Clear Lake Chatter – ALBA to celebrate 30 years

February 1st, 2019

Circle Saturday, Feb. 9 on your calendar. That’s when Assistance League of the Bay Area will celebrate its 25th anniversary as a chapter and 30th year of service to the community.

And, the community is invited to attend this year’s Superhero Birthday Bash, which will be held at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook from 6 to 11 p.m. Feb. 9, in memory of Stuart Wing Williams and to celebrate all the Assistance League Superheroes – past, present and future.

Chairman Jill Williams and Vice Chairman Peggy Heinrich are heading up the team of volunteers putting on the Bay Area’s Superhero Birthday Bash with attendees encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero.

Other ALBA members assisting them with arrangements for the evening include Mavis Irvan, Gail Ashby, Sarah Foulds, Badiha Nassar, Jill Smitherman, Sandra Sellers, Katy Bastedo, Roseann Carothers, Kim Barker, Cindy Senger-Lewis, Georgia Piwonka and Kathleen Courville.

Music for dancing will be provided by Password.

One of the highlights of the evening will come during the Reverse Raffle when the third to last ticket wins a $500 gift card from Frank’s & Son Jewelers, the second to last wins a $1,000 gift card from Lewis Jewelers and the final ticket drawn wins a Superhero Golf Cart, partially sponsored by Texas Golf Carts.

Can’t wait to see that? Better get a raffle ticket, which are $100 each. But hurry. Only 300 will be sold.

All proceeds benefit the six philanthropic programs including Operation School Bell, Operation Cinderella, Operation Support Our Schools, Assault Survivor Kits, Ready for Work and Community Outreach.

Tickets to the event are $125 and may be purchased online at the website www.

Bay Oaks Women elect new officers

SUSAN McCOY has been re-elected president of the Bay Oaks Country Club Women’s Association for 2019. Other new officers who’ll serve with her are Vice Presidents Cheri Burke and Sue Laabs, Secretary Chris Howland and Treasurer Amy Roppolo with Past President Jodi Schnabel as advisor to the president.

Pam Clary will return as special events chairman, Sue Broughton as historian, Jordan Quillen as communications chairman, Mary Alys Cherry as public relations chairman, and Cassandra Brown as Bay Oaks liaison.

Other board members include Holiday Market Chairman Allyson Jackson, Hospitality Co-Chairmen Terri Steinkamp and Suzanne Leatherman, Membership Co-Chairmen Darla McKitrick and Susan Franklin, Registration Co-Chairmen Cindy Zook and Sharon Dillard, and Publicity Co-Chairmen Eileen Hult and Jodi Schnabel.

Pasadena mayor keynotes January BayTran luncheon

NEWLY ELECTED Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner was off to a good start after his election in July 2017, learning his new job and enjoying it when, about a month later, along came Hurricane Harvey.

But rather than wring their hands, he and other Pasadena officials got right to work trying to help people, he explained during his keynote address at the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership’s Jan. 17 luncheon.

“We accepted Harvey with open arms, and by that I mean all the emergency rooms in the area were shut down. All the airports were shut down. And, we said to one another, ‘how can we help people?’”

The answer was obvious, he told BayTran members at the luncheon at the Hobby Marriott on the Gulf Freeway – open an emergency room, which they did. It was believed to be the only working ER in Harris County, he said, and besides helping some 150 people, they even delivered a baby.

When life returned somewhat to normal, Mayor Wagner turned his thoughts to giving Pasadena a new face – even having the city buy a dilapidated building that had been vacant for 30 years and was giving the city an ugly look and needed to be torn down.

Most recently he has been working to upgrade Rickey Road, Pasadena Boulevard and Red Bluff Road – working with Harris County on sharing some of the costs. And, best of all, his city applied to FEMA for a $105 million grant to rebuild some of the city streets, and it was approved.

“Now who can say they got money from FEMA?” he smiled as he continued his overview of life in Pasadena.

BayTran President Theresa Rodriguez, and Chairman David Hamilton joined Treasurer Karen Coglianese in welcoming the crowd that also included BayTran Vice Chairman Bob Robinson, who brought his grandson, Anthony Robinson.

