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Houston Children’s Charity Gives Wheelchair Vans to Nine Disabled Houstonians


Houston’s Children’s Charity and AMS Vans, Inc. have partnered together in support of the nonprofit’s “Chariots for Children” program to give nine lucky Houston individuals and agencies a free wheelchair conversion van. Each of these individuals suffer from multiple handicaps that make their everyday life a challenge for them and their families.

These deserving recipients will receive a wheelchair van that provides families with special needs mobility freedom, unlocking opportunities of transportation and travel. With dealerships expanding across the nation, AMS Vans accommodates wheelchair users and their families with a side or rear wheelchair ramp.

WHO: Laura Ward, Houston Children’s Charity Executive Director
Dallas Crum, AMS Vans, Inc. General Manager/Community Relations Manager
Rachael Gordon, Texas Mattress Makers Official Spokesperson
Tilman Fertitta, Houston Children’s Charity Board Member and CEO of Landry’s, Inc.

Images and interviews will be available with each of these admirable Houstonians and agencies who receive a wheelchair van and have their lives dramatically enhanced.

WHY: With the substantial deduction in cost from AMS Vans, this event will be the most vans Houston Children’s Charity has ever awarded in one year. With so many applicants, the nonprofit’s focus has become to award these vans to individuals and agencies with the greatest need and impact in their lives moving forward.

Through “Chariots for Children”, Houston Children’s Charity has awarded 89 passenger vans, 21 handicapped accessible vehicles, three box trucks, one car and two vehicle modifications to 93 agencies and 21 individual families, at a cost of $2,850,698 over the past 17 years.

Additional event sponsors include: Texas Mattress Makers and Silver Eagle Distributors. During the event, Texas Mattress Makers will also make a surprise announcement with donating 200 beds as well as reveal they are the new Bed Partner of Houston Children’s Charity. For over 35 years, Texas Mattress Makers has been producing high quality mattresses with materials purchased exclusively from US based companies with no outsourced labor. They are the experts in the art of making mattresses, knowing which mattress best fits each customer and guarantees sleep satisfaction.

WHEN: Friday, October 10 from 2 PM – 4 PM
3 PM – signature photo opportunity for van giveaway

WHERE: Willie G’s – Post Oak Room
1605 Post Oak Blvd.
Houston, TX 77056

MORE INFO: Houston Children’s Charity is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Greater Houston’s underprivileged, abused, and handicapped children who have been otherwise left behind. The scope of our support is limited only by the availability of resources. Their goal is to let no legitimate request for assistance go unanswered.

Kenneth Cole: ‘Look Good, For Good’ Ending Homelessness Campaign

Kenneth Cole

Kenneth Cole, a pioneer in the fashion industry who has consistently demonstrated a deep commitment to social change for over 30 years, is introducing a new campaign for fall, LOOK GOOD, FOR GOOD.
Building upon the company’s heritage of promoting “style with a purpose,” as well as Kenneth Cole’s personally vested interest in raising awareness for these causes, the new campaign will support specific charitable projects under three company pillars – Collective Health, Civil Liberties, and Artistic Activism. For the Fall ’14 launch, The Kenneth Cole Foundation will support projects through the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, HELP USA, and the Sundance Institute. As an extension of the campaign, Kenneth Cole enlisted three photojournalists to chronicle the work of each charity partner. The campaign is being brought to life digitally at kennethcole.com/ForGood that will feature exclusive photographer and video content from Haiti, Sundance and Help USA, as well as an interactive timeline meant to educate the consumer on the brands 30 year philanthropic history.


More at Milled.com

[Photos of the work of Sundance Institute, St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, Help USA]

Listen to Prince’s New Albums – Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum

Art Official Age

Tuesday just got a bit funkier with the release of ‘Art Official Age’ and ‘Plectrumelectrum’ , his first full length projecst since his 2010 release of 20Ten.


So I haven’t had the opportunity to dissect each and every song  but upon my first listen, here are my initial thoughts:

Some of the songs, Art Official Cage in particular are somewhat reminiscent of NY City Limelight club days dating back to the mid to late nineties.  It also has a Lady Gaga-ish feel to it.

The beginning instrumentals of The Gold Standard immediately reminded of Parliament’s Give up the Funk for some reason.  I’m sure many will disagree with me but hey, these are my thoughts after all.

The Breakfast Can Wait track is a little bit of sexy mixed with some funk.

I so wanted to listen to the entirety of This Could Be Us but I just couldn’t take it seriously and only those of you that are into social media can understand why.

Let’s see how many of you want to immediately bust out in a pop and lock routine to FunknRoll  (yep, I did that).

