El rincón español
Febrero loco, marzo otro poco.
Crazy February, March a little more so.
El tiempo todo lo cura.
Time cures everything. Time is craziness.
(A play on words: lo cura = cures it; locura = craziness)
SOS-panyol Everyday Survival Spanish is a nontraditional language program designed to help individuals and business and government personnel develop oral communication skills in Spanish. www.sospanyol.com.
Get involved in August ACS Relay for Life
The Bernalillo/Placitas Relay For Life is gearing up for its second annual event, to be held this August. Relay For Life is a signature event of the American Cancer Society that brings together groups and individuals in a unified effort to fight back against this disease
The first annual Bernalillo/Placitas Relay For Life was held July 25 and July 26, 2003, at the Bernalillo High School track. The program began Friday evening with a survivors walk and special survivors dinner amid a festive atmosphere that set the stage for the importance of each person’s contribution. During the evening's entertainment new and old friends were able to meet and provide encouragement and personal support.
Volunteer teams, who had participated in a variety of fund-raising activities, created booths and staging areas from which their members took turns walking all night around the track. Cancer-prevention posters encircled the area offering a unique information-sharing opportunity. A number of families and friends camped out in the center of the track to provide support.
After dark, a very moving luminaria ceremony was held to honor cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost the battle with cancer. The Bernalillo High School track was surrounded with burning lights that reminded all the participants of the incredible importance of their contributions. Games, activities, and food kept energy levels up. With the warm rays of sun on their backs Saturday morning, the teams and volunteers enjoyed a celebratory breakfast as the last walkers completed their laps.
Bernalillo/Placitas Relay For Life was honored for it's effective first relay at the American Cancer Societies Planning meeting in Albuquerque last September. New Mexico is one of the leading states in the country for the number, size, and effectiveness of it's cancer-fund-raising activities through Relay For Life.
“The funds raised here in Bernalillo and Placitas will enable us to continue our investment in the fight against cancer through educational programs, research, advocacy, and services to patients," said Janette Perez, the Bernalillo-Placitas chairperson. "The generosity of sponsors of the event allows money raised by the participants to go directly to the American Cancer Society's life-saving programs. Please consider becoming involved. A variety of committees and team-building efforts are just now getting underway. It is an exciting community-building event that helps provide long-term support in the battle against cancer."
The 2004 Bernalillo/Placitas Relay For Life will have an informational kick-off party in Bernalillo on March 30. This year's overnight event is planned for August 13 and 14 at the Bernalillo High School. Information about how to become involved in the Relay For Life Bernalillo/Placitas is is available by calling Janette Perez, 867-7410, or Melisa Beach, 260-2105, extension 13, at the American Cancer Society.
For more information about Relay For Life or the American Cancer Society, please call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
Placitas Girl Scouts busy
Placitas Girl Scout Troop 7288 has been busy the past couple of months. In November, they collected donations of canned food and money for Haven House, a domestic-violence shelter in Sandoval County. There was great support from the community for this cause.
In January, the girls spent a Saturday morning helping the volunteers at the Placitas Recycling Center. They enjoyed piling up newspapers, carrying bags of plastic bottles, and directing traffic.
The first two weekends in March, the troop will be having cookie sales at the Merc in Placitas. Please look for their booth and come support your local Girl Scout troop.
If you would like more information about Girl Scouts, please call Girl Scouts of the Chaparral Council at 343-1040.
A club for stay-at-home moms
About seven years ago I went house hunting with my daughter. She and her husband were expecting their first child, and they bristled at the notion of living in the UNM Married Student Housing. Being a Realtor, I jumped into action and located many properties to fit their budget. They finally settled on a brand new AMREP home in Enchanted Hills, which has far exceeded all their expectations.
My daughter joined the MOMS Club of Rio Rancho, and a few months ago became the first president of the newly chartered MOMS Club for Northern Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, and Placitas. We recently had a conversation about this organization.
The MOMS Club is the only nonprofit international organization for stay-at-home mothers. "With so many mothers working outside the home today, it can be extremely difficult for moms to meet each other," Marisa told me. "The MOMS Club allows at-home mothers to get together in a supportive atmosphere. There are a wide range of activities allowed under the MOMS Club banner," she explained. There are monthly meetings with interesting speakers and topics for discussion relevant to parenting. The group meets regularly for park play days, special outings for the mothers, holiday activities, as well as service projects benefitting needy children in the community.
"MOMS Club also has activity groups that allow members to share similar interests," Marisa added. "Typical activity groups include play groups for preschoolers, babysitting co-ops, a cooking club, a scrapbooking club, a crochet club, a monthly moms’ night out, and arts and crafts. "Whatever mothers are interested in, we're able to do!" she proudly exclaimed.
Because the MOMS Club is a support group specifically for at-home mothers, the meetings are held during the day, and mothers may bring their children to any of the club's activities. "We don't believe that a mother should be isolated just because she has children," Marisa added.
Annual membership dues are $17. More information about the Northern Rio Rancho MOMS Club may be requested by e-mailing the membership vice president, Kristen Maass, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Web site, momsclub.org.
Placitas Pre-K program Valentine’s party
Optimists support community
The Optimist Club de Sandoval has been working to support existing community programs and has added some new programs, too.
The Reading with Kasey program (driven by Vanessa Johnston) continues to expand throughout the state.
The Placitas Pre-K program, licensed by the Children and Youth Families Department, has also expanded, and the student enrollment has almost doubled. Recent activities included a Valentine’s Day party and trips to Explora and the aquarium. March plans include a trip to Great Harvest Bread. The Junior Optimists enjoyed their February activities, which included making Valentine’s Day cards, going bowling, and learning ceramics.
The featured speaker for the February 16 club meeting was probate judge Mary Kwapich, who discussed “What’s new in New Mexico probate law?” and answered members’ questions about wills and the probate process.
The February Ronald McDonald House supper was both enjoyable and successful. Club members brought Mexican food for about twenty-five ill children and their families at the Ronald McDonald House in Albuquerque, which provides shelter for the families of children in the hospital who are far from home and under distress. North Valley and Evening Optimist Clubs also participated.
A new ongoing effort sponsored by the club is the Wellness Clinic of St. Vincent de Paul in Bernalillo, which opens its doors to community members to monitor their blood pressure, weight, and diabetes. Chair message and reflexology are also offered at no cost.
Fund-raising for the Optimist Club to enable it to continue support for these programs will include participating at the Merc flea-market events. Look for the Optimist table to find super bargains and help support its programs. The club is also raffling a framed Viet Nam memorial poster (of the wall) as a club fund-raiser. Members have access to raffle tickets, or contact Suzann Owings at 867-0567. Community calendars for 2005 will also be on sale in the near future.
The Optimist Club de Sandoval meets at 7:00 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month, usually at the Mission San Antonio Community Center in Placitas. For further information, please contact Suzann Owings at 867-0567.