VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4 | NOVEMBER 2009 | theVIPmag.

com
COMPLIMENTARY
VOLUME 3 ISSUE 6 | April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
O F S O U T H E A S T T E X A S
+
Best blooms
for spring
+
Guest columnist
Ginger Robinson
+
VIPersonality
RICHARD JAMES III
+
scenes from the
BEST EVENTS
art & architecture
The Kyle Building
Vital
scrubs on the foor!
looks for
spring
Outstanding
Texas
Physicians
how to
SHAPE
UP
for
shorts
season
where is the care?
Ubi Caritas
is in the
house
The Holiday Inn Hotel &Suites
Beaumont Plaza
Let us share in planning your next event!
3950 I 10 South @Walden Road
Beaumont, TX77705
Phone: (409) 842-5995 Fax: (409) 842-7810
www.holidayinnbeaumontplaza.com
NEVER
UNDERESTIMATE
THE POWER OF A LITTLE “ME TIME”
WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
LiveWell
Thursday, May 6, 2010 | 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Ford Park Beaumont, Texas
Registration opens this month!
$
50 Early Bird Registration ends April 17th
$
75 Registration April 18th–April 30th
For more information about the 2010 LiveWell Women’s Conference, visit the official web site at christushospital.org/conference.
Keynote Speaker, Joan Lunden
Ever wondered why you’re always feeling tired or why you just can’t juggle all the balls in the air?
Not sure how to talk to your kids about peer pressure or need to get a better grip on your finances?
Curious about the latest medical advancements? Then this event is perfect for you. Make plans to
attend the LiveWell Women’s Conference presented by CHRISTUS Hospital. While you’re there,
browse through the Market Square shopping area and check out our health screenings.
4 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
insideapril
08 starters
Letter from the Editor
11 vip shelter
11 The recycling of a
building: the Art Deco
Kyle Building
15 Make the bed for
spring flowers
18 vip style
18 Five local health
professionals model
sassy spring fashion
21 Doctor, doctor give me
the news – when is 3CG
playing again?
23 health&beauty
23 Shaping up moves for
spring
36 totally social
36 Celebrating the best
of events
37 vip worthy
37 Three physicians
we admire
42 Ubi Caritas: What it
means and who they are
44 The marathon man
shows perseverance
47 vip guide
47 5 great dates in
April, plus a preview of
May events!
50 Pass it on,
advises columnist
Ginger Robinson
23
21
c o n t e n t s
vip magazine
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 5
Your Exclusive Dealer For
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6 April 2010 | theViPmag.com
Editorial
Executive Editor
cheRYL RoSe
Contributing Writers
cathLeeN coLe
aShLeY gReeN
mIcheLLe mccaLoPe
hoLLI PeteRSeN
gINgeR RoBINSoN
haLeY StRahaN
Photography
Contributing Photographers
SILVIa mccLaIN
KYLe PeteRSeN
JeRRY PoWeRS
JoY PRUItt
Lee StINSoN
JUDY StoKeLY
Art
Director, Digital Solutions
teD FISheR
Manager, Creative Media
BLaNche BoND
Supervisor, Creative Media
DoN gRaY
Lead Designer, Creative Media
JUStIN BLaNe SmIth
Contributing Designers
KRISteN FLoReS
IVaN gaLVaN
KatIe gUIDRoZ
RIcK SteIN
Advertising
to advertise in VIP,
409.880.0700
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4
fabulous fnds
Retailers we love and their
merchandise we love to have!
Flirty Spring Designs by SPY
ZONE Exchange! Shine for
Easter in this dazzling printed
T-back dress. Perfect for sun
up or sun down.
Hannah Bay’s carries clothing,
jewelry, and accessories for ladies
of all ages. Top designs fromdressy
to casual. They will have your
look covered head to toe. Fun,
sophisticated women’s fashions
for Spring at Hannah Bay’s
Clothing located on the infamous
Lincoln avenue
in Groves.
Hannah Bay’s Clothing
4343 Lincoln Ave., Groves
409.962.3400
Nickolina’s
1257 W. Lucas
Beaumont, TX 409.896.2543
www.nickolinas.com
Spring is fnally here
and so is the NEW
2010 collection
of Mark Roberts’
Fairies and Elves!
These adorable creatures
feature intricately
detailed faces
with life-like
glossy eyes.
Whether you’re
adding to your
collection or just
getting started, your
new fairy or elf is
waiting to meet you
today at Nickolina’s.
Come by Howell Furniture today to choose from a
great selection of Youth Bedroom Groups.
From cribs to pre-teens.... elegant to whimsical, kids will
love the choices. Mom & Dad will love the prices.
Brands you know, people you trust.
Howell Furniture
6095 Folsom Rd., Beaumont, TX 409.832.2544
From Board meetings to Birthday luncheons....
Since 1921 our meeting rooms have been the place
to gather.
In the center of the Downtown scene, it’s the place to
be seen!
Call to reserve one of our FOUR PRIVATE ROOMS.
The Beaumont Club
590 Orleans, 409.835.3481
www.beaumontclubtx.com
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,
$
1
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9
.
8 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
spring anew
Cover Story
Photography: Silvia C. McClain
Model: Gwendolyn Lavalais, M.D.
Fashion: Styled by Jackie’s
We asked Dr. Gwendolyn Lavalais to do
something radically different from her normal
routine as an oncologist – trade the lab coat
for an afternoon of modeling spring fashion!
Gwendolyn wears very trendy neutral colors:
A knit tank and natural linen top by Planet
over black Sympli palazzo pants. On this soft
palette, throw in the WOW factor of dramatic
turquoise and wood necklace and earrings
from Viktoria Hayman, a jewelry designer
who uses natural elements and describes
pieces as “wearable art.” Turquoise is the “IT”
color for Spring this year. The fnishing touch
is a smooth wooden cuff bracelet by Monies.
Available at Jackie’s, 409.861.5762.
U
H OH. IT’S SHORTS SEASON.
With Southeast Texas heat and humidity, keeping your
body layered in comfy and concealing clothing isn’t an op-
tion. It’s time to strip down and let your skin out into the
light again. It’s enough to send some of us cringing back
to the gym and searching through our bathroom drawers
to see if that self-tanning lotion from last year is still good.
Personal trainer Xochitl Garza has some tips for those
of us who need a tone-up before bathing suit season gets
seriously underway. Find her recommendations begin-
ning on p. 23. I’ve already started trying to follow her program, including drinking two
cups of green tea a day.
Need a goal to keep you on track? Sign up for the first-ever Gusher Marathon,
Half-Marathon and 5K — it’s just a month away. This inaugural event is igniting a lot
of excitement. Though many individuals and businesses are contributing to the event,
the man behind the marathon is fitness advocate and all-around-fascinating individual
Richard James III, our VIPersonality of the month.
If we have one thing in common as human beings, it is that our amazing bodies
will at some point malfunction. Recently, I was talking with a group of women and
discovered that all of us were coping with a health worry. In this small group, the
concerns ranged from mysterious lumps, cardio and blood pressure issues, hormones
out of balance, severe headaches and arthritis. All of us in this group, no matter how
concerning the problem, are still very fortunate — we have health insurance. We are
among the shrinking pool of those with access to doctors, tests and medicine.
Layofs and recession have made health care a luxury to many. We are blessed in
our area to have a wonderful organization called Ubi Caritas that serves the medical
needs of the uninsured. Please read about this special and vital community resource
on p. 42.
We have a substantial health care community in our area. This month we are
highlighting a number of those individuals who serve us when we are sick or hurt.
Some we asked to toss of the scrubs and model the latest spring fashion found in our
local boutiques. Some show us how they have fun outside of work playing in a garage
band — the 3 Car Garage band (they are doctors) to be precise. We also selected three
physicians to highlight for their up-to-the-moment work.
There are so many dedicated professionals in our area and interesting health topics.
We could only touch on a few in this issue of VIP, but look for our new publication,
BE healthy – Healthy Living in Southeast Texas. We will bring you a new issue of BE
healthy every other month, highlighting local stories and experts on such topics as fit-
ness, nutrition, self-improvement, responding to ailments
and medical conditions.
Be healthy, be well and be seeing you,
Cheryl Rose,
Executive Editor
e d i t o r ’ s l e t t e r
vip magazine
g
o
o
d
s
tu
ff
the
good
bacteria
?
PROBIOTICS ARE
POWERFUL AIDS
BEST BETS FOR
ALLERGY SUFFERERS
Hug a puppy
and feel good!
Pet therapy shares happiness
BOOST Your
Smile Power!
Cosmetic dentistry
options to add
mega-wattage
to your grin
Teaching good health
habits to the Pre-K set
The Long Run
Marathon training for body and spirit
BE
MUSEUM
WITHOUT
WALLS
P.S. As we were going to print with this issue, a beloved friend of our community,
Paula “Torchy” Salter died at the far too youthful age of 54. A fashion maven and
involved volunteer, she will be greatly missed. As one of our Facebook friends, Dana
Johnson, said, “Heaven just got a little more style.”
Look for our new magazine!
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 9
Desperite Housewivez
321 12th St. (Off Boston), Nederland
409.722.2250
As Always, “Give Them a Lil’ Something to
Talk About!”
Fun Funky Coolers! For the Beach, Lake, Poolside
or Park. Great for the Girl on the Go! Two designs
to choose from, fully equipped with attached bottle
opener. Hurry in and get this MUST HAVE
Summer Accessory!
8
fabulous fnds
Retailers we love and their
merchandise we love to have!
8
fabulous fnds
Retailers we love and their
merchandise we love to have!
The Antique Emporium will LURE you right in. Over
a thousand collectible lures, hand carved antique
decoys, rods, reels, nets, and even tackle boxes
will have you REELING! Come by and ask to be pointed
in the direction of “the man room”. Not your typical
antique store, the Antique Emporium is sure to have
you HOOKED.
Antique Emporium
1135 Boston Ave., Nederland
409.722.1772
Hammonds Backyard Living
3171 Saba Lane, Pt Neches
409-722-8868
Cocktails and Iced-Tea Re-imagined at
Hammonds Backyard Living!
To heat up the night our new
Cocktail Mixology Set
will give you the tools you
need to infuse the perfect
cocktail in your home.
Place an infuser into one of
our Infusion Chambers, pour your choice of alcohol over the
infuser and watch the color swirl as the delicious favors are
released. Add the rest of the cocktail ingredients and enjoy.