And is it just me or are you waiting for Prince to start singing the lyrics to Darling Nikki right at the 13 second mark of Affirmation III?

Synthesized funk with a little bit of sexy, Art Official Age – take a listen for yourself.



Also, check out Plectrumelectrum


Lola’s New Music Discovery: Janine and the Mixtape – Dark Mind EP

Thanks to GoogleMusic, I now have some great new music to listen to!

Janine and the Mixtape – Dark Mind EP (2013)

Of course, upon hearing this sultry, get into my feelings voice, I immediately downloaded the music and added it to my “all about bae” playlist.

A New Zealand import, Janine – singer, songwriter, producer and instrumentalist –  spent some time in Brooklyn to complete the Dark Mind EP. Take a listen for yourself and enjoy.  Oh, but get you a glass of wine first and light a few candles too while you’re at it.

“Hold Me”, one of the five singles on Dark Mind (and one of my favorites) has gotten the attention of music critics nationwide. Check out her video below.


9/11 exhibit in Houston thru January 11


When former NYPD police officer James Smith talks about his wife Moira. It’s with a mix of pride and sadness. She was a police officer too, one of those heroes who rushed to danger on that horrible day instead of running away from it. She died when the South Tower collapsed.

“I promised myself I wouldn’t mourn forever. I mourn privately but I celebrate her life daily.” He says.

That’s why he’s loaned some of her personal effects to the traveling Ground Zero 360 exhibit on display at the Holocaust Museum. Not just her hat but her medal of honor and her radio.

“She survived the initial collapse and was trapped and it was her calling for help. She had it out.”

And there’s the poignant photo of her two year old daughter accepting the American flag off her casket at her funeral. There are many photos in the exhibit, photos you’ve never seen taken by photographer Nicola McClean. She was working for Irish media outlets and managed to get into the frozen zone to capture these images. She’s not traveling with the exhibit because she just had a baby. But her husband is here. The former NYPD deputy inspector also spent three months at ground zero. This project is their therapy.

More at MyFoXHouston.com

The Exhibit opened to the public on Friday the 12th and will run to January 11th. On September 20 and 21st it will be free for Houston area first responders and their families.

More info at Holocaust Museum Houston

Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz hits Houston to Kick Off the Border Convo Tour

This week, Alcaraz will be in Houston, speaking on college campuses and also to the general public. At 6 p.m.Tuesday, he’ll appear on KPFT‘s radio show “Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Our Say.” (You can subscribe to its podcast here.) Then at 7:30, he’ll meet and greet the public at a $25-a-head fundraiser for Nuestra Palabra.


When bridge-blogging is the height of discussion about the border, but only because of its elevation over a highway-then discourse has hit a new low.

That’s the position America is in right now.

Most folks prefer to yell at the border than have a deep discussion about it.

Celebrities voice their xenophobia about Ebola and the border and that gets more attention than science or statistics. Politicians tell Americans that ninja warriors will sneak across the border, or that Isis might sneak through one side or Shazam through the other.

We’re seeing White Flight from intelligent conversation.

That means now we can move in, so we will.

We’re kicking off the Border Convo Tour by bringing BORDERTOWN to the border state. Translation: cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz is coming to Texas!

Alcaraz descends on Houston September 9th before heading to San Antonio and other stops in the Lone Star state. His insights are timely and once his new cartoon series BORDERTOWN is released on Fox TV, he’ll be broadening the American Imagination across many topics, as he was born to do.

“I grew up very poor on the U.S.-Mexico Border, on both sides,” he said during aTEDx SoCal talk. “I watched my Mexican immigrant parents struggle on this side of the fence, mainly.”

But Lalo just plain wants to visit us, too. At least that’s what he told us, “I want to tour Texas because I feel I have underserved the Raza de Houston since they yanked my comic there, but I’M NOT BITTER. Also, I hear Rick Perry is a huge fan of my comics, pero pobrecito can only look at the pictures. Tejaztlan is great and the Raza is boisterous and love to argue about barbecue, but I still love it there.” He also just created a cover for HUIZACHE, the magazine of Latino literature, published in Texas, edited by writer Dagoberto Gilb-a Texan who is banned in Arizona. Guilt by Tejano association.

For the Border Convo Tour, Texas colleges, community groups, nonprofits, and businesses will team up to host some of the leading thinkers of our time to discuss the nuances of the border issue, the complexities, and solutions.

Of course, this issue is nothing new. You only have to look at the names of streets in any major city like Houston to see that we have had wave, after wave, after wave of immigration, and Texas has benefited from it.

In fact, in order for the economic and intellectual prosperity of Texas to continue, we must not get swept up by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer-style anti-immigrant hysteria.

We know Texas can make immigration work.


