Tom Tollett donates 1953 MG TD Roadster to Galveston Bay Foundation

May 2nd, 2019

Photography: Moonbridge Media

Tom Tollett, owner of Tommy’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar, is offering his 1953 MG TD roadster as a generous donation to the Galveston Bay Foundation. There’s a little over 1,000 miles on this elegant class 1 sports car. This two-seater certified classic car has 2 barrel, 4 speed, with excellent performance and meticulous restoration. The fair market retail value is $48,000. Those interested in purchasing this remarkable vintage English sports car, please contact Michael Kamins at [email protected]. The Galveston Bay Foundation’s mission is to protect and enhance the Galveston Bay for future generations. The Galveston Bay Foundation provides science-based environmental education programs to thousands of students in the Houston Bay Area and provides opportunities through advocacy programs for all citizens and organizations to take action. Their water programs help keep our precious bay clean. Galveston Bay plays a central role in conserving land, water, and wildlife as well as connect people in the community.

Join the Gulf Coast Mariner and Bay Area Houston Magazine by supporting the Galveston Bay Foundation, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our thriving waterfront community.

The Longhorn Project at Johnson Space Center

May 2nd, 2019

Proud mentors with the 2018-19 Show Team, LHP’s accomplished youth & leaders of tomorrow. (Back row L-R): Andrea Wilson, Board Chairman; Henry Wilson, Project Manager. (Front row L-R): Brandon Couvillion, Libby Butterfield, Emma Lucas, Quinton Cherry. Photo: Matt Lucas

No place in the galaxy like it. Texas longhorns meet manned space exploration.

Come be a part of the legendary Longhorn Project at Johnson Space Center (LHP). The organization has blended an award-winning Texas longhorn herd with STEM educational and environmental programs with a noteworthy record of achievement for nearly a quarter century. Hundreds of local FFA students have been awarded scholarships on “Show Teams,” raising and exhibiting longhorns across Texas and in bordering states.

In collaboration with NASA scientists, the LHP works with master naturalists, environmental professionals and volunteers to champion sustainability projects, connecting countless high school students with experts on everything from maintaining a 7-acre garden to Aquaculture, inventive landscaping and Agronomy.

The LHP also engaged more than 60,000 local elementary and middle-school students through its STEM-based curriculum.

Founded in 1996 by JSC Center Director George W. S. Abbey, the LHP began with a commitment to making the Center’s resources available to the educational community.
“In his office, Mr. Abbey had a cattle photograph that served as his inspiration in bringing the world-famous longhorns to JSC,” said Andrea Wilson, chairman of the LHP Board of Directors. “In fact, the cattle in that 1960 photo grazed on land owned by the family of James Marion West Sr., co-founder of Humble Oil & Refining Company, that would eventually become the home for NASA JSC.”

“He thought bringing the cattle, native to the state of Texas, to NASA JSC bridged Texas’ past to NASA’s present and America’s future,” she added.

The next step was to dedicate 53 acres of NASA-JSC’s tract of land, adjacent to NASA’s Rocket Park, for the development of a “hands on” agricultural education facility. Subsequent discussions among Abbey, Dr. John E. Wilson, then Superintendent of Clear Creek ISD, the Houston Livestock Show and RodeoTM and the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America resulted in a partnership, developing the first of its kind facility for furthering agricultural education linked to America’s space exploration.

Dr. Sandra Mossman, past Superintendent of Clear Creek ISD, inspired the initiative to incorporate a science curriculum for the district’s third and seventh graders. Lessons include the history, genetics and characteristics of the Texas longhorn, fruit and vegetable cultivation, Aquaculture, recycling technologies and space exploration.

Initially supported by Clear Creek ISD, in 2017 the LHP transitioned to a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, governed by a board of directors overseeing the management and fundraising programs.

Because of the rich educational program developed by Clear Creek ISD and close ties with NASA JSC, the LHP works closely with the school district to ensure its educational program meets Texas state academic standards and is provided to its 3,100 third grade students each year.