Several elected officials were in the audience including State Rep. Dennis Paul, Mayors Thom Kolpulski of Seabrook, Tom Reid of Pearland and Michel Bechetl of Morgan’s Point, along with Seabrook Mayor Pro-tem Natalie Picha.

Welcome Neighbors elect new officers

SOME OF THE busiest club officers these days are those who head the Bay Area Welcome Neighbors Club, which meets each month at Bay Oaks Country Club with nearly overflow crowds.

Becky Rickey is president of the group this year with Suzanne Lamminen and Catherine Jennische serving as vice presidents, Alice Swift as secretary and Madeline Rogers as treasurer.

This month they will welcome Lt. Col. Don Houk from the Living History Museum providing a first person presentation of one of the most famous World War II generals, James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, and his famous raid on Tokyo at their Feb. 21 luncheon meeting. To attend, email Nancy Guthrie at [email protected]

90 years old and still golfing

A ROOMFUL of old friends were on hand to help Charles Smitherman celebrate his 90th birthday in late December, and all were no doubt surprised to learn how he keeps a busy schedule and is out playing golf every chance he gets.

Besides his birthday celebration, it was also a chance for him and his wife, Joy, to get together with all their kids – Carol Smitherman Anglin, John and Jill Smitherman and Paul and Valerie Riddle — and grandkids and long-time friends.

Clear Lake Chatter

November 1st, 2018

Eileen Hult, right, and Mary Alys Cherry are happy to see the big crowd celebrating Bay Oaks Country Club’s 30th anniversary.

Bay Oaks Country Club marks 30th anniversary

BAY OAKS Country Club in Clear Lake is turning 30 years old this year, so club executives hosted a black tie gala for members to mark the occasion and joined them in celebrating the milestone. It was quite a party!

General Manager Stephen Morris joined Head Golf Pro Scott Olsen, Member Relations Director Cassandra Brown, Private Events Director Ashley Williams and Golf Course Superintendent Kyle Brown in welcoming the crowd, which included Board of Governors Chairman Julia Gallagher and her husband, Abe, and Bay Oaks Women’s Association President Susan McCoy and her husband, Mike.

John and Jeannette Koerschner, Mike and Sharon Phelps and George and Glenna Crist were among several there who have been members for 30 years, so you can imagine what fun they had thinking back over all the great events at the club through the years.

Early arrivals included Board of Governors members John Whalen, with his wife, Patty; Jim Maultsby, with his wife, Cheryl; Yvonne Perrin, Perry Laabs and his wife, Sue; and Jodi Schnabel and her husband, Kirby; plus Murry and Sandy Lantz, John and Roemehl Dewey, Glenn and Carlene Langford and Craig and Cindy Zook.

Still others joining in the celebration were Russ and Mary Colombo, Dane and Darla McKitrick, Luis and Teresa Albuerne, Ron and Bo Lohec, Joseph and Carol Base, Sue and Everett Lyons, Marty and Amy Schweers, Mitzi and Dr. Mike Romanko, Malcolm and Sue Franklin, Danele and Jack Buehler, Joseph and Sue Kazda, Ray and Shiva Landry, Annette Dwyer and Pat Monks and Gene and Eileen Hult, to name a few.
Quite a celebration for a place we’ve all enjoyed so much through the years.


These pretty cowgirls sit for a photo at the Bay Area Museum Guild’s Just A Pretty Table Luncheon. They are, from left, Courtney Myers (standing left), Ashton Garrison, Virginia McMullen, Mary McMullen, Tracey Webb and Stacy Bush Lyon.

Pretty tables another big success

FEW EVENTS remain as popular year after year as the Bay Area Museum Guild’s Just A Pretty Table. Credit Angie Weinman for that.
Year after year for over a decade she had lined up some of our community’s most talented ladies. Each picks a theme for their table, gets a crew of helpers, each contributing ideas and – voila! ­­– everyone is amazed. Plus, proceeds help support the charming little Bay Area Museum over in Clear Lake Park.

