President's Blog

President’s Blog (July 2023)

President’s Blog (July 2023)

My apologies in advance for the length of this blog, but we have had a very active first half of the year, which of course is a very good thing. I will try to cover all of it as succinctly as possible, so I hope you stay with me!

We started a new program this year, offering a $1,500 first year post secondary school scholarship for one high school senior whose parent or guardian is employed by the HCSO. We received five applications for this scholarship and our Scholarship Committee members awarded this scholarship to Peyton Hipolito, Deputy Anthony Hipolito’s daughter. They were extremely surprised to discover this, as all names, addresses, and possible identifying information was redacted from each of the scholarship applicants paperwork, so no favoritism could be alleged. We presented Peyton with a 2’ x 4’ BIG check at our May 9th meeting and mailed the actual scholarship check to Texas Tech for her fall enrollment.

This year we have also added a Social Committee to our Association, composed of Jane O’Rourke, Goldie Kruger, Janice Snitkin, Mary Capps, and Mary Earls. They have done the planning and arranging of the snacks being served at our monthly meetings, supplied decorations and food or our Academy Graduation Party, will help with our annual Holiday Social, and other social events we may have or host each year. If you are willing and able to supply the meeting snacks one month, be sure to let one of these ladies know as they are always looking for snack donations.

At our February meeting, Jack Diamond, Marketing and Fundraising Chairman, announced that our fundraising goal for 2023 was $25,000 – $28,000. Our first two events of the year got us off to a fabulous start on this goal. The Cheeseburger Plate Fundraiser was held at St. Mary Catholic Church in Wimberley on April 21st, where we sold 400 plates. Our second Cheeseburger Plate Fundraiser was held at the Government Center in San Marcos on May 15th, where we once again sold out of cheeseburgers (500 this year) and our total net profit for both events was approximately $9,500. Best year yet selling and delivering our famous Cheeseburgers!

A few Alumni volunteered to help serve lunch at the taco/nacho bar for the 10th Capital of Texas Police Motorcycle Chute Out in Buda on March 2nd. It was a great sunny day, filled with lots of LEOs showing off their motorcycling talents, but unless another organization steps up to continue this event, this will be the last year it is held.

In March, some of our volunteers boxed lunches of hot dogs, chips, water, and cupcakes for 90 students, plus teachers and chaperones, from Rodriguez Elementary School. Our Community Outreach Officers and other HCSO personnel gave this group a guided tour through the PSB in the morning, while our volunteers put together the lunch boxes.

The Sheriff’s Golf Tournament was held on May 5th at Kissing Tree. A number of Alumni volunteers helped on the course, serving lunch, and assisted with the raffle prizes and silent auction. The golfers preferred this course over the past few years when this tournament was held at Quick Sand in Wimberley, so we shall see where it will be in 2024.

From June 5th till the 11th, The Sunshine Kids were here for their annual Texas Hill Country Adventure. This year there were 26 Kids and 8 medical personnel in attendance and as usual it was an awesome week for all involved. Tuesday was spent at Sea World, followed by dinner at Clear Springs Restaurant. Wednesday, I got to experience the awesome car ride with police escort up I-35 to tour the Texas State Capitol with lunch at the Capitol Grill where the Kids could order anything they wanted and the Alumni paid the bill. I’m 5’10” and the paper receipt was as long as I am tall! Then the group changed into their swimsuits to tube the river, followed by a BBQ and pool party at Rio Vista Park, complete with DJ. Definitely a favorite and fun filled day for these special teens. Thursday the group was at Schlitterbahn Water Park and that evening was the Alumni’s night to shine with the Bingo and Ice Cream Party. Ten games of Bingo were played and each game had both a male and female winner, with prizes ranging from power banks and small boom speakers, to Apple Watches and iPads.

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Alumni, we were able to fund all these gifts. Friday morning was a horseback riding experience, followed by lunch back at the hotel from Jersey Mikes funded by the Alumni, before the Kids headed to EVO’s to bowl and play arcades, and then to a ranch and pool party at T Bar M. Saturday, they met with a local motorcycle group for a ride through our Hill Country, had lunch at San Marcos BBQ, and that evening was the TexMex Dinner and Totally 80’s Final Night Party at the hotel, where everyone dressed “totally 80’s” and danced the night away to old tunes spun by the DJ while balloons fell from the ceiling. It was a phenomenal week for me,our Alumni volunteers, and Community Outreach personnel, to get to know these special Kids and their zest for life, despite all that they have been through and may continue to battle.

Our June meeting was two days after The Sunshine Kids left and instead of holding the typical monthly meeting, we opted for a social night at Hays City Store to celebrate the successes we have had over the past few months. It was a nice turnout, especially for some of our newer members to get to mix and mingle over good food and drink.

July 9th – 12th, Gary Anderson, Jack Diamond, and myself attended the Texas Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (TCPAAA) Convention in College Station. It was a fun few days meeting other police and sheriff’s alumni members, listening to some awesome presentations, and high profile sessions. The convention is June 23rd – 26th next year at South Shore Harbor Resort, League City. I am hopeful that Hays County Alumni will have a bigger representation at this convention in 2024.

I appreciate all the support I have received since becoming your President in January. As a team, we have accomplished so much, and there is still much to be done as we move into the latter half of this year. Our membership continues to grow, thanks to the Citizens Academy filling all the available seats in the classroom and then those graduates joining the Alumni. If you have family, friends, or neighbors that are interested in attending the next class which begins on September 7th, tell them to go to for more information and to download the application.

