HOUSTON, May 19, 2017 – May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. It’s a time to spread the word about the benefits of being active, and Parkway Place, a faith-based senior living community, is doing that for its residents with a unique sport: chair volleyball. The game is popular with residents like Aaron Mendoza. The 92-year-old has played for several years and says it’s very competitive. They play every other Wednesday for about an hour, and their next game is on May 24 at 3 p.m. Mendoza says it’s an outstanding workout and really gets his heart going. The game helps with coordination, stretching and blood flow. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, physical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive function for seniors because participants learn new activities and improve judgement skills. Mendoza says his health has improved since he started playing.

Photo courtesy of Parkway Place: Residents playing chair volleyball

“This game is so beneficial,” said Mendoza. “It boosts your morale and your mood. The only way to be healthy is to stay active. That’s why I continue to play. It’s also a lot of fun and provides good fellowship. It is a reason to get together and try something new. It does get intense because everyone wants their team to win, but in the end, it’s a great way for all of us to stay active. Playing this game is one of the best decisions I’ve made here at Parkway Place. This game is easily one of my favorite activities.”

When playing the game, residents split into a red and yellow team with ten players on each team. The goal is to get the beach ball over the net, but there’s a catch. They have to stay seated during the entire game. Mendoza says sometimes you’ll want to stand up or kick the ball, but you can’t. Just like a normal volleyball game, the players cover part of the court, rotate positions and serve the ball. He says everyone should play chair volleyball, and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is the perfect time to start.

“Laughter is the best medicine,” said Mendoza. “We laugh a lot during this game because it’s fun. Every once in a while someone gets hit with the ball, but we all have fun together. I look forward to seeing my team and playing every other week. It’s also nice to see the staff cheering us on while we play. It puts smiles on our faces, and after each game I play I leave in a good mood.”

Mendoza has lived at Parkway Place since 2010 and started playing shortly after his move. The community is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for residents by promoting an active, healthy Christian lifestyle while maintaining their independence and dignity.

“Chair volleyball is one of the most popular activities among residents,” said Rachel Ramirez, wellness director at Parkway Place. “It’s so fun to watch the teams play. You can tell they are really enjoying themselves out on the court, and that’s always a pleasure to see. We encourage residents to stay active, and this game benefits the health and well-being of the residents.”

If you are a member of the media who would like to attend the game or set up an interview, please contact Chelsi Smith via phone at 214-378-7970 ext. 238 or email at or Amy Jones via phone at 214-378-7970 ext. 302 or email at


Parkway Place in Houston, a Buckner Retirement Services community, is a nonprofit, faith-based senior living community located on a 15-acre manicured campus that includes flowers, walking paths, gazebos, benches and raised gardens, putting green, as well as an outdoor heated pool and spas. It is also one of the few Independent Living communities in West Houston that has no entrance fees or long-term contracts, and provides spacious apartment residences on a rental basis.

As a life plan community, Parkway Place offers Independent Living apartment residences, spacious Assisted Living, and innovative Memory Care and Skilled Nursing services. The community offers 159 independent apartments, 58 assisted living apartments, 24 memory care support residences and skilled nursing for 60 residents. A new Wellness Center has been added which features state-of-the-art equipment and a BE Well Program to enhance the four dimensions of wellness.

Residents can enjoy delicious dining and warm fellowship in beautifully arranged dining rooms.  The community also has an on-site life enrichment coordinator, chapel, full-time chaplain, on-site worship services, beauty/barber salon and weekly housekeeping/linen service.

For more information about Parkway Place, please visit the community website at or call (281) 677–5912.

Buckner Retirement Services, Inc. is one of the largest not-for-profit senior living organizations in Texas dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for senior adults and their families by promoting an active, healthy Christian lifestyle while maintaining their independence and dignity. Buckner Retirement Services is part of Buckner International, a global faith-based ministry serving people each year in the United States and worldwide.

(AUSTIN) — Texas families can save on the purchase of certain water- and energy-efficient products during the state’s Water-Efficient Products and ENERGY STAR® sales tax holidays. Both take place on Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29.