To cool off the day use the signature piece
of our Tea-Over-Ice™ line, these
sculpturally designed pitchers are
made from hand-blown heat-resistant
glass and stack for a captivating
tableside presentation.
It’s fresh, it’s fun, it’s creative, it’s
entertaining, it’s Tea Forté!
Serving our community since 1918 with elegant to
casual catering from small to large businesses. Weddings,
social, corporate catering and more. Our attention to
detail makes your event memorable. Call our specialist at
409.840.9051 ext.1 Book Your Holiday Parties Now!
Moncla’s Catering
2530 W. Cardinal Dr., Beaumont, TX
409.840.9051 ext.1. www.monclas.com
Night’s Uniform Company
Downtown Beaumont Since 1921
479 Crockett @ Park
Beaumont, TX
409.833.4252
Night’s Downtown
Beaumont is the oldest
Dickies dealer in the
area. They have more
colors, sizes, and styles
to choose from, even
the sizes you can’t fnd
anywhere else. When
it comes to quality,
Dickies just can’t
be beat.
WineStyles
4008 N. Dowlen Road • Beaumont, TX 77706
(409) 347-1340 winestyles.net/beaumont
ENJOY WITH FRIENDS
At WineStyles We Offer Wine Tastings (Tuesdays 5-8pm),
Great wines from$10-$25.
Unique Gifts, Wine Accessories & Gift Baskets.
Wine Club, And Private Parties.
Taste, Learn and Enjoy!
Precious Years - Children’s Boutique & Gift Shop
1073 N. Main St
Vidor, Tx 77662
409-783-1300
MOGO - the magnet charm is 2010’s trendiest spin on
the charm bracelet. These charms may be collected or
traded.
Wear them alone or as a set - even connect them as
belts or head bands. Its instant personalization, with a
new twist.
Fred A. Simon’s Tae Kwon Do
6385 Calder (next to Purse Strings)
Beaumont, TX 409.860.5744
Hey, Ladies!
Ever wondered
if you could
defend
yourself
against an
attacker?
It’s a crazy
world out there,
but Simon’s
Taekwondo can
help! Try signing up
for Taekwondo or
Aikido classes by
9th degree Grand
Master Fred
A. Simon. Classes are
offered Monday through Saturday
for ages 5 and up. Best of all, there’s
no contract!
ANY MATTRESS SAVE AN EXTRA
20% OFF
VISIT BELFURNITURE.COM AND LEARN MORE ABOUT US AND OUR PRODUCTS
4455 Eastex Fwy, Beaumont, Texas 77706 • 409-899-4100
Regular Store Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11AM-8PM, Sat. 10AM-8PM, Sun. 12PM-6PM
SAVE AN EXTRA
12% OFF
FREE SIDE CHAIR WITH
PURCHASE OF SELECTED
DINING ROOM
Let BEL help make your new house a home
Expires April 30, 2010
Expires April 30, 2010
Expires April 30, 2010
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 11
r e j u v e n a t i o n
vip shelter
text by CATHLEEN COLE
F
or years the Kyle Building sat vacant in downtown
Beaumont, its Art Deco accoutrement crumbling,
its past grandeur almost forgotten. Almost. Attor-
ney Brent Coon knew the Kyle’s history and, as
a former builder, knew he could renovate it. To-
day the block-long landmark on Orleans Street is
home to the administrative ofces of Brent Coon
& Associates and Coondog Productions, his con-
cert and event production company. >>
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theVIPmag.com | April 2010 11
12 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
Downtown revival
In 1901, W. W. Kyle opened the Kyle Opera House — a longtime
mainstay of Beaumont culture. Nevertheless in 1931, it was razed
to make way for an extension of Orleans Street. The Kyle Building
was soon constructed on the site and was home to various retail
shops for decades in the once-bustling downtown business district.
But in the 1980s, the oil industry, to which Beaumont was and still
is heavily tied, crashed and downtown Beaumont languished. The
Kyle Building had tenants come and go but eventually its doors
were locked. It was left alone to sufer the same fate as other down-
town historic buildings.
A new millennium brought new interest in reviving the down-
town district. Investors bought and renovated the San Jacinto
Building, the Mildred Building, the Coale Building and the former
Petroleum Building, now called Century Tower. The Kyle Building
was added to that list when Coon purchased the structure in 2006
for about $1 million and ofcially opened its doors for business in a
celebration last December.
For Coon, housing his staf in a newer building in the suburbs
wouldn’t do. The Vidor native wanted to be downtown near the
courts and he wanted an old building. The Kyle sits across from the
Jack Brooks Federal Building that houses the U.S. District Courts
and, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, defnitely
qualifes as an old building. He even acted as the architect for the
redesign, something he felt confdent in doing because he was a
builder before he became a lawyer.
Building a new career
After graduating from Vidor High School with honors in 1978,
he decided to forgo college and forge ahead as an entrepreneur. He
started a construction company and worked on new construction as
well as renovating old buildings. But just as downtown Beaumont
was a victim of the oil bust in the 1980s, so was Coon’s construction
company. Business dried up and he knew he needed to retool. He
headed to Lamar University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree
in political science in 1984. From there, he headed to the Univer-
sity of Houston and graduated with a law degree in 1986. He came
back to Beaumont and, although his law frm has ofces around the
country, he has been here ever since. That’s a good thing for the
Kyle Building. Coon also bought and renovated the Pillot Building
in downtown Houston. “I love saving these old buildings,” he said.
“Beaumont looks prettier now than it has in 50 years.”
— Brent Coon
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Brent Coon, who in addition to being a builder and attorney also
moonlights in a rock band, stands in the new foyer of the Kyle Building.
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 13
Grand again
His renovation goals for the Kyle were “to restore as best we could
the original style of the building.” There was much to do. Old vinyl
fooring and carpet covered beautiful terrazzo foors. The limestone
façade was crumbling and needed repair. The center of the building
had never been fnished. And that was just scratching the surface.
Today, the building, with its bold symmetry, stands much prouder
amongst the cityscape. The limestone blocks and black glazed tiles of
its façade gleam brighter. The terra-cotta friezes adorning the build-
ing are no longer crumbling. Terrazzo entries lead to grand black
doors, the inset glass decorated with cast aluminum designs. Above,
the windows refect the same design with matching cast aluminum
décor gracing the glass.
Inside, the central room with its high-polished tile foor and black
iron staircase leads to a conference area upstairs and to Coon’s pri-
vate ofce downstairs. Etched glass over interior ofce doors mimics
the cast aluminum decorations on the exterior windows. Light fx-
tures include brushed aluminum discs hanging from the ceiling and
art deco wall sconces. Skylights add more brightness to the interior.
The details are even carried into the restrooms with etched mirrors
and wall treatments made with thousands of small oval glass pieces
that shimmer with a mother-of-pearl fnish. Photographs of the
building’s former glory days line the hallway walls. Of the central
room hangs a portrait made in the early 1900s of the Kyle family:
William Wesley “W. W.” Kyle, his wife, Clyde “Clydie” Wiess Kyle,
and sons, Wesley Wiess Kyle and Everett S. “Brudge” Kyle. They
seem to be watching the progress of the building’s rebirth.
With all the recent renovation, Beaumont’s downtown is on a roll.
“Beaumont looks prettier now than it has in 50 years,” Coon said. VIP
(Top) Off the central room hangs a portrait made in the early 1900s of the Kyle
family: William Wesley “W. W.” Kyle, his wife, Clyde “Clydie” Wiess Kyle, and
sons, Wesley Wiess Kyle and Everett S. “Brudge” Kyle. (Bottom) A view of the
Kyle Building in the 1930s.
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Hwy 124, Spur 5 • Winnie, TX • 409-296-9818 www.al-tsrestaurant@msn.com
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14 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
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t h e e a r t h l a u g h s
vip shelter
text by ASHLEY GREEN
bl m time
Petunias
Periwinkle
Viola
THEVIPMAG.COM | April 2010 15
wedding
trends
W
ith a harsh winter behind us, it’s time
to start focusing on our yards and
gardens. It’s out with the dead and in
with the new!
The Last Freeze
The last freeze of the year is the “green light” on spring plant-
ing, according to Kit Ohmstede, Down to Earth Landscaping vice
president and general manager. “It’s usually safe to begin planting
by early April,” she said.
Cory Krechel of Landscapes Unlimited agrees that April is a
good month for planting. “You should be able to mulch, fertilize
and replace dead plants that died in the hard winter,” he said.
Spring Cleaning
The same goes for your yard and garden as for your home and
closets — out with the old, and in with the new!
Ohmstede recommends clearing flower beds of all dead plant
material, and tilling in composted fertilizer or mulch to fortify
your beds for planting. “This is a great time to work
on beds,” she advised.
Spring Flowers
Although the options for spring flowers are vast, Ohmstede and
Krechel ofered up this list of favorites for spring:
• Begonias • Phlox
• Daisies • Sweet Alyssum
• Dusty Miller • Sweet Peas
• Periwinkle • Violas
• Petunias
Ohmstede said Mexican Heather and Pentas are popular tropi-
cal annuals. Bluebonnets, coreopsis and Indian Paintbrush are
great for wildflower selections.
Pointers from the Pros
According to Krechel, fertilizing will be key this spring. “Due
to the wet winter, weeds will thrive,” he warned. “Putting a pre-
emergent herbicide down after planting and mulching will be
crucial.”
James Perrio, owner of Twigs,
gave us the scoop on 2010
trends in wedding flowers.
Color
“Purple and yellow are
hot. I’m seeing shades of purple,
such as lilac, rich lavenders and
eggplant. The yellows are a softer,
daisy shade. Greens are still in.”
Bouquet Style
“The bridal flowers are much looser and not as formal. The
girls want a softer, more feminine bouquet, with flowers arranged
more loosely, versus a tight ball.”
Flowers
“Roses and orchids will always be in, but I’m seeing some daf-
fodils and wildflower styles as well. People are trying to capture
the traditional colors, but through less expensive flowers. They’re
still getting the look, without the price tag.”
Centerpieces
“Brides are beginning to use local things, like beans and rice in
centerpiece containers for texture, instead of marbles and beads.
I’m seeing more natural types of trends, like potted plants or
hanging baskets. Put a hanging basket in the right container and it
makes a beautiful centerpiece.”
Brides Be Aware – Free Advice!
