Just two days away from celebrating the site’s 50-year anniversary, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum received a $100,000 donation Thursday at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas.
Ram Truck President and CEO Bob Hegbloom presented the check and announced a partnership between the company and the nearly 200-year-old law enforcement group. Ram Truck is a stand-alone division of Chrysler Group.
An undisclosed percentage of the donation will go toward scholarship and charitable programs of the Texas Rangers Association Foundation, according to a news release.
“Like the Texas Rangers, Ram has deep ties to the Lone Star State,” Hegbloom said in a statement.
“Today’s announcement allows Ram, in partnership with The Chrysler Foundation, to assist the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in making a positive contribution to preserving Texas Ranger heritage and helping foster its future,” he said.
Since its founding, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame site has grown to include a museum, Texas Ranger company “F” headquarters, State Hall of Fame, library and archives, an educational center serving nonprofit groups and a banquet facility.
As part of the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Rangers in 2023, the site hopes to have a $40 million expansion, which museum Executive Director Byron Johnson said will break ground within five years.
Johnson said Saturday’s museum anniversary will be marked by a dinner and performance by the Chris Low Band. Organizers expect about 175 guests.
Guests reportedly will include U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan; state Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson, R-Waco; current Texas Rangers; and two speakers, recently retired Texas Ranger Chief Kirby Dendy and current Company “F” commander Maj. Frank Malinak.
Johnson said about 4½ million people have visited the museum since its opening, which he said has brought more than $100 million into the city, according to their calculations.
Johnson said he has been in the museum industry for 37 years, but, “I’ve yet to see one that has the popularity and the draw this one has.”