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts estimates shoppers will save an estimated $10.2 million in state and local sales tax during the Memorial Day weekend sales tax holidays.

“Outdated water systems and inefficient appliances can put a tremendous strain on our water supplies and power grids,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “By taking advantage of these sales tax holidays, Texans can make upgrades that will help alleviate those pressures and lower their utility bills — all while saving money on state and local sales taxes.”

This is the second year for the Water-Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday. Products that display a WaterSense®label or logo can be purchased tax-free for personal or business use. These include showerheads, bathroom sink faucets and accessories, toilets, urinals and landscape irrigation controls.

The sales tax holiday also applies to water-conserving products used or planted for conserving or retaining groundwater, recharging water tables or decreasing ambient air temperature to limit water evaporation. Items qualifying for the exemption include soaker or drip-irrigation hoses; moisture controls for a sprinkler or irrigation system; mulch; and plants, trees and grasses. These items can only be purchased tax-free for residential use.

There is no limit to the number of water-efficient or water-conserving products you can purchase. Go to the Comptroller’s website for more information on the Water-Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday.

During the ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday, the following energy-efficient products that display the ENERGY STAR logo can be purchased tax-free: programmable thermostats; air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less; refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less; ceiling fans; fluorescent light bulbs; dishwashers; dehumidifiers; and clothes washing machines (but not dryers). Go to the Comptroller’s website for more ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday details.

Estimated annual energy and water savings for eligible products are listed below.


ENERGY STAR® Appliance vs. Conventional
Appliance Type Energy Savings Water Savings
Central Air Conditioners 8%
Room/Window Air Conditioners 9%
Refrigerators 9%
Ceiling Fans 60%
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs 80%
Clothes Washers 25% 45%
Dish Washers 12% 30%
Dehumidifiers 30%
Programmable Thermostats 7%
Source: U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Unfortunately, seat belts do not come in one-size-fits-all. In fact, the seat belt that is designed to save an adult’s life in a crash does not fit a young child. And, the poor fit of the seat belt can actually cause serious injuries or even death during a crash. Many parents are under the impression that a child can be moved to the vehicle seat belt system when they have outgrown the weight limits of their child safety seat. Most conventional forward-facing child safety seats have a 5-point harness system that can be used until 40 pounds. However, most children weigh 40 pounds long before they are tall enough to fit in the vehicle lap/shoulder belt.

Children do not fit well in the vehicle lap/shoulder belts that were designed for adults who are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. Instead of fitting properly over the lower hips, the lap belt rides over the soft tissues of the abdomen and can cause severe injury or death. The shoulder portion of the belt hits the child’s neck or face instead of lying flat across the chest. This causes many children to place the shoulder belt behind their back, leaving them with no upper body protection. A booster seat ‘boosts’ the child up so the lap/shoulder belt will fit correctly and provide protection in a crash.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, Fort Bend County reminds parents that correctly using a booster seat can protect a child from being thrown around the vehicle or being totally ejected in a crash. In a crash, children who are incorrectly restrained by a lap/shoulder belt are likely to sustain serious injuries to internal organs as well as the head and spinal cord. In fact, these abdominal and spinal injuries are medically referred to as “Seat Belt Syndrome.”

Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children ages three and up. Child safety seats, including boosters, have been proven to be effective in preventing injuries and deaths, yet in 2011, 41% of Texas booster-seat age children killed in motor vehicle crashes were unrestrained. Studies show that booster seats can reduce the risk of injury by 59 percent for children ages 4-7, but children in this age group are the least likely to be properly restrained. Surveys conducted in Texas in 2013 by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that only 35.9 percent of our booster seat age children were correctly restrained.

The law in Texas requires children under age 8, unless taller than 4’ 9” to be in a child restraint system according to the manufacturer’s instructions. According to the law, an 8 year old can legally ride in the seat belt, but only a small percentage of 8 year olds are 4’9”. The average child reaches 4’9” at age 11! Best practice is to keep the child in a booster seat until the lap/shoulder belts fits.

