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San Felipe made me very proud at the benefit for Irene Smith. The town really stepped up to the plate to help one of our most colorful characters. This event was put together in a very short & crazy week but all it took was a couple of phone calls and the ball was rolling. I want to thank Rick Rudd, Sam & Diane Grubb and Rebecca & Jim Mann for jumping on the band wagon immediately with phone calls & e-mails flying. Then Denny & Sandy Flannigan called & said let’s do a benefit and that was off & running too. All it took was a few phone calls and the locals were in. VATOS LOCOS with the help of Denny Flannigan, The 2AM Band & The Baja Boys did not hesitate when asked to become involved, “What, a local woman in need?” count us in was all I heard. One quick meeting with the manager of La Vaquita, Sergio Leon (my new hero) & we had the perfect venue and a percentage of the sales, no questions asked.

I can not possibly thank everyone by name but please know that you all have Lisa’s, Irene’s and my undying gratitude. I would like to thank Rebecca Mann & Lisa Shackelford (Irene’s daughter) for working the door for the entire event. You girls were awesome. My heartfelt thanks to Sam & Diane Grubb, 2 people you definitely want on your side no matter what. Thanks also goes to Denny & Sandy Flannigan for taking care of the printing & distribution of the flyers & posters. Sergio Leon at La Vaquita for stopping whatever he was doing on the day of the event to get me whatever I needed and thanks to Mexico Living and Kat’s Korner for helping spread the word.

I expected the people who know & love Irene to be ready & willing to help but what really touched my heart were the out-of-towners & people who did not know her that just heard about a woman in trouble and wanted to help by making a donation. For instance, the day of the event I met a group of people from Argentina who came to La Vaquita for lunch. They had no idea what was happening. When they questioned me & I gave them a short explanation they said they were really amazed at the sense of community they saw & immediately went to the table and made a donation.

In closing, I want to thank the weather Gods for providing us with the perfect sunshiny day and the town of San Felipe for making me proud I call this home.

Heather Penrod

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