Posts filed under ‘Las Campanas Compadres Update’

Annual Letter from LCC Founders

 

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 www.lascampanascompadres.org 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: https://benefitlcc.wordpress.com/ 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.

Finances

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. http://smile.amazon.com/  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

Founders

Bruno and Eleri

 

 

 

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

The Annual Letter from Founders, Lawrence and Suzanna

March 21, 2016

Dear Friends of Las Campanas Compadres,

It amazes us that LCC is now in its 9th year of operation. Much has been accomplished. More importantly, much remains to be done.

2015 In Review

We are proud of our achievements. Since inception in May 2007, LCC has underwritten over 8,000 ½-hour private tutorial riding and swimming lessons. Our student numbers continue to grow. We now have over 100 registered students on our roster and we continue to receive new applications on a regular basis. We currently underwrite 1,500 lessons per year.

Karen Evans, our riding instructor, continues to do a great job for us. It is amazing to watch the skill level our students have achieved and how they have grown in confidence. 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. David Caldwell, our swimming instructor, continues to expand his program and is always coming up with ways that we can improve on our offerings.

Our three horses, Sunny, Bolero and Ghost, soldier on for us. That being said, Bolero is probably coming to the end of his tenure. We are looking for a new horse and also a more permanent home for Bolero who has certainly earned the right to a quiet life in a field soaking up the sunshine and getting fat.

We are delighted that Jane Baxter has agreed to join our board. Jane has a medical background as well as a solid understanding of equine behavior. There is no doubt that she will have an immediate and positive impact on our operations and we thank her for stepping up to the plate.

We are immensely appreciative of all our board members who selflessly give their time and energy to our program. It takes a lot of time and energy to effectively run an organization of our size, and we certainly would not be able to accomplish anything like what we have done without a board that has a can do attitude.

We were once again proud to announce the winners of The Ron Walters Award for 2015.

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 that last year there were several recipients, and the choices were easy ones to make.

Kate Schiliro 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.

Gemma Sullivan has a cheery disposition. The students love her as she always brings compassion and a positive disposition to every lesson she undertakes.

All of last year’s recipients are the epitome of what the Ron Walters Award stands for and their recognition is richly deserved.

Our 7th 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. I am pleased to report that we raised $77,365.

We had approximately 185 tri participants with many of them repeats from previous years. We are told that we are fast becoming known as one of the premier triathlon events in New Mexico and we think this year can be a big break out year for us in terms of numbers of participants. We hope to attract 225 participants.

There were 17 special needs teams last year. Suzanna and I want to thank all team captains for pairing up with one of our students and giving them the chance to participate in the race. 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 Kay Lee, who has a can do attitude and always went the extra mile for us; Pete O’Brien and Ruth Hamilton for making the pasta dinner event the success that it was; Todd Shaw, Mike Simpson, Jeff Cisneros and Ashley Quintana, who were tremendously helpful in organizing the logistics of the race; Tony Dawson who got behind the project early on in his tenure as The Club’s GM 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 this year.

We are grateful to have so many corporate and individual sponsors. A special thanks, in no particular order, goes to The Lodge at Chama; FNB Santa Fe, LANB, Early & Early; Sotheby’s/Nancy Lehrer; Thornburg Investment Management; ACC; Constellation Home Electronics; Boniface & Associates, Corporate Travel Alliance, Roy’s Pest Control; The Club at Las Campanas, Sazon, The Compound, Four Seasons Resort, Albertsons, Amazon, Dos Rios, The Bells Magazine, Coronado Paint, Ellsworth Gallery, Siri Hollander, David DeVary, Jewel Mark, Meddleton Equine, and Eye Associates of New Mexico.

Last year was the first year where our newly established Helping Hands Fund handed out grants. A total of $3,606 out of the $5,000 made available was spent on items ranging from speech therapy lessons, i-pads used for educational purposes, and speech recognition software. This year there is $6,394 available and the committee, chaired by Suzanna Becerra, has just finished redesigning application forms and placing them with families. We expect that requests will exceed the amount of available funds, and therefore the committee will have some hard choices to make.

2016 In Focus

We do not anticipate that student growth will slow down during 2016. If anything we believe it will increase. Our challenge will be to accommodate this growth as we have capacity constraints both physically and financially. We will continue to accept new students and have instituted a rotation system in order to accommodate our increasing numbers.

