|A Good Time Was Had By All at the 2010 Becas Vallarta Ball|
Polly G. Vicars - PVNN
March 19, 2010
|Mariel with our two girl graduates and our becados in the background|
With the most tickets sold, most mosquito bites, most money raised, most wine consumed, most unique and elegant centerpieces, most shimmies by the gorgeous girls and boys of Grupo Odisea, most different kinds of desserts, most exotic dance steps by the ball goers and most good will and generosity displayed by the incredible people of Puerto Vallarta in the form of sponsors, attendees and Silent Auction buyers, Becas Ball 2010 may have surpassed all those that came before.
|President Mariel's daughter-in-law Maria with Carmelita helping to wash all those goblets|
|Mariel's lovely Mother Carla, doing her bit in the washing and drying|
|Mariel even ironed the napkins for the event|
|Rocco Troyani and Mariel de Fregoso who planned and executed this elegant event|
|Los Bambinos donating their music for the 7th year|
|Linda Wirth's husband Terry chatting with my guest, Gloria García Lopez during the complimentary Cocktail Hour|
|The venue decorated and waiting to receive the guests|
|Those sinful desserts compliments of Toyota Puerto Vallarta|
|Those incredible Becados making me cry!|
|Grupo Odisea doing what they do best|
|Cecile and Rod Scriban, Valerie and Richard Megeney doing a dance without description|
|Maestro Melchor Cortes cutting a rug with wife Martha Flores de Cortes|
|Not sure what this is, but Isabel, Pilar and Carla are right in the middle of it|
|Juan Ramon Navarro with his door prize of this gorgeous pearl bracelet presented by Mariel and donated by Compadre Nino Fopianni of Mexico City|
|Compadres Len & Nellie Ambrose with Becadas Isla Sareli Cortes Uribe & Mahanaim Salvidor Martinez|
There were weeks of advance work by all Becas members, including the day of the ball. On that morning, Linda Wirth and I arrived at the Club Regina about 9 am to help President Mariel with whatever had to be done... and there was a lot!
We joined in with Mariel, her mother Carla, her daughter-in-law Maria and her maid, Carmelita to put the gold or burgundy table cloths on each of the forty tables. Our next chores were to wash each of the red or gold goblets before placing 20 on each table. Soon we were joined by Cecile and Rod Scriban who jumped right in to work. In the midst of all this washing and drying, Mariel was ironing the silky napkins that had become wrinkled in their boxes. What a gal is she!
As we toiled in the dining area, Irene and Carl Johnson, Joan and Ed Cannon arrived to set up the silent auction. The folks at Club Regina were working on their part of the function and were ever so helpful to furnish us with whatever we needed.
Rocco Troyani’s crew was busy placing the gorgeous center pieces, setting the tables with the now sparkling goblets and freshly ironed napkins. It was a bee hive of activity that would produce the magical setting for our 400 ticket buyers later in the evening.
We left the venue early in the afternoon fretting whether we had done everything required and deciding it was too late to worry if we had not. We went home, rested a bit, bathed and dressed so that we could be back out there by 5:30 to help with the last minute chores and greet the Becados who came to help. By six thirty the bars were set up, Los Bambinos were on their stage and the guest began to arrive.
When they did arrive they were greeted by Linda and Eduardo Azcarate, Pat and Richard Bendix, Lanaya Dix, Jerry Lafferty, Ana Caty Fenyvessi, Barbara Poindexter, Teresa Ryssemus and our scholarship students. They were given complimentary gift bags from Liverpool, table assignments and their door prize numbers.
Kudos to Linda Wirth who had labored mightily for the past few weeks keeping track of each guest and his or her preference for seating as well preparing every list for the registration table, name tags for the Becados and a myriad of other chores, which she did perfectly and always with a smile - well, almost always!
So after the registration ritual, the evening began for our guests with a complimentary cocktail hour of Margaritas, rum and soft drinks donated by Tequila Mandatario and Restaurante Portobello of Nuevo Vallarta. This took place in the spacious grass patio area by the sea where early arrivals could sip and chat on white love seats spaced around the bandstand where the always popular group, Los Bambinos, sang and played.
These young men, two of whom have graduated from our own University of Guadalajara branch (CUC) and one who is on the verge of graduation, know the value of an education. Thus they have long been Becas Vallarta supporters and have donated 10% of the gross sales from their first three CDs to us and this is the seventh year that they have donated their time and talent at the Becas Ball.
Becas Vallarta President Mariel de Fregoso along with famed designer Rocco Troyani planned and executed the rest of the elegant event. No item was too small for their attention. The tables were clothed in gold or burgundy with contrasting napkins and goblets.
Five different and innovative center pieces, all with red roses as their uniting theme, graced the tables set for ten. Each table provided three bottles of fine red wine, Colonia las Liebres Bonarda and one of a delicious white, Arco de la Vega Blanco, compliments of Trio Restaurant and Ingé Lökös.
The fine chefs, excellent and numerous wait staff of Club Regina, now Raintree Vacation Club, served a gourmet meal of Capresse Salad, Cream of Cilantro Soup, Chicken Breast stuffed with Julienne Vegetables in Kahlua Sauce on a bed of Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus. This was followed by a surprise smorgasbord of chocolates, strawberries, tarts and every other delicious and sinful concoction known to pastry chefs compliments of Carlos Padilla’s Toyota Puerto Vallarta.
