Fort Bend Focus Cares About Community

Focus Story

Traditionally fall means both back to school and back to community events in Fort Bend. But this past year, our traditions – and our beloved community activities – were put on hold. So, what has happened with our valued community organizations in the past year? What is their focus, and what are their plans for the coming months?

We reached out to several organizations to find out just that – how are they are doing, and most importantly, how can we as a community help?  In this special feature, Fort Bend Focus Cares About Community, we highlight several non-profits and share a calendar of upcoming events.  We hope to see you out and about in the Bend – whether it’s virtual or in person – doing what we do best – support our community.

The Rosenberg Railroad Museum

Clang, Clang! Get on board! The Rosenberg Railroad Museum (RRM) has fully reopened and is looking forward to an amazing fall festival season!

There are so many cool things to see and do at the museum! Whether you are a train fan or just looking for a fun educational family outing, the museum has something for everyone. Check out their upcoming events planned for the fall as well as new rotating exhibits.

Kicking off their fall season on September 11th, is Discovery Day with free admission.

On Saturday, October 9th, RRM will host the ever popular Fall Fun Fest, an annual fall fundraiser benefiting the museum. Rounding out the month of October RRM will have a Halloween Family Fun Day on Saturday October 30th.

New this year, Curator Cecilia Abad introduced a rotating exhibit area to the Museum Gallery. Rotating exhibits offer an in-depth look into different topics. The current exhibit, Women in Railroading is on display until November 7, 2021. The next rotating exhibit will be, Presidents and Railroading that will be on display from November 10, 2021 thru February 20, 2022.

The recently renovated Education Station offers a large model train exhibit room, children’s playroom, a classroom for Scout Merit Badge classes, Wig-Wag Fridays for preschoolers, and exhibit enrichment classes. School field trips and group tours are always welcome by appointment.

The Rosenberg Railroad Museum is a hidden gem, nestled in historic downtown Rosenberg. For more information, visit or call 281-633-2846 to learn more.

Parks Youth Ranch Celebrates Ten Years of Providing Home for Today, Hope for Tomorrow

Parks Youth Ranch (PYR) started from a dream in the early 2000s and became a reality when they opened their doors in 2011 as the only Fort Bend County emergency shelter for youth. To this day, PYR continues their mission of providing emergency shelter, counseling and life changing services to abused and neglected youth, ages 7 to 17, who are homeless or in foster care.  PYR provides a temporary, tranquil home for these disadvantaged youth.

PYR youth often arrive in a state of crisis with little to no personal items. While in PYR’s care, their basic needs, such as their own bed, hygiene products, clothing, food, educational support and counseling, are provided for.  These youth could not be cared for without the generous support of the Fort Bend community through monetary and in-kind donations.

Since opening, PYR has expanded the shelter from 20 to 28 beds, built a fishing pier and walking trail and served as home to more than 1,600 youth from across Texas. PYR holds three annual events each year to fundraise and promote awareness. Another Night Out is an immersion experience for high school juniors and seniors to understand the hardships and struggles of at-risk and homeless youth. Go Fish is a family-friendly fishing derby held on PYR property. Lastly, Cowboy Up, PYR’s largest fundraising event, features an auction, raffle, live music and dancing.

For more information about PYR and volunteering, contact PYR at 281-392-5794 or

Texian Market Days Returns Saturday, October 23rd at George Ranch Historical Park

Texas is known for wide-open spaces and the equally wide-open way its residents celebrate their heritage. Here in Fort Bend County, those two ideas will come together once again during Texian Market Days, held at the 23,000-acre George Ranch Historical Park, Saturday, October 23rd from 9 am to 5 pm.

When an authentic working ranch plans a party, the result is a uniquely wide-ranging event where visitors young and old can all find something to embrace. History, food, crafts and demonstrations come together in a day-long celebration of what makes Texans, well, Texans.

Food trucks, craft vendors and entertainment will be grouped near the big tent and provide a relaxing hub from which to venture out to the ranch. Activities of all types will unfold throughout the day – old-time baseball, historic home tours, riding teams and shooting demonstrations, Victorian tea parties allowing visitors to naturally create their own discovery paths. Focus on one or two activities, or sample them all as the day unfolds.

