SLHF                                                May 2015

Be sure to check out the new TRIVIA contest 
at the end of the newsletter.  Win a prize!!!!

Dennis Parmer ED photo




My article below is based on 25+ years of being involved in church, school, civic, and political fundraising events.  It is based on my experience and observations which may differ from yours and others. The perspective is not necessarily the perspective of any SLHF Board member past or present. Whew, glad I got that out of the way!


The SLHF Board has been evaluating a number of different concepts / ideas to raise funds for operating the organization. SLHF like all the other nonprofits has to raise money to pay the bills. SLHF has looked at "putting on" a gala much like what the other organizations have doing around Ft. Bend County (FBC) for years. The challenge is that there are already many good galas that take place on an annual basis. Finding a date / time of year that you can begin to brand your own is more difficult than it may seem. For example:


1)    There are already a number of well-established galas / events that are put on by very worthwhile organizations. People sometimes joke that FBC is known as the gala capital of the world. Just to name a few, and there are some really good ones that I have not listed because of limited space:

+ The ARC is well known for hosting the "The Best in the West" the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

+ The Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation does a great job of entertaining their guests at their annual gala held on the third Saturday in January.

+ The Ft. Bend Chamber of Commerce Chairmen's Gala is the next weekend in January.

+ The Ft. Bend Education Foundation Gala is always a success in February.

+ The Lone Star Stomp in April hosted by the Ft. Bend Museum Assoc. is a long running event.

+ The Casa Gala in April is a very popular gala.

+ American Cancer, Hearts and Hammers, the Parks Youth Ranch, and many more.


2)     Timing is everything: The official fundraising season is from September to May. Many organizations review their calendars and seek to schedule their golf tournaments, spelling bees, spaghetti dinners, Las Vegas nights, etc. during these 9 months. It is said (I have not fact checked this) that there are approximately 1500 nonprofits in FBC. "IF" that is the case, then you can see why the calendar is loaded with many wonderful fundraisers. You can also see why so many Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays have some kind of fundraising event.


3)  Concept is very important: As listed above, the successful fundraising events have a good concept that the organization has created. BUT even more important, year after year the organization has branded the concept, time of year, style, etc. into a signature event that people associate with their organization.


4)     Mission of the Organization: I write this because it is true and needs to be written. There are higher priorities in life! As such, the organizations that seek to feed, shelter, educated, eradicated diseases, etc. should take precedent in the big picture. At the same time, the organizations that seek to promote the relevance of the past, the lessons of history, the understanding of one's heritage have a place in the fundraising world also. Organizations like SLHF accentuate the value of where a person came from and shed light on the future. 


SLHF is only seven years old with several of those early years being very formative. As such, we are actively seeking to create our signature event(s).  We are looking to find the right combination of timing, concept, and fulfillment of our mission. In another part of this newsletter, there is an article about the Discover Sugar Land Scavenger Hunt Fundraiser. SLHF sees this as a potential signature event. The event fulfills our mission by educating participants about various persons, parts, and buildings in the city. It will be challenging but fun; it will require team work. The Scavenger Hunt combines learning and fun into a celebration of Sugar Land. See the article for more details.


The mission of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation is to inspire community pride by collecting, preserving, communicating, and celebrating the history of Sugar Land, Texas. Come join us, contact us at 281-494-0261 or visit our website at






Enjoy the spring weather and learn the history of the "Old 300," Imperial Sugar, and the city of Sugar Land.  

Take a two hour stroll around the Imperial Sugar facility, up to the "Hill" and visit Lake View Auditorium.  Hear about the early settlements under Stephen Austin and learn how the sugar mill and then the refinery came to be.  Hear about the families who were responsible for making Sugar Land the great city it is today and learn some little known tidbits and some titillating trivia.  

Tour starts at the Sugar Land Heritage Museum at 10 each second Saturday.  Cost is $10.





Pull together a team of your friends, brush up on your Sugar Land history and get ready to "discover Sugar Land" in a whole new way!  Sterling McCall Automotive Group is the proud presenting sponsor of a unique fundraising event that will be held on Sunday, May 17, 2015, to benefit the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation.  The Discover Sugar Land Scavenger History Hunt combines history, competition and fun, as rival teams take to the road to follow clues leading them throughout the city to historical and iconic Sugar Land landmarks.


All the fun begins at 1:30 p.m., on Sunday, May 17, when Sterling McCall Automotive Group invites teams and their supporters to gather at their Fort Bend Toyota store for the start of the Scavenger History Hunt.  Each team will receive a list of clues to solve within three hours.  Teams must text a photo to a panel of judges as they solve each clue before returning to the dealership at 4:30 p.m.  The team with the most points will make Sugar Land history!  Their names and the name of their sponsor company will be displayed in the Sugar Land Heritage Museum, imprinted on a brick reclaimed from the historical Imperial refinery site.


As the Discover Sugar Land Scavenger History Hunt wraps up, a History Hunt Party will kick off at 4:30 p.m., with appetizers, libations, and an exciting raffle.  Sponsorships are available, starting at the $2,000 level, plus opportunities to be an Historical Marker Host.  Want to join the party and cheer on your favorite team?  Individual tickets to the Historical Hunt Party are $30 each.


For sponsorship package details and to register for the Discover Sugar Land Scavenger History Hunt, please visit the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation website at or contact Dennis Parmer, Executive Director, at 281-494-0261 or


MAY 19

Sugar Land is the heart of the birthplace of Texas, the Austin Colony, where in 1819, Stephen F. Austin, with the permission of the Mexican government, divided five-leagues of highly prized land into smaller parcels to settle the original 300 Texans.  With this initial settlement, Austin's Colony continued to grow through the war for independence from Mexico in 1835, through the establishment of Fort Bend County in 1837, through 1845 when Texas became the 28th state, to today, where Sugar Land is a vibrant city of diversity.  Austin's ambition and hard work developed the framework for Sugar Land, Fort Bend, and Texas.  Austin's legacy will forever be "The Father of Texas."


