Get ready to Engage life in Fort Bend County

Let’s have some fun, shall we?

Seriously, what is there to do for fun in and around Fort Bend County?

We’ve only lived here since Christmas of 2008 and I can’t help but feel my family has not fully experienced all the interesting things there are to do here. This is a big, diverse county and it has many things of interest and many more hidden gems awaiting discovery. There are the obvious things to experience like the many museums, shopping areas, theaters, the Sugar Land Skeeters, Brazos Bend State Park and George Ranch Historical Park to name a few. There are annual events and celebrations, such as the Fort Bend County Fair and various holiday activities. Yet I can’t help but wonder, what else is there?

Here we are in the height of summer where the heat and humidity are pushing triple digits and most people would just as soon hide indoors in the cool of their air conditioners. I want to get out and explore. I want to experience life. I want to make things, do things and share what I’ve learned with you, our readers.

This is my challenge and your opportunity: Help us (me, my family and/or my staff) experience your part of Fort Bend County and in return we will give you a story and photos in print and online. I’m going to call this feature Engage. The idea is it has to be something you can engage in. It has to be experiential. This isn’t a feature for shopping; it’s a feature for adventure and discovery.

Let me give you an example. Say you have a putt-putt golf course or a go-kart racetrack. Invite us to try it (bonus points if we can bring family along to show the family-friendly aspects) and we will write about it and take pictures for publication in the Fort Bend Star. Those stories are also posted to our website and on social media. They will be available for you to use as you best see fit.

Do you have an art studio? Teach us to paint or sculpt. How about a shooting range? Teach us to shoot. Do you have a skydiving business? Teach us to jump. Do you have a game room, ropes course, zip line, paintball or laser tag course? Teach us to play.

It could also be something health related like cryotherapy, yoga or sensory depravation tanks.

We get the experience and you get the exposure. Our readers get the benefit of discovering something new or re-discovering things they’ve overlooked or ignored for years.

We would love to tour museums, see plays, fly in unique aircraft, hunt, fish, hike, bike, kayak or canoe, ride horses, go boating, take batting practice, etc. There is so much life in our little corner of the world that people want and need to know about.

The benefit to the businesses, beyond regional exposure, is a demonstration of the effectiveness of newspaper advertising. Print is not dead. Far from it, we are still here and very viable. Our reach is much greater than most digital gurus give us credit for. Not only is print permanent, but we also offer all the online benefits of the World Wide Web.

We feel confident that once you see and experience the value of being in our paper that you will want the continued exposure that only the Fort Bend Star can give you. This really is a win-win proposition for your business, our readers and us. It’s a chance to showcase everything wonderful about life in Fort Bend County and beyond.

There is also a more subtle benefit to Engage. I want people in our community to put down their phones, TV remotes and game controllers and get out and experience real life. We have a huge problem with attention deficits and obesity. We need to learn to play again and my sincere hope is that this feature will inspire people to get out and engage in real life. We need people to quit being spectators and to become participants in life. I hope Engage will show you how to do that locally.

We only get once shot at life and you can miss it if your face is stuck in front of a screen. There is an old saying that nobody on their deathbed regrets not spending more time at work. The same can be said for social media and computer games. Get off your Wii and discover the value of “we” as you adventure into the real world and make memories with your loved ones. Instead of playing fantasy football, get outside and play football.

Our world and Fort Bend County in particular have so much to offer. Don’t waste it. Make the most of your opportunities.

If you have a business or service that you would like to have featured in Engage, please contact me at jsouthern@fortbendstar.com or editor@fortbendstar.com.

50 years

I want to take a moment to give a big shout-out to my in-laws, Joe and Jerry Snyder. On Friday they celebrated 50 years of marriage. That’s an incredible milestone on their journey to forever after together. Not only did they raise two exceedingly wonderful daughters (I’m partial to the eldest), but they have continued a multi-generational legacy of faith and character that now extends two generations beyond them. They are loving, generous and faithful. They are shining examples of what marriage, commitment and personal integrity ought to be.

Congratulations, Grammy and Pop! May you have many more wonderful years and joyous celebrations to come.

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