Late this Wednesday afternoon, Lawrie just happened to check his emails and discovered a message from Marla Bainbridge Martinez asking if we would consider helping out as bartenders at a fundraiser starting at four in the afternoon.
I heaved an unhappy sigh, and stared longingly at my just-poured glass of Malbec wine. Our afternoon plans had included reading a book on the ocean-side patio, with a glass of wine in hand. But it was a fundraiser put on by a group of island friends and business people in support of a badly injured islander. Julio Zapata had recently been in a horrific moto (motorcycle) accident in the nearby City of Mérida. Julio has two young children and a third on the way. He is facing large medical bills for multiple surgical operations.
We couldn’t say no. It’s what people in small communities do – help out. Lawrie and I scrambled to get to the fundraiser for the four o’clock start time, knowing full well that as eager-beaver expats we would be among the first to arrive.
|Navy truck in front, providing an armed escort for the ice?|
Driving to the venue at the Casa de la Culture via Guerreo Avenue, we trailed behind a golf cart, loaded with bags of ice. Apparently ice for a party is a valuable commodity on Isla Mujeres. Driving ahead of the golf cart was an armed escort in the form of a truck load of Navy marines – presumably protecting against the threat of ice-bandits.
|Lawrie and Fernanda all set to sell beer and drinks|
At the ocean-side esplanade for the Casa de la Culture busy hands were in the process of setting up the venue. Lights and sound systems installed. Band instruments un-packed. Beer organized in the cooler and covered with the precious ice. Bid pages were arranged for silent auction items donated by several island businesses. And then our favourite beer dispensers arrived: Isla Brewing.
|La Banda Sin Nombre|
Okay, we’re good to go! Now let’s hear some tunes from La Banda Sin Nombre, the Band with No Name!
The crowd was small but very generous in their donations. Thanks to everyone for helping out. Here’s a copy of Marla’s list of contributors: hopefully no one has been left out.
Javi’s Cantina Restaurant Tapas Bar, Bobo’s Grill & Bar, Isla Mujeres Bar Card, El Arrecife, Parque de los Sueños, Restaurant Asia Caribe, CARM Tours & Transfers, The Joint Reggae Bar & Grill, El Patio house of music, Gigi Kraycar, Nirit Ben David, Olivia Tastes from the Mediterranean, Catrina Restaurant, BE Wings Restaurant, Nisa Disco, and Michael (no last name given).
Aida signing up for an auction item
La Banda Sin Nombre, and Deejay Dani for the tunes. Cheryl Gabel and Kevin Gabel for running the auction. Isla Brewing Company – Cerveza Isla for showing up last minute. Emilio Fernando Sosa Delgado and Martin Burgos for setting up. Jason Williams and Fernanda.
Some of the silent auction winners include: Phil the new owner of the Bahai Tortuga Restaurant, Mark and Monica Macpherson, Sandra Murray, Tomas Christianson, Terri Huff, Dede Clark, Aida and Patricio Yam.
|Phil, Barbara Beck, Chris Shannon, Jimmy Picuri|
Between the beer sales, the silent auction items, and an earlier Go Fund Me campaign the group efforts have brought in about $41,000 pesos of the $70,000 pesos needed to pay for the operations. It’s a great start! Donations are still gratefully accepted. Contact Marla at Javi’s Cantina for details.
The weather was perfect, the music enjoyable, and the crowd was happy.
Thank you everyone for your generosity.
Lynda & Lawrie
|Organizing the silent auction items|