By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer
Frankye King of Portales has had her hand in many service projects over the years, from organizing turkey dinners to raising money for eyeglasses to dressing as a witch and giving children snacks out of her steaming caldron.
Now, the City of Portales is honoring her with the Excellence in Citizenship award.
Mayor Orlando Ortega Jr. said it was an honor to recognize King.
“Her years in volunteerism and being an excellent citizen of the community have qualified her for this award,” he said.
Within the criteria of the award, Ortega gives the honor at his discretion and the City Council can nominate people.
King said she remains so active because she loves it.
“I love the results of my volunteering, not only for me but for the other person also,” she said.
King married Bo King, a fellow Portales High School graduate. They have two children, Clayton “Herkie” and Sharon.
The children’s activities started King’s volunteer work.
She helped with Cub Scouts when her son participated. When he was in choir, King traveled with the group, and she and her husband let them use the family restaurant for fundraisers.
When her daughter was in second grade, King provided Halloween snacks for the girl’s Camp Fire group. She dressed as a witch and handed out apples dipped in her “witch’s caldron” steaming with dry ice.
The group’s leader then recruited King as an assistant, which led to 25 years of working with the organization, similar to Girl Scouts.
King said her daughter often volunteered her to help with school activities, too, including redying the Maypole streamers, which required untangling and ironing them.
After her children were grown, King joined Altrusa International Inc. of Portales, and has stayed 35 years. Her favorite Altrusa activity is the annual Home Tour, which raises money to buy eyeglasses for people.
“Of course, it’s all good, but what I like about the Home Tour is what it does for the community,” she said.
King also helped organize the high school ASTRA club, the youth wing of Altrusa, in 1998, and continues to serve as an adviser.
King and her husband also organized the Portales chapter of the Good Sam Club. They drove around, wrote down the address of houses where they saw a recreational vehicle and sent invitations, she said.
Once, to raise money for the construction of Roosevelt General Hospital, King asked businesses and individuals to donate a nice item for an auction, and it “snowballed,” she said. The auction raised almost $30,000.
King has also volunteered with the city planning commission, the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce, the Methodist church’s turkey dinner fundraiser for missions, KENW, where she now works part time, and more.
Still, even in her busy life, King said she has learned to take “Frankye Days” for herself, and to say no when she’s not interested because someone more enthusiastic could do a better job anyway.