Clear Lake Chatter: A happy farewell for NASA chief

June 1st, 2018

JSC Director Ellen Ochoa presents the National Space Trophy to now retired Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot during the RNASA Gala. RNASA photo

NATIONAL SPACE Trophy winner Robert Lightfoot ended his long NASA career on a perfect note with some 800 admirers giving him a grand sendoff at the RNASA Space Gala. Besides retiring from the space agency, Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa presented him with a beautiful trophy for his mantel.

“The many leadership roles that Robert Lightfoot has held and excelled at over his entire aerospace career made him the ideal person to lead NASA during the last 15 months,” she said as she handed him the prestigious trophy.

The former acting NASA administrator looked upon it as “the pinnacle of recognition in our business. This is the biggest award you could bestow on me, but really it is for the entire team and what we do. And, what we do every day makes a difference.”

After the welcome by RNASA Foundation Chairman Rodolfo Gonzalez, other highlights included the presentation by NASA’s Cindy Steele of the Space Communicator Award by video to actor William Shatner of Star Trek fame, a video congratulatory message to Lightfoot from NASA astronauts Scott Tingle, Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold on the Space Station, a Space City Films year-in-review film featuring CNN’s John Zarrella and the presentation by astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson of the Stellar Awards to 29 individuals and 8 teams,

RNASA Chairman Rodolfo Gonzalez and his wife, Anangela, wear big smiles as they look over the massive crowd at the 2018 space gala.

Looking around the Hyatt Regency Ballroom, you might have spotted former NASA Administrators Michael Griffin and and Gen. Charles Bolden; Glenn Research Center Director Dr. Janet Kavandi, acting NASA Associate Administrator Stephen Jurcyk, retired Johnson Space Center Director Mike Coats, and three other former Space Trophy winners — Eileen Collins, Glynn Lunney and Tommy Holloway taking their seats.

The guest list read like a Who’s Who in the space industry and included JSC Deputy Director Mark Geyer, Associate Director Dr. George Nield, Space Station Program Manager Kirk Shireman, External Relations Director Deborah Conder, Safety Director Terry Wilcutt, Flight Operations Director Brian K. Kelly, Deputy CFO Sidney Schmidt and NASA Orion Program Manager Mark Kirasich – many with their spouses.

Other space luminaries included a number of astronauts such as Chief Astronaut Patrick Forrester and Mark Polansky, along with former astronauts — Texas A&M at Galveston COO Michael Fossum and Orbital ATK Systems Group President Frank Culbertson and Gen. Tom Stafford.

Boeing’s Houston Site Leader and ISS Program Manager Mark Mulqueen was in the crowd, as were Barrios Technologies Chairman Sandy Johnson and President Robert McAfoos, Jacobs Vice President Lon Miller, Blue Orgin President Rob Meyerson, KBR Wyle Senior VP Dr. Vernon McDonald and VP Genie Bopp, MEI Technologies CEO David Cates and Alpha Space Test President Mark Gittleman.

Plus, Bastion biggies Mike and Jorge Hernandez and COO Jay Ramakrishnan, UTC Aerospace Leader Allen Flynt, SAIC Vice President Charlie Stegemoeller, Lockheed Martin Orion Deputy Director Larry Price, MRI President and VP Debbie and Tim Kropp, Axiom Space President Mike Suffredini, ERC Partner Darryl Smith and Sierra Nevada Corp. Vice President Mark Sirangelo.

RNASA Foundation and Rotarians in the mix included RNASA Vice President Bill Taylor, John Branch, Bob Wren, Delia Stephens, Geoff Atwater, Frank Perez, Rich Jackson, Randy Straach, Mark Hollis, Duane Ross, Steve Oglesbee, Gary Johnson and their spouses.

Museum Guild members Louise Russell, Jan Larson, Belinda Scheurich and Ava Galt, from left, who put in many hours working on the annual Silver Tea, wear big smiles as the crowd begins arriving at the museum in Clear Lake Park.

