Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

And he’s bringing 600 teddy bears with him
BY: CATHY WATKINS

Project Bobby Bear is making Christmas a little merrier for the children of Cabo. Project Bobby Bear was started by Annie and Emily Fox several years ago, when they were only six and four years old. Annie’s teddy bear Bobby was the inspiration behind the idea, because she’s had Bobby since she was born, and says he makes her feel loved, happy, and secure.

The sisters thought it would be nice if they could make other people feel the same way. They decided to launch Project Bobby Bear right here in Cabo in October 2014 just after Hurricane Odile. “We gave a few bears out to people who needed a smile, hug, or extra love,” says Annie. A woman in a wheelchair and a street musician were the first people to receive a bear. The smiles exchanged were enough to solidify the idea of giving out bears to make people happy. 

staclaustown.JPGAnnie and Emily raise the money to buy the bears and get them down to Cabo bby selling lemonade, having garage sales and asking for donations instead of birthday presents. Each bear, which measures 12 inches tall (no dinky teddy bears here), costs $1 USD.

For the second year, Project Bobby Bear and several other organizations will provide toys and Christmas gifts for children who live in the poorest neighborhoods in Los Cabos. Project Bobby Bear has pledged 600 bears. One hundred bears are already here, and the others are waiting for a ride from the States. The Rotary Club will donate 1,000 toys, and BCS Yacht Solutions has pledged 100 toys. Even the Bisbee’s Black and Blue Tournament got involved this year by asking participants to donate unwrapped toys that don’t require batteries.   

This year’s toy giveaway will take place from 10:00 a.m. to noon on December 10th in the arroyo between the El Caribe and Gastelum neighborhoods. The event is intended for children ages 10 and younger.

Enrique Rivera from Solomon’s Landing will emcee the event and provide music. A large tent will be set up for Santa Claus, played by Jerry Bopp, and his 20 elves. Santa will make a grand entrance in his red suit and white beard, arriving in his wooden sleigh (which will be lodged in the back of a pickup truck, unless it snows).

The elves, the Fox family, and others helping with the event will distribute water to those waiting in line, and the gendarmeria (federal police) will be on site to help control the line of children and parents. Wow, they must be expecting some kind of Black Friday stampede for these bears.

The idea for the Christmas event started in 2015, when Jerry flew down to Cabo, as he always does, to celebrate his birthday on December 8th. He came up with the idea of playing Santa and giving out Almond Joy bars to some of the kids. His friends quickly told him that the kids wanted presents, not candy.

That night, Jerry was in Cabo Wabo and told a friend about his idea. She led him over to her table and introduced him to Angela and Dan Fox, Annie and Emily’s parents. They liked the idea but there wasn’t enough time that year to pull it off, so they planned for 2016.

Last year, the event was in the marina next to the Christmas tree in front of the Puerto Paraiso entrance. Santa rode down the marina in his scooter to his waiting sleigh. Along the way, he spotted a mariachi group, and he invited them to come along. The mariachis followed behind the scooter playing Christmas music. Children and their parents lined up to meet Santa, give him their Christmas lists written in Spanish and receive a toy. “Playing Santa last year was one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done,” Jerry says. 

Last year’s event was a big success, but Jerry and the Fox family realized that they weren’t reaching the children most in need. That’s why they decided to take Santa into the barrios this year. Santa will still go to the marina, but no toys will be given out there this year. If you want to bring the kids to sit on Santa’s lap, and get some candy and free hot chocolate, he’ll be in front of Puerto Paraiso from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 9th.

To date, Project Bobby Bear has provided 1,500 bears to kids in Central America, the U.S. and Mexico. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, you can email anniefox09@gmail.com or find them on Facebook at Facebook.com/ProjectBobbyBear.