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.