • Have at least a 30 pack-a-year smoking history
  • Are still smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years
  • Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer

“People often ask why the screening is done on people with no signs of lung cancer. Often, issues like coughing, wheezing, and chest pain will prompt a person to have the condition evaluated by a physician, who may recommend other tests. For those without symptoms, a low-dose CT scan is a good way to detect lung cancer before they start showing symptoms,” added Dr. Zhu.

A low-dose CT (LDCT) scan provides more detailed pictures than a chest x-ray and uses a lower amount of radiation than a standard chest CT. It does not require the use of intravenous contrast dye.

“People should also be aware that a low-dose CT scan may also find other abnormalities in the body that may need to be checked out, but may not be cancer. Do your research and make sure the facility and physicians have experience in lung cancer screening and that they follow the recommendations from the American Cancer Society,” says Dr. Zhu.

Several Memorial Hermann facilities, including Memorial Hermann Katy, offer low-dose CT scans for patients who fit the necessary criteria and have an order from a referring physician. You can learn more about the screening here.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann
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Katy, TX – November 22, 2016 Special Pals is taking pre-orders for their 2017 Red White & Rescue Calendar, a project helping to fundraise for the shelter.


The Red White & Rescue Calendar is a collaboration between first responders and Special Pals. The calendar features first responders from the Katy, West Houston, Richmond, Rosenberg, and Fulshear areas along with their own adopted dogs, or adoptable dogs from Special Pals.

“Our goal for this calendar is to help raise funds and awareness for the shelter,” said Melissa Houser, President of Special Pals. “We also want to recognize local first responders who protect our communities every day. They work hard to save human lives while we work hard to save animal lives.”

Eight local agencies are represented in the 2017 Red White & Rescue Calendar: Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, Katy ISD Police Department, Fort Bend EMS, Katy Fire Department, Richmond Police Department, Fulshear Police Department, Harris Country Sheriff’s Office, and Fulshear/Simonton Fire Department. Photography was arranged and provided free of charge by Sandy Flint of Flint Photography.

Among the first responders and animals featured are Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls and his dog Archer. Nehls gained international acclaim after he—along with volunteers and KPRC television reporter Phil Archer—rescued a dog tied to a porch from rising flood waters in Fort Bend County. The rescue was caught on video and viewed millions of times all over the world. A few weeks after the rescue, Archer (named after Phil Acher) was adopted by Nehls and his family.

All funds generated from calendar sales will support operations at Special Pals and provide care for the animals currently living at the shelter. “After daily care, medical care, and ‘room and board’ it costs nearly $10 per day to provide care for an adoptable animal at the shelter,” says Elizabeth Trick, Executive Director of Special Pals. “Purchasing this calendar will help us continue to care for the dogs and cats waiting to be adopted, and ensure we can continue to save more animals in 2017.”

The Red White & Rescue Calendar is currently in production and will begin shipping during the week of Thanksgiving. Calendars may be purchased online for $24.99 including tax and shipping, or in person at Special Pals for $20.00 including tax.

To pre-order a copy of the 2017 Red White & Rescue Calendar, and for profiles of the first responders featured in the calendar, visit www.redwhiteandrescue.com.

Special Pals website: http://www.specialpalsshelter.org/

Special Pals Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SpecialPalsShelter

Red White & Rescue Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RedWhiteRescue/

About Special Pals: Special Pals is Houston’s longest running no-kill animal shelter. As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization our mission is to make the world a better place for healthy cats and dogs by providing temporary shelter and health care, an alternative to euthanasia, adoptive homes and education to the community about the responsibilities of pet ownership and the importance of spaying and neutering. We offer adoption services, boarding, low-cost wellness clinics and low-cost spaying and neutering.

Courtesy of Special Pals
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Katy, TX – November 22, 2016 Over the past few weeks, Katy ISD hosted dedication ceremonies for two of their newest schools, MayDell Jenks Elementary and Catherine Bethke Elementary. The Katy community, Board of Trustees, Fort Bend County officials, and the namesakes themselves, MayDell Krivacka Jenks, and Catherine Gigi Bethke, were all in attendance.


These new schools were designed and built as a result of the district’s $748 million bond referendum approved by voters in November of 2014. VLK Architects was hired by Katy ISD to work in collaboration with the district and the community to create a new two-story elementary school prototype with Bethke and Jenks as the first schools to open. The hope with these new schools is to inspire students and engage different learning styles through the availability of collaborative and flexible spaces. In addition, these new facilities were constructed to address and accommodate Katy ISD’s increasing student population.

“I could not be more proud to have this opportunity to open a new state-of-the-art facility,” said Katy ISD Superintendent, Dr. Lance Hindt. “I am in awe to see the student adaptability and creativity as they develop individual modes of learning and collaboration through the use of flexible spaces.”

At the Jenks Elementary School Dedication Ceremony, Principal Troy Kemp spoke about how humbling it is to be a part of and represent Jenks in his role as principal. “This week the ‘Book of Awesome’ showed up in my mailbox,” said Kemp. “It is a book filled with pages of the little things in life that can turn an ordinary day into something very special. While opening a new school is by no means a little thing, I have to say it is awesome! It’s awesome in the traditional sense that it is something to be enjoyed, revered, and respected. It is also awesome because of the children and the families that I have gotten to know by being a part of this school.”

Mike Schofield, Texas House of Representatives, District 132 attended the Bethke Dedication Ceremony and spoke about how valuable it is to attend a new school and have the opportunity to pass wisdom down to descendants. “Fifty years from now, when some of the students who attend Bethke Elementary are retiring and happen to be driving by with their grandchildren, they will tell them ‘this is where I went to school. This is where I learned the lessons that I passed on to your parents, and they passed on to you,” said Schofield. “I can’t think of a higher calling or a better use for a piece of land than to be the place where that happens.”

Katy ISD’s Board of Trustees President, Rebecca Fox spoke at both dedication ceremonies and mentioned how much she enjoys seeing new campuses open within her own community. “There are no words that explain what a privilege and honor it is to represent you on Katy ISD’s School Board,” said Fox. “We are just so grateful that we get to be a part of a community that values education. You all have been supportive of us as we continue to grow and make more opportunities for our students to learn.”

These projects have been a two-year journey to completion which was a success that greatly benefited from the cooperation of the district, bringing these campuses to life.

“I just want to say thank you to the Katy ISD community for the opportunity to design learning spaces that will be used by your next generation of learners,” said Todd Lien, VLK Principal. “It was truly a collaborative effort and we could not be more grateful.”

Courtesy of VLK Architects
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Katy, TX – November 21, 2016 Chick-fil-A®, Inc. has selected Katy resident Avery Fontenot as a recipient of the chain’s $1,000 Leadership Scholarship, making her the 100th nominee of Chick-fil-A Operator, Rusty Wylie, to receive the award.


Wylie commented, “Avery is a fantastic young leader.  She exemplifies everything we love to see in young people—a servant’s heart, work ethic, and great attitude.  I am so proud of Avery.  She’s worked extremely hard since she started, and this scholarship is only the beginning of great things in her future.” Currently an assistant manager at Chick-fil-A Mason Road, Fontenot graduated from Taylor High School and is now a freshman at Lone Star College in Houston. She plans to transfer to University of Houston in the fall to study Hotel and Restaurant management. She has been actively involved in Best Buddies, Future Farmers of America (FFA), youth group, and worked as an Athletic Trainer. Avery said, “I love the energetic atmosphere at Chick-fil-A, the friends I have made, and the opportunities for growth.  I want to be an entrepreneur someday and maybe even a Chick-fil-A franchisee.  This is a great place to start!”

As Wylie stood with scholarship recipients Luis Gomez, Avery Fontenot, and Stefany Gonzalez he said, “We have been blessed since 1995 to be located here in Katy where there is a real sense of community, family, and a great school district.  As for the 100 scholarship recipients, those 100 represent the very best of our team members…those hard working kids who grew up with us and are now teachers, nurses, engineers, pastors, and business owners.”

Chick-fil-A, Inc. began awarding scholarships to Team Members in 1973 based on founder S. Truett Cathy’s desire to incentivize Team Members to further their education. Since then, nearly 36,000 Team Members have received scholarships, bringing the total amount to nearly $36 million applied at more than 3,000 schools nationwide.   In addition to the $1,000 scholarships available, the enhanced educational assistance initiative, called Remarkable Futures, increases the amount of scholarships awarded. in 2017, 1,850 students will have an opportunity to receive a $2,500 scholarship, with the ability to re-apply for up to four years – for a potential total of up to $10,000 for college while serving as Chick-fil-A team member. Plus, a new opportunity will exist for 12 students to receive an individual, one-time award of up to $25,000.

Courtesy of Chick-fil-A
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Katy, TX – November 17, 2016

Taylor FFA started the Ag Olympics for all the Katy ISD high school FFA students back in 2010 when they had just a handful of students participate. This year the event has grown to 355 FFA students from all 7 Katy high schools competing against each other in fun Ag related games, hence calling Ag Olympics. The teams are made up of students from each school and compete for points at each of the 10 different games.


The games range from Greasy Pumpkin Relay and Ice-Bucket Musical Chairs to Balloon Stomp and Tire Flipping Relay! And the Grand-finally is boys and girls from each school competing in the Tug-O-War into the mud! Cinco Ranch got 1st place betting 2nd place Taylor by only 1/2 a point and Seven Lakes won 3rd place. This is a great event for all of the Katy FFA Students to get to know each other and have a friendly completion with lots of laughing and getting dirty!

img_7935 img_1595

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Katy, TX – November 16, 2016 The West Houston community is invited to join Houston Methodist West surgeons and the Girl Scouts for a hands-on demonstration of the new da Vinci Xi surgical robot on Monday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. in the Houston Methodist West Sky Plaza. Houston Methodist West is the only facility in the Energy Corridor to acquire this latest piece of surgical technology.

During this one-hour event, we will explain the background of the da Vinci Xi robot and the impact it will have on minimally invasive surgeries. Attendees will then have a chance to use the robot to complete simple tasks, followed by a group Q&A.

“There is a constant transformation in technology surrounding surgery,” said Wayne Voss, chief executive officer of Houston Methodist West. “The da Vinci Xi is a great example of how we are committed to leading medicine in the West Houston and surrounding communities by providing the tools our surgeons need to deliver unparalleled safety, quality, growth and innovation.”

Robotic-assisted surgery is a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery that uses a robotic interface to control surgical instruments. With this specially designed system, the surgeon gets a magnified, three-dimensional view of the surgical area and is able to maneuver instruments more precisely during complex and delicate procedures.

At Houston Methodist West, our specially trained and credentialed surgeons are leaders in robotic surgery. Since its introduction a few years ago, robotic surgery has been used in thousands of procedures, proving its safety and effectiveness. Patients benefit from the least invasive, safest surgical treatment for even the most complex conditions. Compared to open surgery, robotic-assisted surgery results in less trauma to the body, less risk of infection, less blood loss and need for blood transfusions, significantly less pain and scarring, shorter hospital stay, and faster recovery and return to normal activities.

Please RSVP at events.houstonmethodist.org/DaVinciXi to try your hand at the new da Vinci Xi surgical robot.


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Katy, TX – November 16, 2016

The 41,000 square-foot YMCA at Katy Main Street will feature strength training and cardio equipment, group exercise rooms, a basketball gym, an outdoor heated swimming pool, child watch rooms, cycle studio and gathering areas where members can meet for coffee. It will offer health and wellness activities, aquatics, youth sports, afterschool care, summer day camp, summer sports clinics, teen programs, senior activities and more.

“A lot of thought went into the design of this new facility. We’ve used best practice concepts from Ys across the country,” said Brian Haines, district executive director at the YMCA of Greater Houston. “We hope many people will take advantage of the new membership incentive so they can gain access to both Ys in Katy as well as in the Greater Houston area.”

The $12 million center is expected to accommodate the growing population of Katy, serving residents in west and north Katy and in neighboring communities.

The YMCA at Katy Main Street is expected to receive more than 400,000 visits a year. It will provide approximately $250,000 in community assistance and program/membership scholarships and create more than 200 area jobs.


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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.

A Devastating Loss
He lost the lower part of his le leg in a motorcycle accident in 2012, just three years after his brother died in a motorcycle accident. “I lost my leg, but I didn’t lose my life,” says Thompson, who refuses to allow his physical challenge to slow him down. “You have to keep on going, push through, and live life.”km_oct-nov_16_artis-thompson_am-ninja-warrior_photo-by-anetrius-wallace-42

Determined to Succeed
Thompson said his biggest challenge was not losing his leg, but blocking out negativity from others. He was motivated by his aunt and some of his clients to audition for the show. “When I first started, there were a lot of people who said I couldn’t do it or that I shouldn’t do it. But it’s all about me, how committed I am, and how hard I want to work,” says Thompson.

American Ninja Warrior is a sports entertainment competition that challenges contestants with grueling obstacle courses designed to test their strength, balance, and endurance. Contenders compete in log runs, wall climbs, and spider crawls. They leap from platform to platform, swing from great heights, and propel their bodies over barricades. In the history of the show only a few have successfully completed the course. artis-thompson-iii_submission-4

One in a Million
Participants are required to submit a video displaying their athletic ability and desire to win. “Having one leg is a great story, but I had to show them in my audition tape that I could still climb the treacherous Warped Wall. I had to demonstrate that I’m able to do everything in the show,” says Thompson. In season seven, Thompson succeeded in making it to the third obstacle. One year later, in season eight, he made it as far as the fourth obstacle when he fell into the water during a log run. “They were amazed and said no other amputee who’s gone on the show has been a true athlete. I was the first amputee they really thought had a chance to win.” artis-thompson-iii_submission-3

Playing to Win 
Thompson’s goal was to make it to the finals, and despite his motivating achievement, he is disappointed in his performance. “I went on the show to win. Anything short of this success in my eyes is a failure,” says Thompson. “My plans for the future are to keep training, go back into it stronger, and never give up until I complete it.” In the eyes of his fans, however; he is nothing less than a winner. “People from all over the world have reached out to me to say they’re inspired by what I’ve done,” says Thompson. “I’ve had amputees tell me they’re motivated to start working out. They’re motivated to do something with their lives.” In the spirit of a true warrior, Thompson plans to keep hurdling over every obstacle that comes his way. “You never know what’s going to happen next, so make the most of every day. My advice to others is to live life for yourself, reach forward to your goals, and never give up.” KM

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Katy, TX – November 14, 2016
Written by Kirsten Cornell

Sneak away from the hustle and bustle and re-energize at these countryside getaways.

Canyon Lakeview Resort
872 Ledgerock Dr. | Canyon Lake, TX
km_oct-nov_16_travel_aircrop2_canyon-lakeview-resortChoose from cathedral cabins with panoramic views of Canyon Lake from every deck or lodge suites while staying at Canyon Lakeview Resort. Accommodations are equipped with deck tables, chairs, and BBQ grills for you to enjoy all the lake has to offer. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to add to their itinerary with guided tours, rafting, tubing, hike and bike trails, as well as visits to the local winery. If you feel like taking the whole crew out for some fun in the sun, stop by one of several boat rentals and pick your vessel for the day, or your entire trip.

Flying L Ranch
566 Flying L Dr. | Bandera, TX

km_oct-nov_16_travel_riding_edited_flying-l-ranchSlides, a lazy river, a wave pool, obstacle course – and that’s just in Lone Star Lagoon. You’ll have more than enough to keep you busy. In addition to the waterpark, Flying L has tennis courts, basketball, volleyball, horseshoe pits, shuffleboard, playgrounds, hiking trails, fishing, western magic shows, s’mores roasts, sing-a-longs, and more. They also have an award-winning, 18-hole championship golf course on site. If you want to venture out, zip lining, Los Maples, Bear Springs Nature Preserve, Enchanted Springs Ranch, and Hill Country Wineries are all under an hour away.




Gruene Mansion Inn
1275 Gruene Rd. | New Braunfels, TX

gruenemansioninn.com km_oct-nov_16_travel_gmi_lights_2x3_highres_gruene-mansion-inn
Nestled on the Guadalupe River, Gruene Mansion Inn reflects Victorian rustic elegance. e rooms lend to the ambiance with names like hayloft, reside lodge, river tree lodge, and Sunday haus. From private cottages to rooms overlooking the iconic Gristmill, guests will appreciate the authentic atmosphere coupled with luxury accommodations. Located in the heart of downtown Gruene, mansion guests have access to shopping, restaurants, dancing, and Rockin’ R River Rides which is open seasonally. Heading up there for a special weekend? Have a surprise basket of goodies delivered to your room.

km_oct-nov_16_travel_waffles_hoffman-hausHoffman Haus
608 East Creek St. | Fredericksburg, TX

Whether you choose stay in the Ivy with its French doors leading out to a private covered porch to enjoy your morning coffee, or the Evening Star which resembles an 1840s log cabin complete with an overstuffed sofa and limestone replace, you’ll be cradled in comfort at Hofman Haus. A complimentary breakfast is delivered to your room via picnic basket featuring such culinary treats as mushroom quiche, white chocolate and cranberry scones, sweet potato waffles, and lemon-blueberry muffins. Not sure of what to do while you’re there? Don’t worry. Hoffman Haus provides suggested itineraries for the historic, active, shopaholic, and romantic traveler.

Horseshoe Bay Resort
200 Hi Cir. N. | Horseshoe Bay, TX

Any resort with its own mascot is bound to offer a great time, and Horseshoe Bay Resort has Manny the Macaw who interacts with guests every day and loves to have his photo taken. In the Bay’s Whitewater activity center, you will find bicycles, Razor scooters, recreation equipment, arts and crafts, and even a snack bar which also serves adult beverages for parents. Don’t miss out on a variety of lake and marina activities including kayaking, paddle boarding, or going out on a pontoon boat. If relaxation is what you’re looking for, the resort offers a full-service spa and salon where you can schedule treatments, relax in the eucalyptus infused steam rooms, or soak in the whirlpool.

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort
9800 Hyatt Resort Dr. | San Antonio, TX



Tucked away on 300 acres of a family ranch, the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort offers resort-style luxury with a countryside backdrop. Float down the lazy river, rock on the porch, tee off on the 27-hole golf course, join a game of water volleyball, lounge at a poolside cabana, or even rush down the 22-foot water slide. Located just miles from SeaWorld San Antonio, Fiesta Texas, Pearl Street, and the San Antonio River Walk, there are plenty of tourist attractions for you to visit as well.

Log Country Cove
617 Log Country Cove | Burnet, TX
From the intimate Maegan Breann, also known as the honeymoon cabin, to Belle Oaks which sleeps up to 14 people, Log Country Cove can make room for your caravan. Some of the larger cabins also feature in-house entertainment including foosball tables, horseshoes, poker tables, swing sets – not to mention great views of the Colorado River. If you are looking for a family retreat, Big Timber Lodge makes a statement and sleeps up to 35 people. In addition to a party room, outside decks, and surround sound outdoors, this cabin also boasts grills, a gourmet kitchen, at screen TVs, paddle boards, and canoes to keep you entertained.

Rough Creek Lodge & Resort
5165 County Rd. 2013 | Glen Rose, TX

Imagine stepping out from your cabin and watching deer grazing in the nearby trees. That’s the scenic atmosphere at Rough Creek Lodge & Resort. Guests can stay in the main lodge, cabins, or even vacation rental homes. Stop by the petting corral to visit miniature goats, horses, and rabbits, or feed your adventurous side with zip lining and rock climbing. If lounging is more your thing, relax poolside, fly a kite, take a hayride, or book some time at the spa. Don’t forget that there are several museums, parks, live music, and Dinosaur Valley nearby.

Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort
1 Resort Way | Boerne, TX

km_oct-nov_16_travel_spa_salt_cave_tapatio-springs-hc-resortResort amenities include golf, a spa, dining, and live music events on site. Guests looking for a unique experience can book the George Strait suite. With a private entry near the golf course, living room and entertainment area, a wet bar, hill country views, and George Strait memorabilia, it’s truly suited for an ultimate getaway. For the adventure junkie, try adding hunting, fishing, or playing at Joshua Creek Ranch to your itinerary. If it’s romance you’re after, saddle up for an equestrian ride, taste regional wines, indulge in a couple’s massage, or book some time at the salt cave.

