South Texas Charity Weekend Hosts 25rd Gathering
By Dr. Fred Bryant Photography by Marie Langmore
THE SCENE: The King Ranch and the brush country of South Texas provided a fun and festive atmosphere for the 25th annual South Texas Charity Weekend. The gracious hosts were the King Ranch (also known as Rancho Santa Gertrudis from 1853 to 1935), neighboring ranches and Texas A&M University-Kingsville (also known as Texas A&I from 1967-1993). At least 15 King Ranch family members were in attendance the entire weekend to make the guests, sponsors and donors feel welcome.
THE VIBE: The event’s South Texans of the Year, Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence of Houston, were the honorees of the weekend. Guests and donors came from all over Texas and as far away as Georgia and Arizona to enjoy the Friday evening reception at Tio and Janell Kleberg’s home on King Ranch. A drizzly sky met those who participated in the shooting opportunities Saturday morning and tented outdoor lunch, but the drizzle turned to much-needed rain as the artists’ market began. The market and banquet were held at the Tio and Janell Kleberg Wildlife Research Park on the campus of Texas A&M-Kingsville. The Lawrences were cheered with a standing ovation because of their contributions to wildlife conservation, their leadership on behalf of South Texas ranchers and landowners, and for the medical research on bone disease and treatment they generously support at the Baylor College of Medicine. A Sunday morning brunch at the King Ranch pool house capped off the fun-filled weekend.
THE CAUSE: Wildlife conservation, ranching heritage and South Texas health care were the focus of the fundraising proceeds once again in this year’s event that raised $900,000. But this year, a new charitable cause was included: the Military Warriors Support Foundation, which provides severely handicapped war veterans with activities like hunting, fishing and nature outings. The South Texas Charity Weekend will donate Action Trackchairs to the foundation in support of their mission. The King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, The Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg, and Halo Flight will all receive donations as well.