Texas Independence Day Dinner Honors James Dick And Lyda Hill

By Rob Giardinelli         Photography by Chris Caselli

THE SETTING: The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin was the recent setting for the 22nd annual Texas Independence Day Dinner. The sold-out crowd of over 450 of the state’s most influential business, community, and political leaders turned out for an unforgettable night of fun and fundraising. The Texas State History Museum Foundation honored this year’s recipients, legendary pianist James Dick and world-renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist Lyda Hill with the History-Making Texan Award.


THE STYLE: The black tie affair began as guests walked the red carpet outside the Bullock Museum to pose for photos to commemorate the evening, with the iconic and massive Texas Lone Star serving as the perfect backdrop. Once inside, patrons ascended the grand staircase in the Bullock Museum foyer to the mezzanine level for a VIP reception where attendees mingled and had the opportunity to congratulate the honorees.


The action then moved downstairs to the atrium of the Bullock Museum for the dinner and program. The audience was treated to words from event leaders, followed by a delectable, multi-course meal where guests had the opportunity to enjoy the food and company of their dining companions. The festivities then moved to the main event of the evening, where both honorees had a touching video tribute from influential Texans. They also acknowledged and revered the award recipient’s contributions to Texas and beyond and were followed by humorous and heartwarming words from each of the honorees. Capping off the event was historian and media favorite H.W. Brands, who spoke about Sam Houston in keeping with the Texas heritage theme of the evening.


THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Lynn McBee with Jan Felts Bullock serving as honorary chair, raised over $1 million for educational and special programs at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Since its opening in 2001, the museum has hosted 9 million visitors, including 1.2 million children on school field trips who have experienced Texas history through award-winning exhibitions, interactive media experiences, and educational programming.

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19th Annual Texas Independence Day Dinner Honors Hall of Fame Golfers Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite


By Rob Giardinelli       Photography by Chris Caselli and Thao Nguyen

THE SETTING: A picture-perfect spring evening at the Four Seasons Austin was the recent setting for the 19th annual Texas Independence Day Dinner. The Texas State History Museum Foundation’s event featured philanthropists, VIPs, and sports enthusiasts from around the state. All were on hand to honor two Texas-bred sports legends, Hall of Fame golfers Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite, for a celebratory evening of fun that will always be remembered.


THE STYLE: The black-tie crowd featured a mix of dapper tuxedos and vibrant ball gowns, many of which featured bright colors reflective of the season…and the celebratory nature in the air. With pandemic protocol in place, the tee time of fun began as guests arrived for a photo commemorating the evening against the floral backdrop of the Texas Lone Star. Revelers then enjoyed the terrace for a lively cocktail hour where fans were able to congratulate the honorees while others reacquainted with friends.


The action then moved to the venue’s main ballroom where a delicious multi-course meal awaited them for the main program, or as we like to call it, the back nine. A highlight of the program was provided by legendary sportscaster Verne Lundquist, who introduced a touching video tribute, which brought smiles and happy tears to the adoring audience. The festivities were capped off with words from the two honorees, the perfect conclusion to what could be described as nothing less than a hall of fame evening reflective of its honorees.


THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Karl Rove, with Jan Bullock serving as honorary chair, raised over $800,000 for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum’s educational programs and special projects. Since the event’s founding in 1999, the Texas State History Museum has raised over $32 million dollars for educational programs at the Bullock. Since its opening in 2001, the Museum has welcomed over 10 million visitors to experience award-winning exhibitions, media experiences, and educational programming, including 1.7 million school-aged children.

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