The injury rate and high costs associated with medical care and lost productivity for families is huge. Booster seats are an affordable solution to protecting children in the 4-8+ age group. The cost of booster seats is low–generally between $13-$50. It is estimated by Safe Kids Worldwide that a $30 booster seat generates $2,000 in benefit to society from reduced health-care expenses. Booster seats offer a low-cost solution to a high-cost problem.

When is your child ready for the seat belt?

Take the Five Step Test

1.Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?

2.Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle?

3.Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?

4.Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?

5.Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to make both the shoulder belt and the lap belt fit right for the best crash protection. Your child will be more comfortable, too!

Source: SafetyBeltSafe,U.S.A,

Call Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office at 281-342-3034 to book an appointment on May 30 for a free child safety seat inspection, or visit to find a certified child passenger safety technician in your area.

People lining up to receive free fresh fruits, vegetables and milk during Northwest Assistance Ministries Mobile Food Pantry

(Houston, May 16, 2017). Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) hosted its first-ever Mobile Food Pantry.

The food distribution was held at NAM’s Joanne Watford Nutrition Center on April 29, 2017. The Mobile Food Pantry handed out more than 9,000 pounds of food purchased from the Houston Food Bank to 245 low-income families from the greater Houston area. The free distribution of fresh fruits, vegetables and milk was conducted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“We are so excited this event was so successful,” explained Kerima Pizzaro, Supervisor at the Joanne Watford Nutrition Center. “Having 245 people really shows the need we have in our community for fresh produce and milk and we are glad we were able to provide that for them. We want to promote better nutrition and motivate people to eat better and make healthier choices for themselves and for their families.”

Along with distributing free food, representatives from NAM’s Children Clinic, Family Violence Center and NAM Resale Store were on site to provide information about NAM’s programs and services.

Special thanks to Dr. Abrol from the American Lung Association for being a part of the event and providing information and education to clients.

The next Mobile Food Pantry will be held at NAM on Saturday, August 5, 2017. More than 200 people are expected to attend on a first come first serve basis. No registration is required to receive food at the event. NAM’s Back to School supply distribution will also take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the same day. Parents registered to pick up Back to School supplies are encouraged to stop by the Mobile Food Pantry, should they need assistance with fresh produce and milk.

The Joanne Watford Center provided groceries for well-balanced fresh, frozen and non-perishable meals to 18,765 people during NAM’s 2015-2016 fiscal year. The Nutrition Center enables qualifying clients to shop for and select food items based on the family’s nutritional needs. As part of the Senior Food Program, 125 low income seniors received supplemental groceries monthly. More than 1,000 families were provided holiday meals last year.

Northwest Assistance Ministries is a non-profit, community-based social service agency that strives to meet basic human needs through Neighbors Helping Neighbors. NAM provides assistance in areas such as food, shelter, health, education and domestic violence awareness and intervention. In the last fiscal year, NAM touched the lives of more than 114,000 people through its many programs and services.

For more information, please visit or call (281) 885-4555.

(Houston, May 17, 2017). Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) received the highly-coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

The rating comes after NAM’s continued robust financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency to the community, according to America’s largest independent charity evaluator, Charity Navigator.

“It’s important our donors trust that we’re using their donations wisely to accomplish NAM’s mission of Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” said Carole Little, NAM President & CEO. “Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating demonstrates to our supporters our good governance and financial accountability.”

“NAM’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds NAM to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support NAM.”

Since 2002, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders.

Northwest Assistance Ministries is a nonprofit, community-based social service agency that strives to meet basic human needs through Neighbors Helping Neighbors. NAM provides assistance in areas such as food, shelter, health, education and domestic violence awareness and intervention. In the last fiscal year, NAM touched the lives of more than 114,000 people through its many programs and services.

For more information about NAM, please visit or call (281) 885-4555.

Volunteers Donna Moore, Carolyn Milby, Barb Cooper, Nancy Weaver and Judy Barker, showing the beautiful flowers and prizes received at the 2017 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon


(Houston, May 17, 2017). Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) celebrated the much-anticipated 2017 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.

