Reagan Dinner: 2021

By: Yvette Mendoza

On April 30th, LEAP Ambassadors volunteered and attended the annual Reagan Dinner, the annual fundraising event for the Walker County Republican Dinner. This year’s keynote speaker was Col. Allen West, with numerous other notable officials also taking the stage, all of whom helped make this a fun, informative, and successful event.

As we arrived at the Huntsville Fairgrounds, we were greeted by the host and Chair of the Walker County Republican Party, Linda McKenzie.

The LEAP Ambassadors were assigned certain tasks a few hours beforehand to help prepare for the event. We made sure all the tables were properly configured for the formal dinner. As the event time drew closer, we helped sign each guest and sponsor in. Through this process we got to meet many politicians and local citizens of Huntsville. 

SHSU, Sam Houston State University, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Walker County Republican Party, Col. Allen West, Kevin Brady

Once everyone was seated, we took a seat at a table that was sponsored by U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, who was gracious enough to sponsor seats for students. Mrs. McKenzie then gave her opening remarks and introduced judges, council members, and many other important people. She was followed by District Attorney Will Durham, who led us in the pledge of allegiance. Then all 300 people were served savory ribeye steaks, mashed potatoes, bread rolls, and homemade cheesecake,  all catered by the local Huntsville restaurant, Humphreys.  While we ate dinner, Mrs. McKenzie ably emceed the program.

Speakers such as County Judge Danny Pierce…

Representative Ernest Bailes…

…and Congress Kevin Brady…

… updated attendees about happenings in the County, the state legislature, and the US Congress.

Our keynote speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, had a motivational speech that touched on an array of topics about conservatism. He specifically spoke on the importance of voting in local government races, emphasizing the impact young people will have on the future of our country.

Lastly, Colonel West gave us the opportunity to ask questions. One gentleman asked, “Will you be running for President?” He responded that he will be following the path of God wherever that may lead him. After Colonel West was done answering questions, he was kind enough to take a picture with the LEAP Ambassadors.

As the event came to an end, LEAP Ambassadors helped with the clean-up process. We would like to thank Linda McKenzie for the opportunity to help out with such an exciting event.

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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