Recently, Chelsea and I were honored to host the Callaway-Jones table at the 19th annual Hispanic Forum of Bryan-College Station’s Annual Gala. That evening we were joined by our own Ricky Alderete, Marci Ramirez, their friends and family, and we all had a great evening!
This year’s event was most special on two levels. First, more than $100,000 in scholarships were awarded to our area youth to attend college. Second, of the more than 130 applicants who applied for funding, 70 young people received scholarships. The sources of funding come from our Brazos Valley community.
Congratulations go to Hispanic Forum President Irma Pineda and her committee for organizing what was the biggest and most outstanding event in the group’s history. I remember, many years ago, a banquet was held at the Ramada Inn to try and generate momentum for this important cause. This year, it was a full-blown gala with auctions, great food, and tremendous music we enjoyed. It’s exciting to see everyone joining in supporting this important cause.
Local friends from KBTX—Karla Castillo and Rusty Surette—were the emcees for the evening. As they kept everyone entertained, the program moving smoothly. Title Sponsor Ashley Homestore and Underwriter Central Texas Sinus & Allergy gave important anchor funding. it Great to visit with so many friends who were as excited as we were about why we were there.
The music was fantastic, by David Lee Garza y Los Musicales and then the Texas Unlimited Band. The most important thing is that so many individuals and businesses gave of themselves financially and came in person to make this a great evening. I have more to share about this great night…
Looking back at the Hispanic Forum’s growth through the years, it is amazing that 70 students are receiving college scholarship financial aid. That’s fantastic news. And yet, look at how and why the forum continues to grow. They gave out $100,000 in scholarships. This is a perfect example of a nonprofit organization that has a singular goal and everyone comes together to support this worthy cause.
It all begins with the gala sponsors. Ashley Homestore and Central Texas Sinus & Allergy were Title Sponsor and Underwriter, respectively. Additional sponsors include businesses and professionals, both Hispanic-owned and otherwise, that show how outstanding an environment to live and work that we’re fortunate to have in the Brazos Valley. We do not take it for granted.
The Callaway-Jones family was fortunate to have attended the gala and I wanted to share that in addition to BCS’s own Texas Unlimited Band, the event welcomed the band twice nominated for a Grammy Award, David Lee Garza y Los Musicales. They have been on the music scene since 1972 and present music that blends Tejano, country, and Album. David Lee has recorded close to 30 albums and is looked to as the Godfather of Tejano Music. We also heard the Texas Unlimited Band who played sets of favorite songs.
Mostly the evening was an opportunity to visit with great friends, meet new friends, and give kids a chance to go to college. Funding educational opportunities is the best thing we can do as a community is to start young people out to prepare for their future. Have you seen the cost of college tuition these days?
Chelsea and I talk of it often—the cost of education. It really takes a supportive environment to undertake sending someone to college. Parents cannot always afford to save up from when children are firstborn, given the costs of everything these days. I was in a local campus bookstore recently and I nearly fainted when I saw how expensive just one textbook is for a single course. All this to say that whenever you buy a ticket to this Gala, know that it’s going somewhere important.
As you see in this picture above from 2016 (borrowed from the Facebook page of the Hispanic Forum of Bryan/College Station these are our area young people whose worlds you helped change.
Thanks to Specialities Photography for taking our picture that night. It was great to be with all of you and once again, we commend Irma Pineda for her leadership and her committee for the growth of this great organization.
Cody D. Jones ‘02
Owner & Community Member