UT Coach Darrell K Royal Honored at Alzheimer’s Gala
By Rob Giardinelli
Photography by George Brainard
Recently, at the Austin City Limits/Moody Theatre in Austin, close to a thousand people attended the 4th and Goal Gala, which not only honored a Texas legend, but also raised over a million dollars to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s, an illness that touches many families in Texas and beyond.
The Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease Board, who worked tirelessly championing this great event, created a memorable evening to celebrate the life of the esteemed University of Texas coach who, under his leadership, lit the UT Tower orange three times for national championship wins during his 20 year tenure as UT Coach.The evening began as attendees were greeted by UT’s bovine mascot Bevo on the corner of Second and Lavaca streets while guests ascended the Mezzanine level, which were flanked by the UT Silver Spurs, and treated to photographs on the red carpet.
Once inside the gala, guests were treated to a cocktail hour as they shared their favorite Darrell K Royal stories. As the theatre doors opened, guests poured inside where they found a delicious meal waiting for them before a tribute program to a Texas legend began. Master of Ceremonies Larry Gatlin effortlessly lead the program, which included a parade of past UT legends including Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, personal tributes from golfer Ben Crenshaw and Attorney General Greg Abbott. Current UT Coach Mack Brown and his wife Sally then introduced Edith Royal to the crowd, followed by a touching tribute to the legendary coach. Radio personality Ed Clements then helmed a successful live auction and donation period before the evening concluded with multiple Grammy award winning artist Willie Nelson, accompanied by Ray Benson belting out country tunes and capping off an evening that did Texas royalty justice.