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BURNET — From moving to a larger venue to inviting a football legend for the keynote speech, the 15th annual Hill Country 100 Club awards banquet has cultivated community support while recognizing the top law enforcement and emergency personnel for their selfless work for the past year.

The event, which attracted about 700 attendees, was held Jan. 18 at the YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond in Burnet.

More than 60 staff from dozens of agencies in Blanco, Burnet, Lampasas, and Llano counties received recognition, listened to presenters, including legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, and dined on a barbecue meal as a demonstration of appreciation for their efforts.

“To me, they’re true heroes,” said Vicki Morris, regarding the first responders. Morris served as an event coordinator and is a Hill Country 100 Club director. “I would like for them to have a sense that we have their backs, that we love them and care for them, and what they do for us is reciprocated.”

The Hill Country 100 Club was founded in 2001 as a 501c-3 nonprofit organization for the purpose of providing financial support to families of first responders killed or injured in the line of duty. The organization serves Lampasas, Blanco, Llano, and Burnet counties.

Hill Country 100 Club leaders invited Staubach, who has a home with his wife, Marianne, in Horseshoe Bay, to say a few words to inspire not only the first responders but the community as a whole.

“I wanted to stress the importance of teamwork, whether it is a football team or the kind of team made up of first responders here tonight,” Staubach said. “You can have a group of talented individuals, but a team working together can accomplish great things.”

The nonprofit organization moved the from Lakeside Pavilion in Marble Falls to the recreation center in Burnet to accommodate hundreds more attendees.

“It shows more interest and more appreciation,” Morris said about the attendance. “We want to recognize the support personnel, too. A lot of these agencies couldn’t function without them.”

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