More than 200 guests enjoyed laughter and camaraderie on April 20, 2017 thanks to the generosity of Bobby Shirley, owner of Shirley Acres. Every year for the last six years, NAM has honored its volunteers with a delicious luncheon served by NAM staff at Bobby’s beautiful venue, Shirley Acres located at 217 Woerner Road, Houston, Texas. The event is in gratitude for the thousands of volunteer hours donated by more than 2,000 community volunteers that help support NAM’s mission of Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

“I am so grateful to all the volunteers that come to NAM every day,” explained Carole Little, NAM’s President and CEO. “This luncheon is an opportunity to honor the unsung heroes of NAM and we know that without them we couldn’t possibly do what we do. Behind every success story, every client helped, every dream fulfilled, there’s a volunteer that made that possible and I am so grateful to every single volunteer for all they do to help our neighbors in need.”

The Kentucky Derby-themed luncheon, “Our Hearts Race for You!” delighted guests with this year’s entertainer, Robby Bennett. Bennett is a well-known Houston magician who brought exciting new tricks and comedy to this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.

Many thanks to all the sponsors that made this event a success for NAM:  Chick-Fil-A, Half Price Books, H-E-B, National Charity League- Cypress Creek, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Party Props Inc., Raising Cane’s , Robby Bennett, Shirley Acres and Staples. The next Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon will come back in the spring of 2018.

More than 2,000 volunteers serve NAM on a regular basis. They are young and old, Boys & Girl Scouts, executives, young moms and great-grandfathers. They bring experiences and expertise as varied as the world around us, and put those skills to work in hundreds of roles at NAM. The federal government assigns a dollar value to volunteer hours, and NAM’s volunteers contribute more than $1 million worth of service annually.

Northwest Assistance Ministries is a nonprofit, community-based social service agency that strives to meet basic human needs through Neighbors Helping Neighbors. NAM provides assistance in areas such as food, shelter, health, education and domestic violence awareness and intervention. In the last fiscal year, NAM touched the lives of more than 114,000 people through its many programs and services.

To learn more about volunteering at NAM, community members should contact Courtney Frost-Tadlock, Community Relations Coordinator at (281) 885-4604 or For more information, please visit or call (281) 885-4555.

Houston, TX – May 17, 2017. – EY has announced that Juliet Breeze, MD of Next Level Urgent Care, LLC is a finalist for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Gulf Coast Area.

The world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, Entrepreneur Of The Year recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Dr. Breeze, who was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent judges – including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance and the local community, is a primary care physician and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in healthcare. She is today the CEO of one of the largest and fastest growing woman-owned Urgent Care organizations in Houston.  It is also one of the few physician-owned urgent care organizations in Houston.

“I am extremely honored to be chosen as one of this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists,” said Breeze.

“Building a trusted, cost-effective alternative for after-hours medical care in Houston has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life. It began as a personal endeavor to fill a gap in healthcare and has grown into an ongoing commitment to convenient care shared by an expansive network of exceptional healthcare providers,” added Breeze.

Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 15, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis.  Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition.

Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 18, 2017. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth ForumTM, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

EY, the global organization referring to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, has expanded its program to now recognize business leaders in over 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In the Gulf Coast Area, sponsors also include Colliers International, DLA Piper, ADP, SolomonEdwards, Chatham Financial, Pierpont Communications and the Houston Business Journal.

Elizabeth and Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale Continue Their Outreach and Support of Houstonians Living with OCD 

WHAT:                 Following Mental Health Awareness Month, Peace of Mind Foundation will host an all-day conference on Friday, June 2, 2017, to educate and support those living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In popular culture, the term OCD has become a casual acronym for “perfectionist” or “neat,” something very different from the stark reality of the mental health disorder that affects the lives of nearly 3 million people in the United States, including children and teens. Although OCD has no cure, its symptoms — which include obsessions and compulsive rituals — can be effectively managed through cognitive behavioral therapy and medication.