Silver Tea honors Brandie Corrao
BAY AREA MUSEUM was nearly overflowing Sunday, May 6 as the Museum Guild hosted the 33rd annual Silver Tea, which was founded in 1985 so local families could come together to experience a favorite British custom.

Many cooked their favorite sweets and savories to share with the crowd, which included the Lunar Rendezvous princesses and lieutenants and their mothers, along with Museum Guild members and their families.

Silver Tea Chairman Terri Monette was at the door to introduce the arriving crowd to this year’s honoree, Brandie Corrao, who was selected for her dedication to the museum. Nearby, you might have spotted Peggy Clause and Sandi Allbritton were busy complimenting Marjy Fulton on the beautiful tea cups she has made annually for the guild to sell at the tea.

In no time, the museum began to fill with Matthew and Angie Weinman and Joy and Charles Smitherman in the arriving crowd, along with Emmeline Dodd and Gene Hollier, Annette Dwyer and her husband, Pat Monks, Mary Williams, Diana Dornak, Adrienne Sun, Mary Ann Baxter and Laura Sukkar.

Some of the others out enjoying the afternoon included Museum Guild Co-Presidents Ava Galt and Carole Murphy, Jill Smitherman, Jill Williams Lammers, Barb Spencer, Cindy Kuenneke, Louise Russell, Gayle Nelson, Marcy Fryday, Sally Jordan and Jan Larson.

Houston Symphony League Bay Area officers for 2018 will include, from left, Historian Pat Biddle, President Nina McGlashan, Parliamentarian Lisa Clobanu and Corresponding Secretary Jean Raffetto. They were installed May 9 at their Bay Oaks Country Club luncheon. Recording Secretary Gayle Nelson and Nomination Chairman Mary Voigt are absent from the picture.

Symphony League elects new officers
NINA McGLASHAN is the new president of the Houston Symphony League Bay Area, which enjoys bringing beautiful music to the community and focuses on music education for elementary students in the Clear Creek School District.

She’ll have six vice presidents lending a hand during the coming year — Carole Murphy, finance; Jim Moore, education; Patience Myers, development; Martha McWilliams, programs; Ann Morgan, membership; and President-elect Vicki Buxton.

Other officers will be Recording Secretary Gayle Nelson, Corresponding Secretary Jean Raffetto, Historian Pat Biddle, Nomination Chairman Mary Voigt and Parliamentarian Lisa Clobanu. They were installed May 9 at their Bay Oaks Country Club luncheon.

DAR Chapter picks officers for 2018-20
THE SAM HOUSTON Chapter of the Houston National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution also introduced new officers when members met on May 5 at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake.

New officers for 2018-2020 are Regent Beth Sears, 1st Vice Regent Sarah Adams, 2nd Vice Regent Rita Ash, Chaplain Susie Ganch, Recording Secretary Becky Miles, Corresponding Secretary Ann Caywood, Treasurer Kati Hill, Registrar Lara Phillips, Historian Julie McRee and Librarian Fran Bodden.

Texas State Regent-Elect Susan Greene Tillman discussed the theme, “Are You Letting Your Light Shine?” Her speech focused on the many ways all DAR members can become involved in DAR, no matter their interests, talents and strengths. DAR is an organization that provides countless community service in projects helping veterans, libraries and schools.

Nassau Bay Garden Club takes time out to party

May 1st, 2018

Nassau Bay Garden Club President Betty Armstrong, right, welcomes Judith Crowley, left, and Mary Grieneek to the biennial fashion show luncheon at Lakewood Yacht Club.

LOOKING FOR the most outstanding garden club in the Bay Area? You won’t have to look far. Most folks will tell you the hands-down winner is the Nassau Bay Garden Club, whose members are always on call when their city needs help.

Outside of Nassau Bay, few people know of all the hard work these ladies do to make their city sparkle. Led by President Betty Armstrong, they support things like Arbor Day and Beautification Day and find time to help clean up Peninsula Nature Park and the other city parks, repair and refurbish the city parks after Hurricane Harvey, even host a spring flower show for the city.

Then every two years they toss a big spring fashion show luncheon at Lakewood Yacht Club that is a must-attend event.

