May 4, 2022 401 PM
PRESIDIO COUNTY — In lieu of wedding gifts, David Beebe and Hilary Scruggs Beebe asked for donations for their newly-established Presidio County Community Fund when they got married in 2020.
At the time, the Beebes were motivated to establish a nonprofit to help combat the region’s lack of mental health resources. Fast forward two years later, the pandemic and other life changes led them to rethink their original mission for the fund. The couple is now launching a series of fundraisers in hopes of generating more money to aid the county. They intend to cast a wide net when it comes to the causes they support, focusing on causes that raise the quality of life in Presidio County and the surrounding region.
“We’re interested in using these funds to support individual projects and other organizations in the region, including, hopefully, people working on this mental health issue, which is still something that’s important to us personally,” said Hilary.
The Beebes opted to go through an already established entity instead of becoming their own nonprofit organization, setting up the Presidio County Community Fund through the nonprofit Community Foundation of Texas, which acts as an umbrella organization by offering administrative support and allowing for tax-deductible contributions.
Recent recipients of modest grants from the Presidio County Community Fund include the Big Bend Conservation Alliance for their work on the Lipan Apache Cemetery in Presidio and the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s Alpine office.
“We can support, on some smaller level, a diverse amount of organizations. And also really highlight some of these causes, because if you’re not actively engaged in the needs around here, you might not even know that these organizations are out here working,” said Hilary.
While the exact type of local organizations the Presidio County Community Fund will support are loose, David Beebe — who is running as a Democrat for County Commissioner Precinct 4 against Republican Garey Willbanks — said he’d definitely like to fold environmental organizations into the mix.
“It kind of goes in tandem with what I want to do as a county commissioner — responsibly-managed economic development for the Presidio area,” said David. “Meaning water quality, air quality issues.”
But before they can be more active in doling out substantial grants to local organizations, they need to focus on growing their giving dollars, they said.
“We need to raise some money so we can be more effective,” said David.
“Financially, we’re not making as big of a contribution as we need to to make a real difference,” said Hilary.
They are optimistic an upcoming art sale they have organized will help significantly boost their charitable fund balance. Opening May 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Rojo’s bar at the Capri, an exhibition benefiting the Presidio County Community Fund will be on view, featuring prints by photographer and Marfa resident Douglas Friedman.
All of the prints on view were shot with a digital camera by Friedman on the final day local restaurant Bad Hombres, which was operated by the Beebes, was open for business. “[That building] always had such a presence in my time in Marfa. So even in closing, I said to David and Hilary, ‘Can I come by to take some pictures? I think it needs to be documented,’” Friedman recalled.
The Beebes thought the images Friedman took deserved to be seen, and saw it as an opportunity to raise money for the Presidio County Community Fund.
“It was exciting to have these very professional, very intimate portraits of the building,” said Hilary.
The prints will be on view at Rojo’s Marfa until mid-July and will be for sale, ranging in size and price point. The event coincides with the Marfa Invitational Art Fair, a time where a concentrated art crowd is roaming town. Large format prints measuring 5 by 4 feet will be available for $10,000 to $12,000.
“To be able to blow these images up to such a big scale, you really get sucked in. It becomes slightly abstract, which is beautiful,” said Friedman. “But then there’s so much information, you could stand in front of these prints and stare at them forever because you’re always gonna find something new.”
Also available will be prints measuring 30 by 30 inches and a limited edition number of 12 by 18 inch prints for $100 in an effort to offer an affordable option for locals looking to commemorate the beloved, defunct burger and brisket joint.
“When I started turning my camera on corners, it was like, there’s so much on those walls. You get lost in the layers and layers of detail, history and nostalgia,” said Friedman.
In conjunction with the print sale, David and his musical partner Primo Carrasco will release a new album on Memorial Day, May 30, titled, Bad Hombres, two years after the closing of the restaurant. Friedman’s photography will also be incorporated into the album design. Primo y Beebe, as the musical duo is known, will celebrate the release of their second album with a free concert at Rojo’s at the Capri also on May 30.
Another concert featuring musicians Hayden Pedigo and Mason Lindahl, which will benefit the Presidio County Community Fund, will take place May 5 at Rojo’s at the Capri from 8 to 10 p.m. The Beebes said they do not intend to host other concerts benefiting the fund in the future and will focus on other fundraising avenues. Posters by local artist Brenden Cicoria will also be for sale at the event.
Hilary said as it grows she hopes the Presidio County Community Fund will help elevate the work of local organizations and promote their causes.
“There’s a lot of real needs in this community. There are plenty of wealthy people who live here and the tourists who come through town give a lot to our economy. But there’s still a lot of need out here and a lot of it when we were still a very isolated, very poor part of rural Texas.”
To make a donation to the Presidio County Community fund, visit https://portal.cftexas.org/The-Presidio-County-Community-Fund. To purchase tickets to the Hayden Pedigo and Mason Lindahl performance on May 5, visit https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/5410876 or contact Vance Knowles at [email protected]