Denim & Derby – A Night at the Races

by Haley Christofilis

Over the years, the Cordillera Ranch Shindig has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for many independent Kendall County charities. This year on May 4th, Cordillera Ranch residents and their friends will gather once again to have “A Good Time for a Good Cause.” The Shindig, started in 2002 by the Cordillera Ranch Social Club and held at the park with about 200 Cordillera residents, has grown into its own corporation (CRS). It is governed by a Board of Directors, comprised of Carla Northington, Kay Johnson and Barbara Wynn and in 2006 was declared a taxexempt 501 (c)(3) organization. Since then, each year the number of guests and the amount of money raised for various area charities has increased. The mission of the event is to uplift and support various Kendall County charities that are located right here in our own backyard.

Everyone would love to make a difference in their community, but it takes a group of people who are willing to devote their energy to do something big, a role being filled by the volunteers preparing for this year’s event. Jamie Amerman, who is co-chairing the event for the second time along with Sara Hill, has found working on the Shindig to be rewarding in many ways. “A lot of people want to get involved, meet people and give back to the community. The planning and preparation process of the Shindig is a great way to gain connections with neighbors as volunteers work together with a focus on a great cause,” Jamie says. Her second time chairing the event, Jamie states that her position has empowered her with a sense of compassion for the many causes. “The thing I’ve been trying to do differently this year is help other committee members to understand that this isn’t about us. When I first signed up I thought it would be fun to plan a big party with a group of my friends, but in the process I saw a transformation in myself and the heart I grew to have in it. This is what God calls us to do – to give and to serve. We begin every meeting with a prayer and ask for God to work through us. It’s become a fellowship, and I’ve seen lives changed by the Shindig.”

Jamie and Sara both stress that the 2013 Shidig committee, made up of about 15 Cordillera club and community members, deserve the recognition for their hard work on this year’s event. “We can’t stress enough how this group of ladies has come together to plan a wonderful event for the night of May 4th. Their hard work and dedication to our cause is what will make this year’s Shindig a success,” says Sara. “The Cordillera Ranch Shindig is not a faith-based organization, but it is very strongly tied to the message of Christ, which calls us to care for the needy and defeated,” Sara states. “We want the message of generosity to be the light of this event. Naturally people with giving hearts want to be involved. We want to throw a nice party that people will pay top dollar to attend, but always at the forefront is the fact that we want to raise as much as we can for our community charities.” Jamie and Sara have set their sights on a confident goal of raising $250,000 to be distributed to the selected charities.

To choose the organizations that the fundraiser benefits, residents in Kendall County nominate deserving philanthropies, which each fill out an application stating their mission statements and their specific needs. The Shindig volunteers then choose a number of organizations to make a presentation, after which they decide on the most worthy causes that the fundraiser will benefit. This year the proceeds raised will go to support growth and fortification of six organizations in Kendall County: Still Water Christian Ministries, Kendall Country Youth Agriculture and Equestrian Center, Bergheim Fire Department, Hill Country Daily Bread, Benedictine Ministries, and Hill Country Pregnancy Care Center. Jamie and Sara are proud of the scope of people that this year’s Shindig will benefit – from children and teens to expectant  mothers and senior citizens, the organizations chosen come from all facets of the community.

The theme of this year’s Shindig is “Denim & Derby: A Night at the Races.” It has always been on Jamie’s bucket list to attend the Kentucky Derby, so the fundraiser, which coincides with the day of “The Run for the Roses,” will include all of the trappings of the Derby, and Jamie and Sara hope to see lots of Derby style hats at the event! There will be a hat contest for the lady (or man) with the best Derby-style hat, a chance to be drawn for a $10,000 horse shoe ring toss, a Kentucky “Duck Derby,” and a raffle for a trip to the 2014 Kentucky Derby. The evening will also include exquisite food, live music, and live and silent auctions with items donated by numerous Hill Country and San Antonio merchants and artists. The night will begin with a VIP party for table sponsors with music by Cordillera’s own Bernie Tosdevin. The evening will also include entertainment by the band Courrier, a rising Austin alternative rock group whose national recognition has earned their music spots on shows seen on MTV and the CW, and later by Savannah Jack, a country band from Nashville.

Jamie and Sara stress the vital importance of the underwriters, whose donations are truly what allow the event to be as successful as it now is. “This year we have so many sponsors and underwriters, which allows us to give so much more back to the community. Our title underwriters are the Preferred Builders: Authentic Custom Homes, Burdick & Christofilis, Great Homes and Stadler Custom Homes. They’re our biggest partner through this and we couldn’t do this without them,” Jamie says. Also underwriting the event is Ranch at the Rim, Cavender Chevrolet, and Harland Clarke Holdings Corporation. Cordillera Ranch, Boerne communtiy members, local business owners, and their attendees will also be contributing much to the cause by buying 10-person tables and getting in on the auction festivities.

Not only does this event bring our community together for a fabulous evening, it raises substantial funds that allow us to serve those in need in Kendall County. We hope you will join us for this wonderful night of good food, good company, and great cheer!

Individual tickets will be available for $225. Please send a check
payable to: Cordillera Ranch Shindig Corp. Mail to: Carol Holt, 107 Cornerstone, Boerne, TX 78006. For more information on the Shindig or if you would like to donate gifts or services for the silent and live auction, please visit

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