Altrusa readying for annual fundraiser

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

Preparations for Holiday Happenings, the annual fundraising dinner and fashion show, are well under way, but organizers haven’t found sponsors for all of the tables.

Altrusa International Inc. of Portales has put on Holiday Happenings for 12 years. Mandi Park, Altrusa treasurer, said usually all tables have sponsors by this time, but between 15 and 20 aren’t taken so far this year.

“I don’t know if they’re not willing to part with their money or if they’re not thinking Christmas yet because we haven’t had any cold weather yet,” she said.

Altrusa member Dannah Brown, who is in charge of the event’s tables and tickets, said she hopes to have 67 tables decorated this year. The deadline to sign up to sponsor a table has been moved back to Nov. 2.

Holiday Happenings is set for Dec. 5, and includes lunch, a silent auction, a Dillard’s style show and door prizes. Proceeds go to the community, and in past years have helped the Portales High School choir take a trip, purchased new playground equipment for Morrison Park and more.

To sponsor a table, an individual, group or business pays $150. Buyers get eight tickets if they find someone to decorate their table and six tickets if they want Altrusa to provide decorators.

“Most of the tables are a Christmas theme, but they don’t have to be,” Park said.

However, she said tables should be a seasonal theme, and could be fun or elegant. The decorations involve dishes and utensils, a centerpiece and trinkets for those attending to take home.

Park has decorated tables for several years.

“This is my favorite holiday event of the season,” she said. “It kicks off the holiday season in Portales for me because it’s a dress-up, visit-with-friends, fun event. It’s a lot of work to decorate a table, but it’s worth it.”

For Park, the community service aspect makes decorating the table worth the work.

She said inspiration can come from anywhere, including magazines, children’s stories and Christmas carols.

Brown has decorated tables since the first Holiday Happenings. She said she likes the whole event and sometimes makes things for her table or uses items she’s collected.

“I just enjoy putting it together,” she said.