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.

We wanted to thank Devon Gilchrist who will no longer be looking after our website. Devon put in a lot of work to improve our website and we wish her well in her new endeavors. We are fortunate, though, to have Heidi Mitchell of Plum Studios pick up the baton. Heidi has already done some work on our website and the results are fantastic. We encourage people to visit www.lascampanascompadres.org 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: https://benefitlcc.wordpress.com/ 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. You can also follow and tweet us on Twitter at “L_C_Compadres”.

Our Albertson program ended last year. While it wasn’t a huge amount of money, it certainly helped and their sponsorship will be missed.

Our Amazon program can be used by anyone in the USA. It is a simple process of logging on to Amazon Smile and choosing Las Campanas Compadres as the beneficial charity. If all of our friends, and their friends, use this simple yet effective method of turning their everyday shopping into an event that effortlessly raises money for our program, this could be an enormously successful program. But it starts with each of you signing up and then encouraging your friends to do so as well. In fact, one can choose multiple charities, so this is not just of benefit to our specific program but to the entire philanthropic movement being embraced by an increasing number of thoughtful and forward looking businesses. We sincerely hope and respectfully ask you to please sign up. It will take five minutes of your time but can have a huge impact on the lives of our students.

Finances

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

LCC entered 2015 with $148,727 in the bank. We ended the year with $151,576. 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. 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.

During 2015 our total operating expenses were $82,719. Expenses are divided into two main categories. The largest expense category is the cost of our instructors and equipment. Last year this accounted for $60,159 of our operating budget. The balance of $22,560 was for office infrastructure and other programs to include the Helping Hands Fund.

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

Our budget for 2016 is $106,600. We have budgeted $97,094 for all programs and $9,500 for office infrastructure.

We know it will be difficult reaching our fundraising goals and can only hope that our donor base of individuals and corporations continue with their generosity.

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 2016.

Kindest Regards,

Suzanna & Lawrence Becerra

Founders

LCC Founders

LCC Founders

March 19, 2016 at 11:34 AM 1 comment

Las Campanas Compadres 2014 Fundraiser Recap

The annual LCC Online Auction, Pasta Dinner, and Triathlon Super-Sprint race day bring together the most generous and amazing people. They donate the best of themselves to support those with a passion to keep the Las Campanas Compadres riding and swimming programs running strong and available to the community’s disabled.

Alongside the intricacies of running the year-round programs, the annual fundraising is also a continuous effort and is a multi-faceted endeavor to execute initial fundraising plans. Under the leadership of founders, Lawrence and Suzanna Becerra, the fundraiser events intentionally set out to care for others by providing a means to repeatedly create something good and positive in every LCC lesson provided throughout the year.

There are delegated organizational steps by a few that burgeon into the involvement and contribution of time, talents, and funds of many. The initial fundraising plans and goals unfold into a myriad of communication: networking, radio broadcasts, poster designs, printed publicity, online announcements, phone calls, and mailings.

A tremendous gathering of incredibly generous world-class donations in the form of trips, services, and specialty items foster an enthusiastic response from bidders for the LCC online auction. Memories of the incredible flavors and sweet ambience of the Pasta Dinner combine with the powerful visions conjured by a hero’s words and the night’s impromptu and lucrative auction. The professional photos of participants, volunteers, and families on the bright sunlit morning of the Triathlon Super-Sprint personify the excitement, the motivation, and the energy expended to keep the LCC programs robust. The goal-accomplished and happy smiles on the faces of the students and families of the LCC programs certainly buoy the willingness and generosity of those who come together to contribute in various and important ways to make the annual fundraising events a success.

Auction winners who bid to support LCC now enjoy fabulous prizes. Those who broke bread with Master Sgt. (retired) Leroy Petry at the Pasta Dinner listened to him in awe, and became heroes themselves by supporting LCC programs. By now, medals are on display and cheers for the swimmers, bicyclists and runners of all ages are an echoing memory of community spirit and camaraderie. There are no adequate words that can express the measure of gratitude felt for the many that rally and offer what they have to meet the needs of people who accomplish life-satisfying challenges through the no-fee therapeutic activities Las Campanas Compadres offers.

