Archive for April, 2013

Calling All LCC Parents/Guardians of LCC Participants!

LCC is hosting its first-ever Orientation Meeting for the parents and guardians of our program participants. This is an opportunity for you to hear from and ask questions of the founders and instructors in the program. The newly created LCC handbook will be distributed at the meeting. This is also a chance for you to talk with other participating families and exchange ideas, information, and resources.

The meetings will be held in the Clubhouse of The Club at Las Campanas and we anticipate the orientation will last about an hour. Two dates are provided for your scheduling convenience:

Friday, April 19 at 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m.

When you have decided which meeting you’ll attend, please RSVP to Pam at or 699-6585.Flowers 5-21-12 002

April 12, 2013 at 9:55 AM Leave a comment

LCC— Past, Present, and a Bright Future

April 3, 2013
Dear Friends of Las Campanas Compadres,
Our program achieved a number of milestones of which we are very proud. We continue to grow and service the needs of our community. Challenges remain, but we are confident that these will be met with the “can do” spirit that has been a signature of our program since inception.
2012 In Review
We are proud of our achievements. LCC has grown beyond our wildest expectations. Since inception in May 2007, the program has underwritten over 4,000 private tutorial riding and swimming lessons. Our student and volunteer numbers continue to grow. We have 50 students (up from 38 last year) on our roster and we continue to receive applications from prospective students.
Karen Evans is our new riding instructor. We feel fortunate that we have been able to secure her services as she has the highest accredited rating with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. It is always difficult when change occurs. Karen has handled the challenge extremely well, assimilated into the program with ease, and has earned the trust and respect of all of her students. David Caldwell, our swimming instructor, continues to expand his program and is always coming up with ways that we can improve on our offerings. Luis Gonzales continues to be an invaluable member of our riding program. Our students love him and we all have a hard time imagining the program without Luis.
We also want to publicly recognize Darlene Romero and Pamela Franco as new members of our board. Both bring a high level of dedication and enthusiasm to our board and running a program of our size takes time and commitment. We thank them for stepping up to the plate. We also want to thank Phil Nowlin who is no longer a member of our board as he and his family have relocated to Texas. Phil served on our board for four years and also prepared our taxes pro bono. He will be missed and we wish him great success in his new venture.
The board decided to expand the number of lessons available each week as the facility capacity available to us and the health of our finances made this possible. As of several months ago we now offer 12 riding and 16 swimming lessons each week. This puts us in a position of offering just shy of 1,500 lessons per year at a cost of $52,500. While we recognize that this is a higher budget than what we have had in the past, we feel confident that we can continue to fund this through the generous donations of our members.
We also recently purchased a new horse for our program. He is Norwegian Fjord pony called Sunny. We decided that not only did we need some youth in our horses, but also one with the right temperament and one that has been trained for a therapeutic riding discipline. Sunny cost us about $7,000 but we believe he will be worth every penny.
Last year’s Annual Awards event took place in the fall and was a great success. This year’s event will again be on Columbus Day, October 14th. The children are off from school and it means that a lot more parents and relatives can attend the ceremony. Last year we awarded each student with a handsome trophy inscribed with their name. A total of 31 awards were handed out with over 80% of our students receiving achievement awards for both riding and swimming disciplines. We also want to thank all the parents who brought food and refreshments.
We were once again proud to announce the winners of The Ron Walters Award for 2011.
The Ron Walters Award is presented each year to the Las Campanas Compadres volunteer who in the opinion of the founders, Lawrence and Suzanna Becerra, has demonstrated outstanding enthusiasm for the program. The recipient will have an unparalleled sense of ardor, determination, and compassion, character traits that Ron Walters lived by.
It is always difficult to single out any one particular volunteer as all of our volunteers are incredibly helpful in so many ways. Suzanna and I always struggle with our decision. That being said, we are delighted to announce that last year there were several recipients, and the choices were easy ones to make.
