Cruz Roja Chapala (CRC) entered a new era with last week’s installation of a new and expanded governing council.
Members of the 2016 Consejo took the oath of office Thursday, June 9 in a ceremony held at the Centro Cultural Gonzalez Gallo. Presiding at the event was Jaime Rivas Brambila, deputy delegate of Cruz Roja Jalisco.
Top Consejo officers are Yolanda Martínez Llamas, president; Sara Guzmán Rameño, secretary; and María del Rosario Martínez Vargas, treasurer. The regular members include expatriate residents Bob Foster and Charles Twyman; Hector Flores Gallo and Roberto Martínez Ramos, both professional physicians; Gloria Esther Lomeli, Moises Padilla Vazquez, Adrian Pérez, Ferdinand Reyes, Juan Torres Chávez, Gabriel Villanueva Perales, and city councilors Juan de Dios García Velasco and Airam Arlette Romo Silva.
Since taking the helm on March 1, Martínez has focused on tightening the management screws to reduce expenditures and streamline the facility’s services and operations. She has put day-to-day business in the hands of a new administrator, María de los Angeles García, who holds a business administration degree.
“We have already cut biweekly payroll expenses from 115,000 to 94,000 pesos and achieved substantial savings on fuel and medication supplies,” Martínez said. Staffers take on cleaning and repair tasks during spare hours and the CRC veterans group has volunteered for maintenance and repair of aged drainage pipes.
Martínez is intent on adhering to the regulations, protocols and structural organization established by Cruz Roja Mexicana that she absorbed by attending a training program held in Mexico City last April.
This encompasses complete transparency on CRC finances and consejo meeting records, with books open for public review.
Martinez gratefully acknowledges the unbending support of her predecessor Norm Pifer and the Cruz Roja International Volunteers Chapala (CRIVC) fund-raising arm run under consejo supervision.
She is optimistic that the May 31 resignation of six CRIVC officers will allow the consejo to set a new course in overcoming persistent financial difficulties that plagued Cruz Roja Chapala throughout its history.
Outgoing CRIVC President Margy Kassier coincided, telling the Reporter that the change in leadership presented an opportune moment to step aside and make room for new blood. She explained that the individuals who resigned did so due to health issues and other personal reasons.
“CRIVC has not been dismantled; its structure and by-laws remain in place,” Kassier stated. “We are still available to assist in an advisory capacity and wish Yoly and the new consejo success in reaching their goals.”
Martinez and Kassier say that major fundraisers such as the Thrill the World zombie dance and the golf tournament will be held as planned next fall, as other benefit activities are added to the calendar.
Coming up immediately is a full agenda of activities on Saturday, June 24, marking the Dia del Socorrista (Rescuer’s Day). It starts with a thanksgiving Mass, 10 a.m., at the San Francisco Church, followed by a civic ceremony to take place in front of City Hall, and visits to the Chapala, Ajijic and Santa Cruz cemeteries to honor the CRC’s fallen heroes. The day closes with the Noche de Mágia benefit show, 5 p.m., at the Auditorio de la Ribera.