Travaasa Austin
13500 FM Rd. 2769 | Austin, TX

km_oct-nov_16_travel_329_activities_mechanical_bull_300dpi_travaasa-austinAs soon as you arrive at Travaasa Austin you are encircled by cypress trees, live oaks, and rolling hills. Explore your cultural side with cooking demos, wine tastings, harmonica lessons, and reside chats. You can choose from an inclusive or a la carte experience adding on amenities such as chef prepared meals, spa treatments, and private fitness classes. These aren’t your ordinary classes. Sure you can sign up for Pilates, but you can also strengthen your core during the mechanical bull workout. When in Texas. KM


Photos courtesy of resorts
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Katy, TX – November 10, 2016

The Cinco Ranch High School Chapter of Future Business Leaders of America got together for their annual Halloween Katy Christian Ministries Can Drive. While Halloween commonly holds the American tradition of people of all ages receiving candy and joy from others, the Cinco Ranch Chapter of FBLA decided to take a refreshing reverse and give to others rather than receive. Members went above and beyond spending a round trip of as long as 6 hours placing flyers on their neighbors’ doors and then returning the next day to collect cans to donate to KCM. With the combined effort of hardworking and generous members, the Cinco Ranch Chapter of FBLA was able to collect a grand total of 1316 cans with Daniel Gaw donating the most at an impressive count 325 cans! Following the collection, they had a spooky social decked out with all kinds of creative costumes including teabags, snapchat filters, zombies, magicians, and much more! After dinner, the members gathered to participate in an exciting costume contest by competing against one another for the best costume on the runway! After a couple hours of fun and games, the winner was declared: Haylee Giang won the contest with her “tea-rrific” costume! Special thanks to PDQ for providing FBLA with a nice location and amazing food for this year’s “Scare Away Hunger” can drive and Abby Rooney’s dad for providing a large truck to transport all 1316 cans to KCM. The Cinco Ranch High School Chapter of FBLA had an enjoyable time making awesome memories and helping out in the community.


Courtesy of Angela Young, Cinco Ranch FBLA Reporter
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Katy, Tx – November 9, 2016    Written by Dr. Erica Wang, Texas Children’s Pediatrics – Grand Parkway

For many parents, fever is one of the most concerning and alarming symptoms a child can have. There are many scary fever myths out there – and it’s time to set the record straight! To many pediatricians, fever is considered a good sign that the body is mounting a response to an infection.

Here are my top five fever myths and facts:

Myth #1: Temperatures between 98.7°F and 100°F (37.1°C to 37.8°C) are low-grade fevers.
Fact: These temperatures are actually normal variations and are not fevers. The body’s temperature changes throughout the day and is naturally higher in the afternoon and evening.

An actual fever is any temperature of 100.4°F or higher.

Myth #2: Fevers are bad, can cause brain damage or seizures and are dangerous to my child.
Fact: Fevers are a protective mechanism and a sign that the body’s immune system is turned on. Most fevers are good for sick children and help the body fight infection. Fevers do not cause brain damage.

As for seizures, the vast majority (96 percent) of children do not have seizures with a fever. About 4 percent of children can have a seizure with a fever – this is called a febrile seizure. Febrile seizures are scary to watch, but they usually stop within five minutes. They do not cause brain damage or have long-term side effects. Children who have had febrile seizures are not at greater risk for developmental delays or learning disabilities.

Myth #3: All fevers need to be treated with fever medicine (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen). After treatment, the fever should go away completely.
Fact: Fevers need to be treated only if the child is uncomfortable. For young children, that usually means fevers over 102°F or 103°F (39°C or 39.4°C). With treatment, fevers usually come down 2°F or 3°F (1.1°C or 1.7°C) but may not go away completely. There is no harm in not treating a fever.

Myth #4: The exact number of the temperature is very important. If the fever is high, the cause is serious.
Fact: How your child looks is what’s important, not the exact temperature. If the fever is high, the cause may or may not be serious. If your child looks very well, the cause is likely to be less serious. One exception is in babies who are less than 3 months of age. They should always be seen by a health care provider right away if they have a fever because their immune systems are not fully developed. If it’s the weekend and your baby spikes a fever, it’s best to call your doctor’s office and take them to an urgent care.

Myth #5: If the fever doesn’t come down (if you can’t “break the fever”), the cause is serious.
Fact: Whether a fever comes down or not, is not related to the seriousness of the infection. The height of the fever and how long it lasts does not tell us whether it is caused by a virus or bacteria. What matters most is how your child looks.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital

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Katy, TX – November 9, 2016 The holiday season is upon us, which means parties and presents and endless festivities. The change in schedule can unfortunately mean an increase in stress, for you and your pets. Here are five simple ways to help keep your pet stress-free during the holidays.


Stick to your routine. A predictable routine is important for your dog. Try to ensure specific things – meals, walks, playtime – occur at more or less the same time each day.

Get some exercise. Make a point of providing some type of exercise for your dog every day. Dogs who are not getting enough exercise can become restless, irritable, hyperactive and anxious.

Challenge your pet’s brain. Engage your dog with a food puzzle or other interactive toy.

Give your pet some TLC. Lack of attention can cause your dog to feel stressed out, which can lead to bad behavior. Make time for your pet, such as snuggling together or playing with their favorite toy.

Enlist a helping hand. Visitors can help you train and provide entertainment for your pet, but if you need more help, bring your dog to Camp for a fun day of play. They’ll come home tired and ready to relax.


Courtesy of Camp Bow Wow Katy
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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.”

Last year, Searcy landed her role as Jade Michaels, the love interest of Joey Johnson played by James Lastovic, on Days of Our Lives. “I like to say that my life has been a series of very fortunate events, each event leading to an even greater opportunity. When I first moved to L.A., mJames Lastovic, Paige Searcy "Days of our Lives" Set NBC Studios Burbank 12/10/15 © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661 Episode # 12863 U.S.Airdate 06/13/16y intentions were not to start acting,” Searcy says. “I missed my hometown of Katy and wanted to move back as soon as possible, but fate had a separate plan for me and led me to the amazing path I’m on right now.” Searcy’s passion for being on stage began when she joined the musical theatre program at Millikan Middle School. “Actors like Juliette Lewis, John Travolta, and Natalie Portman have definitely influenced me to become an actor,” she says. “They star in some of my favorite flicks including The Professional, Urban Cowboy, and Black Swan.

Landing the Role
Searcy says the audition process started out a little shaky. She was supposed to receive an expedited passport so she could travel to Canada for a role in a lm, but due to computer difficulties, it didn’t arrive on time. Discouraged, Searcy never would have guessed the closed door would quickly lead to the role of a lifetime. “The same day I went home disappointed, I came across another opportunity that absolutely paid off,” she says. That’s how she landed the role on Days.

km_oct-nov_16_paige-searcy_paige_searcy_laura_pallas19638_jonathan-marlow-marlow-photographyAuditions can be nerve-racking, but Searcy learned to face her fears. “I was so hard on myself to get all of my lines right that I forgot the intentions of the scenes I was doing and that resulted in some, what I’d like to call, ‘interesting’ failed auditions,” she shares. “I remember the day I got the audition for the role of Jade on Days of Our Lives; I was expected to learn my lines the night before and meet the amazing casting director Marnie Saitta the next morning.” The two immediately hit it ff. “She saw something in me that she was proud to present to producers who loved my audition, call back, and chemistry read with James Lastovic.”

Working with her movie star crush has been a dream. “James Lastovic has been a pleasure to work with. He is my absolute favorite on the show,” says Searcy. Lastovic even attended her real-life high school graduation. “We’ve come a long way since we first started working on the show together.”

Future Film
“Some say they hate watching themselves act on TV, but honestly, I think it’s pretty cool. I can see what choices I made that I like and don’t like and learn from them,” Searcy says. “My family and friends think it’s incredible and fascinating. Who would’ve thought the shy, little Paige from the suburbs of Katy, Texas would make it to Hollywood to become a television star?” A few of her hometown supporters in Katy consist of her father Dylan, sister Brianna, grandmother Norma, grandfather David, and her mother’s friend Inga who watches Days religiously.

 Searcy is excited about her role in an upcoming independent film, calling it her favorite so far. She will play Charlie, “a young prostitute trying to find herself in the cold, hard world working the streets of the Bronx in New York, while Wednesday, Keke Palmer, her femaleJames Lastovic, Paige Searcy "Days of our Lives" Set NBC Studios Burbank 10/23/15 © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661 Episode # 12821 U.S.Airdate 04/11/16 pimp, encourages her to leave the life of prostitution.” The movie is anticipated to release next year.

Searcy encourages others who aspire to acting, or any career to, “Never let anyone tell you that you can’t, because you can do anything you set your heart and mind to. Never give up.”


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Katy, TX – October 27, 2016 364 golfers teed off at The 19th annual Bad Pants Open golf tournament at The Clubs of Kingwood recently, benefiting premature and critically ill babies at Texas Children’s Newborn Center, the largest neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the nation.

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The tournament will donate $375,000 to Texas Children’s Newborn Center, which will support research and advanced education for NICU providers and improve outcomes for the hospital’s tiniest patients.


The colorful tournament, presented by RBC Wealth Management and Capital Markets, is a lighthearted and fun day of golf where the best prizes are awarded for how “bad” players look, not just how well they play! This year’s tournament, chaired by Rob Cooksey, vice president of Texas Aromatics, featured prizes for the baddest pants as well NICU nurse of the year, awarded to Crystal Cruz. Becca Schiff, assistant clinical director of nursing for the Newborn Center, gave a speech about the impact funds from The Bad Pants Open have on babies born prematurely or critically-ill. Her own twins were born at 24 weeks gestation weighing just over a pound each. The two year olds are now thriving due to the great care they received in the NICU at Texas Children’s Hospital.

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Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital


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Katy, TX – October 27, 2016 The Katy ISD Partners in Education department is once again inviting the community to support families in need this holiday season.  Food for Families is an annual campaign that provides $50 grocery gift cards to Katy ISD students and their families. Principals from every Katy ISD campus identify students in need of assistance, and the gift cards are given to those students before winter break.  Last year, our Katy ISD community raised $25,000 to support students and their families during the holidays.  Since its inception in 2002, this initiative has blessed over 3,000 Katy ISD families thanks to the generous support of our community.

Those interested in participating may contribute cash or check by Thursday, Dec. 8.  Donations of any amount are welcome and will be accepted by Partners in Education in person or by mail:  Katy ISD ESC, 6301 South Stadium Lane, room 1520, Katy 77494.  Please make checks payable to “Katy ISD Food for Families.”

Food for Families, a Katy ISD Partners in Education yearly initiative, unites our Katy ISD staff and community in holiday support for select students and their families.  To learn more, visit Partners in Education under the “Community” tab at www.katyisd.org or contact Tammy Stringer, 281-396-2645, tammyrstringer@katyisd.org.



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Just Opened
24555 Katy Fwy.

24600 Katy Fwy.

24600 Katy Fwy.
24600 Katy Fwy.

24600 Katy Fwy.

2400 Katy Fwy.

24600 Katy Fwy.

2400 Katy Fwy.

24539 Katy Fwy.

S. of IH-10 on FM 1463

24515 Katy Fwy.

20420 S.W. Fwy.

Katy Ranch Crossing

27131 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
9006 S. Fry Rd.

22044 Westheimer Pkwy.

FM 1493 & Spring Green Blvd.

20702 Katy Fwy.

24437 Katy Fwy.

20950 Katy Fwy.

8710 Grand Mission Blvd.

Coming Soon

Katy Ranch Crossing Phase II

Grand Pkwy. & Morton Ranch Rd.

Grand Pkwy. & Morton Ranch Rd.

569 S. Mason Rd.

Grand Pkwy. & Morton Ranch Rd.

Mason Creek Corporate 21788 Katy Fwy.

Grand Pkwy. & Morton Ranch Rd.

S.W. corner of Spring Green Blvd. & FM 1463

Grand Pkwy. & Morton Ranch Rd.

Grand Pkwy. & Morton Ranch Rd.

569 S. Mason Rd.

S.W. corner of Spring Green Blvd. & FM 1463

Grand Pkwy. & Morton Ranch Rd.

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Katy, TX – October 26, 2016 The Cinco Ranch High School FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition Team 624 (CRyptonite) recently collaborated with the Houston chapter of Sewa International to organize a science event at the Katy ISD Robert Shaw STEAM Center (RSC) to foster interest in science and technology among children. The event was devoted to youth involved in ASPIRE – a Sewa program that provides education and mentoring services after school for young refugees and immigrants.


Over 30 children arrived at the RSC to engage in numerous hands-on activities set up by CRyptonite students, ranging from robot demos and lab tours to mini-experiments that explored topics such as air pressure, force, and elasticity. The trip also included a presentation on robot design and testing to introduce the basic principles of robotics.

After the success of this event and a previous partnership involving robot demos in an underserved neighborhood, CRyptonite and Sewa International look forward to future collaborations to help provide fun science-based activities for ASPIRE children and share the FIRST robotics mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders.


“We hopefully plan on doing this for many more years to come,” CRyptonite Team President Alyssa Wu said. “It was amazing to see these kids all hyped over our science activities and it’s really heartwarming to see our effect on their lives. I hope they continue to be this happy when working with science.”

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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-16The officers also fielded questions from their young audience including, “How do you become a police officer?” To which they replied, “Stay in school, go to college, and be really nice to others.”

In addition to their tours and high fives, the officers were also served a fajita lunch complete with cupcakes and caramel apples. They were also presented with a pledge from the staff and students at Centerra Ranch Montessori School which read, “Today we pledge to remind the few if ill of you they speak, that you are all that stands between the monsters and the weak.”

To show their avid appreciation, students presented the officers with “thank you” cards and messages.





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Katy, TX (October 24, 2016)

Cinco Ranch graduate, Brianna Garcia, shares her dream and journey to cheer for the big leagues.

Written by Debbie McDaniel | Select photography courtesy of See What Develops

As a child, Brianna grew up watching the Texans play football and remembers the anticipation of going to the stadium with her dad every season. Brianna was starstruck by the cheerleaders and couldn’t wait to be one of them. “Ever since I was little, I would tell him, ‘I can’t wait to try out for the Houston Texans Cheerleaders as soon as I turn 18!’” Her dad, Joey Yadi Garcia, has been a season ticket holder since day one, when the team first took the field as the Houston Texans. When Brianna heard her name called as one of the Texans Cheerleaders, she felt a rush of adrenaline like she had never felt before.



Dancing Through Life
Texans Cheerleader started dancing when she was just 3 years old. Becky’s Academy of Dance became her dance home, up until high school when she danced her way to the Cougar Stars dance team at Cinco Ranch High School, and served as social officer and spirit coordinator. Brianna says she couldn’t have done it without her family, “My parents, family, and friends have all been such amazing supporters.”

Intense Training
Getting ready to try out for the Houston Texans Cheerleaders requires great commitment and hard work. “I started preparing months before tryouts by changing my diet and working out.” Brianna trained under the guidance of personal trainer Alexis and worked out almost every day. In addition to these workouts, she took weekly dance classes designed specically for pro sports. “Because I was so passionate, it really helped me enjoy each step of the process, even though it was challenging.”

That Magic Moment
Brianna shares that when the names were called, she felt a rush of adrenaline and huge relief. “It was a feeling I can’t explain. It is denitely a moment I will never forget.” Brianna’s devotion and desire to reach for her dreams is an inspiring reminder – hard work and determination really do pay off. “Trying out for the team is a huge commitment and just like anything else, you have to be willing to put in all of your eort to see the results you aspire to achieve.”


Representing the Texans
One thing she enjoys most about being a Texans Cheerleader is the ability to support the community and represent the Texans team. “Coming out to the events that the Houston Texans sponsor has been such an amazing experience, I love interacting with the community and fans!” The cheerleaders are often each other’s biggest fans, “We are all very supportive of each other.” One of the biggest challenges for Brianna is staying in good physical condition. “Staying away from sweets and cutting back on going out to eat is a struggle,” she laughs. She admits that she loves sweet treats like cheesecake, ice cream, and crepes, and loves to try different foods from new restaurants.

Follow Your Passion
Brianna says she is blessed to have attended such great Katy ISD schools and have the relationships she has built in the Katy area. “Growing up in Katy has been such a joy! Katy reminds me of one giant family. Everyone is so friendly to those around them; supporting each other throughout the community in both difficult and happy times.” Her advice to Katy ISD cheerleaders and aspiring dancers is simple. “Always do what you love and are passionate about. Having passion in what you do in life will always show and get you further than you ever thought possible. Do what you love with condence and spirit.” KM

DEBBIE MCDANIEL is a cheer mom to 9-year-old Gracie, who loves to jump, dance, and practice stunts on the furniture.

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Katy, TX – October 24, 2016  

“Outbacker of the Month” is Odessa Kilpatrick Elementary ‘s most prestigious award. Kilpatrick Outbackers exhibit “Koalaty” character: they always lend a helping hand, have a smile on their face, serve as role models, and go above and beyond to make OKE an exemplary school. Each month, one student from each grade level, a staff member, and a volunteer are selected “Outbacker of the Month.”  Our September  Outbackers are teacher Rhonda Miller, students Edward Barbee, Grayson Sanchez, Declan Hoeferlin, Racheet Bedi, Caroline MacLellan , Tyler Cline and volunteer Felicia Schubert.



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Katy, TX – October 19, 2016  Halloween arrived early for hundreds of Houston area families on Sunday as Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital celebrated a record-high turnout for its 6th annual Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) reunion.

Decked out in Halloween costumes, more than 900 NICU graduates and their families flocked to the Houston Zoo to reunite with their caregivers and enjoy a festive autumn morning of pumpkin decorating and carnival games.


“Every year, the NICU reunion is a much-anticipated event for our physicians, nurses and other members of the care team who look forward to the opportunity to re-connect with patients they haven’t seen in months or even years in some cases,” said Nicole Francis, clinical director of neonatal services at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “It’s always so rewarding to see the tremendous progress these children make once they graduate from our care. Nothing brings me more fulfillment than seeing their smiles and witnessing their joy.”

In addition to the many fun-filled activities and a free pass into Houston Zoo Boo 2016, the NICU reunion had a special treat this year that delighted the crowd, both young and old. Curious George®, the timeless storybook monkey who now has his own popular animated television show, made a surprise appearance as part of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital’s ongoing sponsorship of PBS KIDS on Houston Public Media.

“The kids were beyond excited to meet Curious George and have their photo taken with their favorite PBS character,” Francis said. “We are proud to play our role in helping support such a cherished community partner that has made it a mission to foster literacy and educational development in children across the Houston area.”

See more photos of the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital NICU reunion.

Courtesy of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital


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Katy, TX – October 11, 2016 Recently, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses at Texas Children’s Hospital were celebrated for the care they provide to the hospital’s tiniest and most critically-ill babies. The nurses wore “bad pants” decorated with bright, colorful adornments in the spirit of the Bad Pants Open, an annual golf tournament that raises funds to support research and advanced education for NICU providers at Texas Children’s. Houston media personalities acted as “bad pants” judges, checking out each nurse’s bad pants and awarding the top three designs with hand-painted commemorative plates created by hospital patients.

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The colorful celebration also included remarks from Becca and Mike Schiff, whose twins Elliot and Jonah were born at just 24 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound, 6 ounces each. They were given a 25% chance of survival, but against the odds—and thanks to the specialized care they received in the NICU—Jonah and Elliott continued to grow stronger and are now thriving 2 year olds. Texas Children’s Hospital has the largest NICU in the nation and cares for more than 2,500 premature or critically-ill babies per year.

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Proceeds from the 19th annual Bad Pants Open golf tournament will support continued innovation and excellence in the research, treatment and care of critically ill and premature infants at Texas Children’s Newborn Center. At the Bad Pants Open, the best prizes are awarded for how “bad” players look, not just how well they play! Presented by RBC Wealth Management/Capital Markets, this light-hearted annual golf tournament staged at the Clubs of Kingwood helps improve outcomes for infants by raising funds to support critical research, patient care and education initiatives. This year’s tournament is chaired by Rob Cooksey, vice president of Texas Aromatics.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital
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Katy, Texas – October 5, 2016– Cane Island’s Living Arches, part of the Katy master-planned community’s impressive arrival experience, has won a Texas Star Award for Best Special Feature of a Community.


Presented by the Texas Association of Builders, the Texas Star Awards showcase the outstanding work of builders, remodelers, architects, designers and sales, marketing and construction professionals throughout Texas.  The award is the only statewide tribute to excellence in the home building industry.