“When looking through images in bridal magazines or web-
sites, keep in mind that pictures are taken at diferent times of
year or in diferent regions. Simply be aware of your environment
and try to use what’s natural to our area. You’ll get more mileage
out of your money.” VIP
16 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
s p r i n g c o l l e c t i o n
vip style
S
wing your head
over a little bit
this way,” instructs the pho-
tographer. The woman tries
to follow his instructions
as best as she can without
looking awkward so she
strikes the pose, holds very
still, and smiles. “I have to
think like a model,” she tells
herself. Clearly, she and the
other four healthcare pro-
fessionals participating in
this fashion shoot are more
comfortable giving instruc-
tions than taking them,
whether in the operating
room or delivering a baby or
talking with patients during
ofce visits. But on this day,
the bunch which includes
a nurse practitioner, two
registered nurses, a physi-
cal therapist and a surgical
consultant, are turning in
their scrubs to show of the
latest spring fashions from
colorful dresses to nice linen
suits and, of course, the
perfect pair of jeans. VIP
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P
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THEVIPMAG.COM | April 2010 17
text
by
M
ICHELLE
M
CCALO
PE
You won’t find Nurse Practitioner Mona
Norman wearing scrubs to work. Her uniform
of choice is a dress and high heels. It doesn’t
matter that she spends the whole time on her
feet. This Vidor native, who has two master
degrees, wouldn’t have it any other way. “I
love heels; they’re fun and girly and make
me taller,” said the 5’2” mother of a 14-year-
old son. In fact, Norman who works at the
Folsom Medical Group with Dr. Bodo Brauer,
has become known around the ofce for her
fashion sense. When her patients walk in the
room, the first thing they do is check out what
shoes she’s wearing that day. “I don’t think
I’ve ever worn a pair of flats to work,” said the
petite Norman, who is currently working on
her doctorate degree.
Styled by La Tee Da in Beaumont,
409.835.0202
photography by JERRY POWERS
You don’t have to do much
more than put on this Uncle
Frank dress. The rest speaks
for itself. $119
MONA NORMAN
This colorful Jimmy Crystal
watch provides glitz. $69
A magnifcent
big ring makes
everything fun.
$19
You don’t have to
go to Paris to see
the Eiffel Tower. You
can get it in this
miniature purse.
This autographed
Timmy Woods purse
was featured in “Sex
in the City.” $350
These awesome turquoise
and brown Yellow Box
thongs go well with any
outft. $54
18 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
Look up the word busy and you’ll find
a picture of Prudence Gambrah, a
registered nurse. In addition to
running her own business, PruCare
Home Health Agency, the mother of
four also manages her husband’s (Dr.
Anthony Gambrah) internal medicine
practice. “I don’t know how I do it,” said the
Ghana native who has lived in Beaumont for
the past 15 years. She also volunteers at St.
Anne Catholic School and St. Jude Thaddeus
Catholic Church where she attends services.
That’s why when it comes to fashion, her
motto is to keep it simple. “I always tell
my kids there’s beauty in simplicity,” said
Gambrah, who has been married for 22
years. When she’s not busy (whenever
that is), she and her husband enjoy
going to movies. They also take
the kids back to Ghana every
other year to visit family.
Styled by La Tee Da in
Beaumont, 409.835.0202
photography by JERRY POWERS
PRUDENCE GAMBRAH
He may look like a typical surfer dude (long, lean, and handsome), but he’s not. Last
year, James Chaney spent six months in Hawaii riding the waves — while earning his
doctorate in physical therapy. Now with doctorate in hand, the physical therapist is back
in town working at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas. It’s a job he loves to do. “I
enjoy helping people accomplish their goals,” said the Vidor native. When he’s not helping
people, the married father of a two-year-old daughter enjoys playing volleyball and surfing
in Galveston. He hopes to pass on his hobbies to his daughter. When it comes to fashion,
he has a simple philosophy: “Whatever my wife picks out is what I wear.”
Styled by ButchHofer’s inBeaumont, 409.892.9311
JAMES CHANEY
Add a unique touch with this
dazzling gold fower ring. $19
These gold Yellow Box
“Allison” shoes will take
you anywhere in style. $41
This colorful Mary Frances purse
will make any outft sing. $165
You can’t
go wrong
with the
comfort and
simplicity of
black linen
pants by
Match Point.
$65
Talk about bling, bling! This
gorgeous Jimmy Crystal gold
watch certainly delivers. $119
Go Hollywood with these
glamorous shades. Maui Jim
sunglasses, $209
photography by JERRY POWERS
This handsome blue and
white shirt says trendy in
a very cool way.
Robert Graham
shirt, $228
This light, Ivy
Jane linen top
can be paired
with a skirt
or pants. $169
Nothing says
comfort like a
great pair of
jeans. MEK
Zanzibar
jeans, $145
Sperry leather
thong fip-fops
are a must-have.
$60
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 19
Ivan Lemus’ friends describe him as a metrosexual. He
doesn’t deny it. “I enjoy fashion — I’m not afraid to express
myself,” said the surgical consultant for Medtronic Spinal
and Biologics who boasts of owning a red “more like Merlot”
velvet jacket. Lemus’ job is to help train hospital staf on
the latest spinal surgery equipment and assist them during
surgery to make sure it’s working correctly. The University of
Arkansas MBA graduate admits he’s a workaholic. However,
in his spare time, he likes to golf, study international
business, and spend time with family and friends. Lemus,
who moved to Beaumont in 2006, also enjoys giving back to
the community. Last year, he was a featured bachelor in the
Ubi Caritas Date Auction and last month he competed for Mr.
Habitat for Humanity of Jeferson County, both fund-raisers.
Styled by Butch Hofer’s in Beaumont, 409.892.9311
photography by Judy Stokely
shoe photographed by Jerry powerS
Ivan lemuS
Gina Heinlein, a registered nurse for 27 years, admits she
is fashion challenged. “I’m not always in fashion,” said the
operating room nurse at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital.
“It’s hard dressing for my age,” she said, explaining that she
doesn’t want to dress too young or too old, either. Despite the
challenge, she does enjoy dressing up occasionally, wearing
a nice age-appropriate dress and some strappy sandals.
However, most of this single mom’s time is spent taking care
of her three children, including a special needs child. “I have
a good family life, good extended family and friends,” said the
Beaumont native. When she’s not doting on her children, she
enjoys going to dinner and the movies, or going to Houston
Astros games (she’s a former softball mom).
Styled by Purse Strings in Beaumont, 409.866.9742
photography by Jerry powerS
GIna HeInleIn
Comfortable thongs like these are
a must-have for spring. bernardo
daytona thongs, $30
add some color to your
wardrobe with this nice Jkt
jacket. $134
the tank top is a basic staple that
you’ll wear again and again. white
gold rt tank, $68
white capri pants
are a clean crisp
look for spring and
summer. rt pants,
$110
Say “ciao” to soft Italian
Zelli “rust rugby”
shoes. $335
no matter how humid it
is outside you’ll always
be cool in this Haspel
natural linen suit with a
crisp yellow enro dress
shirt. Suit $245, dress
shirt $65
a classy silk tie $44.75
Cognac leather belt
completes the outft. $45
20 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
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theVIPmag.com | April 2010 21
M
ost people wouldn’t expect
their doctor to moonlight
as a working musician in a
garage band. But the 3CG
Band (short for three-car
garage where its members practice) proves that some docs
can definitely rock.
When Kevin Dean, a general surgeon, had the idea to
host weekly jam-sessions over his garage, he couldn’t have
imagined that six years later, he would be playing drums in
a popular local band. Dean, Robert Kramer, a hand surgeon,
J.P. Remirez, an internist, Erwin Lo, a neurosurgeon, and Jody
Trahan, an OR nurse, got together to play music as a way to
blow of steam after a hectic day. But when Robyn Whitney, a
teacher of radiology at Baptist Hospital School of Radiology
and former professional singer,
dropped by to watch one night,
everything changed.
“Robyn listened to us play and
said, ‘If we’re going to do this,
we’re going to do it right,” said
Kramer. With her direction, the
band expanded its repertoire,
learning new and more difcult songs, and the members
worked to develop their individual skills. “Everyone com-
mitted themselves to growing musically,” said Whitney. “I’m
really proud of how much they have grown as musicians.”
This is high praise from a woman who spent years in the
country music industry, playing with some of the most respect-
ed musicians in the world. Originally fromBeaumont, Whitney
began her singing career while living in Oklahoma, when she
sang at the Oklahoma Opry. After a stint as talent coordina-
tor for the Opry, booking big names like Garth Brooks, she
p
h
o
t
o
g
r
a
p
h
y
b
y
T
A
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Y
P
A
R
S
O
N
S
text by HALEY STRAHAN
>>
E
r
w
i
n
L
o
Kevin
D
e
a
n
R
o
b
e
r
t
K
r
a
m
er
J
.
P
.
R
e
m
i
r
e
z
D
e
b
b
ie
Pallone
R
o
b
y
n
W
h
itney
Jo
d
y
T
r
a
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a
n
22 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
formed the Robyn Whitney Band and
toured the state performing gigs.
When she opened for country su-
perstar Vince Gill to an audience
of 10,000, her powerful vocals
caught Gill’s attention and she
followed his advice to move to
Nashville.
Whitney quickly had suc-
cess breaking into the music
business, playing shows around
town and cutting demos for song-
writers. She worked with many
well-known musicians in the industry,
and even made friends with Johnny Cash.
“Johnny helped me get some appointments
with record labels,” Whitney said. He was so
impressed with her talent, he asked her for an
autographed headshot, which hung in his of-
fce. After several years in Nashville, howev-
er, the dream of a record deal never material-
ized. “It was never the right time or the right
situation,” Whitney explained. “It just wasn’t
meant to be.” After the loss of her teenage
daughter in an automobile accident, followed
by news that her mother was ill, Whitney
knew that the time had come to go home.
“When I came back home, my focus had
changed,” she said. “For two years, I couldn’t
even sing. I just needed to heal.” Falling
back on the radiology degree she received in
Beaumont after high school, Whitney began
teaching radiology and eventually came into
contact with many of the members of the 3CG
band. At Kramer’s invitation, she watched the
whose wife is an OR nurse, Whitney
performs vocals in the 3CG Band
with her sister Debbie Pallone, a
pharmaceutical representative.
“Debbie and I sang together
in Nashville, and now, all
these years later, we are back
on stage together,” Whitney
marveled.