The success of 2014 LCC Labor Day Triathlon Super-Sprint fundraiser events goes beyond the annual LCC fundraising goals. The success categorically signifies that something meaningful and far-reaching in our community has happened again. With tremendous thankfulness and deep appreciation for all who so generously continue to give of themselves, Las Campanas Compadres looks forward to another year of program growth and the continued fulfillment of “People Helping People Reach New Heights”.

September 10, 2014 at 1:10 PM Leave a comment

“Muchas Gracias Award” Bestowed

Santa Fe City Hall was buzzing with a full house of City Council attendees on the evening of December 11, 2013.

After preliminary city council roll call, the pledges to the national and state flags, and before the expected lengthy two-session meeting, presentations were made by Mayor David Coss to honor Santa Fe citizens for their outstanding contributions to the  Santa Fe community.

Among those listed on the agenda as “Muchas Gracias Award” recipients were the founders of Las Campanas Compadres, Lawrence and Suzanna Becerra.  Jack and Carole Berger were in supportive attendance representing the volunteers of LCC and the generous Las Campanas community participants who keep the  program’s therapeutic riding and swimming programs going strong.

Before the Mayor read the words on the parchment certificates, Darlene Romero gave a short summary of the mission of Las Campanas Compadres for the benefit of the audience, and also related how Lawrence and Suzanna epitomize the meaning of  “Compadres” as they lead their organization as “protectors, benefactors and friends”.

With heartfelt appreciation for Lawrence and Suzanna, John M. Romero, one of  LCC’s sixty  students, thanked them for enriching his life and giving him their friendship.

The “Muchas Gracias Award” is a singular symbol of  immense appreciation  for the Becerras’ generosity and hard work to start and maintain an organization that benefits disabled students and their families in meaningful and multifaceted ways.

December 11 Muchas Gracias Awards Recipients

December 11 Muchas Gracias Awards Recipients

December 12, 2013 at 7:51 AM Leave a comment

Labor Day LCC Mini-Tri Re-cap

The day dawned ethereal; a perfect, genteel lady.  She wore a lace-cloud mantilla. With her delicate fan she wafted a cool, high desert perfume over the Mini-triathlon swimmers, bicyclists and runners.

At The Club at Las Campanas Fitness, Tennis and Spa, the excitement of the morning electrically threaded its way throughout those thoroughly focused and intent on organizing, racing, or cheering.

Marathoners were registered, numbered and marked by 7:45 a.m.  Swimmers formed a queue to begin the three-event Mini-triathlon. Bicycling team mates were tagged by swimmers and left from the fenced bicycle “cage” for that portion of the marathon.  As bicyclists returned, runners sprinted off for the final 3.03-mile event of the marathon.

Once the final marathon runner returned, as if on cue, the morning’s genteel lady departed and her boisterous, bright sister graced the crowd with hearty joy and sunshine for the awards ceremony. Images were captured of the smiling faces of yellow-clad volunteers, victorious marathon participants, and the LCC families they Club Frontall were supporting.

Photographs of the Las Campanas Compadres 5th annual 2013 Mini-Triathlon are shared on the LCC website (www.lascampanascompadres.org).  Click the tab “Events and Photos” to see the Mini-Tri’s images stored on “Shutterfly”.

The Las Campanas Compadres Facebook page has additional images of the Labor Day annual fundraising events, including the Pasta Dinner. You can see those at https://www.facebook.com/lccsantafe  in the “photos” section.

Culminating on Mini-Tri Day is the spirit of caring for and giving to others, which propels the intense and detailed machinations of well-organized teamwork.

Perhaps the profound thanks (which truly is beyond words) to the many people who make the annual fundraiser become a successful reality, (The Club at Las Campanas staff, financial sponsors, auction donors, organizers, volunteers, and the race participants) is best expressed in the happy, proud, and carefree faces of the riders and swimmers who take part in the Las Campanas Compadres programs all year round.  When you give of yourself, these special people are able to achieve goals that make their lives richer, fuller and more meaningful.

September 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM Leave a comment

2013 Mini-Tri Auction Items— Live on the LCC Website!!!

Get Excited!!!

Amazing Auction Items

are listed and available for you to bid on

to benefit LCC!

