Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Last week we reported on Oak Grove District 68 Superintendent Lonny Lemon, who raised $15,000 via a GoFundMe campaign to provide the students at Ignacio L. Vallarta Elementary School with 150 new desks, 30 of which were delivered on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.
The remaining 120 desks were delivered to the school on Tuesday, July 3, and Lemon was there to see that they were delivered and assembled. On Tuesday afternoon, he told us about the experience.
"The desks arrived before 8:00 am this morning. There were the remaining 120 - 30 were delivered last week - so I purchased a total of 150 desks with the monies raised.
Hotel Los Arcos sent two maintenance workers over this morning and the three of us unwrapped all of the desks, which were very well wrapped in cardboard and thick cellophane. Actually, the hardest part was unwrapping the legs. They were so tightly wrapped that just removing the packaging took a long time... and a pair of scissors.
Also, since the kids really didn't have a place to eat lunch... they had to drag chairs out, or sit on the ground around some tree planters, I went to Costco yesterday with my friend, Archie Salgado, and we bought 5 long, folding tables - the white laminate ones - with 25 folding chairs. Sr. Hernandez had suggested that they would be helpful if I had any extra money, and I was happy to purchase them.
As far as moving forward, Archie and I spoke with the principal yesterday about the school's needs. I think that, with the desks, we are close to meeting them. However, they have some "table desks" that are in really bad shape.
I thinking I'll start a fund next year to replace the old table tops with some wood laminate that I believe can be purchased at the Home Depot here in Vallarta. Sr. Hernandez is going to measure the tables, I will work on getting a good price for the wood tops, and Archie is going to try to locate a local carpenter to do the work. The table frames are very well made, so if we can repaint the legs, remove the tops, and install new ones, I think the school will be in great shape.
Because of nearly 200 'Angels on Earth' from all over the United States and Canada, a dream of mine came true this week. I was able to witness the delivery of 150 new desks to the school. To see the smiles on those kids' faces, and the gratitude from the principal and teaching staff will be a highlight of my career. I can't thank all who helped me in this wonderful campaign enough. Together, we changed the daily lives of Puerto Vallarta school kids for many years to come. I hope they have a renewed sense of pride in their school and that it encourages them to do their very best each day."On behalf of everyone here at Banderas News, and the people of Vallarta, I'd like to thank Mr. Lemon for his generosity and good will. The world needs more people like Lonny!