Annual Letter from LCC Founders

April 1, 2017 at 11:47 AM Leave a comment


March 30, 2017

Dear Friends of Las Campanas Compadres,

Las Campanas Compadres continues to grow and service the needs of our community. 2016 was an exciting, and also challenging, year for us in many ways, and 2017 looks to be the same.

2016 In Review

We are proud of our achievements. Since inception in May 2007, LCC has underwritten over 9,000 ½-hour private tutorial riding and swimming lessons. Our student numbers continue to grow. We continue to receive new applications weekly. Our goal is to underwrite 1,500 lessons per year.

We now have three full time horses in our program. New last year is the increase in our boarding expense to $2,280 per horse, per year. While The Club at Las Campanas has been incredibly generous in giving us a deeply discounted boarding rate, it still means that between boarding, grooming, and veterinary costs, we spend close to $15,000 per year.

We are immensely appreciative of all our board members who selflessly give their time and energy to our program. They are: Suzanna Becerra, Bob Lehrer (treasurer), Darlene Romero (secretary); Britt Gladu, Susan Sumner, Jane Baxter, John M. Romero, Karen Evans, and Dave Caldwell.

Our 8th Annual Mini Tri was a great success thanks to the hard work and dedication of our board, volunteers, The Club at Las Campanas staff, corporate sponsors, and individual donors. We had approximately 225 triathletes, a large increase over the previous year. The atmosphere can only be described as high energy, and we think a good time was had by all. We once again used a professional organizer, FIT FUNdamentals, to organize the event and they did a great job.

There were 15 special needs teams last year. We hope we can double that number this year. Suzanna and I want to especially thank everyone who captained a special needs team. This is a big deal for our students and can only be accomplished if you have people less concerned about winning and more concerned about giving.

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 Britt Gladu 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; Pete O’Brien, Nick Berta and Shane Alexander for making the pasta dinner event the success that it was; Eric Deshler and  Mike Simpson, who were tremendously helpful in organizing the logistics of the race; Al Antonez 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.

Suzanna and I also want to especially thank all of last 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 they all step up to the plate again next year.

We are grateful to have so many corporate and individual sponsors. A special thanks, in no particular order, go to Pat and Patti Carter who donated a one week stay at their beautiful home in Idaho ; Early & Early;  ACC; Roy’s Pest Control;  The Club at Las Campanas, The Compound, Amazon, Meddleton Equine, Eye Associates of New Mexico,  The Four Seasons, Corporate Travel Alliance, The Cleanery, Siri Hollander; Southern Wine and Spirits; First National Santa Fe, Los Alamos National Bank; Plum Studios; Thornburg; Barker Realty; Slip Rock; David DeVary; Napaprathic Medicine of New Mexico, and Sazón.

The board is honored to pay special tribute to one of our most loyal and compassionate volunteers, Mimi Kingsbury, who sadly will be leaving us and moving to her new home in Colorado. Mimi is a special person and will be missed. Therefore, we have decided to create the Mimi Kingsbury Award which will annually honor the year’s outstanding swimming volunteer.

The Mimi Kingsbury Award is presented each year to the Las Campanas Compadres swimming program volunteer, who in the opinion of Lawrence and Suzanna Becerra, has demonstrated outstanding enthusiasm for the program. The recipient will have exhibited great compassion, respect, and teamwork; all character traits that Mimi Kingsbury lives by.

The Ron Walters Award will now be for the outstanding riding program volunteer.

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. That being said, we are delighted to announce last year’s recipients, and the choices were easy ones to make.

Arielle Nathan is this year’s Mimi Kingsbury Award recipient. She is relatively new to our program but that has not stopped her from rapidly becoming one of our most valued and respected volunteers. Her commitment to the swimming program has been invaluable, and she has a kind and gentle way with our students who love her.

Jane and Rhea Baxter are this year’s Ron Walters Award recipients. Jane and her daughter Rhea have been helpful in so many ways, and both have a cheery disposition. Our students always look forward to seeing them.

2017 In Focus

Helping Hands Fund

Last year was the Helping Hands Fund’s second year of operation. Its mission is:

To improve the quality of life for Las Campanas Compadres students by supporting their goals through assistance with the funding of educational and vocational training, the purchase of medical and assistive devices, or support services, and related technologies.     

It is funded by LCC allocating $5,000 annually from general working funds. Suzanna chairs the committee with the help of Karen Evans, Dave Caldwell, Susie Fisher, Susan Sumner and Jane Baxter. Last year’s recipients received ipads, speech therapy lessons, voice recognition software, and funding for a wheel chair. This year’s application process will begin soon and we expect to spend all of our $5,000 allocation.

Volunteer Pool

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.

Heidi Mitchell of Plum Studios has put in a lot of work to improve our website, organize email blasts, and design collateral materials. We can’t thank her enough for her generosity. 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.

We recognize the importance of social media and have made an effort to utilize some of the more popular sites. 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 to add your own commentary. You can also check out our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at “L_C_Compadres”.

Sprint Tri Event

We are excited to announce that our event has been approved for para-tri friendly status and will serve as the event for the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship Designation. This means that we will have elite para-tri athletes from the southwest region, and that in turn, will make our event more attractive to athletes in general. We hope to get local newspaper, radio and TV coverage this year given our new status. It also means that we will need more volunteers, as the number of participants this year will surely break all records. If you are interested in helping out, please contact us.


It is the policy of Las Campanas Compadres to be completely transparent regarding finances.

LCC entered 2016 with $151,576 in the bank. We ended the year with $149,502. We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and our sincere gratitude goes without saying.

It costs us approximately $60 dollars per lesson, $35 of which is the cost of the instructor. In order to achieve our goal of underwriting 1,500 lessons per year, we have to raise $90,000 from private sources.

Our Amazon program has been a disappointment in terms of monies raised. The Amazon program can be used by anyone in the USA. If you use Amazon to purchase items, we would ask that you use the Amazon Smile portal, www.  There you can choose which charities you would like to support. Amazon donates a percentage of your purchase and you can list multiple charities as your recipients. We hope you count Las Campanas Compadres among them.

During 2016, we raised a total of $79,626, while our total operating expenses were $81,702. Expenses are divided into two main categories. The largest expense category is the cost of our instructors and equipment. Last year this accounted for $60,411 of our operating budget. The balance of $21,291 was for office infrastructure, insurance and the cost of the Mini Tri fundraising event.

All LCC officers work pro bono. There are no salaried employees. All office infrastructure expenses are funded by the founders.

Our budget and fund raising goal for 2017 is $90,000.

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.

If you have been a supporter in the past, we thank you. If not, we hope you might consider helping us achieve our fundraising goal.

Suzanna and I want to thank you once again for your support and generosity and we hope we can count on you again for your support. We look forward to seeing you all during 2017.

Suzanna & Lawrence Becerra


Bruno and Eleri




Entry filed under: Annual Letter, Articles written by Lawrence Becerra, Las Campanas Compadres Update. Tags: , , .

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