“As an independent nonprofit, we’re now able to seek essential funding from sources that may not be available to a school district and extend the educational programs to area school districts and private and home-school organizations,” Wilson said. “Consequently, over the past three years, an additional 2,500 students have participated in the educational programs annually.”

With thanks to a grant provided by the Moody Foundation, more than 1,700 students from Galveston, Dickinson and Santa Fe school districts, and the Odyssey Charter School in Seabrook, attended the field trip program. The AT&T Aspiring Fund allowed 350 high school students from Houston, Pearland and Clear Creek school districts to attend the program as well. The Houston Livestock Show and RodeoTM, one of the founding partners, has provided grants and support to renovate the barn facilities to ensure a safe as well as aesthetically-pleasing educational environment for the students.

“Today, there’s a longhorn trophy steer herd that have made Johnson Space Center their home for the duration of their lives,” Wilson said. “And a show herd of 25 longhorns on loan from members of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America.”

Under the direction of project manager, Henry Wilson, a selected team of FFA students care for the trophy steer herd, raising and exhibiting 25 longhorns at numerous livestock and longhorn shows. Through this worthwhile program, the show team students learn about ranch management, animal husbandry and to promote the preservation and legacy of the cattle native to Texas. They also earn scholarship funds by competing in exhibition shows, speech, art, livestock judging, showmanship, photography and Ag Mechanics contests.
Andrea Wilson initiated the Garden, Agriculture, Sustainability and Arts (GASA) program so high school students could earn volunteer hours and connect with nature. For the past three years, students from Clear Horizons Early College High School have assumed GASA’s leadership and self-initiated projects that contribute to the overall educational program.

Bay Area Houston Magazine and Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine are proud to sponsor and support The Longhorn Project at Johnson Space Center. There is “No place in the galaxy like it.”

The Longhorn Project is offering unique sponsorship and advertising opportunities. Your investment would help support the growth and development of these educational programs. Like any classroom, we need to replace and renovate end-life equipment and facilities to ensure the safety of the students and ‘lock-in’ the program’s future for generations to come.You, your company, or organization can support or sponsor a longhorn, or The Longhorn Project, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, by contacting Rick Clapp at 281-474-5875 or [email protected].

Roll em, roll em, roll em!

Harvest Moon, Hurricanes, and that particularly bad boy, Harvey

September 1st, 2018

By Andrea Todaro

The Harvest Moon Regatta® is probably the best known sailboat race on the Texas Gulf Coast, although even many participants do not know its history, or the role that hurricanes have played in its evolution.

The first HMR was the brainchild of three sailors from Lakewood Yacht Club. As John Broderick told the story, one Friday night at Lakewood the bar conversation turned to the need for more opportunities to sail and in particular, opportunities to get offshore. Sail maker John Cameron offered “the best sails I’ve had were late in the fall in the Gulf after the summer doldrums are over and the winter Northers haven’t started.” Competitive racer Ed Bailey agreed, saying he missed the old Texas Offshore Race Circuit (“TORC”) sailing events. Broderick, a dedicated cruiser and, at the time, Lakewood’s commodore, agreed and said, “why don’t we organize something?”

The bar talk led to discussions with members of other area sailing clubs, some of which were held at Frank’s Shrimp Hut, which is now Hooter’s in Seabrook. The first regatta, in 1987, was planned as a four race event beginning with a skippers’ meeting on Friday, Sept. 25, and a kickoff party on Saturday, Sept. 26. Racing started on Thursday, Oct. 1 and ran through the 10th with race segments or “legs” from the Galveston jetties to Port Isabel, back up the coast to Port Aransas, back to the Galveston Jetties, and then up to Marker Two at the Clear Creek channel leading into Lakewood’s homeport, Seabrook.

The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox is known as the “harvest moon” and is characterized by a bright orange color; it is followed by a “hunter’s moon. The “harvest moon” can occur as early as September 8th or as late as Oct. 7 which was the date of the “harvest moon” in 1987. Thus, in October 1987, with the races occurring between October 1st and the 10th, the Harvest Moon Regatta® was born. Seventeen yachts sailed that first year, with several bikini beach parties along the way.