Stretching over Cane Island Parkway, Cane Island’s Living Arches are comprised of two steel sculptures incorporating hundreds of glass leaves and thousands of programmable LED lights which change colors with the seasons and for special occasions.  A motion sensor activates the show as a car approaches, and its planter boxes allow for native Texas vines to grow and intertwine through the sculptures.

“When we designed Cane Island, we wanted to create an arrival experience that says ‘you’re somewhere special,’” notes Dan Naef, president of Rise Communities, developer of Cane Island. “It’s certainly an honor to be recognized by our industry.”

Cane Island also won Texas Star Awards for Best Showroom Sales Center and Best Sales Brochure by a developer.

One of the most sought-after master-planned communities west of Houston, Cane Island offers new luxury homes from the $200s to the millions, including those in gated sections and on prized cul-de-sac homesites from Coventry Homes, Toll Brothers, Ryland Homes, Shea Homes, David Weekley Homes, Perry Homes and Trendmaker Homes.   Residents enjoy a resort-style Amenity Village along with easy access onto Interstate 10 via the Cane Island Parkway.

The community also offers The Estates at Cane Island, a gated custom home neighborhood with Houston’s first street pantries.  For directions to Cane Island and to sign up for e-mail updates from the community, go to www.CaneIsland.com.

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Katy, Texas – September 22, 2016
Some of the best places to watch the game, enjoy good food and drinks, and have a great time


What better way to watch a sports game than heading to a local restaurant with your buds? There’s no need to spend money on expensive cable sports packages, squeezing your friends into your living room with one TV, or cleaning up. Katy offers some great hangouts to cheer on your team.

23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
713-830-1858 | bakerstreetpub.com
British-style food and beer are the standard findings at this pub. Grab a table or a booth in front of one of the big screen TVs and order up some shareables such as pub wings, loaded chicken nachos, or potato skins. Don’t worry, you won’t have to watch rugby or cricket; American football and basketball rule here.

803 S. Mason Rd.
281-398-2424 | bourbonstreetsportsbarkaty.com
There are six HD projection screens and 15 HD flat screens so fans who love the NFL, UFC, and NBA will enjoy catching the games here. Food specials include $0.60 cent wings, $4 1/3 pound cheeseburgers, and a $13.99 steak entrée with a baked potato and salad.

Multiple Locations
This is one of the most popular places to go for some really good wings and sports. There are at least 30 flat screens positioned around the restaurant so you won’t strain your neck trying to watch your team get a win, no matter the sport. This place has wings and many combinations of sauces to choose from, but make sure you try the other menu items as well.

24515 Katy Fwy.
281-347-0090 | oldchicago.com
This restaurant welcomes customers with over 30 craft beers on tap, burgers, ale-infused pizza, hand-braided calzones, and classic and boneless wings. There are 15 50-inch HD televisions at the restaurant always tuned to the games.

22758 Westheimer Pkwy.
281-395-3473 | publichousekaty.com
This Irish-themed pub supports local craft beer from the Katy and Houston area. The pub eats include a variety of dishes with unique names such as Kelliwood fried mushrooms, Grand Lake fish tacos, and Cinco Ranch boneless wings. Support your team at a place that supports Katy!

Multiple Locations
With big screens everywhere you look, it’s easy to catch any game you are interested in. The restaurant offers sandwiches, burgers, and entreés if you are looking to eat more than appetizers and wings.

20900 Katy Fwy.
281-578-9900 | stadiasportsgrill-wg.com
With over 50 TVs and six projectors, and all the available sports channels, no game will be missed. Drink and food specials are available on game nights. Customers love the wings, Angus beef burgers, and the new Stadia burger.

1030 Memorial Brook Blvd., Houston
281-406-3176 | topgolf.com
You’ll never have a problem finding a place to watch the game here because there are more than 200 HDTVs. Try one of their signature drinks and then order some bacon mac ‘n cheese spring rolls, signature nachos, and cheese fries. Free WiFi available throughout the venue makes this the ultimate destination for fantasy draft parties. Even if your team is losing, you’ll be winning with this setup.

2643 Commercial Center Blvd.
281-394-9625 | worldofbeer.com
For those who enjoy having a beer while watching the game, this is the place to be. They have over 500 beers on tap, so you’re set for every game. Share a bowl of house-made beer cheese, tavern tots, or southern fried pickles while you cheer on your team. KM

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Katy, Texas – September 20, 2016 
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease include fever, blister-like sores in the mouth (herpangina) and a skin rash. Hand, foot and mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), a disease of cattle, sheep and swine. However, the two diseases are caused by different viruses and are not related.


The initial symptoms of Hand, foot and mouth disease include:

  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Malaise (feeling under the weather)
  • Sore throat

Within two days, the symptoms typically include:

  • Painful blisters or ulcers in the mouth
  • Rash that develops on the hands and feet (flat or raised spots or blisters)
  • Rash on the knees, elbows, buttocks and/or genital area

Hand, foot and mouth disease is highly contagious and is spread from person to person. The time period of contagion is the highest during the first week of the illness; however, the disease can stay in the body for weeks after all symptoms are gone and still be spreading the disease. Adults with no symptoms may also be spreading the virus without knowing they have the disease.

A person will come in contact with this disease through bodily fluids, which include:

  • Nose secretions (coughs, sneezes, runny nose)
  • Saliva (coughs, sneezes, drool, mouthing toys)
  • Blister fluids (blisters drain or open up)
  • Feces (during diaper changes, checking diapers, toilet training)

Treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease includes taking over-the-counter medication to relieve pain and fever, such as acetaminophen or using mouthwashes or sprays to numb any mouth pain. However, if you are concerned and/or symptoms worsen, seek medical attention.

Find out more information about hand, foot and mouth disease.

Content Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital 

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Katy, Texas – September 13, 2016 
“I need me time!” This is a lament that is heard a lot from younger friends who are moms of young kids – and older ones too.  It is hard to get alone time with children running around.



Here are some ideas of how to get some me time even when you don’t have lots of resources or support.

1) Switch off with a friend to watch each other’s kids for a few hours. Then go for a walk or just stay home to read for a bit.

2) If a friend has a responsible child that is old enough to babysit, do something quid pro quo.  For example, offer to make the other family a dinner casserole or dessert in exchange for an hour or two of free time.

3) Share a babysitter with friends.  Make sure, of course, the sitter can handle more then one child.  Then, for a few dollars each, you can all participate in an exercise class or play Bunco for a bit.

4) Put the kids to be EARLY.  7:30/8:00 is not too early to put the kids to bed, even if they don’t go to school.  That 8:00 to 10:00 time frame, before you collapse with fatigue, is great for straightening up and catching up on few shows.

5) Do sleepover exchanges with your kid’s friend’s parents.  The kids think it is great and then you have either quality time with the child left at home or just glorious time to yourself for an evening.

6) Plan activities that you like for yourself that the kids also enjoy.  For example, my niece plays kid music when she uses her elliptical machine.  She gets her exercise accomplished and the kids dance away and enjoy too.

7) When a trusted family member offers to watch the kids, LET THEM!!  Give yourself a break and enjoy the time.  Your kids get the opportunity to build relationships and you get to take a shower without anyone interrupting.

8) Park time is great too.  The kids play and you can catch up with emails on your smart phone, play words with friends or just chat with the other mothers, also known as ADULTS!!

You don’t always have to worry about cleaning the house or being productive when your child naps.  Let the clutter be and take of yourself.  A contented parent with a messy home, is far better then a mom ready to pop her cork at the slightest provocation.  Not only are the kids happier, but I am certain that you will be too.

Content Courtesy of The Goddard School 

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Katy, Texas – September 13, 2016 
the Cinco Ranch High School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America had the honor of sending 23 exemplary student representatives to the 2016 National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

However before traveling 800 miles away from home to compete and learn at this national conference, the students had to qualify at districts and state in their respective events, such as business communications, parliamentary procedures, public speaking, and more. Through their hard work and diligence, these Cinco Ranch students set their eyes on Atlanta to compete in their individual or group events, learn from the most outstanding professional leaders such as keynote speaker David Novak, the CEO of YUM! Brands Inc., and connect with a diverse group of people, from as far away as Cuba, the Virgin Islands, Canada, and China.

In addition to growing professionally, students and advisors were able to explore the various attractions centralized in Atlanta, Georgia including the Georgia Aquarium (the largest aquarium up until 2012), World of Coca Cola, and CNN Center. While students were not busy preparing for their competitive events or attending professional workshops, they had the opportunity to experience the vast amount of entertainment scattered around the beautiful city.

Proudly representing their school and district, the Cinco Ranch High School finished the conference with numerous awards. Sabrina Pereira placed 6th in Agribusiness and partners Tiffany Bui and Amy Wang placed 10th in Hospitality Management.

The Cinco Ranch chapter of FBLA’s journey to nationals was made possible by advisers John Bryan, Derek Spier, and Rita Perry.


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Katy, Texas – September 8, 2016 It doesn’t matter if your glass is half-empty or half-full: Drinking water is always good for your health. Our bodies are made of 60% water, and staying hydrated helps your system distribute healthy nutrients, gets rid of waste, gives your skin a healthy glow and keeps your muscles moving. Sipping water is also one of the best things you can do for your teeth – especially if it’s fluoridated. Read on to find out why water is always a winner for your dental health.

It Strengthens Your Teeth
Drinking water with fluoride (called “nature’s cavity fighter”) is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities.

A modern-day tale of two cities shows what a difference fluoride makes, especially in community water systems. In 2011, the Canadian city of Calgary stopped adding fluoride to its water. Curious about the impact, researchers compared Calgary second graders with kids in the same age group in Edmonton, a Canadian city that has had fluoridated water since 1967. Their research, published in the February 2016 journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, found children in non-fluoridated Calgary had more tooth decay than children in the city with uninterrupted fluoridation.

It Keeps Your Mouth Clean 
Drinking juice, soda or sports drinks may help you wash down your dinner, but they can leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away enamel, which is the outer shell of your teeth. Many of these drinks also have added acids (phosphoric, citrus or malic acid) to make them taste less sweet, but those acids also eat away at your teeth.

Water, however, cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. You’ll still need to brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth, but drinking water through the day will go a long way toward keeping your smile cavity-free.

It Fights Dry Mouth 
Saliva is your mouth’s first defense against tooth decay. It washes away leftover food, helps you swallow with ease and keeps your teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate and fluoride.

When your saliva supply runs low, dry mouth may put you at risk for tooth decay. Drinking water can help cut your risk as you and your dentist work to find the best long-term solution for you.

It’s Calorie-Free 
Sweetened drinks that are high in sugar and calories, create a perfect storm that puts you at risk for cavities and other unhealthy consequences like weight gain. In fact, studies have shown that drinking water can actually help you lose weight. So the next time you need a drink, go guilt-free with water to take care of your body and your smile.

Content Courtesy of Clay Dental 

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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.


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.

Memorial Hermann physicians, employees and staff collected supplies to fill more than 1,200 backpacks to be distributed to students in need throughout metro Houston. In addition, employees donated more than $1,200 to the YMCA of Greater Houston to further support Operation Backpack.

“Operation Backpack is such an important program and it’s been exciting to see our participation expand throughout the Memorial Hermann system this year,” says Erin Asprec, Regional President of Memorial Hermann and co-founder of the Women Leaders of Memorial Hermann. “We want students to begin the school year empowered with feelings of hope and joy and not stress or anxiety over not having the school supplies they need to be successful.”

Memorial Hermann set up donation boxes at Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Cypress, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital, Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital- Katy, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital and TIRR Memorial Hermann. A donation box was also placed at the regional office of United Surgical Partners International in Houston, a partner of Memorial Hermann.

“Our mission is to “Advance Health” and that includes the emotional health of children and families in our community,” said Kyle Price, Sr. Vice President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Southeast. “We want to help students to arrive at school with confidence and the tools they need to learn and to excel.”

The YMCA of Greater Houston area set a goal of distributing 100,000 backpacks to students throughout the community this year. The backpacks not only include school supplies but also notes of encouragement to the students. Donations to Operation Backpack are still being accepted through the YMCA of Greater Houston.


Content Courtesy of Memorial Hermann 

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Katy, Texas – August 26, 2016 – One of the area’s newest master-planned communities, Katy’s Cane Island, will host Apple Fest, a month-long celebration of the most widely grown fruit symbolic of education, great-tasting sweets and fall family fun.


Free and open to the public every weekend in October, Apple Fest will present all-things apple, from candied apples and pie-eating contests to apple cider and apple ale tastings.  Both Apple Fest celebrations will feature food trucks, DJ music along with apple-themed games and bounce houses for the kids.

Visitors to the Apple Fest weekend celebrations in Cane Island also can enter a drawing for the chance to win a new Apple Watch.

Hours for Apple Fest in Cane Island are Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays, noon – 6 p.m.

While Apple Fest festivities will be held in the community’s new resort-style Amenity Village, Cane Island also offers the opportunity for families to tour model homes by Houston’s leading homebuilders, each fully furnished and expertly decorated.

Go to www.applefesthouston.com for a complete schedule of events. To reach Cane Island, take the new Cane Island Parkway exit off Interstate 10 minutes west of the Grand Parkway.  Head north on Cane Island Parkway and take the temporary detour into the community.

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Katy, Texas – August 25, 2016

Heading back to school can be an exciting time of transition for families with preschool and Kindergartners, but it’s important to develop healthy habits – starting with your drop-off ritual – that set everyone in the family up for success for the year to come. That’s why Kiddie Academy developed an infographic outlining some of our kid-tested, mom-approved drop-off tips to start your school year off strong – starting when you get out of the car and head into school. They even include bonus tips from professionals who have been there: moms and dads like you!


(click to enlarge)
Information courtesy of Kiddie Academy
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Katy, Texas – August 24, 2016
Just Opened

Aerial Fitness
11605 S. Fry Rd.

Arthur Murray Dance Studio of Katy
3750 S. Mason Rd.

Bling Out Loud
623 S. Mason Rd.

Define Body & Mind
27131 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Frio To Go
24449 Katy Fwy.

Grand Medical Clinic
2830 Commercial Center Blvd.

Growler USA – America’s Microbrew Pub
1443 FM 1463

Hashtag Kids Co.
11605 S. Fry Rd.

Hormone Harmony
21392 Provincial Blvd.

Houston Fertility Specialists
23960 Katy Fwy., #340

Jazzercise Katy Studio
5305 Highway Blvd.

Just for Kids Pediatrics
418 Park Grove Dr.

Katy Ideal Weight Loss
21733 Provincial Blvd.

Kelsey Seybold Clinic
22121 FM 1093

Kung Fu Tea
501 S. Mason Rd.

La Argentina Artisanal Gelato
3750 S. Mason Rd.

Realty Pros of Texas
21348 Provincial Blvd.

RueBird Market
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Spicy Isle Caribbean Kitchen
1251 Pin Oak Rd.

2015 S. Mason Rd.

Steak ‘N Shake
20950 Katy Fwy.

Storage West
20742 FM 1093

Team Legacy Martial Arts
5929 FM 1463

Texas Dermatology
21800 IH-10

Tiger Noodle House
21977 IH-10

Torrid Katy Mills Mall
IH-10 and Pin Oak Rd.

Coming Soon

99 Ranch
569 S. Mason Rd.
Late 2016

Coco’s Café
Stableside at Falcon Landing
Gaston Rd. and Falcon Landing Blvd.

501 S. Mason Rd.
November 2016

Kravin’ Fruit Bar
September 2016

LA Crawfish
569 S. Mason Rd.

Shoppes at Cinco Ranch
9555 Spring Green Blvd.
Spring 2017

Martha’s Mexican Grill
2611 FM 1463

Peli Peli
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Pierre’s Café
1425 FM 1463

Raising Canes
410 S. Mason Rd.
Late 2016

Springfree Trampoline
2717 Commercial Center Blvd.

Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt
Stableside at Falcon Landing
Gaston Rd. and Falcon Landing Blvd.

Sugar Creek Montessori
4802 FM 1463
Fall 2016

University of Houston – Katy Branch
Grand Pkwy. and IH-10 at Grand Circle Blvd.
Fall 2018

Urban Bricks Pizza Co.
5650 W. Grand Pkwy. S.

Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar
IH-10 and Grand Pkwy.

Please confirm dates and locations with individual businesses as details may have changed since time of print. Send your new-to-Katy items to editor@katymagazine.com 

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Katy, Texas – August 10, 2016
99 Ranch Market is proud to announce the opening of new store in City of Katy. This is also going to be the 40th store of the Asian supermarket chain in the nation. Katy joins 99 Ranch Market’s Texas family which includes Houston, Plano, Sugar Land and Carrollton. Now, the best products in groceries, seafood, meat, produce and hundreds of Asian specialty items are even more convenient for local customers.

Just like other established 99 Ranch Market branches, the Katy store is devoted to serve shoppers’ needs for quality Asian products at competitive prices. The Asian supermarket chain’s top priority is to provide fresh, nutritious and healthy products ranging from East Asia to North America. These include imported snacks and ingredients, locally grown vegetables and fruits, freshly caught seafood and high-quality meat at competitive prices. In addition, customers can enjoy the delicious food and drinks in-store at the Hot Deli or take home freshly-made pastries and sweets from Bread Farm Bakery.

99 Ranch Market is located in the centralized area on S. Mason Road near the I-10 Freeway; this spacious store covers over 40,000 square feet, with clean and modern interior and exterior design. It is 99 Ranch Market’s goal to create a superior one-stop shopping experience for all customers from the minute they walk in until the time they check out with a full-cart of groceries.

To celebrate the grand opening 99 Ranch Market will be offering department-wide promotions to new and returning customers

Content Courtesy of Katy Magazine 

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Katy, Texas – August 4, 2016
With the upcoming sales tax holiday, parents may be considering the purchase of a new backpack for their child.

african american mom and daughter hold hands while walking

Whether your child will be carrying books or a tablet computer to school, there are some important things to remember when making that very important backpack purchase.

“Backpacks that are worn or used incorrectly can cause injury to the muscles and joints of the neck, shoulders and spine. This can lead to pain in these areas as well as changes in posture,” says Paul Shupe, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute-Memorial City and Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

The National Safety Council offers these tips for selecting the right backpack.

  • The backpack should be no wider than the torso.
  • Make sure it includes padding in the shoulder straps and back of the backpack.
  • Check for chest/waist belts. They help transfer weight to the chest and hips, instead of solely relying on the back.
  • Includes multiple compartments to better distribute weight.


“Once you’ve purchased a backpack, watch how your child wears it. Encourage them to use both shoulder straps and tighten them so that the load is closer to the body,” recommends Dr. Shupe.

Some school districts offer digital textbooks or require students to keep backpacks in their lockers, which should keep kids from carrying heavy backpacks for extended periods of time. For students who do carry their backpacks throughout the day, Dr. Shupe warns against ignoring complaints of back pain.

“If your child complains of numbness, tingling, or discomfort in their arms and legs, it may indicate an improper backpack fit or too heavy of a load. Check how they wear the backpack and encourage them to leave unnecessary books at home or in their locker as much as possible. If they still complain about being in pain, you should consult a physician,” advises Dr. Shupe.

The Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute-Memorial City is staffed by physical therapists and affiliated sports medicine fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons who specialize in treating injuries of the foot, ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow and hand. You can schedule an appointment by calling (713)486-1700 or through ScheduleNow.

Content Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital 

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Katy, Texas – August 1, 2016
Summer in Houston means hot, humid weather with many people going to swimming pools, lakes and the beach to find relief from the heat. With all of the water fun, we see more and more children with swimmer’s ear, otitis externa (OE).

A beautiful African American child swimming

OE can occur in both the ear and the ear canal and starts when excess water gets trapped in the canal, causing skin breakdown and allowing bacteria cultivation. The excess water usually comes from swimming, thus creating the term for the infection – swimmer’s ear. However OE can come from other causes as well, including moisture retention from showering, headphones, trauma of the canal from the use of cotton swabs, and alteration of the pH of the ear canal. Some kids can go swimming all summer long and not get swimmer’s ear, but some could get the infection right after a shower. No one can totally explain it.

Usually there are several symptoms with the most pressing symptom being a sharp, “stabbing” pain. Don’t underestimate the severity of the pain associated with this relatively “simple” problem. Even though swimmer’s ear is rarely serious, it can be a very painful condition due to the plentiful supply of nerves to this area of the body. Other symptoms include swelling of the ear canal, itching, drainage and hearing loss. 

