Wyatt Ranches, on behalf of The Wyatt Ranches Foundation, has donated $375,000 to several organizations in Duval and Starr Counties during their February of 2020 Board of Directors Meeting.
Nuevos Horizontes, an agency that serves persons with physical and/or mental challenges in Starr County, sent Dina Garcia-Pena, Hector Martinez and Rosa Garcia to the Foundation’s headquarters to request needed funds. They gave details of the how the non-profit prepares parents for what to expect when their disabled child attends school - to providing a social learning and gathering space for adults with special challenges. As an example, Hector Martinez, who lost his vision five years ago, learned braille and gained an appreciation for music therapy, which is provided by the agency. “That was a life changer for me,” exclaimed Martinez. Although the agency’s request was for $65,000 to defray therapist salaries and other costs, a grant in the amount of $100,000 was awarded to the Rio Grande City-based non-profit.
Maria Elena Olivarez, the School Principal from Immaculate Conception School, and Dr. Gauri Kanhere, a local Starr County family practice physician, appeared and made a request for the Catholic School, which was established in Rio Grande City in 1884. Principal Olivarez informed the Foundation’s Board of Directors that the school was operating at a serious deficit; and, Dr. Kanhere gave examples of how the learning institution has made a difference in so many Starr County lives. Dr. Kanhere stated, “In addition to an excellent education, this school provides for an outstanding moral compass…something you cannot buy.” A grant in the amount of $115,000 was awarded to the Immaculate Conception School and designated for use as deemed necessary by the Principal.
Duval County Sheriff Romeo Ramirez accompanied his fellow San Diego Rotarians Bibi Casas, Belinda Vera, and Dale Wilson. The Rotarians provided the Board of Directors with an update regarding their previous grant, and they also responded, as directed by the Board, with a plan to further renovate the Rotary Park for the Duval County Fair. After details of the plan were discussed, a grant in the amount of $125,000.00 was made, with allocations to include: $70,000.00 for sandblasting and painting the pavilion; $10,000.00 to purchase additional real property for patron parking; and $45,000.00 for an exterior remodeling of the building. Work is expected to begin on the projects after this year’s County Fair.
Lastly, a $10,000 scholarship donation was awarded to the Starr County Employees Scholarship Fund. The fund is used to assist employees of Starr County with their children’s college needs. Wyatt Ranches also reported to the Foundation’s Board of Directors their decision to donate a 2017 Ford FX4 Super Duty pick-up truck to the Benavides Independent School District, provided the District would designate the vehicle for the exclusive of the Benavides FFA Chapter. The vehicle, valued at $25,000, was requested by members of the school’s FFA chapter when they attended a previous Board meeting. If the School District did not have use for the truck, the Ranches were directed to donate the vehicle to another governmental entity. At the time of this release, the School District and their FFA chapter had yet to be notified of the pending vehicle donation.
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.