Ken Brown is, simply put, just a heck of a nice guy. His delightful disposition and real love of the students is truly inspiring to watch. Ken is a trooper and his singing always keeps the students and volunteers amused.
Darlene Romero is an inspiration to all of us. Darlene is John “Mad Dog” Romero’s mom. You all know Mad Dog. He’s our student who despite the significant challenges he faces manages to ride, ski, swim, be a photographer, sit on our board, run our blog and Facebook pages; and all of this while attending college. Darlene is the selfless mom who makes all of this happen and still finds time to help our program in so many ways. Darlene recently joined our board and is our Secretary. Not surprisingly her work is tireless and inspiring. We can’t thank her, and her family, enough for all that they do for our program.
Lynnette Mallory has the cheeriest disposition one could ever hope to be around. The students love her as she always brings compassion and a positive disposition to every lesson she undertakes. We are very fortunate to have her in our program.
All of last year’s recipients are the epitome of what the Ron Walters Award stands for and their recognition is richly deserved.
Our 4th. Annual Mini Tri was a great success last year thanks to the hard work and dedication of our board, volunteers, The Club at Las Campanas staff, corporate sponsors and individual donors. I am pleased to report that we raised $39,599.
Sunday evening’s pasta dinner was a charmed evening. The food was great. The highlight of the evening was listening to two of our students, John Romero and Christian Woodard, talk about what the program means to them. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
Last year we had 130 mini tri participants, up from 120 the previous year. We used a professional organizer, FIT FUNdamentals to organize the event and they did a great job. We also had an announcer, Chad, who kept the energy level high all morning by conducting interviews with participants and volunteers alike. The atmosphere can only be described as high energy, and we think a good time was had by all.
There were 11 special needs teams this year, up from three last year. Suzanna and I wanted to especially thank David Loan, General Manager; Andrew Nichols, Executive Chef; Tony Blankenship, Sous Chef; Jason Epstein, Director of Golf Operations; Tom Egelhoff, Director of Agronomy; and Todd Shaw, Fitness and Tennis Director, for pairing up with one of our students and giving them the chance to participate in the race. This is a big deal for them and can only be accomplished if you have people less concerned about winning and more concerned about giving. That being said, congratulations to Jason and his team “The Goof Balls” for coming in second place in the special needs team category.
It is impossible to list the names of everyone who helped make this event the success that it was. That being said, it would be remiss of me to fail to mention some members of staff who put in a lot of hours to make our event possible. Special thanks, therefore, go to Pam Franco for her support and energy around Las Campanas Compadres; Kay Lee, who has a can do attitude and always went the extra mile for us; Eric French and Deborah Fahie for making the pasta dinner event the success that it was; Todd Shaw, who not only participated in the event but was tremendously helpful in organizing the logistics of the race; David Loan who got behind the project early on and has been a great supporter; and of course all of the dining and spa staff that always did their job with a smile and offered encouragement to all the participants in the race.
Suzanna and I also want to especially thank all of this year’s volunteers. An event of this size is not possible unless a lot of people work together with a singular purpose in mind. They did a tremendous job and were the reason the event went off without a hitch. Many of them started the day at 5:30 AM and their energy and enthusiasm never flagged. We can only hope that you all step up to the plate again next year.
We are grateful that so many corporate and individual sponsors stepped up to the plate with generous offerings. A special thanks, in no particular order, go to United Airlines and Glenn Tilton who donated two business class tickets to anywhere in Europe that we were able to auction off for $7,500; United Rentals and Jenne Brittel who donated 400 baseball caps with our logo to be given out to all participants; The Lodge at Chama and Frank Simms who donated two evening’s stay at his beautiful lodge and two days of trophy trout fishing that we were able to auction off for $2500; Pietro Pertusini of Osteria D’Assisi restaurant fame, who donated a one week stay at his villa on Lake Como that auctioned for $2,500, Meyners Clifton Gunderson; Early & Early; Art & Tonic; The Framing Company; Roy’s Pest Control; Don Chalmers Ford; and Bell Tower Properties, The Club at Las Campanas, Albertsons, Amazon, Meddleton Equine, Eye Associates of new Mexico, and Devon Gilchrist.
2013 In Focus
