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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | February 2008 

Bouquets to the People of Vallarta!
email this pageprint this pageemail usPolly G. Vicars - PVNN

Bernice Starr and Lupe Covarrubias who deserve the whole flower garden for starting this foundation.

ome of the 2007-2008 Scholarship Students for whom the foundation is working.

Federica Piano, Events Coordinator at La Palapa Restauran

Becas Member Linda Wirth - upon whom we depend for a myriad of chores!

Nellie & Lenny Ambrose, Becas supporters and tickets sellers extraordinary.

Ed Hutmacher, Becas Supporter and owner of the Santa Barbara Theater.

President AMF Carlos Fregoso and Presidente Becas Vallarta Mariel de Fregoso with Isabel and Friends donating that gigantic check.

The Dapper Becas Member Alfredo Franco, genial, guapo and, generous!

Jo Ann Cristea had the high bid for this unique silver and Jade jewelry designed, fashioned and donated to Becas by Alfredo Franco.
It would take a book to chronicle the generous Becas' members, friends and supporters who have made Becas Vallarta the incredible entity it is, but today I throw a few bouquets to some people who truly "made a difference" at the last Becas Breakfast at La Palapa.

Breakfasts sponsored by Becas Vallarta have become "The In Thing" this season. Beginning in October at the stylish Vitea Restaurant on the Malecón Extended, followed in November at the authentic and appealing La Hacienda in Old Town and then in January at the elegant La Palapa on popular Los Muertos Beach, Becas boosters, tourists and locals have enthusiastically supported PV's oldest charitable foundation.

No one would challenge the worthiness of the cause which is raising scholarship funds for Puerto Vallarta's young people of limited economic assets and boundless abilities. During its almost fifty year life Becas Vallarta has funded the education of thousands of Vallartense youth, with no paid staff members, nor an office, a telephone, a computer, nor a copy machine - allowing almost every cent raised to go directly to the scholarships.

How is such a thing accomplished? It's the people of course! It began in the 1960's with Bernice Starr (American) and Guadalupe Covarrubias, (Mexican) who, when they saw that the neighborhood children were not attending the brand new junior high because they could not afford to buy the books and uniforms required, started selling handmade greeting cards, holding little parties and asking friends for donations to pay those expenses. From those small gestures of altruism, respect and love for the Puerto Vallarta families, a great Foundation, now tax deductible in both the U.S. and Mexico, has grown into the largest donor of scholarships in this community of three hundred thousand.

It would take a book to chronicle the generous Becas' members, friends and supporters who have made Becas Vallarta the incredible entity it is, but today I throw a few bouquets to some people who truly "made a difference" at the last Becas Breakfast at La Palapa.

I bestow the first one upon owner Alberto Peréz who agreed to hold the breakfast in his restaurant and to split the ticket receipts down the middle with the restaurant absorbing all costs, including tips for the great waiters and raffle gift certificates for dining in his other gourmet restaurants Vista Grill and Tikul. He turned over all arrangements to his lovely and competent Events Coordinator, Federica Piano.

Since I live in the condominio above the restaurant, it was easy for me to zip down to request whatever was needed for the event. Federica was wonderful and tireless! No detail escaped her notice and from the post-breakfast positive comments her attention to details paid off in a highly successful and fun event. So whole bouquets to Alberto, Federica, the chefs, waiters and bus boys who did everything right!

I have dozens of red roses for ticket sellers Mary Megin de Franco., Teresa Rhyssemus, Joan Cannon, Margi Tolton, Lanaya Dix, President Mariel de Fregoso, Mary Ellis, Elinor Prawer, Buri Gray (who sold 50 tickets herself) and Nellie Ambrose who sold all 150 advance tickets. We even had to refuse some last minute ticket requests so this is notice that you need to get your tickets now for the upcoming Becas Breakfast at Le Bistro on February 26.

On the morning of the event both Husband and I awoke with severe cases of food poisoning and knew we couldn't possible go down to the restaurant to get things arranged for the breakfast.

In answer to my hurried and harried calls, Linda Wirth and Lenny Ambrose rushed over to our condo to pick up the raffle prizes which, luckily were all packed and ready to be taken downstairs. There, they took charge– Linda arranging items, taking pictures, answering guests' questions and Lenny selling raffle tickets to everyone, never taking no for an answer. He was so good that he broke his own record by selling the most raffle tickets ever at any of our breakfasts! So a whole spray of orchids to Linda and to Lenny.