Elizabeth and Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale will host the second annual OCD conference in Houston to support those living with OCD. See below for the full conference schedule:

OCD 101 Training:

  • 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm: OCD 101 Training: Learn about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), types of OCD, related disorders, symptoms, diagnoses, treatment options, stigma, OCD cycle and relapse prevention.
  • 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Light snacks and refreshments

Managing Life with OCD:

  • 4:30pm – 5:30pm: “Life with OCD: Family Perspective” by Elizabeth McIngvale, Ph.D, LMSW and Jim McIngvale
  • 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm: “OCD & Families: Learning to Cope Together” by Constantina Boudouvas, LCSW
  • 6:15 pm – 7:00 pm – “OCD Treatment: The Ins and Outs of OCD Therapy” by Thorstur Bjorgvinsson, Ph.D., ABPP

WHO:                    Elizabeth McIngvale, LMSW, PhD – local advocate and founder of Peace of Mind foundation

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale – public speaker, philanthropist, owner of Gallery Furniture

                                Throstur Bjorgvinsson, PhD, ABPP – psychologist and director of Houston OCD program

Constantina Boudouvas, LCSW – OCD specialist 

WHEN:                 Friday, June 2, 2017 from 12:30 pm to 7:00 pm  

WHERE:               The Council on Recovery – 303 Jackson Hill Street, Houston, Texas 77007

For more information on the conference or to register visit,

About Peace of Mind

The Peace of Mind Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to help improve the quality of life of OCD sufferers and caregivers through education, research, support and advocacy. Founded by the Linda and Jim McIngvale family at the request of their daughter Elizabeth. The Foundation created and fully subsidizes the OCD Challenge, a free online self-help website for individuals suffering from OCD.

This summer, we invite you to help us Build a Better World for those in our community. The Maud Marks Library will be collecting nonperishable food and personal items throughout the summer for the Katy Christian Ministries Food Pantry. Come in at any time from June 1- August 5 and place your donation in the cardboard box by the summer reading registration desk. Come help us Build a Better World for the less fortunate in our community.

For more information, call Naomi Haught at 281-492-8592.

Bipartisan “Mother’s Day Gift” seeks to avoid potential nursing home crisis

 AUSTIN, TX – Long term care professionals in Texas are urging the Texas Senate to give elderly Texans a “Mother’s Day” gift by approving the Nursing Facility Reinvestment Allowance, or NFRA, and improve nursing home funding without additional state spending. The NFRA cleared the House with solid support on Thursday with the passage of House Bill 2766, by Gatesville family practice doctor Rep. J.D. Sheffield. In addition to strong bipartisan support, the NFRA is supported by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

“The NFRA is a smart, practical way to address years of underfunding for Texas nursing homes,” said Kevin Warren, president and CEO of the Texas Health Care Association. “The House overwhelmingly approved it and we hope the Senate will do the same. The NFRA will give us the tools we need to enhance the quality of long term care in Texas by addressing issues such as the 90 percent turnover rate of our registered nurses.”

The NFRA is now pending in the Senate, where it is likely to be sent to the Health and Human Services Committee. Members of that committee are Chairman Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), Vice-Chairman Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio), Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway), Sen. Konni Burton (R-Fort Worth), Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), Sen. Borris L. Miles (D-Houston), Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano), and Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin).

“Improving the quality of long term care is something all Texans can agree on,” Warren said. “The NFRA is a pragmatic way to increase much needed funding for care delivery as well as incentivize improved quality of care, all without additional state spending. It’s a solution all Texans can get behind.”

Texas has lagged behind other states in finding ways to boost funding for nursing homes. Forty-three other states have similar programs in place to supplement health care funding.

The NFRA would accomplish this by implementing a reinvestment allowance from nursing home operators the state can use to draw down federal Medicaid matching dollars Texas now loses to other states. HB2766 statutorily prohibits the NFRA from being passed on to nursing home residents.

In addition to improving Medicaid rates, HB2766 would direct 50 percent of the additional funds toward quality-based payment programs. Nursing homes will be required to meet certain quality standards to receive the full benefit of the program.  The NFRA is intended to incentivize nursing home operators to enhance the quality of care they deliver, while also giving them the tools they need to elevate care, facilities and programs.