Ruth Diamond, President
Hays County Citizens Sheriff’s Academy Alumni Association

President's Blog

Special Items Up For A Vote @ August Meeting

Good evening Alumni!

There are a couple of items that we will place on the Agenda to vote on at the upcoming Dinner/Social meeting on TUESDAY, AUGUST 16th @ 6:30 p.m.; I will be sending out the agenda next week; but, I wanted everyone to have a chance to review what we will be voting on and ask any questions you may have. The Executive Board has unanimously approved each of these items to be brought to the members for a vote:

President's Blog

President’s Blog

Hi Alumni!

It’s been a while since I’ve sent out a PBlog; thought I’d catch everyone up on some happenings since the last one…I’ll be brief (LOL!)

We’ve had a lot of activities happening since back in March; I’d like to share a few highlights in order to remember some significant HCCSAAA moments.

The cheeseburger fundraisers we did in April and May to raise funds for the Sunshine Kids were amazing! Once again, we sold burgers at the Government Center and with pre-sales and walk-ups, we completely sold out all 400! We received many compliments on how delicious the burgers were and people really seemed to like the double patty presentation this year; something we will more than likely continue as it also helps in the cooking time. We did okay in Wimberley with pre-sales; however, the walk-ups were not as fruitful as we had hoped quite possibly due to the location we chose. Even with that, the sales in Wimberley worked out well and between the two locations and donations, the funds raised were phenomenal and greatly contributed to the Sunshine Kids Hill Country Adventure.

Based upon the work the Marketing & Fundraising Committee put in to ensure both events went off without a hitch, it was determined that the Committee needed to secure additional members to assist with ‘behind the scenes’ duties. Jack Diamond, Marketing & Fundraising Chair, has been working on securing additional active committee members to assist with Marketing & Fundraising Committee duties and as of now, the committee has a total of 5 active members including the Chair. This growth and the commitment from committee members will significantly help the Committee to continue to succeed in meeting the Association’s Marketing & Fundraising goals. Many kudos to Jack, Ruth, and the Committee for all the arduous work they continue to do not only to make these events fun; but, to put so much blood, sweat, and tears into researching and doing the things necessary to accomplish remarkable things!

The most recent Citizen Academy Graduation ceremony was held on June 2nd ; it was a great turnout, and everyone enjoyed the camaraderie, food, swag-bags, and door prizes. We had several graduates sign up to become members of the Alumni that evening: Goldie Kruger, Teri Holtzclaw, Nicholas Costilla, James Bryant, Jr., Michael O’Dell, Don William, Matt Wells, John Gagliardi, Bridget Fidler, and Stephen Albright. We also picked up another member from the Academy since then, Thaddeus Foster.

Welcome to our new members; we are excited to have you join us! Our new members have already become quite active; you may see Teri working the front desk at the PSB as she has signed on as a greeter. Bridget and Thaddeus have become members of the Marketing & Fundraising Committee. If you haven’t met our new members, please be sure to introduce yourself and let them know how happy we are to have them on board.

I can’t say enough about how much love, joy, and inspiration the Sunshine Kids (SSK) brought to our community! This was my first year to participate in this event and everything I had been told about how amazing it would be was absolutely on the mark! I am so incredibly grateful for what the HCCSAAA was able to contribute to these precious kiddos due to our fundraising efforts! We had the honor to pay for lunch at the State Capitol when the SSK took their ride into Austin for a tour; it was great to see the kids so happy, I even heard one of the kids overjoyed when she asked, “we can get anything we want?!!” The Alumni was also able to provide all the incredible prizes for the Bingo night; the kids adored the prizes and were so enthusiastic in sharing the game. A couple of tear-jerker moments where when some of the kids would win more than one prize and would automatically, without any prodding, give it up to another kid who hadn’t won yet. To say these kids are phenomenal is an understatement! The Nurses and the SSK staff were incredibly grateful for the ‘swag-bags’ the Alumni provided to each of them and the Jersey Mike’s lunch was enjoyed by all; one of the staff members had never had Jersey Mike’s before and she absolutely loved it!

I’d like to once again thank those who were able to volunteer and/or contribute to raising funds for these events. Without our incredible members, we would not have been able to share so much love and joy with these very special kiddos! If you weren’t able to join us this year, it is definitely something you should plan to help with next year; just being around these kids reminds us of how precious life is and that every moment is a chance to dance like no one is watching!

I’d like to take a moment to remember a true light in our world that was extinguished way too soon, Carol Cutler. Carol was a delightful inspiration to many; she spoke with the Sunshine Kids at the BBQ dinner night @ Rio Vista Park and cheered them on to fight the good fight. It was heartbreaking to hear of her passing, her light will continue to shine through the love she shared and the difference she made. Please keep the Cutler family in your thoughts and prayers.

Following SSK week, Gary Anderson, Ruth & Jack Diamond, and I attended the TCPAAA Conference @ Margaritaville on Lake Conroe; it was a fantastic conference as it provided the opportunity to talk with other Alumni groups and hear what they are doing in their area; in addition, there were very informative and incredible speakers. I connected with a couple of people who will be sharing some interesting concepts that we may be able to incorporate in our group; I look forward to speaking with them more when we are able to hook up. Unfortunately, the gift my husband and I brought home from convention was COVID and I have to say that it totally kicked our tails! I’m not used to being down for so long and was extremely disappointed that I had to miss the June meeting and the wonderful speaker we had. Thank you to those who checked in to be sure the buzzards weren’t circling; I appreciate your well-wishes!