“Va-Va-Bloom” was the theme Chairman Cherry Nims and her committee picked for the 2018 luncheon that brought out a standing-room-only crowd of around 230 to watch as Style Show Co-Chairmen Jennifer Hudgins and Valerie Moses sent a number of pretty models down the runway, showing off spring and summer fashions from Casanova’s, Bay Back Boutique, The Clotheshorse Boutique and Designs by Kelly Halbach.

The models included a number of well known faces such as Judge Holly Williamson, Mayor Pro-tem Sandra Mossman and several wives of city councilmen in the mix — Stacey Amdur, Ashleigh Klug and Sue Warters, along with Mary Chambers, Joy Edwards, Kathryn Gehbauer, Kelly Halbach, Betty Harper, Tuie Lee, Christie Reynolds, Joyce Mayor, Kitty Kalil, Judith Crowley, Jayne Samson, Donna Stoa and Win Weber.

Long-time member Ann Gay wore a big smile as she welcomed both City Manager Jason Reynolds and former City Manager Chris Reed – each there to say thank you to the club that gives so much to their city.

At the entrance, highlighting the theme, stood a beautiful 1948 Packard limousine owned by the president of the Packard Club in League City, Tommy Baccaro, with his son, Anthony.

Once inside, you might have spotted the theme poster artist Kelly Halbach created or the beautiful program Gail Ferris Beasley designed that listed the many others who played key roles in making the afternoon a huge success — Nancee Lynn, D’Lisa Johnston, Richard Armstrong, Beth Ann Maxwell, Ann Gay, Jayne Samson, Jayne Land, Mary Tuttle, Gail Ferris Beasley, Peg Hill, Ann Davidson, Suzanne Gossett, Mary Ann Prescott, Betty Armstrong, Royce Walker and Priss Fletcher.

Or swooned over the gorgeous floral arrangements donated by HEB that created a floral garden in the Lakewood ballroom.

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough gets a warm welcome from Bay Oaks Women’s Association Vice Presidents Amy Schweers, left, and Suzanne Leatherman as he arrives to address their monthly luncheon at the country club..

And, just as you might expect, proceeds will go toward the beautification of Nassau Bay, horticulture scholarships and education programs.

Astronaut keynotes BOWA luncheon
CLEAR LAKE may be the home of the Johnson Space Center, but rarely do we get to spend time with the busy astronauts. So Bay Oaks Women’s Association members were more than delighted last month when astronaut Shane Kimbrough, a former International Space Station commander, was the keynote speaker for their April luncheon at the country club.

President Susan McCoy and Vice Presidents Suzanne Leatherman and Amy Schweers were there to greet him on arrival and welcome him to Bay Oaks. They, like everyone in the crowd, thoroughly enjoyed his talk and video of his experiences on the Space Station.

Earlier, Susan welcomed Karen Reed, Sharon Phelps, Courtney Atchley, Georgia Piwonka, Cindy Zook, Sue Laabs, Sue Broughton, Barbara Dickey, Brigid McVaugh and next month’s speaker, author Eileen Hult, as Sharon Dillard and Amy Roppolo signed them in.

Some of the others spotted in the crowd were Annette Dwyer, Kimberly Weathers, Glenna Crist, Jodi Schnabel, Mitzi Romanko, Bobbie Moutz, Kay Lee Benoit, Gayle Wylie and Mary Colombo, to name a few.

Symphony Leaguekick s off Home Tour

Lola Mclain, from left, with Sue Ellen Jennings and Jackie Daley.Romanko, Bobbie Moutz, Kay Lee Benoit, Gayle Wylie and Mary Colombo, to name a few.

HOUSTON SYMPHONY League Bay Area kicked off their 2018 Home Tour by the Bay with a lively Pre-Tour Party at the home of Kyle and Misty Killebrew  in Clear Lake’s Bay Oaks.

Some of those you might have spotted Party Chairman Carole Murphy welcoming included Ron and Pat Biddle Kahl, Jim and Jane Sweeney, Pat and Wendell Wilson, Mary Voigt, Mariglen Glenn, Elisabeth Wilson, Walter Bell, and Joan Wade and her daughter, Andrea Koop.