HOW:

Go to the Las Campanas Compadres website:

http://lascampanascompadres.org/

See the lower right side of the LCC web page

for the exciting items generous people donated

to benefit

the Las Campanas Compadres therapeutic riding and swimming programs!

Travel, Golf, Art, Salon Treatments,Vacation Getaways, Fabulous Food, Electronics, Furnishings, Wine, Gift Certificates for Fine Cars, Clothing and Jewelry

July 23, 2013 at 9:37 AM 1 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 http://www.lascampanascompadres.org 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: https://benefitlcc.wordpress.com/ 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.
Finances
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
Founders
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

2012 LCC Awards Day Recap

The Saturday afternoon glowed with a burnished autumn sun that kept the nippy October air at bay. In anticipation for the awards ceremony ahead, LCC participants and their families gathered around the Las Campanas Equestrian Center’s courtyard centerpiece shortly after 3:00 p.m.

LCC founders, Lawrence and Suzanna Becerra, thanked Las Campanas and the many people who have supported, volunteered, and bolstered the programs of Las Campanas Compadres since its inception in 2007. Through community support, like the success of September’s annual Labor Day mini-triathlon, LCC programs continue to flourish.  The impact of the group is also growing: the no-charge-to-families, half-hour hippotherapy and therapeutic swimming sessions currently taught by Karen Evans and Dave Caldwell are now at the 3,900-lesson mark and counting. The creative year-round fundraising efforts through Albertson’s Community Program and the percentage of sales when people use the LCC Amazon.com portal, are financially supporting LCC’s goal to benefit people of all ages who have disabilities. Through word-of-mouth, appearances on community television, and interviews on local radio stations, Las Campanas Compadres is becoming wider known in the Santa Fe area. LCC supporters as far away as Oklahoma, New York and London have contributed to its success.

Las Campanas Compadres Awards Day is a day of smiles and celebration.  Well-deserved pride and happy congratulations in the courtyard is widespread as each participant is called forward to receive their symbol of achieving individual riding and/or swimming goals. This year’s golden trophies created and engraved with each participant’s name are especially pretty and are only matched in their beauty by the lovely crystal heart-shaped 2012 “Ron Walters Awards” presented to three LCC volunteer recipients this year. Susan Sumner makes sure the Becerras received a meaningful token of the huge appreciation LCC families feel for the Becerras’ dedication and hard work before the ceremony ends. The traditional piñata is raised by Luis for the younger children to take turns trying to breaking it open to take home candy treats. LCC families, volunteers, instructors and founders have a chance to visit with one another while the delicious desserts and fruit they brought for the event are shared.

Awards Day is a splendid time to revel in the pure goodness and life-enrichment Las Campanas Compadres provides for those who take part in the programs.  LCC Awards Day is the epitome of a great deal of team effort, the crowning glory of a year’s work, and the manifestation of the non-profit group’s mission: “People Helping People Reach New Heights”.

To see initial images of LCC Awards Day 2012, click on LCC’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.337776229652235.76838.208949775868215&type=3

Another link to see images of the special day are coming soon to the Las Campanas Compadres website:

http://lascampanascompadres.org/

October 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM Leave a comment

Technology is Grand! (Podcast link of 8-05-12 LCC Radio Interview)

In case you missed it, here is your second chance to catch the “All Things Real Estate” August 5th broadcast featuring LCC founders, Lawrence and Suzanna Becerra:

http://www.santafe.com/podcasts/listen/all-things-real-estate-aug-5-2012

August 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM Leave a comment

It’s CommUNITY Day in Downtown Santa Fe at the Plaza!

Come by the Las Campanas Compadres booth on the Plaza today!

The City of Santa Fe has reserved May 12, 2012 for CommUNITY Day (El Dia de la Gente). As a part of Santa Fe’s “gente” or “the people”  of LCC volunteers have set up a booth to let the community know what we have to offer to people of all ages with disabilities and their families.

Booths open  from 10:00 a.m.  until  3:00 p.m.
There will be entertainment from noon until  10:00 p.m.

Again this year, all parking in city-owned lots and at parking meters (without a red hood) will be free. Disabled and zoned parking will be enforced.

Go by the LCC booth and say hi to PHIL NOLAN AND GEORGE COLLINS today!

May 12, 2012 at 8:39 AM Leave a comment

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