The members, families, sponsors and vendors for the 50th Annual Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari would like to extend their deepest appreciation and special thanks to all of our guests who attended this year’s event. The turnout was tremendous as we registered 1768 guests this year, which greatly exceeds last year’s attendance (1127) and was the largest number of registered guests in the history of our event. This year we broke another record in that 1170 guests registered online prior to the event, double from any previous year and we have 598 guests register onsite. All we can say is a huge THANK YOU to everyone who attended.
We were lucky and the weather was beautiful for the entire event and during the Saturday night raffle the temperature was pleasant and there was no wind, which as many of you know has not always been the case. The raffle this year was also the largest in the club’s history. Thanks to our many generous sponsors we had over $165,000 worth of prizes in our general raffle and the bucket raffles. The raffle went smoothly starting with the pledge of allegiance which starts any TDS club meeting or event, a pre-registration raffle, ORW’s active duty military raffle, some sponsors and officials we asked to speak to the guests and one HUGE announcement from MOPAR. At the 50th Safari, TDS was presented with a brand new Jeep that the club will be selling raffle tickets for over the next several months, culminating in a presentation to the winner during the International Auto Show held later this year in San Diego. There will be more to follow on that very special jeep in the coming days and weeks.
Last year during the Desert Safari, we had the grand opening of the Truckhaven 4x4 Training facility. The idea for the training facility was presented to State Parks management by Tierra Del Sol and once accepted, State Parks trail crews, Tierra Del Sol and W.E. Rock combined forces to collect donations of materials and with over 2500 man hours of hard physical labor built the obstacles in a 34 acre section of Ocotillo Wells, very near to where TDS has their headquarters for Desert Safari. This year a couple of new obstacles had been added and the facility was well used and appreciated by so many guests and participants whose positive comments and continued support truly show that this initiative was well worth the effort.
The event opened a noon on Friday with safety, registration and t-shirt, and info booths all staffed with TDS volunteers. ORW led an active duty military run Friday afternoon. Saturday morning the trail ride started promptly at 8AM followed by a side-by-side run at 9AM. Saturday night the raffle started promptly at 7PM and Sunday morning both an SUV run and Rough Run started at 9AM. The very special event this year was the FIREWORKS show that started immediately after the raffle Saturday night. TDS in concert with several very special vendors and one great fireworks company worked with State Parks and obtained permission to have a fireworks show and the presentation was choreographed with excellent music and everyone was truly amazed at the quality of the show that lasted nearly 20 minutes with two finales and at the conclusion the crowd roared with their approval.
Let me share a few fun stats from this year’s event. On Sunday morning the West Shores Senior Citizen Center served 462 scrumptious breakfast plates to some very hungry guests, which is up over 100 plates from last year. Our friends at Casanova Fish Tacos served 1300 fish taco’s onsite. Our friend, affectionately known as the Empanada Lady, served 2,229 of those tasty little jewels over the weekend. The folks at Beachin’ Boba sold 800 drinks, 20 gallons of ice cream, 300 churros, and 120 pretzels. The SDORC crew sold 10 gallons of chili, 1200 hot dogs, 192 breakfast burro’s, 25 cases of soda and 20 cases of water. And those are not all the food vendors, but fun facts nonetheless.
We also had 90,000 gallons of water spread over the HQ area to help control the dust and to ensure we stayed within the EPA standards for air quality and dust control.
Due to the overwhelming demand for the very collectible 50th Desert Safari t-shirts we will be opening up the website to take another round of orders so that we can ensure everyone has the chance to get one, or two or more. Please check www.tds4x4.com for details on the additional shirt offering and for more info on the jeep raffle.
We hope that everyone had a great time at least as good as the member, families and friends of TDS that worked the event. Once again our sincerest THANK YOU to all of you who attended….and for those of you who did not, please check our Facebook page and Youtube for all the pics and videos that are being shared from this momentous event.
Tierra Del Sol is a not-for-profit family oriented 4x4 club located in San Diego, CA that continues to use proceeds from the Desert Safari to fight land closures and keep trails open.
For more information on Tierra Del Sol and the 50th Annual Desert Safari, please visit www.TDS4x4.com and www.TDSDESERTSAFARI.com.