Wild West Night benefits Central Texas community, raises $40K

By Blair Dupre, Fort Cavazos Public AffairsMarch 7, 2024

Wild West Night guests participate in the line dancing portion of the night's events March 1 at the Lone Star Conference Center. (U.S. Army photo by Blair Dupre, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs)
Wild West Night guests participate in the line dancing portion of the night's events March 1 at the Lone Star Conference Center. (U.S. Army photo by Blair Dupre, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Photo by Blair Dupre) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — The Fort Cavazos Spouses’ Club hosted their annual Wild West Night March 1 at the Lone Star Conference Center here and treated all of the attendees to a myriad of fun, western-themed activities, all in the name of giving back to the community.

More than 350 guests attended the 90s country themed event, dressed in their best western-wear, and participated in a variety of activities including riding on a mechanical bull, casino-style games and line dancing.

“It was a night of high energy, nostalgic 90s country throwbacks and dazzling cowboy and cowgirl attire,” said Karissa Dolan, Wild West Night co-chair. “Throughout the entire evening, everytime I looked around the room attendees were laughing, enjoying the company of others, and engaged in a variety of activities. We had a steady group enthralled with the variety of casino games, while others enjoyed conversation, the photo booth, the mechanical bull, line dancing and curious check-ins on their silent auction bids.”

Courtney Ireland, Casino Game Committee chair, said the evening was filled with positive energy.

“The Black Jack Soldiers who volunteered in our casino did a phenomenal job,” she shared. “They had so much fun being a part of the event and contributing to its success. I loved seeing the Fort Cavazos community come together for a great cause.”

The Fort Cavazos Spouses’ Club hosts fundraising events throughout the year to give grants to the local community. During Wild West Night, attendees could bid on items in a silent auction, pay to have a friend locked in a jail cell that was guarded by a sheriff and bid on items in a live auction with actual auctioneers from Priest Auctioneers.

“It was incredible to see the guests trickle in with smiles on their faces oozing with positive energy,” said Marisa Wells, Wild West Night co-chair. “The dance floor was full, the casino room was bustling and the auctioneers, from Priest Auctioneers, put on an incredible show. I feel so much gratitude for our military support and our civilian contributions. Without the immense support from them, this event wouldn’t have been possible.”

Dolan agreed.

“Seeing our community and military coming together for an evening of fun and a goal of raising funds for grants that’ll bless Central Texas nonprofits made all the coordination of the night worth it,” she added. “Our goal was to create an event atmosphere that kept attendees engaged — the energy and excitement in the room was amazing! It was a fantastic way to round out our year of raising funds for community grants. I can’t wait for our club to disperse the funds raised to local nonprofits.”

“With additional funding in their hands, our military families and local community will benefit from the impact of the grants awarded,” Dolan added.

Wild West Night attendees brave the bucking mechanical bull during Wild West Night March 1 at the Lone Star Conference Center. There were also other western-themed activities, including casino games and line dancing. (U.S. Army photo by Blair Dupre, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs)
Wild West Night attendees brave the bucking mechanical bull during Wild West Night March 1 at the Lone Star Conference Center. There were also other western-themed activities, including casino games and line dancing. (U.S. Army photo by Blair Dupre, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Photo by Blair Dupre) VIEW ORIGINAL

Wild West Night was a huge success raising more than $40,000 that will be poured back into the Fort Cavazos community.

“We are proud to announce that this incredible event raised $43,888,” shared Courtney Flohr, Fort Cavazos Spouses’ Club president. “We would like to thank everyone who made this successful event possible.”

Dolan said the event wouldn’t have been possible without the volunteers, leadership, community members, local businesses and sponsors that came together for a worthy cause.

“We are grateful for everyone that contributed in their unique way,” she said. “Twenty-two spouses volunteered their time and energy leading various planning aspects of Wild West Night. We had more than 100 items for our live and silent auction generously donated by local businesses and from … units who organized amazing themed-baskets. As the planning process unfolded, we saw the pride our Central Texas Community has for Fort Cavazos and the military families stationed here. We are extremely grateful for our Sponsors who jumped on board.”