Typically, swimmer’s ear can be treated quickly. Usually your child’s doctor can use a suction device to remove debris and discharge in the canal. Your doctor may also prescribe antibacterial ear drops and ibuprofen as a pain killer. Sometimes the swelling is so great that the opening to the external auditory canal is totally closed and drops will be prevented from reaching the walls of the ear canal. In these cases, your child’s physician will likely position a small wick in the external canal to draw the medication down the swollen canal. The wick, which functions as a straw carrying the drops to the infected area, usually remains in place for 72 hours. The wick can be removed easily and the drops should be continued for a period of days.

In order to decrease episodes of swimmer’s ear it is best to use ear plugs when swimming and carefully dry the external canal after getting out of the water. I recommend drying the canal with a hair dryer on a low setting or using a terry cloth towel over your index finger and inserting it into your child’s ear canal to absorb any excess water.  In addition, avoid using cotton swabs to remove the moisture in the ear canal as this will frequently cause trauma.

Using these simple tips should help you and your child enjoy all of the water related activities that are so popular. So keep those ear canals dry, wear sunscreen and have a healthy summer!

Content Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital 

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Katy, Texas – July 18, 2016
NASA launched Apollo 11 to the moon 47 years ago on July 16, 1969. What exactly did it take to accomplish this successful, history-making mission? Hear a behind-the-scenes account from one of the NASA scientists who helped make that dream a reality, at a special program at Fort Bend County Libraries’ Cinco Ranch Branch Library on Saturday, August 13, in the Meeting Room of the library, located at 2620 Commercial Center Blvd in Katy.

CRB - NASA Memories - F. Don Cooper - Chalkbd

The program will be divided into two parts. “Apollo, Part I – To the Moon” will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 am. The second half of the program, “Apollo, Part II – Guidance Equations,” will take place from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. The public has a choice of attending the entire program or the individual sessions.

In Part I of the program, retired physicist F. Don Cooper will share his experiences creating the technology that helped launch Apollo 11 in 1969, and the efforts that his team went through to successfully bring the Apollo 13 crew home safely in 1970. Cooper will also discuss the history of U.S. rockets, and his role in designing the Saturn V ascent guidance and trans-lunar targeting equations that would help make space travel possible.

CRB - NASA Memories - F. Don Cooper

In Part II of Cooper’s program about the Apollo missions, he will talk more specifically about how geometry, algebra, calculus, and classical mechanics were used to produce the Saturn V guidance equations. Cooper will explain what the guidance equations were, how they were derived, who created them, and how well they worked. Students who are considering a career in a STEM-related field will gain insight into how mathematics and physics can be used to solve real-world problems.

An Oklahoma native, Cooper became fascinated with math and science while still in high school. He attended Oklahoma Baptist University, where he majored in physics and mathematics with a minor in chemistry. His career after college took him to Huntsville, Alabama, where he worked at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center on NASA’s Apollo program, developing the targeting equations to guide the manned spacecraft from earth orbit to the moon. His career then led him to Houston’s Johnson Spaceflight Center, which would later become known as the Johnson Space Center. During his years there, Cooper worked on eight Apollo missions, the Atlas Centaur, the Air Force Dyna-Soar, and the Mars rocket NOVA. For the Apollo 13 mission, he provided the trans-lunar coast abort options to Houston Mission Control.

Content courtesy of Cinco Ranch Branch Libraty

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Katy, Texas – July 1, 2016
The 4th of July is a great time for getting together with friends and family, and naturally you want to include your four-legged companion in the celebrations.


However, according to PetAmberAlert.com more pets go missing around the 4th of July than any other time of the year. Animal Control Services sees a 30% increase in lost animals around the holiday, but only 14% are returned to owners.

It is much safer to keep your pet at home or in a pet care facility during the festivities, but if you decide to bring along your furry friends, there are certain safety concerns you must keep in mind!

Never use fireworks around pets. Lit fireworks can severely burn pets and unused ones contain potentially toxic chemicals and other substances. Also, animals are startled by the loud bangs of fireworks and noisy parties, often causing them to run away.

Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended. Alcohol is poisonous to animals and ingestion can potentially result in weakness, severe depression, a coma, or even death from respiratory failure.

Do not put glow jewelry on pets, or allow them to play with it. The glowing substance can result in excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation if ingested and swallowing the plastic can lead to intestinal blockage.

Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestion of these products can irritate animals’ stomachs and potentially cause central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

For more tips on keeping your dog and other pets safe this 4th of July, check out ASPCA.com

Content Courtesy of Camp Bow Wow 

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Katy, Texas – June 24, 2016
This month, Gymboree Play & Music celebrates 40 years as the leader in parent and child programs around the world. What began as a program in the co-founder’s home has evolved at the forefront of the play movement and continues today as one of the most trusted resources available to help all parents understand and witness firsthand the vital impact play, music and art have on the development of the whole child.


Today, Gymboree Play & Music has grown into a beloved early childhood play center and program with more than 700 centers in 40 countries around the world.

Devina Bhojwani the franchise owner of four Houston area Gymboree Play & Music locations shared her story with us. “I started my Gymboree journey as a mom in the program in 2008 with my then six-month old daughter. Taking her to the Saturday morning class soon became a ritual that all three of us looked forward to. My baby did not crawl,” says Devina, “but instead scooted on her butt. As a first time mom I worried about this and approached my Gymboree teacher to ask her if this was normal and she assured me that my daughter had figured out a way to be mobile and would most likely skip the crawling stage and one day just stand up and start walking. And that’s exactly what happened.”

At Gymboree we found a place to meet like-minded parents like us, to have uninterrupted playtime with our daughter and most importantly to play without any pressure. In a world where 82 percent of moms receive unsolicited parenting advice, a place to freely play without judgment is a must-have for today’s parent.

I was pursuing a career in financial planning and forecasting at an oil and gas company. While I knew I wanted to work, I reached a point where I wanted my strengths and passions to make a larger impact on the world. Additionally, both my husband and I had high pressure careers and I wanted to make a change to be more available to my daughter for school events, field trips, etc.

In 2010 I left my Corporate job for business ownership and purchased three Gymboree centers and have not looked back since. As Joan Barnes rightly says in her memoir Play It Forward – “I wanted to build a business for women to combine their family focus with business”. I have been able to find the balance between working and having the flexibility to be available for the family.

I love being able to lead my team of over 50 staff members and to see the little one’s faces light up during class time. My team calls Gymboree our “happy place” and just being here puts a big smile in our hearts!

We won the award for “New Franchisee of the year” in our first year of business ownership and have grown the business by over 20% since 2010. I am also honored to represent the North America Gymboree community and hold a coveted spot on the Gymboree Franchise Council.

A study announced today, and conducted on behalf of Gymboree Play & Music, reveals that 98 percent of moms feel the need for more play in their lives. 74 percent of moms also wish they spent more time playing with their child – at least an additional 45 minutes every day.


To celebrate our 40th anniversary Gymboree Play & Music will open their doors on Saturday, June 25th from 9:00-3:00pm to celebrate the National Day of Play. This event is complimentary and open to anyone with a child in the age range of 6mos-5years. Please join us for spectacular play activities, flying parachutes, blasts of bubbles, art, music, refreshments and more!  Enjoy some uninterrupted playtime with your child.

About Gymboree Play & Music – Gymboree Play & Music is the founding member of the Gymboree family of brands. Since its creation by founder Joan Barnes in 1976, Gymboree Play & Music has celebrated and encouraged the joy of childhood by creating developmentally appropriate play, music and art classes that offer kids and parents the opportunity to learn, grow and share time together.

Based on a blend of early childhood development theories complemented by 40 years of hands-on experience, Gymboree Play & Music offers a variety of programming for kids ages newborn to five, including Play & Learn classes, which encourage development from sensory exploration to playful-problem solving, music classes that enhance child development through song, dance and instruments, and art classes that inspire imagination and self-expression.

Family togetherness and parent participation is an integral part in all Gymboree Play & Music classes.  Our intimate setting allows parents to meet and share information with other parents, all while introducing their kids to new experiences and skills. Classes are now available through more than 700 franchised and company-operated centers in the US and more than 40 countries around the world.  Parents can find a location near them by visiting www.gymboreeclasses.com.

Content courtesy of Gymboree

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Katy, Texas – June 23, 2016
The Ben & Jerry’s Texas Churned Ice Cream Truck gave out free ice cream scoops  and frozen treats at the Firethorne Little Free Library in Katy.


Wolman Elementary School fifth grader, Addison Smith, arrived with 13 children’s books to donate to the Firethorne reading outpost.

Among others attending the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream give-away were members of Hike It Baby Moms, a group of mothers who exercise together when walking their babies and toddlers in strollers on Firethorne’s hike and bike trails.

Firethorne is the first master-planned community in the Katy/Fulshear area to house a Little Free Library. Its two Little Free Libraries offer 50 titles – hard and softbound – for children from birth through middle school. Open on the honor system 24/7, the mini- libraries are located by the main playground next to the Firethorne Community Center.

Content Courtesy of Firethorne

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Katy, Texas – June 20, 2016
The greatest and most flavorful summertime festivals all over the state

KM_June July_16_Food Festivals_Hill Country Food Truck Festival

If you are looking for something new and adventurous to do with your family this summer, look no further. Katy Magazine has compiled a list of the most fun festivals in Texas, ranging from music festivals to food festivals and everything in between.

Watermelon Thump
June 23 – 26
The watermelon thump auction has been going on for years and it continues to grow each year. Come out and take part in the watermelon eating contest or the watermelon seed spitting contest. There will also be a parade, music, a car show, and the largest melon competition.

Vino & Pasta
June 24
This event is meant to help you find a perfect pairing of wine and pasta. You will navigate your way through the hill country stopping at 15 wineries along the way, which, along with a top restaurant chef, will serve you their best plate of pasta and a glass of wine.

Diana Black Photography
Tomato Round-Up
Dripping Springs
June 25
A panel of distinguished community members and tomato enthusiasts will judge the tastiest, prettiest, biggest, and most unusual tomatoes. Attendees can join in the tasting and judging fun too! It’s sure to be a family fun day with good food, live music, face painting, a park playscape for kiddos, and activities at the Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead and Museum.

Hill Country Food Truck Festival
June 25
Come out and sample what the hill country’s best food trucks have to offer. While you’re chowing down, listen to some great country music and watch your kids dance their hearts out. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts.

Art Festival
July 2 – 3
This family-friendly festival highlights master crafts and fine art. The show features more than 120 artists, live music, food, an air conditioned party tent, and kids’ activities.

Harvest Grape Stomp
July 2 – Aug. 14
If you have ever wanted to stomp grapes like Lucy and Ethel, here’s your chance! Two stomp times are offered each weekend for seven weeks. After working up an appetite, head into town and choose food from homestyle to Chinese, and you can’t forget to end it with Blue Bell ice cream.

Parker County Peach Festival
July 9
This festival features everything peach – ice cream, cobbler, soda, and you can even buy baskets of home-grown peaches to take with you. There will be three stages showcasing different forms of entertainment, and one of the stages is just for kids. If you are a bike enthusiast, take part in the peach pedal bike ride, which is a 65-mile ride before the start of the festival.

Watermelon Festival
July 15 – 16
Watermelon is the ultimate summer fruit and the city of Hempstead holds it in high regard. The festival kicks off with the watermelon parade and then a barbecue cook-off, art vendors, and an auction. There will also be two street dances with three bands performing.
Cheeseburger Festival
July 16
Friona is the official cheeseburger capital of Texas by resolution of the 80th legislature of the State of Texas. With that title, you know these cheeseburgers are going to be delicious. The festival is a cook-off between at least 20 teams that will prepare at least 200 burgers a piece for the crowds and judges. You will also be able to see a car and motorcycle show, vendors, and games. You may even want be a contestant in the cheeseburger eating contest.

The Great Texas Mosquito Festival
July 28 – 30
Many have said that the mosquito should be the state bird of Texas, and the city of Clute took that to heart. This festival has grown throughout the years and has been named as one of the best festivals around. Bring your family out to enjoy the barbecue and fajita cook-off, mosquito calling contests, and the carnival. The musical entertainment includes Roger Creager and the Spazmatics.

Plaza Classic Film Festival
El Paso
Aug. 4 – 14
Established in 2008, this event has gained a reputation as one of the premier showcases for local filmmakers wanting to display their works for an audience that has grown to include free concerts and collaborative exhibits. If you attend this event, you may run into a celebrity or two since the festival has sparked the interest of stars like Al Pacino and Debbie Reynolds.

Ice Cream Festival
Aug. 13
Scream for ice cream as you enjoy live entertainment, contests, and games. The festival benefits many local charities and organizations. Bring yourself, friends, family, or even your pet. KM

Written by Tanya Erickson 

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Just Opened 

9Rounds Fitness
1806 Avenue D

Apex Urgent Care
6111 N. Fry Rd.

Ashiana Indian Restaurant
829 S. Mason Rd.

Beckendorff Farms Wedding and Event Venue
28533 Morton Rd.

Bingle Veterinary Clinic
5215 FM 1463

Clarity Eye Care
28818 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Chowpatty Express
1420 S. Mason Rd.

Edward Jones Financial Advisor
814 East Ave.

Flavors Fusion Patisserie & Eatery
1560 S. Mason Rd.

Glass Doctor of Katy
5150 Franz Rd.

Goin’ Postal
21927 Katy Fwy.

Grand Imperial Chinese Restaurant
27131 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Hungry Howie’s Pizza
6133 N. Fry Rd.

Katy City Hall (New)
910 Avenue C

Keemat Grocers
2133 S. Mason Rd.

Kiddie Academy of Grand Harbor
24404 Kingsland Blvd.

Krav Maga
20702 Katy Fwy.

Lynd at Greenhouse Apartments
2040 Greenhouse Rd.

Mamma Mia Pizzeria
23144 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

McAlister’s Deli
21768 Katy Fwy.

My Place Early Learning Center
24034 Cinco Village Center Blvd.

Restless Palate
2643 Commercial Center Blvd.

Springtime Pediatrics
23530 Kingsland Blvd.

Star Learning
5300 Ranch Point Dr.

The Stretch Factor
24210 Westheimer Pkwy.

Tuth Dental
2020 S. Fry Rd.

Woodlands Elite Cheer Company
24940 Katy Ranch Rd.

Yen Teppanyaki & Sushi Steakhouse
6630 FM 1463

Coming Soon
9Rounds Fitness
Mason Rd. and Highland Knolls

Dr. FM 1963 and Spring Green Blvd.

Hacienda Mexican Restaurant
Shoppes at Cross Creek II

Haven at Highland Knolls Apartments
Highland Knolls Dr.

Jax Burgers Fries & Shakes
20680 Westheimer Pkwy.

JINYA Ramen Bar
Mason Creek Corporate

La Argentina Gelato & Coffee
3750 S. Mason Rd.

The Shoppes at Cinco Ranch
Spring 2017

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company
Mason Creek Corporate

My Place Early Learning Center
2212 Katy Flewellen Rd.

Sherwin Williams
Shoppes at Firethorne

Smoothie King
Stableside and Falcon Landing Blvd.
December 2016

21788 Katy Fwy.
September 2016

Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar
N. Katy Fwy.
Fall 2016

Shoppes at Firethorne

W. of Pin Oak Rd. & IH-10
Late 2016
Send your new-to-Katy items to editor@katymagazine.com

Please confirm dates and locations with individual businesses as details may have changed since time of print.

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Katy, Texas – June 13, 2016
With all of the coverage in the news about the Zika virus lately, it is understandable that parents have questions. Here are the facts you need to know about this virus.

Shot of two adorable little girls lying on grass

What is Zika?
Zika is a virus that can cause the following symptoms:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Joint pain

Treatment for Zika virus infection is supportive only, consisting of rest and fluids for hydration. One can treat the symptoms of the virus with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and antihistamines, but aspirin is not recommended due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome in children. Also, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) or Aleve are not currently recommended as a first line treatment, except if by the direction of your physician.

Symptoms usually clear up in less than a week, are mild and rarely require hospitalization. Only 1 in 5 (20 percent) of those infected will have symptoms. The odds are, you will never even know if you were infected.

Should a child infected by the Zika virus be excluded from school/child care?
The Zika virus does not spread from casual contact with others. As with all illnesses, children should remain out of school/child care if they have a fever.

The greatest risk of Zika virus infection is to pregnant women. In February 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus a public health emergency. Federal health officials have confirmed that the Zika virus can cause microcephaly (babies born with a small head) and other brain abnormalities in infants. Leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that while many questions remain, they hope this finding will help improve communication and prevention efforts as they continue to study the virus. ?

It is important to note, that there have been no local transmissions of the Zika virus so far.

How does Zika spread?

Mosquitoes can carry Zika from person-to-person. If a pregnant woman is infected, the Zika virus can be transmitted to her baby while she is pregnant or around the time of birth. Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite both indoors and outdoors, mostly during the daytime. Some cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in the United States, although to date, these cases have all occurred in individuals who had recently returned from areas where the virus is active.

As the weather becomes warmer, more mosquitos will circulate and there is concern that we will soon start to see cases developing within the United States, as well as locally. Parents should take steps to protect their children and themselves from mosquito bites, and make sure that anyone else who cares for their children do the same.

Travel warning
Until more is known about the Zika virus, the CDC has specific warnings for women and women trying to become pregnant.

  • Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
  • Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
  • Pregnant women who have traveled to such areas where the Zika virus is spreading should be tested within two to 12 weeks even if they don’t show symptoms.
  • Women trying to become pregnant, or who are thinking about becoming pregnant, should talk with their doctor before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

What parents can do
Protect your family from mosquito bites. The best way to prevent getting infected with the Zika virus in areas where it is found is to take the following steps to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants or clothing made of permethrin. When possible, choose clothing made with thicker fabric as mosquitos can bite through thin cloth.
  • Use insect repellents containing DEET (such as OFF.) Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding can and should choose EPA-registered insect repellents and use them according to their product labels.
  • Stay and sleep in screened or air-conditioned rooms, or use a mosquito bed net (a permethrin treated bed net is best).
  • Cover crib, stroller and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies under 2 months of age.
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
  • In children older than 2 months, do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth or to irritated or broken skin.
  • Never spray insect repellent directly on a child’s face. Instead, spray it on your hands and then apply sparingly, taking care to avoid the eyes and mouth.
  • For children with Zika symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes who have traveled to or resided in an affected area, contact your child’s health care provider and describe where you have traveled.
  • Fever (greater than 100.4° F) in a baby younger than 2 months old always requires evaluation by a medical professional. If your baby is younger than 2 months old and has a fever, call your health care provider or seek medical care.

Again, it is important to understand that while the risk to your child of any problems from infection remains quite low, an infected individual may serve as a source of infection if bitten by a mosquito capable of carrying the virus. As a parent, you can reduce the risk to all of us by protecting yourself and your children from mosquito bites.

Content Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital 

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Katy, Texas – June 6, 2016
We’re dog gone excited that summer is finally here! As the weather continues to heat up, follow these tips to ensure a healthy and happy summer for your pup.


Keep water fresh. Do leave out water for your pet, but don’t let it sit outside all day as the high heat can cause bacteria to grow. Metal water bowls can heat the water even faster.

Use sunscreen. While you’re slathering sunscreen on yourself, don’t forget about your pup! Dogs with light skin and hair are more susceptible to burns. Not all pet-specific sunscreens are good for your dog – find a natural, human-safe sunscreen without zinc oxide.

Check sidewalks. Burns on pads of dogs’ feet are common in the summertime. Check the heat of the sidewalk with your hand before walks – if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your hound!

Avoid the heat of the day. Make sure to exercise your dog outdoors during the summer, but don’t do it during the hottest part of the day to keep you both safe.

Lookout for signs of heatstroke. Excessive panting, staring, anxious facial expressions, vomiting, collapsing and unresponsiveness could indicate heatstroke. If you notice these symptoms, immediately wrap your dog with cool, water-soaked towels and take them to the vet.

Is your pup is lonely at home during the dog days of summer? Bring them to Camp to splash in our pup pools and and play with fur-iends in our climate-controlled play yards. Visit campbowwow.com/katy

Content Courtesy of Camp Bow Wow 

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Katy, Texas – May 18, 2016
The new Katy master-planned community of Cane Island will present its Summer Concert Series every Friday night in June on the shady lawn of the community’s Amenity Village where families can enjoy blues, jazz, and classic rock, free kids activities and events in the Cane Island conservatory.


