South Texas Charity Weekend Hosts 29th Annual Gathering


By Jake Gaines          Photography by Marie Langmore

THE SETTING: The open spaces of the King Ranch, the historic town of Kingsville, and the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center were the backdrops for the 29th Annual South Texas Charity Weekend honoring Jeff Hildebrand as the 2022 South Texan of the Year. A Friday night cocktail reception held at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center kicked off the celebratory events. The evening served as a warm South Texas welcome to new and old friends alike. It also provided guests with unique shopping opportunities featuring the best of the best in Western belts, boots, hats, artwork, jewelry, clothing, and leather goods.


THE STYLE:  On Saturday, guests chose between quail hunting on the legendary King Ranch, wildlife photography with Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Institute’s faculty member and renowned photographer Brian Loflin, or a shooting clinic with instruction from world-class instructors Charlie Wilson, Bill Massey, and Raye Massey. Lunch was served cowboy style in the field at the Calera Camp, a tradition the King Ranch is well known for worldwide. The pinnacle of the weekend took place Saturday evening when over 300 guests gathered at the King Ranch to celebrate Jeff Hildebrand. The award is presented annually to recognize individuals whose exemplary leadership, unselfish service, and generous contributions have made a difference in South Texas citizens’ lives. Hildebrand is a worthy recipient based on his philanthropic involvement in South Texas for decades and his interest in livestock, grazing management, and wildlife conservation and research. As is tradition, Tio Kleberg made a memorable entrance when it came time to honor Hildebrand and arrived wearing an oilfield uniform. While at the same time, The Eyes of Texas played loudly in honor of Hildebrand’s alma mater, The University of Texas. Following a standing ovation, the evening then shifted to a live auction with treasures only seen at a South Texas Charity Weekend. On Sunday morning, guests gathered for a farewell breakfast at the King Ranch pool house surrounded by the history of the Main House.


THE PURPOSE: The South Texas Charity Weekend, Inc. benefits the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg, and HALO-Flight.   

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