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Behind The Woodlands Charities: People, Passion, and Purpose

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Hello Woodlands had the opportunity to meet and sit down with the founders of The Woodlands Charities, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a vision to hold fundraisers and bring awareness for selected Montgomery County charities, with funds raised donated directly to the charity.

The non-profit organization was founded in May 2016 by community leaders Nina Marino, Amy Milstead, and James Stilwell. Nina Marino is a Texas Residential and Commercial Realtor with Keller Williams Realty, Amy Milstead serves as President of Milstead Automotive, and James Stilwell has a wide-ranging litigation practice, Martin, Earl & Stilwell LLP. From their vast experience in business, leadership, and involvement in the community, the three joined forces in order to give back locally in The Woodlands and Montgomery County.

Amy Milstead shared, “We all three balance off each other, have such giving spirits, and wanted to do more.” The idea of forming the non-profit quickly became a reality as they pulled their skills, experiences and connections together.

In creating the new organization, James Stilwell stated “No matter where we are or what we are doing, we are still the same person. Integrity, credibility and transparency are all very important.” Stilwell shared that The Woodlands Charities will be donating 100 percent of funds raised directly to vetted charities that need it most. Every detail of the organization was carefully planned and designed right down to the logo which includes three individuals, facing out, embodying the purpose of reaching out to the world.

Stilwell shared his personal story stating, “I feel very blessed with where I am. As an infant, I had open heart and lung surgery. I’m lucky to be here. As an adult, I had open brain surgery. God has a lot that he wants, he needs me to do, because he could have taken me multiple times. I feel very blessed with my family, my career, and this community. And right now he’s calling me to give back.”

The group’s first fundraiser will be held on Saturday, October 29 titled “Into the Woods, Canopy Unmasked” at Milstead Automotive’s extended facility located at 29707 W. Hawthorne, Spring, Texas 77386. The event, a Halloween Costume Party, will have live music, cocktails, food, interactive games, raffles, but most importantly will be raising funds for Canopy, a first-of-its-kind cancer survivorship center.

Sponsors, Supporters and guests had the opportunity to hear an amazing Survivor testimony of Canopy's work at the VIP Party on Thursday, October 27, 2016.

Sponsors, Supporters and guests had the opportunity to hear an amazing Survivor testimony of Canopy’s work at the VIP Party on Thursday, October 27, 2016.

The mission of Canopy is to provide the finest support, education and integrative medical services to all those impacted by cancer in Montgomery County and beyond, regardless of where patients are receiving treatment. Located at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, the center serves as the primary site for activities aimed at helping patients and families throughout all phases of their illness, as well as assistance in navigating life after treatment. To learn more about Canopy, visit

“Everyone has been touched by cancer. My best girlfriend passed away from cancer,” said Nina Marino. Marino first learned about Canopy while serving on the Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital committee. She shared its incredible purpose with Amy and James, who all agreed that Canopy should be the first recipient of The Woodlands Charities. In just a few short months and with the amazing support of the community, the event quickly came together. Even a local band, Backbeat, with Memorial Hermann Houston doctors as members, will entertain guests and liven up party from 7pm to 11:30pm.

Canopy The Woodlands Charities Into The Woods

Supporters and sponsors gathered together at Canopy for a preview before the “Into The Woods, Canopy Unmasked” event.

Stay tuned for upcoming events and much more from The Woodlands Charities! After hosting their first event, the three along with five advisory committee members will sit down and plan what’s to come in 2017.

To learn more and get involved, visit and follow The Woodlands Charities on Facebook.

To view photos and video from the VIP Preview Party and to learn more about the organization, please visit the Hello Woodlands Facebook page!

To view photos from the “Into the Woods, Canopy Unmasked” event, please visit the Hello Woodlands Facebook page: