Groups combine for free meal in Portales

Jim Adams of Clovis and Theta Ainsworth of Portales, serve pie Thursday at the Memorial Building in Portales. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Ashley Lee: Freedom Newspapers

A community Thanksgiving dinner fed about 500 people in Portales this year.
More than 50 volunteers from the community and Cannon Air Force Base help put on the annual event is sponsored by the city of Portales and Central Christian and St. Helen churches.

“We have awesome sponsors but without the families and individuals that give up their time this would not happen,” said Elvia Garcia, who has been involved in putting on the event for 12 years.

About 250 dinners were served at the city’s memorial building and 250 of them were delivered throughout Portales.

“I like to come to mingle and meet new people,” said Thelma Preston of Portales.
In the past, Central Christian, St. Helen and the city put on separate dinners. Now they pool their resources and have one big event, according to Veda Urioste, who organizes the event for the city.

“It is easier to get a business to donate once rather than to two or three different events,” Urioste said.

Joe Parie of Central Christian Church said about 70 to 80 turkeys were cooked by residents in theri homes.

“It is really neat to see the turnout,” Parie said “ I think it is a lot about socializing, and everybody gives,” he added.

Thelma Brown of Portales has been attending the event for the past three years.
“I live alone and to prepare a meal would be a big deal,” Brown said, “plus it is a friendly place to socialize.”