OPINION — The annual West Texas Boys Ranch Ball was held Saturday, January 18, 2020. It was a time of renewing friendships and enjoying west Texas hospitality. The ball was sold out and the popular country music band “Asleep at the Wheel” was the entertainment. If you enjoy dancing you certainly had the opportunity but if you just enjoyed Texas Swing you had a great time listening to music a lot of us grew up with. As, I am a very poor dancer and my lovely wife values her feet we spent the night listening and observing. It was a great evening and the Boys Ranch is to be commended for putting together wonderful entertainment, an outstanding auction, great food that was served as quickly as possible, and a forum for friends and future friends to gather.
Here are some inside observations made at the Ball. We all know the work that is being done at the WTBR and certainly that was on display as one of the young men who lives there led us in prayer. There were boys throughout the venue who were helping folks find their table and making sure everyone attending felt comfortable. It is always remarkable to watch young men mature and gain confidence in themselves, but that is exactly what we saw as our WTBR boys interacted with patrons of the Ball.
It was wonderful to sit and watch people greet each other and express their genuine fondness for the person they were greeting. As I sat there and watched, I could not help but wonder and marvel that only in West Texas could someone let their guard down and be themselves. The Ball exemplified everything good in people and what is good about coming together to help young men.
The auction was a success and using the cell phone to bid was wonderful. A lady sitting close to me was bidding until the final moment and still lost the bid. That is the way of auctions.
After any event those who planned and executed it will discuss why this particular event was a success or a failure. In this particular case, it was the consensus of everyone involved with fundraising at the Ranch that this year’s West Texas Boys Ranch Ball was a success.
Why was it a success? The primary reason this particular Ball was a success was because it was held to help young men. At the same time, it incorporated great entertainment, good food, a good venue to have the Ball, a good silent auction whereby many people could bid and possibly get a bargain, being able to see old friends or friends that we do not see often, it was held in our fine city of San Angelo with many friendly people who are used to helping in their West Texas way.
When the ball is over, volunteers, and staff immediately cleaned the facility to get it ready for the next agency that will rent it. This is hard work but it just goes with putting on an event the size of the WTBR Ball.
The Ball will finance the operational budget of the WTBR. There are approximately 27 agencies such as the West Texas Boys Ranch throughout the state of Texas. Of these 27 agencies, most if not all of them receive some form of State or Federal funding. WTBR does not receive any State of Federal Funding. We do not because we are staying true to what the men and women who founded us, and that is “Raising Boys . . .Building Men’. It is the position of the Board of WTBR that you cannot accomplish that goal without introducing the boy to God. And with a focus on God comes a better way to behave. We introduce all of our boys to proper manners, we teach them to how to act when around girls or women, and teach our boys how to be a gentleman. It is true that other agencies strive to accomplish many of the same goals as we do but then we are not hampered by strings that are attached to monies derived from the state of federal government.
These are just some of the reasons many of you chose to join us for the Ball. We felt as though you had a great time, ate some good food, heard some great music, got to visit friends, and generally were able to forget about the daily pressures each of us feel for a few hours. Thank everyone for supporting West Texas Boys Ranch and if you ever want a tour or visit please feel free to contact us. We are still recovering from the tornado of last year but are very proud of the success we have had so far.