“The beauty of our land is our legacy to our children. It must be protected by us so that they can pass it on intact to their children.” (Ronald Reagan, The New Republican Party, February 6, 1977)
When was the last time you attended a Republican meeting where the focus was on the interests of our young children? When was the last time you attended a Republican meeting wherein you saw a young child actively giving of his or her special talents for the benefit of other young children? This was exactly what happened on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, when Republican Hispanic Citizens in Action (RHCiA) held its monthly meeting at the TriniMendenhallSosaCommunity Center. Through the efforts of Bernadette McLeroy, founder of RHCiA, this month’s meeting was dedicated to raising awareness of spina bifida, one of the most devastating of all birth defects resulting from the failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. SpinaBifidaHoustonGulfCoast was in attendance with “Vianey”, “Chris”, and “Thomas”, youngsters who suffer from this birth defect. Our featured speaker was Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack. Also in attendance was Miss Ellie Rose McReynolds, the 11 year old daughter of John McReynolds. Ellie is an extremely-gifted artist who donated one of her beautiful paintings that was auctioned off at our meeting to raise funds to send children affected by spina bifida to camp. (Photos courtesy of Caro V. Delgado)
Our auction was a lively event. It started off at $100.00 and ended with Commissioner Radack purchasing Ellie’s painting for $1,230.00! Then, in the style of a true gentleman, the Commissioner donated the painting back to Ellie for future fundraising auctions! At the end of the meeting, however, Ellie, being the good-hearted young lady she is, gave the painting as a gift to Bernadette McLeroy so that Bernadette could give it to her own niece!
That was not all. Commissioner Radack extended an invitation to Spina Bifida Houston Gulf Coast to take 200 children to participate in his soap box derby in Hockley, Texas! When he said that, you should have seen the expressions on the faces of Chris and his best friend, Thomas, who looked at each other with raised eyebrows and excited anticipation! Indeed, it was wonderful to see. In addition, the 70 or so people in attendance enjoyed listening to Chris talk about camp. This little fellow is indeed “Mr. Personality” and I can assure you that being in a wheelchair has in no way presented any hindrance to him. All told, the funds raised will enable at least seven children to attend camp! Lastly, our attendees also had the chance to hear from Thomas’ father, who discussed the realities of dealing with a spina bifida pregnancy, raising a child affected by this birth defect, and what attending camp means to these children.
This is what Republican Hispanic Citizens in Action is all about: conservatism with COMPASSION. Our board, which consists of Bernadette McLeroy, Ed Vidal, Tony Garza, Randy Kubosh, Molly R. Salazar, Eric Melchor, Caro V. Delgado, Jorge Ordaz, Jay Asafi, and myself, work individually on our own and/or as a group in RHCiA to promote effective and meaningful grassroots outreach in Harris County. What is so gratifying is that other Republican organizations are beginning to notice. For example, Buffie Ingersoll, the President of Village Republican Women, has met with us to learn about outreach and to plan an event in conjunction with RHCiA. The outreach director of Houston Young Republicans, Corie Whalen, has contacted us about working together as well. RHCiA continues to be open to working with anyone or any organization – whether it be an individual, other Republican groups, or even the Harris County Republican Party itself – wishing to join us as we continue to “grow” our outreach efforts.
Check out our website at rhcia.org. Trust me, becoming involved in outreach will convince you that it is indeed better to GIVE than to receive. If we can contribute millions of dollars to our Party, the least we can do is contribute the spare change to our communities in our efforts at outreach.