Now in its sixth year, the
3CG Band has played benefts,
weddings, private parties and
even a biker rally. “We’re pretty
choosy about the gigs that we do,”
said Whitney. “No more smoky bars for
me. Been there, done that.” They do occa-
sionally play local restaurants like the Logon
Cafe and The Bistro, but a band made up
of doctors and medical professionals has a
busier schedule than most. “We have to book
pretty far in advance, because we have to plan
around who will be on call,” Dean explained.
Those who do get to see the 3CG Band in
action will enjoy a delightfully varied music
sampling, featuring rock ‘n’ roll standards,
bluesy ballads, ‘80s covers and Top 40 smash
hits. “We try to play complex stuf that
pushes our own envelope. We don’t want to
do the same stuf as everyone else,” Kramer
explained.
If you have the pleasure of attending a 3CG
Band show, you’re in for a good time. Get out
there and bust your best moves. Don’t worry
about throwing out your back. There’s a doc-
tor in the house.
band play and knew that the time had come
for her to get back on stage.
“I think that we all do it for the same rea-
son,” Whitney said. “For us, music does what
we believe it is supposed to do. It helps us
fnd joy.” Now, along with Kenneth Babino,
One of Beaumont’s
most in-demand
musical acts can
get your pulse racing.
And then check it.
VIP
409.860.3170
www.kwbeaumont.com
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Kathy Pitre
Kellie Olson
Susan Ohler
Leah Cleveland Lacey Beaver
James McCrate
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theVIPmag.com | April 2010 23
t o n e t h e z o n e
health beauty
ayered clothes, bulky sweaters, knee-high
boots and stretch pants may have ofered
comfy coverage for winter weight gain, but
those parts of your body that have been in hiding
will soon be bare.
It’s time to shed those winter clothes and firm up
holiday flab!
target areas
People tend to indulge during the holidays and overeat because they’re covered up, according
to certified personal trainer Xochitl Garza. “The legs, arms and abs are the most prone to bulking
up and showing winter weight gain,” she said. Garza, who works at Exygön Health and Fitness Club in Beaumont,
also works with athletes as a performance enhancement specialist. >>
text by ASHLEY GREEN
)
I
t’s
T
im
e
to
S
h
e
d
Y
o
u
r
L
a
y
e
r
s
a
n
d
G
e
t
F
it
F
a
s
t!
(
p
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o
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g
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a
p
h
y
b
y
J
U
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S
T
O
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Y
24 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
get FIt
FaSt
move It For 90!
Consistent exercise and a diet
revamp will get you fit in time
for shorts and sleeveless attire.
“For someone who’s been
non-active, it’s going to take a
total body workout, integrating
lots of reps with weights, cardio
and abs,” Garza said. “I recom-
mend working out for an hour
and a half, three times a week,
focusing on strength training for
30-45 minutes and cardio for 30-
45 minutes.”
Fat Blasting classes
Most fitness facilities ofer
more than twenty diferent exer-
cise classes, but which one will
help firm up that winter flab?
According to Garza, it’s all
about a popular aerobic exercise
class that integrates dancing and
burns 600 calories per hour —
Zumba. “Women tire of walk-
ing on the treadmill every day,”
Garza said. “If you’re looking
for a diferent kind of workout
that’s going to burn calories
while having a lot of fun — I
suggest Zumba. If you want to
strengthen, I recommend a Body
Blast or Body Pump class, which
involves weights.”
It’s Not all about
the exercise
Getting fit fast doesn’t solely
depend on exercise, but chang-
ing your nutrition regimen as
well.
That trite cliché about break-
fast will never go away. Garza
says breakfast truly is the most
important meal of the day. To
the cofee-for-breakfast masses
— you’re going to have to change
your ways in order to burn the
bulge.
“Skipping breakfast starts a
vicious cycle of overeating at
lunch and dinner,” Garza said.
“When you feed your body
with substantial choices such
as oatmeal, fruit and protein in
the morning, you’ll curb your
hunger during the day.”
What you eat and when
you eat it also makes a potent
impact. “People typically take
in the most carbs at dinner
by eating bread and dessert,”
Garza said. “You should intake
the most carbs at breakfast to
jumpstart your metabolism and
give your body energy. Then
taper-of, by lowering your carb
intake at lunch, and sticking to
complex carbs at night, such
as fruits and dark green veg-
gies. This change-up will boost
metabolism and help burn that
stored winter fat.”
make it your mantra –
Drink more Water!
Consistent consumption
throughout the day will hydrate
and keep things moving. Garza
recommends drinking 3-4 liters
of water per day, avoiding sug-
ary, concentrated fruit juices,
and supplementing with green
tea.
“Warm green tea in the
morning helps kick-start your
metabolism, and it’s full of anti-
oxidants,” Garza said. “I recom-
mend drinking two to three cups
each day.”
the Waiting game
For some, the worst part
about getting fit for the warm
and sunny season is waiting for
the results. Garza said if you
start now, eat right and work out
two to three times each week,
you should start seeing results in
six to eight weeks.
“I tell clients to allow them-
selves four weeks for their body
to adapt to a new nutrition and
workout regimen,” she said. “It
can be discouraging at first, es-
pecially for daily scale-weighers.
You have to be consistent and
give yourself time to start chang-
ing.”
Sound tough? Well, whether
you like it or not, spring is here
and summer’s coming, and
no one needs to spend sunny
months in SETX in long pants
and sleeved shirts. Bring your
body out of hibernation, and
start shedding those layers! VIP
Bare Arms &Shoulders
Shoulder presses strengthen your
entire upper body by pressing
weights overhead.
Abs
Mix up your midsection
exercises to target all abdominal
areas. Perform crunches and leg
lifts to tone lower abs. Try the
bicycle or twisting ab exercise
to tighten obliques. Rely on
old-fashioned sit-ups for
overall strengthening.
Legs
Squats are an excellent strength
training move to target thighs,
hips and glutes.
core moves to help
You Brace for:
Keep it simple, and practice these rules of three:
• Focus on arms, abs and legs.
• Firm up with cardio, weight reps and ab work.
• Eat three small meals the first half of the day, then three small
meals the second half.
• Drink three liters of water.
Recommended Reps
3 sets of 15 reps for toning
3 sets of 8-10 reps for strengthening
For the best outcome, vary your reps and weights biweekly.
Quick Tips
• Don’t skip breakfast.
• Heavy carbs in the morning.
• Taper carbs throughout the day, ending with lots of fruits and veggies.
• Six small meals per day.
• Think green at night and lighter colors during the day.
• Get a partner for accountability.
• Put on some sunny weather attire to see where you
“stand” in the shedding game.
Rules of three
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 25
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26 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
e v e n t s
totally social
Beaumont Symphony League Ball
1. Amanda Cantu, Lauren Powers and Robert
Cantu. 2. Frederick Montes and Donavie
Crawford. 3. Bridget Trawhon, Mandy
Mazzola and Christina Delgadillo.
4. Jennifer and Gerald Condon.
5. Lexie Mouton and Jennifer Nichols.
6. Chris and Yolanda Dowdy. 7.Mark and
Julie Theobald, Kerri and Shaheen Farah.
8. Ray, Brock and Robin Troy.
9. Charlie and Tara Holder.
6
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7
1
2
3 4
4 3 2
8
5 6
9
1
Symphony BELLES
1. Miss Lauren Olivia Powers, daughter of Robert and Amanda
Cantu and Mr. and Mrs. Michael Powers. 2. Miss Mary Margaret
Roane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Christopher Roane.
3. Miss Marissa Diandra Dolores Robinson, daughter of Dr. and
Mrs. Robert O. Robinson. 4. Miss Jillian Nicole Ryall, daughter
of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ryall. 5. Miss Emily Malain Sherman,
daughter of Mr. Chris and Dr. Deborah Sherman. 6. Miss
Hannah Rochelle Strawser, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew
Edwin Strawser. 7. Miss Mary-Caroline Trevino, daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. Paul MatthewTrevino. 8. Miss Katherine Elizabeth
Werner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Gerard Werner 9. Miss
Se’Mour De’Shawn Wince, daughter of Mr. Leo Paul Wince and
Mrs. Tiffany Lyn Parker.
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 27
9 7 6 5 8
NAACP 27th Annual Freedom Fund
& Award Banquet
1. Linda Aplon and Judy
Rufus. 2. Dr. Carroll
Thomas and Maxine
Moye. 3. Lana Henry
and Shirley Cooper.
4. Jamie Smith and
Wilford Lee. 5. Judy
Bettis and Melody
Chappell.
S
i
l
v
i
a
C
.
M
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a
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n
1
2
3
1
4 5
K
Y
l
E
P
E
T
E
R
S
E
n
Mix and Mingle at
Compass Pointe
Homes
1. Rhonda O’Neill, Dawn Fournier,
Jerry Jackson and Brent Faulk. 2. Rene
Latiolais and Patty Murray. 3. Christina
Douget and Colleen Uriarte.
4. Jennifer Biscamp and
Christina Doguet.
2
3 4
b
R
E
n
T
C
h
R
i
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T
o
P
h
E
R
© 2010 Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. IsleOne
is a registered trademark of Isle of Capri
Casinos, Inc. See IsleOne for complete details.
*Earned entries must be redeemed on the
day they are earned. Chevy Silverado and
Camaro are registered trademarks of General
Motors Corporation. Valid only at Isle of Capri
Casino Hotel Lake Charles. Event is subject
to change or cancellation without notice.
Subject to availability. Must be present to win.
Valid photo ID required. Must be 21 or older.
Isle of Capri employees and their immediate
family members are not eligible. Gambling
problem? Call 1-877-770-STOP (7867).
I-10, Exit 27 Lake Charles, LA
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28 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
22nd Annual Lamar
University Baseball Banquet
1. Anthony Moore and Clayton Farhat. 2. Angela and Allen
Harrington. 3. Lamar Baseball Players: Quentin Luquette, Ricky
Testa and Taylor McInnis. 4.Beth Squires and Wade Mathis.
5. Pat Tubbs, Billy Tubbs (L.U. Athletic Director), Larry Tidwell (L.U.
Women’s Head Basketball Coach), Morris Keene and Greg Tremel.
3
4
2
S
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Junior League
Done in a Day
L-R: Chrisa Atkins, Kathryn Honsberger, Shannon Cope-
land, Kaley Wilk, and (seated) Gladys Thomas (Beaumont
Community Players Volunteer) assisting the Beaumont
Community Players with organizing their Costume Shop.