Country music sensation Cooper Wade kicks off the concert series on June 3 followed by saxophonist and vocalist David Caceres on June 10, the zydeco and blues sounds of Bourbon Street on June 17, and the classic rock sounds of the Grateful Geezers on June 24. Each free concert starts at 7 p.m. with the Cane Island amenity lawn opening for activities at 6:30 p.m. The summer concert is open to the public. Lawn chairs are welcome.

As part of each summer concert, guests can purchase tickets for wine tastings, “Bits and Bites” special culinary presentations and more inside the Cane Island conservatory. Snacks also will be available in the Cane Island outdoor café.

To reach Cane Island from I-10, take the new Cane Island Parkway exit, head north on the parkway and follow the temporary detour to Cane Island.

Cane Island offers new homes from the $200’s to the millions, including those in gated sections and on cul-de-sac homesites from Coventry Homes, Toll Brothers, Ryland Homes, Shea Homes, David Weekley Homes, Perry Homes and Trendmaker Homes. It also offers a new custom home neighborhood, The Estates at Cane Island.

Content courtesy of Cane Island 


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Katy, Texas – April 28, 2016
Suga Art Gallery in Houston will open a new exhibition featuring internationally renowned Indonesian abstract artist HANAFI and his protege Nubia Gala, a Colombian abstract artist living in the Houston area.  The show is titled Mentor and Protege Converge, East to West and will run from May 21 through June 3, with an reception on May 28 from 5-8 p.m.

Nubia Working

HANAFI is an important figure in the art world.  In Indonesia, he was among the ten best in the Phillip Morris Indonesia Art Awards in 1997 and a finalist in the Indofood Art Awards in 2002 and 2003.  He has held exhibitions at the Saathchi Gallerie in London and at the Museum of Girona in Spain.  His work has also been exhibited in Canada, Japan and Singapore. He has participated in over 80 art exhibitions including the National Gallery of Art in Jakarta which was attended by 8,000 people this March. This will be his first visit to the U.S.

HANAFI and his protege, Nubia Gala, bring their passion for creating abstraction through their own unique use of color, shape, and form.  HANAFI’s abstract paintings are characterized by his minimalistic, elegant muted color palette, the use of light brown, gold, blue, grey and white infused with the luminosity of natural light.  Gala generates surface interest in her paintings by the use of multiple layers of colors and textures, making their work distinctly different.


Nubia Gala met her mentor, HANAFI in Indonesia in 2003.  “I was surrounded by canvases that seemed larger than life,” Gala said, “I was astounded by the sheer size of the studio he had designed and its architectural concept.”  Gala was struck by HANAFI’S generosity and willingness to share his work space and tools.  “It was an extraordinary opportunity that opened my eyes to other forms of artistic expression,” Gala said, “that experience allowed me to find my way back to painting abstracts again after years of figurative work.

Nubia Gala went on to experience success in her own artistic career and to become a mentor to fellow artists beginning their journeys.  She has been represented by galleries in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Tennessee. She was featured in the L.A. Modern and Contemporary Art Fair and chosen to exhibit in the Latin American Pavillion At Red Dot Art Fair during the Miami Art Basel week.  She participated in the John Palmer Gallery’s mentorship ESCAPISTS program.  In Houston, Gala was recognized as the Hispanic Artist of the Year for 2015 by the Sucesos Newspaper and received the award Colombian Pride Art and Culture by B.E.C.A.  Her art is displayed in a variety of public and diplomatic venues and she was commissioned to create a 30 foot painting for the Houston Community College Campus.

During HANAFI’s visit to Houston, he will also take part in a cultural exchange organized by Nubia Gala and sponsored by the General Consulates of Indonesia and Colombia.  The event will take place on May 19 and will feature a live painting performance on stage accompanied by award winning Colombian Pianist Dr. Christian Restrepo.

Suga Art Gallery takes pride in expanding culture and enriching the connection of nations through the arts, bringing together artists from different Latin American countries.  “I am thrilled to help bring HANAFI to the U.S.,” Gala said, “and to showcase our work side by side at SUGA Gallery is amazing, it’s like coming full circle.”

For more about Katy artist Nubia Siebert read her article from Katy Magazine: Color on Canvas
Content courtesy of Suga Art Gallery

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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.

4. Crank up the Music
Listening to your favorite music lifts your mood and relieves stress because it releases serotonin (one of the hormones that contribute to happiness).

5. Accept Yourself
There will always be someone smarter, richer, more attractive, or with more accomplished children than yours. Make a decision to stop comparing and just accept and love yourself.

6. Choose a Good Attitude
 If you’re in a bad mood, it’s most likely because you are dwelling on something that upset or hurt you. Refocus on something else and let it go.

7. Be Tolerant of Others
Whether it’s the purple-haired check-out clerk, a street person, or your bragging neighbor, understand that every person is on their own life journey which is always different from yours.

8. Get Inspired
Read books or go to seminars on something that really interests you. Whether you want to be a better parent, learn a new skill, or grow spiritually, there are a lot of ways to self-improve.

9. Come from Love
In all difficult interactions you have with your spouse, children, their teachers, or even a fast food worker, make sure you are coming from a place of love in the way that you treat them.

10. Help Someone
Getting out of your own head and helping someone else is a great mood booster. Bring soup to your sick neighbor, give a blanket to a homeless person, or just visit a friend who is hurting.

11. Let Go of Grudges
If you are hurt, let the person know in a calm way so they have an opportunity to apologize or gain an understanding. Then let it go. Grudges and unwillingness to forgive are always barriers to joy.

12. Energy Creates Energy
Do some kind of physical activity for 20 to 30 minutes a day. Not only does exercise create those happy endorphins, it can really boost your confidence.

13. Have Quiet Time
If you can take even 10 to 15 minutes to meditate, pray, or even just sit quietly, studies show this helps you be more at peace and lowers stress. Even if you have to go in the bathroom or closet, do it.

14. Stay in Peace
Instead of screaming at the driver who cut you off, just take a deep breath and say nothing. In all stressful circumstances, you can choose to remain calm.

15. Live in the Moment
Put down the technology or remote and savor the moment. Enjoy your child’s laughter, listen fully to your spouse, or stop to stare at a beautiful sunset.

16. Let Go of Toxic People
Love those bitter or angry family members from a distance or they could infect you with negativity and hate.

17. Be a Visionary
Write down or create a poster with everything you wish to accomplish in life and look at it daily or weekly. Dream big and put down that beautiful house, car, and vacation. You have to see it to achieve it!

18. Simplify Your Home
Clutter adds stress to your life and costs you more time searching for items. If you haven’t used something in a year, it’s time to give it away.

19. Have Me Time
Find time to be alone. Solitude actually energizes your soul and helps you be a better parent and spouse.

20. Use Encouraging Words
Words are powerful and can be used to help or harm someone. Are you speaking words of love to your family and friends or causing pain and worry? Don’t say anything out loud that you don’t want to come true.

21. Stop Worrying
Most strife is brought on by worry and fear. Quit freting and obsessing about all those little things you have absolutely no control over and just enjoy today.

22. Give Three Compliments
When was the last time you told your child’s teacher what a great job she is doing? Never be too busy to let people know how awesome they are.

23. Put Things in Perspective When something disappointing happens, don’t overreact. So what if your son got a B on his science project – at least he’s not in the hospital.

24. Keep Growing
You are never too old to try a new hobby, learn a new technology, or admit you’ve made a mistake and self-correct.

25. Reach out for Help
When you feel down, see a counselor or talk to a pastor or loved one. Whether it’s your marriage, parenting struggles, an addiction, or depression, there is never shame in getting help. KM

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Katy, Texas – April 28, 2016
The end of March and the beginning of April marked the two year anniversary for Flaunt Salon.  Co-owners and hair stylists Mary Wesley and Oscar Aguilera are more than happy to call Flaunt Salon a blossoming business serving the area. “Any new business goes through so much, but we have always wanted our own hair salon and we were willing to do the work to make it happen,” explains Oscar.

“It took some things to fall in place. A little bonding of both of our visions and a little luck to have the right location available,” says Mary. All the stylists calling Flaunt Salon their home agree that Flaunt has a “Vegas” style look.  Customers appreciate the surroundings in the salon and the atmosphere.

When asking Mary’s client, Ms. Dianne Galaz what she thinks about the place she said, “It’s stylish, it’s clean, and I personally love coming because the place makes me feel like a star.”  After Ms. Ashlee Logue visited Flaunt for the first time she said, “You walk in with the “oh WOW” feeling. The décor is clean, bright, modern, and extremely upscale. It makes you feel just as upscale as your environment. All the stylists are very well put together and you’re greeted with smiles. Mary, the owner is beyond amazing. Her visible sense of style makes you feel like you know you’re going to leave her salon with a one-of-a-kind look,” says Logue.

The Flaunt Salon team consists of six independent stylists: Erica Galvan, Kat Hurtubise, Amy Majewski, Kathy Saban, Valerie Spivey, and Mary Wesley. The owners and stylists stride to keep the salon clean and as new looking as the day it was opened.

Flaunt Salon is located at 2944 South Mason Rd. at the corner of Cinco Ranch Blvd.
Hours are Tuesday – Saturday and each stylist is responsible for their schedule. Visit FlauntSalon.com.

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Katy, Texas – April 25, 2016

  1. What do I do for immediate Help or Rescue?
    If you are needing medical assistance or water rescue, please call 911. If you need help with debris removal or other city services, you can contact Harris County 311 at houston311.org or call 713-837-0311.
  1. How do I report flood damage to my home?
    If you have had water inside of your home during this storm event, visit readyharris.org and complete a Home Flooding Report. This report is designed to assist the Harris County Flood Control District and the Harris County Public Infrastructure Department in determining what areas have experienced structural flooding so damage assessment teams can quickly deploy to those locations in the wake of a flood event. Your information will be sent directly to those agencies and will not be shared with anyone outside of government.

  1. Do I have flood insurance?
    Homeowners policies don’t cover flood damage. To protect yourself from losses caused by most flooding, you may buy a separate flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) runs NFIP. If your property is in a special flood hazard area, your lender will require you to have flood insurance. A special flood hazard area has a 1 percent chance of being flooded in any given year.
  1. What do I do if I have wind, hail, or other damage to my home?
    Usually this type of damage is covered on your homeowners insurance policy. Texas law sets deadlines for insurance companies to act after you’ve filed a claim. Your company must:
  • Respond within 15 days after it receives your claim in writing. It will probably ask you to document your loss.
  • Accept or reject your claim within 15 days after you submit any documents it asked for. If the company rejects your claim, it must explain its reasons in writing.
  • Send your check or bank draft within five business days after it agrees to pay your claim.
  1. I don’t have flood insurance, What Now?
    Many of those affected don’t have flood insurance policies.  Officials are working to determine if individuals in Harris County may be eligible for financial assistance from FEMA. Please be aware that federal funds, if available, will likely not cover all of your expenses.  Please report your damage to readyharris.org and complete a Home Flooding Report. Because our area is expecting even more inclement weather, the county is still in the triage stages of recovery and still preparing for the coming rain.  However, there are many faith-based entities that are helping those affected and many of these entities have volunteers to help with debris removal and even home repairs. Below are a few options:

Faithbridge United Methodist Church Helping Hands- program will send volunteers to help with clean up.

Woodlands Church-Coordinating volunteers to go into subdivisions and help with clean up.

Prince of Peace Catholic Community-Streams of Mercy program working to help in the Houston Area

Faith Assembly Church Convoy of Hope-helping with home debris removal and repairs

Harris County has also started a flood recovery resource page, that includes volunteer opportunities and resources for recovery.  You can also visit the Texas Gulf Coast VOAD for more resources, including info on 211 for even more information and disaster related resources.

  1. With more rain headed our way, what can I do to prepare?
     The Red Cross also provides some great safety tips.

While it is anticipated that a Federal Disaster Declaration will be made for our community, until such a declaration is made, resource information will be limited.  When and if a declaration is made, the Harris County Recovery Network will provide current information on how to register with FEMA and when, where and how to receive recovery services. At this time, it is important that you register your home at www.readyharris.org.

For those immediately displaced and in need of finding available housing, go to Harris County Housing and Community Resource Center. For those wishing to donate funds to assist residents in the recovery process, go to www.houstonfloodrecovery.org.  Landlords with available rental property interested in assisting our displaced residents are encouraged to call 877-428-8844. Meanwhile, take pictures, save receipts and register your flood damaged home at www.readyharris.org.

Roadways in the vicinity of the Addicks/Barker reservoir area, including State Highway 6 from Clay Road to Park Road may be underwater for up to six weeks. Water continues to recede on roads and side streets but many are draining slowly.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences is now confirming seven fatalities related to the storm. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office reports the following:

  • 539 individual High Water Rescue Operations (and growing) have been performed
  • 225 Civilians rescued by boat
  • 18 horses rescued
  • 40 canines rescued
  • Operations are continuing at this time

Local fire service reports:

  • Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department: 703 rescues/evacuations
  • Cypress Creek EMS: 423 rescues/evacuations
  • Harris County Emergency Corps: 78 rescues/evacuations

The National Weather Service reports additional rainfall is likely through Friday with skies clearing at the weekend. Partners should closely monitor forecasts.

Content Courtesy of Mike Schofield – State Representative 


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Katy, Texas – April 20, 2016
Firethorne, a 1,400-acre master-planned community in Katy/Fulshear, was named after the firethorn (pyracantha) plant, a resilient evergreen indigenous to the Texas prairie.

Here’s the backstory
The name came from the PGA Masters golf tournament. According to Firethorne General Manager Wayne Meyer, Firethorne got its name thanks to his business partner, Robert White, going to the Masters in 2004.  It was 12 years – the 68th Masters held April 8-11.

According to Meyer, the Jefferson Development team was getting everything in place to start the underground utilities on its new project on FM 1463 in Katy/Fulshear.  What wasn’t in place, though, was the name. “We wanted a name that was one word that was a strong name that we could do a lot of things with it.”  In the same time frame, White had tickets to the Masters golf tournament and asked Meyer to join him. Meyer, engrossed in the community’s early development phase, turned down the offer, to which White responded, “Well, do you mind if I go?”  Little did either man know that White’s golfing adventure would inspire the naming of their latest real estate venture.

The next thing Meyer remembers is his getting a phone call from White from Augusta. “I’m standing on it,” he stated.

“Standing on what? ” asked Meyer.

“I’m standing on the name. It’s Firethorn.”

White was standing on hole No. 15 on the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club. Each of the 18 holes of the Augusta National Club is named. Hole No. 15 is named “Firethorn.”

White and Meyer agreed to name their new development “Firethorne” (with an ‘e’ added on the end) and the rest is history, including Gerald Freed’s advertising agency developing the Firethorne logo and advertising campaign. The name has proven successful. To date, Firethorne has closed on 2,676 homes. The community will be built out at 3,400 homes.

To tour Firethorne, take I-10 West and exit Pin Oak to FM 1463, visit www.firethorne.info, or call 281-693-1011.



Content Courtesy of Susan Morris and Alan Shipnuck, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated 
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Katy Texas – April 15, 2016

Just Opened
Aloha Mind Math
610 Katy Fort Bend Rd., #210

The Avalon Senior Apartments
21751 Cimarron Pkwy.

Blackburn Family Orthodontics
5215 FM 1463, #700

BonChon Chicken
24437 Katy Fwy.

CycleBar Katy
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Edible Arrangements
2240E S. Mason Rd.

El Canton Firewood Pizzeria
981 S. Mason Rd.

Elevation Burger
6825 S. Fry Rd.

Express Rolls
21953 Katy Fwy.

Fitness Connection
333 S. Mason Rd.

Iron Tribe Fitness
9555 Spring Green Blvd.

Katy Star Dental
1679 FM 1463

MOD Pizza
6825 S. Fry Rd.

Pengu Swim School
27020 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Peter Chang
1315 W. Grand Pkwy. S.

Portrait Dental
27131 Cinco Ranch Blvd., #250

PUSH Fitness
1025 S. Mason Rd.

Sam’s Strings – Violin Bows and Accessories
411 Park Grove Dr.

Signs Now
21733 Provincial Blvd.

Snow Bubble Hut
406 W. Grand Pkwy. S.

Vibe Fitness
1800 S. Mason Rd.

WellPet Center Veterinary Hospital
5910 FM 1463

Coming Soon

1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza
Shoppes at Park West
October 2016

Berryhill Baja Grill
Northwest Corner of
Gaston Rd. and Falcon Landing Blvd.

IH-10 and Cane Island Pkwy.
March 2017

Cajun Cuisine
7035 W. Grand Pkwy. S.

Centenary Coffee
Cinco Ranch Blvd. at FM 1463
Summer 2016

Family Life Assembly of God
24911 Roesner Rd.
Late 2016

Hit King Baseball Academy
Late 2016

Bella Terra
22610 Bellaire Blvd.

Jenni’s Noodle House Vietnamese
and Thai Restaurant
Stableside at Falcon Landing Blvd.

N.W. corner of Gaston Rd.
and Falcon Landing Blvd.

Local Table
22762 Westheimer Pkwy.

Mama Fu’s Asian House
28818 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Montanari Products –
Pasta Express and Market
Cinco Ranch Estates
Mid 2016

Panera Bread Katy Mills
25546 Kingsland Blvd.

Raising Cane’s
Stableside and Falcon Landing Blvd.

Senorita Martha’s Tamales
The Shops at Firethorne

Sertinos Café
25707 Westheimer Pkwy.

Sherwin Williams Paints
The Shops at Firethorne

Streamsong Apartments
21077 Kingsland Blvd.

TaD’s Steak and Seafood
1425 FM 1463

Taquito Joe’s
Shops Cross Creek I
6430 FM 1463

Yen Sushi and Hibachi
Shoppes at Cross Creek
6630 FM 1463

Please confirm dates and locations with individual businesses.

Send your new-to-Katy items to editor@katymagazine.com

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Katy, Texas – April 12, 2016
Katy birthday party venues make planning and celebrating your cuties a fun and enjoyable experience. Here’s a list of a few great vendors in the Katy area to help you get a head start on your birthday party planning.

Written by Tanya Erickson

KM_DecJan_14_50 Fun_Inflatable Katy-Katy Magazine winter 2014 by Kristofor Rodriguez 11

Bricks 4 Kids
832-289-3957 | bricks4kidz.com
Packages start at $225

Ceramics by Tess
402 W. Grand Pkwy.
281-392-3161 | ceramicsbytess.com
Packages start at $170

Chuck E. Cheese
2002 Gulfmont Dr. 281-644-4950 | chuckecheese.com
Prices range from $12 to $22.99 per child

City of Katy Park
5720 Franz Rd. 281-391-4840 | cityoaty.com
Available for daily rentals

Connolly Dance Arts
22760 Westheimer Pkwy., #300
281-693-1232 | connollydancearts.com
Packages start at $250

The Dancer’s Closet
Katy 22764 Westheimer Pkwy., #620
281-693-2248 | thedancersclosetkaty.com
Packages start at $350

Frozen Ropes
20000 Park Row Dr.
281-578-9790 | frozenropes.com
Rugged warrior challenge package is $325

Giggles and Fun
20117 Park Row Dr.
281-492-2000 | gigglesandfun.com
Packages start at $100

Gossip Boutique Spa
7417 W. Grand Pkwy. S.
832-222-9084 | gossipboutiquespa.com
Prices start at $15 and a free nail design is included
See ad on page 71

Gymboree Play & Music
1520 S. Mason Rd.
713-953-0444 | gymboreeclasses.com
Packages start at $290

Inflatable Katy
2482 S. Mason Rd.
281-574-3033 | inatablekaty.com
Packages start at $350

Jump Street
5000 Katy Mills Cir.
281-347-3911 | gotjump.com/katy
Packages start at $100

Katy Family YMCA
22807 Westheimer Pkwy.
281-392-5055 | ymcahouston.org/katy
Packages start at $250

 Katy Kips Gymnastics Club
923 S. Mason Rd.
281-578-5477 | katykips.com
Packages start at $150

Lifetime Fitness
23211 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
281-693-3434 | lifetimetness.com
Packages start at $225

The Little Gym of Katy
23010A Highland Knolls Dr.
281-347-1400 | tlgkatytx.com
Packages start at $249

Mason Road Skate Center
535 Applewhite Dr.
281-392-9555 | masonroadskatecenter.com
Packages start at $144.95

My Gym Katy
414 W. Grand Pkwy. S.
832-437-8940 | mygym.com/katy
Packages start at $200

1306 Avenue A
832-437-2442 | multiplicity.co
Packages range from $275 to $375

Pointe of Grace Dance Studio
3760 S. Mason Rd. 832-623-4365
Packages start at $350

Pump It Up
923 S. Mason Rd.
281-829-5777 | pumpitupparty.com/katy-tx
Packages start at $199

Safari Kids Learning Center
24936 Katy Ranch Rd.
832-583-9700 | safarikidslearningcenter.com
Packages start at $9.99 per person

Santikos Palladium AVX
7301 Grand Pkwy.
281-239-4200 | santikos.com
Packages start at $10 per person

Schakolad Chocolate Factory
2020 S. Fry Rd.
832-321-3580 | schakolad.com
Average price is $25 per person

Smith Ranch
25440 Beckendor Rd.
281-371-3318 | smithranchkaty.com
Packages start at $325

Splatterhouse Paintball
1004 FM 359 S.
713-515-1238 | splatterhousepaintball.com
Packages start at $210

The Storybook Cottage
5814 1st St.
281-574-5707 | thestorybookcottage.com
Packages start at $260

Sweet Three Nail Lounge
5131 S. Fry Rd., #700
281-492-8333 | sweetthreenaillounge.com
Average price is $25 per person

Tiger-Rock Martial Arts of Katy
625 S. Mason Rd.
281-829-9300 | katytkd.com
Packages start at $275

Tilt Studio
5000 Katy Mills Cir.
281-644-2340 | tiltstudio.com
Packages start at $249

1030 Memorial Brook Blvd.
281-406-3176 | topgolf.com
Average price is $25 per person

Westwood Gymnastics & Dance
23333 Taswell Dr.
281-347-2000 | westwoodgym.com
Packages start at $18

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Katy, Texas – March 31, 2016
Husband and wife teams who share a love of education, make the grade both in and out of the classroom as they nurture their marriages and Katy students.