Quite a party it was, and best of all, the proceeds help support music education in our local schools.

CCEF MARKS 25th anniversary with glitz and glamour gala

December 1st, 2017

Kelsey Richardson, CCEF events manager, and her fiancé, Matthew McNeil enjoy the Glitz and Glamour Gala at South Shore Harbour Resort.

THE CLEAR CREEK Education Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary in grand style honoring a dozen outstanding individuals at its Glitz and Glamour Gala and Awards Presentation Nov. 4 in South Shore Harbour Resort’s Crystal Ballroom.

Honorees introduced to the black-tie crowd of 350+ included Citizen of the Year Trent Martin, Distinguished Alumni Air Force Capt. Christin Hart, Connie Davis Fuller and Michael Janney; and Superstar Award honorees Kevin and Ruth Rendon Duke, Gary Mossman, Diana Matthews, Magali Gutierrez and Lauren Jehli.

Retired CCISD Superintendent Dr. Ron McLeod won the George Carlisle Award with Navy Capt. Scott Hartman the recipient of the Valor Award and South Shore Grill Owner Mickey Wooten receiving the Dennis Johnson Small Business Award.

The gala, chaired by Jill Reason, who came with her husband, Dan, featured many top Clear Creek ISD faces including Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Steven Ebell, Assistant Superintendent Scott Bockhart, Communications Director Elaina Polsen, Clear Lake High Principal Karen Engle, Clear Springs Principal Gail Love and CCISD Trustees Chris Read, Laura DuPont, Ann Hammond and Board President Page Rander.

Elected officials you might have spotted included State Sen. Larry Taylor, State Reps. Dennis Paul and Dr. Greg Bonnen, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, Mayors Mark Denman of Nassau Bay and Julie Masters of Dickinson, Mayor Pro-tem Todd Kinzey and Councilman Keith Gross of League City and Councailman Jonathan Amdur, Bryce Klug and Don Matter of Nassau Bay – many with their spouses.

Mingling with the crowd, you might have bumped into CCEF Executive Director Kaci Hanson and her husband, Harris; CCEF Events Director Kelsey Richardson and her fiancé, Matthew McNeil; Brian and Erica Freedman, Pat and Wendell Wilson, Jason Bailey, Elizabeth Wang, Kippy Caraway, Susan and Shawn Bailey, Roy and Donna Montabano, Patty Cooper, Richard and Traci Dvorak and Joe and Dinah Matthews.

Others spotted enjoying the evening were Hayden and Jonathan Cottrell, Gene Hollier and Emmeline Dodd, Darrel and Fay Picard, Greg and Teresa Vensil, Badiha Nassar, Martha Bowles and Scott Rainey, Alberto and Eva deCardenas, Ron and Julie Masters, Nancy and Jerry Smith, Jennifer and Leon Coe, and attorney Joe Barlow and his wife, Jeanette.

Plus, Jim and Carol Saxe, Dr. Glenn and Sarah Freedman, Debbie and Dr. Peter Wuenschel, Chris Premont, Jamieson and Laura Mackey, Joe and Kelly Byrd, Greg and Pam Ploss, Margaret and Danny Snooks, Rachel and Carlos Villagomez, Gary and Elaine Renola and Leslie and Walt Huff.

Meet the 2017 Super Star Award winners – community leaders, from left, Dinah Matthews, Kevin and Ruth Rendon Duke and Gary Mossman plus CCISD Teachers of the Year Magali Gutierrez and Lauren Jehli, who were honored at the Nov. 4 Clear Creek Education Foundation Glitz and Glamour Gala at South Shore Harbour Resort. Photos by Mary Alys Cherry and Jill Reason.

Music at the Museum another big success

EACH YEAR, two of our long-time organizations – the Bay Area Museum Guild and Houston Symphony League Bay Area — come together in the fall for an enjoyable evening together called Music at the Museum.

