Welcome back to Out and About … where you can find out what’s happening in our community. Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s look back on some wonderful and highly successful luncheons and galas, and other newsworthy happenings from last year. It was such a busy, exciting year that I will feature them this week and next. Have your calendars ready to save the dates for upcoming events you won’t want to miss. The Humble ISD Education Foundation “Bikers and Bling” Gala was a great success, raising over $150,000 for Innovative Education Grants and student enrichment activities. You had to be there to appreciate what bikers at heart Joe and Corinn Price; Brent and Tara Colescott; Brett and Betty Collins; Steve and Judy Fowler; Chad and Devon Alexander and about 300 other attendees really were. The live auction was hugely successful, with the “big hit” item of an authentic home cooked Italian dinner prepared by Dr. Guy Sconzo, going not once, but twice for $9,000 each! Marie Halvatzis and Sherry Verret, gala planners extraordinaire, are chairs for the April 9th gala at the Humble Civic Center when the theme will be “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The Humble BBQ Cook-off will be Feb. 5 and 6, with the Rodeo on Feb. 12 and 13. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these two weekends benefit the HISD Education Foundation. For more information on times, performers, and activities, visit www.humblerodeo.com. The Humble Area Chamber of Commerce officially changed its name to Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce. Long time Chamber President Mike Byers announced his retirement. The annual Chairman’s Ball is Jan. 22, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Houston Airport Marriott; the theme is “Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future.” Board Chairman Jason Medley will “pass the gavel” to incoming chair Leon Brashier. One lucky Chamber member will win $1,000 from the Chamber Ambassadors “IT” Program. The highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the Hayden E. McKay Citizen of the Year Award, who will be introduced by last year’s recipient, Philippe Cras. Contact Stephanie for tickets and information, 281-319-8902 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Including Kids had an incredibly busy fundraising year, starting out with their third annual “Boots and Bling” Gala, which outgrew Kingwood Country Club and moved to the Humble Civic Center. The live auction was exciting and just downright amazing; the event raised over $125,000 for programs and services for children with autism. This year’s gala is April 10 at the Humble Civic Center and will feature host Greg Groogan (three time winner of the regional Edward R. Murrow Award) from Fox 26, a swing band, casino, live and silent auctions. To learn more about this event or how you can help this organization, contact Theresa Johnston at 281-852-0501 or www.includingkids.org. American Heart Association’s annual Go Red for Women luncheon held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel raised approximately $75,000 and highlighted beautiful fashions from Tootsie’s and Talbots and the hugely popular “purse-onality” silent auction. To kick off this year’s luncheon scheduled for May 7 and to celebrate the prestigious “Circle of Red” supporters, Paul and Angela Leviner hosted a holiday gathering at their beautiful Forest Collection and Safari locations. Who wouldn’t want to support AHA in such fabulous surroundings, complemented by wine, great food, and unique shopping opportunities?! Faces in the crowd included: Melinda Stephenson; Andy and Katherine Persson; Rod and Eunice Dennis; Ron and Susan White; Aggie Green; Nancy Shortsleeve; Nick and Tricia Ryan Racine; Stacia Cowan; Cheryl (CJ) Johnson; Earl and Karen Garrison; Mike and Layna Netek; and Tracy Zacek. Kingwood Executive Club hosted their annual Christmas party at Chez Nous, and a wonderful time was had by the 80+ guests attending, including Skip and Vivian Curry, Danny and Geralyn Sullivan, Ginger and Byron Bertrand, Larry and Cynthia Shiflet and Sharon Lewis and Phil Lively. It was a foggy, drizzly December day, but the Pavilion at Kingwood Country Club was aglow with lighted greenery, Christmas bows, and excited family and friends as Sparky (Joseph) Nolan, Joel, and beautiful Mary Knappex changed wedding vows. The newlywed Nolans departed the Pavilion for a horse drawn carriage ride that took them through the mist to the club house for a lovely reception. Rumor has it that Mr. and Mrs. Nolan were happy campers on their honeymoon at an undisclosed (KOA Campground) location. Congratulations and best wishes to the bride and groom! When Joe Crabb, long-time State Representative District 127 announced his retirement, Martin Basaldua, Susan Curling, Dan Huberty and Addie Wiseman joined in the race to succeed him. Several candidate “meet and greets” have already been held, with many more to come! Last day to register to vote in the March 2 Primary is Feb. 1; with early voting Feb. 16 - 26. Congratulations to Houston City Councilman Michael Sullivan on his re-election to a second term. I hope you are still keeping your New Year’s resolutions! More on 2009-2010 happenings next week-- I’ll see you out and about!

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