Some of the tables are just jaw-dropping beautiful – the kind you’d love in your home – while some are humorous but always memorable. Usually, those sitting at the table carry out the theme in their dress. If you haven’t attended, make next year a must-see.

Angie and her team of volunteers — Sandi Allbritton, Jan Larson, Ava Galt, Jannine Galt and Anita Fogtman – have already started working on the 2019 event. See you there.

Clear Lake Chatter: BOWA Fashion Show Launches New Season

October 1st, 2018

BOWA Secretary Chris Howland, from left, welcomes model Jordan Quillen and Misty Killebrew to the annual Fall Fashion Show Luncheon at Bay Oaks Country Club.

BAY OAKS Women’s Association kicked off its new season with an elegant Fashion Show Luncheon at Bay Oaks Country Club that opened with a champagne reception as members and guests began arriving.

President Susan McCoy and Vice President Amy Schweers joined Hospitality Chairman Terri Steinkamp and her committee in welcoming the arriving crowd, which included Mary Colombo, Gaye Wylie, Emmeline Dodd, Cheri Burke, Ann Lyon, Judge Holly Williamson, Janet Greenwood, Marilyn Lunney, Lea Bodie, Betty Woodhouse, Janet Gortno, Misty Killebrew, Nancy Smith, Eileen Hult and Sharon Dillard.

Before they hardly had had time to say hello to one another, in walked Jackie Daley, Margaret Vail, Sharon Phelps, Carol Murphy, Angela Bivens, Norman Ogletree, Dr. Kimberly Weathers, Glenna Crist, Debbie May, Ann Dooley, Ruth Beecher, Sue Laabs, Mary Alyce Hall, Rita Armstrong, Linda Guice, Jean Dupre, Peggy Green, Amy Roppolo, Debbie Roan and Past President Jodi Schnabel.

Hospitality Chairman Terri Steinkamp, right, goes over plans for the BOWA Fall Fashion Show with model Diane Saltzer on arrival at Bay Oaks Country Club.

Soon, they were watching models Sue Broughton, Valerie Brumfield, Susan Franklin, Julie Gallager, Susan McCoy¸Lola McLain, Martha McWilliams, Darla McKitrick, Jordan Quillen, Diane Saltzer and Cindy Zook present fall fashions from Dillard’s at Baybrook Mall, with Bay Oaks General Manager Stephen Morris escorting them.

Much to the delight of Lucille Terraso, Rose Sobotik, Sandy Buyajian, Elaine Rister, Georgia Piwonka, Carol Bobo, Julia Guzman, Mary Smith, Heather Hernandez, Beverly Braden, Lisa Schulte, Linda Fincher, Gail West and Secretary Chris Howland, who then enjoyed Shrimp Escabeche and Blueberry Crumble.

Bay Oaks Country Club members will get “A Taste of Asia” Saturday, Nov. 3 when BOWA hosts its annual gala at the club.

Chairman Pam Clary says the focus will be on the Far East with Chinese dancers performing, beautiful red and gold decorations, plus gaming tables and the popular Main Street Band. Guests will be sipping on Singapore Slings, wine and champagne before enjoying Beef Teriyaki and Coconut Encrusted Shrimp. Sounds like a delightful evening is ahead.

Symphony League Bay Area Starting New Year

HOUSTON SYMPHONY League Bay Area members also got their season off to a happy start as Anita Gale hosted a Wine & Cheese Party for prospective members at her lovely home in Nassau Bay with Vice President Ann Morgan chairing the event.

Nearly 80 members and guests enjoyed tasty appetizers and desserts provided by members as all were entertained by member Alice Steele’s trio Arcadia. Another highlight of the evening came when the children of Dr. Gerard and Nicole Abreo, ages 3-15 and known as the Abreo Family Strings, played several classical pieces on their violins, with beautiful music filling the home.

All nine Abreo children have been students of Beatrice Stanley since the age of three, and she says they are a joy to teach. Afterwards, the Abreo children and the Arcadia trio performed together – much to the delight of all.

