Rosarito Celebrates a Local Treasure

Billy Ray Clark’s years of service acknowledged

One of Rosarito’s great humanitarians, Billy Ray Clark was honored (and surprised) by 100 of his closest friends in celebration of his 80th birthday.

“The chief surprise was how the party, in preparation for weeks, was kept secret from him,” one guest remarked. Well, he is 80 after all. He was led to the party under the pretense of celebrating the birthday of his good friend Shirley Tate. Invitations were secretly sent by Theresa Eichorn who also fashioned the three-tier birthday cake.

Billy Ray 1.JPGBilly Ray is not merely a member of the charitable groups of Rosarito; he fully supports them all, spending his time and his personal funds.

“It’s incalculable the amount of time, energy and money this great humanitarian gives throughout the year,” said one party-goer. Another close friend added, “If he’s not helping you at that moment, he’s busy helping someone else.” He is known to excuse himself from one meeting in order to rush to another meeting. “The man just never stops!”

Billy Ray, retired Boeing administrator from San Diego, and 23-year citizen of Rosarito, is known for his love of animals and his tremendous aid to the Baja California Animal Rescue and their spay and neuter clinic. He even scoops up stray animals off the street and takes them to the clinic, visibly bringing the numbers of roaming strays down each year.

The party, which filled the first floor of Splash! was planned by and attended by members of the Flying Samaritans, Cruz Roja, USBC (United Society of Baja California), Grupo Gringo, the Baja Spay and Neuter Foundation, and Animal Rescue and his many friends.

“His reaction was a mixture of surprise, he was overwhelmed, and touched,” said a long-time friend. Guests dined on a superb buffet which included grilled fish, chile rellanos, enchiladas, spaghetti, salad bar, and numerous sides.

Judy Westphal of the USBC presented Billy Ray with a beautiful plaque commemorating his many years of service. Photographer Hector Coronado documented the entire event which will become a memory book featuring the portraits of his friends.

As visible as he is, most of Billy Ray’s accomplishments go unseen, but certainly not unappreciated. Thank you Billy Ray!