I’m finally feeling like my Tigger tail has some bounce back and I am ready to be back in the saddle! I’m looking forward to hearing what the Marketing & Fundraising Committee presents for our Fall fundraiser (heck, I look forward to FALL!). Interviews for the HCSO History book were put on hold; but will kick off again within the next couple of weeks. Also, I haven’t forgotten about he HCSO T-shirts; we’ll be sending that order soon so if you haven’t already added your name to the list, please do so.

I’m sure I forgot something; but I’ll blame it on COVID. I look forward to seeing everyone at the July meeting! I’ll let you know who the guest speaker is as soon as it has been confirmed. In the meantime, enjoy your day and always remember that your time, effort, suggestions, and support considerably contribute to our success!

Thank you!

Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association
(512) 944-5569


President's Blog

President’s Blog


Hello Alumni!

As Bruce explained at our March meeting, our guest speaker from Texas Parks & Wildlife originally scheduled for the meeting fell through; fortunately, Jeffrey Jordan graciously agreed to step in as our guest speaker at short notice which was great because the topic is something particularly important to our community, Hays County Crime Stoppers!

The meeting gave members the opportunity to hear from Jeffrey who is currently serving as the Executive Director of Hays County Crime Stoppers. Jeffrey not only shared the interesting history of Crime Stoppers but provided an informative overview of the ins and outs of the organization and all of the amazing work going on.

If you are interested in learning more about Hays County Crime Stoppers, please check out their link: or download free P3 mobile app! Visit and like their social media: Facebook @ Twitter @ You may also contact Jeffrey Jordan should you have any questions.

Jeffrey shared two upcoming fundraising events hosted by Hays County Crime Stoppers; please plan to stop by if you are able to do so:

  1. Chick-fil-A Buda Spirit Night:
    Monday, May 2, 2002; 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Location: 15500 S Interstate 35, Buda
    Place your order through the Chick-fil-A app. In the comments section on the order, type Hays County Crime Stoppers.
  2. Chick-fil-A Kyle Spirit Night:
    Monday, June 6, 2022; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    Location: 5289 Kyle Center Drive, Kyle
    Mention Hays County Crime Stoppers Spirit Night when you place your order for dine-in or drive-thru, or in the Chick-fil-A app when you place your order, in the comments section on the order, type Hays County Crime Stoppers.

Thank you again to Mary Capps for providing the delectable St. Patrick’s Day treats for the meeting; the décor was delightful and brought a wee bit fun to us all!

The Scramble Fore Kids Golf Tournament is on the schedule for Friday, April 8th @ Quicksand Golf Course in Wimberley. Several Alumni have signed up to volunteer for the event.

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week (Dispatchers) is coming up the week of April 10th-16th. We discussed providing lunch as we had done last year; a couple of suggestions were brought up as to what we would like to bring in this year. After consulting with Lt. Mallow to determine what dispatchers may prefer; it has been determined that we will bring in Jersey Mike’s for a total of 27 meals which includes HCSO (14) Kyle (9) and Texas State (4) dispatchers. Gary will coordinate with Jersey Mike’s to get a ‘set’ price for meals and will provide a menu to dispatchers, so they are able to select what they like. Lunch will be brought in on Monday, April 11th and Wednesday, April 12th at 11 a.m. in order to cover all shifts. If you are interested in being there on either or both of those days, please let me know.

The June meeting has been shifted to Wednesday, June 22nd as Gary, Ruth, Jack, and I will be attending the TCPAAA Convention the week of the regularly scheduled meeting. Looking forward to the convention and to sharing what we learned upon our return!

We have a tentative date scheduled for the Trophy Case reveal; Tuesday, April 26th @ 2:00 p.m. Additional information will be provided once the date has been ‘cast-in-stone’ but for the meantime, please keep the 26th open if you would like to attend this well-anticipated reveal!

The second round of HCSO shirts was a hit! This fundraiser had no outlay costs, and we were able to raise $1,007.48 each for the HCCSAAA and the HCSO! Thank you to Sheriff Cutler for looping us in on his idea for these great shirts! If you ordered a shirt, Gary Anderson has them in his office, please pick them up when you can, or they will be available for pick up at the April meeting.

We are still working on what we may be able to do for an Alumni gathering outside of the PSB regularly scheduled meeting. Ruth did some research on possible locations and there would be some overhead costs associated with renting a facility if we were to hold at a park pavilion. We will continue to work on the logistics for a gathering but may shift to later in the year due to multiple activities going on within the next few months; further information will be provided as this idea develops. This might also provide us the opportunity to include any new members that we may pick up from the current Academy which graduates in June.

Jack provided an update on Marketing & Fundraising; we have two upcoming fundraisers for Sunshine Kids. Please be looking for sign-ups which will be coming out soon to ensure we are able to secure adequate coverage for both of these events. The first fundraiser will be held on Thursday, April 28th @ the Government Center. Due to rising food costs, we were unable to get a reasonable pricing for the Cinco de Mayo plate idea; however, we will be doing our usual ½ lb. cheeseburger plate at $12 per plate which is an increase of $2 from last year. We will be providing dine-in, pick-up and deliveries. The second cheeseburger fundraiser will be held on Wednesday, May 11th @ the Wimberley VFW. It will be important to get the word out about these two events as the funds raised are exclusively for Sunshine Kids and we want to be sure to have a phenomenal turnout so we are able to provide the best we can for these amazing kiddos!

Speaking of Sunshine Kids, they will arrive the week of June 5th! We will give updates as provided so we are able to adequately plan for what the HCCSAAA will assist with.

