Clear Lake Chatter: Batman, Superman add to the fun at ALBA Gala

May 2nd, 2019

Dr. Wynn McMullen and his wife, Mary, had a great time playing Batman and Cat Woman at the Assistance League Gala at Lakewood Yacht Club.

ASSISTANCE LEAGUE members never fail to bring smiles to our faces with their annual gala, and, this year was no exception with their salute to the Super Heroes, while raising a cool $93,000 to help those in need in our community.

Some of the costumes got more than a smile.

Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith, who is always grateful to the League for all the needy area students League members help each year, got lots of smiles as he arrived all dressed up as Superman. Not wanting to miss a great picture, CCISD Trustee Ann Hammond talked him into posing for a photo. Incidentally, Ann, came dressed as REG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg).

Badiha and Dr. John Nassar and Mary and Dr. Wynn McMullan followed close behind, both couples dressed as Batman and Cat Woman. No, Robin didn’t come. Remember when we used to play the role of Super Heroes? Fun!

League President Sarah Foulds joined Gala Chairman Jill Williams and her husband, Richard Lammers in welcoming the festive crowd to Lakewood Yacht Club, including John and Jill Smitherman, Gene and Eileen Hult, Matthew and Angie Weinman, Jill Reason, Jana Miller and Traci and Richard Dvorak.

Sharon and Dr. Howard Dillard were also in the crowd, as were John Gay and his wife, Becky Reitz, Elaine and Randy Lister, Jim and Jane Sweeney, Lisa Holbrook, Dave and Kim Barker, Emmelind Dodd and Gene Hollier, Gail and Steve Ashby, Kathleen and Mike Courville, Beverly Braden and her husband, Ed Smith, Sara and Dr. Glenn Freedman and recently retired Pam Culpepper and her husband, Peter Cronk.

Mary Pergande was the lucky winner of the Superman Golf Cart in the reverse draw, after which many headed to the dance floor, where they enjoyed the music of Password.

Four inducted into Hall of Fame
FOUR FAMOUS Americans were inducted into the 2019 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame during an Induction Luncheon on Friday, April 12 at the Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington Field.

The four, selected from 110 candidates, include World War II U.S. Army Air Force Gen. Ira C. Eaker (deceased); Christopher C. Kraft, NASA’s first flight director; H. Ross Perot Jr., an aviation pioneer and entrepreneur who circumnavigated the world in a helicopter at age 23; and Dr. Peggy Whitson, the first woman spacewalker and the astronaut who spent more time in space than any American.

Gene Kranz, who served as a NASA flight director at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, was the guest speaker. Chris Kraft, Gene Kranz and Dr. Whitson are all residents of the Bay Area Houston.

Ange Mertens spreads her wings on the runway at the end of the Dogs & Divas Fashion Show at South Shore Harbour Resort.

The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame was established in 1995 through a resolution by the 74th Texas Legislature and signed by then Gov. George W. Bush, to honor Texans and Texas organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to the advancement of aviation.

There are currently 76 individuals and groups in the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, in four categories which include: trailblazers and explorers, wartime aviators, leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

Dogs & Divas make for fun times
NOTHING QUITE like turning puppy dogs into fashion models. Yep, you guessed it – they’re cute as can be but mostly scared to death.

Most of the models for the Bay Area Turning Point Dogs & Divas Fashion Show April 4 at South Shore Harbour Resort solved the problem by carrying the pooches down the runway. A few of the canines got brave enough to walk along with their model as the event raised $55,600.

Fashion models included Brenda Weber, Fay Picard, Jill Reason, Deborah Laine, Missy Rorrer and Kelli Williams, Diane and Jim Overman, Tyra Hodge, Brenda Sykes, Kerry Jo Humphrey, Kelli Williams, Jana Miller, Erin Wilrich, Lauren Leal, Susan Heffner, Michelle Holland, Deborah Laine, Jessica Bedore, Doreen Hughes and Blaine Ochoa wearing some beautiful outfits provided by Shoppe Girl, Dress Galaxy, Chico’s, Black House White Market and the BATP Resale Shop, as Executive Director Leigh Ann Fry and Marketing Director Angela Corn could be seen beaming their approval from the sidelines.

Bo Brinkman, right, says hello to Pat and Wendell Wilson as they arrive at the Bay Area Turning Point’s Dogs & Divas Fashion Show Luncheon.

THE A LIST: It’s spring time

May 1st, 2018

Ange Mertens

By Ange Mertens

Spring has sprung! And in the Bay Area it seems to keep springing back and forth to a late winter — which has caused a lot of us to postpone the yearly spring cleaning of our closets.

But now it is time to take inventory of our wardrobes. First purge, go through and find any clothing that need repairs or alterations. If they can be fixed, then take the time to get that done. If they can’t be repaired or really are just never going to fit you, get rid of them.