What are you doing on October 23rd? Come to “the Ranch” and make it a Saturday to remember.

To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit  The George Ranch Historical Park is located at 10215 FM 762 in Richmond, TX, 77469.

Be A Part of Something Special:  The Exchange Club
of Sugar Land Making Fort Bend A Better Place to Live

If you want to experience the joy of helping others, the Exchange Club of Sugar Land is the club for you.  The Exchange Club is a group of volunteers striving to make the community a better place to live.  Members actively search for creative ways to respectfully meet the needs of others while focusing on the following:

  • The Club’s primary objective is The Prevention of Child Abuse. They work to achieve this goal by educating the public, bringing awareness through their Blue Ribbon Campaign and supporting local non-profit organizations providing help to children and their families.
  • They promote Americanism by organizing events that celebrate the freedoms enjoyed in our country and by supporting those who have served to defend those freedoms.
  • They promote and celebrate Youth by recognizing outstanding students with Youth of the Month and Young Citizen of the Month awards to encourage students to participate in community service projects so they experience the happiness associated with helping others.
  • They support Community through their annual Spaghetti Dinner. The funds raised support local non-profits, and their annual Santa’s Exchange event, where at least three gifts are given to approximately 4,000 children.

The Club meets for breakfast every Wednesday at 7 am at Sugar Creek Country Club, located at 420 Sugar Creek Blvd., in Sugar Land. Please join the Club for an exciting, educational and fun time. For more information, please email

Golf Fore Autism Scheduled for October 11th

The 6th Annual Golf Fore Autism, presented by Timewise, takes place at Sweetwater Country Club in Sugar Land on October 11th. Proceeds benefit the local autism group Hope For Three, which provides resources and support to families and children living with an autism spectrum disorder.

“Participating in this golf tournament can change a child’s future, along with the well-being of their family,” said Rowena Laine, Hope For Three Family Assistance and Programs Director. “Proceeds provide children on the spectrum with access to life-changing treatments and therapies they might otherwise go without.”

Event sponsors, Trusted Senior Specialists, OCuSOFT, Cooltime Services and Primeway Federal Credit Union, have coordinated a diverse event for golfers to play on either the Pecan or Cypress with an opportunity to participate in creative contests at various holes. Dinner and an awards ceremony will follow the tournament and includes a live and silent auction, incredible raffles and surprises.

A four-person team costs $600, while individual play is $150. Registration begins at 9 am, along with breakfast sponsored by First Watch, The Daytime Cafe. The tournament starts at 11 am.  To register a team, sign up as a sponsor or donate, visit

The Needville Harvest Festival 2021

The 37th Annual Needville Harvest Festival is returning this year with two days of fall fun to Harvest Park, located at 3001 Violet Street, on Friday, October 15th and Saturday, October 16th. Admission is free, and gates open at 5 pm Friday for an evening of music, the annual BBQ cook-off, fajita and margarita judging.

Saturday beginning at 7:30 am, the fun continues with crowd favorites, such as the annual Talent Show, Little Miss and Mr. Contest, Queen’s Contest, lawn mower races, BBQ cook-off with a KidzQ and live auction. The Kidz Zone is sure to keep young ones entertained. Mason and Friends Polka music will play Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, and the raffle drawing will be at 6:30 pm.  There will be plenty of activities for people of all ages. Make plans to participate in the fun-filled contests or come out and have a great time.

The Needville Harvest Festival, Inc. is a non-profit 501c3 organization that operates Harvest Park and presents the annual family-friendly festival. “All proceeds from the Harvest Fest go back into the improvement and maintenance of the park, which is for all of the community to enjoy,” said President Chris Janicek.

Janicek said the all-volunteer Harvest Fest committee is comprised of “some of the most hard-working, dedicated individuals anywhere.” Hopes are high this year’s festival will be a record-breaking success. Wearing masks and social distancing will be encouraged.

Visit for a complete schedule, contest rules and more. For information, call 281-468-9314.

