Group raises funds for children’s glasses

By Tony Parra

The Altrusa Women’s Club held its annual spaghetti dinner on Friday for three hours in the Portales High School Cafeteria before the boy’s District 4-3A basketball tilt between the Lovington Wildcats and Portales Rams to raise money for eyeglasses.
The dinner was a way of raising money for the Altrusa Sight For Life Eyeglasses Program. Frankie King of the Altrusa Club said the money raised is used to purchase eyeglasses for needy junior high, high school and pre-school students, along with the elderly. King said the Lions Club of Portales raises money for eyeglasses for the elementary students in Roosevelt County who can’t afford them.
King said with last year’s money raised from the spaghetti dinner in 2004, the Altrusa Club members were able to purchase 15 eyeglass pairs through the Charles Brooks Optometrist center in Portales.
Brown said there were approximately 35 members involved in the setup and cleanup of the spaghetti dinner. Brown said the high school cafeteria was a great place to have the event because it was remodeled last year and the equipment helped make the meal easier to prepare than in previous years.
King said the event dates back to 1990 and Marcia Brown of the Altrusa Club said they’ve tried to have the spaghetti dinner begin a few hours before Portales High School basketball games.
“It’s (the event) great and the food is great,” Carol McDowell of Portales said. “It’s for a worthy cause and it’s for a low price. It’s a bargain.”
McDowell said her and her family have attended the annual spaghetti dinner the last four years. She brings her daughters to the event.
“It was really good,” Brittney McDowell, who is the six-year old daughter of Carol, said about the meal.McDowell herself has been an eyeglass wearer for the last year.
“It’s great fellowship,” Bernice D’Agostino of the Altrusa Club said. “We (Altrusa Club members) have a great time. Altrusa is an organization which gives back to the city of Portales.”
Altrusa Club member Jane Blakeley helped in the preparation of the spaghetti and said the Altrusa Club members worked stations for two shifts.
The meal included spaghetti, meat sauce, fresh garden side salad, bread sticks and a choice of fruit cobblers.
The Altrusa Club of Portales has been in existence since 1949. King said the annual spaghetti dinner is one of three major fund-raising events held each year by the Altrusa Club. The other two events are Holiday Happenings and the Home Tour.
The Altrusa Club of Portales is part of the Altrusa Club International, which has been in existence since 1917.