Gala to raise funds to save Battleship Texas
Music, good times and the opportunity to save a national treasure are some of the draws to an April 7 gala to benefit efforts to dry-berth the Battleship Texas so it can be repaired.
The Battleship Texas Foundation has been working for years to secure funds from private and government entities for the project. Because of the ship’s age and location in the water in La Porte, critical damage to the hull requires pumps to run constantly to keep it from sinking, said Bruce Bramlett, executive director of the foundation.
The “Spirit of Texas” gala will be from 4-8 p.m. at Armadillo Palace, 2015 Kirby Drive in Houston. Tickets, which cost $250 apiece, will be available in March and include a concert by Texas singer-songwriter Corey Morrow and dinner in addition to the opportunity purchase firearms specifically designed by Henry Rifles and Baron Engraving to support fundraising efforts for the battleship project.
“We talked to our members,” Bramlett said. “We tried to make sure the event was post-(Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo). Our members also said, ‘Please don’t do the typical middle-of-the week, Thursday night event where we have to dress up and go downtown.’ So, we took that advice and planned it in a very laid-back space for a Sunday afternoon.”
The battleship is the nation’s only surviving World War I-era dreadnought. It escorted convoys in 1941 and shelled Axis-held positions at Normandy and Okinawa.
“This ship was commissioned one year after the Titanic,” Bramlett said in a previous interview. “It’s historic — a living museum — and in order to save it, we can’t keep patching it. We’ve spent about $40 million to date on repairs in the last four and a half years, and if we don’t do anything else, it isn’t going to matter because we’re going to end up losing her. The good thing is the end seems like it could be within reach and now is the time to do it.”
As talks continue in the Legislature about providing government funding for repairs, the gala and other fundraising efforts are a way the public can help now, Bramlett said.
For details about tickets or sponsorships for the gala, contact Bramlett at 713-827-9620.