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Around Cy-Fair – December 2017

| December 1, 2017

Cypress Lakes High School dance team, the Sterling Stars, kept the crowd engaged.

Cypress Lakes High School dance team, the Sterling Stars, kept the crowd engaged.

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NORTHWEST HARRIS COUNTY HEART WALK

Thanks to community support from local companies and school districts, the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association’s (AHA | ASA) Northwest Harris County Healthy for Good Heart Walk gave the community a feeling of wholeness.

More than 3,000 walkers turned out for the annual, family-friendly 5K that took place Saturday, October 21 at Lone Star College – University Park. The festivities area included a farmer’s market, chair massages, a kid’s zone, classes with Cycle Bar, and other offerings to encourage people to eat healthy, exercise, reduce stress and improve their overall health one small step at a time.

Heart Walk Chair Keith Barber, CEO of Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital and SVP Houston Methodist, gave his welcome remarks at the event. “It is meaningful that so many people came out to the walk with all that has been happening around us,” he said. “Many in our community were affected by Harvey, but this morning, people were able to take a break, spend time with friends and loved ones, and do something good for themselves while having fun.”

Research shows that cardiovascular disease patients are among the most vulnerable during a crisis, and heart attack rates directly after natural disasters have been known to increase by 22 percent and stroke incidents by 7 percent. The community rallied together to raise $178,000 at the walk to help support the fight against cardiovascular diseases and stroke, which continue to be the No. 1 and No. 5 leading causes of death in America.

“We need to do everything we can to ensure that the problems caused by this storm don’t put more people at an even higher risk for heart attack and stroke,” said Barber, “and that is why we focused on sharing the Healthy for Good information at the heart walk.”

For more information about the American Heart Association Healthy for Good movement, visit healthyforgood.heart.org.

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As part of its Grown Up Games event Sept. 30 at Sports Park in Houston, the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation added SHOU Drive, a shoe drive to benefit those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

As part of its Grown Up Games event Sept. 30 at Sports Park in Houston, the Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation added SHOU Drive, a shoe drive to benefit those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

CY CREEK ALUM CONTINUES HONORING LATE MOTHER THROUGH GROWING FOUNDATION

Cypress Creek High School alumnus George Kiel III always wanted to mirror his foundation after his late mother. It’s been that way since the beginning, as Kiel combined a love for basketball to spread awareness for – and help defeat – colon cancer.

What started as an open gym session has now grown into a multi-event operation with the latest event helping those in the Houston area. Kiel even added a giving effort to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

And the “why” for all this hasn’t changed.

“She’s the biggest part of it all,” Kiel said of his mother, Debra, who lost her battle with colon cancer in 2014 at the age of 58. “She was a giving person, an outgoing person, a person who connected with everyone she came across. That’s what this organization is about – it engages people.”

Kiel, a 2003 Cypress Creek graduate, established the nonprofit Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation in 2015. It’s not only named after the family, but it’s a play on words – Kiel is pronounced like kill.

“Through my research of colon cancer and us dealing with the disease, I now know that now it’s the second-leading cause of all cancer-related deaths, but it’s the No. 1 beatable disease,” Kiel said. “You hear a lot about other forms of cancer – like breast cancer or lung cancer – but colon cancer is rarely talked about and it should be talked about just as much if not more than those considering its prevalence.”

It started with the Kick & Roll Open Gym sessions and classic, free sneaker-themed pickup basketball games that also combined raising awareness for colorectal cancer, encouraging a healthy lifestyle and building a rapport within the communities. The Blue Tie Affair, a sneaker-themed gala, came in 2016.

This year, the foundation added the Grown Up Games, a “field day” on Sept. 30 at Sports Creek in Houston that allowed adults to relive games, races and contests from their childhood days. Hurricane Harvey nearly postponed the event, but Kiel instead pushed forward and used his connections to help those in need, establishing the SHOU Drive (“Shoes for Houston”).

“I thought why not use my platform to help the city with something that is a big need, and that’s clothing and shoes,” Kiel said. “It just became an extension of our Grown Up Games.”

A goal of collecting 1,000 pairs of shoes soon became a reality of close to 3,000. Many were donated at the Grown Up Games, with Kiel making connections to other programs and organizations in Houston to match shoes and clothing to those in need. It’s just another piece to what Kiel helped start to simply combine raising awareness with his love of basketball.

“It’s been a whirlwind considering the fact that literally, it’s just my wife and I and a ton of volunteers,” he said. “It’s growing faster than we expected and it’s been a lot to handle, but we’ll keep pushing as we’re making an impact, we’re affecting people and we’re affecting change.”

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The Cypress-Woodlands Junior Forum volunteers who serviced the program.

The Cypress-Woodlands Junior Forum volunteers who serviced the program.

CYPRESS-WOODLANDS JUNIOR FORUM

It was a pleasant day full of sunshine as the reassuring smiles from Cypress-Woodlands Junior Forum (CWJF) greeted clients for fun and games at Reach Unlimited. As many of these clients use wheelchairs; Halloween “Trunk or Treating” special games were created for 160 people. The games were easily played by joyful participants.

Cypress-Woodlands Junior Forum is a nonprofit assistance organization and recognized chapter of Junior Forum, INC. This growing women’s group is dedicated to providing volunteer services and philanthropy to enrich the communities in North Harris and South Montgomery counties. For more information joining or donating to CWJF, call 281-379-1391 or visit cwjuniorforum.org.

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The annual festival in Cypress attracted nearly 9,000 attendees this year.

The annual festival in Cypress attracted nearly 9,000 attendees this year.

BRIDGELAND’S HOWL-O-WEEN FEST SETS ATTENDANCE RECORD

The 9th Annual Howl-O-Ween Fest in Bridgeland was the biggest yet in the event’s nine-year history, with almost 9,000 Houston residents packing the six-hour event on Oct. 21.

This year’s festival was headlined by The Super Collies, known by their fans as Sara and Hero, who were contestants on the latest season of America’s Got Talent. The dynamic group has also been featured on the Late Show with David Letterman and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The Super Collies were joined by the Dynamo Dogs, Houston Disc Dogs and The Amazing Blake.

Admission and most activities at Howl-O-Ween Fest were free of charge. The attractions that required a small donation helped to raise more than $2,800 for local animal rescue groups. Some recipients include Adore Houston, Friends for Life, Houston Collie Rescue, Houston SPCA, New Best Friend, Puppy Up Spring-Houston, Great Dane Rescue of SE Texas and Special Pals, all of whom were on-site during the event to offer pet adoptions and fostering opportunities.

“Animal rescue groups were a top priority this year because so many of them have been sheltering animals and assisting with foster placements during the lengthy recovery from Hurricane Harvey,” said Heath Melton, vice president of master planned communities. “Being able to raise money for these great causes while watching a record crowd enjoy themselves was a special treat for all of us at Bridgeland.”

Howl-O-Ween Fest also featured a variety of local Houston food trucks, kids’ activities sponsored by The Foundry, a pumpkin patch, a farmers market, pumpkin decorating, face painting, dock diving with the Houston Disc Dogs and a large vendor area with pet products and services.

“It was a great event and one that we look forward to hosting in Bridgeland again next year,” Melton said.

Learn more at Bridgeland.com.


Category: Around Cy-Fair

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