Altrusa prepares for annual holiday event

By Tony Parra

The Seventh Annual Holiday Happening event on Saturday will showcase Christmas ideas and fashions for Roosevelt County residents to enjoy and take away ideas for the holiday season.
The Altrusa Club of Portales will host Holiday Happening event for the seventh year from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday in the ballroom of the Campus Union Building on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University.
Sheryl Borden, chair of the Holiday Happening event committee, said there will be 66 decorated tables on display. She said the themes of the decorated tables vary from Rock n Roll, Angelic, Blue, Redneck and Elvis Presley to name a few of the holiday themes. The decorated table show has ballooned from originally having 26 tables in the first event in 1998, according to Borden.
“I love it because everyone is happy during the event,” Borden said. “They visit with each other and have a Christmas feeling. Everyone is in their best mood. One lady, whose mother lives in Portales, is coming from Nebraska to decorate a table.”
She said the Holiday Happening event will begin with people viewing the decorated tables for the first hour to one and a half hour. Businesses and families purchased each table and either had decorated it themselves or had other people decorate them. Each of the tables will have eight chairs around it for sponsors. Borden said there will be additional tables, besides the 66, decorated for other individuals who show up to enjoy the events. There is a $125 prize in the decorated tables’ contest.
“People are able to gain ideas from the event on how to decorate their tables for Christmas,” Borden said. “They get tips and advice on decorating.”
Borden said the Holiday Happening event took place at 11 a.m. last year, but it will take place an hour earlier this year. She said more than 500 people attended the event and it was difficult for the attendees to view all of the decorated tables in the amount of time.
According to Borden, many attending the event will be able to participate in the silent auction. The silent auction begins at 9 a.m. in the lobby next to the ballroom. There will be clipboards so attendees can place their bids on items ranging from leather chair, picture frames, necklaces and earrings from Brighton’s Jewelry, gift baskets, golf bags to oil paintings.
She said the items are donated from the local businesses. Janine Elder chairs the Rada Cutlery project so visitors can view the various choices of knives and utensils offered by the manufacturer.
Borden said another main event of Holiday Happening will be the fashion show, which will take place approximately at noon after the meal prepared by Sudexho. Suzanne Fenicella, a Dillard’s store manager in Clovis, will coordinate the fashion show. Borden said 16 people will model about 55 garments for the fashion show.
“So many people enjoy the fashion show,” Wanda Pettus, who chairs the door prize/silent auction committee for the Holiday Happening event, said. “We try to get models of different sizes. It’s amazing how many people like what they see on the fashion show and right away go buy it.”
Dillard’s employees will also proved an entire table set with holiday linens, china, glassware and flatware and the items will be sold in sets of eight through silent bidding.
Tickets are $20 each. People interested in buying tickets can contact Gaynelle Thomas at 356-5725. Borden said proceeds from the Holiday Happening event will go towards purchasing playground equipment for Portales’ youth.
“It’s a well-known event,” Pettus said. “It has worked out real well. It’s early enough in the Christmas season that people can still do their shopping afterwards. They are able to (find) ideas for decorating for Christmas.”