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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Ron & Arlene Ready to Hand Over the Reins for Bucerias Christmas for Kids

Sue Fornoff & Harold Sokolove - The Guadalajara Reporter
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December 25, 2012

A small charitable act by two Bucerias residents has evolved over the years.

Ron and Arlene Tackett started driving around the poorer neighborhoods of Bucerias 19 years ago in their Christmas-lighted jeep, throwing candy to children.

The Tacketts would eventually become known as Mr. and Mrs. Santa, with Ron filling out his red and white suit perfectly and the event becoming known as Bucerias Christmas for Children.

On Christmas Eve, December 24, up to 1,200 children, some accompanied by parents or grandparents, stood in line for a toy, a bag of candy and a chance to meet Santa as they exited the fenced courtyard of the small Catholic church on the arroyo.

The whole process began this year on December 10, with Toy Wrapping Day at the Tackett's house.

"We actually work one year in advance, as it is impossible to raise money, purchase toys, wrap and organize everybody in a week or two," Arlene says.

About 30 volunteers arrived at 11:00 am to sort toys, which were purchased or donated throughout the past year, into gender and age-appropriate boxes and wrap them in Christmas paper. They finished the job at 2:00 pm.

"1,800 bags, 400 more than last year, were filled with candy which was donated for the big event," notes Arlene. "There was enough candy donated this year that we were able to give some of it to the Bucerias Bilingual Community Center for their posada."

It costs approximately 40,000 pesos a year to buy the toys, wrapping paper, and wrapping supplies. All but 1,000 pesos was collected at this year's fundraiser held on December 13.

Arlene says elves who wanted to help load and unload presents and candy were asked to be at their house by 3:00 pm. If they wanted to go directly to the church, Santa's helpers were there by 3:45. Santa arrived at 4:00 pm.

As many as 250 moms and grandmothers were there, Arlene says, and they received a donated bag of soaps and shampoos.

The Tacketts say they want to hand the reins to others next year because they are "ready to retire."

"We really hope that someone will want to step up and take over, because we would hate to see it end. The children really look forward to receiving a gift as well as seeing Santa. The elves really like helping out and say it is the highlight of their year," says Arlene.

"We want to have someone (or more than one family) work with us next year. We would pass on the Santa suit, tape dispensers and any information that would help them. I would also go to all the businesses with them next year to get donations."

"Our helpful friend, Wendy, told us that if new people want her to help, she will be glad to continue on in any capacity for years to come."

"We plan to be strictly in the background as soon as possible."

Contact Ron and Arlene Tackett at arlenetackettmx@yahoo.com or by calling (329) 298-1729.

We hope you can help in continuing the Bucerias Christmas for Kids.

  Learn more about Bucerias Christmas for Kids

  Learn more about Bucerias Bilingual Community Center (BBCC)

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CHARITY ALERT Vallarta Botanical Garden Needs Your Help

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Please write and ask TripAdvisor why all other Cabo Corrientes attractions are still on the Puerto Vallarta page while only the Garden was removed.

Click here to see all the details

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