50 Years, 8 Festivals, and 1 True Love

Tessa and Manny Garcia

By Laurie Casey

On Valentine’s Day, it’s only natural to think about love. And of course, being an environmental festival, we are all about sustainability. So here is a story about a love that’s not only deep and true, but sustained over a long period of time: Tessa and Manny Garcia, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

They are longtime donors and supporters of the One Earth Film Festival and chose a unique way to express their commitment by soliciting donations for the organization at their anniversary party.

One reason why they support One Earth is because they are wonderful, nurturing parents of our director, Ana Garcia Doyle. But they are also deeply concerned about the future of the planet and the lives of their grandchildren.

Q: Manny and Tessa, congratulations! How did you celebrate?

Manny: We started with a mass at Queen of All Saints Basilica, where we renewed our vows. Then we had a party at Maggiano’s at Old Orchard with family and friends. One of our friends has a son who is in a Beatles tribute band, and they played at the party. Everyone just loved it and danced the night away.

Q: You did something different with regard to gifts this year. Can you explain?

Manny: We wanted to share our concern and support for issues that are important to us and to our family. We thought that instead of people giving us gifts, we asked them to consider making a donation to Green Community Connections. We were so grateful to those who made donations.

Q: Why did you single out GCC, which is the presenter of One Earth Film Festival, for donations?

Manny: Our daughter Ana started on the environmental path many years ago, until her involvement grew into the One Earth Film Festival. She found her calling. We’re proud of that and happy to support all of her efforts in this area. Plus, we see the merits of the mission.

Tessa: We know climate change is a very important issue for the world, and whatever small contribution we can make from our corner, we will do it. So, we will continue to support One Earth in its mission to address issues surrounding climate change. There is so much to be done.

Q: You’ve been longtime supporters of the One Earth Film Festival. Tell us more about that.

Tessa: We started by getting involved by watching and reviewing films as part of the film selection team. We donate what we can. We are members of the festival and recently supported the latest silent auction at Great Central Brewing Company. We help spread the word: When the fest comes around, we tell our friends and neighbors. In March, we will volunteer to help at the events.

Q: What have been your favorite One Earth selections?

Manny: It may sound morbid, but I enjoyed “Will for the Woods” about choosing a natural death rather than a traditional one. The film shows how people are choosing burials where they wrap up the body and put it back to nature.

Tessa:  I liked that one. “Chasing Ice” was also very good, as was “A Plastic Ocean.” There are so many. And we look forward to this year’s Fest. We are still deciding which films to see.

Consider becoming a member or doing a celebration fundraiser for One Earth. Learn more here.