Fighting disease, protecting beauty

SANTA FE, NM – What a shock, what a blow, when someone you actually know is hit with a killer disease, one you see in fundraising ads on TV, about other people, elsewhere. There, but for the grace of God, go I. It could happen to any of us. Fine today; struck tomorrow!

Mr. Zippy, a skippedy-doo spring in his step, snapping his fingers, grinning, a hilarious joke to tell! Classic Richard Jay. Santa Fe old-timer, Richard (was it he who coined the phrase “I was born here all my life”?) was a Vietnam vet, early Realtor and a pilot, father of two great boys, now a grandpa.

What a vibrant guy! Hilarious jokester! He could perfectly copy the various dialects from all over this region and, when he was bored, would pick up the phone and do just that; call somebody up with an accent on and play a trick on them. Everybody laughed their heads off!

There’s no laughing now. The most jovial of friends has been transformed seemingly overnight with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease … the insidious, devastating worm that demolishes your body while your mind watches. With no movement below his collarbone and feeling leaving his hands, this disease has ravaged a fabulous person.

Last week, 250 members of The Santa Fe Association of Realtors turned out for an all-day fundraiser supporting research of ALS (, raising over $50,000. The event, in honor of Richard Jay, included a golf tournament held at the Marty Sanchez Golf Course, and then a gala evening with cocktails, auction and dinner at the clubhouse.

With great difficulty and bravery, Richard was wheeled out to speak to the group. One could see that his suffering was intense. It is now over. He went to heaven exactly one week later. I know he is telling his “St. Peter at the pearly gates” jokes there.

Keep Santa Fe Beautiful

That shouldn’t be too much to ask. But every year nasty people paint graffiti on our buildings and adobe walls, and throw their garbage on our roadsides, sidewalks, The Plaza, the river and empty lots.

Keep Santa Fe Beautiful operates the programs that clean it all up. KSFB immediately wipes over the graffiti, hopefully the next day, preferably with paint color that matches the stucco, keeping it beautiful. (I cringe at those mismatched patchwork square blotches you sometimes see. No, no! Not beautiful!)

KSFB orchestrates the Great Neighborhood Clean Up twice a year, where good citizens go around town picking up the discarded trash of the bad … and they run the appliance and e-machine drop-offs for disposing of your obsolete computers and stereo equipment. What else can you do with them?

KSFB also sponsors the city Adopt-A-Median program, where you design the landscaping, pay for it and maintain it to help Keep Santa Fe Beautiful. It is your gift to your city; a random act of kindness; a simple act of beauty!

To help maintain this operation, KSFB holds its annual Wine Tasting and Auction, which features exquisite wines, mostly from California (it’s curated by Al and Laurie Lucero … you know the wine will be spectacular … and it was!) and a top-notch silent auction. This year’s lovely event was held in a fabulous home in the foothills off the Old Santa Fe Trail, overflowing onto portals blessed by yellow aspens 60 feet high against the late afternoon blue skies. It was like being in a W.C. Hook painting!

Two hundred aficionados of the grape, or the cause, clinked engraved Reidel wine glasses (your party favor!) as the baked Brie ran. And guests ran to outbid each other on the magnums and jeraboams of delectable vino and other goodies in the auction. They netted $7,000 for community projects to Keep Santa Fe Beautiful.

Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email


Deanna Einspar, Steve Melander-Dayton and Rick Martinez do their bit to keep Santa Fe Beautiful.


Philip Godwin and Richard Schoegler turn out for a fundrasier sponsored by the Santa Fe Association of Realtors.


Laurie and Al Lucero picked out the wine for Keep Santa Fe Beautiful.



Chuck Miller and Jack Stamm are all smiles at the Keep Santa Fe Beautiful fundraiser.


Jack Stamm and Michell Valentine canoolde at a benefit for ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Rusty and Vicki Wafer pause for the camera at the ALS benefit.


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