West Texas Rehab Center roots run deep in Miles

Bill Hancock
Runnels County Register

MILES - Donnie and Danelle Schwertner own Top Tier Grain & Feed, as well as The Depot at Top Tier in Miles, Texas, a community just a stone's throw from San Angelo, which is home to the West Texas Rehab Center (WTRC). Each year the Schwertner's host a hamburger lunch to benefit WTRC, whose roots are firmly planted in the soil of this tight-knit farming community that is built around agriculture and families.

Top Tier Grain and Feed and The Depot at Top Tier will host their annual benefit luncheon for the West Texas Rehab Center on May 12, 2022 at The Depot in Miles, Texas (301 US Hwy 67, Miles, TX)

The family connections to WTRC runs through Donnie's mother, "My mother, Dolores Schwertner, worked at West Texas Rehab Center for 35 years as the director of the RSVP (retired senior volunteer program)."

The flow of West Texas Rehab through the veins of the Schwertners didn't stop with the retirement of Dolores. In addition to the Schwertner's fundraising efforts, Donnie points out that their children are also involved in WTRC, "Our daughters, Alexa & Kameryn, have worked as volunteers at the summer camp for several years, and Alexa is also on the board of directors as ASU’s collegiate liaison. She and our youngest daughter, Sawyer, will also be volunteering at camp this summer."

The kickoff luncheon is well organized and strongly supported by the community. Donnie says the local farmers donate funds from their grain roundups, "This is the kickoff of the grain round-up fundraiser. Grain round up is where we collect money that the farmers wish to donate from their grain commodities checks and give it to WTRC."

The strong community support for the WTRC fundraiser tugs at the heartstrings as Danelle talks about the event, "It is inspiring to see how many people have an interest in helping the rehab. So many people in our communities have loved ones or friends who have benefited from the Rehab’s services; it’s particularly close to many people’s hearts."

West Texas Rehab and the Miles Lions Club invited the Miles High School seniors to the hamburger luncheon held at Top Tier in 2021. Approximately 100 people attended the fundraiser for WTRC.

Donnie spoke about the support for the fundraiser every year, "Most of the time when you have a fundraiser, it’s a one time thing, like Go Fund Me or a one-off event to raise money for a specific person or cause; the organization of the WTRC requires funding year after year and it’s good to see that our producers don’t forget the good things they do at the rehab."

Farming communities are strong, tight-knit groups of families wrestling a living from the soil, subjected to the whims of Mother Nature more than most other professions. The communities are usually made up of older people as sons and daughters head off to college or to cities to pursue their dreams. The Schwertners were asked that since farming communities are notably older on average than urban communities, is this event a show of love for those those in the communities who are friends of parents and grandparents, etc? Danelle said that it was, "I believe it is a show of love and support from years of experience with the rehab and their services. WTRC has been around a long time; I guarantee everyone in our rural area knows someone who has benefited and remembers that when they see a fundraiser for the rehab. I think it makes more people inclined to participate."

Danelle says that the bond is strong, "I know I feel a special bond between WTRC and our community frequently! I don’t know if it’s because I’m very aware of the work they do or not, but it’s nice to feel like we are contributing." Donnie agrees, "There are a lot of community members who help with the annual telethon and helping the rehab is like donating blood. The life you save may very well be your own."

Last year around 100 people showed up for the hamburger lunch fundraiser. This year the Schwertner's hope to bring in around 150 people.

What you need to know:

Grain Round-Up for Rehab

When: 11:30 a.m.; Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Where: Top Tier Grain & Feed/The Depot at Top Tier;301 US Hwy 67, Miles, TX