League President Nina McGlashan and her husband, Bob, were there to welcome the crowd that included Al and Natalie Ong, Dr. Patrick McKinney, Julia Guzman, Sandy Conway, Betty Geehan, Sallie Watts, Gayle Nelson, Jean Raffetto, Donna Ward, Betty Gilfillan, Karen Brumley, Angela Mendoza, Dana Puddy, Lisa Brandenberger, Jane Lackow, Jean Gray, Bill Straight, plus Pat Biddle and her husband, Ron Kahl, to name a few.

Hostess Stacy Bush Lyon, left, welcomes Jenny Frantz to her home for Clear Lake Area Panhellenic’s Fall Friendship Tea.

A new season for Panhellenic
CLEAR LAKE Area Panhellenic members were all smiles as they began another season with their annual Fall Friendship Tea at the lovely Clear Lake home of Stacy Bush Lyon.

This year’s theme was “Around the World in 80 Days,” which also will be the theme of their popular fall fashion show luncheon Friday, Nov. 2, in South Shore Harbour Resort’s Crystal Ballroom.

President D’Lisa Johnson was there to greet the arriving crowd, as was Chairman Kay Lee Benoit and the hostess, plus several members of the executive board. Hot topic of conversation was, of course, the upcoming style show luncheon, in which most all members have a part. In fact, members brought food from different countries for the tea, to get everyone in the groove — including Sally Jordan, Linda McCormack, Sheryl Williams, Ruth Beecher and Judge Holly Williamson.

Some of the others enjoying the annual gathering included Peggy Clause, Jill Reason, Laurie Vaughn, Jill Smitherman, Sue Broughton, Judie Ferguson, Jo Nell Hunter, Jo Cat Bruce, Karen Douglass and Jenny Franz.

Ike Dike at the top of Mayor Turner’s to do list

August 1st, 2017

There was no shortage of folks on hand to greet Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner when he arrived at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake for the Clear Lake Chamber Government Affairs Committee meeting. With him are, from left, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey, Chamber President Cindy DeWease, Kemah Mayor Carl Joiner, Miss Texas USA Nancy Gonzalez and State Rep. Dennis Paul.

Jordan McGinty, right, of Councilman Dave Martin’s office, stops to chat with Dawn McDonald of State Rep. Dennis Paul’s office at the Clear Lake Area Chamber Government Affairs Committee meeting.

THE CLEAR LAKE Area Chamber’s Government Affairs Division drew quite a crowd when members held their quarterly meeting at Bay Oaks Country Club.

Little wonder they did. They had Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner as their speaker and invited Miss Texas USA Nancy Gonzalez to introduce the mayor.

Early arrivals included State Rep. Dennis Paul, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey, Kemah Mayor Carl Joiner, who is also the chamber chairman, Houston City Councilman Dave Martin, Chamber President Cindy DeWease and Vice Chairman Brian Freedman.

The mayor discussed a variety of subjects, initially letting the crowd know how lucky this area is to be represented by Councilman Martin and Representative Paul and how he has enjoyed working with them in the past and how he looks forward to working with them in the future.
Especially so on the Coastal Spine – commonly referred to as the Ike Dike – which he said “is at the top of my to do list.”

After praising San Jacinto College for its workforce readiness programs and all it has been doing to put students in jobs and help industry fill jobs, he noted that there are six million jobs in the U.S. that cannot be filled because applicants do not have the proper training.

That led into a hot topic for Clear Lake City, where a woman wants to put a homeless shelter on El Camino Real in the heart of its downtown area and only two blocks from homes. The mayor, who first heard about it from TV, wanted his audience to know that the city had nothing to do with it, that no permits had been obtained and it is not a simple process.

“It is not a city deal,” he said, adding the he did not think shelters were the answer. “The best way to respond to homelessness is to put people in housing, not shelters. Please, please know that is not something that is on the drawing board, and there is no funding for it,” he cautioned.

Turning to the national infrastructure program proposed by President Trump, the mayor thought the Coastal Spine project should be included. Meanwhile he said, he had learned that Washington is toying with ideas on how to pay for all the proposed projects.