Cullinan Park Conservancy Announces 2021 Picnic for the Park Fundraiser

Cullinan Park Conservancy (CPC) will host the 2021 Picnic for the Park event on Friday, October 22nd featuring guest speaker Jaime González, M.Ed., Houston Healthy Cities Director for the Nature Conservancy in Texas. Recently featured as a Texas Trailblazer in the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, González is a sought-after speaker and author who will discuss being WILD IN THE CITY – how preserving wild places – like Cullinan Park – in cities can yield amazing benefits.

Sponsorship opportunities for this year’s Picnic are now available and include: $10,000 Awesome Alligator Presenting Sponsor (one available); $5,000 Premier Top Birder (limited number available); $2,500 Great Blue Heron Sponsor (multiple available); $1,500 Beautiful Butterfly Sponsor (multiple available); and the $1,000 Dragonfly Sponsor (multiple available). Each level includes an extensive list of recognition and benefits in accordance with the level of support. Visit to see details and to register.

The event will include the presentation of the Nina Cullinan Award to John and Diana Null who have been committed to the success of the park for many years, as well as the announcement of the winning photos from the 2021 Cullinan Photo Contest. All guests will enjoy a great picnic lunch with other friends of the park and an online auction that begins October 20th and will be ongoing through the 23rd to allow supporters plenty of opportunity to bid! CPC supporters can register for the online auction at

It’s All A-Buzz:  The Literacy Council’s 12th Annual Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee

Support the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County’s Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee scheduled for September 9th, 2021: Terri Stuart, Executive Director; Fallon Moody and Ann Kingrey, Spelling Bee Co-Chairs.

There’s a buzz around Fort Bend County for the Literacy Council’s 12th Annual Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee.  The event, presented by Houston Federal Credit Union, is scheduled for Thursday, September 9th, 2021 from 6 to 9 pm at Quail Valley City Centre.  This year’s Grown-Up Spelling Bee is co-chaired by Ann Kingrey and Fallon Moody. Current competing teams to date include: Houston Federal Credit Union, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, Costello Inc., and Bob’s Bees sponsored by Bob and Pat Hebert.

“The Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee is the only event of its kind in our community,” said Terri Stuart, Executive Director. “The dynamics between the competitors, judges and the audience combined with the valuable return on support for donors and the students we serve, all make for a fun-filled evening.”

For $100, a sponsor can select a letter in the “A-Bee-C’s for Literacy” alphabet.  “Bee a Word” sponsors will receive admission, dinner and drink tickets for two, recognition on the website and recognition at the event. “A-Bee-C’s for Literacy” sponsors will receive admission and dinner for one, recognition on the website and recognition at the event.  Spectator Bee RSVPs are available for $50 and include admission to the Bee, dinner and a drink ticket.  Watch spellers compete against one another to win a coveted spot in the “Honey Hall of Fame!”

A huge thank you to Houston Federal Credit Union for their support of the Spelling Bee and the Literacy Council!

For more information, contact Alex Sanchez or 281-240-8181.

Fort Bend Community Partners Rainbow Room

Fort Bend Community Partners Rainbow Room is a charitable organization dedicated to helping Fort Bend County children and adults involved with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) – Children’s Protective Services and Adult Protective Services. Fort Bend Rainbow Room is located in the TDFPS building in Rosenberg and is stocked with emergency supplies readily available for Fort Bend County clients. Supplies include clothes, shoes, socks, underwear, diapers, formula, blankets, toiletries, cleaning supplies, school supplies, car seats and beds.

In addition to the emergency supplies, the organization also hosts two annual projects. The Back-to-School Project provides school clothes, shoes, socks, underwear, backpacks and school supplies to Fort Bend County children involved with Children’s Protective Services. This project provides the necessary supplies for the children to attend school in a manner like their peers. Proper school supplies and clothes are important to the development and self-esteem of these children as attendance and learning may be impacted by the lack of proper supplies.

The annual Christmas Project provides gifts to Fort Bend County children and adults involved with TDFPS. Children and adults are allowed to submit a wish list for Santa. Through the generosity of the community, gifts from their wish lists are purchased while others host toy drives to help fill the wish list.  The adult clients receive care packages, including hygiene items, cleaning supplies and blankets along with their gifts.

