Community briefs for Jan. 26

Contributed Reports
Posted 1/26/23

Community briefs for Jan. 26, 2023.

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Community briefs for Jan. 26


Fort Bend County leaders meet new land commissioner

Fort Bend County officials and local leaders welcomed newly sworn-in Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham Jan. 18 for discussions about infrastructure, transportation and erosion protection.

“Our master drainage plan is of the utmost importance, especially as our county population continues an upward trajectory, both in residential and commercial business growth,” George said. “We are looking to provide erosion protection, especially along our major thoroughfares.”

The meeting took place at the Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management.

Ferraro to serve on Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives Board

Matthew Ferraro, Katy Area Chamber of Commerce president, will serve in 2023 as one of 20 members of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) Board for the 2023 fiscal year.

TCCE is the longest standing association of chamber of commerce professionals in the nation, working to provide guidance to local and regional chambers through professional education, resources, and networking opportunities. Additionally, Ferraro will chair TCCE’s Scholarship Committee.

“TCCE is committed to providing excellence in professional education, networking, resource and idea exchange among the chamber industry,” Jim Johnson, TCCE board chair. “Matthew’s knowledge, skills and experience will benefit chambers across Texas.”

Ferraro is serving a three-year term for the board of directors and will represent TCCE’s 230 chambers from every part of Texas.

Fort Bend County Fair’s Cindy Schmidt honored

Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo's Fair Manager Cindy Schmidt has been named the 2023 recipient of the Texas Association of Fair and Events (TAFE) “Professional of the Year” award. The recognition took place at the TAFE convention held in Galveston.

The elite honor recognizes all fairs, festivals, rodeos and events held around the state, including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, The State Fair of Texas and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo

As fair manager of the Fort Bend County Fair, Schmidt oversees one of the largest fairs in the State of Texas. She has consistently assembled her team, her people and her board, and pulled them through several unchartered circumstances, such as the Hurricane Harvey aftermath, the COVID-19 pandemic, and numerous other incidents.

In 2022, she spearheaded the Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo, a national TV deal, and became a qualifier for one of the largest rodeos in the world. She also welcomed the WPRA (Women’s Professional Rodeo Association) ladies’ Breakaway event. Schmidt oversees year-round events, including tag-ins, a fishing tournament, a crawfish boil and more. In addition, Schmidt secures entertainment acts, coordinates fair committee agendas, procures sponsorships and adheres to a year-round budget.

As a volunteer, Schmidt began with the Livestock Committee in 1990. She was also part of the Fair Club Committee, Hospitality Committee, and Decorations Committee.

Katy Christian Ministries golf tournament registrations now open

Registration is open for the Katy Christian Ministries (KCM) 24th Annual Swing from The Heart Golf Tournament, set for April 10 at Weston Lakes Country Club, 32611 FM 1093 in Fulshear.

This year’s tournament will give golfers and non-golfers alike a chance to join KCM in supporting its social services, food pantry, crisis center and community outreach programs.

A tournament ticket costs $750 for a team of four or $195 for a single player, and includes entry fees, lunch and dinner as well as a limited-edition 24th Annual Tournament Hat. Sponsorship opportunities are available ranging from $150 up to $25,000. All proceeds will go towards funding KCM’s mission of “Transforming lives through God’s grace and the generosity of the community.”

Deysi Crespo, KCM executive director, said the tournament is an excellent chance for community members to get involved in something truly special while helping those who are struggling during these uncertain times.

“This fantastic event is one we look forward to every year because it gives us the chance to connect with some amazing people all while raising awareness and funds since this event would not be possible without the generous donations of so many people who are passionate about KCM's mission,” Crespo said.

For more information, visit the website at or calling 281-391-5261 ext. 103.

Katy listed among top 10 cities for finding new apartments

Katy is listed among the top 10 cities for finding new apartments in 2023, according to the rentcafé.com website.

Katy is 10th on the list, along with five other Texas markets. Those markets are: Midland (2), Humble (3), Frisco (4), McKinney (5), and Spring (8).

The website said Katy has experienced a 123.2% increase in new apartments, a 44.9% share of new apartments in top locations, at a 94.9% occupancy rate. The website said the average size of new apartments is 951 square feet.

“This growing suburb of Houston offers the best of both worlds: small-town charm and big-city amenities,” the website said. “Katy’s population climbed 55% from 2010 to 2020 largely due to the highly rated schools here and access to the major employers in and around Houston. And, with plenty of healthcare facilities and recreation centers, Katy is also a popular retirement spot in Texas.”

Rotary Scholarship deadline is Jan. 31

Applications are being accepted for the Rotary Club of Katy’s 2023 scholarship program.

The club is distributing $125,000 to multiple recipients, with individual amounts ranging between $2,500-$10,000.

Applicants must be Katy ISD seniors graduating this spring, with plans to attend a two- or four-year college, vocational, technical or trade school. They must demonstrate a financial need and submit an application, transcript and two essays. Deadline is Jan. 31.

