South Texas Charity Weekend Hosts 22nd Successful Event

By Anne Thurwalker
Photography by Marie Langmore

THE SCENE: Deep in the brush country in Kingsville, the 22nd annual South Texas Charity Weekend, was held to great success with a stellar attendance.

THE VIBE: The “no ties allowed” dress code created a relaxing atmosphere that permeated the entire weekend. After a fun-filled reception Friday night at the home of Janell and Tio Kleberg on the King Ranch, clear skies and crisp weather greeted the guests the next morning, as they headed out for a myriad of activities including field shooting, a nature tour, or taking advantage of shopping at the Artist’s Market. Saturday evening was spectacular with cocktails, dinner, entertainment by Red Steagall, and a live auction that was as memorable as any over the past 22 years. Sunday brunch at the King Ranch pool house topped off the weekend of activities as guests shared their “goodbye” and “see ya next year” with promises to return soon.

THE CAUSE: Health care, ranching heritage, and wildlife conservation gratefully receive the benefit of generous donors who come from all over Texas to attend and some from as far away as Denver and Atlanta. The charities include Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg; Halo Flight; King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, and the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute.

THIS IS THE 5TH PAGE OF PIECE WITH 2 IMAGES AS NOTED IN DB: THE HONOREES: Salt of the Earth was how Tim and Karen Hixon were introduced at the gala affair as “South Texans of the Year.” Their commitment to medical research, Trinity University, and museums in San Antonio and Ft. Worth were duly noted and their passion and support of major conservation issues of our day became the highlight of the accolades for them. Devoted to the great outdoors, their passion for wildlife research and outdoor activities fuels their conservation ethic.

The Hixons are living symbols of what it means to care about wildlife conservation. They each have served with organizations like: the Texas Nature Conservancy Board, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, and as Trustees of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. Karen Hixon serves nationally on the Board of the Peregrine Fund while Tim Hixon is proudly serving on the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Board and has also has served 17 years as a board member for the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute.

The Hixon’s unbridled support for wildlife research, student fellowships, ocelot recovery, and habitat restoration is admirable. Their leadership in protecting Government Canyon State Natural Area, as well as the last great coastal prairie and wetland habitat on the Upper Texas coast, and the Powderhorn ranch, proves their dedication to the protection and conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat. They have received national, regional and state awards and honors for their conservation efforts, including the prestigious Harvey Weil Conservationists of the Year award given by the Corpus Christi Rotary Club.

Few people have privately invested more of their resources in ocelot recovery than the Hixons. With approximately 80 ocelots left in the continental United States and all of them in isolated tracts of South Texas habitat near Raymondville, these spectacular cats are living on the precipice of survival. Due to the financial contributions of the Hixons, Dr. Michael Tewes at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute has been able to lead a focused ocelot research effort for over 30 years.

The South Texans of the Year Award is a prestigious honor and one deserved by Tim and Karen Hixon. South Texas is a unique and splendid land and at the heart of this region where there are people like the Hixons who are devoted to it.

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