Businesses pool efforts for United Way

Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Businesses in the 100 block of South Main are gearing up for a block party to benefit the community.

It’s a joint effort to raise money for United Way.

Seven business are taking part in a silent auction, super sales, music, a celebrity stick-horse race around the square, dunking booth, fire dancer and square dancers.

Karen Inge, a sales person at Valley Furniture, said the idea originated with store owner Scott Davis, who came her and other sales representatives to see about doing something for United Way.

“I thought well we actually have nearly a full block with business,” Inge said. “So let’s see if we can talk the businesses into doing a block party.”

Planning for the event has been in the works since August and participants include Valley Furniture, the Saddle Shop, The Main Place, Bread Basket, Crafty Creations, Hot Threads and Kenmoitsy Dojo.

“We have silent auctions going on in the stores on Thursday,” Inge said. “I know we are going to have a sale on everything in the store. Then we’re going to give a percentage of the sales to the United Way on Thursday.”

The celebrity horse race is a stick race around the square. Money they raise will determine their starting position in the race. There are thirteen celebrities entered into the race.

Lori Bollema owner of the Bread Basket will be serving hot dogs for sale and Ken Nelson from the Saddle Shop made place mats for the silent auction.

“I think it is a good thing for the community and the businesses,” Nelson said. “It gets people out and makes them aware of what everybody is doing. It gives us an excuse to do something for the common good of everyone.”

The Portales Fire Department, Portales Police Department and Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office are competing in a three man stick horse relay. The trash talking has already begun.

Fire Chief John Bridges said Davis approached them about being part of the events with the block party to raise money for the United Way.

Sheriff Darren Hooker told county commissioners Tuesday about how much money being raised decides the the starting position. Bridges said his comment to them was they needed all the help they could get.

“We like to participate in anyway that we can,” Bridges said. “I think most of us have some competitive spirits, so whenever you put us all together and we’re raising money that competitive spirit comes out.”

Portales Deputy Chief Lonnie Berry borrowed his stick horse from his grandson for the race. Berry said he thinks he has some experience over the guys and the sheriff hasn’t spent as much time on a stick horse as he.

“He promised me it was a fast one,” Berry said. “He actually used it at the Roosevelt County Fair this year and did pretty good.”

Live United on the Square

4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. — Music by Don Thomas and Andy Mason

• 5-5:30 p.m. — Karate Demonstration

• 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. — Dunking Booth (depending on weather).

• 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. — Celebrity Horse Race and Relay

• 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Music by Masterworks

• 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Square Dancers

• 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Fire Dancer