There was a wonderful turnout at the Basic Peace Officer Graduation held on Thursday, 3/24! Congratulations to the seven graduates! It was nice to see them and their family and friends enjoying this very important ceremony. Thank you to those who volunteered to assist with this event as the help was greatly appreciated!

Please be sure to review the upcoming dates listed on the back of the monthly Agenda’s; this information may also be found on our website: Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, ideas, concerns…it’s important for members to communicate/engage so we can ensure we are hitting the mark when it comes to what keeps members involved and active in the HCCSAAA.

Thank you!

Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

(512) 944-5569

“Communication is what makes a team strong” ~ Brian McClennan

President's Blog

President’s Blog

Greetings Alumni!

Ah, the sweet prelude to Spring 😊 I for one am looking forward to the flowers blooming, the grass and trees returning to their beautiful shades of green, birds chirping happily, sunshine and daylight remaining longer…not too thrilled about the creepy-crawlies returning; but they too have their purpose 😉

Our February meeting was brief; mostly due to a light agenda and a lot of members who really wanted to participate in the Court Scenario training… which was AWESOME! Lt. Dennis Gutierrez provided a wonderful presentation about Sunshine Kids and how the Alumni have been a tremendous help in previous years, not only monetarily but through volunteering. Looking forward to assisting with this very beneficial event in June!

We will be specifically fundraising for Sunshine Kids through our April and May fundraising events which you should have received the e-mail detailing upcoming events from our Marketing & Fundraising Committee Chair, Jack Diamond. It’s important to let Jack know by the 15th if you are able to volunteer as it will impact how we are able to proceed with these fundraisers. Jack will be providing an update at our meeting next week. It will be important to get the word out; success of these fundraisers will significantly effect what we will be able to contribute to these amazing kiddos!

Jack Diamond spoke at our January meeting regarding his suggestion about possibly revising our Bylaws to include a set dollar amount that the Executive Board can approve without first having members weigh in; no specific wording for a revision was provided at that time. Any specific proposals submitted to the Board will be considered and provided to members for review within the specified timeframe to allow sufficient time for members to review/comment on any proposed revisions. At this time, no formal proposal has been received.

This suggestion did prompt the thought that it may be beneficial for the Alumni to establish a Bylaws Committee to review these types of suggestions in the future to ensure compliance and appropriateness for the Association as it evolves. Having an established Bylaws Committee in place will also assist in assuring our Bylaws are periodically reviewed and kept up to date. Please let me know if you would be interested in serving on a Bylaws committee.

Coffee with the President wasn’t as fruitful as anticipated; don’t know if people think I have cooties or people are just too busy to sit and chat for a few moments. I did have 2 members take me up on my offer, thank you to Rick Brennes and Thea Dake for taking some time to get to know you and to hear your thoughts about the Alumni Association. These types of casual conversations where we can sit down outside of our scheduled meetings and just talk are greatly beneficial. I appreciate the opportunity to hear from members and get to know you better! Consequently, I don’t have cooties and would love to share a coffee with those who have the time to do so!

Meeting with members helps bring to light some things that may or may not be brought up during regular meetings. Just a couple of things I’d like to note are:

I have checked on the possibility of touring the new jail; however, with current staffing shortages and COVID concerns, jail tours are on hold until further notice. Once jail tours are back up and running; we can look into scheduling a tour.

Concerns have been shared about access to the PSB when arriving late to meetings; this is something we need to work on a procedure to address.

Think about ways we might include members in introductions to guest speakers. Typically, guest speakers come in and are introduced and Board members may be introduced; however, members don’t have the chance to be introduced to guest speakers. Maybe we could look at having a 30 minute ‘social’ to meet and greet guest speakers prior to the meeting starting? Those interested in meeting/visiting with the guest speaker prior to the meeting could come early to do so (6 p.m.)…this is just a thought to kick around, and the logistics would need to be worked out between Bruce and our guest speakers.

Would anyone be interested in participating in a ‘calling tree’ to contact previous members that have not been attending for one reason or another and invite them to attend a meeting to see about possibly returning? Please get with me and we can work on getting this accomplished. This also brings to mind that we may want to think about establishing a membership committee to help new members feel welcome when they join as well as the ability to get to know the ropes. Currently, new members introduce themselves when they attend their first meeting and that’s that – we don’t introduce ‘existing members’ to new members; perhaps we should consider doing that to help new members get to know everyone. Some members may be more comfortable chatting it up with others; but there may be some that it would be helpful to have specified members that help new members become ‘old-hat’; kind of like back in the day when new students in school were provided with a buddy to show them around. The suggestion was also made that we could have name tags (with names written where they can be seen) so new members can learn who’s who. (I know we have badges; but, unless you carry around a magnifying glass with you or don’t have a problem getting all up in someone’s grill to read their badge, or remember everyone’s name, it would be helpful to have larger printed names visible; especially for newbies.)

A suggestion was raised by Ruth Diamond about the possibility choosing a meeting date to have a ‘social’ gathering/pot-luck style where we don’t have a speaker and just have the opportunity to get to know one another a bit better. This suggestion has been brought up before so it sounds as if members would be open to doing something like this. We would just need to decide if we would want to hold @ the PSB or if we would prefer an off-site location (i.e., park); it would be a gathering where members could bring family members and share fellowship – possibly on a different day, perhaps on a weekend? Ruth will speak more about this at our March meeting to see what interest there is in pursuing this type of activity and how/when we would want to proceed with planning. It might be a good idea to plan for after the current Academy graduates as we may pick up new members at that time and it would be great to include them!

