Area schools, businesses band together to send aid to victims

Barbara Anaya, first vice president of American Legion Post 25, sorts coloring books to be donated to victims of hurricane Katrina Friday at the legion in Clovis. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

Freedom Newspapers

Sympathy and horror at Hurricane Katrina’s devastation have galvanized into action groups of schoolchildren, grandparents, business owners and state employees in and around Clovis.

The efforts of students of the Clovis Municipal Schools system touched Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm.

“The people in our school system are just an incredible group of human beings. This includes everyone: Parents, students, faculty and staff. I am humbled to be associated with such a caring group of people,” Seidenwurm said.
Hurricane relief efforts at Clovis schools include:

• The sophomore class at Clovis High School mobilized its student body for a penny drive, clothing, toys and canned goods.

• Yucca students are gathering nonperishable food items

• Bella Vista, Parkview, and Lockwood are holding penny drives and collecting clothes, toys, toiletries, canned goods and nonperishable food items.

• Barry Elementary School students are gearing up a fund-raising drive, their parents are bringing clothes, toys and canned goods to the North Plains Mall.

• Zia Elementary School students are collecting money for the Salvation Army.

• Students at the Choices Alternative School are rallying around a schoolmate who recently moved to Clovis from New Orleans. The student recently talked with her father: Everything they owned is gone, including their home. Relief efforts at Choices will be directed toward this student and her family.

• While Cameo Elementary School Principal Carrie Nigreville looks at donating unused textbooks for use when classes resume in the disaster area, her students are collecting money for children affected by the disaster in addition to clothing, toys and personal hygiene items already collected.

• Penny drives continue at Ranchvale, James Bickley, La Casita and Highland elementary schools.

• The Gattis Junior High Student Council is holding a car wash at 9 a.m. Sept. 10 at Gattis.

• The Marshall Junior High School chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is gathering coloring books, crayons, games, puzzles, and educational games.

• Mesa Elementary School students are collecting donated items while their parents conduct a fundraiser for the hurricane victims.

• Sandia Elementary School students are sending personally cards of encouragement.

• Lincoln-Jackson Arts Academy students are collecting money, books, toys, and coloring books.

In Portales, Eastern New Mexico University President Steven Gamble announced that ENMU will accept college students displaced by Hurricane Katrina. In-state tuition and fees will be accepted, and ENMU will provide meal plans if they reside in a campus residence hall.

ENMU will extend late registration deadline until Thursday. Faculty and staff will be available to advise students. Gamble said current Eastern students from hurricane-affected areas may avail of assistance or counseling.

Food-centered efforts vary from the creative to the usual.

On Monday, the Cripple Creek Restaurant will cease regular service from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to host a benefit enchilada dinner “just like a private dinner,” said Larry Montoya, a manager at the restaurant.

“A lot of our regulars are already coming, so we’re looking to have a pretty good turnout.”

Proceeds from the dinner ($7 per person) will go to help the hurricane victims.

The Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico is assisting with volunteer support for sister food banks in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Drop-off points for food donations are Albertson’s, S&S, Stansell’s and Wal-Mart in Clovis, and Super Save in Portales.

Non-perishable items such as paper goods, cleaning supplies, bottled water (no glass containers), pull top cans, single-serving snacks (Pop-Tarts, cereal bars, etc.), heat and eat foods and MREs are accepted.