By Kathi Nailling | Athens Daily Review
Original Story:

AISD children treated to merchandise from WalmartATHENS — Students from the Athens Independent School District were treated to an early Christmas on Monday.

The Athens ISD Life Skill class kicked off the Mostyn Moreno Foundation 2013 Christmas Lights Program with 57 children being treated to a shopping spree at Walmart. Each student had $50 to spend on anything they wanted.

This year, the foundation will treat 1,034 students from 12 school districts that will include Galveston, Southeast Texas and East Texas to the Christmas shopping spree and lunch. The children from Athens range in age from 3-years-old to high-school students.

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By Erinn Callahan | The Port Arthur News

AISD children treated to merchandise from WalmartBEAUMONT — Meagan Moss returned from her Walmart trip with a toy car to take her stuffed Mickey and Minnie Mouse for joyrides, a toy camera to capture the moments around her, and an extra dose of holiday cheer.

“She loves Christmas,” Amy Moss said of her 6-year-old daughter, a Life Skills student at Helena Park Elementary. “This was very special for her. She had a good time.”

Meagan joined 33 other Nederland Independent School District Life Skills students at the Twin City Highway Walmart in Port Arthur on Tuesday. Each student was given $50 to spend however he or she pleased, and teachers utilized the opportunity to teach life skills such as budgeting money and decision making.

“Not only was it fun, but it was a learning experience,” Johnna Smith, Helena Park Elementary Life Skills teacher, said. “It was an educational trip.”

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SOTX conceptual sketch slideAUSTIN — Special Olympics Texas has received a $2 million donation—its largest individual gift ever—from Houston attorneys Amber and Steve Mostyn.

The donation, which was made to the SOTX Capital Campaign, will go toward building a new SOTX headquarters in northeast Austin. The contribution joins a $2 million lead gift from the GEO Group, which sponsors a yearly golf tournament benefiting Special Olympics Texas.

The Mostyns’ gift honors Amber’s mother, Christi Stanley, who passed away recently.

Amber Mostyn said, “My mother had a special place in her heart for those with special needs. One of her first jobs was at the Fort Worth State School. I grew up hearing her talk about what a privilege it had been to work there. I cannot think of a better way to honor my mother than to contribute to Special Olympics Texas. I am blessed to be able to do so and to have a husband who shares my mother’s passion for giving to others.”

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Red Ritch’s Raiders BBQ Cook Team and the Mostyn Moreno Foundation have formed a partnership to host Ritch’s Little Raiders BBQ Party held Friday morning, February 22nd at 9 am, during the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo’s World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. For over 20 years, Ritch’s Raiders BBQ Team has entertained a group of 400-500 very special children from various state schools and institutions in Houston and the surrounding area. These special children are known as Ritch’s Little Raiders.

The morning is filled with performances by some very talented singers and clowns. The children also have the opportunity to meet and visit with celebrities such as Bob Tallman, the Voice of the HLS&R, Cactus Jack from 93Q radio station and some of Houston’s finest Firefighters! This year includes an appearance by Houston Texans Cheerleaders and country singer William Michael Morgan! The children dance and sing and have a wonderful time! Every child gets plenty to eat and leaves with a “goodie bag” of stickers, pencils, key chains, coloring books, koozies, etc.

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Mostyn Moreno Foundation has partnered with ReelAbilities: Houston Disabilities Film Festival 2013. ReelAbilities was initiated in New York in 2007 and is the largest film festival in the nation committed to promoting appreciation and awareness of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with various disabilities. ReelAbiilites: Houston Disabilities Film Festival 2013 will present award winning films by and about people with disabilities in multiple locations throughout the city. Post-screening discussions and other engaging programs will bring together our community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.

The Mostyn Moreno Foundation will serve as a collaborating partner and sponsor of this new cultural event in Houston’s arts and human services arena. The festival is scheduled for February 6-13, 2013. Several screening venues will be announced soon.

More information on the first film festival of its kind in Houston can be found at