The International Friendship Club (IFC) has finished its 34th successful season of Home Tours, Dine Arounds, bridge games and classes, lectures, movie nights, yoga and meetings. Phew!
The club had its Farewell Brunch last Sunday at Le Bistro Restaurant on the island in the Rio Cuale, where management, chefs and staff provided an excellent meal to over a hundred members and friends. Kharla Barragan brought thirty of her singing group, ALAS – Escuela de canto, to entertain the crowd and had them clapping along with the music and smiling with joy. The morning ended with raffle tickets drawn for dozens of prizes that were supplied by generous donors.
Each year our “Preferred Merchants” of IFC step up and help with our efforts to raise money for our programs and charities by donating goods and services in the form of gift certificates for our raffle. Many thanks to all those businesses and people who have helped. The many restaurants who gave us certificates include Eclectico’s, Layla’s, No Way Jose, Casa Traditional, Roberto’s, Trio, Le Bistro, Blue Shrimp/Si Senior Restaurant, No Se Nada, 4 Sapori, Tacuba (Victor’s), Las Palomas Doradas, Portobello, Route 66, Nacho Daddy’s, and Mariachiles. Passes for entertainment came from Incanto, Zapeda Sailing and Tours, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Act 11 Main Stage, Cassandra Shaw Jewelry, Galeria June Rosen Lopez, Be Yees Jewelry, Zapotec Art, Marina Salon Spa Massage, Alexander A. haircut and style, Millennium Spa, Salsa Salon. What a caring community we live in! Thank you!
The season to raise money runs from late November to the end of March; a scant four months. That’s when Puerto Vallarta is flooded with visitors and snowbirds. However, for the next eight months, the club’s income will be non-existent, but its help to the community will continue through the long, hot months of summer.
The doctors involved with the cleft palate flew in from Guadalajara last week and continued the work that they have been doing with children born with cleft palates and lips for the last thirty-four years. They will be in town another two or three times before the end of the year.
The club provides monthly income to many of the twenty or so charities it supports. New mom’s with HIV will still get milk for their babies through the AIDS organization, SETAC. Pasitos de Luz will receive money to help their children who need physical therapy, meals, and love. Casa Hogar Maximo Cornejo, which provides a home for children abandoned in the streets, will continue to get IFC’s financial support. Anti-venom serum for scorpion stings will be purchased and sent to Mayto, an oceanside community with hardly any medical care. Clinica Sta. Barbara de Rehabiltacion Vallarta is a family rehab center where IFC’s donations offset costs of treatment for individuals with little financial means to pay.
The club has agreed to fund an “Apapacho” program at the Biblioteca Los Mangos that helps new parents learn how to read to their children and instills a strong sense of communication between infant and parent. IAMPV will receive help to buy new music stands and sheet music. The Volcanes Community Education Project will get help to pay their teachers’ salaries. The list goes on, and so does the need for the IFC’s support to the community.
The club provides vital support to hundreds of Mexican children. None of it would be possible without the help of its homeowners, its volunteers and the business owners of Puerto Vallarta. Muchas, muchas gracias!!