PLAYING THE FIELD
South Texas Charity Weekend Hosts 27th Annual Gathering
By Caroline McAllister Photography by Marks Moore and Doug Smith
THE SETTING: The wide open spaces of the King Ranch, the historic town of Kingsville, and the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center were the backdrop for the 27th annual South Texas Charity Weekend. Guests came from around Texas and the country to enjoy a weekend with friends and to honor the 2020 South Texan of the Year, Red Steagall.
THE STYLE: The weekend’s festivities began with a cocktail reception Friday night, hosted by Tio and Janell Kleberg in their beautiful home on the King Ranch, welcoming new and old friends alike to South Texas. The next morning, guests chose between quail hunting on the legendary King Ranch 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, a tradition the King Ranch is well known for around the world. HALO-Flight was onsite, giving guests a rare bird’s eye view from their Bell 407 helicopter.The pinnacle of the weekend was Saturday evening as guests gathered to celebrate Red Steagall as the 2020 South Texan of the Year.
Tio Kleberg has earned a reputation for providing a memorable introduction, and this year was no exception. Kleberg entered the room dressed as a 1960’s western singer and went on to deliver a powerful introduction for Steagall, known as The Official Cowboy Poet of Texas. Following a touching acceptance from Red Steagall, he treated the crowd to the story behind his hit song Here We Go Again and then sang Hats Off To The Cowboy. As the crowd cheered, he then announced that he would donate the guitar he had just used to benefit the live auction. Needless to say, this created a tremendous boost of energy and the robust live auction that followed was one of the most successful yet. On Sunday morning, guests gathered for a farewell cowboy breakfast at the King Ranch.
THE PURPOSE: Wildlife conservation, ranching heritage, and health care are the beneficiaries of the generous donations and underwriting from the weekend, which raised over a million dollars. The charities supported are the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Kleberg, and HALO-Flight.