While we anticipate that student growth will slow down somewhat during 2013 due to capacity constraints in our riding and swimming programs, we believe that the program can continue to grow in other ways. We will continue to accept new students and have instituted a rotation system in order to accommodate increasing numbers.
Our board has recently approved an initiative to help our students in other ways. LCC not only provides our students with a safe environment to learn some athletic skills and have fun, but it also helps our students gain in confidence and self esteem, preparing them for all the challenges that life is going to throw at them. One way that we feel we can be helpful is to use all of our collective skills and contacts in Santa Fe to help our students find meaningful work or other activities. Many of our students are in their 20’s and graduating from school. It is important for them to now find activities in our local community. Christian Woodard worked in the Las Campanas golf program last year. Christian helped with the golf carts and also did work on the practice range. He did a great job and the members loved his great sense of humor. We hope to see him again this year.
Our volunteer pool is growing but we can always use more volunteers. As our program grows, so do our needs. Beyond volunteers for the actual riding and swimming programs, we can always use pro bono help with legal, accounting, and grant writing services. As we have lost Phil Nowlin we are specifically looking for someone who would be willing to do our taxes. If you know of anyone who might be willing to help please let us know.
Devon Gilchrist has put in a lot of work to improve our website. We encourage people to visit There you can find updates on what’s going on, download volunteer and student application documents, visit a photo library, and even make a donation using PayPal.
LCC’s blog page and a Facebook page run by John and Darlene Romero are going strong. You can go to: to go to our blog page to check out what’s going on in our program and add your own commentary. You can also go check out our page on Facebook. We believe Facebook and other forms of social networking will be important channels through which we can increase awareness in our
Las Campanas Compadres, Inc. program. Whether it is to announce events like Awards Day or the Mini Tri, or to attract volunteers and students, spreading the word is important and Facebook is a very efficient way to do this.
Our Albertson and Amazon programs are working out well for us. We have some more Albertson cards, so if you need one please contact us. The Amazon program can be used by anyone in the USA. It is a simple process of accessing the website through our website. If you do this one you are then recognized as an LCC Amazon friend and no matter how you access the Amazon website you will be recognized an up to 6% of your purchase will go to our program. We have high hopes for this program. Last year we raised $914 from the Albertson’s program and $1157 from the Amazon program. We would hope that those numbers can increase.
It is the policy of Las Campanas Compadres to be completely transparent regarding finances.
LCC entered 2012 with $72,113 in the bank. LCC ended the year with $92,425. We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and our sincere gratitude goes without saying.
While our cash balances may appear healthy, the continued growth of the program coupled with the challenging economic landscape necessitates the need for continued support. Our goal is to assure the perpetuity of the program. A healthy balance sheet is of utmost importance in allowing us to achieve our goals, and while the current snapshot of LCC’s finances shows a vibrant and healthy patient, continued support is required in order to assure continued good health and longevity.
During 2012 our total operating expenses were $42,692 versus a budget of $45,000 Expenses are divided into two main categories. The largest expense category is the cost of our instructors and equipment. Last year this accounted for $35,162 of our operating budget. The balance of $7,530 was for office infrastructure.
All LCC officers work pro bono. There are no salaried employees. All office infrastructure expenses are funded by the founders.
Our budget for 2013 is $59,120. We have budgeted $52,570 for programs and $6,550 for office infrastructure, non inclusive of our horse purchase.
It goes without saying that none of this would be possible without the generosity of a great number of people. Suzanna and I are truly grateful. We believe LCC has a positive impact on the lives of families in our program as well as the community at large.
Suzanna and I want to thank you once again for your support and generosity and we look forward to seeing you all during 2013.
Kindest Regards,
Suzanna & Lawrence Becerra
Las Campanas Compadres, Inc.
15 Buckskin Circle, Santa Fe, NM 87506
Tel: 505 820 2707 Fax: 505 820 2709
A Registered 501 (c) 3 Corporation

April 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM Leave a comment

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