A Membership Directory has been added to the HCCSAAA website; those members who requested to be included in the directory were provided the password for access; please contact Ruth Diamond for any questions. The online Membership Directory will be enhanced to include additional functionality in the near future; updates will be provided as project develops.

A multitude of THANK YOU’s are in order for Alumni volunteers…

Thank you to those who assisted with serving lunch at the Motor Chute Out; I understand it was a great day enjoyed by all!

I’d like to thank members who helped Margaret with her move from her old office into her new location. She has been extremely grateful for the help and support. She even had others in the building who saw HCCSAAA volunteers helping and asked how they could get in on the action. We’ve had a request to help with some additional organization and will have more information coming soon!

Thank you to Alumni who volunteered to help at the RJ Yanez Fundraiser event; this was a community event coordinated by Deputy Richard Lozano and others to raise funds for a Johnson High School student with terminal brain cancer. The funds raised exceeded expectations; it was extremely heartwarming to see the community rally around this incredibly special young man. We had been asked if any Alumni would be available to volunteer and several members were able to help either by volunteering or providing donations to the cause. I was amazed by the community support and the overwhelming number of volunteers! It was a remarkably successful event, and it was great to have Alumni volunteers there! RJ is doing well and begins chemo next week; please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

The Citizens’ Academy began on Thursday, 3/10/22; Mark Andrews asked me to provide a short presentation to the new class to discuss the HCCSAAA and what we are about, we may also have another brief pop-in prior to graduation. Thank you to Janice & Dick Snitkin for volunteering to greet class members as they arrived for their first evening of the Academy! Alumni will plan to host the graduation ceremony again this year which is currently on schedule for 6/2/22; more to come as the date draws near.

We were asked to recruit volunteers for the Peace Officer Graduation Ceremony coming up at the end of March (3/24); thank you to those who have signed up, we currently have 1 slot remaining if you are interested in volunteering.

We are coming into to some very busy months with fundraisers, Sunshine Kids, golf tournament, etc. Please be on the lookout for sign-ups as we will be needing volunteers for various activities. Upcoming dates can be found on the back of our meeting Agenda as well as on our website: Requests for Alumni assistance has significantly increased due to our incredible members; many kudos are shared about how helpful members have been and how appreciated our volunteers are! Thank you!

The 2022 TCPAAA Convention that Gary Anderson discussed at the September 2021 meeting is scheduled for June 12-16. Anyone who was interested in attending was provided information and understood it was ‘on-your-own’ if you wanted to attend. Gary Anderson, Ruth Diamond, Jack Diamond, and I plan to attend the Convention this year. Being that the convention falls on the week of our June Alumni meeting, we will need to look at shifting the June meeting to the following week, Wednesday, June 22. Looking forward to attending the convention, learning from other Alumni Associations, and sharing with Alumni upon our return.

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week (Dispatchers) is coming up the week of April 10-16, 2022, which falls prior to our April meeting. Last year the Alumni provided lunch for dispatchers (Schlotzky’s) for under $10/meal, 24 meals; the cost for the “other than Hays” dispatcher’s meals (Kyle/SM/Texas State – 9) were not paid with HCCSAAA funds. Is this something we want to do again this year? Does anyone have any other suggestions on what we might do to honor our phenomenal dispatchers?

Thank you for taking the time to catch up with what’s happening with the Alumni Association! Look forward to seeing everyone next week; please be sure to RSVP as Mary Capps has once again requested to provide a special treat for everyone at our March meeting and it really helps with planning.

Enjoy your day!

Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

(512) 944-5569
11 MARCH 2022

“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved!” ~ unknown

President's Blog

President’s Blog: Happy New Year Alumni!