More at HuffingtonPost.com

Children’s Book Sale at Bargain Prices

Presented by The Friends of the Houston Public Library, In Partnership with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation


You are invited to the Annual Children’s Book Sale hosted by the Friends of the Houston Public Library, in partnership with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, on Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13, 2014 at the Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church. At this free event, which is open to the public, everyone will enjoy finding great children’s books for ages up to 18 at bargain prices of $2 or less. All proceeds from the Children’s Book Sale help support the Houston Public Library by providing funding for library programs, materials, and scholarships. Book categories include fiction and nonfiction, parenting and education resources, easy books and board books, graphic novels, audio and visual items, reference materials, encyclopedia sets, and books in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
“We are so pleased to once again provide the Houston community an opportunity to purchase children’s books at a very low cost through the Friends of Houston Public Library,” said Dr. Rhea Lawson, Director of Libraries for Houston Public Library. “We are thrilled about the partnership with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation as we all work together to strengthen literacy in family units. I encourage everyone to participate in this event to grow their home libraries and to instill the love of reading in children.”
In addition to buying books at a bargain price to enjoy with children and build home libraries, attendees will have an opportunity to donate books to children in need across Houston through the partnership with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. As stated in the Foundation’s comprehensive plan for community action, titledHouston’s Literacy Crisis: A Blueprint for Community Action, “[R]esearch has shown there is only one book available for every 300 children in low-income areas, as opposed to 13 books, on average, in homes of middle- and high-income children.” Additionally, the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation will distribute bookmarks and materials to parents about the importance of reading to or with a child daily.
“Books are simply a luxury that many families cannot afford, yet they are essential to a child’s development,” explains Dr. Julie Baker Finck, President of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. “It is important that we work together to provide these families with the resources they need to achieve success and to help parents understand that reading to a child for just 15 to 20 minutes a day can make a tremendous difference in a child’s academic and future success.”
All paperbacks and board books for babies are $1, and all hardbacks are $2. Specially-priced “grab bag” boxes of paperbacks and assorted goodies will be sold for $10 (50-75 items per box). Membership for the Friends of Houston Public Library is only $25 and can be purchased at the sale or online at FriendsofHPL.org.
Educators need to take their tax-exempt ID. Checks, cash, and all credit cards will be accepted.
Sale Dates and Times:
Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, 2025 West 11th Street, 77008
  • Friday, September 12, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


#PerryGate and What It’s Costing the TaxPayer

[Update Aug 18, 2014]

Perry’s legal defense team was announced today during press conference.  Leading the team is Houston attorney Tony Buzbee.

During conference Buzbee made the following statements:

“…charges are outrageous and in the end Perry will prevail”

“This is nothing more than banana republics politics”

In regard to question of who is paying the bill:  “We haven’t worked out that arrangement.  Obviously, the state will pay a portion”.  Buzbee also generalized that the taxpayer wouldn’t have to worry about paying for Perry’s defense had there never been an indictment. Ummm, really?

I must admit, Slick Perry does have a great defense team.  Too bad I’m paying for it.


Last summer, an inquiry began after an ethics complaint alleging that Perry improperly used a veto to deny funding for the state’s public integrity unit.  Today, Perry was indicted on charges of abuse of power and coercion making him the first Texas governor to be indicted in nearly a century.   You can read more about the indictment here.

Of course, Abbott had no comment.  After all, Perry is his buddy and according to Abbott’s office state law gives Perry the right to hire outside counsel on the taxpayer’s dime.  So not only are we paying for his $450/hr lawyer which has already totaled more than $40k in billable  hours but don’t forget folks, Perry also took an early retirement back in 2011, supplementing his income with a $7,698 annuity each month.  Yes, you read that right. And when this happened, I was livid because that same year (summertime), Perry signed a bill that made it difficult for teachers to receive their spouse’s social security benefits while working. More info here.









Lola’s #FridayFavorite: Reserve Supply Company

reserve main

Yes, I am an occassional mall-goer; however, I prefer to spend my dollars at locally owned businesses.  After all, it’s these types of shops that you are more than likely to come across ‘one-of-a-kinds’.

I ran across Reserve Supply Company a little over a year and a half ago via Instagram when the owner graciously offered to donate a gift basket to my Lupus Awareness fundraiser event.  How awesome is that?









My first visit to the store was to purchase a pair of SB Janoski’s for my son who is a major sneakerhead. (This was before Janoski’s were released in major retail stores- what a shame). Thanks to those Janoski’s and my son, I discovered all the amazine products Reserve Supply has to offer. It has become my #1 favorite store to shop for the guys in my life.

So, if you have a guy in your life that appreciates quality clothing, footwear, and accessories, this store is a must!

reserve 2nd