This year was no exception with dozens gathering at the historic museum in Clear Lake Park for what one called “nothing short of fabulous.” The evening, chaired by Vicki Buxton and Carole Murphy, was filled with cheers, laughter and applause for the upbeat, popular music and humor of the entertainers, plus oohs and aahs over the exceptional food and wine.

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: Variety of events get social season underway

October 1st, 2016

Clear Lake Area Panhellenic President Jill Reason, right, and hostess Cathy Osoria prepare to welcome the crowd to the Fall Friendship Tea.

Clear Lake Area Panhellenic President Jill Reason, right, and hostess Cathy Osoria prepare to welcome the crowd to the Fall Friendship Tea.

BAY AREA social calendars are filling up fast these days with Clear Lake Area Panhellenic and Houston Symphony League Bay Area kicking off the season with their annual welcome parties.

Clear Lake Panhellenic members filled Cathy Osaria’s Bay Oaks home to overflowing for their annual Fall Friendship Tea – catching up on each other’s news and planning the year ahead after a warm welcome from President Jill Reason and Chairman Jo Nell Hunter.

Looking over the crowd, you probably would have spotted Karen Weber, Michelle Richardson, Kelsey Richardson, Ondi Lyon, Jo Cat Bruce, Lisa O’Brian, Ruth Beecher, Emmeline Dodd, Sue Broughton, Sue Ellen Jennings, Holly Williamson and Kay Lee Benoit among the early arrivals.

Wasn’t long before they were joined by Belva Dewey, here from Baton Rouge, Diane Overman, Ann Gay, Laurie Vaughn, Judie Ferguson, Ellen King, Annette Dwyer, Darla McKitrick and dozens and dozens more.

Tracey Webb, dressed up as a jockey, even brought her son’s small horse to add to the merriment.

One of the afternoon’s highlights came as Fall Fashion Show Chairman D’Lisa Johnston announced the Kentucky Derby theme for Panhellenic’s big luncheon Friday, Nov. 4 at South Shore Harbour Resort. Instead of the Run for the Roses, it will be the “32nd annual Run for Scholarships,” as profits from the event provide scholarships for area graduates and funds to help local students attending Girls State.

To date, Panhellenic has provided scholarships totaling more than $500,000 with profits from its events.

There were smiles aplenty as the Houston Symphony League Bay Area hosted its annual Wine and Cheese Party, including those of Gillian Ford, Sallie Watts, Liana Russell, Cindy Kuenneke, Sisbee Winburne and Darlene Clark, from left, as they lined up for refreshments.

There were smiles aplenty as the Houston Symphony League Bay Area hosted its annual Wine and Cheese Party, including those of Gillian Ford, Sallie Watts, Liana Russell, Cindy Kuenneke, Sisbee Winburne and Darlene Clark, from left, as they lined up for refreshments.

Symphony League draws big crowd
HOUSTON SYMPHONY League Bay Area members launched the 2016-17 season with their annual Wine and Cheese Party to welcome new and prospective members.

Hostess Angie Weinman wore a big, warm smile as she joined Chairman Carolyn Murphy in greeting the arriving crowd that included Mary Ann Shallberg, Gillian Ford, Sallie Watts, Liana Russell, Cindy Kuenneke, Sisbee Winburne and Darlene Clark.

Dr. Patrick McKinney was there, chatting with President Mary Voigt and Vice President Jim Moore and his wife, Aggie, at the Weinmans’ Bay Oaks home in Clear Lake.

Looking around, you might also have spotted Pat Biddle, Carol Wilson, Sandra Strickhouser and Martha McWilliam, to name a few.

RNASA President Rodolfo Gonzalez, left, presents Mark Wright a check for $11,500 for the Texas Aerospace Scholars Program during Appreciation Dinner.

RNASA President Rodolfo Gonzalez, left, presents Mark Wright a check for $11,500 for the Texas Aerospace Scholars Program during Appreciation Dinner.

RNASA celebrates another success
THE ROTARY National Award for Space Achievement Foundation celebrated another successful Space Gala with RNASA President Rodolfo Gonzalez presenting a check for $11,500 to Mark Wright for the Texas Aerospace Scholars Program at its annual Appreciation Dinner at Landry’s Seafood Restaurant in Kemah.

