All Press Releases for February 22, 2009

Firethorne Resident Spearheads PTA Fundraising Campaign to Build Permanent Shade Structure at Elementary School in Katy/Fulshear

Firethorne resident Beverly Tucker helped raise $28,500 to build a permanent shade structure to cover the entire playground of WoodCreek Elementary School in Katy ISD. The dedication of the shade structure took place Friday.

    KATY, TX, February 22, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Thanks to the PTA, an industrious Firethorne community resident and generous donors, Katy/Fulshear-area students at WoodCreek Elementary School in Katy ISD now can play outside and still be protected from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. According to the school's 2008-09 PTA President Diane Pharr, Tucker spearheaded the PTA's campaign to raise $28,500 to construct a shade structure to cover the school's playground at 1155 WoodCreek Bend Lane in Katy, Texas.

"This shade not only shields our students from the sun, but it adds value to our campus," said WoodCreek Elementary School Principal Ronnie Mosher. "And the kids absolutely love it!"

Mosher lead the dedication of the new structure Friday morning, with the 1,100- member student body wearing caps and "shades" (sunglasses). Included in the ceremony were the school's Ranger choir, PTA President Pharr, several Katy-area project donors and Ms. Tucker.

"Our mission is to enhance our children's education, their lives and the lives of the school staff," said Pharr. "With the intensity of the UV rays we get in Texas, we thought it would be a good idea to have this sun shade on our children's school playground."

Tucker, who has two sons at the school, responded to then-PTA President Beth Toot's request for a volunteer to write a grant for the American Academy of Dermatology's Shade Structure Program in March 2007. The Academy grants awards of $8,000 to purchase permanent shade structures to non-profit organizations that serve children and teenagers, ages 18 and under.

The Firethorne full-time mom was the perfect grant writer and advocate for the school's shade structure project. Not only had Tucker worked as a professional fundraiser, but she has a son who has an autoimmune disease, Alopecia Areata, which causes severe hair loss and therefore makes him susceptible to overexposure to the sun, noted Pharr.

Dermatologist Kelly H. Duncan, M.D., who has extensive dermatologic cancer training at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dept. of Dermatology, provided the required Academy member sponsorship for the WoodCreek Elementary School grant, which was awarded in May 2007. "I am thrilled that Woodcreek Elementary has an appropriate shade structure for the children while at recess. Early and consistent photoprotection early in life can significantly reduce or eliminate a child's risk for developing skin cancer or malignant melanoma in adulthood," said Dr. Duncan.

The PTA gave $7,000 toward the project, which left Beverly Tucker another $20,500 to raise.

As a brand new homeowner in the Firethorne ( master-designed community, Tucker approached Firethorne General Manager Wayne Meyer to support the neighborhood project. Firethorne agreed to donate $4,000, as did WoodCreek Reserve and Pine Mill Ranch residential communities in Katy/Fulshear. BP-Fabric of America and Montreaux Luxury Homes contributed $1,000 and $500, respectively. Firethorne was represented at the ceremony by Mr. Meyer and its Director of Marketing Janet Burkett.

The American Academy of Dermatology provides a permanent sign to be displayed near the shade structure promoting the importance of sun safety. The Academy receives support for this program from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company.

Firethorne is a 1,400-acre master-designed community that combines the vibrancy of West Houston with the small-town charm of Katy/Fulshear. It is strategically located on FM 1463 near the crossroads of the 1-10 West corridor, Westpark Tollway and the Grand Parkway. For further Firethorne info, go to, or call 281-395-1440, ext. 115.

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