Happy New Year Alumni!
WOW! 2021 sure went by quickly! I’d like to start off by saying thank you for affording me the opportunity to continue serving as your HCCSAAA President for 2022! I sincerely appreciate the support and look forward to seeing what we are capable of accomplishing this year!
For those who were able to attend the December Holiday Social @ Grins, thank you for your donations to the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center. The HCCSAAA received a very nice thank you letter from the Executive Director; she shared how grateful they were that we thought about their clients during the holidays as it helps make their days a little brighter. Thank you to Mary Capps for the suggestion to donate to this very important organization!
If you missed the Holiday Social, one of the gifts provided to those in attendance was the HCCSAAA Challenge Coin. For those not familiar with Challenge Coins, they are very symbolic and meaningful among those who receive them. I enjoy providing challenge coins to our guest speakers as a way of thanking them for presenting to the HCCSAAA. Because the Association did not have a specific HCCSAAA coin, I had been providing different coins that I have collected over the years. When I initially began as President, I had spoken with others that provided some great ideas, one of those was Jeffrey Jordan who said he had wanted to develop HCCSAAA specific coins back when he was working with the Association and it may be something we may wish to do…well, that got my gears working and I thought, “why not launch a coin at the Christmas party?”. If members liked it, the HCCSAAA could choose to continue with the tradition or not. Being that I appreciate Challenge Coins and their meaning, I personally purchased the first 150 to pass out to members as a gift at the Christmas party and to give to our guest speakers when they present (No alumni funds were used for this first round of coins). The set-up fee for the ‘holiday’ coin has been covered so if the Alumni decide to purchase the same coin design at another time, the only charge will be for the coin itself. Being that this was a covert-operation-Christmas surprise, Alumni may wish to design a different style coin for the future; this was just a way of getting the idea out there since it is something that is a good way to show appreciation, honor, and respect not only for our guest speakers; but for those who support the HCCSAAA and Law Enforcement. If you missed out on the coins at the Christmas gathering, they are available to purchase from the HCCSAAA @ $10 per coin, all proceeds go to the HCCSAAA.
I’d also like to thank those who donated items to include in the ‘You make a difference’ Christmas gift bags provided to all employees of the HCSO (400 gift bags)! The HCCSAAA received several thank you notes expressing appreciation for the thoughtfulness. We are grateful for our HCSO, and I am incredibly happy that we were able to spread a little joy around the holidays!
If you weren’t able to make it out to the January meeting, Judge Benjamin Moore provided a wonderful presentation about magistration and the bail process; this was a topic suggested by members. It was a great presentation! Judge Moore is a delightful and engaging presenter who explains things in ways that are easy to understand. Members requested to have a bondsman come and speak to the group; another suggestion added to the list!
There were quite a few topics of discussion on the agenda. Our Marketing & Fundraising Chairman, Jack Diamond, reviewed the 2022 fundraising plans with a goal to raise between $10,000 – $20,000 in 2022! I for one am excited about the upcoming events and look forward to seeing everything fall into place (check out the January meeting minutes for details). The Marketing & Fundraising Committee (Jack Diamond, Chairman; Ruth Diamond, Vice-Chair; Rick Brennes; and Tammy Walden) are working on the logistics for the 2022 planned events and will provide updates as they are available. I’m very happy that in 2021 we were able to establish a committee for this important aspect of the Association and since then have gained committee members for the 2002 planning year! Please get with Jack if you are interested in serving on the committee.
Jack and Ruth did an outstanding job of taking fundraising to remarkable new heights! My understanding is that it may be the most the Association has ever raised! Yay team! I know it will be extremely helpful to have the additional members this year to help share the load and to ensure our events will be as amazing as they were the first year the Committee was established. Thank you to the Marketing & Fundraising Committee for all your hard work, fantastic, fun, and ‘doable’ ideas!
We had a T-Shirt fundraiser that was presented to us by Sheriff Cutler whereas the proceeds would be split equally between the HCCSAAA and the Sheriff’s office flower fund/ceremonial fund. The first round of 100 shirts were donated; therefore, all purchases were 100% profit split equally between each group. Additional shirts are available for purchase @ $20 each or two for $35 through the HCCSAAA; last day to purchase is February 4, 2022. This was a nice opportunity for us, and I appreciate Sheriff Cutler coming up with the idea and sharing with the HCCSAAA; if you haven’t gotten your HCSO shirt and are interested, you can check them out on our website and on our Facebook page.
Jeffrey Jordan asked for volunteers for a Court Scenario Training Scheduled for February 15 th & 16 th @ the Government Center; these types of trainings are a fantastic way for members to see our HCSO in action and have a little fun participating in a very beneficial training session. When I received the dates for the training, it was noted that the 2nd day of training was scheduled the same day as our February Alumni meeting; therefore, in order to afford those who wanted to attend the training the opportunity to do so without missing anything crucial at the February meeting, I decided to keep the February meeting on schedule and just push anything crucial to the March meeting. One such item will be the review of our Bylaws. As of today, there have been 7 members sign up for the 15 th and two members sign up for the training on the 16th; members were made aware that the Wednesday night training is on the same night as our meeting, and they had the opportunity to choose to attend the meeting or participate in the training. If you’d still like to sign up for either night, please be sure to do so through the sign-up link.
Please review the Bylaws posted on our website: under the “about us” tab. There will be a discussion at the March meeting regarding the possibility of having a set amount that the Executive Board can approve without first having the members weigh in. There were a few numbers suggested at the January meeting; however, any Bylaw revisions require adequate notification for member’s review therefore any recommendations to amend the Bylaws will be discussed and/or voted on at the March meeting.
The Trophy Case is in production and on schedule for anticipated completion in March/April timeframe; updates will be provided as the project progresses. As noted in the December PBlog, Alumni member, Ken Tolces, met with Dave Hoag, our craftsman, to discuss other possible lighting configurations. Ken provided some very ‘enlightening’ information (LOL … see what I did there?) … who knew there were so many different lighting options?
Based on the meetings between Ken and Dave, the additional price to go with a more ‘gallery-type’ lighting system and looking at what Dave had already encompassed into the design for the case, the Executive Board unanimously agreed to go with the original lighting design and forgo spending additional funds for higher-end lightening as suggested by Ken. Dave assured me that the lighting designed for the trophy case will provide sufficient lighting especially due to the location of the case. I’d like to thank Ken for taking the time to meet with Dave and discuss other lighting options and am appreciative of members who are willing to share their knowledge in their areas of expertise! I know I learned a lot more about lighting!
As of January 22nd, Jeffrey Jordan wanted to put the word out that Crime Stoppers has 4 Board positions open. They have decided to create Associate Board member positions that will have the opportunity to learn about the program and help with events and projects.  Associate Board Members will be able to become Full Board Members when a position becomes available and will be offered those positions first.  Associate Board members will not be able to vote on decisions but can help with activities and events and serve on committees, as well as raising public awareness.  Full Board members are the voting body that make all decisions for the Hays County Crime Stoppers.  Either way, volunteers wishing to serve will have the opportunity to learn about Crime Stoppers and how they can empower our communities to fight back against crime.  They are planning to host the 2023 Campus Crime Stoppers Conference here in San Marcos in February 2023, so they will need all the help they can get. Please contact Jeffrey Jordan if you are interested in serving or have any questions about Crime Stoppers.
We’ve got a lot on the calendar for 2022! If you haven’t had a chance to look at the upcoming events that were provided with the January meeting agenda, please take a look when you have a chance. This information will be included with upcoming agendas as well, but it helps with planning to have an idea of what’s coming up!
I’m looking forward to our February meeting as Lt. Dennis Gutierrez will be providing an overview of Sunshine Kids! From what I understand, there are many members who have had the opportunity to be involved with this very beneficial event and helped to make it a special time for all the amazing kiddos. The event hasn’t happened for a couple of years due to the pandemic, so I have never had the pleasure of actually seeing the outpour of service and joy extended to these remarkable kids and am excited to see how it all comes together!
We will possibly have a guest speaker from Texas Parks & Wildlife at the March meeting; I have not yet received confirmation at this point but will update once speaker has been confirmed.
As of 1/28/22; the Alumni has 21 active/paid members and 1 honorary member. Each of these members was sent an e-mail today with information about scheduling “Coffee with the President;” this is something new I’d like to try this year as I believe it will be beneficial for communication. If you did not receive the e-mail; but would like to know more about this, please let me know.
Well, you know me, I try to keep it short but lots of words come out. Just want to keep everyone up to date on what’s going on with the HCCSAAA!
Thank you again for the honor to serve the HCCSAAA for 2022; we have amazing members! I am proud to be a part of an organization that has the ability to support the needs of the HCSO!
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions, concerns, snacks… LOL!!! Just wanted to be sure you hadn’t nodded off and were paying attention.
Have a beautiful week!
Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association
(512) 944-5569
30 JAN 2022

“Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved!” ~ unknown

President's Blog

President’s Blog: Coffee with the President!

Good Day Alumni!

Last year was an incredibly positive year for the HCCSAAA; I believe our successes were significantly due to the input, commitment, and participation from members as well as the continual support of the HCSO.

I’d like to start off the new year with something a little different than what we tried at the beginning of last year; mix-it-up a bit 😉. In 2021, a member survey was sent out to ask for input from all members (active/inactive). The response was minimal (out of the 145 surveys sent out, 17 members responded); however, we were able to receive some very valuable feedback from those that participated in the survey and have continued to receive feedback throughout the year from many of our members.

I appreciate the support and the opportunity to serve as President again this year and look forward to what the Alumni will be able to accomplish in 2022! Which brings me back to the idea I’d like to try this year. I’d like to meet with each active member individually (or with both husband/wife members which we have several of) for “Coffee with the President.” As of 1/28/22, we have 21 active/paid members.

I believe this would be a wonderful opportunity for me to have some one-on-one time outside of the ‘meeting’ arena to hear from individual members, a bit more personal than a written survey. It is difficult sometimes to just chat with everyone when we have a meeting and I’d like to meet with members to give each of you an opportunity to not only share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the Association but to get to know our members a bit better.

Please let me know if you would be interested in scheduling Coffee with the President (my treat!) and when you would be available to meet up. I can come to your area, so you don’t have to travel far. I’m always looking for ways to improve communication and I think that meeting up is a good way to do so. Look forward to hearing from you and sitting down to chat!


Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association
(512) 944-5569

President's Blog

President’s Blog: Happy December Alumni!

Happy December Alumni!

For those who weren’t able to make it out to the November meeting, the Drone Team presentation was quite remarkable! It was very interesting to see some of the drones and hear about what they are used for. It was pretty neat to see how far the Drone Team has grown in just a couple of years when they first visited my class during the Academy. Great presentation!

We had a lot to cover at the November meeting. For those who missed it, the Board unanimously voted and recommended, and the members present at the November meeting voted to approve moving forward with the Trophy Case purchase! YAY! Total cost for the project is $9,996.60; which includes delivery and set-up by the craftsman. The reason we are able to purchase this Trophy Case is due to the hard work and efforts exhibited by the Alumni through fundraising activities. Mucho Kudos! This is FANTASTIC!

This is a project that we began discussing early this year; there were some difficult challenges in finding someone who was willing to and who had the time to help us with this project. Multiple vendors were contacted; however, being that this is a smaller project, the majority didn’t have the time or resources to assist. Other hurdles encountered were material costs and product availability. Being that we discussed looking at the possibility of purchasing a nicer product rather than a ‘shelf’ product; it was important to receive input from the members if the amount to purchase a quality product was something the Alumni wanted to do. Thankfully, with the recommendation of Steve Meyer, we were able to recruit Dave Hoag, Catskill Hill Country Services. Dave is an avid supporter of Law Enforcement and was more than happy to assist us with our project; he has been very gracious to work with and understands the importance of a long-lasting piece that will stand the test of time. One of our Alumni, Ken Tolces, requested to discuss lighting options with Dave as Ken has extensive experience with lighting and wanted to ensure the cabinet is lit well; he will be meeting with Dave next week to look at some possible lighting arrangements. The lighting had already been calculated into the cabinet cost, so we’ll find out if anything is different after Ken meets with Dave and have any discussions and/or make any decisions that need attention at that time. I for one am very excited to be moving forward with this project! The Trophy Case should be completed in 12-14 weeks so around March/April. Gary Anderson will be contacting media and we will have a special presentation to the HCSO when installed; members will be notified and can plan on attending. A plaque will be affixed to the case to show it was donated by the HCCSAAA. Not only will it be a beautiful addition to the PSB, but it also ties into our desire to improve morale, and it is something the Alumni can be enormously proud of because it took blood, sweat, and tears to achieve. YAY TEAM!