Another $10,000 from the gala profits was presented to the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships Program in the name of this year’s gala honoree, Dr. Charles Elachi.

“I’m delighted that RNASA is making a generous donation on my behalf to the Research Fellowship Program, which enables a new generation of space explorers to work on research projects with seasoned mentors,” said Elachi, who recently retired as director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and is professor emeritus at Caltech.

Special guests included retired Johnson Space Center Director Mike Coats, Lorna Onizuka of the Challenger family, retired Rockwell President Dr. Glynn Lunney and his wife, Marilyn, and former RNASA President Floyd Bennett and his wife, Carolyn.

Some of the others joining them in the celebration were Vivian and Geoff Atwater, Lauran Rochon, Karen and Gary Johnson, Debbie and Tim Kropp, Jordis and Bob Wren, Kippy Caraway, Delia Stephens, Susan and Bill Taylor, Frank Perez and Priscilla Ennis, Jean Walker and Mark Hollis.

Fashion Show Chairman Karen Reed, right, receives congratulations from Bay Area Women’s Association President Jodie Schnabel on another successful event.

Fashion Show Chairman Karen Reed, right, receives congratulations from Bay Area Women’s Association President Jodie Schnabel on another successful event.

Fashions for fall on BOWA’s radar
BAY OAKS Women’s Association members were out in force the other day when BOWA kicked off the season with its popular Fall Fashion Show, featuring the latest styles from Sandy Carney’s The Clotheshorse in League City.

Rest assured, she did not disappoint, sending Angela Bivens, Mary Colombo, Susan Franklin, Tencha Heimlich, Sue Ellen Jennings, Elaine Rister, Jodi Schnabel, Amy Schweers, Dee Wolfe and Cindy Zook down the runway in an array of beautiful outfits.

Much to the delight of Jackie Daley, Sandy Lantz, Ann Brady, Eileen Hult, Yvonne Perrin, Carlene Langford, Glenna Crist,  Norma Ogletree, Ruth Beecher, Joan Wade, Mary Smith, Traci Dvorak, Judie Ferguson, Janice Gornto, Kathy Costanza and Chairman Karen Reed.

They were among dozens who oo’d and aa’d including Pam Ploss, Emmeline Dodd, Carol Bobo, Gloria Wong, Rita Armstrong, Angela Swint, Tencha Heimlich, Priss Fletcher, Ann Dooley, Sue Broughton, Janet Greenwood, Sarita Singh, Sharon Phelps, Diane Konick, Georgia Piwonka and Rebecca Richey.

Houston Symphony League Bay Area will mark its 40th anniversary Oct. 29

October 1st, 2015

Symphony League Bay Area founders pose for a photo at the initial meeting of the chapter Jan. 17, 1976 at the home of Mrs. Brian Merrill, Clear Lake City. They are, from left, seated, Mrs. Alfred Neumann (Selma); Mrs. Brian Merrill (Loraine); standing, Mrs. Donald W. Gibson (Pat); Mrs. William Calvin Cannon (Alda); Mrs. William O. Strong Jr. (Fran); Mrs. Martin Arisco (Peggy); Mrs. Howard T. Barkley Sr. (Margaret); Mrs. Buford A. Wells (Julia Stark); and Mrs. Lewis Wade (Joan).

Symphony League Bay Area founders pose for a photo at the initial meeting of the chapter Jan. 17, 1976 at the home of Mrs. Brian Merrill, Clear Lake City. They are, from left, seated, Mrs. Alfred Neumann (Selma); Mrs. Brian Merrill (Loraine); standing, Mrs. Donald W. Gibson (Pat); Mrs. William Calvin Cannon (Alda); Mrs. William O. Strong Jr. (Fran); Mrs. Martin Arisco (Peggy); Mrs. Howard T. Barkley Sr. (Margaret); Mrs. Buford A. Wells (Julia Stark); and Mrs. Lewis Wade (Joan).

By Mary Alys Cherry

It may seem like just yesterday, but this Oct. 29 the Houston Symphony League Bay Area will be 40 years old.

