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Reindeer Park opens tonight

Written by staff. Posted in Community

The city's official Christmas time celebration begins tonight at Reindeer Park. The festival features the city's the tree lighting, choirs, snow area and much more. Reindeer Park kicks off at 11 a.m. with Mrs. Kringle's Claus-ette at the Municipal Courts Theater Building. The tree lighting and a visit from Santa begin at 5 p.m., also at the Courts Theater Building.

Reindeer Dash set for Dec. 3

Written by staff. Posted in Community

Join the Parks and Recreation Department for our annual holiday 5K run and kids’ walk, the Reindeer Dash. Scheduled to begin on Saturday, Dec. 3 beginning at 9 a.m., this event will raise funds to support the Deer Park Opportunity Center.

Pre-registration is $20 per person, and registration the day of the race is $25. Deer Park Independent School District students may register for $10 each with a valid ID.

“Bring the whole family to take part in this cross-country event led by the one and only Rudolph,” said Scott Swigert, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department. “Come walk or run this course with your antlers and holiday outfits on as we raise money for families in need during the holiday season.

“This will be a fun and relaxed run for our local residents. There will be snow on the course, which will take you past several City facilities, and we hope everyone will enjoy the chance to get outside and get an active start to the holiday season.”

Please note, awards will not be given and participants will not be chipped. The department will have a clock at the finish line.

For more information visit our registration site at, where tickets are also available for purchase for Reindeer Park on Dec. 2-3, or call 281-478-2050.

Chamber seeking Deer Park's most outstanding citizen

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Community

DPChamberlogo colorIN OUR COMMUNITY

The Deer Park Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the 2016 Citizen of the Year Award. The award is presented to a person who selflessly contribute to the Deer Park community without seeking honor or recognition. Nominations are due at the Chamber office Jan. 13. The award will be presented Feb. 2 at the Chamber banquet.

City officially dedicates Wynfield Park

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Community

rainbowwingsIN OUR COMMUNITY
The city dedicated Wynfield Park earlier this week, the latest park renovation completed under the parks and recreation master plan. Wyfield Park is also the second park to receive the city’s new wayfinding sign system. Runningbrook Park, which was dedicated earlier this month also has a stone and wood sign.

APP's Circle of Wreaths fundraiser begins Nov. 29

Written by staff. Posted in Community

CircleofWreaths1st Row L-R: Margo Staley, Susan McBee Mele, 2nd Row L-R: Diane Manning, Tammy Jones, George Jones, Dorothy Weston Gibbons, Murline StaleyDuring the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 3, Art Park Players, Deer Park’s Own Community Theatre, located at 1302 Center Street in Deer Park, will bring the holiday season right to the theatre facility from 6-9 p.m. every evening and on Saturday from 6-8 p.m. A mall of vendors will set up shop in the lobby during our Christmas Shows, selling treasures designed to both delight and inspire.

The lobby will also be "bedecked" with an array of beautiful wreaths, which are graciously donated by "little angels" in the community honoring someone who has had breast cancer. The public is invited to participate in the silent auction and the winners will be announced at the end of the evening on Saturday, Dec. 3.

Last year over 60 wreaths were donated and this year we are hoping for more. If you would be interested in donating a wreath, please contact Susan Mele at 281-478-7288. All donations are 100 percent tax deductible and all monies collected go straight to the Rose.

Chronic unease helps keep Shell, neighbors safe

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Community

mike bauschka 1IN OUR COMMUNITY

In honor of Veterans Day, Shell Deer Park is shining a spotlight on a few veterans who work at the facility. Shell spoke with Mike Bauschka about his time in the U.S. Army, why Shell Deer Park feels like a family, and how he uses chronic unease to keep everyone around him safe.

1830s headstone reunited with grave at Dow Park

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Community

teaser headstonesetIN OUR COMMUNITY
The headstone marking the final resting place of two adult siblings who died in 1834 was reunited with their grave Wednesday. The headstone and grave of Mary W. Jackson and William Wilson is thought to be the oldest known relic in Deer Park. The headstone sat above the grave for 30 years before the stone was placed in Dow Park.

City Beat: As holidays approach, plenty happening in DP

Written by staff. Posted in Community

On November 7-11, (Monday-Friday), Deer Park Parks and Recreation will host the Senior Olympics. Participants can enter events such as Skip Bo, team walking, basketball, Mexican Train and Chicken Foot, along with many other activities. The location will be the Jimmy Burke Activity Center, located at 500 W. 13th street. The events start at 8:30 A.M. November 7, and 8 A.M. November 8-11. Interested participants can call 281-478-2050 for more information.

