New Pearland Palais Royal Store Opens with Charity and Fanfare

Mayor Reid likes the "Bears That Care" bears.

Mayor Reid likes the “Bears That Care” bears.

The newest Palais Royal location (2650 Pearland Pkwy) celebrated its grand opening Thursday (Nov. 20) with a check presentation to Toys for Tots.

Its parent company, Stage Stores, Inc., donated $100,000 to the non-profit and kicked off its “Bears that Care” program, which consists of holiday-themed, custom designed bears available for purchase.

For every bear sold, $1 goes to Toys For Tots. They will use the money to buy and distribute toys for Christmas gifts to local less fortunate families.

“The employees have been so excited to get to come down here,” said District Manager Mary Jo Taylor.

“You’re all so loyal to our other locations and you’re going to absolutely love what you see. And for those of you that are wondering if we have the same associates, yes we do!” she said.

“It takes a village to open a store like that in four days. But of that is for naught if we didn’t have all of you coming out to shop,” Store Manager Fran McCarty said to the crowd gathered at the front doors.

Roger Blanchard, Senior Vice President of Stores, Stage Stores, Inc. explained the “Bears that Care” program.

“Every year there are children across our nation that do not experience the joy of Christmas morning. Many families in our community have been hit hard by the economy, which is why we feel that it’s important for our Stage Stores family to help children everywhere to have this opportunity,” he said.

“That’s why this holiday season, Stage Stores will launch the sale of holiday-themed ‘Bears that Care’ with $1 of the sale of each Teddy going directly to help make Christmas bright for children everywhere. You can purchase a bear at our new Pearland Palais Royal store as well as 858 other stores across the country,” Blanchard added.

Blanchard then turned to Retired Major, USMC and Vice President of Marketing & Development for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Bill Grein.

“I’m happy to announce today that Stage Stores is donating the amount of $100,000 to Toys for Tots, a non-profit that has been instrumental in making sure more children experience the joy and wonder of the holidays,” said Blanchard.

“I’m the luckiest guy here today, obviously. I’m going to walk away with $100,000!” Grein joked.

“It’s not for me, but for some less fortunate children across the country. Over the last four years, Stage Stores has raised for us nearly a half million dollars. That’s enough money to fulfill the Christmas dreams of 50,000 less fortunate children. Over the next five weeks, Sgt. Castillo [Eric Castillo, Toys for Tots Houston Coordinator] and 760 other Toys for Tots coordinators across the country will be shopping for seven million less fortunate children. We truly thank you,” said Grein.

With that, the ribbon was cut and the doors were opened to a line of shoppers that had been waiting for up to an hour to get a glimpse inside the store and take advantage of the holiday sales.

Mayor Tom Reid arrived a little late for the ceremony.

“I had a Chamber of Commerce meeting,” he said. “I left at nine till nine, but I missed it!”

Taylor chatted with Reid and showed him around the store.

“This is really nice,” said Reid, who is a long-time patron of Palais Royal. “I’m so glad this store is bigger!”

Shoppers appeared to feel the same way as they made their way through the men’s, women’s and children’s departments, along with the home, intimates, shoes, cosmetics and fragrance departments.

For more information about Stage Stores, Inc., visit To learn more about Toys for Tots,

Source: The Pearland Journal

Dr. John Kelly’s Blog: Contacting Our Schools

Parents of today’s students have  unprecedented opportunities for rapid communication with our public schools.  The availability of email, websites, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets provide an entire new universe of tools and with it, an expectation for instant contact, particularly among younger parents.  We try to oblige…

Read more…

Memorial Hermann Supports Higher Education in Pearland

Memorial Hermann Director of Government Relations Ashlea Quinonez and Memorial Hermann Southeast Director of Physician Resources Rebecca Lilley presented the check on Nov. 18 to officers of the Pearland Lions Club, from left, President Elton Thornell, 1st Vice President Greg Hill, and Scholarship Chairman Roy Castillo.

PEARLAND, Tx (Nov. 18, 2014) – Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital made a substantial donation to the Pearland Lions Education Foundation to support scholarships for high school seniors graduating from Pearland High School, Dawson High School, and Turner High School.

Palais Royal Celebrates Grand Opening of Pearland Store and Helps Toys4Tots

(HOUSTON, TEXAS, November 18, 2014) – Houston-based retailer Palais Royal will celebrate the grand opening of its recently relocated store in Pearland with a check presentation to Toys for Tots at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, November 20 at 2650 Pearland Parkway.

Stage Stores, Inc. the parent company of Palais Royal is making a $100,000 donation to Toys for Tots in advance of the ‘Bears that Care’ program and to kick-off the holiday season. The holiday-themed, custom designed bears are sold exclusively at Stage Stores, Inc.’s 858 department store locations. For every bear sold, $1 goes to Toys For Tots to support the organization’s mission during their peak season. Toys for Tots will use the funds to purchase and distribute toys as Christmas gifts to local children in need.

