ICM Resale Shop opens at new NASA 1 location

July 3rd, 2018

By Mary Alys Cherry

Interfaith Caring Ministries celebrated the arrival of summer in a big way, with a move of the ICM Resale Shop to a new location — 803 E. NASA Parkway, Suite 118 in Webster, in the Challenger Plaza retail center — and a ribbon cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20.

The ceremony included an appearance by Webster Mayor Donna Rogers, key Webster staffers, the fire department, and Clear Lake Area Chamber staff and ambassadors.

The grand opening included support from ICM Board of Directors, administrative staff, plus Resale Shop staff and volunteers, Resale Shop Manager Gene Garcia and Assistant Manager Sherry Smith. Businesses helping with the celebration included Café Express Baybrook, which donated juice and coffee, Brothers Produce Houston, fruit; Bonnie’s Donuts, kolaches and donuts; and Chick-fil-A League City Towne Center, sandwiches and waffle chips.

The Grand Opening also included a live accordion performance by a Resale volunteer, two $25 gift certificate drawings, and resulted in a historic revenue jump that doubled the normal daily sales.

All in all, Garcia said, the celebration was a huge success and has also allowed the ICM Resale Shop to expand its reach to a new part of the community – situating the new location closer to the Nassau Bay/Seabrook area. “ICM Resale looks forward to serving a new sector of our service area,” he added.

The ICM Resale Shop hours of operation are Monday-Friday 9-6, Saturday 9-5. For heavier donation items, call 281-332-2025 to schedule a pickup.

THE A LIST: It’s spring time

May 1st, 2018

Ange Mertens

By Ange Mertens

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brunch offerings at Marais in Dickinson. Photo by Amber Sheffield

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interfaith Caring Ministries event raises nearly $50,000

February 1st, 2018

Wayne and Marilyn Musial, from right, Scott Rainey and his wife, Martha Bowles, and Alan and Gaye Wylie enjoy Interfaith Caring Ministries’ 24th annual Festival of Trees.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Interfaith Caring Ministries’ still ended 2017 on a high note as its 24th annual Festival of Trees raised nearly $50,000 – funds that will be used to strengthen our community one family at a time by helping local families, individuals and seniors in need.

In 2017, for example, ICM provided rent and utilities assistance to 1,000 households.

Lakewood Yacht Club made a picturesque backdrop for ICM’s popular holiday event. Opening remarks by Executive Director Suzy Domingo and a performance by the Salvation Army Harbor Light Choir kicked off the night’s festivities, followed by a salute it its corporate sponsors.

They include TechTrans International, Albemarle Foundation, Norman Frede Chevrolet, and Universal Plant Services. Underwriters included AccuZIP, LLC; Bay Area Printing; Houston Mechatronics; JSC Federal Credit Union; Moody National Bank and Texan Bank. The evening’s proceeds will benefit ICM’s services to local families in economic crisis.
ICM’s annual Toy Store took place Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Clear Lake Presbyterian Church, where 160 households were registered. Parents received a household gift and 328 children received toys and gift cards, just in time for Christmas!

To make a monetary year end gift to Interfaith Caring Ministries, visit the Interfaith Caring Ministries office at 151 Park Avenue, League City or make a secure donation online at www.icmtx.org

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.

Clear Lake Chatter: The talented ladies are back at it again

November 1st, 2015

Alexandra Stanley, Jana Miller and Missy Rohrer, from left, show off their hats as they walk about the ballroom during the Just A Pretty Table Luncheon.

Alexandra Stanley, Jana Miller and Missy Rohrer, from left, show off their hats as they walk about the ballroom during the Just A Pretty Table Luncheon.

By Mary Alys Cherry

THE BAY AREA has some amazingly talented women. And, all you have to do to find evidence of this is look around at the Bay Area Museum Guild’s Just A Pretty Table Luncheon.

One would think they might run out of ideas, but as the event celebrated its 10th anniversary this October, it was quite evident they hadn’t. Just looking at all the decorated tables, one simply runs out of adjectives.

Each table has a theme and those sitting at the table dress to carry out the theme – in head-turning costumes. Many bring their fine china and silver to decorate. Makes for more oohs and aahs from the crowd at Bay Oaks Country Club than you can imagine.

Barbara Wahl, Michelle Richardson and Stephany Roush, from left, make a pretty picture as they enjoy the Bay Area Museum Guild’s Just A Pretty Table Luncheon.

Barbara Wahl, Michelle Richardson and Stephany Roush, from left, make a pretty picture as they enjoy the Bay Area Museum Guild’s Just A Pretty Table Luncheon.

