SAN ANTONIO – A local tradition that’s been around for decades now faces an uncertain future as the deadline for the organization to secure a sponsor and the necessary funding loomed Thursday.
The Cowboy Breakfast is an effort that feeds thousands, but it takes more than $30,000 to make it happen.
“Not having the Cowboy breakfast, it just kills me,” said Brad Dietrich, chairman of the board for Cowboy Breakfast.
Board members say inflation has put a strain on sponsorships and funding.
“Unfortunately, costs have gone up, and to do this event for free, we have to have a title sponsor. We had one lined up, and unfortunately, they were unable to fulfill,” said Dietrich.
Now, the organization says it’s been scrambling to come up with a title sponsor and a presenting sponsor and says they have not been able to bring one on board and on time.
Those who may catch the short end of this situation are people involved in tourism, hospitality, and culinary arts students at St. Philip’s College
“With the Cowboy Breakfast not happening, that’s a huge dip for us as far as being able to take care of our students because a lot of our students rely upon those scholarships. It helps them out with all the different expenses that they have,” said Patrick Brown, culinary director at St. Philip’s College.
The Cowboy Breakfast has donated over $250,000 in scholarship funds in the last two decades. Brown said the event itself is a memorable experience for students.
“So doing a Cowboy Breakfast, it’s kind of like a two-edged sword for us. We get a chance to get some scholarships for our students. We also get a chance to help the community,” said Brown.
Dietrich said the reality of not having a Cowboy Breakfast is not a good feeling.
“I love San Antonio. I love the event. I love seeing the people out there, and it just breaks my heart. It really does,” said Dietrich.
The Cowboy Breakfast and the staff and students at St. Phillips remain hopeful that someone will be able to provide the necessary funding to keep the annual tradition alive. They will be looking to make an official announcement on whether the event will happen next week.