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Houston City Scope November 2017

Wade Smith


Wade Smith, NFL veteran, and Pro Bowl Player, scores another touchdown with his second children’s book, Smitty Tackles Bullying. Smitty is one year older and another year wiser since readers last saw him. He has truly discovered his love of reading and is doing great in class and on the field! But, Smitty begins to worry when he notices he best friend, Luke, is skipping out on Reading Lab. Smitty decides to investigate, leading him to discover that a classmate is bullying Luke as he struggles to read aloud in class.

Smitty knows he needs to do the right thing and take action. He confronts the bully by applying his dad’s advice, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” Smitty uses kindness and understanding to confront the bully, and in the end makes a new friend and finds a way to help Luke improve his reading skills. Along the way, Smitty once again proves that reading is cool.

Smitty Tackles Bullying follows Smitty’s second adventure inspired by Wade’s younger self. This charming picture book is the perfect story for kids who may be dealing with bullying themselves, and proves that it isn’t okay to just stand on the sidelines. Sometimes courage, compassion and standing up for what is right are the keys to tackling bullying. Smith’s first book, Smitty Hits the (Play) Books was released last year.


Sales of the On Board With Houston print will raise funds for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by the Points of Light organization.

President George H.W. Bush with artist John Ross Palmer and Palmer’s painting.


President George H. W. Bush and Artist John Ross Palmer have launched a fundraiser for their hometown of Houston in the wake of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. Palmer’s painting, On Board with Houston, signed by both President Bush and Palmer, will be sold as prints with 100 percent of the net proceeds to support the 501(c)(3) independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit Points of Light organization and its ongoing, long-term volunteer efforts in Houston and its surrounding areas in the months and likely years recovering from the recent catastrophic flooding.

During the storm, Palmer was most captivated by the men, women, children and pets (including a number of personal friends) that were rescued by boats from the high flood waters. Specif­ic­ally, he noticed that many people used their own boats to rescue their neighbors and fellow citizens. The painting features seven interlocked boats to symbolize how coordination, communication and teamwork were essential by first responders not only from Houston but from all over the country to save the lives of hundreds of Houstonians.

In the wake of the storm, Palmer met with former President Bush at his summer home on Walker’s Point, Kenne­bunkport, Maine to show him the painting. He loved it. President Bush and Palmer hatched an idea to sell prints of Palmer’s painting to raise funds for Points of Light’s Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and its planned, long-term volunteer work in Houston. The original On Board with Houston” painting has been donated by Palmer to Points of Light and will be auctioned for Harvey relief efforts at a future event to be determined.

On Board with Houston is sold for $35 per print at JohnPalmerStore.com. For more information about the artist or the painting, contact Ryan Lindsay at 713-861-6726 or Ryan@JohnPalmerArt.com. For questions about Points of Light and the planned volunteer efforts in Houston, contact Meghann Gibbons at 404-731-2673 or MGibbons@PointsOfLight.org.


(L-R): Jen Captain and Purvez Captain (Friends of County Pets Board co-presidents), Kara and Lance McCullers (HPA Spokesmen), Andrea Birkelbach (Founder of HPA) and Morgan Birklebach.


Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers and his wife Kara recently spent an afternoon painting, sweeping, and cleaning to help Houston Pets Alive create a space for pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

This is a partnership with Houston Pets Alive, Austin Pets Alive and Best Friends Animal Society. The new Houston Pets Alive Hub, located at 8710 Stella Link, accepts displaced pets from Harris County, including the city and the surrounding areas, who were lost in the storm and helps reunite them with their owners. It also serves as a place where citizens can drop off found pets who need shelter and transport to rescues, where owners can get help with pet necessities so they can keep their beloved pets, and where pets from overcrowded shelters can be taken to help ease their burden. Pets coming to the Houston Pets Alive hub will be taken to the Best Friends Animal Society facility at the Montgomery County Fair Grounds holding shelter until they are reunited with their owners.

Visit HoustonPetsAlive.org/Harvey to stay up-to-date with relief efforts or email HurricaneHarvey@houstonpetsalive.org.


“Quilt Piece” welcomes the November International Quilt Festival to Houston.


The Community Artists’ Collective (The Collective) has installed “Quilt Piece,” a large public sculpture in front of the Bermac Art Building, 4101 San Jacinto, where the organization has its exhibit space and offices.

The sculpture was created to connect The Collective’s Jubilee Quilt Circle during the November International Quilt Fes­tival at the George R. Brown Conven­tion Center.

The sculpture, composed of powder-coated steel, was designed by artist Michelle Barnes and facilitated by Gail Meband and Charles Washington with the support of the Midtown Redevelop­ment Authority. It was fabricated by James Contreras, owner of Adventure Play Systems, Inc. The colorful sculpture (blue, magena, orange, yellow and metallic silver), stands 8 feet high, 11 feet wide and 6 feet deep, and features four free-form figures working on a quilt.

“Quilt Piece is our tribute to the November 2017 International Quilt Festi­val at the George R. Brown Convention Center,” Michelle Barnes, executive director of The Collective, explained. “The Jubilee Quilt Circle, one of our arts programs, meets twice a week with local quilters, both novice and experienced, and we want to demonstrate our connection with quilting to the thousands of convention visitors.”

The Collective offers quilters lessons and use of its Gammill Stitcher, which is capable of stitching almost any design in greatly reduced time. The Jubilee Quilt Circle members will represent The Collective at a booth at the Quilt Festival, Nov. 1-5. For more information, call 713-523-1616 or visit thecollective.org.

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