Annual LCC Letter from the Founders

lMay 26, 2015

Dear Friends of Las Campanas Compadres,

I am somewhat late this year in writing our annual letter. As much as I try to take on a bit less, that game plan never seems to work out the way I had planned.

Las Campanas Compadres continues to grow and service the needs of our community. 2014 was an exciting, and also challenging, year for us in many ways, and 2015 looks to be the same.

2014 In Review

We are proud of our achievements. Since inception in May 2007, LCC has underwritten over 7,000 ½-hour private tutorial riding and swimming lessons. Our student numbers continue to grow. We now have 94 registered students (up from 77 last year) on our roster and we continue to receive new applications on a regular basis. We underwrite approximately 1,500 lessons per year.

Our horse situation has changed somewhat. We now have four horses in our program. The difference is that we own them all and new last year is the added expense of LCC underwriting the cost of boarding them in addition to the vet and farrier costs we incur. While The Club at Las Campanas has been incredibly generous in giving us a deeply discounted boarding rate, it still means an added $4,800 expenses per annum.

Bruno, who has been with us since the beginning, is almost now retired. He is old and does not have the stamina he once had. We have been actively looking for a home for him where he can just graze and live out his days, but that has proven to be difficult to find. Our other three horses, Sunny, Bolero and Ghost continue to do a great job for us and Karen has them well trained.

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, Karen Evans and Dave Caldwell.

Last year’s Annual Awards event took place in the fall and was once again a great success. This year’s event will again be on Columbus Day, October 12th. 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 42 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 2014.

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.

Bob Lehrer has been awesome. His tireless commitment to LCC is well documented and enormously appreciated. It takes a lot of time and energy to run a program of our size, and Bob has been one of the key people helping us make LCC the success that it is.

Mimi Kingsbury is a well-seasoned vet in our program and is 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.

Juliana Walsh is relatively new to our program. The students love her as she always brings compassion and a positive disposition to every lesson she undertakes. Juliana takes on a heavy load of riding lessons, and 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 6th 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 $93,884.

We had 185 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. This was the first year we added a young children category and it was immensely successful attracting about 50 participants. We think this portion of the race will grow significantly. We once again used a professional organizer, FIT FUNdamentals, to organize the event and they did a great job. Rey Post was our announcer for the second year running and kept the energy level high all morning by conducting interviews with participants and volunteers alike. Rey has a very successful radio program here in town called “All Things Real Estate” and we encourage you to listen in.

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 and Deborah Fahie for making the pasta dinner event the success that it was; Todd Shaw and Mike Simpson, who were 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.

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 United Airlines and Glenn Tilton who donated two business class tickets to anywhere in North and South America; 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 a two evening’s stay at his beautiful lodge and two days of trophy trout fishing; Mr. & Mrs. Robert McCloud who underwrote the cost of the tee shirts; Pat and Patti Carter who donated a one week stay at their beautiful home in Idaho ; Early & Early; Sotheby’s/Nancy Lehrer; Jewel Mark; ACC; Roy’s Pest Control; Don Chalmers Ford; The Club at Las Campanas, The Compound, Albertsons, Amazon, Meddleton Equine, Eye Associates of New Mexico, Devon Gilchrist, Cienda Partners, Coronado Paint, The Four Seasons, Corporate Travel Alliance, The Cleanery, Siri Hollander and Arroyo Vino.

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of two of our students in the past year.

Alfredo Cordoba was 36 when he died. Alfredo had an extremely rare and challenging disease whereby his only sense was the sense of touch. Alfredo was one of our most challenged students and also one of the most challenging to instruct. He had been with the program since its inception. Not surprisingly, Karen and all the volunteers who signed up to work with Alfredo met the challenge with the enthusiasm and dedication that has come to be a hallmark of our program. We know that Alfredo benefited from his riding time. His entire demeanor would change and it would be one of the rare times that Alfredo had some joy in his life. Alfredo will be missed.

Eleri Claire Michaels-Northfield had just turned 6 when she died from the long term effects of shaken baby syndrome. Eleri was adopted by Karen Northfield and Pam Michaels, two of the most courageous and giving people we know. Eleri made them proud. Despite her significant challenges, Eleri had a fierce personality and met her short life head on. She developed an immensely strong bond with Bruno, and to any who doubt the power of horses over special needs people, one need only have witnessed the time when Bruno was brought to her home for one last visit before she died. Bruno’s obvious cognizance of the moment and Eleri’s outpouring of love for Bruno was palpable and powerful and will not soon be forgotten by those who were there. Eleri was loved by everyone in the program and her persona will live on despite the brevity of her time on earth.

2015 In Focus

We do not anticipate that student growth will slow down during 2015. 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.

Last year the board approved a student support scholarship program called the Helping Hands Fund. 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 will be annually funded by LCC with $5,000. Suzanna chairs the committee with the help of Susan Sumner, Karen Evans, Dave Caldwell, Susie Fisher and Linda Factor. They have received a number of applications and funding will commence soon. We are excited about the program and anticipate continued growth.

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.

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.

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”.


