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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | Community Services 

International Friendship Club Improving Kid's Lives
The IFC Cleft Palate Program


Since 1986, the IFC has funded a Cleft Palate program that provides free medical consultation and treatment to underprivileged children born with a cleft palate or harelip. Your donations are instrumental in creating new faces for the children.
Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful place to spend time on your vacation or, if you have enough money, to live here full-time or as a snowbird for six months or so. It's also an easy place to help improve the lives of Mexican kids, many of whom don't have enough to eat, have been abandoned by their parents, are offered poor standards of education or are sick and need medical help.

The International Friendship Club, or the IFC, as it is known by in these parts, is a club of English-speaking residents and visitors who volunteer their time, homes or money to help kids around the Bay of Banderas.

This article shows you how you can help the IFC and how IFC supports the health, education and culture of Mexican children.

How you can help:

1. Take one of our IFC Home Tours that start on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 and run to March 21, 2018. They leave from the Sea Monkey Restaurant, located at the foot of Aquiles Serdan on the beach on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00 am. Tickets are $600 pesos and should be purchased in advance online or at the Office. Each tour visits four beautiful and interesting homes in and around Puerto Vallarta. You will travel with our knowledgeable and outgoing docents on luxury buses but, being PV, many homes require good physical ability to climb stairs and to walk on cobbled streets. The tours are very popular and 94% of Trip Advisor's independent reviewers rate the tours as Excellent and 4% as Very Good. The tours have been operating for over 31 years and are one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta.

2. Another way to help IFC is to allow us to show your home to the patrons of our Bus Tours once, twice, or as often as you would like and on dates convenient to you from mid-November to mid-March. The homes are open to the tours on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and each tour is accompanied by two or three docents. If you would like to help us help children by lending us your home, please contact Ann at aboughn(at)yahoo.com for details.

3. You can volunteer. The IFC raises over $2,000,000 pesos each year and gives all of the profits to support charities and programs. It does this with only one full-time staff member (who is excellent and a joy to know!) and all of the rest of the work is done by an army of volunteers.

4. You can attend a lecture, take a Spanish lesson, teach English to Mexicans, relax at yoga, play social bridge or simply show up to a party or to the Friday social. The club charges for all activities and all that money is used effectively to help the children around the Bay of Banderas.

Where does the IFC money go?

The IFC was started in 1986 by a group of ex-pats who provided free assessment, surgery and continuous follow-up to babies and children born with cleft palates and cleft lips. That care was necessary then and is still necessary. It is the flagship program of the IFC. However, the club now has its own dental program that provides free dental care to the children in and around Boca de Tomatlán, a small village south of Vallarta, and a program that teaches English to children and adults for free.

Some, but by no means all, of the charities that IFC supports with financial and material donations include the Volcanes Community Education Project (after-school math, English, computer and reading), SETAC (HIV education and prevention and baby formula to moms who are HIV positive), Salvation Army (food for impoverished families), CANICA (supplies and support of children with cancer), Pasitos de Luz (day care for severely handicapped children), Corazón de Niña (Orphanage) and I AM PV Music Association (provides instruction in jazz and classical music to children). In all the IFC supports over twenty programs and charities and the help that it gives improves the lives of countless children in Puerto Vallarta.

Everyone is welcome to attend any of the activities of the IFC. Please come and meet us!

For more information about the IFC please visit ifcvallarta.com or visit the clubhouse/office located at the northeast corner of the Rio Cuale Bridge above the HSBC Bank. Office hours are 9:00 am to 1:30 pm Monday to Friday. The phone number is (322) 222-5466. For information on the Home Tours and to order tickets, check out toursforvallarta.com.


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Musicians, IFC & IAMPV Working to Improve Kid's Lives
John Warren

Grammy Award winning cellist Donald Moline will be playing recitals Feb 17 & 24 to benefit the Instituto de Artes Musicales Puerto Vallarta. The International Friendship Club also supports IAMPV because fostering cultural activities for kids is an important part of the club's mandate.

IFC Puerto Vallarta Home Tours Help Local Charities
Tony Whittle

The IFC has been offering Vallarta Home Tours for more than 30 years. If you like to visit gorgeous homes and enjoy architecture, art and seascapes, this tour is for you. Consistently rated as 'Excellent' on Trip Advisor, tours run every Tuesday and Wednesday through March 21, 2018.

IFC Supports Clinica de Rehabilitación Santa Bárbara
John Warren

'Look Up or Fall Down.' That's a good motto for getting around in Puerto Vallarta, a town of cobbled streets and uneven steps. But what happens if you fall and cannot afford to get help for your pain? That's when the Clinica de Rehabilitacion de Vallarta - Santa Barbara can help.

IFC Celebrates Another Successful Year of Helping Kids
John Warren

It seems that at this time of year everyone has something to celebrate. Members of the International Friendship Club have much to celebrate after another successful year of providing help to Mexican children and would like to thank everyone who contributed to its success.

International Friendship Club: Helping at Christmas
John Warren

Bob Hope had this to say about Christmas, 'My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?' We don't, of course, but Christmas can be a sad time for children, even in Vallarta.

Vallarta Int'l Friendship Club: Happiness From Giving
John Warren

Thomas S. Monson wrote, 'Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting...' Here in Puerto Vallarta, IFC members practice those principles by raising money to help Mexicans obtain better health care, better education, improved social services and enriched cultural programs.

Dental Amistad Clinic Opens in Boca de Tomatlan Dec. 5
John Warren

Join the Puerto Vallarta International Friendship Club on December 5 for the blessing of Boca de Tomatlan's new Dental Amistad clinic. Opening ceremonies will take place from 12:30 to 1:00, followed by an open house. Local dancers and other entertainment will start around 3:30 pm.