Among a number of thoughts he shared with the crowd, he said he thinks we need a theme park that is uniquely us — a fun and amusing park but unique to our region.

Splashdown Party draws happy crowd

Dr. Mike Romanko and his wife, Mitzi, give the peace sign so popular in the 60s at the Lunar Rendezvous Splashdown Party.

BACK IN THE SIXTIES, a coveted invitation got one into a Splashdown Party when friends and neighbors welcomed astronauts back from journeys into space.

Fifty years later, the tradition goes on. Except this time it was, well, a little different. Co-Chairmen Kristy Tankersley, Renee Ditta and Linda DeMasie wanted this Lunar Rendezvous Splashdown Party to be a night of fun – a night to remember. And, that it was. It also kicked off the Festival’s string of July activities, which include a 5K fun run and walk, fashion show, religious service and the Coronation Ball.

Festival Chairman Dinah Matthews, right, and Vice Chairman Tisa Foster prepare to greet guests.

Most dressed in 60s attire and flashed peace signs as they danced to the music of Phil Pampolina with the co-chairmen and their husbands – Jon Tankersley, Judge Louie Ditta and Michael DeMasie — leading the way as Mercedes-Benz dealer Jerry Foyt and his wife, Kate, hosted the event at the dealership in League City.

Both Festival Chairman Dinah Matthews and Vice Chairman Tisa Foster were there to welcome Michael and Ann Wismer Landolt, Tom and Gloria Wong, Ann and Dr. Jim O’Malley, Ron and Pat Biddle Karl, Angie and Matthew Weinman, Gene Hollier, Phil and Ginger Pampolina, Alice and Lou Marinos, Mary Ann Shallberg and Mitzi and Dr. Mike Romanko, to name a few.

Special guests were Ch. 13 ABC News Anchor Tom Koch and his wife, Brenda.

Great way to kick off the string of festival events.

Clear Lake Chatter: What fun it is to party every day!

January 1st, 2017

NO DOUBT about it – the Bay Area loves to party, and what better time than the holidays?

Actually, the wee set got the parties started with the Bay Area Houston Ballet’s Breakfast With the Sugar Plum Fairy at South Shore Harbour Resort and the Bay Area Museum Guild’s Toyland Fantasy breakfast at Bay Oaks Country Club.

What fun it was to watch the little ones in their party garb, dancing around and wearing smiles a mile wide.

Bay Area Museum Guild President Brandie Corrao welcomes Lunar Rendezvous Queen Madelyn Chicester and Festival Capt. Alex Struss to the Guild Holiday Open House at the museum.

And then the parties began with Museum Guild members opening the museum doors Sunday, Dec. 4 for their annual Holiday Open House, where President Brandie Corrao joined Co-Chairmen Ava Galt and Jan Larson in welcoming the crowd that included Taylor Lake Village City Councilman Tony Galt, Matthew and Angie Weinman, Delicia and Alex Struss, Cindy and Dave Kuenneke, Anita Fogtman and Emmeline Dodd.

Lunar Rendezvous Queen Madelyn Chicester joined the party, as did Festival Capt. Alex Struss with the Clear Lake Sound Waves providing entertainment.


UH-CLEAR LAKE kept up the beat, hosting its big annual Holiday Reception Dec. 7 at Bay Oaks Country Club, where retiring President Bill Staples and his wife, Darlene, were on hand to welcome the happy crowd.

Area Legislators Dennis Paul of Clear Lake and Ed Thompson of Pearland were among the crowd, as were Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, attorneys John Gay and his wife, Becky Reitz; Marilyn and Glynn Lunney, Alan and Peggy Hill, Theresa Presswood, Marilyn and Charles Sims, Ken and Nedra Gurry, Kippy Caraway, Mary Ann Shallberg, Rob and Karen Barbier and Rhonda Thompson.

Plus, Science and Engineering Dean Zbigniew T. Czajkiewicz, College of Education Dean Mark D. Shermis, Business Dean William T. Cummings and Human Sciences and Humanities Dean Rick J. Short.