What were the raffle tickets for? Well here come yellow roses for the generous Puerto Vallarta restaurateurs and business people who time after time give us gift certificates and items of value for our monthly raffles.

To Isabel and David Manore for giving us multiples of two nights in their fabulous boutique hotel overlooking our Bay, as well as brightly colored Casa Isabel T-shirts; to Benny Ibarra Jr. of Mundo de Cristal for the hand blown glass vase chosen from the incredible selection of unique designs in Mundo de Cristal and to his family of Mundo de Pewter for the decorative and useful pewter dishes; to producer, commentator, author Linda Ellerbee who donated a copy of her latest book, "Take Big Bites" along with a clever T-shirt from her Lucky Duck Productions in New York City; to the ever generous and genial couple, Debbie and Mike at BananaCantina, who gave multiples of 'buy one, get one free' dinner certificates; and to Jorge and Estefan, brothers and fabulous designers and sellers of silver jewelry on Los Muertos Beach who each donated silver earrings; to Charlotte and Carol who make those delectable Xocodiva chocolates and donate them for every breakfast; to Cassandra Shaw, artist, designer and entrepreneur whose new shop on Basilio Badillo features unique jewelry, accessories and clothing, who donates gorgeous original silver earrings for every breakfast; to Ed Hutmacher at the fabulous Santa Barbara Theater for always giving two tickets for whatever show is hot at his Olas Altas theater; to Bobby Price whose Botanical Gardens south of town have become the favorite spot for a day with nature and for fabulous pizza for lunch, for his beautiful blooming anthurium; to Gary Beck for his extensive Vallarta Restaurant Guide; to Lucy and Gil of Lucy's CuCu Cabana & Zoo for their whimsical candy dish and Gil's hilarious book, "Puerto Vallarta on 49 Brain Cells A Day," and to Marcía Escontria of the sweet smelling Ambiance by Marcía for her potpourri of oils and creams.

And, continuing to the lovely Carmen Porras for a gift certificate to dine at her authentic and popular Mexican Restaurant, El Arrayan. Here is where I digress to belie the old saw "No good deed goes unpunished." Artist and designer of jewelry, furniture, condominiums as well as a Becas member, Alfredo Franco, told me that he and his beautiful wife María wanted to donate a piece of his jewelry for the raffle.

Of course we were thrilled, but when they brought the "piece" of jewelry to the last Becas Meeting, it knocked us out! He showed us a gorgeous three-piece set of jade and silver, necklace, earrings and ring, with a retail value of more than $1,200 US. We all said that it was too beautiful and expensive to just put in the raffle. So Margi Tolton volunteered to make up a Silent Auction sheet to sell the jewelry at the breakfast.

Everyone who saw it loved it, but petite Jo Ann Cristea persisted until she had the high bid and went home with a smile on her face and jade and silver around her neck. And Alfredo, who always works tirelessly for Becas, showing his generosity of spirit that is so indicative of Vallartenses, seemed so happy that he had been able to share with Becas and the kids of Vallarta.

And just to disprove that old saying, when the raffle was done, he had won Carmen's gift certificate for dinner at his favorite restaurant, El Arrayan. So a special bouquet to Alfredo and to María, who helps him do everything, and to Jo Ann who was clever enough to buy that precious donation.

I have one more bouquet in my basket and it goes to each of you who came to the breakfast, bought raffle tickets and who continue to support our foundation whenever called upon. But you can't rest on your laurels (or your bouquets,) as now is the time to buy your tickets for the Fourth Becas Breakfast on February 26 at the fabulous Le Bistro on the Rio Cuale.

While you are at it, reserve your table for the 2008 Becas Ball on March 6th. You all know how to do both. Just call me at 223-1371 or Buri Gray at 221-5285 or Mariel de Fregoso at 221-0789 or Margi Tolton at 223-1835. We will be expecting your calls!
Polly G. Vicars and her husband of 55 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.

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the included information for research and educational purposes • m3 © 2008 BanderasNews ® all rights reserved • carpe aestus