The destruction of the Lamar Bruni Vergara home and many other historic homes in Laredo has been a regular occurrence for years. After all, the fine is minimal compared to what businesses (rarely homeowners) might gain. This demolition, though, touched a nerve with many – because of its sneaky midnight weekend destruction or maybe because Bruni Vergara’s trust fund has made such a huge impact in our community? I am not sure but it did get plenty of attention.
Not long ago I saw a welcome to a new blogger, Dale Bola, on the La Sanbe blog. This new blog was going to highlight city news. On one of his postings was something rather sad – a pile of rubble that used to be the Lamar Bruni Vergara house, a pile of bricks that were made more than 100 years old. As you can see if you follow the link, the remains are still at the landfill. I went out to see what was in its place and as you can imagine, it is just a flat piece of land.
Some of you may not be familiar with the Bruni Vergara’s foundation giving, but just to give you an example. Their 990’s for 2008 are as follows:
Boys & Girls Club of Laredo $62,000
United Way of Laredo $20,000
Texas A&M International University $700,000
United Day School $30,000
First Baptist Church $295,344
KLRN Television $20,000
Diocese of Laredo $956,017
Sacred Heart Children’s Home $75,000
Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund $5,000
United Independent School District $15,000
Laredo Independent School District $825,459
Casa de Misericordia $300,000
St. Mary’s University $1,000,000
Laredo Center for the Arts $50,000
Junior Achievement of Laredo $10,000
The Burke Center $11,000
Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra $35,000
Bethany House $25,000
Knights of Columbus $45,000
San Luis Rey Church $14,000
City of Laredo $330,500
In total, they invested $4,819,320 into this area.
Before anyone starts asking why did so-and-so get more than such-and-such, this only represents ONE year of their giving and every “ask” is different. The trustees (now just 1 trustee after Judge Casseb passed away not long ago) can give to who they want – but you can’t deny that Lamar Bruni Vergara’s name is an important one for Laredo and the surrounding communities. Why not preserve her home? Why not preserve Laredo history? And most importantly, why are the Khaledi’s still allowed to get away with what they did?