C
o
u
r
t
e
S
y
o
f
J
u
N
I
o
r
L
e
A
G
u
e
5
1
Mr. Habitat for
Humanity 2010
1. Tammy and Mike Hentrich.
2. L-R: Erica Hatcher, Scott Hatcher, Bilalah Turner,
Jessica Cruse, Justin Cruse. 3. Sarah Gutierrez and
Johnny Denison. 4. Marty and Tana Fisher.
5. Bryan Denison – Mr. Habitat for Humanity 2010.
6. Daylyn Turner.
3
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u
d
y
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“The Mildred Building”
Beaumont, TX 77701
409.454.2216
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theVIPmag.com | April 2010 29
6
2
1 2
4
Celebrate Families Luncheon
1. L - R: Family Advocate of the Year recipient Bill Leger and Tecoo,
Tori and Tatum Leger. 2. Angeliqueca Avery, Regina Rogers, Keven J. Roy,
Karen Fontenot. 3. Family of the Year: Steve, Annie and Jeanette Foreman.
4. Linda Domino, Bob Pollard, Marty Craig.
2
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Vidor, TX
769-4845
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30 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
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theVIPmag.com | April 2010 31
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THEVIPMAG.COM | April 2010 35
Gift of Life
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theVIPmag.com | April 2010 37
p h y s i c i a n p r o f i l e s
vip worthy
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W
hen Garrett
Peel was
chief resident
in general
surgery at the
Mayo Clinic
in Rochester,
Minn., he
learned the
philosophy that
shaped the doctor he was to become. In his practice
of medicine, seven simple words guide him: The
needs of the patient come first.
Peel completed his residency last June and moved to
Beaumont with his family to open his first practice —
Previty, a word he concocted to mean “where preven-
tion and longevity meet.” A few days after their arrival,
Mandie Peel, his wife and chief operating ofcer of the
practice, had their third child, Emsley.
attention to detail
When Peel and his wife were designing the ofce last summer, they wanted
to instill the message that the patients are special. And it’s definitely not the
standard doctor’s ofce. The “patient lounge” ofers comfortable seating,
refreshments and a television. A small library of information from the Mayo
The needs
of the
patient
come
frst
text by CATHLEEN COLE
Garrett
Peel
PEEL CONTINUED ON PAGE 40
38 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
T
he first question people ask
Dr. Gwendolyn Lavalais
is always the same. “Isn’t
it depressing?” they ask,
referring to her work as
an oncologist at Memorial
Herman Baptist Hospital
in Beaumont. The reality,
she insists, is just the
opposite. “My job isn’t
depressing at all,” she said. “Of course, there are
sad things that happen, but overall, the bravery
and tenacity that I see in my patients is inspiring
to me.”
a nurse becomes a doctor
As an oncologist and medical director of
Beaumont’s Dauphin Center, a cancer screen-
ing and prevention clinic, Lavalais is on
the front lines, preventing and fghting
cancer in Southeast Texas. Originally
from Lousiana, Lavalais moved to
Texas to begin her career as a nurse
in Houston. She soon realized that
she wanted to become a physician, so
she entered medical school with the
intention of becoming a primary care
physician. “I did primary care for a
year and then realized that it wasn’t
for me.” After seeing her mother and
father deal with cancer, Lavalais found
herself drawn to the feld of oncology.
“I like knowing what’s wrong with
people and fguring out how to deal with
it, where to go from there,” she explained.
Lavalais moved to Beaumont fve years
ago with her husband, also a physician,
and her daughter. She took the position
as medical oncologist at the Julie and
Ben Rogers Cancer Institute at Memorial
Herman Baptist Hospital. “I love working
with these patients,” she said. “They are
the bravest, most grateful, warm people.
They’re just willing to do anything we
ask of them to get better.”
educating and treating
As medical director of the Dauphin
Center, Lavalais focuses on the early
detection of cancers and educating the
public about them. The Dauphin Center has the area’s only
digital mammography system as well as an extensive library that any-
one can use to research their disease. “We have physicians available to talk
about options for people recently diagnosed with cancer, or to give a second
opinion,” Lavalais explained. The Dauphin Center also ofers genetic counsel-
The Front Line
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text by HaLey STraHan
Gwendolyn Lavalais
LAVALAIS CONTINUED ON PAGE 41
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 39
A
bout three years ago, Kevin Dean,
M.D., F.A.C.S., embarked on a
wintry vacation to the resort city
of Keystone, Colo. Having never
participated in winter sports, he
asked locals about the advantages
of skiing and snowboarding. Some
well-meaning young men explained
to him that, at his age (early
forties), he should stick with skiing.
Dean has snowboarded ever since.
It is this unique breed of daring which has propelled Dean
across the dips and slopes of life’s challenges and closer towards
his dreams.
a different path
Growing up in a rural Arkansas town, with a gradu-
ating class of approximately 25, few classmates had
lofty ambitions of trading their quiet, austere lives
for the rigors of medical school. Even Dean, a popu-
lar football player, anticipated becoming a hometown
coach. However, after a knee injury landed him in
the hospital during his senior year, Dean made a
personal, yet determined decision to become a
surgeon. And, just as with snowboarding, he
never varied.
“I like the idea of a person coming to
me with a problem,” Dean explained. “I
like the idea of being able to take care
of their problem and help them move
forward with their life.”
The straightforward, problem-solu-
tion nature of surgery agreed with Dean’s
similarly candid character.
a pattern of excellence
It also did not hurt that Dean is incredibly
intelligent. As the valedictorian of Redwater
High School and Stephen F. Austin State Uni-
versity, he easily went forward with medical school
at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at
San Antonio, where he graduated in the top half of
his class. During his general surgery residency at the
University of Missouri at Kansas City, he continued
receiving many awards and accolades for his out-
standing ability.
In 1996, Dean was recruited by Southeast Texas
Surgical Associates, settling him in Beaumont and
an established medical practice.
home in the heart of texas
When Dean decided to move to Southeast
Texas, he brought along with him two personal
goals — to marry Amy, a young dietician he had
fallen in love with as a resident student, and to
get a big, 90-pound mutt named Boudreaux. The
new family later expanded to include the Dean’s
two sons, Benjamin, 9, and Matthew, 6, and
another huge, 90-pound mutt, Clyde.
From the outset, the entire family fell in love
with the accessibility of Southeast Texas.
“The [Southeast Texas] medical community is
close knit and provides excellent care for patients,” Dean said.
Paging the Daring
Dr. Dean
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text by Holli Petersen
Kevin Dean
DEAN CONTINUED ON PAGE 40
40 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
Clinic is situated in a corner with a tele-
phone and a computer with internet access.
Hand-blown glass art pieces by native Texan
Gini Garcia adorn the walls. If patients need
to freshen up, they can go to the “refresh
and rest room” with its complimentary sam-
ple-size bottles of mouthwash and lotion and
the television screen that scrolls health mes-
sages. The procedure and consultation
rooms, large and bright, are named for
Peel’s mentors at the Mayo Clinic and
their photographs and biographies
are prominently displayed. When
patients are leaving, they are ofered
an antioxidant treat: Ghirardelli dark
chocolate squares and fresh apples.
“It’s his attention to detail that
really sets him apart, and his compas-
sion,” Mandie Peel said, holding her
baby daughter in her “mommy ofce”
complete with crib, television and
toys. “The patients adore him.”
It doesn’t hurt that he received
his education from some of the best
schools in the country: The George
Washington University and Johns
Hopkins University. He had an intern-
ship and resident position at the University
of Texas Health Science Center at San Anto-
nio and fnished his training with doctors at
the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.
coming home
Not that Beaumont isn’t a wonderful
place, but why would a surgeon with this
much expertise from this many prestigious
institutions want to start a practice and
settle down here? “It’s a community where
we thought we could give back,” Peel said.
“Go where you’re needed.” Also, because the
Peels both grew up in San Antonio where
they met in seventh grade, they wanted to
move back to Texas to be closer to family.
Back in middle school, the classmates
were just friends. Peel was the studious nerd
and his wife-to-be was the social butterfy.
“I was the one in frst grade collecting rocks
and leaves to put under the microscope
while everyone else was playing kickball,”
he said. He comes from a family of teach-
ers and blue-collar workers, but in seventh
grade he knew he wanted to be a doctor — a
heart surgeon to be exact.
Patient frst, innovation, wellness
Today, he’s a surgeon, but hearts are not
his specialty. His expertise lies in advanced
laparoscopic, cancer, hernia, gastroin-
testinal, endocrine, colon and rectal, and
emergency/trauma surgeries. He divides his
practice into help centers: the Breast Help
Center, Hemorrhoid Help Center, Cancer
Help Center, Vein Help Center, Gastro-
esophageal Refux Disease Help Center and
Weight-Management Help Center. Applying
to all, his tenets: patient frst, innovation,
wellness. “We put the patient frst in all
that we do,” Peel said, adding that he gives
patients his personal phone number in case
they need him. He uses the newest
approaches to surgery. And he focuses
on the patient’s overall wellness, not
just the sick part that might need to
be cut out.
He knows what so many Southeast
Texas residents advise their family
members and friends who become
critically ill: Get medical treatment
in Houston. He believes they don’t
have to. “We can have comprehensive
medical care here,” he said. It can take
months to get appointments in Hous-
ton, he said, but just days to see him.
And the quicker the patient is seen,
the quicker treatment can begin. From
diagnosis to cure can be a matter of
weeks instead of a matter of months.
“When time and expertise count,” he
said, “I am there for the patient.”
“When time
and expertise count,
I am there for
the patient.”
“There is really a cohesive camarade-
rie within the area.”
addressing the epidemic
While performing general surgical
procedures with Southeast Texas Sur-
gical Associates, Dean stumbled upon
a new area which appealed to him —
bariatric surgery. Joining with Chris-
tus Southeast Texas Bariatric Center,
a separate and distinct practice, Dean
performs gastric bypass, gastric sleeve
and Lap Band surgery.
“Obesity is an epidemic in Amer-
ica,” Dean said. “Some individuals,
engaged in a vicious cycle of weight loss and
weight gain, fnd it necessary to undergo
surgical procedures. I fnd it extremely grati-
fying to see these patients come in on heavy
doses of medication (for obesity-related ill-
nesses) and, within months, they’re of their
meds or on lower doses.”
