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Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Central Texas Family Receives Early Holiday Gift Courtesy of Toyota

For Immediate Release December 6, 2023

Media contact: Lydia Saldaña

AUSTIN – The Palacios family of Buda is always up for a visit to a Texas State Park. They have spent countless weekends making memories in state parks in Central Texas and beyond. A recent visit to McKinney Falls State Park in Austin will no doubt be remembered as their best state park visit ever—that’s where they picked up the keys to a brand-new Toyota Tundra.

Ricardo Palacios was selected as the grand prize winner for the sweepstakes honoring the centennial anniversary of Texas State Parks. Toyota and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) teamed up in 2023 to celebrate 100 years of Texas State Parks with a sweepstakes that also raised more than $225,000 for Texas’ wild things and wild places. Everyone who donated $25 or more was automatically entered in the sweepstakes drawing. When Ricardo heard about the sweepstakes, he knew he wanted to take a chance while honoring the parks his family treasures.

Ricardo and Sara Palacios with their children Ethan and Taylor at McKinney Falls State Park.

“My wife Sara and I are from San Antonio, and we both enjoyed going to state parks with our families growing up,” he said. “We’ve been together since we were high school sweethearts, and we’ve been going to state parks our entire time together. My daughter’s first visit to a state park was at Inks Lake when she was eight months old, and just a few weeks ago I took my son for his first overnight backpacking camping trip at Lost Maples. So, I was excited to enter the sweepstakes that celebrated the parks we love, but I never thought we would actually win!”

And win he did! Along with a brand new Toyota Tundra, Ricardo won a prize package that includes everything needed for a Texas outdoor adventure, including extras from YETI, Solo Stove, PAKMULE, Tecovas, SWAROVSKI OPTIK, Turtlebox, PECOS Outdoor and more.

“Christmas came early for us this year, that’s for sure, and we can’t wait to enjoy these wonderful prizes in a Texas State Park,” said Palacios. “We’re very grateful to Toyota and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation for making this year one we will never forget.”

There were more than 7,894 sweepstakes entries, and $226,716 was raised to benefit TPWF.

“Gulf States Toyota has been a steadfast supporter of Texas State Parks and TPWF for more than two decades, and we are thrilled that we were able to partner with them to offer this exciting opportunity for park-loving Texans,” said TPWF Executive Director Anne Brown. “We hope this prize package will enhance the Palacios family’s outdoor adventures throughout Texas and beyond for many years to come.”


About Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation:
Since 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has raised and invested more than $235 million to advance Texas’ proud outdoor traditions and conserve our state’s wildlife, habitat and natural resources. Our vision is for all Texans to have access to the wild things and wild places of our state, both now and for generations to come. For more information, please visit

Printable PDF of Press Release HERE.