What a night!
This year's Reagan Gala was a smashing success.
We pulled this event together in one month(!) and did it during the summer, which made our task more difficult and our work more urgent.
With more than 250 people attending, we brought in more than $94,000 and profited well over $50,000 to help elect more Republicans and grow the party!
This is my fifth Reagan Gala. These events are a lot of work.
We could not have pulled this one off without the dedication of so many volunteers who showed up early to help guests arrive and execute the event. Brian Schwaegel, Glen and Julie Hertenberger, Olga Lasher, Mary Heffernan, Leland Freeman, Kevin Waisfield, Matt Maley and Benjamin Larrabee. You efforts made the difference.
Our Travis County Republican Party (TCRP) team is outstanding. I am proud of the effort we all made. ...
TCRP deputy executive director Lauren Day is my co-pilot on these events and she does 95% of the work and toils in obscurity while doing it. Her dedication, professionalism, good cheer, and organization make these events possible. I am deeply grateful to Lauren for her time and talents, and to her husband Nate for his sacrifice.
New TCRP executive director Brian Ruddle did an outstanding job working with Lauren. He managed the silent auction, which had a record 56 (!) items and netted the party over $17,000. He managed the guest registration and name tags, an arduous but key task. He stayed at the venue until 2:30am after the event, wrapping everything up and taking down our tables. We are grateful to Brian for stepping up the way he did.
TCRP Communications Director Andy Hogue managed the audio and video, designed the program, developed the Best/Worst of Austin ballot (which netted the party over $800) and helped us earn media at the event. We appreciate his good work in this area.
We always appreciate Bob Green for volunteering his time as a photographer for our events. Some of his good work can be seen in these photos.
This event could not have been a success without the generosity of our sponsors. I want to personally thank Jay and Sahra Riskind, our event co-chairs, for stepping up and leading our efforts. Additionally, we are grateful to Rex and Deb Gore for their support of TCRP.
Our additional sponsors included Jay Novik, Jerry Morgan, the Senox Corporation, Stuart Shaw, Doug and Rachel Deaton, the Starley family, Aaron Reitz for Texas (HD-47), Supreme Court Justice John Devine and Nubia Devine, Congressman Bill Flores, Congressman Roger Williams, Michael McCaul for Congress, Kerry Cammack, Richard Edwards and Dr. Rosemary Edwards, Shaun Ireland, Texans for Jeff Boyd, the Honorable Kent Grusendorf and Elise Grusendorf, the Honorable Paul Workman and Sherry Workman, Thomas Graphics and Frank Ward.
We were pleased to be joined by so many elected officials, including our speakers former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Congressman Chip Roy (who spoke via Skype due to votes), Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian and State Senator Dawn Buckingham.
Additionally, we were joined by Court of Criminal Appeals Judges David Newell and Kevin Yeary, 3rd Court of Appeals Chief Justice Jeff Rose and Justice Melissa Goodwin, Burnet County Sheriff Calvin Boyd, Burnet County Judge James Oakley, State Board of Education member Tom Maynard, SREC member Summer Wise, Texas GOP Victory Chair Stacy Hock, Dripping Springs council member John Kroll, former Republican Party of Texas chairman Steve Munisteri, former 3rd Court of Appeals Justice Scott Field, former State Rep. Paul Workman, former TCRP Chair Rosemary Edwards and former TCRP executive director Olga Lasher.
Five announced candidates for office were also in attendance, all running for Texas House district 47: Aaron Reitz, Don Zimmerman, Jennifer Fleck, Jenny Roan. Forgey and Justin Berry.
Our speakers did a great job.
Governor Scott Walker's 'It Can Be Done' message was inspiring to our attendees. His historic election in Milwaukee County reminded all of us that anything is possible and his record of reforms as Governor was truly impressive. He was exceedingly kind with his time, staying after to greet many attendees. He was a worthy recipient of our Reagan Courage Award.
Congressman Chip Roy was required to remain in Washington for late votes, but he kindly joined us by Skype to speak and accept our Rising Star Award. He detailed his fight to reduce federal spending and solve the border and humanitarian crisis and the audience was very interested to hear what he had to say.
It was a special honor to present a lifetime achievement award to Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, who told us he will run for a 7th (!) term next year. His extraordinary career on the State Supreme Court made him the perfect recipient.
We were thrilled that Comptroller Glenn Hegar could provide a detailed update on the Texas economy, that Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian could update us on the state of the Texas energy industry, and that Travis County's own State Senator Dawn Buckingham could review the recent legislative session.
If you are encouraged by the direction of the TCRP and the success of this event, please consider these additional ways to help us:
1) Please join the TCRP Sustainers, our monthly auto-deduction giving club. Any amount helps us cover our overhead and direct our resources to electing more Republicans. Learn more here -- http://www.travisgop.com/be_a_sustainer.
2) Consider joining the Chairman's Circle, our annual giving club for donors that starts at $1,000 a year and offers exclusive access to up to four intimate, private events each year. Club members were invited to a private roundtable with Governor Walker and earlier this year were invited to a private dinner with Congressman Roger Williams. Learn more here -- http://www.travisgop.com/chairmanscircle.
Finally, we have a few signed books from Governor Walker left. They are $25 each and we can mail or deliver them to you. Please email Brian ([email protected]) if you would like to purchase one.
We were thrilled with our venue, the Hotel Van Zandt, which was beautiful and easy to work with for this event. However, their valet service was unacceptable, and we know many guests were delayed on Thursday night. They are providing us a refund for valet service and wish to apologize to every guest who waited for their car at the end of the night.
Thank you for your support of the Travis County GOP!
Travis County GOP chairman
C: (512) 423-6116