Applicants will be notified if they are selected for an interview. The interview will determine the individual scholarship amount awarded.

For more information, email or visit the website

Fort Bend County Libraries’ “Ancient Civilizations” series focuses on Egypt in February

Fort Bend County Libraries will have an educational series focusing on “Ancient Civilizations” this spring. The next program in the series, “Ancient Civilizations: Egypt,” will take place from 2-4 p.m. in the meeting room at the Cinco Ranch Branch Library, 2620 Commercial Center Blvd.

Architecture professor Sheba Akhtar will talk about the significance of the Nile River to the history of Egypt, as well as significant events during different periods. Hear about the mastabas (tombs), Imhotep and the evolution of the pyramids of the Old Kingdom. Learn about the rock-carved tombs of the Middle Kingdom. For the New Kingdom period, Akhtar will talk about the Temple at Karnak, Queen Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple, Ramses II’s Temple at Abu-Simbel, Akhenaton the Mono-Theist and King Tut’s Tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

An assistant professor of architecture at Prairie View A&M University, Akhtar received her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania and taught art and architecture history for more than 20 years. She has practiced as an architect in the United States, England, Scotland, Jordan and Pakistan. She is the author of “Of Colour and Form” and numerous articles on art and architecture.

In March, the series will continue with a program at George Memorial Library on the Indus Valley.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the website

Cinco Ranch Branch Library presents intermediate MS Word class

Fort Bend County Libraries’ Adult Services staff at the Cinco Ranch Branch Library will present a free computer class, “MS Word: Intermediate,” for version 2016, from 10:15-11:30 a.m. Feb. 7 in the computer lab of the library, 2620 Commercial Center Blvd.

This class is for people who already have a basic understanding of MS Word, but would like to master more advanced functions and tools in this word-processing software program.

Learn how to change the page color, insert pictures and word art, create numbered and bulleted lists, and add headers and footers.

The class is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, however, and reservations are required. To register online, visit the website, click on “Classes & Events,” select “Cinco Ranch Branch Library,” and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the library at 281-395-1311, or by visiting the library.

Cinco Ranch Branch Library presents Introduction to Legal Research class

The Cinco Ranch Branch Library will present “An Introduction to Legal Research” from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Feb. 8 in the computer lab of the library, 2620 Commercial Center Blvd.

Staff from Fort Bend County Libraries’ Willie Melton Law Library will introduce the basics of legal research. Learn about the difference between primary and secondary resources, and gain a better understanding of how to read legal citations.

This class will also explain where to find legal informational resources, both in print and online.

The class is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, however, and reservations are required. To register, visit the website

Willowfork Fire Department to hold push-in ceremony for new fire truck Jan. 30

The Willowfork Fire Department and Fort Bend County ESD #2 invite the public to participate in the official fire truck push-in ceremony for the department’s newest fire truck.

The ceremony is set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Station #2, 26950 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Fire department officials said the push-in ceremony is a tradition that dates back to the late 1800s. In those days, fire departments used hand-drawn pumpers and horse-drawn equipment. Upon returning to the station after a fire call, the horses could not easily back the equipment into the station. The horses were disconnected from the fire equipment, which was pushed back into the station.

The original Tanker 81, purchased in 2005, carried 2,000 gallons of water, had a 500 GPM water pump, and seating for only two firefighters. Based on increased call volume in the territory over the years, and the fact that the truck had reached replacement age, the ESD Board of Directors decided to replace the 2005 truck with a new truck that could be a tanker when needed, but also a reserve fire engine.

In 2021 after months of planning, the new Tanker 81 was ordered from Pierce Fire Apparatus in Appleton, Wis. The new Tanker 81 carries 2,500 gallons of water, has a 2000 GPM water pump, seating for four firefighters, multiple fire attack hose lines, EMS equipment, ladders, and rescue equipment.

For more information, call the fire department at 281-395-0011.

Hope Chest to open Katy location Jan. 30

The Hope Chest is opening a new, 21,000-square-foot warehouse. The new warehouse will have a grand opening celebration at 10 a.m. Jan. 30 at 6545 Stockdick School Road.

The Hope Chest is a resale market where one can donate old treasures for a good cause. The resale market benefits Cy-Hope, a nonprofit organization “making life better for kids” and proceeds benefit their many programs. These include summer camps; a food pantry; baseball workshops led by Larry Dierker, former Houston Astros All-Star pitcher and manager; community centers that provide tutoring and mentoring; music initiatives; and financial assistance for college and career readiness.

The resale market is currently accepting items, including gently used clothing, shoes, linens, furniture, musical instruments, antiques, books, household items, and more.

Hope Chest also offers volunteer opportunities behind the scenes. Hours are Monday, Thursday and Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Donations are accepted Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Fort Bend County, Texas Land Commissioner, Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, Texas Chamber of Commerce, Fort Bend County Fair, Katy Christian Ministries golf tournament, apartments, Rotary Club of Katy, scholarship, Fort Bend County Libraries, Cinco Ranch Branch Libraries, Willowfork Fire Department, Hope Chest