Michelle Richardson, Kelli Baliker, Diana Shuman and Ondi Lyon, from left, share a light moment as at the Clear Lake Area Panhellenic Holiday Brunch at the Shuman home in Bay Oaks.

CLEAR LAKE Panhellenic kept up the beat the next day, Dec. 8, with Diane Shuman hosting the sorority alumnae group’s big annual Holiday Brunch at her home in Bay Oaks.

Diane, in a bright red outfit, joined Brunch Co-Chairmen Judie Ferguson and Sue Ellen Jennings, both wearing colorful Santa hats, and Panhellenic President Jill Reason, wearing white, in welcoming the festive crowd.

Among them were Peggy Clause, Lisa O’Brien, Jennie Hampton, Jo Cat Bruce, Michelle Richardson, Sue Broughton, Judie Ferguson, Kay Lee Benoit, Ondi Lyon, Ruth Beecher, Ellen King, Karen McCorkle, Diane Overman, Jo Nell Hunter, Kathie Wiley, Barbara Dickey, Judie Raiford and Kelli Baliker.


BAY AREA HOUSTON Economic Partnership members gathered at Lakewood Yacht Club later that day with Mayors Glenn Royal of Seabrook, Johnny Isbell of Pasadena, Carl Joiner of Kemah and Michel Bechtel of Morgan’s Point in the crowd that filled up the ballroom.

Joining them were State Rep. Dr. Greg Bonnen, Houston City Councilman Dave Martin and a host of business men and women celebrating the holiday season.

Plus, UHCL President Bill Staples,  San Jacinto College Chancellor Brenda Hellyer and Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Greg Smith.


JOHNSON SPACE CENTER Director Ellen Ochoa hosted another big party with a number of city officials and aerospace executives joining her and her husband, attorney Coe Miles, Friday, Dec. 9 in JSC’s Building 9 for some good conversation and an update that included noting that we have had a continuous presence on the International Space Station now for 16 years.

Familiar faces in the crowd included Mayors Jon Keeney of Taylor Lake Village and Louis Rigby of La Porte with their wives, Lynn and Marlene, Jacobs Technology Senior VP and GM Lon Miller, Barrios Technology President Robbie McAfoos and his wife, Victoria, and Clear Lake Area Chamber President Cindy Harreld DeWease and her husband, businessman Jeff DeWease.

Plus JSC Deputy Director Mark Geyer, who brightened up the party when he arrived in one of the most colorful jackets we’ve ever seen.


Assistance League Holiday Reception hostess Cecilia Dismukes, right, joins President Dee Cover, left, and Reception Chairman Elizabeth McCarty before the annual party at the Dismukes’ lovely home.

ASSISTANCE LEAGUE members were all wearing big smiles as Cecelia Dismukes hosted their big annual Holiday Reception at her home in Kemah’s Waterford Harbor.

ALBA President Dee Cover and Chairman Elizabeth McCarty joined the hostess in welcoming the arriving crowd, which included Yvonne Perrin, Pam Bungo, Melanie Lovuola, Kathy Panneton, Justine Powell, Badiha Nassar, Kim Barker and Lisa Holbrook.

Others you might have spotted were Brunella Altemus, Becky Richey, Barbara Groh, Katy Bastedo, Kathleen Courville, Mari Stockard-Young, Leslie Schwanke, Dee Wolfe, Janet Vallelungo, Elaine Rister, Barbara Weitenhagen, Jean Simms, Mary Vaughn, Brook Cimas, Betty Walcott, Sandra Kelver, Cookie Derderian, Amy Wortham, Betty Stoub and Joyce Alderman.


Houston Symphony League Bay Area President Mary Voigt, center, looks on as Dana Puddy, left, and Alice Steele prepare for the holiday party.

HOUSTON SYMPHONY League Bay Area members gathered at the home of Vicki Buxton in Clear Lake for their annual Holiday Reception, chaired by Special Events Coordinator Carole Murphy.

Buzzing around the Buxton home, you probably would have bumped into President Mary Voigt, Dana Puddy, Pat Biddle Kahl and Alice Steele and former Presidents Jim Moore and Patience Myers – just a few of the many who dropped by for the holiday celebration.

