Vallarta Living | February 2009
|BECAS Sent Me|
Polly G. Vicars - PVNN
Here in Puerto Vallarta, we are surrounded by everything beautiful: the blue sea, the green mountains, the brilliant flowers, the swaying palms and most importantly the generosity of the people.
|Becados getting their school supplies|
|Becados getting their semi-annual stipend|
|Becados at a traditional Posada|
Almost daily I experience that generosity as an advocate for Becas Vallarta, the foundation that funds the education of hundreds of Vallarta's best and brightest young people with great ability and little economic resources.
This morning I felt the urge to try to pay a little of this generosity forward by asking you to join Husband and me in patronizing some of our local magnanimous businesses.
Many restaurants for the past two years have hosted delicious and bountiful breakfasts for 150 people. Our first year the successful breakfasts were at Vitea, La Hacienda, La Palapa, Cocos Kitchen-Boca Bento and Le Bistro, bringing praises from the attendees for the quality and quantity of the food as well as the incredible service.
This year the breakfasts at Coco's Kitchen-Barrio Sur, The River Café and Daiquiri Dicks were all sell-outs and produced fabulous praise. The last two breakfasts of the season at El Dorado and La Palapa will put the icing on the cake as well as much needed funds in the pot.
When you are making your choices about dining out, try going to one of the many Becas supporters. Have a sumptuous breakfast at Coco's Kitchen or Miguel's La Hacienda. Try a romantic dinner by the sea at Tari and Peter Bowman's Daiquiri Dick's, Nelly's El Dorado, Alberto's La Palapa, or Bernhard and Ulf's Vitea.
To enjoy dining by our beautiful Rio Cuale, check out Eva and Margarito's River Café or Humberto's Le Bistro. Enjoy their excellent food, service and the ambiance! All of these establishments give us gift certificates for every event and their support to our every endeavor. When you pay your bills, tell them you are thanking them for their continued support of Becas Vallarta. It means a lot to be appreciated!
When you are in a pizza mood, visit La Piazzetta whose affable owner Mimo advertises in our newsletter, gives us gift certificates for all of our raffles and generally supports Becas in every way. For Asian, by all means go to Archi's Wok, the best in Vallarta. Cindy Alpenia and her children have always been Becas supporters and never fail to give us gift certificates for all of our events.
Don't miss dinner at the award winning "Best Moderate Restaurant" bANANaCANtiNA whose owner Debbi Eagan not only advertises with us, gives us gift certificates for all events, but sponsors charity nights in her restaurant to help all of the most needy in our city.
For authentic Mexican food you can do no better than El Arrayán where owner Carmen and her great wait staff will serve you the best Mexican food with infectious smiles, courtesy and efficiency. Take home some sauces to try in your kitchen. Carmen is a devotee of Becas and if you are lucky you will win one of her gift certificates at the upcoming Becas Breakfasts.
Ready for American fare? Dick's Half Way Inn is a newcomer to our town and already devoted to helping Becas. His luncheon menu is mouth watering and very reasonable.
The best excuse to sin in Puerto Vallarta is Xocodiva Artisan Chocolates by Carole Fast and Charlotte Semple. These women have entered into the life of Puerto Vallarta's charities with a vengeance. You will find their wares donated to any event you attend, not the least of which are Becas Breakfasts and the Becas Ball. You will love their chocolates!
And then there are Isabel and David Manore, of Casa Isabel. These fantastic entrepreneurs and philanthropists took Becas under their wings when first they moved to Vallarta. Every year they raise thousands of dollars in their home town of Toronto for Becas, they give nights stays at the their fabulous Casa Isabel for all of our events, sell our books, buy our tickets and more. You can't have a better get-away than going up the hill to partake in the opulence and friendship that you will encounter there!
Stop in at Cassandra Shaw Jewelry and choose from one of a kind jewelry or accessories. Cassandra is a fabulous artist and will be exhibiting at Lucille Shipley's Art Workshop February 14 and 15. She advertises with Becas and at the beginning of the year, donates original silver jewelry for each month of the year to use in our raffles.
Lucy's CuCu Cabana features items from the far reaches of Mexico. Lucy and Gill have long supported Becas Vallarta as well as many other charities, and always donate one of Gill's books and a great object d'art to every raffle. You won't want to leave that shop without an Oaxaca cat, burro or dragon and one of Gill's titles.
If you have seen the arrangements we raffle at the breakfasts or the fabulous ones at the Classical Concert Friday night, you have seen samples of the work of Maripepa Gonzalez, owner of the fabulous flower shop, Florart, in the Neptune Plaza. She is open every day and she delivers! Maripepa has for years donated the flowers for the annual Becas Ball, she donates and delivers innovative floral arrangements for each Becas Breakfast raffle, she advertises with us and - drum roll - she translates my articles into Spanish so we can reach the local community!
Look into Ambiance by Marcia, the little candle shop on Constitution. I stopped in to ask her about a small favor that I could buy to put at each place at the upcoming, March 5, Becas Crystal Ball. She showed me a great little favor she had created. I loved it and asked the price. She said, "No price. I want to donate them. I have several friends who are going to help me make them!" WOW! Stop in to buy some of her unique items and don't forget to tell her thanks from Becas.
Just this week President Carlos Fregoso, Husband and I went out to the EM Glass Gallería looking for a memento to give to our Becas Compadres, our large donors. We found just what we wanted, but we strive to keep overhead to a minimum. Well, owner and designer Mariano Pérez Vicanco, whose work is featured in this issue of Vallarta Lifestyles, made an offer we couldn't resist. He offered to go "halfers" with us.
Then wonderful Husband, offered to cover the other half. Deal done with no cost to Becas Vallarta! Help us thank Mariano when you have need for glass objects or stained glass windows. You can just give Husband a salute when you see him for all he has done and is doing for Becas.
There are many other business and individual supporters of Becas that we want to thank and ask you to support, not the least of which are BanderasNews, Vallarta Today, Vallarta Tribune, Vallarta Opina, Ambito, Vallarta Lifestyles and Bay Magazine that give us such great publicity in their papers and magazines.
And I can't end this pay it forward without a few words about Bob Price at Vallarta Botanical Gardens. He, too, has been a staunch supporter since his arrival here. The lovely orchids and bromiliads that we raffle are all donated by Bob. If you haven't been to see the Gardens, get out there. It is phenomenal what this guy has done in just three short years. And don't forget to tell him that, "Becas sent me!"
Polly G. Vicars and her husband of almost 60 years, Hubert (a.k.a. "Husband") retired to Puerto Vallarta in 1988 and soon became active members of several charitable organizations. Polly is the author of "Tales of Retirement in Paradise: Life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico" [a sell-out!] and "More Tales of Retirement in Puerto Vallarta and Around the World." Proceeds from the sale of her books go to the America-Mexico Foundation, a scholarship foundation that is their passion.
Click HERE for more articles by Polly Vicars, or click HERE to learn more about Becas Vallarta and the America-Mexico Foundation.