Retiree aids education with fund-raising

Courtesy photo Helen Miles, right, receives flowers and a crown from Tan-Terrific Federated Women’s Club President Phyllis Salguero as Education Queen for raising the most money for scholarships in the state association’s program.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Since retiring from nursing, Helen Miles of Clovis hasn’t stopped helping people, whether they are trying to recover from an illness or get an education.

Miles, 59, was honored Saturday as the Education Queen of the New Mexico Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. She is a 14-year member of the Tan-Terrific Federated Women’s Club, which is the association’s Clovis chapter.

Miles earned the title for raising about $1,500 for students participating in the association’s scholarship program, the most for the state. Any student in New Mexico going to college can apply for the scholarship, Miles said.

Seven students received scholarships this year, according to club president Phyllis Salguero, including three from Clovis.
“Each year they have to resubmit a letter saying that they’re still in school, and we give them money each year,” Miles said. “And each year they get a little bit more.”

Miles raised the money with the help of her local chapter, Salguero said.

“We had candle sales, sold chicken and fish dinners, and (received) private donations,” Miles said.

The club presented her with her crown Saturday at a ceremony held at her house. Miles was supposed to receive the award earlier this month at the association’s state convention in Hobbs, but attended her sister’s funeral and could not make it, Salguero said. The Tan-Terrific Club also won the Roving trophy for the most money raised and member Mary Davis won the association’s woman of the year award.

“It’s enjoyable because it’s geared toward children. … We’re in competition and you work hard to try to get the most money, but the thing is it’s (for) the children,” Miles said.

Miles is also a member of the Red Hatters’ Society and the Pink Ladies Hospital Auxiliary. She said she volunteers to decorate the Clovis-Carver Public Library during Black History Month.

“I do stay busy with those activities,” she said.