By Tony Parra
Funding for the Portales Recreation Center was the focus of a Monday meeting with James Stoddard, director of the Hubbard Foundation.
Johnny Ledbetter, director of the Portales Recreation Center, said last year recreation center officials applied for funding for a summer youth program grant and received $2,500 for the program.
“It’s ($2,500) great because it goes towards our summer youth program, which was drastically in need of funding,” Ledbetter said.
Stoddard met with Ledbetter, city manager Debi Lee and Matt Tucker of the Portales Parks and Recreation to discuss the foundation’s 2005 Southeast New Mexico Grant Program.
Ledbetter said the objective of the new summer youth program is to provide tutors to young students in the community.
Meanwhile, Lee hopes to receive funding this time for the city’s parks and recreation.
“There is so much need in our parks,” Lee said. “There is a group of volunteers with Ron Jackson as the chairman on the committee for recreation. We have been meeting every week to form a strategic plan.”
Stoddard said he was making a trip to Portales and Clovis to try to encourage municipalities to apply for grants.
“We’d like to give more to the area,” Stoddard said. “We haven’t been able to give any money to Curry County. We’ve been more unsuccessful in Curry County. Hopefully we can get some successful applications from this area.”
The foundation has awarded more than $477,000 to organizations in Chavez, Curry, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero and Roosevelt Counties.
There was $9,000 awarded to Roosevelt County and $111,000 awarded among five other counties. According to Stoddard, there were 160 requests last year, but only 32 requests were awarded. Stoddard said no money was awarded to any organizations in Curry County in 2004.
The $9,000 awarded to Roosevelt County was given to three entities — $2,500 to the Portales Recreation Center, $2,500 to the Dora Fire Department and $4,000 to Valencia and Lindsey Elementaries.
Valencia principal Todd Morris said the $4,000 was split evenly between the Valencia and Lindsey schools. Morris said the money at Valencia Elementary was used to purchase magazines, reading materials, headphones and books on tape.
“They’re good people,” Morris said of Joan Dale and R.D. Hubbard, who started the Hubbard Foundation. “They want to give back to southeast New Mexico. James (Stoddard) wants to make sure the money is being put to good use.”
Morris said he applied for the grant when he was an eighth-grade teacher at Marshall Junior High and the school received $10,000 in 2002 for technology equipment for the science department. Morris said he will get together with Valencia Elementary teachers to discuss what they will apply for. He said teachers are leaning towards the technology department.
Stoddard was scheduled to meet with Curry County Chamber Executive Director Ernie Kos on Monday to discuss the program.
Grant proposals will be accepted from counties, municipalities and public schools from the following seven counties: Chavez, Curry, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero and Roosevelt. The deadline for applications is May 2. People interested in applying can call (505) 258-5919.