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

LCC entered 2014 with $111,006 in the bank. We ended the year with $148,765. We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and our sincere gratitude goes without saying.

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.

Our Albertson and Amazon programs are working out well for us, although the 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 2014 our total operating expenses were $80,430. Expenses are divided into two main categories. The largest expense category is the cost of our instructors and equipment. Last year this accounted for $56,546 of our operating budget. The balance of $23,884 was for office infrastructure 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 for 2015 is $91,825. We have budgeted $63,325 for programs and $28,500 for office infrastructure.

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 2015.

Suzanna & Lawrence Becerra


Bruno and Eleri

Bruno and Eleri


May 26, 2015 at 8:15 AM Leave a comment

“Bucks for Bruno!”

LCC's Bruno

“BUCKS FOR BRUNO!!”– by Bruno (one of the Las Campanas Compadres’ beloved therapeutic riding horses)


“Bucks for Bruno” is a targeted drive to raise funds to assist with my expenses as I continue my role of awesome “Grand Old Man” of the therapy team. (Also sometimes known as the Grouchy Old Man)


I’m in my 30’s and have needed to slow down a bit although I still enjoy my job. Compadres has made arrangements to keep me in the program and stabled at Las Campanas, allowing me to work on a limited and appropriate basis while we continue to seek the best of permanent retirement homes for me! (But I’m not going to just any old place. I’ve got standards, you know.)


However we are only budgeted for 3 horses and so are seeking donations to help with my monthly expenses.


My expenses are monthly board fee, 2 bags of Equine Senior per month and farrier service every 8 weeks, plus routine seasonal veterinary expenses.


If you’d like to help, please spread the word about “Bucks for Bruno”. Donations can be specific such as providing my grain, paying the farrier or simply by making a donation to Las Campanas Compadres – noting that your donation is for the Bruno Fund! All donations are fully tax-deductible. Cash, farrier and grain donations can be given directly to Karen Evans. Donations by check, Pay Pal etc can be made through our website, or can be mailed to:

Las Campanas Compadres 15 Buckskin Circle Santa Fe, NM 87506


If you have any questions, please contact Karen Evans @(505) 501 3633 or She’ll walk you through the details.




March 22, 2015 at 9:18 AM Leave a comment

The LCC “Helping Hands Fund” is Here!

Big Announcement!!! A very important mailing went out on December 1, 2014 to eligible Las Campanas Compadres students and their families/caregivers announcing the newest program meant to improve and benefit the lives of LCC students: The Helping Hands Fund.

To further explain this exciting new dimension of Las Campanas Compadres programs is an excerpt from the mailing’s cover letter written by Suzanna Becerra, Chair, of the Helping Hands Committee:

“The Helping Hands Fund is a Las Campanas Compadres, Inc. sponsored program.



Our mission is:  helping hands

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.    

Eligible applicants will need to meet the following baseline criteria:

  • The applicant must have been actively enrolled and participating in a Las Campanas Compadres program (swimming or therapeutic riding) for a minimum of six months prior to the date of application
  • The applicant will provide a certification of disability with the application

All applications will be evaluated by the Helping Hands Committee.   If additional information is required, the student or the student’s family or guardian will be contacted by a Helping Hands committee member.   If applicants have any questions or problems with the application form or the application process, they should contact Suzanna Becerra at 505 820 2707 or by email

Completed applications along with all supportive documentation must be received no later than March 1, 2015. Applications received after this date will not be considered. Awards will be made no later than May 1, 2015. Please note, award monies will only be paid to service providers, educators or merchants. Funds will not be paid to individuals.

Our students are the heart of our program and we are continually searching for new ways to enhance and enrich their lives. We hope Helping Hands will do exactly that.”



December 8, 2014 at 9:33 PM Leave a 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

2014 Triathlon Super-Sprint Photos

You can find photos of the LCC Annual Labor Day Fundraising Event by following these steps:

1. Go to
2. Select events tab from top menu
3. Select triathlons on vertical menu
4 Select the triathlon you raced in/attended (Las Campanas Compadres Triathlon)
5. Select swim, cycling, run, or finish

Prints start at $5.00. Digital download $12.00

September 1, 2014 at 1:19 PM Leave a comment

Sign Up Now! Registration closes August 29th






We are also looking for participants who would be willing to be on a special needs team. We have 5 swimmers, 3 bikers, and 2 runners who are still looking for a team.

If you are interested please contact David Caldwell at  or on (505) 603-3500


To register, please go to




August 22, 2014 at 8:00 AM Leave a comment

2014 LCC Triathlon Pasta Dinner

Las Campanas Compadres Pasta Dinner

Featured Guest Speaker: Leroy Petry

Sunday, Leroy Petry August 31, 2014

6:00 p.m.

Price: $35 ++ /PP, $17.50++/Child

For Reservations Please Call Member Services at:


This year’s pasta dinner will feature motivational speaker, Leroy Petry.  Leroy is a U.S. soldier and recipient of  the U.S.  military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor,  for actions in 2008 during Operation Enduring Freedom.  Petry became the second recent living recipient of the medal for the war in Afghanistan when he received the award from President Barack Obama in 2011.