WHAT: Stage Stores, Inc. is making a $100,000 donation to Toys for Tots at the grand opening of the newly relocated Palais Royal Department Store in Pearland, to kick off the holiday season and the 2014 ‘Bears That Care’ Program.

WHO:  Sabrina Willingham, Vice President and Regional Manager; Mary Jo Taylor, Store Manager and Bill Grein, Retired Major, USMC and VP, Marketing & Development for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation

WHEN: 8:45 a.m., Thursday, November 20

WHERE: Palais Royal, 2650 Pearland Parkway, Ste 110, Pearland, TX 77581

The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program helps less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas by collecting new, unwrapped toys each year and distributing those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children. The ‘Bears that Care’ program is part of Stage Stores Inc. Community Counts initiative, which is designed to share and celebrate the efforts of individual stores and associates as well as Stage Stores corporate initiatives for community volunteerism and giving.

Police vs. Fire Basketball Game Benefiting Toys4Tots Dec 13


Come out and root for our local First Responders!

MUD 6 Dedicates Park to Medal of Honor Recipient

Brazoria County Combined Honor Guard representative Harry Gaul and Clarence Sasser

Brazoria County Combined Honor Guard representative Harry Gaul and Clarence Sasser

The MUD 6 Board of Directors, consisting of Rick King, Richard Skotak, Erich Bell, Mike Haney and L’Sheryl Hudson, hosted a dedication ceremony for the Clarence E. Sasser Park, located on Southfork Dr. and Jeske Rd., Saturday (Nov. 15).

Clarence Sasser is the recipient of a Medal of Honor for Valor, which is the highest award that can be given to a soldier, and is usually presented posthumously because the actions that merit this honor usually cost the soldier his or her life. He currently resides in Rosharon.

Sasser served as an Army Specialist Combat Medic during the Vietnam War. After a U.S. helicopter crashed, he dragged a wounded GI to cover. He ran back to render aid to others, despite heavy enemy fire from three sides. Sasser was hit in his shoulder and both legs, but dragged himself over to his brothers to help, refusing medical attention, in spite of experiencing blood loss and extreme pain. He remained there for five hours.

Sasser received his medal from President Richard Nixon on March 7, 1969 at the White House.

After the Presentation of Colors by the Brazoria County Combined Honor Guard and singing the National Anthem, MUD 6 President Rick King took the stage.

“Like I was saying to some folks before the festivities, having a living Medal of Honor winner is very rare,” said King.

“In other words, the actions that someone takes to earn that medal usually results in giving their lives when they’re taking care of someone else. It’s an honor to have [Sasser] here today, not only to put a face to a name, but to be able to say thank you.”

After reading Sasser’s citation, King introduced the guest of honor.

“It’s a good day for a dedication,” Sasser joked, referring to the gray, cold weather. “There’s no sweat running down anyone’s face.

I want to thank each and every one of you for coming out for this occasion. I categorize it as giving me flowers before I go in a wooden box,” he added.

Sasser Park was created from a large detention pond designed to give flood relief to the area neighborhoods, including Silvercreek, Fieldstone and Silverlake. It features a pavilion, barbecue pits, play structures, a soccer field, a baseball diamond and a jogging trail.

“I like the park. It’s a very picturesque park, meant to serve particular neighborhoods and we need more of them around town. They are useful when we get those downpours that we do. Having the baseball field, the soccer field and whatever else families use is what I call ‘grassroots.’ I like to think of myself as a grassroots type of person,” said Sasser.

“People always ask me about the Medal of Honor. They always ask why. Well, somebody had to do something or we were all going to die. When something has to be done, I think it falls on your shoulders to do it. You have to look at it from the point of how it was. We ate together, we slept together, we played cards and dominoes together. They’re your guys. The rest of the company had either been killed or wounded in action so somebody had to do something. When you’re faced with that situation, step up and do it. Don’t shrink back. I would personally rather die trying to do something than laying there cowering in fear,” said Sasser.

There are 79 Medal of Honor recipients still living in the U.S. from World War II, Vietnam, Korea and the more recent wars in the Middle East.

According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website, the Navy Medal of Honor was the first one established.

“On December 9, 1861 Iowa Senator James W. Grimes introduced S. No. 82 in the United States Senate, a bill designed to ‘promote the efficiency of the Navy’ by authorizing the production and distribution of ‘medals of honor.’ On December 21st the bill was passed, authorizing 200 such medals be produced ‘which shall be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen and marines as shall distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seamanlike qualities during the present war (Civil War).’ President Lincoln signed the bill and the (Navy) Medal of Honor was born.

Two months later on February 17, 1862, Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson introduced a similar bill, this one to authorize ‘the President to distribute medals to privates in the Army of the United States who shall distinguish themselves in battle.’ When President Abraham Lincoln signed S.J.R. No. 82 on July 12, 1862, the Army Medal of Honor was born.”