However, Dean reiterates the fact that
weight-loss surgery is not for everyone.
Prior to such a drastic procedure, he advises
interested patients to keep an open mind
when consulting medical professionals. In
fact, he exclusively ofers these surgeries to
Christus Southeast Texas Bariatric Center
because patients are provided with pre-
operative evaluations and counseling and
are then given extensive post-operative care,
counseling and education.
“It is important to note that I’m not just
some surgeon who happens to know
how to do Lap Bands,” Dean described.
“These patients are carefully screened,
counseled and educated. And, then
post operatively, I provide a true close-
ness of follow up treatment.”
a regular guy
Outside of the operating room,
Dean lives an unconventional lifestyle,
playing drums for his band, 3CG, or
Three Car Garage. (The name alludes
to the “man cave” he created. Read
about the band on p. 21). He also
enjoys spending time with his family,
particularly sneaking away for a weekend of
water sports at their local lake house.
“Making people feel better is gratify-
ing work and I truly enjoy helping people,”
Dean summed up. “But it’s my job. It’s what
I do. Just like anyone, I look forward to going
home at the end of the day and spending
time with my family or playing some tunes
with my buddies.”
PEEL CONTINUED FROM PAGE 37
VIP
DEAN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39
VIP
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theVIPmag.com | April 2010 41
ing for those with a family history of certain cancers. “We
would discuss the risk factors that a certain person may
have and give them recommendations for how to proceed,”
she said.
In order to make cancer screening more accessible, the
Dauphin Center ofers innovative programs like “mam-
mogram parties,” in which groups of women can come
together to be tested. “We want to encourage people who
may never have been screened to come and have it done,”
Lavalais explained. The Dauphin Center also presents
quarterly tobacco cessation workshops, as well as seminars
pertaining to cancer prevention and research. “We really
strive to be another resource to the community to educate
people about cancer,” Lavalais said.
To further service citizens of Southeast Texas, Lavalais
hopes to oversee a future expansion of the Dauphin Center
into a fully operating breast care center, where women can
have mammograms, biopsies and other procedures done in
one place. The availability of these services is a huge boon
to patients in this area, who previously would have traveled
to Houston for many of these procedures.
By working to educate people about cancer, encouraging
screening and overseeing treatments, Lavalais is fghting to
beat cancer in Southeast Texas. But her heroes are the can-
cer patients that she sees every day. “People who survive
cancer have a great understanding of what life is and how
to live it,” she said. “It’s a wonderful thing to be able to
know those kinds of people.”
LAVALAIS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 38
VIP p
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42 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
U
bi Caritas might have an unusual-
sounding name, but these Latin
words hold great meaning.
Translated, Ubi Caritas means
“Place of Mercy.” And, more
than prescription medications
or medical advice, mercy is the
number one item dispensed at
this nonprofit Beaumont health
clinic.
Founded in 1998 by a local congregation of the Episcopal
Diocese of Texas, Ubi Caritas cared about healthcare for the
uninsured before it became a popular, highly debated hook
for politicians to hang their hat upon. Without much fanfare,
the clinic enlisted the support of local medical professionals,
charitable organizations, church congregations and generous
sponsors to provide quality healthcare for the one in three
Beaumont residents without access to medical insurance.
Initially, the care specifically addressed the needs of Beau-
mont’s South Park community, a neighborhood of hard work-
ers who typically sought treatment for non-emergency health
issues at local hospitals. Over time, the clinic has expanded to
care for all Beaumont residents in need.
“Access to healthcare is so important in any community,”
explained Clark Moore, executive director and founding
member. “Most people don’t mind paying a fair amount for
healthcare. Unfortunately, they just didn’t have a place to go.”
With more than 30 years of nonprofit experience, Moore
recounted memories of poignant patient stories. There was
the newlywed college student who ignored serious symp-
toms because he didn’t have health insurance. After turning
to Ubi Caritas, he was diagnosed and provided treatment for
testicular cancer. While building Ubi Caritas’s new, on-site
clinic, a laborer sufered a back injury. Refusing treatment, he
confessed to never having seen a doctor in his entire adult life
for fear of expensive medical bills. After much hesitation, he
finally sought treatment through Ubi Caritas. Weeks later, he
returned a new man, anxious to show his gratitude by volun-
teering his time to the cause.
With 89 percent of their patients belonging to working
households, these are far from the stereotype of lazy individu-
als looking for handouts. Most are grateful for the services,
and willing to contribute however they can.
Though the easy answer to address this vast need appears
to be universal healthcare, Moore confessed that there are
Ubi Caritas et Amor Deus Ibi Est
text by HOLLI PETERSEN
a s t h e g e n t l e r a i n
vip worthy
Where Mercy and Love Dwell, God is there
feeling merciful?
Make an impact! Donating your time and talents to the clinic expands
its reach. Medical professionals: Your skills are in high demand. Call
409.832.1924 ext. 102 or visit ubicaritas.org for more information.
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 43
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Jay Doyle, a nurse practitioner with the clinic
and nursing colleague Mary Crittenden
many more issues that must be factored into the fnal decision.
“I would love to go out of business,” Moore explained. “But
with all my nonproft experience, I’ve learned that there will al-
ways be people who fall through the cracks.”
While the nation continues to banter about the pros and cons
of universal healthcare, Ubi Caritas quietly carries on — seeing
an average of 350 patients a week in their six-exam room clinic.
Certainly, the depressed economy has increased the community’s
need for their services. Unfortunately, it is a demand which they
currently can’t supply.
“We still don’t fully meet the needs of our community,” Moore
lamented. “We are desperate for more staf, particularly the re-
sources to sustain another nurse. Additionally, we could really use
the help of a pediatrician willing to volunteer some time.”
In the meantime, the clinic hopes to be able to modify a fle
room into another exam room by spring, thereby expanding their
ability to accept more patients.
Mercifully, this “place of mercy” refuses to give up. Somehow,
they attest, they will provide. VIP
facts for thought
•Communities where residents are provided affordable access to medi-
cal care have increased workplace productivity, school attendance and
an overall higher quality of life.
•Hospital wait time is signifcantly decreased when non-emergency
patients are provided affordable access to medical care at separate
facilities like Ubi Caritas.
•60 percent of medical problems are preventable with health education.
•Not factored into the universal healthcare debate are the 1,200 chari-
table clinics, like Ubi Caritas, which exist across the nation. Each year,
they provide $5 billion worth of healthcare to 5 percent of the American
population.
•Though it costs Ubi Caritas an average of $57 to treat one patient, Med-
icaid and Medicare will only reimburse approximately $11 per patient.
•70 percent of Ubi Caritas patients qualify for sliding scale pay, meaning
they pay according to their income and are at or below the poverty level.
•For every $1 donated to the clinic, Ubi Caritas can provide $5 of service.
- Provided by Ubi Caritas
Business Meetings & Conferences
Receptions & Luncheons
State-of-the Art Communications
Flexible RoomArrangements
Exquisite Decor
Where Business &
Pleasure Meet
1776 Cal der Ave. Beaumont , Texas
409. 832. 1621
www. broussardscentre. com
44 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
fable, boyish Rich-
ard James seems like
just about anybody
you’d meet, but hang
on — valedictorian at
Central High School in
Beaumont, Eagle Scout,
Coca-Cola Scholarship
recipient, Louisiana
Tech grad in biomedical engineering, scientist for
NASA, Olympic torchbearer, published author,
Junior Olympic-level speedskater, marathon run-
ner… (and this is just the first paragraph!)
Sufce it to say, Richard James is NOT just like
anyone you’d meet at the cofee shop. It’s kind of
like meeting Peter Parker or Clark Kent. He seems
like a regular guy, but the cape must be hiding
someplace. If James has an idea, you’d better hop
on board because he is a man not just of ideas but
action.
Through the nonprofit agency Sports Society
for American Health that he co-founded with Ray
Solis in 2000, James is bringing Southeast Texas
its first marathon. James, along with squads of
volunteers and sponsors, is responsible for the
gazillion details that a major public event like this
entails. Fortunately, he’s a master multi-tasker,
because this is just his volunteer job.
Meanwhile, he is jetting back and forth to
California, maneuvering through the process of
bringing his children’s books about science into
multi-media — possibly a video game, movie and
television series. He published his first of three
“Adventures of the Elements” book in 1997. James
likens the process of writing the first story to ulti-
mately arriving on the big screen to a marathon, an
arduous process that requires perseverance.
His “Adventure of the Elements” science-packed
action stories are like sneaking spinach into the
pizza sauce for kids — full of nutrition disguised
as fast food. The books follow the adventures
of a family of five ordinary siblings who can see
and interact with the elements — transformed into
superheroes and villains such as Xerxes Xenon and
Ozzie Ozone — through magic glasses. The books,
board game and trading cards teach natural science
and chemistry disguised as fun.
Though obviously a brainy guy, James feels
v i p e r s o n a l i t y
vip worthy
F
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text by CHERYL ROSE
His leg was shattered;
doctors thought
initially that they
might have
to amputate.
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 45
equally passionate about healthy
bodies. He’s a fan of fitness,
and is often found on his bike
or skates or just running. He’s
on a mission to combat obesity
and inspire fitness and health by
organizing public events like the
Gusher. He’s already brought us
the SETX Cycle Challenge, the
Boomtown Challenge Triathlon,
and the Moonlight Madness Bike
& Skate.
Not convinced he’s a super-
hero? Ten years ago, James was
in-line skating along a road
when he was hit by a car. His leg
was shattered; doctors thought
initially that they might have
to amputate. Three surgeries
and lots of rehabilitation later,
James is still running marathons
— with a rod and screws in his
lower left leg.
You’re an advocate for exer-
cise. What do you like to do for
exercise?
Cycling, inline skating, run-
ning, lifting weights, swim-
ming (although I’mterrible at
it), and attempting any chal-
lenging physical activity from
obstacle courses to playing
most sports.
Hours spent exercising each
week?
Anywhere fromten to
twenty hours.
Personal bests?
Carrying the Olympic
Torch for the 2002 Salt Lake
City Winter Olympics for the
U.S. This patriotic experience
surpassed the feeling of any
medals, trophies, awards or
accolades I have ever re-
ceived.
Why did you create the
nonprofit Sports Society for
American Health?
Ray Solis and I co-founded
it while we were both re-
covering fromsurgeries
because we couldn’t race (he
in triathlons and I in speed
skating) at the time and there
were no sporting events such
as triathlons, cycling races
and marathons in Southeast
Texas.