To donate, host a toy drive or volunteer, contact Tonya Lewis at 832-595-3029 or email

Child Advocates of Fort Bend: Serving Fort Bend’s Children for Over 30 Years

Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s (CAFB) mission is to Strengthen the Voice of the Child, Heal the Hurt and Break the Cycle of Abuse and Neglect for children and families in Fort Bend and surrounding counties. They accomplish this through two nationally affiliated programs – Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) – where they serve children from birth to 18 years old. Since opening their doors 30 years ago, they have restored the lives of more than 19,000 children and non-offending family members.

CAFB is one of only a few agencies in the state to operate both CASA and CAC programs. Within their programs there is a continuum of care as children and non-offending family members move toward healing through therapy, counseling, family advocacy services, foster care advocacy and bilingual language services. CAFB also serves as convener and coordinator of a community-wide, multi-agency response to child abuse. CAFB has a zero-tolerance policy for child abuse and all services are offered in English and Spanish, free of charge to every child in need. They served 3,524 children and families last year and the number has increased 60% in the past eight years. Their work is vital to the overall health of the community.

The 30th annual Christmas Home Tour on December 10th and 11th will give guests an inside look at private homes lavishly decorated for Christmas. Ninety-four percent of the funds raised go toward CAFB’s programs and services to help children heal. Visit to learn more.

Sponsors Needed as Second Mile Celebrates 31 Years
of Feeding
Fort Bend Residents in Need

“Myra” was a gifted teacher who loved and found purpose in her job. A sudden disease left her disabled and unable to work. Then, her husband lost his job due to downsizing. As the Sugar Land couple lived on their savings looking for work, they came down to their last dollar. “I don’t have any food for my kids,” Myra said in desperation as she called Second Mile. “We’ll take anything.” After receiving groceries, including meat, produce and staples, she wrote back to share, “Thank you so much for your help. The kids acted like it was Christmas. This is an answered prayer.”

Second Mile is seeking sponsors and underwriters for its 31st Anniversary Golf Tournament, Dinner and Silent Auction Monday, October 11th at 6 pm at Quail Valley City Centre. Funds help local families like Myra’s with groceries, financial assistance, job search support, financial and health education, spiritual care’, and more.

In 2020 through the pandemic, Second Mile distributed 4.5 million pounds of food in Fort Bend and surrounding areas, enough to feed 300,000 people. Second Mile’s food programs operate at its Missouri City facility and partner sites with fresh produce fairs and a mobile pantry. Individuals served learn about opportunities to reach personal goals in income, health and more through classes. Support from compassionate people in our community makes all this possible.

Visit or call 281-261-9199 ext. 213 to register.

Adam Cantu Memorial Softball Tournament Benefits Stupid Strong

“She loved to be around people, telling stories, experiencing unique food and good conversation,” Jeff Netzer said of his late wife. “The dinner table is where she rekindled friendships and grew deeper relationships. That was her happy place.” And her favorite phrase after a great meal: “That was stupid good.” Little did they know that catchphrase would become the genesis for the non-profit organization Stupid Strong.

Stupid Strong is a grant-based organization dedicated to raising awareness about gastric cancer, advancing funding for research and providing support to families in need. This year in the US, there will be approximately 28,000 new cases of stomach cancer and over 11,000 deaths from the disease. Because of the smaller number of cases relative to other cancers, it receives little federal funding and few resources devoted to researching a cure. Stupid Strong exists for the purpose of making the cure for stomach cancer a reality.

Netzer calls himself a reluctant spokesperson for stomach cancer research, but with a lack of federal funding to find effective treatments for the disease that took his wife, Candace, he’s committed to leading the effort through the grant-based foundation they founded together.

Thus far, Stupid Strong has granted more than $775,000 to worthy institutions. Its latest gift is a grant supporting gastric cancer research at The University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Fundraising efforts continue in honor of Adam Cantu, a resident of Missouri City, who passed away from stomach cancer last August. His wife, Charlotte, is hosting the first charity co-ed softball tournament in Sienna on November 14th and invites the community to participate. Learn more at

Fort Bend County Fair 2021 Entertainment Lineup Announced

Live music returns to the 2021 Fort Bend County Fair. Seven musical acts will be in concert, providing toe-tapping entertainment. The Fair is September 24th to October 3rd. “We are thrilled to be able to have our entertainment lineup, but even more so, we are bringing back live music to the Fair,” said Brian Graeber, 2021 President, Fort Bend County Fair.