International Friendship Club: 'From a Small Acorn'
John Warren

The International Friendship Club started offering Puerto Vallarta Home Tours 31 years ago as a way to raise funds to support the fledgling Cleft Palate Clinic. For the 2017-2018 season, the IFC Home Tours will run every Tuesday and Wednesday morning through March 21, 2018.

International Friendship Club Brunches and Lunches
John Warren

'Tis the season to eat and be merry for members of the International Friendship Club in Puerto Vallarta. The first event on the IFC's 2017-2018 social calendar is the Opening Brunch at The River Café on November 12, followed by a Light Lunch & Fashion Show at El Dorado November 15.

International Friendship Club: A Warm Welcome to All
ifcvallarta.com

The International Friendship Club welcomes visitors and old friends back to Puerto Vallarta for another season of having a good time while doing good. Last year IFC members had a lot of fun while helping children in the Banderas Bay area, and we expect to do the same this season.

IFC Puerto Vallarta Home Tours Help Local Charities
John Warren

The IFC Home Tours, run by the International Friendship Club, are a great way for visitors and residents of Puerto Vallarta to see new places, explore spectacular homes and know that all of the profits made from the tours are used to make the lives of Mexicans living here a little better.

IFC Puerto Vallarta Home Tours, Activities are Back!
John Warren

Would you like to make new friends, volunteer for a good cause, learn to play bridge, listen to a lecture, meditate, or just go out to dinner with someone you've never met before? Look no further. The Puerto Vallarta International Friendship Club can meet all those needs and more.

IFC Puerto Vallarta Home Tours Resume November 29
John Warren

The International Friendship Club provides one of the most popular tourist activities in all of Puerto Vallarta, their always special Home Tours. So put on your walking shoes, grab your camera, and get ready to enjoy a fun-filled day of discovery, while helping the less fortunate.

Meet Friends at Vallarta's International Friendship Club
John Warren

What do you like to do? Learn? Volunteer? Play games? Eat, drink and socialize? You're in the right place if you're at the International Friendship Club of Puerto Vallarta. Whether you are in town for a few days, the winter, or a lifetime, you'll find plenty to do at the IFC.

Democrats Abroad Weekly Film Series Resumes Dec. 2
Tobe Jensen

The Costa Banderas Chapter of Democrats Abroad Mexico is launching its 6th Annual Film Series on December 2, 2015. The popular series features first-run films shown at the International Friendship Club in downtown Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday nights at 7 pm through April 6, 2016.

Puerto Vallarta Friendship Club Starts a New Season
John Warren

Members of the Puerto Vallarta International Friendship Club (IFC) are pleased to announce that the new season has already started and that we have fun-filled times ahead. Don't miss our first Brunch of the season at 10 am on Tuesday, November 10 at Casa Fantasía in the Romantic Zone.

IFC Puerto Vallarta Home Tours Resume November 17
Conrad Kostelecky

The International Friendship Club started offering Puerto Vallarta Home Tours 30 years ago as a way to raise funds to support the fledgling Cleft Palate Clinic. For the 2015-2016 season, the IFC Home Tours will run every Tuesday & Wednesday morning from November 17 through March 16.

What's Ahead for the International Friendship Club?
John Warren

On April 12th, the Puerto Vallarta I.F.C. held its final meeting of the 'season.' The new Board of Directors of the club was installed and Dan Grippo, the club's President for the last two years, handed over the reins to the new President, Henry Golas.

Dan Grippo: Looking Back on the Past Two Years at IFC
BanderasNews.com

After serving two years as the President of the Puerto Vallarta International Friendship Club, Dan Grippo is stepping down. Here, he takes a look in the rearview mirror at some things accomplished during the time he spent in office.

IFC Education Grants Making Good Things Happen
John Warren

The International Friendship Club just spent $138,000 pesos on making good things happen in Puerto Vallarta. Their Home Tours had a very successful season, and part of the program's revenues have been allocated to improve the lives of local Mexican residents who need help.

Kids Come First: IFC Medical Cost Share & Cancer Aid
John Warren

Puerto Vallarta's International Friendship Club (IFC) has a special program that encourages IFC members to help a local Mexican family apply for the Patrocinio Medical Cost-Share Program. The program focuses primarily on children under 18 in medical need whose families lack resources.

The International Friendship Club Cleft Palate Program
John Warren

On March 3rd at 7 pm, the IFC will host a public information session on its Cleft Palate Program at the IFC clubhouse. Medical professionals who volunteer their time to treat local children at no cost will summarize the past few years of medical care, with a PowerPoint presentation.

IFC Actively Supports Vallarta Educational Projects
John Warren

The International Friendship Club supports many people and organizations in Puerto Vallarta. Some of their most important work is focused on education. Last year's education budget was allocated to 7 organizations, and the IFC Education Committee is now assessing 2015 grant proposals.

Puerto Vallarta Visitors Love the IFC's Home Tours
Conrad Kostelecky

The IFC has been touring some of the most unique and beautiful homes in Puerto Vallarta for almost 30 years. In air conditioned busses, each week they visit four homes throughout PV - from downtown to Mismaloya. First time and repeat guests alike have praise for the approximatly 3 hour tour.

Vallarta IFC Cleft Palate Program Celebrates 30 Years
Janie Albright Blank

The Puerto Vallarta IFC takes pride in its unique Cleft Palate Program. It begins with providing funds for transporting doctors who donate their time to perform the surgeries. It ends with seeing smiles on the children's faces and their parent's tears of joy at its completion.

IFC Monday Night Hollywood Classics Film Series
Sue MacGregor

The Puerto Vallarta International Friendship Club (IFC) continues its Monday Night Movies this season with an exciting 'Hollywood Classics' movie series. All of these blockbuster films, stretching back to 1940, won 'Best Picture' Oscars the year they were released.



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