Written by Tassie Hewitt | Photography by Anetrius Wallace

Jim & Crystal Janczak
Married: June 21, 1986
He: Morton Ranch High School head baseball coach
She: Tompkins High School principal’s secretary

Jim and Crystal Janczak
A Home Run
Crystal and Jim Janczak met as students at Sam Houston State University. Jim, who was on the baseball team, did not try to conceal his passion for the sport. “On our first date, he taught me how to tamp a pitcher’s mound,” says Crystal. “I knew from the beginning what I was in for and loved every moment.” Years later, baseball still plays a big part in their lives. Jim coached and taught English at Memorial Parkway Junior High School, then coached for 15 years at Taylor High School, and today is the only original coach remaining at Morton Ranch High School since it opened in 2004. The couple have two children, Jaime and Christina, who are both graduates of Texas State University. Crystal and Jim look forward to anniversary dinners at Taste of Texas, eating out at Carrabba’s, and watching the Astros or Houston Texans play. They attend school athletic events together and have worn almost every Katy ISD school color in their education careers. Their advice to couples is simple. “Enjoy it all,” says Crystal. “We both love our jobs. We enjoy seeing students succeed at their dreams.

Rob & Aysha Hall
Married: June 7, 2000
He: WoodCreek Junior High art teacher
She: Katy Elementary School art teacher
KM_Feb March_16_education couples_Rob Aysha Hall_6_photo by Anetrius Wallace
A shared love of art brought Aysha and Rob Hall together. They met at Iowa State University where they both pursued art majors. They married at a gallery surrounded by their own artwork and now reap the rewards of a common career. “We’re each other’s sounding board,” says Rob, who says the couple often discusses project ideas. “We can really connect with the subject matter. We understand what the other is going through.” Aysha adds, “Being a teacher is one of the hardest, but most rewarding careers. If you don’t experience what it’s like to be in a classroom for eight hours, it’s hard for someone to completely comprehend.” “Watching my students grow, stick with it, work hard, and then reaping the rewards of their success is really good to see,” says Rob. His students previously placed first and second in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo art competition. “What I love is the excitement of the kids,” says Aysha. “It melts my heart when kids say, ‘I love you, Mrs. Hall,’ and I tell them I love them right back.” The couple has two daughters: Emma, a third-grader at Katy Elementary School and Graycen, a seventh-grader at Katy Junior High School.

Russell & Cindie Faldyn
Married: July 30, 1988
He: Katy ISD community education and elections director
She: Exley Elementary School math and science instructional coach

KM_Feb March_16_education couples_Russell Cindie Faldyn_4_photo by Anetrius Wallace

Working Together
Russell and Cindie Faldyn met at Sam Houston State University where they were both studying education. Today, the pair has dedicated their lives to the education of Katy students. “It’s home to us,” says Cindie, who has taught math and science at the elementary level for 25 years. “We love the access to great places and the sense of community that embodies this area. We feel that serving in Katy ISD is truly our ministry in life.” The pair’s excitement for education has spread to their children as well. Matthew is a student in the PhD program at Louisiana State University and hopes to teach at the university level one day; Kourtney is a graduate of Texas A&M who teaches at Mayde Creek Elementary School; and Makayla is a freshman at Texas A&M. “Having similar careers helps to bind our marriage together,” says Cindie. “We truly understand each other’s daily strengths and struggles. We are able to walk in each other’s shoes, give empathy to one another, and show pride for each other’s accomplishments.” As much as they have taught others over the years, the couple has learned a lot from each other. Russell says, “Patience, truly listening, respecting each other’s opinion, laughing together, and most definitely growing in faith together,” is what makes their marriage work.

Fredy & Carrie Sanguinetti
Married: January 9, 1993
He: Cinco Ranch High School girls’ soccer coach and teen leadership teacher
She: Katy ISD classroom technology designer

KM_Feb March_16_education couples_Fredy Carrie Sanguinetti_7_photo by Anetrius Wallace

Designed to Last
Carrie and Fredy Sanguinetti went to the same high school. He voted for her for cheerleader, and she knew him as the cute goalie on the soccer team. They did not date until they were in college when he asked her to the movies. “The Little Mermaid had just premiered, so I accepted with the request we go see it,” says Carrie. “When he confessed he liked Disney movies, too, I knew we were destined to be together forever.” “I knew I always wanted to be a teacher,” adds Fredy. “The blessing is watching students grow up to be a great young man or woman.” The couple helps each other both in and out of the classroom. “She is my everything during soccer season,” says Fredy. “I cannot begin to tell you how she keeps our family together during this time.” No matter how busy they are, they make sure at least one of them is always available for their three children: Arielle, a senior at Full Sail University; Trey, a freshman at Full Sail University; and Roger, an eighth-grader at Cinco Ranch Junior High School. They believe communication and faith in God is the cornerstone of their marriage. Fredy shares, “I try to tell her three things on a daily basis – how much I love her, how beautiful she is, and how much she means to me.”

Mark & Kelly Balser
Married: August 13, 1988
He: Morton Ranch High School head wrestling coach and U.S. government teacher
She: Morton Ranch High School main campus nurse

KM_Feb March_16_education couples_Mark Kelly Balser_7_photo by Anetrius Wallace

Forming an A-Team
Mark and Kelly Balser met when he was 15 and wrestling for his high school team, and she was 16 and keeping score for hers. They married when they were 18. The couple both came to Morton Ranch High School when it opened in 2004. “A lot of people say they wouldn’t want to work with their spouse, but to me it’s an asset,” says Mark who is the head wrestling coach and U.S. government teacher, while Kelly is the main campus nurse. “This is the best nurse job to have,” says Kelly, who graduated from University of Texas at San Antonio. Mark, a graduate of Ball State University, gets to know his students in and outside the classroom. “The sport of wrestling lends itself to a lot of things that helps these children in life,” says Mark. “They learn values about hard work, dedication, determination, and commitment.” They attribute the success of their marriage to communication and humor. “We discuss everything with each other, no matter how small or large,” says Kelly. “When you’re married a long time, there are ups and downs. If you can bring humor into it and see the other’s perspective, I think that’s the key.”

H.C. & Beth Grimet
Married: June 15, 1991
He: Katy ISD physical education health and outdoor learning center coordinator
She: Katy Elementary School principal

KM_Feb March_16_education couples_H.C. Beth Grimet_2_photo by Anetrius Wallace

Elementary Sweethearts
Beth and H.C. Grimet met in second grade and have been in school together almost ever since. They began dating their sophomore year in high school, attended college at Sam Houston State University, and even went on their first job interview together where they were both hired as teachers at the same elementary school. “The thing that brought us here originally was the legacy and commitment to excellence in education,” says Beth. “We’re both passionate about what we do as educators.” As principal, Beth enjoys the ability to help make a difference in the lives of students and staff members. H.C. values introducing students to new experiences, such as fishing and other outdoor activities. The two benefit from having similar schedules, which give them time to spend with their children: Conley, a freshman at Katy High School, and Logan, a freshman at Blinn in College Station. The Grimets credit the success of their relationship to communication and a strong sense of family and faith. “We have that commitment to one another that we made all those years ago that we were going to stick it out through good and bad,” says Beth. “We’re always there for each other.” KM

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Katy, Texas – March 25, 2016
The new World Theater at 1012 South Mason Road, is fast becoming the place to be, the place to see and be seen.  Actors, singers and dancers have flocked to auditions and look forward to being seen in the upcoming World Theater musical productions. Local artists as well, have had their paintings and drawings seen in the World Theater Art Exhibition Hall. Audiences have already enjoyed “Katy’s Got Talent,” and “The Golden Buddha Jazz Orchestra.” Now Katy residents and beyond, look forward to seeing “Jacque Brel is Alive & Well and Living in Paris.”

jacques brel in paris  

David Bowie has named Jacques Brel’s original album one of his favorite albums of all time. “Jacque Brel” is one  of the longest running Off-Broadway shows. Burton Wolfe, the musical’s Artistic Director, says, “This is one of my favorite heart-felt musicals because the music and lyrics are filled with passion and are all about the feelings and experiences we all go through in life.”

The outstanding “Jacque Brel is Alive & Well and Living in Paris” cast of performers includes: May Delsantos Alidon, Andres Cosme, Meagan Gisler, Mary Lieberman, Matthew Martinez, Dwayne Sepcich Jr., and Stephen Ye. Brenden Winkfield is  both performer and choreographer; Laura Bettis is the Music Director, Lawrence Wong is the World Theater Producer and Director of Operations, and Burton Wolfe, the musical’s Artistic Director. Performances are scheduled for two weekends: Friday April 8th, Saturday, April 9th, at 8:00 p.m. and Friday, April 15, Saturday, April 16th, 8:00 p.m.

jacques brel logo

In addition, World Theater Art Gallery is calling for artists to enter their artworks for the “Alive & Well” Art Exhibit.  Selected artworks will be displayed at the World Theater Gallery for the month of April. Information for entry can be found at www.worldtheater.us.

Come on down to Katy’s new World Theater, “The place to be, the place to see and be seen.” Feel free to call 832-552-5115 for future events and information.

Courtesy of World Theatre
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Katy, Texas – March 22, 2016
The British International School of Houston welcomes Dr. Siva Kumari, director general of the International Baccalaureate Organization, to Houston to share her insights about developments in education, specifically the increased importance and emphasis colleges and employers are placing on individuals with international mindedness and global competencies. She will detail how an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma offers students a passport to the world’s top universities.

Joining Kumari will be a panel of admissions counselors from selective colleges and universities to answer audience questions about the application process. The community is invited to this free discussion and dinner event on Thursday, May 5 from 5-7 p.m. at The Westin Galleria in Memorial City, 945 Gessner Rd., Houston, 77024.

Parents and students interested in learning about the IB Diploma and the British International School of Houston are welcome to join the event by making a reservation at bishouston.org under the “upcoming events” tab or by calling the school at 713.319.5048.

“College readiness is a theme of the utmost importance to the IB,” says Dr. Kumari. “An IB education prepares students extremely well to go on to further education in whatever area they choose. As part of our commitment to continually improve student outcomes, we conduct much research into this, which confirms the positive impact of participation in the IB on high school graduation, ACT score and college enrollment.”

Dr. Siva Kumari
                              Dr. Siva Kumari

Andrew Derry, principal of the British International School of Houston, states, “Dr. Kumari will share with the community how the IB Diploma program can make a difference for your child. We have seen the value of the IB program through the success of all of our graduates. I am pleased to share that our wonderful teaching staff has helped our students achieve a 100 percent pass rate on the IB Diploma Program for the past five consecutive years.  Additionally, our students’ IB scores are ranked first in Texas, in the top 1% in the U.S. and the top 3% internationally.”

Dr. Kumari joined the IB Organization in 2009 as regional director for Asia-Pacific Singapore; she was named chief operating officer in 2010; and director general in 2014. Prior to joining the IB, Kumari was associate provost for K12 Initiatives at Rice University. She accepted this position after serving as associate dean in Continuing Studies at Rice University and adjunct professor in the School of Education. During her professional tenure in the United States she was the recipient of local, regional and national professional and academic awards.



Courtesy of The Mills Agency
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Katy, Texas – March 21, 2016
Flaunt Salon is very excited to announce that Katt Hurtubise is the newest addition to the great stylists that work at Flaunt. Co-owners Mary Wesley and Oscar Aguilera welcomed Katt and offered her the station near the front window where you can see Katt “change lives and create happiness.”

“From day one we could tell that Katt was very organized and prepared quickly at her new home,” says Oscar.  “She should fit right in. Her style and fashion sense is just what our salon is all about.  She does do excellent hair as we can all see the results as her clients leave,” explains Mary.  When Katt was asked what she liked most about the salon, Katt didn’t hesistate to say “I love it.  I love everything! The style, the flair – it’s so clean and nice.  I know all my clients will love it, too.”

Katt Hurtubise is a graduate of the prestigious Paul Mitchell School of Cosmetology in Houston.  She is constantly updating her techniques with classes and continuing education offered by various manufactures. Kat is very proficient in cut and color. She specializes in all things hair and her favorite specialty is hair extensions. She is an independent stylist and welcomes clients to call or text her at 832-552-0822. Katt is also listed at StyleSeat.com, where you can book with her  online at www.styleseat.com/KatHurtubise.

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Katy, Texas –April 9, 2016
Firethorne resident Meg Glenn is a former English teacher whose life-long passion for instilling the love of reading books into the minds of children has opened a new chapter in her life. Though she officially retired from the Katy ISD classroom in 2013, she now dedicates herself to placing books in the hands of avid young readers as the founder and steward of two Firethorne Little Free Libraries, outposts of an international movement to share literacy on a neighborhood basis.

Firethorne Little Free Library Steward Meg Glenn

“When I learned about the Little Free Library, a free neighborhood ‘lend-a-book or give-a-book’ program, I thought this would be a good link to education and reading in our own community,” explained Glenn.  After extensive research, she presented a proposal to the Firethorne homeowner’s association board to fund a Free Little Library. “The board agreed to fund two of these libraries and there is talk of opening a third library for adults,” added the former educator, whose 21-year career included teaching reading and English on the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.

Firethorne is the first master-planned community in the Katy/Fulshear area to house a Little Free Library. Its two Little Free Libraries offer 50 titles – hard and softbound – for children from birth through middle school. Open on the honor system 24/7, the mini- libraries are located by the main playground next to the Firethorne Community Center.  As the registered steward, Glenn is responsible for the books being “safe, available, age-appropriate, and dry.

Firethorne Little Free Library Reader Emma Kerber

The idea behind the Firethorne Little Free Library came to Glenn after she learned how her high school friend established a Little Free Library as a memorial tribute to her late mother in her Nashville. Firethorne’s new libraries are officially registered and featured on the nonprofit organization’s website map.

One Firethorne neighbor stated in the Free Little Library guest book, “With family visiting from Chicago. We really enjoyed finding the little library.  We read ‘What Makes a Monet a Monet’ and ‘A Joyful Noise’ – so fun to read poetry with two voices.”

Titles include classics by Dr. Suess, Maurice Sendak, Sandra Boynton, Eric Carle and Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon in English and Spanish.  More advanced readers will enjoy novels like Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, and The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson. Non-fiction books cover subjects ranging from art to reptiles. Children’s book donations are welcome, as well.

Firethorne Little Free Library -Close-UP

The Little Free Library took root in Hudson, Wisconsin in the summer of 2010.  Now, five and one-half years later, there are more than 36,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide.

Firethorne blends the best nature has to offer: 150 acres devoted to parks and recreational amenities, a 12-acre lake with surrounding greenbelt, hike/bike trails, parks and playgrounds, tennis courts, Fitness Center, resort-style swimming pool, competitive swim center, a Clubhouse available to residents for entertaining and meetings, discovery-rich wildlife observation area and a natural bird habitat.  Served by highly acclaimed schools in Katy ISD and Lamar Consolidated ISD, Firethorne combines the vibrancy of West Houston with the small-town charm of Katy/Fulshear.  It is located near the crossroads of I-10 West and FM 1463, 10 and 15 miles west, respectively, of the Texas Medical Center-West Campus and Houston’s Energy Corridor.

For further information on the Firethorne Little Free Library, go to their Facebook Group Page.  For info on Firethorne, go to http://www.firethorne.info, call 281-693-1010 or visit Firethorne.

Content courtesy of Firethorne

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Katy, Texas – February 29, 2016
The changes are that are being made to the SAT test are designed to better reflect student readiness for college, and will emphasize critical thinking and problem solving. For instance, students will need to use context clues to understand vocabulary, and they will need to apply language and math skills in questions about science, history and social studies. The math section will focus more closely on the areas deemed most important in college and in career, including algebra, data analysis and problem solving.


When is it changing?
The first administration of the redesigned SAT will be in March 2016.

What is the difference between the current and the new redesigned SAT?
The redesigned SAT will be more focused on the areas of study that have been shown by current research to matter most in college and career success. Students will be asked to support their answers with evidence, define vocabulary in context, respond to an essay prompt asking them to analyze a writer’s argument, and solve multi-step problems addressing math in real-world contexts.

How will the new SAT be scored? Are there now multiple scores?
The redesigned SAT will be scored on a 400- to 1600-point scale. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math section will each be scored on a 200- to 800-point scale. Scores for the Essay section will be reported separately. Another important change is the removal of the penalty for guessing. Students will receive points for correct answers, and not be penalized for wrong answers.

College Board will also include an enriched score report, with sub scores. This will provide more insight into student strengths and will help teachers and students identify areas where more focus is needed.

What should my student do to prepare for the redesigned SAT?

Rigorous course work will be the best preparation for the SAT. Students are encouraged to use free College Board resources to get to know the exam and to build on their preparation with targeted review and authentic practice. Free test preparation is also on the way through Khan Academy beginning June 2015. In addition, teacher and parent guides to the redesigned assessments will be available through College Board beginning summer 2015.

Is the PSAT changing? When will the new PSAT be administered?
Yes, the PSAT/NMSQT will change together with the SAT and is planned to launch in October 2015. This schedule will allow students to take the redesigned PSAT/NMSQT before the redesigned SAT.

How will this affect National Merit?
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) will continue to use the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) as an initial screen of candidates for the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. The PSAT/NMSQT redesign will mirror the redesign of the SAT.

My sophomore is currently involved in the Katy ISD National Merit Review Program. Is my child being prepared for the redesigned PSAT/NMSQT to be administered in October?

The Katy ISD National Merit Review Program uses Learning Systems to deliver the instruction to current sophomores (class of 2017). Learning Systems uses the test specifications from the redesigned SAT to design the instruction for the NMRP offered to sophomores in Katy ISD. Learning Systems is covering the format, structure, scoring and tactics for reading passages, writing/language skills and mathematics (with and without a calculator).

What does Katy ISD recommend for sophomores during this transition?

Katy ISD recommends that students in the CLASS OF 2017 take the redesigned PSAT/NMSQT in fall 2015 and the redesigned SAT in March 2016 or after. Their PSAT/NMSQT score reports will identify areas in need of improvement. In conjunction with Khan Academy personalized practice, students should be prepared for the redesigned SAT.
Which test should I take?
Both are admissions exams widely accepted by colleges and universities. Here is a description of each exam. If students have spent considerable time specifically preparing for a particular exam, this should be considered. Colleges that have accepted the SAT will most likely accept both the existing and new SAT. The existing SAT is available until early 2016.

Contest Courtesy of Katy ISD 

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Katy, Texas – February 26, 2016 
The Conservatory of Music (in Cinco Ranch & North Katy) inspires local music students to achieve more with the Musical Ladder System®.


Practice. It’s not the most fun word ever created and it’s definitely not a favorite activity of music students. The Conservatory of Music, however, has helped to solve that age old problem by being the first school in Katy to license the Musical Ladder System®. The music teaching system is being used by music schools across the US and Canada to inspire music students to practice more and enhance their love for music.