It was on a crisp autumn day when five Bay Area ladies met for coffee in Selma Neumann’s living room on Forest Lake Drive in Taylor Lake Village to organize the Houston Symphony Society Women’s Committee – Bay Area Chapter. Besides Selma Neumann, the others were Fran Strong, Julia Wells, Nan Miner and Joan Wade.

Joining them were Regional Chairman Betty Jukes and Ellen Kelley, who gave informative talks about the orchestra, the function of the Women’s Committee and about the possibility of chartering a chapter in the NASA area.

“Following an enthusiastic discussion, the women present decided to organize a group to be called the Bay Area Chapter…and that the membership should be drawn from Clear Creek School District communities – Seabrook, Kemah, League City, Webster, Clear Lake City and Nassau Bay, as well as Dickinson, Friendswood and La Porte,” according to the minutes in the HSL archives.

Its purpose was to support the Houston Symphony Society in all of its endeavors and to encourage and create an extension of the Houston Symphony’s cultural endeavors in the Bay Area.

But that was just the beginning. Temporary officers were chosen with Fran Strong as president, Julia Wells as secretary and Joan Wade as treasurer. It was decided that any member joining during the organizational period would be a charter member and dues would be $10 annually.

A series of coffees were held with local ladies invited to hear about the new organization and what membership would involve and to be founding members. The first coffee was at the home of Alda Cannon Nov. 19 with Judy Falk as co-hostess, while Pat Gibson made arrangements for a Dec. 4 coffee at Lakewood Yacht Club. Before long, the membership had grown to 150, who became charter members when the Charter Presentation Dedication Ceremony was held at Jones Hall Feb. 8, 1976.

First officers were President Fran Strong, Recording Secretary Julia Wells, First Vice President Alda Cannon, Corresponding Secretary Diane Bobko, Second Vice President Nan Miner, Treasurer Joan Wade, Parliamentarian Margaret Barkley and Historian Peggy Arisco.

Others serving as president of the Bay Area Chapter through the years included Selma Neumann, Julie Wells, Dagmar Meeh, Priscilla Heidbreder, Harriet Small, Nina Spencer, Elizabeth Glenn, Ebby Creden, Charlotte Gaunt, Norma Brady, Cindy Kuenneke, Helen Powell, Sharon Dillard, Diane McLaughlin, Roberta Liston, Suzanne Hicks, Sue Smith, Shirley Wettling, Jo Anne Mills, Phyllis Molnar, Pat Bertelli, Emyre Barrios Robinson, Dana Puddy, Angela Buell, Pat Brackett, Joan Wade, Yvonne Herring, Deanna Lamoreux, Glenda Toole, Carole Murphy, Patience Myers and James Moore.

Each year the league holds a fundraiser, using the proceeds to fund music education programs in the area schools – introducing thousands of children to good music and encouraging those with talent to pursue a musical career. For the first 25 years, members hosted a spring concert, bringing the Houston Symphony Orchestra to Clear Lake for what quickly became one of the big social events of the year. The inaugural concert was held March 26, 1977 with Nelson Riddle as the guest conductor.

Then in the late 90s, the league added a black-tie “Autumn Leaves” dinner-dance co-chaired by Ebby Creden and Suzanne Hicks as a fundraiser.

Afterwards, the name was changed to the Bach & Roll Ball with Charlotte Gaunt as the 1997 ball chairman and Helen Powell as co-chairman while Sharon Dillard was chairman and Ebby Creden co-chairman of the 1998 ball. Roberta Liston was chairman of the 1999 gala with Cindy Kuenneke as co-chairman.

Some of the others who helped make the galas a success were Pat Brackett, Joan Burt, Norma Ballard, Ethel Greaney, Marge Jacobson, Alberta Rohlfing, Diane McLaughlin, Norma Brady, Norma Lang, Dorothy Kennedy, Roberta Liston, Sheila Fichtner, Fran Gentry,Pat Hunt, Elizabeth Glenn, Joy Smitherman, Martha Daniel, Joyce Morris, Esther Emnet, Peg Beever, Pat Bertelli, Joan Wade, Kathy Brauer, Jo Anne Mills, Casey Myers, Ginny Jones, Maurita Gallagher and Shirley Wettling.

