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Houston City Scope April 2017

King Frivolous CII Lawrence Estes, Jr. and Queen Lauren Balentine. (Photo – Rhea’s Photographic Art)

Momus President Robert Kline, Sally Kline, Jolyn and Russell Schierman. (Photo – Rhea’s Photographic Art)

Brenda and Tom Koch (Photo – Rhea’s Photographic Art)


Continuing its tradition of Mardi Gras court presentations, the Knights of Momus, Galveston’s oldest krewe, officially kicked off the first weekend of Mardi Gras with the President’s Welcome Reception and Cocktail Party at The Tremont House in the Davidson Ballroom on Friday, Feb. 17 and the glamorous Coronation Ball on Saturday, Feb. 18. Highlighting the weekend was the presentation of 25 Duchesses from Houston, Cypress, Galveston, San Angelo and Oklahoma City at The Grand 1894 Opera House as Momus saluted “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The Duchesses charmed the sold-out audience of 850 with their Texas Bows and stunning gowns in a variety of striking colors and designs.

The crowning of King Frivolous CII Lawrence C. Estes, Jr., co-founder of Dawson/Estes, Inc., and Momus Queen Lauren Balentine, a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, marked the special occasion. The members of the King’s retinue who contributed to the revelry on stage included A. Reed Estes, Chris R. Estes, James E. McLean, Frank Dominquez III, Anthony P. Brown and Robert D. Kline.

The pirates from METdance en­thralled the audience with their on-stage sword fight and reveal of the Queen by a Proclamation found in a treasure chest. After the Queen was announced, the King administered the Queen’s Oath to her.

Following the presentation, Jolyn and Russell Scheirman chaired a grand gala at The Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort. Cadets from the Hearn Honor Guard of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy at Texas A&M University at Galveston were a sight to behold as the Duchesses and their Presenters entered the Ballroom for the King’s Father Daughter Dance.

After dessert, festively clad guests were found mingling with pirates amongst a forest of palm trees, orchids, parrots, pelicans and live monkeys. Those enjoying the scene were the master of ceremonies and KTRK news anchor Tom Koch and his wife Brenda; Knights of Momus Parade Grand Marshall J.P. Bryan; Paige Fertitta; Michael Fertitta; Maria Bush; Weez and Mike Doherty; Julie and Kenny Shelton; Libbie and Bill Ansell; Mary and Gary Peters; Joan and Doug McLeod; Dancie and Jim Ware; Jennifer and Frank Dominguez; Jim and Tessie McLean; Andrea, Carolyn and Carroll Sunseri; Wayne and Catherine Bertrand, Scott and Martha Livanec; Michelle and Bryan Ritchey; Marcie and Herb Ehmann; Tara Wegryn and Terry Brooker; Cindi and Vic Matthews; and Lisette and Tony Brown.


The Children’s Play Area at Levy Park includes water features (top) and whimsical structures. (Photo – Carol Brejot)

The ascending ADA-accessible walkway takes visitors into the oak tree canopy. (PhotoMorris Malakoff)


Approximately 7,500 people came out on Feb. 25 over the course of the all-day event to celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of Levy Park in the Upper Kirby District. This was the official unveiling of the two-year, $15 million renovation of Levy Park, first deeded to the City of Houston by Houston philanthropist Leon Levy in 1941. Visit levyparkhouston.org for more information.


(L-R): Stephanie Oliver Parrish, Michelle Riley-Brown, Mary Redmond, Sylvester Turner, Larry Green, Karla Cisneros and Ronald McDonald. (Photo – Joel Luks)


At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 10, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Greater Houston/Galveston, along with City of Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner, Texas Children’s Hospital, and the McDonald’s Owner/ Operators Association of Greater Houston, celebrated the unveiling of the new Ronald McDonald Care Mobile medical unit at McDonald’s located at 1619 South Loop West.

Designed from the ground up to meet healthcare and treatment needs of children, Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is staffed by pediatricians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and medical assistants from Texas Children’s. Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will provide medical care to over 3,000 children per year in a 60-mile radius around the Texas Medical Center. The new unit is expected to expand service reach by 10 percent in the first year.



Multi-talented recording artist, actress, and executive producer Kelly Rowland will add author to her long list of accomplishments with the upcoming release of her first book, Whoa, Baby!: A Guide for New Moms Who Feel Overwhelmed and Freaked Out (And Wonder What the #*@& Just Happened).

The book, co-authored by her personal obstetrician Dr. Tristan Emily Bickman, was published by Da Capo Lifelong Books and hits shelves on March 28 and is now available online at booksellers including the publisher.

“Dr. Bickman and I wanted to create an answer to what to expect after childbirth. No one told me what to expect physically, emotionally, or mentally,” Kelly explains. “The purpose of Whoa, Baby! is to comfort the mother and give her knowledge of what’s going on with her. We cover everything!”

When Kelly gave birth to her son Titan, it was love at first sight but she was also a little freaked out about what happened to her body – not to mention the overwhelming new thoughts and emotions. In Whoa, Baby!, Rowland and Bickman team up to cover everything a first-time mom needs to know: the gross physical stuff, the hormonal and emotional stuff, and the just plain weird stuff. Whoa, Baby! is often hilarious and always honest and down-to-earth. From falling asleep with the pump on to swollen legs and lack of sleep, Rowland and Bickman cover every surprising challenge that new mom’s face.


Lisa Shumate and Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations.


America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) presented the second annual Pillar of Public Service Award on March 1 to Lisa Trapani Shumate, associate vice president and general manager of Houston Public Media. The award recognizes the contributions of an extraordinary leader in one of public television’s three pillars of public service: education, public safety and civic leadership.

“Lisa Trapani Shumate and her colleagues at Houston Public Media are true pioneers in public safety, as they’ve taken the decade-long promise of public safety datacasting and put it to work in Houston and Harris County,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS.



Amber G Productions has a unique niche: providing the Deaf consumer full access to musical performances by interpreting them in line with the integrity and original intent of each artist. The company was formed as a response to the Deaf community’s desire to see and experience music in the same way that hearing people connect emotionally to the sounds.

Their team is comprised of prolific music interpreters, hearing and Deaf, with a combined experience of more 30 years and several hundreds of concerts, festivals, rodeos (including the 2017 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo) and other venues.

Owner/Interpreter Amber Galloway Gallego has the ability to show the connection between lyrics and sounds. Deaf audience members have often said they are able to connect to the performance more then they had in the past. Her efforts also have delighted and inspired hearing music aficionados. “Our commitment to humanity should be to ensure music is accessible to ALL,” she says.

Amber has more than 14 years of interpreting and has a Master’s Degree in ASL/English Interpreting and numerous professional certifications.

Houston City Scope April 2017

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