Getting into the spirit

Clarence Plank

It’s an annual must-attend for Charlene Foster of Portales, who was among the many people cramming into the Campus Union Building Ballroom at Eastern New Mexico University Saturday for the 13th annual Holiday Happenings.

The event is a fundraiser for Altrusa International and, as Foster noted, sets the mood for the holidays.

Foster and her friend LaDoris Good have been coming to the event since it began 13 years ago.

“Everything is so pretty and it puts everybody into a good mood for the holidays,” Foster said about the event. “When you come, you see so many people and visit with them.”

The event featured 63 tables decorated with different themes. Tables were decorated with candy in vases, statues, plants and lights.

Years ago, Altrusa used to judge the center pieces and present awards, but stopped because there were too many, said Dannah Brown, who co-hosted the event with Linda Davis.

“At the end of the event the table decorators are already planning for next year,” said Brown. “It is a year-long thing. They see something and then build on it for next year.”

Brown said she loves putting her table together because her 4-year-old grandaughter came up with the idea to have a princess table.

“You take an item and build around it,” Brown said. “It is nice to come out and see what everybody else has done with their ideas.”

There was a holiday fashion show by Dillard’s, a silent auction and door prizes. Members of the Portales High School choir and athletic teams helped serve meals.

The ENMU football team also was on hand to help haul boxes of decorations up the ballroom.

The money raised helps Altrusa programs, such as purchasing musical instruments for Portales Schools, a trip for the PHS choir trip to New York, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and to help playground equipment in Portales.

“It is such a good cause because Altrusa does so much for the community,” Good said. “They do so much and it is a good way for everyone to come out and support Altrusa.”