In 1988, the “harvest moon” fell on Sept. 25, so the race start was scheduled for Thursday, Sept.22, but on Sept. 8 Hurricane Gilbert destroyed the Queen’s Point Marina at Port Isabel. The race start was delayed three weeks to Oct. 14 and the destination was changed to Port Aransas. Thus began the tradition of sailing to Port Aransas under a magnificent full moon, sometimes a “harvest moon” if it fell during the first seven days of October, otherwise a “hunter’s moon” if it fell on or after the 8th of October.

Mother Nature and Hurricane Gilbert are credited with the growth of the Harvest Moon Regatta® which grew steadily from the 17 yachts of 1987 to over 260 yachts in later years. The growth was due in large part to the perfect destination, Port Aransas. As John Broderick described it: “This ideal Texas port allows yacht owners and sailors to use minimal days from work to join in on what can be a most memorable overnight sail down the Texas coast during traditionally the best offshore sailing time of the year. And we can all do this in relative safety shared by some 200 other yachts.”

The race, open to sailors with no club affiliation as well as members of other area sailing clubs, became a bucket list item for many Texas sailors, many of whom had little or no offshore experience. The growth of Harvest Moon Regatta® also resulted in the formation of a charitable organization, Bay Access Sailing Foundation. Bay Access now serves as the regatta’s organizing authority, with race management provided by volunteers from Lakewood Yacht Club.

In 2015, Hurricane Patricia was forecast to envelop Port Aransas in a “catastrophic rain event” with the worst conditions forecast for Sunday morning when sailors would be required to leave the relative safety of Port Aransas City Marina for the trip back to Houston and various other home ports. Numerous warnings from weather officials eventually prompted race organizers to cancel the race for the first time in its history. Despite the race cancellation, the party in Port Aransas went on, and some of the more seasoned sailors sailed the course and were able to obtain slips in the City Marina harbor to ride out the gale force winds that arrived as forecast on Sunday morning.

In 2017, when the actual “harvest moon” again fell in October, on the 5th, Hurricane Harvey put a new twist on the story. Hitting the Texas coast near Port Aransas on Aug. 25, the storm devastated “the ideal Texas port” and dumped torrential rain on the entire Houston area. This time, instead of canceling the race or rescheduling it, race organizers decided to reformat the race as a triangle race, similar to Lakewood’s TORC event, the Heald Bank Regatta, which is traditionally held in April. Beginning and ending at the Galveston Jetties, the Regatta was followed by an awards party at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, where regatta volunteers put a special focus on raising money for the devastated Port Aransas. Port Aransas city officials were surprised to receive a check for about $20,000 from the regatta, and they are looking forward to the return of the regatta this year, although it will be many years before Port Aransas recovers to pre-Harvey prosperity.

Lakewood gearing up for two August regattas

August 1st, 2018

Lakewood is gearing up for two big races in August — the Bay Cup II and Heald Bank Regattas, which provide the perfect opportunity to compete against your peers on the bay and offshore as well as a chance to tune up for this year’s Harvest Moon Regatta in October.

Lakewood will host Bay Cup II Aug. 4 along with the post-race party that evening. Liquid trophies will be awarded by Southwest Spirits, and artist Robert Greaney will perform for the crowd.

The Heald Bank Regatta will be raced Aug. 17-18, followed by a celebration at the club. Andy and the Dreamsicles will provide the live entertainment.
The fun doesn’t stop in August. Follow up these races by participating in the Harvest Moon Regatta Oct. 25-28. HMR is returning to its usual format and will race from Galveston to Port Aransas.

Primary sponsors for Bay Cup II and Heald Bank include the City of Seabrook, Blackburn Marine, Davis Marine Electronics, True North Marine, Mariner Magazine, Upstream Brokers, Sea Lake Yachts, Keven Severance Insurance, OJ’s Marine, Little Yacht Sales, and Texas Coast Yachts.