Archers take on Family Feud Friday evening

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Community

FamilyFeud2007LogoIN OUR COMMUNITY
A Deer Park family will be in the national spotlight when the first run of their appearance on the hit gameshow Family Feud airs. While the Archer family said they had a great time, their results are confidential until the show airs Friday evening at 6 p.m. on My20 in Houston.

Big donation nets SJC digital church organ course

Written by staff. Posted in Community

SJC OrganDr. B.J. Westbrook recently donated $100,000 to the San Jacinto College Foundation for the purchase of a digital church organ for the College’s music department. Pictured left to right: First row: Ruth Keenan, San Jacinto College Foundation executive director; Dr. B.J. Westbrook; Mickie Westbrook; Renee Ydelle; John Painter; and Kelly Waterman. Second row: Dan Mims, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees chairman; Eric Late, San Jacinto College department chair for music/audio engineering; and Dr. Martha Braswell, San Jacinto College music professor. Third row: Kevin Morris, San Jacinto College dean of business and technology; Rick Bocock, Johannus Organs of Texas; Bill Palko; Dr. James Braswell, San Jacinto College dean of administration; and Dr. Paul Busselberg, San Jacinto College music professor. Photo credit: Amanda Fenwick, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations and government affairs department.

After 12 years in the making and thanks to a $100,000 donation to the San Jacinto College Foundation from Dr. B.J. Westbrook, San Jacinto College has a new instrument to add to its classical music course offerings - a digital church organ.

“I hope this donation will help to continue to bring students to the San Jacinto College music program, especially those who enjoy the iconic sound of pipe organ music,” said Westbook. “I'm happy to be a part of such an endeavor and to be a supporter of this great institution.”

Remaining funds from Westbrook’s donation to purchase the digital organ for the College’s music program will go toward establishing a Westbrook family endowment with the Foundation.

“Dr. Westbrook has taken the initiative to leave the San Jacinto College Foundation in his will,” said Ruth Keenan, SJC foundation executive director. “His planned gift began with this $100,000 donation to provide funding for a family scholarship endowment to purchase a teaching organ, a need that has been pending for the past 12 years. This has been a tremendous boost to both our music and scholarship programs. We are so grateful to Dr. Westbrook and his family for the legacy that this gift will create for generations to come.”

SJC Board of Trustees Chairman Dan Mims also expressed his gratitude to Westbrook. “On behalf of San Jacinto College and its students, I would like to thank Dr. B.J. Westbrook for his generous contribution to the San Jacinto College Foundation,” said Mims. “His donation to the Foundation will allow many students to achieve their educational goals at San Jacinto College, thereby improving their lives. He leads by example in community service as well as other areas of life. Serving with him as a member of the Rotary Club of North Shore has allowed me to witness first hand his generosity and commitment to the community. Dr. Westbrook truly embodies ‘service above self.’”

The digital organ, which is now on display at the San Jacinto College Central Campus Monte Blue Music Building concert hall, is a Johannus Ecclesia D-570 digital church organ. Along with traditional church hymns, the organ also lends itself to iconic musical compositions echoing Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. Probably one of the more infamous organ compositions heard throughout Hollywood and Broadway is Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor,” heard in countless renditions of The Phantom of the Opera.

SJC music professor Dr. Martha Braswell said that organ music is still enjoyed today, more than people think. “There is a great demand not only in the Pasadena area, but around the nation as well, for trained organists to provide service music for traditional church services and to provide great performances of compositions by historical composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Caesar Franck and Marcel Dupre,” said Braswell. “The San Jacinto College music department continues to have one of the most successful community college music transfer student programs in the state. Our students are sought after by major university music education programs in Texas. This is one area that we have been unable to provide education in, and now a dream has come true.”

As a result of this donation and organ purchase, an exciting event awaits music lovers when a world-renowned composer and musician collaborate for a dedicatory concert specifically for the new digital church organ. Internationally acclaimed composer and San Jacinto College alumnus Dr. Wayne Oquin is being commissioned to compose a piece specifically for the opening digital organ concert. Set to perform the composition is the first and only Grammy-winning organist, Paul Jacobs, who has performed concerts across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Both Oquin and Jacobs serve as department chairs at The Julliard School in New York, for ear training and the organ department, respectively. The San Jacinto College concert will be announced at a later date.

For more information on the San Jacinto College music department, visit

For more information on the San Jacinto College Foundation, planned giving, or how to donate, visit