CHRISTUS Spohn Foundation 2019 Annual Report - Page 10

South Texas Charity Weekend For more than 30 years, a group of dedicated community leaders has accomplished big things in their Kingsville, Texas community. The South Texas Charity Weekend has distinguished itself as the premier fundraising event in the Kingsville area raising millions of dollars for local institutions and charities. Through the generosity of the annual event’s participants, it’s safe to say countless lives have been changed for the better in Kingsville. “It’s just amazing how many people want to come back each year and donate and participate,” said Gus Canales, co-chair of the South Texas Charity Weekend. “It really has brought the community together to benefit our local entities.” The idea first began three decades ago when Frank and Mary Grace Horlock, Nolan and Ruth Ryan, and Tio and Janell Kleberg teamed up to create an event to raise private donations for charities in and around Kingsville. Since those early days, the event has raised more than $15,000,000 for area charities with more than 90% of those funds being distributed directly to the organizations. The weekend’s reach now includes funding for projects and upgrades to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Kleberg, the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management at TAMU-Kingsville and Halo-Flight. One organization in particular, CHRISTUS Spohn, is near and dear to founder Tio Kleberg’s heart, who himself was a patient after suffering a heart attack and has had many family members treated at the hospital. “I’m really focused on the health care; if you do not have your health you have nothing,” shared Kleberg, co-chair of the South Texas Charity Weekend. “You can have all the things — a good job, good family, but if you’ve lost your health all of it is for no reason.” 10 Kleberg says elevating the care of the hospital into a state-of-the-art facility is something he is passionate about. “I have a lot of friends who have utilized this hospital, there’s not another one like it in South Texas,” Kleberg added. “It has the best people, the best nurses and doctors; it takes care of you on a first-class basis.” “It’s the mission of CHRISTUS Spohn to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to all they are privileged to serve which makes it such a valuable community partner, and one which needs our support”, South Texas Charity Weekend Co-chair Bill Colston shared. “The philosophy to love and care for patients changed exponentially when Spohn took over the facility,” Colston said. “It didn’t matter if someone could pay or not, they were going to take care of that person and I appreciate that and will never forget. That’s what they do - that’s their mission. For Colston and his fellow chairmen giving their time and talent to the South Texas Charity Weekend is a labor of love as they have seen firsthand the impact participants’ generosity has had on the community. “These are our people; these are our friends and neighbors we have known all our lives. It’s huge to bring in this money and help these institutions,” Colston added. Each year, the South Texas Charity Weekend kicks off late in January with a Friday night cocktail party at the home of Janell & Tio Kleberg. Brad Lomax, owner of Water Street Seafood Co., has generously donated the food for the cocktail party for the past 15 years. While word has spread not only about the fun events, great experiences and the lasting friendships being built for the benefit of the community, the guest list remains limited. “About 80 percent of the people who come each year have been coming for the past 18 years or more, and I think that says a lot about the event,”