Lately on our Facebook group “You Know You’re Old School Santa Fe” there was a post about Zozobra and the pricing from a lucky old schooler who remembers when the event was Free, able to picnic on the park (which is still possible) or drive on the field, which of course is not a possibility in today’s day and age.
Then there is always an issue brought up about the money Zozobra generates, which everyone has a right to know where it goes but I think it’s the side comments which are the most annoying to me. It’s interesting how everyone speaks as if they know everything yet they are the ones furthest from the truth. So just a reminder about Zozobra and the Community…
The Burning of Zozobra is STILL a true community event, organized since 1964 by the nonprofit Kiwanis Club and thousands of community volunteers who give their time and energy to this cherished tradition. It takes thousands of hours of preparation and labor all year long to put on an event of this size, and even in the 1970s, there was a small admission charge.
Today, with General Admission at only $10 and kids 10 & under still free, it costs less for the whole family to enjoy this iconic tradition together than it does to go to the movies.
Zozobra 2019 was an amazing burn that took place safely without a single incident. And thanks to the 63,993 happy and satisfied people who came to burn their gloom together, this year, the Santa Fe Kiwanis Foundation will be donating $1 for each person who attended to benefit Santa Fe area kids. THAT is something to celebrate!
Did you know that Zozobra 2018 did the following good deeds?
• $5,000 was donated to Esperanza Shelter to support the Seeds of Hope children’s program. All of the children served in this program are either victims of domestic abuse or witnessed domestic abuse. The Seeds of Hope program serves children from ages newborn through age 17
• $5,000 was granted to St. Elizabeth Shelter to support Casa Familia, providing counseling and case management for children whose families have become homeless and require immediate emergency shelter.
• $5,000 was granted to Cooking with Kids, for their elementary school nutrition program in Santa Fe Public Schools, with the goal of creating life-long healthy eating habits and self-efficacy, serving approximately 75% of students who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.
• $3,000 was granted to El Camino Real Academy AfterSchool to help support childcare, tutoring, enrichment activities, and hot meals to low-income children.
• $3,000 was granted to El Camino Real Academy to purchase teaching kits appropriate to various developmental levels that students will use to learn robotics, computational thinking, coding & computer science skill
• $2,500 was granted to Wise Fool New Mexico youth initiatives to provide young people ages 6-18 with life-changing experiences in circus arts to develop self- confidence, learn and practice teamwork and mutual respect, develop trust in themselves and others, explore their unique self-expression, and develop belief in their ability to reach their goals in circus and in life. Wise Fool also provides non-competitive physical activity and helps youth develop a positive relationship with their bodies through balance, physical strength, and healthy risk-taking.
• $2,500 was granted to the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association to support critical music education and performance opportunities for youth and provide tuition assistance and accessibility.
• $2,500 was donated to Girls, Inc, for the Bold Futures Mentoring Program to build on Girls Inc.’s belief that mentoring can make a significant difference in girls’ lives. The program provides intensive mentoring for girls ages 9 to 14, who are at risk for involvement in delinquent behaviors and to support the costs of materials and activities that are part of the Bold Futures curriculum.
• $2,000 was granted to the Santa Fe Dreamers Project to help provide free legal services to immigrants and to promote economic empowerment, community development, family unity, and liberation from detention.
• $2,000 was granted to Reel Fathers, Ltd. to support Identity in Ink, a 9-month, in-school partnership with Capital High School that will serve 80 freshmen in their English class. The program invites students to explore the intersection of personal identity and family, with a special emphasis on fathers.
• $2,000 was granted the New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding to help support their mission of “changing lives one stride at a time,” accomplished through the organization’s four main programs: Therapeutic Riding Lessons, School Outreach Program, Self-Mastery Program, and the High School Internship Program.
• $2,000 was granted to Feeding Santa Fe, Inc. to help the program distribute up to 900 bags of nutritious food each week, serving as a safety net for the hungry in our community.
• $2,000 was donated to Adaptive Sports of New Mexico, to fund ten Youth Ski/Snowboard Scholarships at Ski Santa Fe and ten Youth Scholarships to attend Santa Fe-area lake, rafting, or climbing events, giving disabled and developmentally challenged Santa Fe youth an opportunity to enjoy outdoor and recreational activities, leading to better physical, mental and emotional health.
• $1,800 was granted to AAUW Tech Trek New Mexico to help fund the cost of the Tech Trek summer STEM Camp for three girls from Santa Fe
• $1,150 was granted to Unlocked Minds, Inc. to help fund three programs: YO SOY: The Culture of Me; POW: Power of Words; and Unlocked: INSIDE that benefit children and youth from Santa Fe (three priority sites, Francis X. Nava Elementary, Milagro Middle School, and the Youth Diagnostic and Development Center) and to facilitate programming to other schools, institutions, and shelters.
• $1,050 was donated to Bike Santa Fe to help cover the cost of training three Santa Fe Public School teachers as League of American Bicyclists (LAB) League Certified Instructors (LCI).
• $1,000 was granted to Resolve for Project PREPARE, a program that provides violence prevention education to youth in Santa Fe County
• $1,000 was granted to Girls on the Run Santa Fe to support a curriculum-based third- to fifth-grade program for girls, culminating with a 5K run to foster self-respect, self-confidence, compassionate caring for others, and create positive connections with peers and adults, leading to improvement in physical, social and emotional competence
• $1,000 was granted to Gerard’s House to provide individual sessions for children and parents/caregivers when a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
• $1,000 was granted to the City of Santa Fe Fire Department to provide written handouts conveying fire safety information to local families and the general public.
• $1,00 was donated to Assistance Dogs of the West to support the costs of Student Trainer Programs to area youth. ADW’s goals for these programs are two-fold: 1) to train highly-skilled assistance dogs, especially those who will go on to working careers serving children in need; 2) to develop leadership and inspire lifelong community engagement in student trainers, including an understanding of the importance of inclusion of persons with disability.
• $500 was donated to Fathers New Mexico to provide support, resources, and skills to promote healthy and responsible fathering in young families. Fathers New Mexico nurtures connections between the father, the family, and the community to promote self, family, and community health.
For those who want to take the next step and make a difference in our community, we invite you to join our Kiwanis Club and help us keep this historic tradition alive and well.
Written by Jude Moir aka Santa Fe Red with Opening by Victor Romero