Wyatt Ranches, on behalf of The Wyatt Ranches Foundation, has donated $413,000 to several organizations in South Texas. With the recipients already receiving their checks, the Foundation’s 2019 year-end grants concluded.
Duval County Judge Gilbert Saenz presented several parks and recreation initiatives during the Foundation’s board meeting held just before the Thanksgiving Holiday. He received a $125,000 grant earmarked for use with renovations to the County Park, adjacent to the Courthouse, in San Diego. The park is located across the street from the Courthouse, along the State Highway 44 corridor. The Judge stated the grant could be added to a pending Texas Parks and Wildlife matching funds application; however, he said if the State grant is not awarded, the Ranches’ Foundation funds would still be used at the park.
Jim Wells County Sheriff Daniel J. "Danny" Bueno also met at the Foundation headquarters and presented a request from the United Veterans Burial Association, a volunteer organization of veterans who provide military funeral honors at veterans’ memorial services. The Sheriff explained the group’s ten-year-old van was continually out of service and no longer dependable for transporting the Burial Association honor guard volunteers to funerals. A $50,000 grant for a new Ford Transit Commercial XLT van, with a raised ceiling, was awarded and Sheriff Bueno presented the check to the veterans later in the week.
Banquete ISD Athletic Director Kevin Hermes, accompanied by Assistant Principal and Coach Russell Miller, also met at the Los Robles Division of Wyatt Ranches for the board meeting. They reported progress on their previous grant funds and then received an additional $40,000 grant for continued renovations to their weight room facilities and to purchase more weight-lifting equipment. The coaches expressed their deepest gratitude to the Ranches’ Foundation board members before the meeting concluded; and, their check was later presented by Guadalupe Gomez, Division Livestock Foreman of the Tres Vidas Division of Wyatt Ranches.
Duval County Sheriff Romeo Ramirez, accompanied by fellow Rotarians Bibi Casas and Belinda Vera, made a presentation on behalf of the San Diego Rotary International. Bibi Casas spoke of Wyatt Ranches’ continued support of the Rotary Park Center, dating back to 1999; and, Belinda Casas recalled this year’s Duval County Fair, with the record-setting steer purchase of $25,000 made by the Los Robles Division of Wyatt Ranches. Although hesitant to ask for additional support, the Board of Directors urged the Rotarians to express their needs. The Sheriff then stated that additional portable corrals were needed and a quotation for $18,000 had been received. Billy Wells, President of the Foundation, motioned that a grant for $35,000 be awarded for the corrals with the remainder to be used for minor facility upgrades. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval was also given for a $60,000 grant to purchase and equip a Ford one-ton utility bed Rescue Truck for use by the volunteer firefighters of the Duval County Emergency Services, District Two. The vehicle is to be utilized by the volunteers for responding to motor vehicle crashes, small fires, and for assisting the ambulance medics on certain medical calls. District Chief Juan Garcia stated the District has already taken delivery of the rescue truck; and unfortunately, it was already being used over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. He said the volunteers were called to several emergency calls in the rescue truck, including two emergencies that involved air evacuation of patients.
Lastly, approval was provided for a $30,000 grant issued to the Boys and Girls Club of Pharr for preparing high school students for their ACT exams. The grant was to provide a specified number of days’ training in preparation for the tests in Hidalgo County schools. Foundation Director Ana Lisa Garza had attended events at the center and spoke of their enthusiasm.
In addition to the aforementioned grants, donations totaling $73,000 were also awarded to several other organizations. Among these were the Catholic Solitudes Mission in Duval County, the Immaculate Concepcion Catholic School in Starr County, the FFA Chapter of Benavides for their prospect show and other initiatives, and the San Isidro ISD in Starr County for a student program. Funding was also allocated for the Holiday Season Toy Give-Away program for the City Marshal in Agua Dulce, Joe Rene Martinez; and for the Duval County Emergency Services, District Two, Toy Give-Away program for school children in Concepcion, Benavides, Gonzalitos, La Sejita, Ramirez, and Rios. Unclaimed toys from the District were earmarked for foster children and special needs children in Duval and Jim Wells Counties.
Situated in South Texas and also in West Texas, Wyatt Ranches has six cattle ranching divisions. These cattle ranches are scattered south from Agua Dulce to the Rio Grande River; and west from Marfa to Valentine, with some ranches supplemented with agricultural farming operations. The Wyatt Ranches Foundation has made numerous donations to governmental entities and non-profit organizations in the rural areas of both South and West Texas…as well as donations for hospitals and teaching universities in the metropolitan areas of Texas. The Foundation’s Board of Directors include the Hon. Ana Lisa Garza, Billy C. Wells, Don C. Nelson, Oscar S. "Trey" Wyatt III, and Bradford A. Wyatt.