What motivates you?
Following God’s path. To
make positive changes in
society fromeducation to
health.
Personal goals for The
Gusher?
To witness average indi-
viduals taking steps to fight
obesity and make positive,
healthy changes in their life
by completing any of the
distances.
Favorite brand of running
shoes?
I recently began wearing
VibramFiveFingers, which
are like gloves for your feet.
What kind of bike do you ride?
Trek Madone.
Favorite meal?
My wife Amie is an amazing
cook especially considering
howthe meals are all-natural,
healthy foods containing no
MSG, no trans-fats and no
high-fructose corn syrup. It’s
hard for me to pick one favor-
ite. She will find this hard to
believe knowing howmuch I
like pizza.
The craziest thing I’ve ever
done…
Taking the entrepreneurial
plunge to create the “Adven-
tures of the Elements.” That
was riskier than flying down
the side of a mountain on a
bicycle.
If I were a superhero, I would
be…
An element guardian from
the “Adventures of the Ele-
ments.”
Do you have a favorite charac-
ter in your books and why?
That is difcult because
each is a unique character
study. I also based the kids
in the books on my brother
and three sisters. However,
Clifton Chlorine’s diabolical,
psychologically-manipulative
character is intriguing.
What is your philosophy
about teaching science to chil-
dren?
I could write a book on this
question but to state it suc-
cinctly: My philosophy is to
make science fun by invok-
ing the imagination, to make
science relevant to children’s
contemporary environment
of technology and entertain-
ment, and to make science
part of children’s daily lives
and vernacular.
Was it challenging to make the
Periodic Table an action story?
Surprisingly, the science
creates the chemistry. Our
world and universe are so ex-
plosive and there are so many
chemical reactions occurring
around us every day, that in a
sense, the books write them-
selves.
What is it like to see your
words and stories turned into
animation?
It brings the stories to life
and transforms a 13-year
journey into the realization
of a childhood dream.
What are you reading these
days?
Wired magazine at the
moment. I recently finished
a novel by Dean Koontz and
completed the audiobook
“Born to Run” by Chris Mc-
Dougall.
I’m grateful for…
My faith, wife, family, close
friends, being an American
and good health. VIP
G
o
f
o
r
i
t
!!
The Gusher Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K
May 1, 2010, 7:30a.m.
Lamar University’s Montagne Center
Registration and information at thegushermarathon.com
Funds raised will support children’s health and education.
46 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 47
Neches River
Festival &Parade
April 13
As one of Beaumont’s biggest celebrations,
there are several days of merriment and
activities beginning with the king’s arrival
at Riverfront Park. This festival brings
Beaumont’s largest parade downtown, and
ends with the Queen’s Ball and Coronation.
409.835.2443
c a l e n d a r
vip guide
great dates in april
Event Submissions
Do you have an event you would like to promote? Do it with VIP for FREE! Please send us details—dates, times, location, contact phone,
web address and a brief description—to vipnews@thevipmag.com. Information should arrive at least 60 days in advance of the event.
Chris Botti
April 17
Grammy-award winning jazz
instrumentalist Botti will perform at
the Lutcher Theater. Tickets $40-65.
7:30p.m.
800.828.5535,
lutcher.org
Julie Rogers Gift of Life
“Champagne and Ribs”
April 22
A beneft for the “Gift of Life”
prostate cancer program. This year’s
honorees are Hal Clarke, M.D.,
and Joe Domino. Honorary chairs
are Linda and Joe Penland. Event
Chairs: The Babineaux Family
(Charlene and Danny, Karen and
Bret, Dana and Slate). Entertainment
by Mid-Life Crisis. Cowboy Harley-
Davidson. 7p.m. 409.833.366,
giftofifebmt.org
Lobsterfest
April 26
The Lobsterfest golf tournament
will be held at the Beaumont Country
Club. The Lobsterfest dinner that
evening will be at the Beaumont
Civic Center. 409.838.6581
The American Cancer Society’s
“Stetsons & Stilettos – Two Steppin’
for a Cause that Heals.” This year’s
honorary chairman is Judge Robert
“Bob” Wortham,
of the 58th Judicial
Court, and Karen
Wortham. Chairman
include Mike Simpson and
Pat Anderson, Charlie and Tara
Holder. Entertainment includes country
superstar Aaron Tippin (“You’ve Got
To Stand For Something,” “Where The
Stars And Stripes And The Eagle Fly”).
Tickets $100. Mid-County Airport Hangar
B. 7p.m.-12 midnight. 409.835.2139,
cattlebaronsbeaumont.com
2010
Cattle Barons’ Ball
April 10
{ April }
aPRIL 1
April Fools’ Day
Last Days of Christ Outdoor
Passion Drama
April 1-3. 409.466.2614,
lastdaysofchrist.org/front.asp
Blooms: Floral Art in the Stark
Collections
The flower as an inspiration for the
visual arts. On exhibit through June 12.
Stark Museum of Art. 409.886.2787
African-American Art: Highlights
from the Dr. Hervy Hiner Collection
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas
presents an exhibit comprised of works
in a variety of mediums by African-
American artists of the 19th and 20th
centuries. ThroughApril 11. amset.org >>
48 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
Hans Molzberger: RETURN /
RÜCKKEHR
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas
presents an exhibit featuring German
artist and Houston resident Hans
Molzberger’s large-scale, ceramic
sculpture installations. Exhibit runs
through April 11. amset.org
Bluebonnet Season
The frst two weeks of April are
typically peak season for viewing
bluebonnets in the Hill Country and
Washington County area.
aPRIL 2
First Friday’s on Lincoln Avenue
Shopping, food and entertainment.
6p.m.-9p.m. Groves. 409.962.3631
aPRIL 3
TASIMJAE
The Art Studio, Inc.’s Member Jurored
Art Exhibition. 7-10p.m. Exhibit runs
through April 24. The Art Studio, Inc.
409.838.5393, artstudio.org
Walk for Life 2010
Sponsored by Hope Women’s
Resource Clinic. Riverfront Park.
Registration 8a.m., walk begins at
9a.m. pregnancyhopecenter.com
Anne Frank: A History for Today
Opening Reception
TemporaryexhibitthroughMay31. Museum
of the Gulf Coast. 409.982.7000
aPRIL 4
Easter Sunday
Port Neches Easter Sunrise Service
7a.m. Port Neches Park Pavilion
aPRIL 8
Romeo & Juliet
The Guthrie Theater andThe Acting
Company present Shakespeare’s ultimate
romantic tragedy of innocent young
lovers. Tickets $40-$65. Lutcher Theater.
7:30p.m. 800.828.5535, lutcher.org
Chamber Mix & Mingle-Holiday Inn
& Suites
Visit the hotel on Walden Road
and network with other business
professionals. 4:30p.m. to 6:30p.m.
Galveston FeatherFest
Bird-watching and photography
excursions on buses, boats and kayaks
which visit local habitats at the height
of the avian spring migration. April 8-11.
888.435.4753, galvestonfeatherfest.com
Green Thumbs for Children
Children’s program about gardening
and developing a love for nature and
conservation. McFaddin-Ward House.
4-5p.m. Ages 6-12. Free. Call to
reserve a spot. 409.832.1906
aPRIL 9
BASF & Total Miracle Match for Life
Golf Tournament
Benefting LifeShares Blood Centers,
Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program and
the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program.
Brentwood Country Club. 8a.m.
40th Annual Spring Dinner - Silsbee
Little Theatre
Performance of “First Things First”
by Derek Benfeld and directed by Lee
Ann Alpers. Social hour 6:30p.m.,
dinner 7p.m. and show 8p.m. (Jackets
required.) Performance dates April 9,
10, 15, 16, 17,22, 23, 24. 140 N 6th St.,
Silsbee. 409.385.5562
aPRIL 10
Empowering Women As Leaders
7p.m. at The Barking Dog in Beaumont
featuring artist Vanessa White.
Beaux Arts Ball
A mock ball sponsored by The Art
Studio, Inc. with live Texas rockabilly
music by John Evans Band. Dress is
“Technicolor masquerade.” Tickets
$50. 8p.m. American Legion Hall,
Beaumont. 409.838.5393
2010 Cattle Barons’ Ball
The American Cancer Society’s
“Stetsons & Stilettos - Two
Steppin’ for a Cause that Heals.”
Entertainment includes country
superstar Aaron Tippin. Tickets
$100. Mid- County Airport Hangar
B. 7p.m.-12 midnight. 409.835.2139,
cattlebaronsbeaumont.com
Preservation Bash for Oaks Historic
District
Lynda Kay and James Makin will host
the annual event. Silent auction and
entertainment by The Rick Show.
Proceeds to preservation/enhancements
in the Oaks Historic District. Tickets $30.
409.835.0795
Symphony of Southeast Texas Concert
with the Southeast Texas Chorus
Evelyn Lord and the orchestra chorus
present an evening of music and
narration. Selections include Copland:
A Lincoln Portrait, Beethoven:
Symphony No. 9 “Ode to Joy.” Julie
Rogers Theatre. 409.892.2257 sost.org
46th Annual Bluebonnet Festival –
Chappell Hill
An arts, music and crafts festival
sponsored by the Chappell
Hill Historical Society. Free
admission, $5 parking. April 10-11.
Chappellhillmuseum.org
aPRIL 13
Neches River Festival & Parade
As one of Beaumont’s biggest
celebrations, there are several days of
merriment. 409.835.2443
April 13 – Kings’ Arrival & Media Party
5:30p.m., Riverfront Park
April 15 – Citizen of the Year
Presentation – 10a.m., MCM Elegante
April 17 – Parade 11a.m., Downtown
Beaumont
April 24 – Queen’s Coronation 7p.m.,
Julie Rogers Theatre
Coronation Ball 9p.m., Beaumont
Civic Center
aPRIL 15
Lamar Spring Dance Concert
Lamar Theatre &Dance’s spring dance
concert features student and faculty
performances in a variety of styles
including contemporary, jazz and ballet.
Tickets $10 general admission; $7
senior citizens, students and LUfaculty/
staf. University Theatre 7:30p.m.
