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Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Fruit Does Not Fall Far From the Tree: Frank Maestas Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser

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This report is by Mary Ellen Broderick.

I attended a fundraiser last night for the Frank Maestas Memorial Scholarship that funds a New Mexico Highlands University scholarship for journalism students. Frank Maestas, the legendary New Mexico sports journalist who passed away in 2006, worked for the Albuquerque Journal until 1990, and was a graduate of Highlands University. During his 30-year career as a sports writer, Frank covered virtually all sports in New Mexico. He took great pride in writing and promoting New Mexico high school teams, the athletes and the coaches. Many of his articles brought pride and a sense of accomplishment to numerous New Mexico families. As his son Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas said, “His articles were the type Grandmas would hang on their refrigerators.”

Held at the Ladera Golf Course banquet room, the mood at benefit was very festive, with lots of storytelling about Frank and his adventures and accomplishments.  Many of the attendees were athletes whom Frank had once written about, the most notable being Don Woods, running back for the San Diego Chargers in the early 1970s. He was named Rookie of the Year in 1974. Many friends, family and a few politicos were also in attendance. Frank's son Moe Maestas, as well as his sister, aunts and cousins, were all there to celebrate Frank's life and legacy.

The special guest was Steven Michael Quezada, comedian, actor and TV star. He plays Gomez in the hit show Breaking Bad, which is filmed in Albuquerque. He, too, praised Frank for what he did for the community, and then he broke into about 30 minutes of great standup comedy. It is so cool that Steven is a home boy -- helping to support young journalists and writers in the community.  Quezada is known for giving back to the community in many ways, and he performs regularly at various benefits for good causes. If you ever see that he's performing somewhere, I highly recommend going to watch and laugh.

There was an active and fun raffle going throughout the evening, all kinds of baskets and dinner coupons, and of course sports memorabilia, being raffled off and offered in a silent auction.

The open mic segment really allowed me to learn more about Frank and appreciate his life. As one of the presenters said, “He was not bashful.” He hated to fly ... and would sit in the back of the plane because “he had never heard of a plane backing into a mountain.” Many folks shared sports-watching memories of him, including his habit of screaming at the TV. Frank's favorite teams were Notre Dame for college football, and the Yankees for baseball -- and he was very passionate about both of them. The 16th hole at Ladera golf course was named in his memory, and many people shared how they think of him there, and smile.

I want to thank Rep. Moe Maestas for inviting me to his late father’s scholarship event. I find it interesting to see how families evolve. Moe’s Uncle Roberto Maestas, who was a founder of El Centro de La Raza in Seattle and a leading advocate for social justice, passed away this past September. I picture Moe’s grandmother and grandfather bringing two courageous souls into the world, and instilling in them the value of giving back to the community. And then I see Rep. Moe Maestas continuing on with that tradition -- giving back to the community, trying to pass bills in the legislature that will make a real difference in people’s lives.

The fruit really does not fall far from the tree.

If you care to donate to this scholarship fund: NMHU Foundation Box 9000, Las Vegas, NM 87701; for Frank Maestas Scholarship Fund.

November 13, 2010 at 04:03 PM in Events, History, Humor, Journalism, Sports | Permalink


Thank you Mary Ellen for this report. I wanted to go to this fundraiser, but my son was playing his first varsity football game with the Cibola Cougars. I know Frank would forgive me for this. I support Moe, his sister Angela, and the entire scholarship committee for such a worthwhile event and enterprise. I had the benefit of working with Frank and learning from one of New Mexico's best journalists. I feel blessed for every day I had with him as a colleague at the Journal. Go Moe, keep doing great things, which is what your dad always knew you would do, and keep this scholarship alive for young journalists. And whenever I'm stressed about a deadline, I can always hear Frank in my head, and he's always saying, "C'mon rookie this is a daily not a weekly!"

Posted by: Barb | Nov 13, 2010 5:14:21 PM

It really was a beautiful event!

Posted by: AnaVar | Nov 15, 2010 4:48:06 AM