So far we have raised $9,900USD since the beginning of the year for our Ambulance, Fire , and Police presence in town. Our operating expenses, to continue the current level of commitment, is $50,000. We are $39,100 short of maintaining our Ambulance, Police and Fire stations in town.
Two years ago, Sayulita was faced with a very serious and increasingly oppressive problem. Daily robbery reports by locals and visitors alike amounted to thousands of dollars of valuables stolen. This theft took this otherwise peaceful town and plagued it with fear and insecurity.
Spring in Sayulita is one of my favorite times to be living here. We have fewer guests at houses and as a result we have a little less income but we have more time. At the GPS Wednesday Meeting we discussed some of the learnings from this past Semana Santa and how to use the same plan for enhanced Sayulimpia service during peak times- think Christmas and Semana Santa. We gave a round of applause for the concerted efforts of the Sayulimpia ground team, Marcos Scott and the astounding efforts of Tracie Willis. If it had not been for their relentless efforts and the donations they collected for the enhanced pickups in town and trash traps on the beach we would have had the stacks of garbage from past years.
The Fiesta has passed, a great time was had by all. We completely sold out all tickets and we gratefully thank all of the volunteers, donors, all those who attended and all those who bid and bought items. We cannot thank Don Pedro's enough and Suzanne Gravelle did a superhuman job of organizing. We are cleaning up some of the final issues and will update the website with the long list of those who contributed to another amazing event.
GPS is holding a Beer Pong tournament on Saturday, March 16, 2pm Iguana Gardens. We will play 6 cup not 10 cup pong. Each cup will have 1/3 of a beer. We will find out who in Sayulita has the skills to have fun, drink beer and perform at the ping pong table. Please join us for an afternoon of delight. The sign up rules and tournament rules are below. Bring a two person team. Each two person team may have either 2 male or female cheerleaders who will be recognized with the winners. Cheerleaders will be judged subjectively on cheer routines, costumes and skill of their contestants but will not necessarily be given the same placement as their contestants.
On March 13th is the Grupo Pro Sayulita main fundraiser at the Brisa Mar Palapa- it starts at 5pm and it will be a blast. We had a fantastic time at the CVIS fundraiser, and are looking forward to the SayulitAnimals dance tonight (Friday).
From Sayulita to British Columbia, from Sante Fe to Aix en Provence, this year's folkloric themed fiesta promises to have something for everyone. A feast for the senses is offered this year with music from The Banderas Bay Jazz Allstars and David Ruiz, an array of colorful visions in the auction items, and bright Ortega rooster centerpieces to win. So sit back and smell the roses, and enjoy the delicious cuisine from Don Pedro's served at your table.
I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the status of the police program. The role of GPS is to accept the donations and be the stewards of the money insuring that it is spent for the support of the police program. We have done that to the utmost. Now the money that was donated is nearly gone.
On Sunday, March 10, Sayulita will celebrate its First Annual 'Sayulita Salud!". The entire Community will gather in the Plaza to participate in and watch the parade and fiesta centered around the arrival of the new Fire Engine, Ambulance and Chipper coming to Sayulita.
As suggested last week, I'd like to introduce you to the new Board of Grupo Pro Sayulita. I feel very fortunate to work alongside them and look forward to all the great things we are going to accomplish to better our entire community! Here are the bios and some information on our Grupo Pro Sayulita board members:
For all those who could not attend, Wednesday was a very exciting night. The Casa de Cultura was packed with existing and new voting members. We heard from all the excellent projects that we support; Sayulimpia, SayulitAnimals, Sayulita Recicla, Emergency Services, Aire Puro, Sayulita Verde, Public School Assistance, the police support project. We heard from the extremely loud birds in the trees. We had a wonderful translator, something that we would like to continue to have at all the meetings.
There will be a new board next week (Wednesday) and this is my last GPS article for ElSayulero.com. I've served three years as president and it's been a busy time. Last year, in fact, was a sensationally successful year of fundraising and doing scores of programs that helped the town. So I'm happy to leave on a high note.
Although I thought last week's column would be my last, I'm writing a couple of extra columns as GPS president-- all because the election got moved back two weeks to January 23. Although I am retiring this month as president of GPS after three years, I'll still have a small but official role for the upcoming year. Because most of the money that comes to GPS goes to our Paypal and credit card accounts in the U.S., two months ago we formed a U.S. non-profit entity called Friends of Sayulita to be the legal owner of this account. We have applied for 501c3 status and if we receive approval, donations will be tax deductible for U.S. citizens.
The year is just beginning and for some at GPS, there'll be a change of guard on January 23.
In two weeks, I'll put some things into perspective in my farewell column. But this week, I'd like to thank the people who worked so very hard to make my three years as president of GPS so very productive. We raised a hell of a lot of money and we were very hands-on as to how the funds were put to use. We have no staff and no office- we are all volunteers and the funds we raise all go for town's needs.
Things are so much better in Sayulita; let's not slide backwards. A few years ago there were some serious problems evolving in Sayulita. Sayulita evolved into a popular tourist town and like all tourist destinations, we had some opportunity crime. But our town was small enough and we were organized enough to do something about it.
Billy Crystal's famous line, "You look great!" is one that came to mind when I stepped foot into Sayulita for the first time this season. I had witnessed most of the construction last winter, although when Barbara and I left, work was still going on.
Although I've tried to squeeze in sufficient time serving as president of Grupo Pro Sayulita, I have a busy "other life." Often I feel guilty because, like the majority (but importantly not all) of the foreign community, I live in Sayulita only during the winter months.
When Barbara and I used our Puerto Vallarta auction package that we won, one of the highlights was a first-time visit to the Botanical Gardens, about a half hour south of PV. I'm always interested in cultural destinations, especially since I've had a lot of involvement with new art museums. And having had many years helping not-for-profit groups, I'm always interested in new approaches for earning income to keep these organizations going.
Traditionally, each year GPS volunteers state their interests and priorities for the town. Most of the suggestions have fallen into one of six categories. In no particular order, they are: a. cleaning the town of trash and dust (with recycling) b. helping the public schools c. full-time lifeguards on the beach d. helping with long-term town planning for traffic, parking, recreational facilities e. adequate ambulance and emergency/medical response services.