OTHERS joining the party-go-round included the Clear Lake Area Chamber and League City Regional Chamber Holiday Receptions at their offices, Recherche Christmas Brunch at Lakewood Yacht Club, Bay Oaks Country Club and Lakewood Yacht Club holiday parties for members and on and on…

Clear Lake Chatter: Party Time in the Bay Area

January 1st, 2016

Hostess Elaine Rister, center, thanks Suzanne Stephens, right, for chairing the Assistance League Holiday Open House at her Bay Oaks home in Clear Lake.

Hostess Elaine Rister, center, thanks Suzanne Stephens, right, for chairing the Assistance League Holiday Open House at her Bay Oaks home in Clear Lake.

IF YOU LIKE to party, the Bay Area is the place to be in December. It starts the first of the month and only lets up when word gets out that shopping days are numbered and that the reindeer are already practicing with Rudolph up at the North Pole.

In between, it’s run, run, run from party to party and catching up on everyone you haven’t seen in awhile. It began early for the Clear Creek Education Foundation, which launched its annual fundraising campaign with a breakfast hosted by Executive Director Kaci Hanson at Lakewood Yacht Club, where H.E.B Regional President Scott McClelland was the keynote speaker. Do I need tell you the crowd was disappointed he did not bring J.J. Watt?

Assistance League members Kathy Panneton, Shirley Lang and Marie Keener, from left, look for a recipe in the League cookbook during Holiday Open House.

Assistance League members Kathy Panneton, Shirley Lang and Marie Keener, from left, look for a recipe in the League cookbook during Holiday Open House.

Next stop was at UH-Clear Lake’s annual holiday reception hosted by President Bill Staples and his wife, Darlene, at Bay Oaks Country Club and then the Johnson Space Center Director’s Holiday Party, hosted by JSC Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa in Building Nine. Later you might have spotted many members of the business community at the holiday receptions hosted by the League City and Clear Lake Chambers and by Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership.

And this year we enjoyed beautiful spring-like weather.

THE BAY AREA Museum Guild kicked off probably the busiest week of the month with its annual Holiday Open House, where you could have bumped into Linda and Einar Goerland, Pat and Wendell Wilson, Mary Ann Shallberg, Peggy and Jerry Clause, Anita Fogtman, Cindy and David Kuenneke, Ava and Tony Galt, Sue Broughton, Frank Perez, Gloria Wong, Nina and Robert McGlashan, Jan Larson and Lewis and Joan Wade.

Jan Larsen, Pat Biddle and Ava Galt, from left, were on hand to welcome the crowd to the Bay Area Museum Guild Holiday Open House at the museum in Clear Lake Park.

Jan Larsen, Pat Biddle and Ava Galt, from left, were on hand to welcome the crowd to the Bay Area Museum Guild Holiday Open House at the museum in Clear Lake Park.

Some of the others in the crowd included Justine and Patrick Powell, Buck Rogers, Barbara and Frank Spencer, Rose Merle and Leo Symmank, Kimberly Barker, Shirley and Hubert Brasseaux, Pat Biddle and her husband, Ronald Kahl, and his daughter Diane, Michelle Krueger, Liz DeLeon, Annette Dwyer and Pat Monks, Laraine Eggers, Sarah Foulds, Nancy Poffenberger and Stephen Vega.

ASSISTANCE LEAGUE members were out in force the next day as Elaine Rister hosted the annual Holiday Open House at her Bay Oaks home, with Suzanne Stephens as chairman and Melanie Lovuola as co-chairman.

Among the crowd were President Peggy Clause,  Barbara Weitenhagen, Atiya Abouleish, Cathy Wolfe, Vicki Tallman, Shirley Lang, Christina Deane, Marie Keener, Sandra Sellers, Lisa Holbrook, Sharon Dillard, Beverly Braden and Kathy Panneton.

Hostess Carole Murphy and Houston Symphony League Bay Area President Jim Moore prepare to welcome the crowd to the group’s Holiday Brunch at the Murphy home in Brook Forest.

