Alice PD, school district receive checks from Wyatt Ranches Foundation

Melissa Cantu Trevino
Alice Echo News Journal

Alice Police Department and the Alice Independent School District received their checks from the Wyatt Ranches Foundation. The entities were two of several local organizations in South Texas. The foundation gave more than $525,000 to several organizations.

Wyatt Ranches associates Walter Mencias, Division Livestock Foreman, and Santiago Vela, Mansion Attendant from the Los Robles Division of Wyatt Ranches present a grant check in the amount of $137,500 to Eden Garcia, Chief of Police of the Alice Police Department.

Newly appointed Alice Police Chief Eden Garcia, accompanied by City Manager Michael Esparza, and Alice Police Lieutenant Rick Saenz, presented an urgent need for police patrol vehicles in Alice. Chief Garcia explained to the board that their current fleet of vehicles was aging, and several patrol vehicles are almost 10 years old. City Manager Esparza added that federal stimulus funding could not be used for purchasing new police vehicles, and that the stimulus funds were justifiably allocated to pandemic-related expenses that have placed an economic strain on the city. When the City Manager explained the financial constraints for the police department, the board felt it a necessity to support the city’s initiatives for public safety. A grant to purchase three fully equipped Ford Police Interceptor Utility patrol cars, in the amount of $137,500, was awarded to the Alice PD.

Wyatt Ranches associate Walter Mencias, Division Livestock Foreman, and Humberto Martinez, Ranchero, from the Los Robles Division of Wyatt Ranches, presented a grant check in the amount of $45,000 to AHS Agriculture Science teacher Isabella A. Farias Wednesday. The money will b used to purchase a Plasma Cutting System for Alice High School’s new Ag Mechanic Shop.

The Alice High School Chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) represented by Alice Independent School DIstrict educators Isabella Farias, an agricultural science teacher, and Celina Garcia, an educational coordinator. The educators requested funds for various equipment needed for their Agricultural Mechanics Shop. Industrial equipment, such as a bandsaw, a chop saw, a pipe bender, a pipe grinder, and pipe notcher were needed. In addition to this equipment, the educators said a plasma cutting system would be their “dream equipment.” Educator Celina Garcia jokingly said that she was “…a 23-year-old teacher,” and the Foundation should listen carefully to her request. The Foundation’s board indeed listened carefully and awarded a $45,000 grant to Alice ISD for all of the FFA shop equipment requested, which included the plasma cutting system. Chief Garcia explained that 4H and FFA are excellent models for positive youth development and said the Alice FFA has an excellent reputation for mentoring students. The educators expressed the ever-present need for more trade educational skills in South Texas.