Thank you to everyone for attending our 19th Annual Benefit this past Saturday, October 7th. Once again, Riverside Golf & Country Club here in Portland welcomed us with their customary hospitality. A full banquet room made for a lively atmosphere enjoyed by all in attendance from age 11 to 97!
Paul Baker and Brad Miller returned for another year as co-MC's and did a predictably outstanding job not only making the event fun and interactive but also staying right on the projected schedule. As per usual, Paul brought a colorful flamingo jacket that he wore when conducting the paddle raiser, and was even able to auction off the jacket itself for $250. Jeff Wilson and Kevin Winston of "Reeds & Keys" provided the music, giving the perfect background for a fun evening. A social hour allowed guests to mingle, enjoy an hors d'oeuvre and a drink and place their entries in the outstanding Raffle Packages featured here:
Package #1: Mystery Money Jar
Package #2: Nordstrom Gift Certificate for $500
Package #3: Dream Dinner Package
Package #4: LaRog Brothers Jewelry
Package #5: Dinner and Staycation Package
Package #6: Couples Bicycle Package
Package #7: It's Happening in Lincoln City Package
Package #8: Prada Designer Purse
Package #9: Casual Patio Furniture
Package #10: Pampered Woman Gift Basket
Package #11: Premium Wine Package
Package #12: GoPro Karma Drone
Current Mission Director Fr. Miguel Quintanilla, SJ, Mission Advisor Fr. David Ungerleider, SJ, and Former Mission Director Fr. Pedro Velasco, SJ all came from Mexico to join us for this event. We were also happy to welcome local priest Fr. Don Buxman and sorry that foundation friend Fr. Ted Weber was not able to attend (for the first time ever). We would also like to recognize Martin and Julie Fleck for taking on the role of Presenting Sponsor for the event as well as our Gold and Silver sponsors.
Fr. Miguel nominated "Beans & Corn" as this years Fund-An-Item and we raised approx. $40,000. This will be allocated to replenish the food warehouse in Creel to help the staff continue to make basic food distributions through the upcoming winter months. It should be mentioned, that this is always done on a "food for work" basis with the Tarahumara community collaborating in local building, reconstruction, etc., projects in order to receive this assistance.
We were pleased to welcome Steve Schneider from Schneider Water Services to give an update on "Water for Life". Steve and his wife Miriam took another team of volunteers to Creel this past spring to continue the testing, analysis and remediation of the local water sources in the Copper Canyon. This will continue for several more years to be followed by water well reconstruction and new drilling. Steve expects to take another team back to Creel in 2018 to continue the significant progress that has already been made.
The Clinica in Creel received its official accreditation renewal this past summer which will now allow it to operate in full compliance for the next 5 years. This stability will allow Fr. Miguel and his staff to focus on the delivery of medical services without the worry of possibly being closed down by the government.
We would also like to mention that our Endowment Fund, which began in 2013 has now grown to approx $433,000 due to a large donation from the Ralph Mistler estate of San Francisco, CA this past summer. This donation puts us right on track to reach our goal of $500,000 by 2018. Thank you very much to the Mistler estate for their most generous bequest.
We are so thankful and humbled by the support that we have received from the local Portland community as well as from others around the world. It is hard to believe that we are approaching our 20th year in this endeavor and none of it would have been possible without the help of our local Board, the guidance of our Mission Director and other advisors, many volunteers and monetary donations from near and far.
Many people have never heard of the "Tarahumara" when they first learn about our foundation. They are an isolated people in a remote part of rural Mexico. They have been fighting to retain their cultural way of life for several hundred years and deserve to the recognized and respected. Fr. Verplancken understood this over 50 years ago and has passed on his love and affection for these people to all who know them.
On behalf of Fr. Miguel, we want to thank you for supporting this noble cause.
John and Peggy Brockamp
President and Secretary, TCHF of Oregon