With the turn of the century, league members decided to host a home tour for their annual fundraiser, and thus, the Day By the Bay Home Tour was born and has been a league staple ever since. Besides a preview party on Friday night, there’s two days of touring stately Bay Area homes. In 2014, the West Mansion owned by Houston Rockets Hall of Famer Akeem Olajuwon and the nearby Bay Area Museum were added to the tour for that year, making it the most successful ever.

Along the way, the league began joining the Bay Area Museum Guild members and their husbands for an annual event, Music at the Museum, which features a chamber music group each year and much mixing and mingling as two of the Bay Area’s largest groups enjoy an evening of music together.

Gala brings in $100,000

June 1st, 2014

Assistance League members Lisa Holbrook, Vicki Tallman and Kathleen Courville, from left, wear big smiles after being presented A.B.C.D. Awards at their May luncheon at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake for their hard work.

Assistance League members Lisa Holbrook, Vicki Tallman and Kathleen Courville, from left, wear big smiles after being presented A.B.C.D. Awards at their May luncheon at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake for their hard work.

You can bet Assistance League Gala Chairman Kathleen Courville and Co-Chaiman Dee Cover  exchanged some high fives when they totaled up the take from their 2014 fundraiser – more than $100,000!

However, they will be quick to tell you that they had lots and lots of help from the entire membership and look forward to seeing their efforts help clothe needy Bay Area school children.

The news was a highlight of the league’s annual installation luncheon May 19 at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake when Brunella Altemus was installed as president and Peggy Clause as president-elect. Other new officers installed were Vice Presidents Ann Marie Doolin, Sarah Foulds, Courtney Atchley and Gail Ashby; Secretary Ginger Darnell and Treasurer Marie Keener.

Rikie Bowker will serve as Assisteens coordinator with Barbara Weitenhagen as education chairman, Ronda Wegman as marketing chairman and Dee Cover, as strategic planning chairman.

Kathleen Courville, Vicki Tallman and Lisa Holbrook were named winners of the A.B.C.D. Award while Sandra Sellers won the Sue Holstein Award and Lisa Holbrook was the recipient of the Sue Brady Award.

Silver Tea Chairman Jill Reason, left, and Co-Chairman Jana Miller welcome guests to the tea.

Silver Tea Chairman Jill Reason, left, and Co-Chairman Jana Miller welcome guests to the tea.

Pat Biddle honored at 2014 Silver Tea

This year’s honoree at the Bay Area Museum Guild’s Silver Tea was the community’s non-stop volunteer Pat Biddle, who is always there to lend a hand to various organizations, including the Guild, which she serves as first vice president and hospitality committee chairman this year.

Chairman Jill Reason and Co-Chairman Jana Miller were on hand to greet Pat when she arrived with her husband, Ron Karl, and the hundreds of others who dropped by that afternoon, including members of the Lunar Rendezvous royal court and their parents.

A special guest was former resident and popular volunteer Sara Stewart, who came down from Houston with her daughter, Shari.  Later that week, Sara fell and broke her hip, but is now doing well and should be up and about soon.

Houston Symphony League Bay Area President Jim Moore goes over plans for the May luncheon program at Lakewood Yacht Club with President-elect Mary Voigt.

Houston Symphony League Bay Area President Jim Moore goes over plans for the May luncheon program at Lakewood Yacht Club with President-elect Mary Voigt.

Symphony League taps Jim Moore

For the first time in its 38-year history, a man has been elected president of the Houston Symphony League Bay Area.
He is Jim Moore, who served as president-elect this past year, and is one of several men who have joined the league in recent years. He was installed May 14 at the league’s annual installation luncheon at Lakewood Yacht Club along with President-elect Mary Voigt.

Other officers are Vice Presidents Mary McCormick, Pat Biddle, Nina McGlashan and Patience Myers; Recording Secretary Frances Nussbaum and Historian Bill Powell.