Friends Honoring Friends (Winter 2023)

Past Matters Winter 2023; posted on 02/27/2023

On February 1st, 2023, the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission (FTHC) along with the Texas Historical Commission recognized volunteers for their exemplary work in the stewardship of THC State Historic Sites. These volunteers received the Fifth Annual Friends Alliance Award during the Opening Night Reception at the THC’s Real Places 2023 Conference in Austin. This year, the FTHC was pleased to recognize three awardees—the Friends of Fort McKavett State Historic Site, represented by Doug Dukes and Edgar Garza; Sandra Jean Salinas, a volunteer for Casa Navarro State Historic Site in San Antonio; and David D. Herrera, Jr., a volunteer for Magoffin Home State Historic Site in El Paso.

Friends of Fort McKavett President Doug Dukes and Treasure Edgar Garza were recognized on behalf of the Friends of Fort McKavett (near Menard, TX) for their leadership in transforming the Friends group and building a new generation of stewardship through volunteerism, fundraising, and advocacy. Their continued support has allowed the site to expand its interpretation goals, to proactively preserve the site, and grow its network and audience to previously unattainable levels.

Sandra Jean Salinas is a founding member of the Friends of Casa Navarro, the friend’s group for the Casa Navarro State Historic site. She has served as co-president, vice-president, and now president emerita of the organization. Sandra serves as the liaison with the San Antonio business community by organizing the José Antonio Navarro Leaders Awards Luncheon along with the José Antonio Navarro annual birthday celebration. Sandra has served as a community advocate for Casa Navarro in the King William Parade and this year Casa Navarro has been asked to serve as Grand Marshall.

David D. Herrera, Jr., a volunteer at Magoffin Home State Historic Site in El Paso, Texas, was recognized for his consistent and critical support of the historic site , especially during the pandemic. Not only did David help keep the doors of the historic site open to visitors during Covid protocols, but also helped through several years of staffing shortages. He was at the site on August 3, 2019, the day of the mass shooting in El Paso, and ushered visitors to a secure location and stayed with them through the city-wide lockdown. David was recently voted in as board president to the Casa Magoffin Compañeros, the friend’s group for the Magoffin Home State Historic Site.

The awards were presented by Lareatha Clay, former Board Chair and current Secretary of the FTHC Board of Trustees.