Next go through your closet and get rid of things that you no longer need. If you haven’t worn it in a year, or every time you reach for it you put it back, you don’t need it! Donating clothes is a wonderful thing to do, especially after events like Hurricane Harvey. But remember when you donate, that just because people are in need at a specific time, does not mean that they want your junk!

PLACES TO DONATE
Donate gently loved stylish clothing. Think about donating to some local organizations like the Bay Area Turning Point and Interfaith Caring Ministries. The Assistance League of Bay Area also has the Cinderella Project that needs your formal dresses so they can provide a wonderful prom experience for local underprivileged  girls. Suits and professional clothing for men and women can be donated to Suit Up for Veterans at any local ACU of Texas branch.

The next step after closet spring cleaning is to purchase a few basic pieces to update your wardrobe. Feminine is the hottest new trend for spring and fall fashions. The runways are full of pastel colors( especially lavender), ruffles, and sheer fabrics. Plaids and checked patterns and florals are all the rage, sometimes even mixed together. And fringe is everywhere! On shirts and shoes, shirts, jackets and accessories.

And, speaking of accessories, fun 80s influences are being seen with chokers and layered necklaces. Jumpsuits also are gracing the runways in both long and short versions. Take a few of these trends and add them to your wardrobe to freshen up your style. Shop local.

Brunch offerings at Marais in Dickinson. Photo by Amber Sheffield

A HIDDEN GEM
I took my daughter, Amber, with me to try out the Sunday brunch at the surprising hidden gem called Marais on Benson Bayou in Dickinson. They have a fabulous spread with everything from an omelette bar to crawfish. General Manager Nick Stephenson recommended some of their specialties like chicken and waffles and banana foster bread pudding, and they didn’t disappoint!

Amber tried their famous Bloody Mary that comes with a friend green tomato, bacon and shrimp as it’s garnish, and said it lived up to the hype. They also are known for their fusions vodka and rum, and have a Absinthe bar.The New Orleans influenced restaurant, owned by Keith and Holly Lilley, is a sprawling building over several levels and their Chef du jour Carole Barnett says they serve four separate menus. The main dining room is for elegant dining where you can enjoy sumptuous steaks and seafood platters and enjoy the service of an attentive wait staff.

Cajun Bloody Mary at Marais in Dickinson. Photo by Amber Sheffield

There is the Marais and Benson bar where you can hang out literally by sitting in a fun swing, and the waterside Plank Bar offers beautiful views and will have live music on Saturdays. They have Girls Martini Night Out on Tuesdays, Wine and Whiskey Wednesdays and Crawfish Thursdays.

HEROES FED
For all of these wonderful things that Marais is, giving is the best thing they are! During the unprecedented floods of Hurricane Harvey the restaurant received devastating damage and lost the Plank Bar and its sister restaurant, Dickinson BBQ.

Ninety percent of Dickinson was flooded and people were in need. Volunteers from all over and first responders alike were all heroes who came to help clear the startling ruin that had taken over the city.

Hungry heroes have to be fed and Marais, Keith Lilley, Frank Pannitti, Carole Barnett, and Carol Rogers rose to the occasion and fed those heroes, and in the process became heroes themselves. For a week and a half they showed up and fed a city in pain. The city of Dickinson is emerging from the flood like a Phoenix from the fire and Marais and their special employees are a part of that miracle.

Clear Lake Chatter: Turning Point Gala Marks 25th Anniversary

November 1st, 2016

BATP Co-Founder Pam Merrill, center, receives congratulations on being a Cornerstone Honoree at the Purple and Teal Ball by emcee Carla Medlenka, left, and Ball Chairman Lisa Dishman.

BATP Co-Founder Pam Merrill, center, receives congratulations on being a Cornerstone Honoree at the Purple and Teal Ball by emcee Carla Medlenka, left, and Ball Chairman Lisa Dishman.

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago some three dozen Bay Area residents gathered at the Flying Dutchman in Kemah to plan for a haven for abused women.

Many of them were in the crowd and wearing big smiles when Bay Area Turning Point celebrated its 25th anniversary Oct. 8 at a big gala at South Shore Harbour Resort – the Purple and Teal Ball.

Among them was Diane Savage, BATP co-founder who has headed the organization since its beginning and is still soldiering on today, with the moral support of her husband, Lakeview Police Chief Tom Savage – providing a shelter and “turning point” for abused women and children.

Besides celebrating, the Turning Point honored several who have been so much a part of its success with the Cornerstone Award:

  • Marvis Carmichael, who has led the “Fill the Truck Food Drive” for the past two decades, raising $280,000 and collecting more than a million pounds of food for the shelter;
  • Pamela Merrill, BATP co-founder and attorney who did the preliminary work to set up the Turning Point, recruited Diane Savage, and with her created the agency’s framework;
  • Ann and Jim O’Malley, who founded one of BATP’s fundraising mechanisms, the Men and Women of Heart Gala, which over 11 years raised more than $1 million for the shelter;
  • Ramona Hairston, who has long been a BATP Partner and a $100,000 donor;
Jim and Diane Overman, Brian and Danette Spriggs and Ann and Kevin Brady, from left, are ready to party as they arrive at South Shore Harbour Resort for the Turning Point gala.