I had a great meeting with Sheriff Cutler this week to discuss boosting morale among other things. He is tremendously supportive of the HCCSAAA and was very open to ideas about how the Alumni can make a difference when it comes to morale. I let him know we would be passing out small Christmas bags next week to all staff and he was extremely appreciative. Being that he is in Law Enforcement, he understands the importance of what even the smallest gesture can do to let people know they are thought of and appreciated. I’d like to brainstorm for 2022 to see what we can do throughout the year to ensure we continue these types of things as I wholeheartedly believe they make a significant difference.

The Christmas bags were kind of a last-minute thing so coordinating was a little rushed this year; I’d like to thank those who have donated items for the bags; I know they will be greatly appreciated! This is something we will talk more about when we are planning for 2022 to ensure adequate planning time and/or funds.

Everyone should have received a copy of the November meeting minutes earlier this week/also should be posted on our website. Two significant things I’d like to point out are:

1) Based upon input from members, 90% approval from those weighing in, our monthly meeting date has changed to the 3rd Wednesday of the month beginning in January (first meeting will be on Wednesday, January 19th).

2) Annual dues have increased to $20 per year and are due in January; payment can be made via Venmo, check, or cash at the January meeting. Annual dues have not increased in multiple years; the dues we pay as members go into the general fund and go toward funding our mission which is to promote and enhance the relationship between the community and the HCSO through engaging in and advocating for continued law enforcement education, supporting and promoting special projects as identified by the HCSO. Yes, your contribution through dues along with your amazing support of fundraising efforts has helped secure such things as rugs for the PSB lobby, a practice casket for the Honor Guard, a long-wanted trophy case to display trophies earned by HCSO that have been sitting around for years collecting dust in a storage box, food for the Kyle family event, and food for Brown Santa Lock-up Event. Your contributions go a long way and are greatly appreciated!

It has been brought to my attention that some members may have felt left out of the loop on the funding for the Brown Santa Lock-up event; if that is the case, I apologize, it was not the intent. My understanding is that this is something the HCCSAAA has helped out with for many years. Serving fajitas was discussed at the November meeting; however, the cost of doing so was a concern as meat costs are way up and the cost for doing fajitas would have been $1,600 which was too much. The Brown Santa team was looking into more cost-effective options and being that the event was to be on December 3rd, when the cost came in for the food on 11/22 (125 servings each of Tortellini Alfredo and Baked Ziti w/meat sauce, salad dressing, plates/to go boxes, water, and parmesan packets – additionally, Texas Roadhouse will be donating the salad and Fazzoli’s will donate the breadsticks) the Board weighed in and unanimously approved the cost not to exceed $1,000. My understanding of how the Lock-up works is that people get locked up and make bail (minimum $250); those locked up eat for free (i.e.: DA, Sheriff, Constable, Commissioners, Businessmen/women) others will be charged for meals. This fundraiser supports Brown Santa.

My understanding was not that the support of spending the money wouldn’t have been there, it was the fact that it was not run by the members first; therefore, they were not provided the courtesy of weighing in on the cost and/or to approve spending a certain amount and that the Board made the decision to approve the amount/charge without first consulting with members. This does happen from time to time due to time constraints and the Board will not approve anything without considering the best interest of the HCCSAAA as a whole; this was not an intentional slight, it was just TCB.

That being said, at the request of Jack Diamond, an item to discuss how these types of decisions are managed moving forward so we can all remain on the same page has been added to the January agenda for discussion. Jack proposed that members should vote on a dollar amount that the Board can approve to be spent on the HCSO without Alumni approval. The Bylaws that were reviewed/approved last year do not address this; it would be something that would need to be incorporated if it were to be something members desire moving forward. Please be thinking about this for discussion in January as it is important to talk about to ensure we are the most effective moving forward as a team.

Based on input from members, we should have the first run of the Alumni directory up and running on our website after the first of the year thanks to Steve Meyer and Ruth Diamond! The more in-depth version will be planned to launch by the end of the first quarter. This is something that has been requested for awhile so I’m delighted that we can get it up and running!

Brown Santa is in full gear with many activities and events going on throughout the community; anyone wishing to donate items or purchase raffle tickets, information is posted on the Brown Santa Facebook page or, you can always contact me, Gary Anderson, Mark Andrews, or Bruce Harlan for more details. The schedule is also posted on our website. Thank you to those who have signed up to help out at the Lock-up; this will be my very first time at this event and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes! Should be a real hoot!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Alumni Year in Review/Accomplishments/Plans for 2022 information sheet that was included with November’s meeting minutes; please take a gander! I am incredibly happy with what the Alumni have been able to accomplish this year! It is with continual efforts and discussions that we can be the best we can be! I’m excited for everyone to hear what the Marketing & Fundraising Committee has come up with for 2022; Jack Diamond will be presenting at the January meeting, let’s get excited!!! We are going to have an extremely fun and productive year!

Looking forward to seeing those who are able to attend the Holiday Social in a couple of weeks; I met with Grin’s again yesterday and moved us to the bigger room, so we’ll have a bit more room to move around. They have been amazing to work with! Please remember if you wish to bring an item to donate to the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, we will have a collection box provided. If you are not attending the Holiday Social and still wish to make a donation, please let me know.

I’m sure I forgot something…as always, if you ever have any questions/comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

(512) 944-5569

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
― Mother Teresa

President's Blog

Donations For The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Shelter

Link to HCWS Donations Message (.PDF)


Link to HCWS Wish List (.PDF)


President's Blog

Halloween Update

President's Blog (Page 1)
President's Blog (Page 2)
Link to President’s Blog (.PDF)
Hays-Caldwell Women's Shelter Wish List
Link to Caldwell Women’s Shelter Wish List (.PDF)