Bay Cup II Regatta
Racers can register at under the Regattas tab. The registration fee for Bay Cup II is $75 and includes entry into the Skippers’ Meeting on Aug. 3, as well as a meal and two drink tickets to be enjoyed at the post-event awards party. A $5 discount is available to U.S. Sailing members. The entry fee is payable by credit card or yacht club reciprocal charge. Aug. 1st is the registration deadline.

Bay Cup II is the second in a two-race series. One or more distance races will be sailed in either Trinity Bay or Galveston Bay. Potential classes include PHRF Spinnaker, PHRF non-Spin, Cruising Spinnaker, Cruising Non-Spin Classic Canvas (using only Dacron sails), Multihull and One Design class(es).

Non-racers and other out-of-town guests can enjoy an array of nearby activities in Seabrook and the surrounding area, which offer a variety of entertainment. Walk the trails in Seabrook, visit Space Center Houston, check out the wildlife at Armand Bayou Nature Center or experience the dining and amusement options at the Kemah Boardwalk.

Overall trophies for the Bay Cup series will be given out at the post-race party on the evening of Aug. 4 in the LYC Ballroom. Robert Greaney will provide live entertainment while guests socialize and savor great food and tasty drinks.

This year’s sponsors include City of Seabrook,, OJ’s Marine, Little Yacht Sales, True North Marine, Texas Coast Yachts, Blackburn Marine, Upstream Brokers, Davis Marine Electronics, Kevin Severance Insurance, Sea Lake Yachts, Mariner Magazine, Bay Area Houston Magazine and Southwest Spirits.

Regatta proceeds benefit Bay Access, a not for profit charitable organization fostering amateur racing and sailing on Galveston Bay.

For further information, call LYC at 281-474-2511 or David Comeaux, Bay Cup I Regatta chairman at [email protected] or 832-993-5933. For visitor information, visit

Heald Bank Regatta
The Heald Bank entry fee is $80 and includes access to the Skippers’ Meeting on Aug. 16 and a ticket for dinner and two tickets for Texas Navy Rum at the post-event awards party hosted at LYC Aug. 18. A $5 discount is available to U.S. Sailing members. Don’t miss the Aug. 11 registration deadline.

Heald Bank is an offshore regatta open to all boats of the PHRF Spin, PHRF Non-Spin, Cruising boats with a PHRF Rating (non-spin or with Spinnaker), One-Design, and Multihulls.

The Buccaneer Bash dinner and awards party will follow the race at LYC, which will include a “Pirates’ Pig Roast,” live entertainment by Andy & the Dreamsicles and plenty of Texas Navy Rum.

Sponsors of the 2018 Heald Bank Regatta are the City of Seabrook, Texas Navy Light Rum,, OJ’s Marine, Little Yacht Sales, True North Marine, Texas Coast Yachts, Blackburn Marine, Upstream Brokers, Davis Marine Electronics, Kevin Severance Insurance, Marine Outfitters, Sea Lake Yachts, Mariner Magazine and Bay Area Houston Magazine.

For further information, call LYC at 281-474-2511 or Heald Bank Race Chairman Bob Hunkins 281-216-4082 or [email protected].

Additional visitor information and accommodations near the club can be found at

Young Professionals: Brandon Rowan

July 1st, 2016

Brandon Rowan, VP and Creative Director of Bay Group Media

Brandon Rowan, VP and Creative Director of Bay Group Media

Interviewed by Michelle Hundley

In this month’s young professional profile, we sat down with Brandon Rowan, VP and Creative Director of Bay Group Media. Brandon oversees all visual communication operations at Bay Group Media, including layout for multiple publications, logo and graphic design, photography and social media.

Have you always wanted to go into the magazine business?
Well when I was a kid, I really wanted to be a cartoonist or illustrator. I was always visually inclined and loved all kinds of art. As I continued to grow up, I got into skateboarding, guitar, fishing and surfing. I found myself reading all of the magazines that covered these interests. That’s when I started thinking about journalism and possibly working for a magazine in the future.