The dedication ceremony concluded with fanfare and attendees, including newly elected County Commissioner Ryan Cade, took advantage of the barbecue lunch provided by Joe’s Barbecue in Alvin, the bounce houses, popcorn and cotton candy provided by Manvel Moonwalks and the many amenities of Clarence E. Sasser Park.

For more information on the Congressional Medals of Honor, visit To learn more about Brazoria County MUD 6, visit

Source: The Pearland Journal

Reflection Bay to Host Holiday Market Nov 20

RBEC-HolidayMkt-239x300Reflection Bay Event Center in Pearland throws its doors open for a Holiday Market on Thursday, November 20 from 4 to 9 p.m.  Visitors can enjoy shopping for a variety of gift items including accessories, cosmetics, jewelry, toys and more!  A portion of the retail sales will benefit One World Foundation. Free admission.

When:  Thursday, November 20, 4 to 9 p.m.
Where:  Reflection Bay Event Center, 12234 Shadow Creek Parkway, 77584
More info:  Free admission,

Grown-Up Spelling Bee Comes to Dawson High

Pearland ISD Special Programs Department team “Modified Spellers” (sponsored by PBK)! Teammates included Dr. Janet Harry, Dr. Michael Brandon and Randi Jordan (Photo: PISD Education Foundation)

Pearland ISD Special Programs Department team “Modified Spellers” (sponsored by PBK)! Teammates included Dr. Janet Harry, Dr. Michael Brandon and Randi Jordan (Photo: PISD Education Foundation)

The Pearland ISD Education Foundation held its first major fundraiser, the Grown-Up Spelling Bee, Thursday (Nov. 13) at Glenda Dawson High School.

A dinner/study session for the 19 participating teams and their supporters was held in the band hall prior to the Bee, with dinner from Mex-Sea-Co, sponsored by A&A Cleaning Services.

During the Bee, teams of three worked together to spell words to compete for the coveted Honey Pot Trophy. Teams that misspelled two words during the first round were eliminated, but many used purchased help like the “spell check,” which gave them another shot at the word or they passed a difficult word to another team.

Emcee Jim Johnson kept the show going and judges Melanie Grote, Margo Gigee and Christal Thompson gave the teams a thumbs up or down after they spelled a word.

Teams were invited to wear costumes and the audience chose the favorite by cheering loudly. The team that received the loudest cheers was “Ain’t Mis Bee Havin’,” Martha Beaman, Sharon Bradley and Debbie McComb from Jamison Middle School. The “Southeast Dynasty” team from Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital came in a close second.

Hijinks ensued when team members started bestowing gifts onto the judges. After team “CHOMS” handed out cash to the panel, the resulting word to spell was “perk.”

“It’s for charity!” said CHOMS member and City Councilman Greg Hill.

Hill and his teammates, Councilmen Scott Sherman and Tony Carbone, ended up placing second in the Bee.

The winner was the “Modified Spellers,” Dr. Michael Brandon, Dr. Janet Harry and Randi Jordan of the PISD Special Programs Dept.

Audience members of note included PISD Superintendent Dr. John Kelly, City Manager Clay Pearson, Councilmen Keith Ordeneaux and Gary Moore, PISD Senior Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Programs Dr. Nyla Watson and PISD Trustee Charles Gooden, Jr.

Architecture and engineering company PBK primarily sponsored the event. Refreshments were provided and served by H-E-B. Tutoring Club provided Notepads.

Other sponsors included Gulf Coast Educators Credit Union, David L. Smith Realty, the Crain Group, Thompson and Horton LLP, Memorial Hermann, SMATCOE, First Choice Emergency Room, Chick-Fil-A, Advanced Dermatology and Silverlake Animal Hospital.

The Pearland ISD Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that, “Enriches teaching and inspires learning in Pearland ISD.

The spelling bee directly benefits Pearland ISD students and teachers. Money raised will support innovative educational programs and activities that fall outside Pearland ISD’s operating budget,” according to the website.

The Education Foundation has been in existence for approximately a year, and with the success of this fundraiser, BEE sure to tune in for more fun!

For more information about the PISD Education Foundation, visit

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ACC Can Feed the Hungry Food Drive

The ACC Can Feed the Hungry/Alvin ISD Shellie Garza Memorial Food Drive is now under way and volunteers are accepting donations. Can Feed the Hungry provides food for families in need and donations are distributed at the annual Breakfast with Santa on December 6.

The college is also working with the annual Toys for Tots toy drive by hosting several drop off locations on campus.

The Can Feed the Hungry program works in partnership with Alvin ISD. Alvin ISD campuses also will be collecting food donations throughout November. The drive saw a record number of donations in 2013 and were able to provide food to more than 200 area families.

Volunteers will help sort and sack the food at the ACC gym from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on December 5. Breakfast with Santa and the food distribution will be from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Dec. 6 at the ACC Student Center, 3110 Mustang Road. Food also will be distributed at the New Hope Church, 3640 County Road 58 in Manvel.

For more information or to make a donation or if a business would like for a donation box to be put in their location, contact Gary Coffman at 281-756-3693.