May 31, 2018 500 AM
Pool party at the Gage Hotel in Marathon
AUSTIN, MARATHON – Garrison Brothers Distillery is proud to announce a series of progressive pool parties aimed at raising funds for the improvement, beautification, and preservation of Balmorhea State Park.
This announcement comes on the heels of a decision by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s indefinite closure of the park’s pool due to structural failure. Damage to the concrete apron under the diving board, which is used to stabilize the walls of the pool from erosion, was found during the pool’s annual cleaning on May 6.
Now, concerned Texans in the private sector are stepping up to the plate to help raise much needed funds for the maintenance of the Texas park.
“Balmorhea State Park is in dire need of some tender loving care,” said Dan Garrison, owner of Garrison Brothers Distillery. “It’s time to give back to the springs that have given so much to generations of Texas families.”
The need for additional funding for Texas state parks has been the center of a hotly debated issue in recent years. In 2015, state lawmakers passed a law to dedicate 94 percent of sporting good tax money to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, but that portion fell to 83 percent after the state siphoned money for other uses.
During the 85th Texas Legislative session, lawmakers allocated $49 million for repairs to state parks, but as of June 2017, the department had more than $580 million in backlogged maintenance at 91 state parks that saw 9 million visitors last year, up 500,000 from the previous year. That backlog is staggering to business-owners and avid outdoorsmen like Dan Garrison.
But he has a solution. “Balmorhea State Park is a Texas treasure,” said Garrison. “We’re going to work closely with Texas Parks and Wildlife and we’re gonna fix it! We’re about to show the world the power of good bourbon and good people. And when the pool reopens, we’re going to throw the largest pool party anyone’s ever seen out there, and everyone who made a contribution is coming.” Garrison has partnered with some of Texas’s most legendary hotels to host a series of progressive pool parties aimed at raising money for the state park. Dubbed Balmorhea Blue, the daytime parties will include poolside tastings of Garrison Brothers’ double barrel bourbon named after Balmorhea, Balmorhea bourbon cocktails, a water aerobics class, a water volleyball game, live music, and dancing.
Tickets to the pool parties start at $100, and 100 percent of profits and donations will be donated to a Balmorhea State Park restricted fund of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation.
Confirmed dates and hotel partners so far for the Balmorhea Blue pool parties include:
● June 23, Sonesta Bee Cave, Austin;
● June 29 & 30, The Gage Hotel, Marathon.
Dan and Nancy Garrison and Master Distiller Donnis Todd have formed a 501(c)(3) public charity called Good Bourbon for a Good Cause. The corporation is organized exclusively for charitable purposes. Good Bourbon for a Good Cause will make distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The public charity will accept tax deductible contributions from individuals and organizations who want to help restore Balmorhea State Park.
Other causes they support include:
● Organizations that help current or former military veterans and their families
● Organizations that help former military personnel get back to leading a rewarding life
● Organizations that help veterans recover from debilitating medical, mental, or psychological challenges
● Organizations that preserve Texas’ nature, wildlife, green spaces, or historical treasures.
● Organizations that the staff of Garrison Brothers Distillery wishes to support.