From Here

I am starting this week’s column with two huge shout-outs to my colleagues here at the Tribune: First up – Leigh Thelmadatter, who has just published her first book! Brava, brava! A couple of years ago, Leigh saw a photo on Facebook of a piece of jewelry that I made and asked if she could include me and it in her blog about Artists in Mexico. Who could say no to that! No, I am not in her new book; it’s called “Mexican Cartoneria,” the history of paper mache and will be widely available in November 2019. She is, however, talking about doing another so, who knows? I hope you sell a million copies, Leigh!

Second up is John Warren. He does all the publicity for the International Friendship Club and is extremely active in their charitable gifts program. Last summer, while on hiatus from IFC writings, John did a fantastic series in the Tribune about what all the street names in Old Town meant and/or who they came from, depending. I wanted to write and thank him for over a year and just haven’t. Something else came up and badda-bing, we ended up face to face over blackberry smoothies at the Vallarta Cigar Factory for a good, old-fashioned gabfest. I knew we would become fast friends and two hours flew away. We talked mostly about charity(ies) and how the IFC determines who gets what and why. A most significant point came up twice in one week: the Banderas Bay Women’s Shelter. The IFC is the ONLY reliable source of monthly income. Yes, they receive funding from the federal government, but the new President of Mexico has said he will cut off all shelters in the entire country. That hasn’t happened yet, but Founder/Director David Zude has to start looking at other revenue sources.

The annual fundraiser, “What a Drag” was a huge success again this year, but it is the only fundraiser the shelter has.

I met David Zude this past weekend at a lovely house party/fundraiser where monies were actively solicited for Corazon de Niña, Cheryl’s Shoebox and the Banderas Bay Women’s Shelter. I should have the figures next week. What is sorely needed are monthly donors and corporate sponsors if any of you feel so inclined, get in touch with me, and I will pass your information on. I believe my new friend John Warren is writing about violence against women in Mexico in his column this week. Have a read and help any way you can.

This was the third year David and Jim have thrown a little party. The first one was to inaugurate their new home, and a few pesos were collected for their fave charities. Last year the party grew and so did the donations. This year included gifts of clothes and shoes to go where they are most needed. Again Juanito tended bar as only he can – unflappable and always smiling. Martin played and sang; you can hear him every Friday at the Marsol Market. Paul Aleman, fresh from his solo debut at Incanto played and sang a few songs. Many of us were at his fabulous opening night performance. Other entertainers included a brilliant young tenor named Alejandro Peña, and Stolie.

Everyone brought a brunch-y dish and cash. We ate well, drank lots and caught up with friends we haven’t had time to see all season long. Thank you, David Wilhoit and Jim Davis, for your wonderful hospitality and to everyone there who helped make the party great and an even more significant contribution to those in need.

Keep the kindness moving forward and share all the hugs you can, From Here.

Marcia Blondin