By John Chalmers the April 2019 Edition
On February 21, 2019, the seaside at the Oasis Beach Club was again the venue for a bocce tournament on the sand. The third annual competition began at 9 am, with 48 teams of two players competing for prizes in first, second, third and fourth place. As well, team members competed for a prize in the Goofy Hat Contest that inspired some unique headgear for some of the competitors.
The annual event is in support of Friends of Mexican Animal Welfare (FOMAW), which works to provide spay and neuter services to dogs and cats in the area. The fundraising event was supported by a $600-peso entry fee per team, a silent auction of dozens of donated items, a 50/50 cash raffle, a raffle for a well-stocked booze basket, and financial contributions from supporters.
Played on eight courts of 60 feet by 12 feet, but 10 feet shorter for women players, scheduled competition ran until mid afternoon. All day long, the serving staff of the Oasis Beach Club restaurant was kept on the run, serving food and drinks to on lookers and competitors alike. Beach vendors provided diversion by offering clothing, jewelry, sunglasses, other merchandise for sale and horseback rides.
Overall, whether folks were competing in the bocce games or just there to watch the sport and enjoy a day in the sun or under the sombrillas on the beach, the event is a totally festive affair. Announcer Randy Dean provided commentary and music for what was again a successful event in support of a worthy cause.
The festive day was highly successful, raising over $24,000 USD to help street animals in Manzanillo through FOMAW’s Animal Angels program. The program provides approximately 50 free spay/neuter surgeries per month for street animals and for low income pet owners who cannot afford the $450-peso cost of surgery.
As well, FOMAW pays for over 300 annual treatments for Transmissible Venereal Tumors (TVT) by Alianza Animal veterinarians. TVT is a potentially lethal, but curable, form of sexually transmitted cancer in dogs. In addition, Animal Angels provides transportation to veterinary clinics and financial support for care of animals in need of medical and/or surgical care and treatment.
“There is no question there are fewer, free-roaming animals in Manzanillo thanks to the work done by FOMAW and other spay/neuter programs in Manzanillo,” says FOMAW president Stan Burnett. “One point often forgotten about animal welfare work is that it also has a direct impact on public health. With animals in better shape, and fewer of them, there is less animal waste on the street, less spreading of garbage by scavenging animals. Healthier animals result in fewer parasites and fewer diseases, such as mange, that can be transmitted to humans.”Stan points out that, “It takes involvement of the entire community to make a difference and we couldn’t do what we do without the wonderful support of our sponsors, donors, volunteers, event participants and a fine staff!”
First prize of a five course dinner for six with drinks from the Oasis Beach Club went to Rich Taylor and Salvador “Chava” Martinez Ochoa, whose skill at playing washers on the beach no doubt paid off in bocce. Their team name, R Team 1, proved to be prophetic! Second place was taken by Team Canada, last year’s winners Bruce and Robert Stevens, receiving a $1000-peso gift certificate for the Pacifica del Mar restaurant.
Team Iguanabees, Lorill and Dave Hill placed third and were rewarded with a dinner for four from Monkey’s Chicken. Fourth place prize of dinner for two from Pizzeria Ritos was won by Rob and Mary Reinsmoen, competing as Team Ole and Lena.
The crazy hat competition was declared a tie between Tullis Thomas and Steve Conrad. Mary Lu Booth was the lucky winner of $11,965 pesos ($630 USD) for her share of the 50/50 raffle and generously donated all of it back to FOMAW.
Organizers could no doubt count on fine weather for the bocce tournament, but what made it a success was the 48 teams of competitors who stepped up to fill all slots in the schedule; the donors and supporters who contributed cash, merchandise for auction and raffle, prizes for the winners; and the team who organized the unique event. Kudos go to all for their enthusiastic approach to staging a successful fundraising event for the Manzanillo community.
The Manzanillo Sunis pleased to support the efforts of the en-tire bocce tournament team and the good work of Friends of Mexican Animal Welfare. To learn more about FOMAW, visit its web site at www.fomaw.org.