Hostess Carole Murphy and Houston Symphony League Bay Area President Jim Moore prepare to welcome the crowd to the group’s Holiday Brunch at the Murphy home in Brook Forest.

Looking around, you might also have spotted Yvonne Perrin, Joan Burt, Judy Raiford, Suzie Rogers, Pam Culpepper, Amy Wortham, Ginger Darnell, Cathy Wolfe, Brunella Altemus, Hillary Graham, Mary Vaughn, Marie Keener, Belinda Scheunch, Shirley Lang, Becky Richey, Georgia Piwonka, Melanie Lovuola, Jean Simms, Badiha Nassar, Arlis Miles and Betty Walcott.

CLEAR LAKE Panhellenic hostess Kim Krist joined Panhellenic President Kay Lee Benoit in welcoming the crowd to Kim’s Bay Oaks home in Clear Lake for their annual Holiday Brunch, which before long was overflowing with members, including Judie Ferguson, Dana Brown, Karen McCorkle, Judy Raiford, Kathy Arnold, Peggy Clause, Barbara Dickey and Diane Overman.

Judge Holly Williamson was in the crowd, as were Emmeline Dodd, Ruth Beecher, Monica Gibbs, Jo Nell Hunter, Sheree Frede, Kathy Atkins, Jill Reason, Ellen King, Karen Weber, Sue Ellen Jennings, Kim Barker, Laurie Vaughn, Sue Broughton and dozens more – all enjoying swapping holiday stories with one another or making plans to get together in the new year.

Houston Symphony League Bay Area members Bill and Sherry Straight, Betty Geehan and Bill and Anita Knowles, from left, enjoy the gorgeous weather out on the patio at their annual Holiday Brunch.

Houston Symphony League Bay Area members Bill and Sherry Straight, Betty Geehan and Bill and Anita Knowles, from left, enjoy the gorgeous weather out on the patio at their annual Holiday Brunch.

HOUSTON SYMPHONY League Bay Area President Jim Moore joined hostess Carole Murphy in welcoming members to the annual holiday party at Carole’s Brook Forest home.

And, it wasn’t long before her home was overflowing out onto the beautiful inviting back patio, where all were enjoying the delightful spring-like weather – including Bill and Sherry Straight, Betty Geehan and Bill and Anita Knowles, Joan Wade, Vicki Buxton, Jane Lackow and Glenda Toole.

WHILE ALL THIS was going on, there was much, much more. The wee set was partying at the Museum Guild’s Toyland Fantasy at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake, at Breakfast With the Sugar Plum Fairy hosted by Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre at South Shore Harbour Resort and at the Seabrook Rotary’s annual Breakfast With Santa.

Vicki Buxton, Jane Lackow and Glenda Toole, from left, ready plans for the Houston Symphony League Bay Area’s annual Home Tour while enjoying the group’s Holiday Brunch.

Vicki Buxton, Jane Lackow and Glenda Toole, from left, ready plans for the Houston Symphony League Bay Area’s annual Home Tour while enjoying the group’s Holiday Brunch.

Moms also were getting in a lot of early shopping at the Bay Area Turning Point Holiday Market over at NASA’s Gilruth Center, the Bay Oaks Women’s Association Holiday Market at the country club, the Lakewood Yacht Club Ladies Association Feliz Navidad holiday market at the yacht club, the Velvet Stocking at the Webster Civic Center and the various markets hosted by area churches.

And, Interfaith Caring Ministries, celebrating its 30th anniversary, held its biggest fundraiser of the year – the 22nd annual Festival of Trees Gala and Big Band Swing Night at South Shore Harbour Resort with dinner, several guest speakers, a wine pull and live and silent auctions.

Closing out a busy year, many were planning New Year’s Eve parties. Big ones include those at Lakewood and Houston Yacht Clubs and Bay Oaks Country Club for members and their guests. South Shore Harbour Resort is also planning a big New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner with the public invited.

Then we’ll all kick back for a few days and catch our breath.

Bay Area Houston Magazine