While the guests were enjoying the food and the wine in the exquisite dining area, Grupo Odisea from Ciudad Guzman entertained from a huge stage with great music, singers and dancers in creative (and sometimes sexy) costumes. Soon both of the beautiful dance floors were filled with Becas supporters doing everything from the Tango to the boogaloo. Grupo Odisea came ready to please, not only with their music and dancing, but with hats, leis, balloons and other props for the guests.
Throughout the evening, guests were making their bids on the fabulous array of items in the Silent Auction that Irene and Carl had arranged earlier. Several items literally brought out the competitive spirit in the ball goers, as bid after bid was registered for the framed Stefan Lökös prints, the Martha Gilbert drawing, the Ramiz Barquet bronze "The Fisherman," the certificates from Trio, Archie’s Wok, Mama Rosa, Kaiser Maximilian and Mariscos Polos, as well as for several of the stays in exotic Mexican locales. I am happy to report that Husband persevered and brought home "The Fisherman" but am saddened to say that Ginny Soll went home with "my" Marta Gilbert drawing.
At the first intermission of Grupo Odisea, Presidents Mariel and Carlos introduced 15 scholarship students from high school and university who were there to assist with anything that needed doing. We are so proud of these students who maintain exceptional grades and represent their families and their country with such distinction. She also presented two becadas who are graduating from the University this year and are ready to step into the real world armed with a fine education thanks to you who support Becas Vallarta.
Mariel and Carlos then presented crystal mementos to our Becas Compadres. Compadres are large contributors who give us our economic underpinning every year so that we know we can keep our promise to the scholarship young people that we will continue to fund their educations until they reach their goals.
Awards went to Compadres Len & Nellie Ambrose, Auto Servicios Gutiérrez Rizo, Cadena Commercializadora Oxxo, Fin Coil Mexico, Nino Foppiana, Ernie & Carla Fowler, Judith Galeana & Juan Galeana, Buri Gray, Clark Lipe, Jerry & Ann Lafferty, Isabel Manore, María & Jesus Mendoza, Joanie O’Brien & Tony Evans, and Hubert & Polly Vicars.
Forgive this personal note, but when Husband and I were called to the stage, the entire contingent of Becados gathered around us chanting, "Polly, Polly" and reaching out their hands to me. Need I tell you that my heart filled as did my eyes.
Mariel also thanked all of our sponsors who helped defray the cost of this elegant event so that most of the ticket sale proceeds could go directly into scholarships. Our benefactors were: Asociación de Residentes Grand Venetian, Juan Cortez, Inge Lökös, Manuel Ramirez, Grupo Odisea, Carlos Padilla of Toyota Puerto Vallarta, Charlotte & Nancy of Xocodiva, Felipe Suberville & Cucu Paredes of Liverpool, Bernhard and Ulf of Trio Restaurant, Cristian Rodriguez of El Mandatario Tequila and Mauricio Pellegrini, Mario Nunes and Bryant Emans of Porto Bello Restaurant.
She also thanked the vendors who gave us rock bottom prices on their services: Jose Antonio Contreras of Winners, Karla Rangel of Trendy, Marco Peńa of Carpas de Occidente, Magdai Dueńas of Muebles Para Eventos and Raul Solis of Sonido Las Estrellas.
She gave very special thanks to Rocco Troyani Events and Miguel, Julia, Erika, Chef Rafael Ramirez and staff of Raintree Vacation Club (formerly Club Regina) who were greatly responsible for making this Becas Ball the best ever!
After the ceremony, Grupo Odisea struck up again and the dance floors filled quickly with swinging and swaying becas supporters who wouldn’t let those musicians take a break, delaying the second intermission.
Finally, Mariel and I, with the help of LCP Diego Quintero, representing Tina Rizo, pulled the winning numbers for the door prizes: 2 sets of four bottles of champagne donated by El Coyul Licoreria and a week-end in the luxurious Molino de Agua Condo donated by Ron Morgan of ADLB International/Timothy Fuller & Associates were the first three door prizes.
Then it was time to pull the number for the grand prize, a lovely pearl and diamond bracelet set in white gold, designed and donated by Nino Foppiani of Mexico City. When Diego pulled the number 17, Juan Ramon Navarro immediately held up his envelope clearly marked with the winning number. I was thrilled as he was a guest at Husband’s and my table and is a fine young man who works in Condominios La Palapa where we live, and helps us with many Becas chores.
After the prizes were awarded, Grupo Odisea returned and the dance floors filled quickly. It was midnight and time for us old folks to make our way home. Linda and Terry Wirth, Husband and I drove home together with our hearts filled with happiness and gratitude to all who helped make this 2010 Becas Ball such a surpassing success.
POSTSCRIPT: The next event is the Becas in Action School Tour on March 24, 2010. In my notice in each of the Liverpool Gift Bags, I told you everything about the trip, but the date, March 24, 2010. Call me at (322) 223-1371 or 044-322-182-0215 or email me at phvicars(at)gmail.com to reserve your spot.
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.