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Candlelighters

Following accidents, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children. For over 20 years, the Candlelighters have supported the needs of families facing childhood cancer. Their parent consultants are based in both Texas Children's Cancer Center and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Children's Cancer Hospital.

They hold special events. and have affected over 900 family members through the Candlelighters Adopt- A- Family program. This program offers the sponsors the opportunity to interact with Candlelighters families. This contact is important for both families in celebrating the true meaning of the holidays. One can discover the joy of spreading holiday cheer to those families who find the season difficult while coping with a child diagnosed with cancer or having recently lost a child to cancer.

They also host the Fall Family Festival where children can be away from the hospital and have fun without being around the everyday ordeals of cancer. The 8th grade students at St. John's School host a fun array of games, carnival events, recreational activities and surprises.

For more go to www.candle.org

Houston Food Bank's mission is to lead the fight against hunger. The Houston Food Bank was founded in 1982 and feeds around 137,000 hungry people each week by distributing food through nearly 600 hunger relief agencies in 18 southeast Texas counties. The Bank stretches every dollar donation to provide a full day of meals for children, adults, seniors, and help serve soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless and abused, church and community food pantries. The food they help distribute usually comes from various sources in the food industry like grocery stores and wholesalers. With the help from volunteers the food is sorted, packed, and re-distributed to the community.

By 2018, their goal is to distribute 100,000,000 nutritious meals each year. The man behind the vision is Brian Greene, President and CEO. Since 2005, Brian has led the organization to incredible growth. This included moving the Food Bank into its new home, a 308 thousand square foot warehouse and office facility which is four times larger than the old one.

Houston Food Bank is the nation's largest size Feeding America food bank.

 

Music Doing Good was founded in 2011, out of the vision of actress and singer Marie Bosarge, who desired to inspire and transform lives through innovative music based programming. This year's Music Doing Good will touch the lives of more than 10,000 people. Their programs include a unique after-school performing arts program for at-risk and underserved youth. The program features mentor-style leadership to identify and build upon the natural abilities of students. Their instrument program puts gently used instruments in the hands of under-served students and economically challenged school districts by partnering with individuals and organizations. They also work with individuals in the greater Houston area to write and record their own songs. The organization's singer/songwriters meet with participants to gather their thoughts, messages, or memories and help put them to music. Selected songs are showcased on the Music Doing Good website. They have a concert series that helps extend the organization's reach in the community. Music Doing Good offers is committed to helping Houston students from the ages of 12 and 18 to continue their music development by offering scholarships.

Star of Hope was established by Reverend Dennis R. Peveto, a Baptist minister, during the beginning of the twentieth century. His vision was to provide aid and help to men who faced struggles such as substance abuse, alcoholism, negligence, hopelessness and homelessness.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the group in most need of aid and help where not only men facing poverty, but surprisingly women and children. Through generosity and hard work, Star of Hope expanded and created The Women and Family Emergency Center. This home is a safe haven for single, unemployed or employed mothers who need guidance and help.

There is the June Waggoner House of Hope, which provides guidance for the younger population with daycare to programs for teens and The Learning for Transition Center which provides ministry, guidance, housing, healthcare, education and job opportunities. Another facility that houses and specializes in guiding men is The Doris and Carloss Morris Men's Development Center.

Star of Hope does more than provide physical commodities to people in need, but provides them with hope, guidance, ministry careers and builds dreams and the opportunity to give rise to new ones.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo hit the 350 million mark in charitable contributions for Texas students. When mentioning Houston charities it is impossible to ignore the impact the rodeo event has had on many charities, including the funding of over $350 million in education. With the success of last year's show the scholarship count will be 735, including 615 four year 18,000 scholarships, totaling over 12 million.

Incorporated in 1932, the original name was The Houston Fat Stock Show and Livestock Exposition, formed to improve breeding and raising practices for cattle. In 1957, the first educational scholarship was given for $2,000.

New for 2014, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is contributing to Comp-U-Dopt; Harris County Hospital District Foundation; Houston Area Women's Center; Former Texas Rangers Foundation; Rise School of Houston; Shriners Hospitals for Children – Houston; Texas A&M University – Bush School of Government & Public Service; United Way; and the YMCA of Greater Houston – Camp Cullen.

Additionally, the Show will continue its support of the American Festival for the Arts; The Center for Hearing and Speech; Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston; Holocaust Museum Houston; Memorial Park Conservancy; Small Steps Nurturing Center; Teach for America – Houston; Theatre Under the Stars; and other local and statewide educational programs.

 

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An Interview with Steve Stevens
     Chairman of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

· What has been your favorite part of being chairman of the world's largest rodeo and Houston's premier annual event?

"Seeing the impact that the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ makes on the lives of children in our community and around the state. We have over 2,000 students at over 100 universities in Texas that are on Show scholarships. In addition, we are making an impact on Houston by being a good corporate citizen in Houston and the surrounding area. We support art, reading, and mathematics programs, the Houston Symphony, the theater, Memorial Park, and more. It's just fun to see the fruits of our labor making an impact."

· You have been involved in the rodeo for over 30 years. What are some of the highlights that stand out in your memory?

"One great highlight is participating and WINNING the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest in 1978. Another wonderful memory is watching my children be successful in the Show's Horse Show, and to be able to compete myself. I hope to see my grandchildren compete soon."

· What are the biggest changes and challenges from the early days of running the rodeo?

"It is now a very big business. The regulatory requirements regarding our Section 501(c)(3) organization are constantly monitored. We have a significant investment portfolio that needs to be constantly monitored. There are many things outside the actual rodeo performances that must be monitored and maintained."

· Are you a cowboy first and businessman second or vice versa?

"I've always been a cowboy but I have to be a good businessman to support my cowboy ways."

· What is it about the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that makes it continue to grow and be even more successful?

"Two things. First is the city of Houston. We live in the most dynamic, vibrant city in the world. The people in our town work hard and play hard and the show is a big part of that culture. Secondly, we have 28,500 wonderful volunteers. We have doctors and lawyers opening gates. We have homemakers giving directions and assistance. We have a wonderful group of donors and buyers that continually support our Show."

· As an entrepreneur and now chairman of the rodeo, what advice can you give to aspiring young people today?

"Work hard. Establish yourself. Take care of your family and then give back to your community. Find a charitable organization that you enjoy working with and roll up your sleeves and help it be successful. If you don't have one, call me."