Since its founding in 2008, the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation has been the premier organization responsible for preserving Sugar Land's historical and cultural heritage which it shares today through the Foundation's Museum. The museum houses an amazing display of artifacts, photographs, documents and videos that tell the story of this amazing Texas birthplace location as well as the history of Imperial Sugar and Old Sugar Land, the "Company Town."


To honor our heritage of the original Austin Colony, beginning in late May and running through the summer, the Foundation debuts an incredible exhibit that features photographs, documents and drawings detailing the work of Sugar Land's renowned resident sculptor Bob Pack. Pack is known for many wonderful works which include "Christ the Good Shepard" a collector size statue that was presented to Pope John Paul II in Rome, and the same life-size bronze that is located at Sugar Land Methodist Church. "The Guardian," a statue of a police officer standing next to a young boy is located at the police headquarters in Sugar Land.


One of Pack's most prized and well known works is located in Sugar Land Town Center.  It is a magnificent tribute to the Colony's founder, Stephen F. Austin.  Pack's statue of Austin, forging the waters of the Brazos on his rearing horse with his rifle raised above his head, is a dramatic representation of the courage and spirit of the early settlers of Texas.


In addition to the museum exhibit, Pack will give the next Chautauqua Talk on Tuesday, May 19th at 7 pm at the Sugar Land Auditorium, located at 226 Lakeview Drive in Sugar Land. Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the event is free to the public.  During his talk, Pack will share how he derived the Austin work from an idea to paper to the creation of the work.  He will also take questions and visit with audience members.


Pack's exhibit will open May 23rd at the SLHF Museum, located at 198 Kempner, next to the iconic 1925 Char House. The Foundation will extend the museum's hours of operation during the run of the exhibit to 9 am to 4 pm every Saturday from May 23rd to September 5th.  The exhibit is free to the public.


Above by Rex Maus

     A new exhibit is about to be unveiled at the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation! This exhibit will feature the Steven F. Austin sculpture located in Town Center. It was created by local sculptor and artist Bob Pack. Bob's work can be found in museums around the world, and he also has works that can be found around Sugar Land and Richmond. The exhibit will focus on the meaning behind the sculpture and will explain the process behind the creation. Creating works of art is a complex undertaking, and the exhibit will help to explain this process. Bob will also be giving the next Chautauqua talk and will go into detail about his work on sculptures as well as his other works. 


His talk is on May 19th, and the exhibit is scheduled to open that weekend and run through the summer. 


If you would like to know more about him and his works, check his web site-- .  

Chris Bohannan
Lead Archivist
WORKDAY on May 16
9:00 to 1:00


A workday  for both inside and outside projects is scheduled for May 16.  The number 1 priority will be a thorough cleaning of the museum to get ready for the special Bob Pack exhibit and the extended museum hours over the summer.  We will be working in the video room and sorting and culling items from the offsite storage facility and, if the brick pile gets turned, picking more bricks. There will be much to do, so hope to see you there.  


Sign up for our Facebook page to keep up with all the latest news and upcoming events of the Heritage Foundation.  Rex Maus is posting current  information and interesting historical tidbits. 
Check it out.

Heritage Trivia 

The first person to email the answers to the following questions will receive a $25 credit to the SLHF store. 

1.  When was the Sugar Land Company town founded?

2.  Who was Stephen F. Austin's secretary dealing with the original settlement?

3.  How much did Cunningham initially spend to set up what would become the Imperial Sugar Company? 

All answers should be sent to

The authority for all answers is Sugar Land, Texas and the Imperial Sugar Company by R. M. Armstrong. 


To inspire community pride by collecting, preserving, communicating, and celebrating the history of Sugar Land, Texas.

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation

Dennis Parmer
Executive Director

Chris Bohannan
Lead Archivist

Chuck Kelly
Assistant Archivist
Board of Directors

W. Martin Nicholas
Shay Shafie
Vice President

Bettye Anhaiser
Sonal Bhuchar

Bob Brown
Roy Cordes, Jr.
Sharon Ehrenkranz
Carl Favre
Mike Goodrum
Bruce Kelly
Regina Morales
Steve Porter
Claire Rogers
Keri Schmidt
Bill Schwer
Allison Wen
John Whitmore

Farmers' Market
Every Saturday
9:00 - 1:00

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Museum
Every Saturday
9:00 - 1:00

Docent-led Walks
2nd Saturday of each month at 10:00

$10 for adults
$5 for 12 - 18
Free for under 12

The next 3 walks are   

May 9
June  13
July 11

Scott Coffee
Alyssa Coffey
Carolyn Gilligan
Jane Goodsill
Hal Jay
Paula Jay
Bruce Kelly
Marc Martinez
Shaleen Miller
Marisa Parks
Roberta Prater
Tracy Prater
Anish Rao
Betty Schofield
Marsha Smith
Cherry Wong

Dennis's Wish List!

Fire Proof Cabinet for Archivist Area


Steel Shelving to Store Artifact Collection


Funds for Build-Out for Museum Exhibits


Folding Tables & Chairs


Presentation Screen


Transcription Machine for Oral Histories



Bettye Anhaiser
Braman Winery
Bob & Carole Brown
Bob Brown / Fort  Bend Economic Development Council
HEB Grocery
Home Depot in Sugar Land
Johnson Development Corp
Jane McMeans
Shay Shafie

Carolyn Gilligan

Cherry Wong

Betty Schofield

Haroldetta Robertson

Roy Wiffin

Raymond McDonald



Paula Jay/Linda Maus

Rex Maus