Advice: Celebrating 40 years of business, lifetime of friendships

Last week we celebrated our 40th anniversary at McAllen Sports. I was 20 and my husband 27 when we opened our sports apparel business in downtown McAllen.

We have employees who have been with us for 40, 30 and 25 years as well as loyal customers who we consider part of the McAllen Sports family.

Over the years, many young people work for us during the summer. Now these young men and women are teachers, doctors, businessmen and women who we enjoy running into around town.

At our anniversary party, one of our former employees, Dario Deleon, who is a pastor at Palm Valley Church, delivered the invocation, and his words moved us to tears. David Sanchez, who was a member of the band Intocable and the son of Maria, our employee of 40 years, honored us by playing during the celebration.

We were touched by McAllen Chamber of Commerce President Steve Ahlenius’ words during the ceremony and are grateful for the friendships we’ve made with so many at the McAllen chamber. Thank you Blanca Cardenas and Gerry Garcia, for your support.

For 19 years, we held the McAllen Sports 3-point shootout in our parking lot, giving us the opportunity to raise money for Rio Grande Valley charities. Those wonderful years allowed us to meet and work with so many caring community leaders.

When we opened McAllen Sports, we had no idea what the future had in store for us. My husband would work 12 hours a day six days a week. During events and holidays when we were the busiest, I remember putting toys on the floor behind the cash register so our sons could play and I could help out.

Our children have spent as much time at the store as they have at home and have seen what it takes to run a business. They attended all the events we sponsored and worked with their dad on Saturdays and during the summers.

It never occurred to me to complain about the long hours my husband worked. I just understood it was necessary in order to move forward in life.

We were both raised to believe that work is not a burden, but a blessing and a means to a better life.

Thank you, Rio Grande Valley, for 40 great years.

“Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” — 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer and certified parent coach with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter at @PowerOfFamily on Instagram at @mlsalcinespoweroffamily. You can also contact her on her blog