Similar to karate belt tests, every 90 days or so students have a test with their private music instructor.  When they pass their test, they receive really cool color wristbands with the name of the level they just passed. They also receive a beautiful certificate, and at some levels, a nice trophy.The system has been a great help to Dr. Michael & Berta Guevara, managers of The Conservatory of Music, to help inspire their students. About the system Dr. Guevara says: “All too often, children find the activity of practicing dry and mundane which, in many instances, leads to reduced time spent with their instrument.  With the introduction of the Musical Ladder System®, we find that the students are more motivated to practice, as they know that their efforts will be rewarded.”




The Musical Ladder System® has also been a big hit with local music students and their parents as evidenced by The Conservatory of Music’s Facebook page, which showcases pictures of the students when they pass their achievement tests. Manager Berta Guevara says this about the system and what she has heard and observed:

“The children are enjoying the challenge of the tests.  One child, after she was presented with her award and had her photo taken, told me that ‘this was the best day of her life!’  The children are now looking forward to their next tests!”


Parents and students interested in checking out this cutting edge music teaching system can contact The Conservatory of Music at Cinco Ranch (www.CincoRanchMusic.com) or The Conservatory of Music at North Katy (www.KatyMusicLessons.com).

Content Courtesy of The Conservatory of Music

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Katy, TX – February 12
Members of the PTA and staff at Roosevelt Alexander Elementary celebrated Bus Driver Appreciation Week by providing bus drivers with cookies, coffee, and food. The bus drivers also received a welcoming entrance with cheers every day.


Courtesy of RAE PTA Communications Chair
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Here are some surefire ways to tell if you’re a true Katy, Texas mom!

 By Katrina Katsarelis, Katy Magazine Editor-in-Chief

1. You’ve taken your family photo at Katy Heritage Park.

1 KM_SU_14_event calendar_KM_Katy Heritage Park_Jose, Nikolas, Alex, and Jennifer Rios by KB Photography_Katy Heritage Park


2. You got talked into dropping your junior high kid off at the Katy Mills Mall one time and you never did it again.

katy mills mall 2


3. You enrolled your son in youth football before he could read so he would be able to make the high school varsity team.



4. You went crazy at Katy Budget Books and got 15 used books but only spent $4.75.

5. You’ve paid for mediocre but pricey food at Rain Forest Café because your kids love the moving animals.

rainforest cafe

6. You’ve taken your kids fishing at a local bayou, but find yourself watching for alligators.



7. Your front lawn is proudly decorated with yard signs and your car windows display your kids’ team decals.



8. You’ve sent your kid’s photo to Katy Magazine for the Katy Cuties section, Cutest Kids Cover Contest, or other feature.

Anson_20562_Poster V2.facebook

9. You accidentally said the F word when yet another fundraiser packet came home from your child’s school.

worlds finest chocolate fundraising


10. Your kid has gotten in trouble for not saying yes ma’am or yes sir.



11. Your kids have switched elementary schools 3 times but you still live in the same house.



12. You can’t find a good place to eat lunch on Sunday because the church crowd just got out and everything is packed.


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The Countdown to NYE fun in Katy and Houston starts now. Check out our picks for the best places to stay, dine, and ring in 2016.

Written by Brittany Bluford & Ashley Lancaster 

The hardest part about New Year’s Eve is deciding where to go. When the clock strikes midnight, make a memory at one of these awesome places.


Embassy Suites
1515 Dallas St., Houston
All day
Embassy Suites is just steps away from Discovery Green, Houston Rockets Toyota Center, and Houston Astros Minute Maid Park. Spend New Year’s Eve in a spacious room close to the sparkling downtown attractions. Visit embassysuites3.hilton.com.

Holiday Inn
1112 Eldridge Pkwy., Houston
5 p.m.
If you’re exhausted from the concert, reworks, and New Year’s Eve party at the Holiday Inn Energy Corridor, skip the ride home and book a room. Room rates are available at a discounted price with the purchase of a ticket. Visit ihg.com.

Hotel Sorella – CityCentre
800 Sorella Ct., Houston
5 p.m.
Check in at Hotel Sorella, enjoy live music, a balloon drop, and champagne at the Monnalisa bar party. Call 713-973-1600 for New Year’s Eve packages or visit hotelsorella-citycentre.com.

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa
600 La Torretta Blvd., Montgomery
All Day
Hang out with your honey at the Energie Lounge for dinner and drinks before the clock strikes midnight. There will be a stunning display of reworks over the lake.
Visit latorrettalakeresort.com.

Omni Houston Hotel
13210 Katy Fwy., Houston
All Day
Enjoy a buffet dinner reception, live entertainment, midnight toast, balloon drop, midnight snacks, a parting gift, drink coupons, and a bottle of sparkling wine. Packages starting at $339. Visit omnihotels.com/hotels/houston-westside/specials/new-years-eve-party.


Artisan’s Restaurant
3201 Louisiana St., Houston
If you haven’t tried the French cuisine at Artisan’s, New Year’s Eve is a great time to explore a new eatery. The restaurant offers reservations from 5 to 10 p.m. for $120 per person. Visit artisansrestaurant.com.

Fireworks Dinner Cruise
Kemah Boardwalk Suite G., Kemah
9 p.m.
Cruise the night away on Clear Lake and Galveston Bay while enjoying reworks, dining, and dancing. Visit boardwalkfantasea.com.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
23501 Cinco ranch Blvd.
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille offers diners New Year’s Eve entertainment and a set menu. Make a reservation for 5:30 p.m. and earlier for $59.95 per person. Any reservations after 5:30p.m. are $79.95 per person.Visit perryssteakhouse.com.

Ray’s Grill
8502 FM 359 S., Fulshear
Enjoy fresh seafood, organic vegetables, and more dining options at this popular, unique neighborhood grill. Visit raysgrill.com.

Topgolf Houston
1030 Memorial Brook Blvd., Houston
9 p.m. 

Join Topgolf for New Year’s Eve celebration from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. with bay reservations starting at $75. They will have a DJ, cocktails, and of course fun and games. For pricing, bay reservations, and general admission prices, visit http://topgolf.com/us/nights/.


New Year’s Noon Bash
Children’s Museum of Houston
1500 Binz St., Houston
12 p.m.
Head out for this famous celebration of the last day of 2015! There will be tons of games, prizes, entertainment, and a mid-day balloon drop. Visit cmhouston.org.

New Year’s Eve Run
800 Town and Country Blvd., Houston
7 p.m.
CityCentre is known for its restaurants, retail shops, and attractions. On New Year’s Eve, fireworks and a DJ are added to the list of attractions. Visit citycentrehouston.com/events.

Sharky’s New Year’s Eve
The Downtown aquarium
410 Bagby St., Houston
All Day
Celebrate the new year with a buffet, balloon drop, contests, and giveaways for the kids. Reservations are required. Visit aquariumrestaurants.com/downtownaquariumhouston. KM

BRITTANY BLUFORD is a freelance writer who loves to travel locally and internationally.

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Katy, Texas – December 30, 2015
Due to the number of recent fire incidents associated with hoverboards, Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department urges hoverboard owners and those considering purchasing one to consider the points below and be aware of potential fire hazards associated with these new and popular devices.

On Monday, December 28th 2015, Deerbrook Mall was evacuated when a hoverboard, still in the original packaging, caught fire and eventually exploded.  A mall shopper, Sarah Elizabeth Herbert, caught this video while shopping with her family earlier this week.


There are many different manufacturers of hoverboards, not all are unsafe.  The fire issues that are being seen so far are primarily related to the batteries.  These batteries, in most cases, are Li-Po(lithium polymer) type.  Li-Po batteries use a specific type of charger and have a specific safe operating range. If the batteries are discharged too low or are improperly charged they can become volatile.  This, coupled with many counterfeit devices with potentially substandard parts flooding the market, has created a high potential for fire hazards with this innovative new technology.  Below we have some things to consider before deciding whether to join the craze or steer clear of one of 2015 most popular purchases.

Safety Steps

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) recently issued safety tips for the use, care, and maintenance of hoverboards.

Purchasing a hoverboard

  • Please take the time to look at and research the product you buy.  Choose a device with the seal of an independent testing laboratory, like Underwriters Laboratories (UL), on their key components.  If it is compliant with federal standards, inspections, and certifications, it will have a mark on it or indicate such on its packaging, on the device itself, or on its charging equipment. There are currently some manufacturers who claim their boards are fully UL tested but UL consumer safety director John Drengenberg recently stated that, “there are presently no UL-certified hoverboards.”
  • Buy a device with a warranty.  If you are buying online, buy from a reputable source or buy it in person at a brick and mortar store so you can personally check for proper labeling. Also, check with your retailer regarding the safety of the device you are purchasing and their return policy if you decide later not to take the risk.

Charging a hoverboard

  • After it has been used, give the device time to cool off prior to charging.
  • Batteries should be visually inspected prior to use and charging and if a battery is swollen or deformed in any way it should never be recharged.
  • If possible charge the device outside and do not leave the device unattended while it is charging.
  • An adult should be responsible for charging the hoverboard, should be able to observe the device during its recharging time and should never leave the hoverboard plugged in overnight.
  • Do not overcharge the device; follow manufacturer’s recommended charging times.
  • Only use the charging cord that came with the hoverboard. Do not use imitation electrical chargers as they may be unsafe.
  • Keep to one plug per socket.

Operating a hoverboard

  • Wear appropriate safety equipment; similar to when riding a bicycle.
  • Do not text or operate a cell phone while using a hoverboard.
  • Operate the device in accordance with its intended use.
  • Stop using your hoverboard if it overheats and check with your manufacturer or retailer. This could suggest a faulty battery that needs replacing.

General hoverboard safety information

  • Read and follow all manufacturer directions.  If you do not understand the directions, ask for help.
  • Extreme hot or cold temperature can hurt the battery.
  • Be on the lookout for product updates from manufacturers and safety groups.
  • Many airlines have banned hoverboards. If you plan to fly with a hoverboard, be sure to check with your air carrier.
  • When riding in a car, keep the hoverboard where you can see it in case it shows signs of a problem.
  • Make sure to have an appropriate fire extinguisher nearby to handle minor incipient fires until the fire dept arrives.

Signs of a Problem

  • Leaking fluids
  • Excessive heat
  • Odor
  • Sparking
  • Smoke

If you notice any of these signs, stop using the device right away. Call 9-1-1.  If safe to do so, move the hoverboard outside away from anything that can burn.

What Next?

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is now working nonstop to figure out the actual root causes of these incidents, but they don’t have the answers yet. “We want to be able to deliver for the public, but we hope they’ll be able to appreciate that what’s going on right now is a very thorough science-based investigation,” said CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson.

We are still waiting to hear what the Consumer Product Safety Commission uncovers. It could be that the organization finds a specific batch of defective batteries or other defective component and issues a recall. The CPSC may push for more voluntary standards like the ones that made laptops and phones safer today.  Or, they could push to ban hoverboards altogether considering they recently reported that there have been 22 incidents of fires in at least 17 states (report incidents at ) and so far 70 Emergency Room treated injuries related to people riding the devices.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you.  We do ask that if you chose to dispose of your hoverboard and you aren’t able to return it, please separate the battery from the device. The battery should not be disposed of with household waste.  You can safely dispose of it at an approved battery recycling center such as a Batteries Plus or a home improvement big box store. The other portion of the hoverboard may be thrown away with curbside waste.

Content Courtesy of  Harris County Emergency Services District #48 Fire/EMS

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Katy, Texas – December 28, 2015
It’s Tuesday morning. The company holiday party is four days away and your babysitter just backed out. Instead of working on your job, you’re working the phone trying to line up a sitter.

It’s Thursday evening. Your fifth-grader has a band concert; your kindergartner has no interest in sitting still for two hours, but who’s available to watch her?

When Grandma and Grandpa are out of town and the high school neighbor is busy with her own social life, the options for parents are limited. They can either spend hours on the phone trying to line up a sitter or put their lives on hold (again)!

In a world where you can find a date, order a pizza and binge watch every episode of “Gilmore Girls” all from your smartphone, the solution is just an app away.

The My Sitters™ App from College Sitters connects moms and dads who need help with qualified, reliable sitters who have a passion for watching kids.


Here’s how it works:

Mom or Dad downloads the app and sets up a time for an in-home consultation. At that one-time meeting, our Family Placement Manager gets to know the family – how many kids they have, what their interests are, if they have any pets or allergies. This process helps College Sitters match families with the right sitters.

After that meeting, a set of sitters is assigned to the family. Whenever you need one, booking is as easy as sending a text. Mom or Dad can pull up a calendar and scroll through the available babysitters. When they’ve chosen their favorite, they book a date and time right on their phone. Within a very short period of time (sometimes only minutes), they’ll get a confirmation directly from the sitter.

The actual event is just as simple. College Sitters arrive on time and provide their own transportation – no picking them up and dropping them off! Plus, there’s no reason to stop at the ATM to get cash. Parents get billed through the app on a biweekly basis.

It’s a win-win for the babysitters, too. The initial meeting ensures the home environment is safe for them. They are employees of College Sitters, who get a steady paycheck and on-going training. This means parents can feel confident their kids will be safe and happy while they’re out.

The My Sitters App can’t solve every problem for parents. But, at least your sleepless nights will be because of a crying baby and not over the stress of finding a sitter.


Content Courtesy of College Nannies & Tutors

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Katy, Texas – December 11, 2015
The holiday season is a special time to spend reminiscing with family about special memories and traditions while creating new ones. For members of a family living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, this can often be a difficult time. For the one with memory impairment, the change in routine and sensory overload the holiday season brings can cause stress and take away the ability to enjoy time spent with family and friends. The Orchard Assisted Living & Memory Care in Katy specializes in person-centered care, and this holiday season it is sharing helpful advice about how caregivers and families can create the best environment and situation for loved ones living with dementia.

Photo 1
“For seniors, the holiday season is a special time to connect with family and pass along traditions and memories,” said James Stroud, President of The Orchard Assisted Living & Memory Care in Katy. “For those living with memory loss it is still possible to have a special holiday experience. The key is finding ways to still include your loved one in those traditions. For instance, if your mother was always in charge of baking cookies, you could set aside time to make cookies together. This will allow for you to create new memories that include your loved one, while sharing a familiar and pleasant experience.”

Stroud recommends bringing the holidays to a loved one living with dementia. Hold a holiday get-together in the individual’s or caregiver’s home, instead of travelling to another location. If that’s not possible, limit the amount of time spent away from the normal environment to no more than two hours. It is also a good idea to carry on traditions in a smaller setting and keep things simple. Watch for signs of discomfort, anger, fatigue, overstimulation or a sense of being overwhelmed, and take the individual home if those signs arise. Patience is the real key to success and knowing that it may take trial and error to determine what will make a loved one feel content.

“It can be upsetting for a family to change the location of Christmas dinner or make adjustments to accommodate a loved one who is living with dementia,” said Erica Willis of The Orchard Assisted Living & Memory Care. “Family members who have a preconceived notion about how the day will unfold can forget that when family comes together things don’t always go as planned. Especially when a loved one with memory loss isn’t able to participate as they once could, it could feel like a letdown. You have to remember that your loved one still deserves the same dignity and respect as anyone else in the family, and you may need to change some traditions or plans to make that individual comfortable.”

She also recommends that families should be conscious of providing a secure environment and consistency for their loved ones, especially during meal time. A loved one should be able to enjoy the meal and the time spent together, but a lot of noise and chaos may lead to feelings of stress or concerns about personal safety, as well as a reduction in appetite. With this idea in mind, some families may decide to go over to a loved one’s home for a meal instead of bringing him to them.

“Remember that it is important to keep your loved one on his or her routine and schedule. Major shifts and changes can cause stress and agitation,” said Stroud. “If your loved one is going to attend holiday celebrations at your home and he or she lives in an assisted living environment, you could consider inviting a caregiver as well. This would provide a sense of consistency and security for your loved one, and the caregiver will know all of the nuances and preferences that can be extremely helpful.”

For someone living with dementia, proper nutrition is often a challenge, and during the holiday season this can take on a whole new meaning. The holidays mean large gatherings around the table sharing special foods and indulging when we normally keep our belts a little tighter. While it is okay to loosen your belt, it is also important to consider the dietary needs of loved ones living with memory loss in attendance and ensuring that they are able to enjoy the meal too.

“Even though we are all in need of proper nutrition to remain healthy and strong, for a person living with dementia, having a well-managed diet is a challenge as their cognitive function declines,” said Karl Rosenbusch of The Orchard Assisted Living & Memory Care. “Many often struggle with the ability to use eating utensils, become overwhelmed with their food choices and even forget to eat altogether. These challenges can lead to changes in behavior and weight loss, causing more problems for their overall health and well-being. These struggles often become amplified during the holiday season with new settings, people and noises that might cause stress. That is why it’s critical for families to think about their loved ones in advance and take extra steps to help family members living with dementia to enjoy the holiday meal.”

He stresses that the key is to provide quality meals while emphasizing simplicity, and he suggests that it is important to always keep an open mind. An easy way to accomplish this is by using fresh or natural ingredients to make everything from scratch. That way, the dishes are high quality and taste delicious. By staying away from boxed and canned goods, you can raise the quality of even the most basic holiday dishes. To help maintain a balanced diet, cut down on high amounts of fats, sugars and sodium, which will benefit the entire family.“It is also critical to remember that having too many options and choices can seem overwhelming, so instead of having everything presented at once, slow the process down by offering sides first, then meats and so on,” said Stroud. “This encourages independence by allowing the person to make choices based on their own preferences, thus allowing them to truly enjoy the meal. Most important, remember to remain flexible; just because the family is having lunch doesn’t mean that breakfast isn’t an option. You have to keep in mind that your loved ones may not remember that they already had breakfast, so if they want cereal or scrambled eggs, it is more important for them to eat something they choose than to try to make them eat something that doesn’t sound appetizing. For many seniors, food is the only thing that they still have any control over. When you can provide them a meal specific to their needs and it tastes outstanding, you give them something special, especially during the holiday season.”

Rosenbusch stresses that individuals living with dementia can eat the same foods as everyone else. He is sharing one of his favorite recipes this holiday season. He hopes that the traditional holiday stuffing recipe below will be a delicious side dish for area families to enjoy.

At The Orchard everything goes back to person-centered care, and ensuring that all residents’ needs are met individually can be as easy as spending time with them. Staff members practice this standard by getting to know the residents they care for. Caregivers are encouraged to eat meals with the residents in their care so that they may learn their habits and preferences, allowing for the opportunity to understand the residents and their wants when they cannot express their needs themselves.“Our goal is to be a resource for families living in Katy and the surrounding area,” said Stroud. “Our staff provides person-centered care that caters to each individual, and we recommend that families adjust their holiday plans to accommodate the personal preferences of loved ones living with dementia. The holidays can still be a time to have purpose-filled experiences together, while creating new memories together.”

Content Courtesy of the Orchard Assisted Living 
The Orchard represents a new concept in assisted living and memory care and is built in a residential setting located in Katy on Kingsland Boulevard. Situated on 4.5 acres, the convenient one-story design is more like home. Assisted Living apartments are available with or without patios. Three balanced meals are made fresh from scratch daily and are provided each day in a variety of settings from restaurant-style seating to family-style tables. The full-time events coordinator ensures that residents enjoy engaging and purpose-filled activities on a daily basis. The Orchard embraces the concept of person-centered care, which emphasizes the residents’ individualized needs and ensures their well-being. The caregivers truly feel as if the residents are part of their family.
Services and amenities include onsite 24-hour trained caregivers, weekly housekeeping, laundry services, scheduled local transportation for medical appointments, shopping, religious services and other local activities, assistance with bathing and dressing, medication management and onsite physical therapy. The community is pet-friendly and residents have access to a full beauty salon and secure courtyard areas.
For more information, visit www.TheOrchardKaty.com or call 281-371-3000.

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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.

“I am so proud to be able to share the overwhelming talent of these artists with Texas Capitol visitors from all over the state and the country,” Schofield said. “This particular ornament truly embodies the real reason for the season and is a perfect reminder during these busy times that faith and family come first.”

Mike Schofield is the State Representative for Texas House District 132 in Katy and Cy-Fair. Mike served as an adviser to Governor Perry from 2003 to 2013, where he advised the governor on legislation ranging from lawsuit abuse and property rights protection to maintaining a fair election system and Voter ID.

