The Las Misiones campaign to preserve and restore the Old San Antonio Missions is $2 million closer to its halfway mark!
San Antonio-The Las Misiones campaign took two major steps toward its halfway mark as they accepted a $1 million pledge from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and Silver Eagle Distributors and also announced an additional $1 million grant from Houston Endowment Inc. These generous donations brought the campaign’s total to more than $7.4 million. Las Misiones’ goal is $15,500,000.
“The future of the Old Spanish Missions is more secure today, thanks to these generous gifts,” said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez as he received the donations. “I thank the Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Silver Eagle Distributors and the Houston Endowment for their commitment to help us preserve these historic treasures.” The goal of the Las Misiones campaign is to restore, preserve and ensure the future of the historic mission church structures of Mission San José, Mission Concepción, Mission Espada and Mission San Juan.
At the announcement, an oversized check was presented by Don Johnson, vice president of national retail sales at Anheuser-Busch and John Nau, III, President and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors. The $1 million donation consists of $666,000 from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and $334,000 from Silver Eagle Distributors, and is payable over three years beginning in 2008.
“The role the old Spanish mission sites play in the local culture is significant,” said Dave Peacock, president of Anheuser-Busch. “The gifts from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and Silver Eagle will help restore the missions and ensure our friends in San Antonio and visitors from around the world will continue to experience the rich heritage of this important Texas landmark.”
“Silver Eagle Distributors is proud to join the Anheuser-Busch Foundation in support of the Las Misones Campaign,” said John Nau, president and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors. “These missions are important cultural and historical treasures of Texas that must be preserved for future generations to experience. These missions tell the story of the courage, faith and strength of the people who paved the way for the Texans of today.”
Campaign Chair, Bill Klesse, also announced that the Houston Endowment, Inc. a philanthropy endowed by Mr. and Mrs. Jesse H. Jones had awarded a grant for $1 million to the Las Misiones campaign. The Houston Endowment, Inc. was established in 1937 to help develop institutions and organizations that would nurture Houston and beyond. The Endowment donates more than $70 million annually.
Father David Garcia, the Director of the Old San Antonio Missions, voiced his gratitude to all who have given to the campaign to date. Since this phase of the Las Misiones Campaign started this past February, it has received $1 million donations from the Goldsbury Foundation, Valero Energy Corp, and Bill Klesse. Other major financial donations have been given by: McCombs Foundation, The USAA Foundation, Epco Inc., HEB, Chris Cheever, The Scanlan Foundation, and The Mays Foundation. “The generosity of these individuals and institutions, and many others, will help us to preserve for generations to come, the living legacy that the Old San Antonio Missions represent. It is with a sense of urgency we continue our campaign in order to ensure their future.”
The Anheuser-Busch Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anheuser-Busch. For more than 100 years, Anheuser-Busch and the Anheuser-Busch Foundation have reached out to groups in need. During the past decade alone, the company and its foundation have donated more than $370 million to charitable organizations, including those that support education, health care, the arts, cultural enrichment, social services and environmental conservation.
Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the nation’s largest Anheuser-Busch distributor, has been a part of the Anheuser-Busch wholesaler family for more than 20 years, and employs more than 1,100 people. The company currently serves 16 counties in Texas, including two major metropolitan areas-Houston and San Antonio. Silver Eagle Distributors commitment to the community is reflected in the more than 500 charitable organizations it supports annually.
The Old San Antonio Missions established nearly 300 years ago, are significant and unique tourist destinations, drawing more than 1.2 million visitors from around the world each year and an estimated economic impact to our community of over $120 million. The passage of time and their daily use continue to take their toll.
The Spanish Missions helped form the foundation for the city of San Antonio. They represent a major connection with the past. Today the National Park Service operates the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in collaboration with the Archdiocese. The Park Service is responsible for all the secular elements of the four compounds, including non-church buildings, landscape and visitor centers. The Archdiocese continues to care solely for the church buildings.
For more information, contact the Old Spanish Missions, Inc., (210) 357-5602; email: old.spanish.missions.@hotmail.com; or visit their website: www.oldspanishmissions.org.