Jim and Diane Overman, Brian and Danette Spriggs and Ann and Kevin Brady, from left, are ready to party as they arrive at South Shore Harbour Resort for the Turning Point gala.

Other Cornerstone Award honorees were Sister Edwin and the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Sen. John Cornyn and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott – all of whom have contributed greatly in various ways to BATP over the years.

The gala — chaired by Lisa Dishman and emceed by Carla Medlenka, who came with their husbands, Curtis and Galen — drew a large crowd of long-time residents, who remembered BATP’s founding, including State Rep. Dennis Paul and his wife, Eliza; Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royal, Allen and Myrna Baker, Mary Ann Shallberg, Lou and Alice Marinos, Elaine and Gary Renola, Kevin and Ann Brady, Gary and Sandra Mossman and Kathy and Charles Harlan.

Drs. Tom and Glenda Murphy were in the crowd of about 300, as were Rita and Jim Armstrong, Holly and Mike Kincaid, Charlene Miller, Betty, Earl and Barbara Phillips, Robert  and Melba Heselmeyer, Martha and Scott Rainey, Laurie and Dr. David Gordon,  John Gay and Becky Reitz and Frank Perez and Priscilla Ennis.

Along with John and Rose Zarcaro, Dennis and Betsy Salbilla, Gloria Wong, Darrell and Fay Picard, Brian and Danette Spriggs, Lisa and Bob Davee, Dee Scott, Mike and Sherrie Matula, Rosebud Caradec, Alice Steele and Pat and Wendell Wilson, to name a few – all enjoying being a part of our history.

Three Indian maidens, Michelle Richardson, Lisa Peters and Jill Smith, from left, say “It’s All About Our Reservation” as they enjoy the Museum Guild’s Pretty Tables luncheon.

Three Indian maidens, Michelle Richardson, Lisa Peters and Jill Smith, from left, say “It’s All About Our Reservation” as they enjoy the Museum Guild’s Pretty Tables luncheon.

Pretty Tables and then some
IT’S CALLED the Just a Pretty Table Luncheon, but as most Bay Area folks know, it’s so much more.

It’s hours of work thinking up a theme, getting all the needed people and pieces and then molding it all together into a pretty picture before you get to sit back and enjoy the final product.

And, after 11 years, it is still as jaw dropping as the first one when Angie Weinman introduced us all to “Pretty Tables.” You just cannot imagine what the ladies of our community will come up with each year. They are just so talented!

We walked in to find Kimberly Weathers dressed as Marie Antoinette, Ann Wismer Landolt and Kippy Caraway dressed as beautiful witches, Robyn Weigelt and Era Lee Caldwell looking like Audrey Hepburn, while Marie Sharp, Kristy Tankersley, Jill Reason and Michelle Richards appeared ready to head to the Indian reservation.

Some of the others adding their talent included Tracey Webb, Cathy Osoria, Barbara Clariday, Nancy and Raven Sanders, Stacy Mendenhall, Gail Ashby, Lori Ray, Cindi Canino, Terri Dieste Peggy Heinrich, Karen McCorkle, Jill Williams, Kathleen Courville, Dr. Cindy Castille, Janice Gornto, Lynn Smith, Nell Veazey, Diana Dornak, Brandi Corrao, Rosemary White, Diane Vest, Ahsley Williams, Chelsea Turnham and Cindy Lewis.

Later, they honored photographer Pam Culpepper – not only for her delightful photography but for all she has given the community. And, then after lunch, many mingled among the tables, just enjoying it all.

If you haven’t seen it, don’t miss the next one. Fun!

11-1xjackiexdaleyBOWA Fall Coffee A fun event for all
BAY OAKS Women’s Association members, along with the Bay Oaks Wine Committee are busy these days planning their annual gala, which is scheduled Friday, Nov. 5.

It was all the talk as members gathered for their annual Fall Friendship Coffee and enjoyed some delish refreshments and heard a program by Billy Marberry.

President Jodie Schnabel welcomed the crowd, that included Trisha Gunn, Mary Colombo, Janet Greenwood, Amy Roppolo, Margaret Sucre-Vail, Cindy Zook, Karen Reed, Darla McKitrick, Sharon Phelps, Angela Swint, Ann Dooley, Glenna Crist, Ruth Beecher and Angela Bivens, who is chairing the gala.

Others you might have spotted were Priscilla Ennis, Diane Halloway, Sally Duren, Pat Young, Karen Gandy, Sylvia Resch, Emmeline Dodd and Marilyn Lunney, who had Jenny Brayley and Amori Lunney as her guests.