When I was at the University of Houston at Clear Lake, I did graphic design, photography and writing for our school newspaper. It was great to be able to take part in the different aspects of journalism that make up a story. That’s what really inspired me; an opportunity to integrate art, photography, and writing. I knew working for a magazine I may be able to have a hand in all those aspects.

How did you end up at Bay Group Media?
My first job was for a very small high school sports publication in Friendswood. I enjoyed it there, but wanted to do more; so I answered an ad for a sign company who needed a graphic artist. But when I got there and spoke with the interviewer, he suggested I speak with someone he knew who was looking for someone familiar with magazine layout and design. That’s when I first met Rick Clapp, the president and chairman of Bay Group Media, and I immediately liked the office and the working atmosphere. That was in May of 2008, and I’m still here.

Retention is a hot topic for businesses trying to attract and keep young professionals. What is it about Bay Group Media that has kept you there?
For me, it’s the atmosphere I work in. Here at Bay Group Media, everyone in the office is passionate about what they do. We all communicate well with each other and everyone gets along. Because we all have the same mission and vision for our organization, we always put our best foot forward and appreciate each other’s value in the final product. When everyone cares about what they do and the end product is more important than individual egos, it makes for a great environment to work. We keep the big picture in mind.

That sounds like a great environment! Because you publish different magazines, and everyone has a role in each one, it sounds like teamwork is key to your organization’s success.
Absolutely! We publish both Bay Area Houston Magazine and Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine. Our team has different roles they play in each one.

Since 1999, Bay Area Houston Magazine has been the premier information source and No. 1 publication for Bay Area Houston. It’s a monthly lifestyle publication that features information on local news, entertainment, healthcare, politics and business of the Bay Area. It reaches the upscale Bay Area work force and is designed to be reader-friendly.

Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine is the latest magazine from Bay Group Media and is celebrating its third year of publication. It highlights various coastal lifestyles, like boating, fishing, yachting, sailing, kayaking, surfing and all things marine. We go in-depth on many subjects, especially fishing, and feature articles from some of the best captains in Texas. Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine is published every two months and is based in Bay Area Houston, the third largest boating community in the nation. We love seeing pictures from the coastal community and publish several fishing, surfing and sailing shots each issue. I would encourage everyone to email their photos in to [email protected].

Both publications feature great stories, photography and highlights. Our team has a tale to tell in each issue and there are so many parts to that story. No one part is more important than the other. We embrace teamwork in our office. Once we bring all our individual parts together it’s so much more, well…awesome…than something one person could have pulled off on their own.

It sounds like you all have teamwork down to a science. What does it take to have a good team and be a good team member?
Be excellent to each other! [laughs] No really, first, you have to listen and communicate well with each other and keep a good attitude. One way to do that is to be able to take constructive criticism without taking it personally.

We each have our strengths, and we want to make our publications the best they can be. So, in order to reach that goal, we take each other’s viewpoints seriously and with an open mind and heart. You need to resist becoming too personally attached to one thing or another. You need to be able to take criticism professionally.

Second, you have to be able to be flexible. Even after we’ve worked hard on a part of the publication, sometimes it needs to be held off, or moved, or other changes from team members are made. Too many people let their egos get in the way.  It’s just part of the business. You have to be open to change and not be put off by it.

Finally, what I think is the most important part, is to have mutual respect for each other and each other’s ideas. We come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences. Our team’s diversity is what makes us strong. When trying to reach a goal be flexible, be passionate, and create something you are really proud of.

For more on Bay Group Media:

Brandon Rowan enjoys the outdoors and various coastal pursuits in his free time. He resides in League City with his beautiful wife, Meagan, and their border collie, Murphy.

Michelle Hundley is president & CEO of Stratus Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in Economic/Business Development, Stakeholder Relations, Government Relations, and Reputation Building & Management. More:

Bay Area Houston Magazine