Join us on the Torreon for a great evening of delicious pasta and fun, even if you are not participating in the  Labor Day Triathlon Super-Sprint.


August 18, 2014 at 8:35 PM Leave a comment

Las Campanas Compadres 2014 Fund Raising Auction










Two First/Business Class tickets to Alaska, US48, Hawaii, Central America,

Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.


The Lodge at Chama:

Two night’s lodging/meals/beverages/one day guided fishing.





4 days/ 3 nights stay at Zoëtry Casa del Mar ( Jr. Suite )

Transportation Airport – Hotel – Airport (Private Chauffer)

Romantic Dinner

Round of Golf in Puerto los Cabos Golf Course

Snorkeling Tour / Sunset Tour

Based on two person occupancy. Gratuities not included






Three master bedrooms, 75 feet from the river for great fishing.




A Round of golf and dinner for four (FORE).


A Trail ride for two. 


A ten training session certificate with Jeff Cisneros at the Spa & Fitness Center.Members only



A ten yoga session certificate with Stephen Jen at the Spa & fitness Center.Members only


Package of five 60 minute Reflexology sessions with Laurie Batz.Members only


Package of four 60 minute Reiki/Shamballa Multidimensional healing sessions with Laurie Batz.Members only


Teec Nos Pos Navajo Single Saddle Blanket . Circa 1925   33” X 27”



$250 certificate for Roca Salon.



$375 certificate for Santa Fe Lashes



ACC Fine Furnishing & Interior Design

$1000 ACC Certificate.





Santa Fe Architects & Builders

$1000 Boniface Associates certificate.

To be applied towards architectural services.



JM Jewel Mark

Four $1000 certificates for the purchase of non-sale Jewelry. One per bidder.



New Mexico’s Couture Dry Cleaner. Door to Door Pick Up Service

Ten $100 certificates. Two per bidder



Two $250 dining certificates. One per bidder. Gratuity not included



Two $250 dining certificates. One per bidder. Gratuity not included.



Exclusive Chef’s Table Experience for 6 Guests at Terra Restaurant.



A six pack of three great 2001 Brunello’s: Casanova de Neri, Castel Giacondo, and Caprili.  2001 was an exceptional vintage for Brunello’s. Retail value for all 6 bottles: $470.




August 13, 2014 at 9:07 PM Leave a comment

Only One Month Before the Big 2014 Fundraiser!

Today marks the one-month countdown to the Las Campanas Compadres sixth annual Triathlon Super-Sprint!

There are several ways you can benefit LCC:

Pasta Dinner Speaker, Leroy Petry

Pasta Dinner Speaker, Leroy Petry


To participate in the triathlon swimming, biking, running event, which takes place at 8 a.m. on Monday, September 1, 2014, register at:


To be a Volunteer for the Triathlon, go to the LCC website and complete a volunteer application.


Another excellent way to help LCC raise funds for their life-fulfilling programs for the disabled, is to bid on some fabulous prizes. To participate, go to the

Live LCC 2014 Online Auction at:


The night before the triathlon is the Annual Las Campanas Compadres Mini-Tri Pasta Dinner – 2014

Featured Guest Speaker: Leroy Petry

Sunday, August 31 ~ 6:00 p.m.

$35++/PP, $17.50++/Child

This year’s pasta dinner will feature motivational speaker Leroy Petry. Leroy is a U.S. soldier and recipient of the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for actions in 2008 during Operation Enduring Freedom. Petry, who now wears a prosthesis after being disabled in combat, became the second recent living recipient of the medal for the war in Afghanistan when he received the award from U.S. President Barack Obama in 2011. Opting to reenlist in spite of his wounds, Petry remains on active duty in the U.S. Army where he assists wounded soldiers and their families. Join us on the Torreon for a great evening of delicious pastas and fun even if you aren’t participating in the Labor Day event. Call Member Services at the Club at Las Campanas for reservations to attend this very special event, 505.995.3500.

August 1, 2014 at 7:03 PM Leave a comment

Adopt a Las Campanas Compadres Horse— Help the LCC Riding Program

Sunny- Everyone Says I'm Their Favorite Bruno- My Steadiness Makes Me Perfect for New Riders Bolero- All the Kids Love My Colors

Meet the  Wonderful Horses of Las Campanas Compadres.

Sunny– “Everyone says I’m their favorite.”

Bruno– “My steadiness makes me perfect for new riders.”

Bolero– “All the kids love my colors.”

All of our horses do a great job and they mean a lot to our students.

Our program pays for boarding, shoeing, and veterinary bills.

You can help our program a lot by adopting one, or more, of our horses for a year.

Or maybe you can form a syndicate with your friends. Our costs are approximately $2000 per year per horse.

If you would like to participate in this program, please contact Lawrence & Suzanna Becerra at 505-820-2707 or by email


 We thank you in advance for your kind consideration.

 The Board of Directors

Las Campanas Compadres

July 7, 2014 at 11:08 AM 2 comments

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