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.