YO Social Club will be reborn

Party-goers will be looking for this iconic sign at the highway entrance of the YO Ranch when they arrive Sept. 21.

The YO Ranch Headquarters is bringing back the Y.O. Social Club party.

The YO brand has a history synonymous with the history of Texas. It includes cattle, cowboys, droughts and ingenuity.

It has also always been a symbol of fraternity for people from all walks of life making memories, sharing a drink, telling tall tales, and marveling at the unfettered Texas Hill Country skies.

Perhaps no single event captured this feeling more than the Annual Social Club which ran from 1980 until 2008, according to Debbie Hagebusch, director of tourism for the Y.O. Ranch Headquarters.

The night was memorialized in newspapers from New York to California as “The Biggest Party in Texas,” she said.

In 2015, Byron and Sandra Sadler, and the Harber family stepped in to keep the ranch’s history for future generations to experience.

They bought 5,400 acres of the YO Ranch from the former Schreiner family owners, descendants of Kerr County pioneer Capt. Charles Schreiner, plus other acreage bordering State Highway 41, and now own about 13,000 acres, according to Hagebusch.

She said the Sadlers bought a white buffalo to add to the buffalo herd on the ranch; and the extensive native and exotic livestock presently also includes a six-month-old female giraffe.

Now, after extensive renovation and many hours of sweat, labor, paint, hammer and nails and masonry, the ranch is going to hold the “YO Social Club - a Texas Legend Reborn.”

On Sept. 21, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., they are going to have a Texas-sized party. Just like the old days, there will be great food, great drinks and great music.

Attendees will be entertained by Gary Glenn and the 20X Band, Shane Smith and the Saints, Kolton Moore, Clayton Landua, and a celebratory final concert by YO friend and performer Gary P. Nunn.

Benefit recipient

In a change from previous years in this party’s history, profits from the 2019 event will be donated to Combat Marine Outdoors (CMO), a 501(c)3 nationwide charitable organization whose mission is to provide combat veterans from all military branches with outdoor experiences. Hagebusch said CMO maintains those relationships to assist the veterans into transitioning to civilian life, for the benefit of the veterans’ and their families’ future and welfare.

She said 97 percent of CMO’s budget directly benefits these warriors.

“We started with what the YO Ranch was doing before, and brought groups of ‘wounded warriors’ combat veterans to the ranch about February each year for hunting excursions. And the ranch staff collected their animals for processing; and took the meat to the Brooke Army Medical Center hold a real Texas barbecue for the patients there and the staff that cares for them.”

Changes and additions

In April 2009, an early-morning fire destroyed the pavilion that was the center of former Social Club parties, and several other historic buildings.

Hagebusch said they used the vacant slab from that pavilion, and chose to build 16 hotel-style rooms there, in two rows facing each other across an open patio; and all under one new roof.

“It was built to look like an Old West village and if we use every bed in every room, we can accommodate a maximum of 50 people there,” she said.

Since it opened, she said, it’s been rented by individual rooms, and also by conference, wedding and reunion groups. Guests each have “hotel” rooms, but they often spend most of their time sitting on that patio, visiting; and even in the winter, sitting near the fireplace at one end.

Another major addition was the clearing and re-design of the hillside behind the hotel rooms, to create a new amphitheater.

This will be the site for the musical entertainment Sept. 21, with the stage at the lower curve of the amphitheater, and rows of terraces where guests can sit for shows. Hagebusch said some rows were built wide enough for tables as well as chairs.

“This will be like ‘old-home week’ with people returning to the Social Club party,” she said.

On the upper part of the same hillside is a cleared area for parking for the amphitheater and for guests at the party.

“All the rocks used in the construction of the amphitheater and retaining walls came from the ranch. And we’ve saved every scrap of old wood from buildings around the ranch to use in the renovations, including the walls of the new stage,” Hagebusch said.

She said the amphitheater could be used for weddings, too; as the Old West Village patio has been, when weather forced a ceremony or two under a roof, if not indoors.

“I can’t wait to see a bride walk down that center aisle in the amphitheater,” she said.

They also enlarged a small pond at the foot of that hill, and added uphill from there a re-circulating rock waterfall with a small fish pond, connected to the pond downhill.

She said the YO Headquarters group also now owns the former homes of Charlie Schreiner III, Charlie IV and Gus Schreiner.

Tickets, lodging

Ticket prices for the Social Club party are:

• $150 if purchased by Sunday, Sept. 1;

• $175 if purchased after Sept. 1.

• $1,500 per couple or $750* per person (double occupancy) was offered and includes Friday and Saturday on-site lodging, two tickets to YO Social Club and Friday night party.

Hagebusch said limited on-site lodging was available earlier, but it’s all reserved now.

She’s been getting calls every day in the headquarters office and started a waiting list recently.

The ranch headquarters staff has arranged for a special group rate for hotel rooms at the YO Ranch Hotel & Conference Center, and at the Inn of the Hills in Kerrville; and party guests staying there can reserve seats for $60 each on shuttle buses to take them from Kerrville to the YO Ranch and back to the hotel when the party is over.

The ticket price includes food for the evening, and entertainment at the party; and a cash bar will be available.

Among the sponsors are Ben E. Keith and Bluebell, the ice cream company.

“On Sept. 21, from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m., we are going to have a Texas -sized party. Just like the old days, when ranches celebrated the proceeds of a long cattle drive, there will be real Texas food including roasting pork, and beef on a spit.”

Entertainment Schedule

The schedule for the night includes:

• 6 p.m. – Party and food start with entertainment by Gary Glenn and 20X Band at the Amphitheater;

• Gary P. Nunn;

• CMO Introductions and Auction;

• Shane Smith and the Saints;

• Kolton Moore and others to finish the night out.

“You are sure to want to wear your dancing shoes!” Hagebusch said.

Now is the time to get out your best Western duds (no cutoffs or flip flops for this party). Let’s have a party Texas Style “Western Chic.” Your dress for the evening could win you a special prize.

Lodging

The following have a special group rate for the YO Social Club. When making reservations, reference the YO Social Club.

• Y.O. Ranch Hotel, 2033 Sidney Baker St, Kerrville, Tx., www.yoranchhotel.com;

• Inn of the Hills, 1001 Junction Hwy, Kerrville, Tx., www.innofthehills.com.

There will be buses to shuttle from the hotel to the ranch; reservations are required.Tickets are $60 round trip; call the ranch to make reservations.

Get your tickets now. Contact YO Ranch Headquarters for reservations at (830) 640-3222 or (844) 835-3222.

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