More than 300 swimmers from 12 Memorial/Spring Branch swim teams, including Nicholas Airola, an incoming freshman at Stratford High (pictured), dove into the Meet of Champs, a two-day competition with more than 50 events. Chance Parker with Memorial Bend Swim Team broke meet records in the 13-14 boys 100-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke, while Kristen Peck, with Spring Branch Swim Team, broke records in the 13-14 girls 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke. Twelve records were sunk at this year’s meet, and Memorial Bend, coached by Stratford High’s Mike Hoskovec, claimed the overall win.
Kinkaid goes to China
Eighth through 12th graders with the Kinkaid Band, Orchestra and Choir spent 10 days in China, performing concerts on the Great Wall and at The Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Tianjin University and the Xi’an Music Conservatory. The People’s Republic of China invited the students, and instrumental and choral groups from host schools joined the Americans for the concerts. The Kinkaid students and faculty chaperones also toured China’s most famous sights, saw performances by the Peking Acrobats and the Tang Dynasty Musicians and Dancers, and joined in Tai Chi and calligraphy classes. Pictured (from left) are Jack Schuette, Kevin Ruiz, Stuart Raty, Andres Mata-Santellano, Daniel Kendrick, Allie Schuette and Mathew Morico.
Winning big in PeeWee
After finishing first in the PeeWee 8 League Central division with an 11-3 record, the West U Bulls used shut-down defense, explosive hitting and a tight sense of team to capture the championship. Manager Brian Hoogendam and son Carter are Memorial residents who were grandfathered into the West U league. The team went 4-0 in the end-of-season tournament, beating the Hawks 13-6 in the finale. Pictured (from left) are (back row) coach John Young, Creighton Smith, Brian Hoogendam, Greg Wachel, coach Victor Song, (front row) batboy William Hoogendam, Blake Young, Will Smith, Evan Song, Michael Tyler McGinnis, Hank Harris, Carter Hoogendam, Clayton DuMay, Will Wachel, Evan Chambers and Alex Caulin-Cardo.
Acting the part
James Hamrick (pictured), a 2011 graduate of The Kinkaid School, has been sent to death row – in The Devil’s Knot, a movie based on the story of the “West Memphis Three.” Hamrick won the coveted lead role of Damien Echols, the ringleader of three teenagers convicted of murdering three 8-year-olds in 1993. The story recounts the 18-year effort to exonerate the teens. The three were released from jail last year. Hamrick, a sophomore at Nebraska Wesleyan University, looks similar to Echols, and he was hired for the part the same day he read for it. The film also stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. (Photo: © 2012 DHP STUDIO)
Books get new homes
Memorial High School freshmen Elizabeth Knapp and Paige Reed (pictured, from left, with a third grade class at Yellowstone Academy), coordinated a Ticktocker Leadership Project to donate filled book bags to students at Yellowstone Academy. The two are members of the Bayou Villages Chapter of National Charity League. They conceived the project, applied for a grant from their NCL chapter, organized helpers to create book bags and had a book drive. In the end, they were able to hand deliver book bags and more than 600 gently used books to first, second and third grade classes.
A Country home
Smith Howland, Bob Roten, Donna Boyer and Tony Buccieri (pictured, from left) were among the 400 guests who celebrated residents’ success stories at Boys and Girls Country’s annual awards banquet at the St. Francis Episcopal Church Fine Arts Center. Boys and Girls Country provides a home for children ages 5 to 18 from troubled families. All 88 children who reside at the Hockley home were recognized for their accomplishments. Guests listened to speeches from the executive director and a 2012 college graduate who spoke about how the organization helped her and also from a recent high school graduate who lives at the home.
In 100-degree temperatures, kids cooled off with snow cones and juicy watermelons, and families enjoyed live music, mini golf and face painting at the annual Memorial Villages Red, White, and Blue Fourth of July Festival. The parade began at Memorial High and ended at Memorial Drive Baptist Church, where children enjoyed a petting zoo and pony rides. When the “Cha Cha Slide” came on, folks hit the dance floor to show off their moves. Pictured at the festival are Althea, 3-month-old Nathan, Henry and 12-year-old Natalie Lee. To see if you were spotted by The Buzz camera crew, check out the Buzzworthy blog at memorialbuzz.com.
Chairs Elizabeth Stein, Laura Stein, Shelby Kibodeaux and Bruce Padilla (pictured, from left) kicked off the upcoming Celebrity Paws Gala with cool sips and a dog-gone good time for supporters. The gala is a fundraiser for Citizens for Animal Protection. The 130 guests were introduced to CAP’s “Top Ten Elite” who will be honored at the November gala: Elizabeth Allen, Nicholas Altman, Jana Fant, Jeff Gremillion, Adrienne Harvey, Meredith Johnson, Kim Padgett, Erin Spencer and Kim and Dan Tutcher, as well as junior honorees Karson Ludwick and Morgan Meynier. The animal-loving gala-goers, including Kappy Muenzer, Kirby Janke, Beverly Wren, Jonathon Glus, Doris and Roy Hood, and Uchenna Agu, didn’t forget their own furry friends: Guests received goodie bags stuffed with pet products. For gala information, call 281-705-0686.
Something to cheer about
They are the Spartans cheerleaders, and they’ll be hollering, high kicking and flipping at events during the upcoming school year. Named to Stratford High’s 2012-13 varsity cheer squad are (from left, back row) Dawson Morby, Mary Margaret Weaver, Claire Aven, Will Choice, (front row) Samantha Hicks, Keara Ledet, Kennedy Meek, Paige Tormey, Abby Moore, Michelle Evans, Mirielle Pinedo and Taylor Candelario. Camila Castaneda was named mascot. (Photo: Tracy Thornton Photography)
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