Angie Weinman heads up the committee that puts this all together – Anita Fogtman, Ava Galt and Sandi Allbritton – and then is there by the door greeting the arriving crowd on the big day, including regulars such as Joy and Jill Smitherman and Barbara Clariday and Carole Murphy.

And some former Clear Lake residents, including Sonya Moore, who jetted in from California; Sheila Cooper, who came from Sugar Land; and Connie Lopez, from downtown Houston.

Just like the rest of us, their eyes lit up as they made their way around the ballroom, passing “Cheers to 10 years” which was decorated with beautiful white feathers and gold figurines; “Girls Gone Wild,” which used an eye-catching animal print theme and, yes, you guessed it, the girls all dressed in zebra prints.

Ann Wismer Landolt is another long-time participant with Donna Rieves, Doreen Stringer, Connie Lopez, Kippy Caraway, Cassandra Brunson and Tonya Ferris dressed in black and wearing red scarves joining her to carry out a Christmas theme while Missy Rorrer, Jana Miller and Alexandra Stanley buzzed by in their elegant hats.

These ladies added quite a splash of color to the Just A Pretty Table Luncheon with their Christmas theme. They are, from left, Donna Rieves, Doreen Stringer, Connie Lopez, Kippy Caraway, Cassandra Brunson, Ann Wismer Landolt and Tonya Ferris.

These ladies added quite a splash of color to the Just A Pretty Table Luncheon with their Christmas theme. They are, from left, Donna Rieves, Doreen Stringer, Connie Lopez, Kippy Caraway, Cassandra Brunson, Ann Wismer Landolt and Tonya Ferris.

Some of the others in the crowd included Kathleen Courville, Sabine Stromeyer, Michelle Kellett, Michelle Richardson, Barbara Wahl, Stephany Roush, Kristy Tankersley, Stashia Hardman, Marie Sharp, Jill Reason, Tracey Webb, Kimberly Weathers, Lori Ray, Gail Ashby, Dr. Cindy Castille, Cathy Osoria, Robyn Weigelt, Era Lee Caldwell, Teresa Vencil, Julie Howell, Krista Williamson, Jill Williams, Terri Dieste, Kelli Byrd, Karen McCorkle and Jenny McCorkle, to name a few.

Ballet honors attorney Dick Gregg Jr.
BAY AREA ATTORNEY and community leader Dick Gregg Jr. was honored Oct. 8 as the Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre hosted its annual kickoff reception at Space Center Houston.

Ballet Board members gather to welcome the arriving crowd to the kickoff reception at Space Center Houston. They are, from left, Jill Reason, Chairman Cindy DeMasi, Vanessa Handrick and Ellen King.

Ballet Board members gather to welcome the arriving crowd to the kickoff reception at Space Center Houston. They are, from left, Jill Reason, Chairman Cindy DeMasi, Vanessa Handrick and Ellen King.

During the evening, the long-time supporter of the ballet was presented the 2015 Bravo! Award as his family, Dick Gregg III and Stacy Foerschner and Chris and Mitzi Gregg looked on.

Making the presentation was Vanessa Handrick Garner, daughter of his late wife, Lynette Mason Gregg, who founded the ballet 30 years ago.

Ballerinas Brooke Carothers and Millie Becker greeted the arriving crowd and ballet board members, including Vanessa, Chairman Cindy DeMasi, Jill Reason and Ellen King were there to welcome everyone to what turned out to be a delightful evening.

The Bravo! Award was created to honor the contributions to BAHBT made by community members and honors those who have helped further BAHBT’s efforts to bring cultural enrichment to the community.

Ballerinas Brooke Carothers, left, and Millie Becker greet the arriving crowd at Space Center Houston for the Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre season kickoff.

Ballerinas Brooke Carothers, left, and Millie Becker greet the arriving crowd at Space Center Houston for the Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre season kickoff.

Festival of Trees coming up Dec. 3
INTERFAITH CARING Ministries, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, will host its 22nd annual Festival of Trees Gala and Big Band Swing Night Thursday, Dec. 3, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 in South Shore Harbour’s Crystal Ballroom.

And, Suzy Dominguez, who is chairing the event, is inviting the community to help ICM celebrate while enjoying a live musical performance by The Houstonian Big Band, a Wine Pull, special guest speakers, dinner, live and silent auctions and much more.

This is ICM’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and as Suzy points out, “This is a wonderful and exciting opportunity for both businesses and individuals to come together with the common goal of assisting our neighbors in need and work to prevent homelessness and hunger.”

For tickets, which are $100, call Mike Young at 281-332-3881.