Content Courtesy of House District 132

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Katy, Texas – December 2, 2015
Seven Lakes High school and Cinco Ranch High School have more than 3,000 students apiece and still manage to receive high marks across the board.

KM 15 Cinco Ranch HS Pep Rally from Anita Kuhlmann (1)

Cinco Ranch and Seven Lakes high schools were recently ranked in the top 25 high schools in the state by Niche, a review site providing rankings and insight into more than 120,000 K-12 schools. Cinco Ranch ranked #15, while Seven Lakes ranked #12.

Spartan girls football

Niche looked at data on academics, health and safety, diversity, teachers and resources.

Content Courtesy of Katy ISD 

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Katy, Texas – November 25, 2015

Your guide to enjoying Katy’s most tantalizing social-hour specials

1 KM_Oct Nov_15_dining guide_Los Cucos Manuel Rodriguez, Mgr. - Photo by Shanna Kenney (5)

Happy hour is a time to relax and unwind after a hard day or kick back with friends and enjoy a drink or two. But happy hour is not just about the drinks. There are a lot of delectable snacks and appetizers to try, making happy hour even happier. No more pretzels and peanuts – these snacks are sure to spoil your appetite for dinner.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
20536 Katy Fwy. | 281-769-1850
At BJ’s happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday, 9 to 11 p.m. This fall, happy hour is also extended to anytime during a pro football game. In addition to drink specials, there are lots of great specials on snacks and appetizers. BJ’s offers mini deep dish pizza, prepared with their signature five-cheese blend for only $6. An order of four sliders with grilled onions, lettuce, and pickles is only $5 during happy hour.

Bonefish Grill's bang bang shrimp
Bonefish Grill’s bang bang shrimp

Bonefish Grill
2643 Commercial Center Blvd. | 281-394-5099
Stop by Bonefish Grill in LaCenterra and enjoy $1 off draft beer and $3.50 wines daily from 4 to 6:30 p.m. They also offer specials on their signature cocktails including the fresh pear martini, with freshly muddled pears and garnished with an edible flower. Enjoy a taste of the season with the fall apple martini, including soaked apples, a touch of honey, and topped with cinnamon sprinkle. On Wednesday nights you can try their famous bang bang shrimp, tossed in a creamy spicy sauce, all night for only $6.

21300 Katy Fwy. | 832-772-1277
Stop by Chuy’s for happy hour, Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and enjoy their famous, free, fully-loaded nacho car. General manager Mark Novak says, “Our nacho car is the back end of a 1956 Chevy Bellaire, piled high with nacho chips, queso, beans, and ground sirloin.” You can help yourself to a plate of nachos at the bar anytime during happy hour. Another great option is the deluxe quesadillas with chicken fajita meat, cheese, green chilies, and onions or the appetizer plate, which includes the deluxe quesadillas along with chicken flautas, chile con queso, guacamole, and sour cream.

Hasta La Pasta
1450 W. Grand Pkwy. S. | 281-392-0045
Stop by for happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Kimberly Gattis owns and runs Hasta La Pasta with her husband Eric. “We have $1.99 house wine, domestic beer, frozen margaritas, bellinis, and house-made sangria during happy hour,” Gattis says. She suggests any of their $5.99 appetizers to go with your bevvies. “We have bruschetta, toasted ravioli, calamari, fried zucchini, and sausage with peppers,” Gattis says. The calamari is lightly breaded, fried, and served with artichokes. The fried zucchini comes with pomodoro and ranch sauces.

Perrys Chateaubriand
Perry’s Steakhouse

Landry’s Seafood
22215 Katy Fwy. | 281-392-0452
Kyle Simms, general manager at Landry’s in Katy, says, “We have happy hour seven days a week, 11a.m. to 7 p.m., with drink specials on beer, wine, and cocktails.” The food prices are pretty special too. Simms adds, “We have tiers of appetizers like the battered onion strings and jalapenos, served with ranch dressing for dipping at just $4.” For shrimp lovers there are the fire cracker shrimp poppers, tempura fried in a sweet chili glaze or stuffed shrimp brochette, large bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with seafood, jack cheese, and jalapenos, which can be had for only $7 during happy hour. “Another must-try app is the fried crab balls,” Simms says. “They’re great with cocktail sauce and served with a side of onion strings for $5.”

Los Cucos
5831 Highway Blvd. | 281-391-9466
Los Cucos manager Luis Toro proudly recommends the family appetizer platter at happy hour. “It’s a big variety of bite-sized snack foods, with enough for everyone to share,” says Toro. The platter comes with chicken flautas, stuffed jalapenos, beef fajita nachos, chicken quesadillas, and chile con queso. Happy hour at Los Cucos is all day Monday and Tuesday, and from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Happy hour food specials are served Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. and include chicken taquitos, shrimp cocktail, and ceviche served with chips.

Perry’s Steakhouse

23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. | 281-347-3600
Monday through Friday Perry’s Steakhouse offers specials on their social hour menu from 4 to 6:30 p.m. With delicious select appetizers and signature cocktails for half the price, your experience at Perry’s is bound to be blissful. Try their delicious escargot or pork chop bites for $7.95 each, with a cucumber blueberry martini for $6.

KM_Oct Nov_15_dining guide_17803198 cj new choke dip june 2015hh or app_Saltgrass

Saltgrass Steakhouse 
21855 Katy Fwy. | 281-647-9400
“Saltgrass Steakhouse has a happy hour that is incomparable,” says corporate beverage manager Brian Webb. “We offer a large selection of local and imported beers for less than $3 and several premium wines for under $5. At Saltgrass, you can enjoy value drinks without having to compromise quality.” To go with your libations, Webb recommends the range rattlers. “We take jumbo jalapenos and stuff them with jack cheese and whole shrimp, then we fry it to a golden brown.“ Another popular choice is the creamy, satisfying spinach and artichoke dip, served with crisp tortilla chips and salsa. Both are available for only $6 in the bar area during happy hour, Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m.

Texas Borders Bar & Grill
20940 Katy Fwy. | 281-578-8785
See ad on page 182
At Texas Borders Bar & Grill, happy hour runs all day on Monday and from 3 to 7 p.m. the rest of the week. “We have some awesome apps and different specials for every day of the week,” says Kellie Messer. The Texas Borders hot bites are only $3 during happy hour. Choose from fried pickles, onion rings, or cheese sticks with marinara. “For bigger appetites we have $6 buffalo chicken, a cheeseburger, or pulled pork sliders served with fries,” Messer says. Another great choice is the mini crab meat quesadilla with pico.

TGI Friday’s
Any time can be happy hour at TGI Friday’s with their new endless choice of appetizers. You can get endless refills on your choice of appetizers for only $12 or, for $10, you can have endless refills of one favorite appetizer. There are new selections on the menu as well including spicy sriracha chicken potato skins loaded with asiago-queso, and French onion dumplings filled with caramelized onions and topped with melted Swiss cheese. Pair that with one of their famous smoothies like the mango passion smoothie with organic agave, passion fruit, and mango purees. KM

More Great Happy Hours in Katy
Black Walnut Café – $4 mimosas, and other cocktails, $3 fried pickles, and $4 quesadillas M-F, 7 – 10:30 a.m. and 3 – 6:30 p.m. Jimmy Changa’s – $2.50 draft beer, $9 Tex-Mex egg rolls, M-F, 12 – 6 p.m.
Johnny Carino’s –
$2 off appetizers and pizza, M-F, 3 – 7 p.m.
Kublai Khan –
$5 sushi rolls, M-F, 3 – 6 p.m.
Las Mañanitas –
$3.50 margaritas, $7.50 shrimp nachos, M-F, 3-7 p.m.

CHERRI NORTHCUTT enjoys dining out with friends and family in Katy. Her favorite happy hour snacks always include nachos.

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Katy, Texas – November 24, 2015

Join us for Katy ISD’s Food for Families Restaurant spirit week benefiting Katy ISD food for families November 30th – December 6th.
*Be sure to mention the “Food for Families Spirit Night” or show the flyer when dining at these participating locations to benefit Food for Families.
Papa Murphy’s 

Valid November 30 – December 6
Participating Locations:
1560 S. Mason Road (832) 437-8237
3024 N. Fry Road (281) 579-7600
$2 per pizza back to Katy ISD Food for Families


Monday, November 30th
4-9 PM
Valid at all 3 Katy Area Locations
I-10 & Pin Oak
I-10 & Greenhouse
Grand Parkway & South Fry Rd.
  15% back to Katy ISD Food for Families

PDQ Fresh Tenders Salads and Sandwiches
Tuesday, December 1st
4-8 PM
Valid at PDQ Cinco Ranch
23703 Cinco Ranch Blvd
10% back to Katy ISD Food for Families

Wednesday, December 2nd
5-8 PM
Valid at Seven Meadows Location
7104 South Fry Road
15% back to Katy ISD Food for Families

Newk’s Eatery
Thursday, December 3rd
4-9 PM
Valid at Newk’s Eatery
20802 Katy Freeway
10% back to Katy ISD Food for FamiliesContent courtesy of Katy ISD 

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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.

Even though this took place in another country, its impact reaches across the world and gives us reason to pause and think about our families and our children, as no community is immune to random acts of violence.

Here in Katy ISD, we take proactive measures to not only be prepared to respond to random acts of violence, but to prevent – to the extent that we can – them from occurring in the first place.

The safety and security of students and staff members on our campuses is of the highest priority and by working together to create healthy and positive relationships with teachers and the school, we can ensure that we provide safe teaching and learning environments.”


Katy ISD

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Katy, Texas – November 13, 2015

These four-legged friends are hard at work bringing joy and unconditional love wherever they go

KM_Oct Nov_15_Hub, Cane Island - Shanna Dee Photography (14)_by Shanna Kenney
Cane Island’s ambassador, Hub, is named in recognition of the city of Katy being the hub of three counties: Waller, Harris, and Fort Bend


Not only do animals provide unwavering affection, they’ve also been able to lend some of their talents to aide Katy in the line of duty. Meet five professional pups who maintain positions in the community across different industries.

Golden Ambassador
Being intelligent, well-mannered, and great with kids made a golden retriever an easy choice to be the face of Katy’s newest community, Cane Island. As ambassador, Hub’s role is to welcome guests and residents as well as help host events throughout the year. He is named in recognition of the city of Katy being the hub of three counties: Waller, Harris, and Fort Bend. Hub’s spirited personality is the best embodiment of the attitude Cane Island hopes to offer. Anyone visiting the welcome center is permitted to a meet-and-greet with the canine, while residents are able to take him out for walks around the neighborhood. When Hub is off-the-clock, he can be found inside his private shelter and yard at the Cane Island welcome center. At the end of the day, he gets to go home and relax with his host family, leaving the ambassador’s suite available for overnight stays by residents.

Katy’s main roles with the Katy Fire Department are raising fire safety awareness and city publicity
Katy’s main roles
with the Katy Fire
Department are raising fire safety awareness and city publicity

Fighting Fires
Keeping with the tradition of using Dalmatians as firehouse dogs, the Katy Fire Department has its very own mascot named Katy. The Dalmatian breed initially became associated with firehouses when horse-drawn carriages were still the primary mode of transportation. Being able to keep speed with a horse is no easy task, but Dalmatians were able to do so while sprinting long distances. Along with being highly compatible and easily trained, Dalmatians soon became the service dog of choice for fire stations in order to help guide horses to fires. Though times have changed and transportation has advanced, Dalmatians’ long service history and association with fire departments remains. Katy’s main roles are in raising fire safety awareness and city publicity. She has visited elementary schools, as well as numerous daycare centers in the area to perform safety presentations. Katy is wonderful with kids, able to demonstrate the “stop, drop, and roll” training, and is able to help secure a broken leg in a traction splint. Katy has been on live calls, but stays in the fire truck for her own safety. When not visiting Katy ISD students or performing press appearances, Katy can be found at the Katy fire house. One of her biggest services is providing companionship for the firefighters during their time at the fire house. Eating and sleeping with the crew, she is loved for her sweet personality and keeping everyone laughing with her canine antics.

Marcel works with Katy ISD police to help detect illegal substances on campuses
Marcel works with Katy ISD police to help detect illegal substances on campuses

Tracking Narcotics 
There are a few exemplary breeds utilized by law enforcement for special purposes, and Marcel is no exception. A 10-yearold black Labrador retriever, Marcel is a narcotics dog and works with his handler Sergeant Justin Moyer in Katy ISD to help detect illegal substances across the campuses. Even-tempered and well-behaved, labs’ roles in K9 units are typically in fields of detection and human tracking. Marcel is able to sniff out the odors of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, and heroin. He then uses a passive alert to signal his partner. Marcel is used in many situations across the district and also assists other agencies when a narcotics canine is requested. Marcel’s training took roughly six months to complete, and he has been an active detection canine for seven years. For him, his job is more like a game of hide-and-seek. When he locates the hidden substance, he is rewarded with a Kong toy. Marcel is originally from France and was taught commands in both French and German. Along with becoming multilingual, Sergeant Moyer is also able to recognize when Marcel detects different odors and the subtle changes he makes when picking up scents.

Gracie and Christopher are members of Tender Loving K9’s, and regularly visit patients at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital to provide canine therapy
Gracie and Christopher
are members of Tender Loving K9’s, and regularly
visit patients at Memorial
Hermann Katy Hospital to provide canine therapy

Pawfect Theropy 
There are many different types of therapy dogs, but they all have one special skill in common: their ability to instinctively connect with the needs of each individual they meet. Gracie is one of the founding pets of Tender Loving K-9’s and was born to be a therapy dog. Gracie has made over 400 visits to the Memorial Hermann Katy and Memorial City hospitals since starting in 2007.

Christopher has been visiting patients with his owner Ruthe Warren since July of this year and they are already working on becoming registered for the Reading Education Assistance Dog (READ) program. They plan to begin working with Katy area schools this year to help children improve their reading skills. Their role at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital is to greet visitors in the lobbies, waiting rooms, and notably patients that have requested visits from the teams. Gracie has been with many stroke patients who end up speaking their first words to her and raise their arms in order to pet her after months of limited or even zero movement. While the dogs are most recognized for interactions with patients, Sharon Evans, founder of Tender Loving K9’s, says their work is also beneficial for staff members. “The staff often comments that petting the dogs really helps to lower their stress during the day as well.” KM

ELIZABETH PADGETT is a professional writer and has two power pups of her own, Maggie and Lucy

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Katy, Texas – November 2, 2015

Taylor High School choir director, Kevin Riehle, has shaped the minds and captured the hearts of students by showing them how to fall in love with music and life

Choir director, Kevin Riehle, has been in charge of Taylor High School’s choir program for the past eight years
Choir director, Kevin Riehle, has been in charge of Taylor
High School’s choir program for the past eight years

In 2008, Kevin Riehle began working at Taylor High School as the long-term sub. “I jumped in at the end of February and fell in love with the students, school, and the staff.” He came in at a time when the choir program was struggling, and turned it into something to be proud of. In the past eight years at Taylor he has made a huge impact on his students. They are his legacy, and they too hope to make the same impact on others that he has made on them.

Sharing His Passion
Katie Hines, a 2009 graduate, teaches elementary music and is the artistic assistant director of the Hill Country Youth Chorus. Hines is planning on starting a choir at the elementary school where she teaches. “If Mr. Riehle was able to come into our school, take a crumbling program, build it back up, and then make it something to be proud of, I figured I could start something new for my kids,” she says. “I am taking his passion and love for his art and sharing that with my own students. I hope that I can have an impact on one of my kids, just like he did for me.”

The Beauty of All Compositions
Taylor 2011 graduate, Myles Anderson, now known as “Stockz” in the music industry, is pursuing a singing and songwriting career in Los Angeles. He has appeared in a commercial series, on Houston’s CW39 News Fix and Sports RAPP Live. Anderson took men’s choir his junior year and ended up loving the class so much that he took it twice. “I took choir before high school, but never by choice,” says Anderson. Riehle opened Anderson’s eyes to a whole new depth of music. “He taught us to appreciate different genres of music and see the beauty in all compositions.” Anderson left Riehle’s class with a new sense of vocal confidence, and a transformed love for music. “He believed in me and told me I was capable. If I was never taught by Riehle I don’t think my passion for music would be the same.”

He Pushed Me
Laura Smolik is pursuing her masters in music and studying vocal performance and opera. She also holds a Bachelor of Music from Southern Methodist University (SMU). During the end of Smolik’s senior year she was auditioning for college voice programs, and Riehle was there for advice and encouragement. “He is the one who really pushed me to go to SMU. I learned so much about myself as a singer and a person in college,” says Smolik. “His openness and willingness to help us grow not only as singers but also as people is something I will never forget.”

Following His Lead
Collin Friedli was very involved in choir all four years and played football until he was a junior. Riehle was always very encouraging of Friedli playing football, despite many calendar conflicts. “Saying that he impacted my life is in extreme understatement. Everything I thought I knew about music was seen through new eyes after him,” says Friedli. “Kevin showed me a life path that was so rich and rewarding that I had no choice but to follow it.” Friedli attends Texas State University and is a music studies major. “My sophomore year he stopped us in the middle of a song, and thanked us. He said, ‘I get to wake up and be excited to go to work every day.’ It was at that moment I knew I wanted to teach music.”

Riehle directs Expressions, which is Taylor High School’s top show choir
Riehle directs Expressions,
which is Taylor High
School’s top show choir

Takes the Cake
Robin Harwell says that she looks at “Papa Riehle” like a second dad. “I was able to go to him with anything,” says Harwell. “Sometimes he comes out of his office dancing around like a maniac and sometimes he is sitting at the piano waiting for the class bell to ring so that he can read poetry.” He puts his whole heart into his career. “When it comes to being a choral director, Mr. Riehle takes the cake.” She believes that Riehle has shaped her into the person she is now. “If he had not been there to nurture me or give me standards as a musician, I don’t know who I would be today.”

Handprints on Our Hearts
Kathryn Heathcock is a Texas State graduate and is working on her certification to become a music teacher. Riehle has always been open to new traditions and ideas and he listens to his students. Heathcock suggested the ongoing tradition of seniors painting their handprints on a wall in his office. “Mr. Riehle is able to look up and see all of the handprints he has left on students’ hearts,” she says. Heathcock is a changed person because of Riehle’s guidance. “The qualities about me that grew after having Mr. Riehle have made up so much of who I am today. If I wouldn’t have met him, there is no way I would be the same.”

Leaving a Legacy
He has impacted hundreds of students and has inspired many to pursue their love of music. “To lead a young person into a passion-filled career is without equal,” says Riehle. He is at the point in his career where he has had the opportunity to see former students step into their own professions. “I am their greatest cheerleader and celebrate those victories and milestones with them; they are like my children who have gone out from the nest to soar into their own lives, where they too, will influence the next generation after them.” KM

“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others. I think after seeing and hearing what everyone has to say about him, we know the kind of heart he has. A very special, rare one.” – Kathryn Heathcock

“He kept us together and made a brotherhood between a room full of people who wouldn’t have met outside of choir.” – Myles Anderson

“I doubted my place in the choir and my passion for music before Mr. Riehle became our director.” – Katie Hines

KRISTA FRIEDLI is a Taylor High School alumni who loved watching her little brother grow as a singer and a person under Kevin Riehle.


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Katy, Texas – October 26,2015

As the fall season arrives, Katyites can enjoy spending more time outdoors in the cooler weather. From pumpkin patches to Howl-O-Ween, these nearby festivals will get you into the spirit of the season.

KM-Oct Nov_15_fall Festivals_ Renaissance Festival 3

Texas Renaissance Festival
October 11 – November 29 (weekends)
Todd Mission, Texas

Be prepared to see people dressed up as pirates, fairies, lords and ladies, kings, queens, and more and don’t be too shy to dress up yourself. Music can be heard throughout and stage performances are available with free seating. Try a variety of cultural foods found at every corner. There will be Renaissance-inspired craft making, amusement rides, and shops at the festival. Admission is free for kids under 4 and kids ages 12 and under on Sundays. Kids 12 and under are $14 and adult admission is $26.

KM Oct Nov 15_ Fall Festivals_ Ifest
iFest Live
November 7
Sugar Land Town Square | Sugar Land, Texas

A variety of cultural diversity will be seen, shared, and celebrated at this lively festival. Different cultures will have showcase booths, and attendees can visit each booth to learn about the different cultures. Student groups and local organizations will provide musical and dance performances. International cuisine will be available. Admission is free.
KM Oct Nov 15_ Fall Festivals_ Childrens Fest
Children’s Festival Woodlands