Fred Duckett Challenge
Raising Funds to Help Thousands of BCS Children
By Paulina Berkovich | Photos by Teresita de Jesús and Tere Jeache
For a family dealing with a child’s medical emergency, the challenges of securing medical care can seem impossible to overcome. Thanks to the Fred Duckett Challenge, held in February, Los Cabos Children’s Foundation will be able to extend a helping hand and provide some hope to thousands of families.
The 11th annual Fred Duckett Challenge was a truly inspiring event, bringing hundreds of guests together to support the children of Baja California Sur. The generosity of a variety of donors will help ensure that over 4,000 children have a brighter, healthier future.
“Sharing is giving something from one’s self to others. This value became the inspiration for this year’s Fred Duckett Challenge, which became an opportunity to share love, joy, hope and service with all the children in BCS that have a health need and their families who struggle to tend to such needs,” said Marisa Comella, Executive Director of Los Cabos Children’s Foundation.
The Fred Duckett Challenge raised $1,251,257 to help children celebrate the joy of living healthy lives. Guests included locals and visitors alike, representing Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. The success of the evening showed the importance of government forces working with private organizations to advance social causes.
The event, named for an American philanthropist, included a golf tournament at the Querencia Golf Club, a longtime supporter of the Foundation, and a dinner at the Grand Velas Hotel. The distinguished speaker of the evening was Mrs. Gabriela Velázquez de Mendoza, first lady of BCS.
Other speakers included Felipe Fernandez, Marco Monroy and Richard Erickson, board members of Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. They urged guests to contribute to an important cause and “live the joy of giving to others.”
The Fred Duckett Challenge was made possible through the generosity of numerous local companies, including Querencia, Grand Velas Hotel, Cabo Wabo Cantina, Del Cabo Event, Hampton Inn Los Cabos, Transcabo, BajaTRAVELER®, La Femme Edecanes, Satelite, Equipamiento Hotelero and Oxten Group.
Teresita de Jesús and Tere Jeache were the photographers, and Francisco Peña and his team at Kaskarón worked on the video. The Los Cabos Youth Orchestra and the Villalobos Brothers kindly provided entertainment for the event.
Los Cabos Children’s Foundation first made an impact 13 years ago by sending children with cancer and congenital heart defects to the U.S. to be treated, due to the lack of medical care available locally. But by 2014, local treatment options were available, and the Foundation currently supports programs at Salvatierra General Hospital in La Paz including the pediatric oncology, cardiology and intensive care programs.
Overall in 2016, Los Cabos Children’s Foundation invested $941,000 to help 3,300 children, while supporting 18 programs. The organization’s future goals include building awareness in the community to help more children and contributing to the creation of a world-class pediatric health care system locally.
The Fred Duckett Challenge advanced both goals, and the money raised will help the Foundation improve the lives of many more children in the coming year. “These resources will be shared with BCS non-profits that seek youth and childhood well-being through health,” Marisa Comella said.