Area schools, businesses band together to send aid to victims

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.

• To donate items for the hurricane-displaced families now in Baker, La., children’s clothes and diapers, toys, books, crayons and coloring books, teddy bears and dolls, towels, washcloths, soap and items for personal hygiene, T-shirts for all sizes and ages are received at the North Plains Mall in Clovis, the Roosevelt General Hospital in Portales, and at the Friona hospital.
• To donate money to the Red Cross, go to the Zia Service Center on 108 W. Second St., the Salvation Army Thrift Store on 301 E. Second St., or to the Salvation Army Family Service Store on 301 E. Second St., next to the thrift store, all in Clovis.
• To donate cash to the Red Cross via the New Mexico State Parks, call (888) NMPARKS or log onto
• To donate food and money to the Eastern New Mexico Food Bank, go to 108 W. Second Street in Clovis or call 763-6130.
• To enroll hurricane-affected students at Eastern New Mexico University, call 1-800-FOR-ENMU or e-mail or call Wendel Sloan at 562-2253 or e-mail at
• For information or to offer your assistance to displaced families heading for Baker, La., call Sheriff Roger Hatcher at 760-5007 or e-mail
• To reserve seats at the benefit dinner at Cripple Creek Restaurant, call Larry Montoya or Keith Worm at 762-7399.