TFN Honors Senator, Austin Activists at 16th Annual Gala

TFN Honors Senator, Austin Activists at 16th Annual Gala

State Sen. Watson, Nancy and Dick Neavel to Be Honored at Oct. 20 Event

Oct. 5, 2011

The Texas Freedom Network will honor state Sen. Kirk Watson and Nancy and her late husband Dick Neavel at the organization’s upcoming 16th annual celebration, Oct. 20 at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.

Sen. Watson, who represents the Austin area, will receive the TFN Legislative Hero Award. Watson sponsored a number of bills in the last legislative session to rein in partisan politics on the State Board of Education and ensure a quality 21st century education for Texas children. Nancy and Dick Neavel of Austin will receive the Samantha Smoot Activist Award for their years of selfless volunteerism and support for TFN’s work defending public education, religious freedom and civil liberties.

“Sen. Watson has been an outspoken and tireless champion for strong public education and for fact-based instruction in the classroom,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “Activists like the Neavels have been a large part of what makes TFN an effective grassroots organization. From press conferences to the State Board of Education, we have always been able to count on Nancy and Dick Neavel to advocate on behalf of Texas schoolchildren.”

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell also praised the Neavels, longtime friends, for their work on behalf of a better Texas.

“I’ve known few people more dedicated to ensuring that all Texas kids have an education that is based on sound science and good scholarship, not political agendas,” Mayor Leffingwell said. “Their work makes them true grassroots champions for real Texas values.”

During the 82nd Texas Legislature, Sen. Watson authored legislation that would have helped take politics out of curriculum standards and textbooks adopted by the State Board of Education. He also sought to address the state’s ongoing teen pregnancy crisis by introducing legislation that would have required all sex education instruction in public schools to be evidence-based.

Dick Neavel, who held a doctorate in geology, passed away in 2010. Nancy lives in Austin and is still a strong voice on TFN issues.

What: TFN’s Epic Evening
When: 7-10 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011
Where: Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.
Info: Ticket and sponsorship information is available at


The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who support religious freedom, individual liberties and public education.