Christmas contest under way

Fundraising/voting is under way in the 2011 Little Miss Merry Christmas Contest, which is sponsored by the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.

This year’s field of contestants includes 11 girls, from 4 to 10 years old, each with an individual sponsor.

The girls compete for the title of Little Miss Merry Christmas by raising money at a penny a vote, which goes into a special fund for Christmas lighting and decorations in Portales. The white lights on Portales businesses, along with the dancing light program at the Roosevelt County Courthouse are made possible and maintained by this fund.

“These lights make Portales a special place for our residents and visitors at Christmas,” said Chamber Executive Director Karl Terry. “At the same time the pageant is great fun for the little girls and teaches them the importance of giving something back to the community.”

The contest collections will continue through Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. On Dec. 8, a pageant with the contestants will be held at 6 p.m. at the Yam Theatre. The winner will be crowned and each contestant will receive a gift basket. On Dec. 10, all of the contestants will ride on a float in the Lighted Christmas Parade. The pageant and parade are free and open to the public.

This year’s contestants include:

• Sydney Bowman, 7, daughter of Stephanie and Eric Bowman.

She likes climbing and playing games. At Christmas, she likes putting up decorations and baking cookies for Santa. Her sponsor is Do Drop In.

• Ally Bridges, 9, daughter of John and Julie Bridges.

She likes playing basketball, volleyball, ballet and dance. At Christmas, she likes to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, getting to see her family and the fact that everyone gets presents. Her sponsor is D. Buck Wilson, DDS.

• Danika Encinias, 6, daughter of Amberlie Puebla.

She likes being in ballet, playing soccer, dancing and singing. At Christmas, she likes opening presents, watching the lights in town, being with family and decorating the Christmas tree. Her sponsor is Sunland, Inc.

• Ashlynne Goins, 9, daughter of Jason and Amanda Goins.

She likes reading, crafts, baking and playing with friends. She likes Christmas because we get to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Her sponsor is J. P. Stone Community Bank.

• Jesenya Olivas, 9, daughter of Jennifer Baca-Purcell.

She likes being silly and helping her mom cook. Her favorite thing about Christmas is the presents. Her sponsor is Krazy Boyz Cyclez.

• Claudia Pietrzak, 7, daughter of Amy Pietrzak and James Baca.

She likes drawing, dancing and singing. At Christmas, she likes spending time with her family and putting up decorations. Her sponsor is Village Pharmacy.

• Kaitlyn Robertson, 5, daughter of Jeffery and Michele Robertson.

She likes taking walks, going to Girl Scouts and playing games. At Christmas, she likes getting and giving presents and all the fun everyone has. Her sponsor is Hestands Floral and Gifts.

• Hannah Leebeth Stacy, 10, daughter of Billy and Jenenia Stacy.

She likes to read and play basketball. At Christmas, she likes gathering around the Christmas tree with family, looking at Christmas lights and baking cookies. Her sponsor is Papa Murphy’s Pizza.

• D’anna Stewart, 5, daughter of Cristin and Robert Stewart.

She likes dancing and drawing. One of her favorite things at Christmas is the Dora the Explorer Christmas Special. Her sponsor is Reflections.

• Hanna Wade, 5, daughter of Cody and Shauna Wade.

She likes playing with friends, fishing and hunting. Her favorite part of Christmas is spending time with her family. Her sponsor is McCarty’s Caf