Friday, December 04, 2009


(Alliance for Compassion members Marion Fuget and George Small, surrounded by orphans from Jalisco's state run orphanage, Hospicio Cabañas. Circa 1963)

Paraplegia News - June 1964

Wheelers Throw King-Size Party for Orphans
By John Reese


Those guys are at it again.

The same incorrigible bunch of American quadriplegics and paraplegics who gave the big Christmas party at the state orphanage took 300 of the kids for an all-day picnic and swim at one of the newest and most beautiful resorts here, Los Camachos, in the spectacular setting of the wild Barrancas.

This was an even more ambitious project than the Christmas posada. It meant transporting everyone but the nursery babies 15 miles out into the country, feeding them all day, providing lifeguard protection in an acre of clear mountain water in a blue-tile pool, and getting them all back, exhausted but happy and safe, that night.

3,200 Pesos Raised

The paraplegics “Alliance for Compassion,” as they now call it here, raised 3,200 pesos in one of the quietest fund drives in money-raising history.

What baffles everyone in the big American colony here is that nobody seems to want any credit, nobody wants his name in the local papers, nobody even wants to admit he was a part of it. Nevertheless, although only 18 contributors showed up to see their money at work, it is known that “around 30 or 40” donors contributed.

The picnic was unprecedented in the 177-year-old history of the Hospicio Cabanas, the state orphanage. The kids drank 900 bottles of soft drinks and ate three-quarters of a ton of food. They kept the pool filled in relays, some of them wearing swim-suits paid for out of the paraplegics money.

Record in Foreign Aid

When you figure that the cost per kid was only about 10 pesos - that’s 80 cents U.S. - you're getting pretty close to a new economy record in Foreign Aid. It couldn't be done, but they did it.

The attention this “impossible” act of charity drew makes the American paraplegics one of the most influential groups in the big American colony here. From now on, their support is going to count heavily.

After the success of the Christmas party, it was relatively easy to line up help for this. The American School and the Municipal Police contributed the buses. State and Highway police detailed men to help handle the kids. A big brewery brought in folding tables and chairs, set them up, and hauled them away afterwards.

From page 150: QUADALAJARA --- The Utopia That Once Was

2006 Distinguished Book Award - FIVE STAR Rating
Military Writers Society of America (MWSA)
Present at San Diego Salute to the Military, July 2006

2007 Honorable Mention Award from the Hollywood Book Festival
"Celebrating books worthy of greater attention from the film and TV industries"