CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Continuing a years-long tradition of giving back to the community, the Wyatt Ranches Foundation recently donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local first responders.
The Alice Police Department received $137,500 to buy three new patrol units to fortify its aging fleet.
“We’ve been looking and trying to find ways — trying to find the monies to purchase new vehicles," APD Chief Eden Garcia said. "So right now, yeah, we are in dire need.”
Nueces County Emergency Services District No. 4, also known as the Bluntzer Volunteer Fire Department, received $190,000 from the foundation to buy a second quick-response fire truck enabling the department to spread out its assets.
“As the community grows out here in the rural areas, so does the need," BVFD Assistant Fire Chief and EMS Chief Diana Bluntzer said. "We are trying to think ahead, and be ready for the growth."
Growth is something Wyatt Ranches experienced a lot of after Oscar Wyatt started operating his first ranch in 1965 in Duval County.
As Wyatt started more ranches in other parts of South Texas, the business became profitable, and he instilled in his children a good use for the family's money.
“As part of Wyatt Ranches Foundation, we were taught and we were raised that it is very important to give back to the community," son Trey Wyatt said.
The foundation receives more grant requests than it can fulfill from a variety of local agencies.
A board of directors reviews the requests and approves the funding of an appropriate amount of them.
“If you look at the history of what the ranches have given to all of these first responders, you’ll see there’s many of them that touches the lives of many individuals throughout South Texas,” Wyatt Ranches Foundation Board President Billy Wells said.
The agencies that received the most recent grants were quick to express their gratitude.
"I’m very very humbled -- very honored -- that they were able to assist us in receiving that grant,” Garica said.
"It’s keeping our volunteer fire department moving forward," Bluntzer said.