409.880.2250
Beaumont Heritage Society’s Mid-
Century Modern Show
Episodes of “Mad Men” sparked your
interest in the mid-century modern
aesthetic? The Beaumont Heritage
Society presents Frontiers and Fifties,
a showfeaturing textiles, jewelry, glass
and furniture fromthe period. Vendors
will display their wares at the Chambers
House MuseumApril 16 &17. Tour of
some of Beaumont’s fnest Mid-Century
Modern Homes on April 18. Admission
charge good for all events. 409.832.4010
20th Annual Village Creek Festival
Acelebrationfull of carnival rides, games,
food, live entertainment, Miss Village
CreekPageant, a classic car show, andthe
Village CreekParade. LumbertonMiddle
School. April 15-17, 5-10p.m. weeknights,
10a.m.-11p.m. weekend. 409.755.0554,
lumbertoncoc.com
aPRIL 16
Mercado Days Festival
Come join the party in downtown
Port Arthur for activities for all ages
and an amazing presentation of
talent celebrating the Hispanic and
Latino presence in Southeast Texas.
409.960.1699
2010 Classic Film Festival
Presented by Beaumont Main Street,
the 2010Classic FilmFestival celebrates
great movies and features a variety of
related events such as a Holly Golightly
party in the Skyroomof Hotel Beaumont
and a Barnyard Bash for children.
Feature flms are “The Natural,”
“Charlotte’s Web,” “Singin’ in the
Rain,” and “Breakfast at Tifany’s.”
April 16 & 17. Jeferson Theatre.
409.838-2202
HealthSouth Stroke Classic Golf
Tournament
HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital
of Beaumont is hosting their second
annual tournament at Brentwood
Country Club in Beaumont. Golf, food
and prizes. Registration at 11:30a.m.
409.839.3357
aPRIL 17
The Third Annual Shoot-Out at the LIT
Corral Pro-AmSporting Clay Fun Shoot
PresentedbytheLITFoundationandTotal.
Proceeds beneft the LITFoundation’s
scholarshipfundforLITstudents. 1-in-100
GunClubinLumberton. 409.880.7431
Bizarre Bazaar 2
Beaumont Art League. 9a.m.-6p.m.
409.833.4179, beaumontartleague.org
Chris Botti
Grammy-award winning jazz
instrumentalist Botti will perform at
the Lutcher Theater. Tickets $40-65.
7:30p.m. 800-828-5535, lutcher.org
aPRIL 18
Neches River Festival Show &
Competition
Beaumont Art League hosts a
reception from2-4p.m. 409.833.4179,
beaumontartleague.org
aPRIL 22
Earth Day
Golden Triangle American Heart
Association “Go Red For Women”
Luncheon
The event will honor Dorothy Ann
Conn. MCMElegante. 11:30a.m.
409.980.8800
Julie Rogers Gift of Life
“Champagne and Ribs”
Abeneft for the “Gift of Life” prostate
cancer program. Entertainment by Mid-
Life Crisis. Cowboy Harley-Davidson.
7p.m. 409.833.366, giftofifebmt.org
Chamber Mix & Mingle-WineStyles
Come out to WineStyles and network
with other business professionals.
4:30p.m. to 6:30p.m.
aPRIL 23
ACS Relay for Life
The American Cancer Society’s Relay
for Life is a 24 hour event that begins
with a Survivors Lap and includes a
Luminaria Ceremony to remember lost
loved ones. Lumberton High School.
Begins at 6:30p.m. hardinrelay.org
theVIPmag.com | April 2010 49
May Preview//////////////////////////
The Annual Texas Bar-B-Q Festival
The Texas Bar-B-QFestival has
carnival rides, a Doggie Pageant, Classic
Car Show&Shine, live music and a
scholarship pageant. Claiborne Park in
Vidor. April 23-25. Tickets $10 Friday/
Saturday, $5 Sunday. Friday 5p.m.-12
midnight, Saturday 10a.m.-12 midnight,
Sunday 10a.m.-5p.m. 409.769.6339
Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey
The greatest showon Earth comes to
Beaumont. April 23-25. Ford Arena.
fordpark.com
aPRIL 24
March for Babies 2010
Athree mile walk around Lamar
University campus starting at the John
Gray Center. Enjoy picnic, games and
children’s activities afterward. Event
chairman is Will Jackson of Wells Fargo.
9a.m. 409.835.7606
Art Exhibit: Virgil Grotfeldt, 274296
The Art Museumof Southeast Texas
presents an exhibit representing the final
body of work of one of Houston’s leading
artists, Virgil Grotfeldt, who lost his
16-year battle with cancer in February
2009. Opening reception 6-8p.m.
Exhibit runs through July 11. amset.org
Art Exhibit: Rusty Scruby, Playing in
the Sand
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas
presents an exhibit by Rusty Scruby
featuring his totally three-dimensional
sculpture that will be suspended fromthe
galleryceilings. Opening reception6-8p.m.
Exhibit runs through July 11. amset.org
Eco-Fest
Shangri La Botanical Gardens hosts an
educational family event. Information
booths about earth-friendly products,
services, and opportunities. Boat rides,
music, games, skits, face painting
and more! 9a.m.-4p.m. 409.670.9113,
shanrilagardens.org
Exotic Bird Expo
Vendors showcase birds, toys, food,
cages. Bob Bowers Civic Center, Port
Arthur. Children under 12 free, small
entry fee over 12. 409.656.0626
aPRIL 26
Lobsterfest
The Lobsterfest golf tournament will
be held at the Beaumont Country Club.
The Lobsterfest dinner that evening
will be at the Beaumont Civic Center.
409.838.6581
aPRIL 27
Lamar Civic Orchestra
7:30p.m. Setzer Student Center Ballroom
at Lamar University. Free. 409.880.8144
53rd Annual Contraband Days
Venture down to the Lake Charles Civic
Center seawall and visit with the modern-
day “pirates,” in full regalia on boats out
on the lake. Two weeks, over 100events,
food, contests and fun. Lake Charles
Civic Center. Tickets $5. April 27-May 9.
337.436.5508, contrabanddays.com
aPRIL 30
Arbor Day
MAY 1
St. Michael’s Church Mediterranean Festival Opa! 11a.m-10p.m.St.
Michael’s Church, 680 15th Street, Beaumont. 409-838-4951
The Gusher Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K Beaumont’s first marathon
will start at 7:30a.m. from the Lamar University Montagne Center.
409.781.2932, thegushermarathon.com
Good Medicine Workshop and Meditation Retreat Golden Triangle Body, Mind,
Spirit Connection will host the retreat. Highlights include: meditation class,
Murda yoga class, chiropractic techniques class and a campfire drumming circle.
Tickets $50, including lunch. 9a.m.-9p.m. 409.963.9787, livewell@gtbms.com
“Playing in the Sand” Family Arts Day The Art Museum of Southeast
Texas ofers a free family arts day. 10a.m.-2p.m. amset.org
MAY 3
Paul Hulsey Memorial 100 Club Golf Tournament Brentwood Country
Club. www.100clubsetx.com
MAY 6
Third Annual LiveWell Women’s Conference Sponsored
by CHRISTUS Hospital, seminars, health screenings,
a market square and special keynote speaker
Joan Lunden. Ford Park. 409.899.7700,
christushospital.org/conference VIP
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3970 Dowlen Rd.
(next to Hobby Lobby)
Beaumont, TX
409.892.1555
50 April 2010 | theVIPmag.com
S
crambling
ferociously and
taking a fleeting
moment to look
back, I run.
Somehow this slow moving
nemesis always seems too close,
emptily swiping at my extremi-
ties. A couple of times, I slip,
ripping the skin on my knees.
What am I running from? Time,
and this awful thing they call
“The Change.”
At the magical age of 37, I
woke in the middle of the night
with my nightgown so soaked
that I had to change. Petri-
fied, I pulled the covers up to
my chin thinking, “It’s begun.”
The next morning I arose in
a surly mood and snapped at
my husband. On the verge of
tears, rage still not subsiding, I
marked this as mood swings.
“Oooh! Are y’all hot?” Our
older friend fanned herself and
turned on an overhead fan.
Refusing to meet her eyes
and hoping I didn’t have heat
stroke, I said, “Nope.”
I wasn’t sure what was
happening to me. All I knew
was that at 37, I felt old. In
the mirror I saw a gray-faced,
tired, angry old woman. I was
depressed without cause and
always bloated. I was easily ir-
ritated, constantly constipated,
and overly tired.
I was once told that “The
Change” comes like a thief in
the night, stealing your youth,
beauty, baby-making abilities
and anything else it can manage
to strip from you, leaving you
curled into the fetal position.
The first person I thought
to take my questions to was my
momma, but she had long since
passed on when this issue came
up for me. People always tell
you that whenever your mother
entered “The Change,” ditto for
you. Are they crazy? Nobody
talks about that type of stuf.
I was almost 21 before I knew
that “The Change” is meno-
pause. The only thing I remem-
ber even resembling menopause
was Momma plucking the hairs
from her chin, saying “Never
shave your facial hairs, always
pluck them or they’ll grow back
into a full beard or mustache.”
“I’ll NEVER need that
information.” Thirteen at the
time, I tossed that tidbit as far
away as I could. She divulged
other morsels of wisdom as I
shut down all bodily listening
devices. Now that I’m 39, I wish
I could do that thing Professor
Dumbledore does — pull it out
of my mind and stir it in a glass
of Kool-Aid for viewing.
My husband says that
women fall into two diferent
categories: A and B. A be-
ing older women and B being
younger women. No matter the
age, all women fall into both
categories, imagine that? You’re
always older than somebody
and always younger. Being
both an A and B woman means
that we all have information
that not only can be, but begs
to be, shared. There’s no way
we all know everything, but if
we don’t pass on what we know,
then we doom each other to fear
and ignorance.
As for me, I did some re-
search and found out that fried
foods will make you sweat at
night. Oh, and the hot flash,
um, silly me, 100 degree weath-
er and no air conditioning. The
mood swings — fear.
I made a decision to change
my attitude, change my eating
habits for the better, exercise,
lose weight and be happy with
the woman I have become and
will continue growing into. It
turns out those were the right
choices. I also share what I’ve
learned with A and B category
women. I’m not running any-
more. I’ve learned that crèmes
and waxing are my friends, and
that if I eat foods that agree
with me, my hormones will be
even. I want to always accept
myself, be seasoned and able
to confront the unknown with
knowledge, not fear.
Ginger Robinson is a freelance
writer and aspiring author who
gets most of her inspiration from
her husband, three children and
two dogs. VIP
A“change”
is going to
come text by GINGER ROBINSON
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