Kicking off the Fair on Friday, September 24th is La Porte native Jake Worthington. Worthington soared to fame after his remarkable run on Season 6 on NBC’s The Voice in 2014.  Fort Bend County’s favorite son, Jon Stork, is taking the stage on Saturday, September 25th. Stork, who was raised in Beasley, Texas, is blistering the Texas Music charts. Stork’s latest album Radio Cowboy has had four top 10 songs, including two No. 1 chart-toppers.

On Sunday, September 26th, the Fair is going big for Latin music enthusiasts. Headlining will be the five-time Grammy winner La Mafia. Award-winning norteno group Solido will take the stage earlier that day.

On Friday, October 1st, Grand Ole Opry member Steve Wariner will bring his 14 No. 1 hits and will kick off the last weekend of the Fair. Texas country veteran Roger Creager will perform on Saturday, October 2nd, and Johnny Rodriguez will  headline on Sunday, October 3rd. Both Creager and Rodriguez are returning to the Fair.

Make your plans to come out to the Fort Bend County Fair. Tickets will be on sale at

OakBend Medical Center’s Patchwork of Life Event 2021

OakBend Medical Center is excited to announce the ninth annual Patchwork of Life event is being offered with a hybrid option, either virtual or in person at Safari Texas. This is an opportunity for the Fort Bend County community to honor and support the only remaining independent non-profit hospital in the Greater Houston Area.

This year’s Patchwork of Life theme is “A Closer Look” and will benefit OakBend’s Radiology Department. Funds raised will be used to purchase new MRI and CT scan machines for the hospital campuses. The event is scheduled for Thursday, October 7th at 6 pm at Safari Texas Ranch. Co-Chairs for the event are Beth Johnson and Maureen Grieg.

The hybrid format will allow participants to join in person or host a small gathering in their home and tune in to the program and live auction via Zoom while enjoying a catered meal. Those joining in person will be able to experience Patchwork as it has always been with dinner, a live auction, raffle and the purchase of Patchwork quilt squares.  Some of the live auction items this year include a Tuscany Get Away, A Cocktail Party at the Fort Bend Museum, a Wine and Cheese Tasting and more.

Additionally, there will be a presentation of the Jeff Council Award for Dedicated Service to OakBend Medical Center. The recipient of this award exhibits excellence in three categories: years of service to the hospital, philanthropy support and leadership to OakBend.

Sponsorships are still available.  For more information and sponsorship opportunities, visit

Fort Bend Junior Service League and Memorial Hermann
Sugar Land Announce Partnership for the 2021 Sugar Plum Market

The Fort Bend Junior Service League (FBJSL) is pleased to announce the return of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital (MHSL) as Title Sponsor for Sugar Plum Market.  This year marks a milestone for the Market which has raised over $3.3 million for charitable organizations and scholarship programs.   

“We are proud to re-commit our support as Title Sponsor of the Fort Bend Junior Service League’s Sugar Plum Market and look forward to celebrating its 20th Anniversary.  We value our partnership and are humbled by our shared responsibility to serve our community,” said Malisha Patel, Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital and Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.

FBJSL’s 2021 Market will be held in-person this year at the Stafford Centre Performing Arts Theatre and Convention Center with an additional full day of shopping starting Thursday, November 4th running through Saturday, November 6th. The event will kick off with a Preview Night Celebration on Wednesday, November 3rd.

FBJSL is grateful to the community for supporting the Market. In addition to Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, FBJSL is pleased to recognize other sponsors including:  City of Stafford, Sterling McCall Toyota Fort Bend, Kendra Scott, Pamela Printing, absolutely! focus media, Amy & Gary Becker Foundation, Newmark Homes, KidzGrub, H-E-B, Trustmark National Bank, The Sansone Group at RE/MAX Fine Properties, Stewart Title, Johnson Development, Harris Machine Tools, Brandani’s Restaurant & Wine Bar, Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP, Title Partners and PB&J Pavement Marking.

Visit for ticket information. Tickets will go on sale September 1st.  Follow @sugarplummarket on Instagram and Facebook.