Chamber banquet to honor New Mexico centennial

Alisa Boswell

It’s time again for the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce to show their appreciation to local business and others, according to Chamber Director Karl Terry.

The chamber’s annual dinner banquet will kick off at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Yam Theatre with dinner, music, a raffle and more.

“We want people to come out and have a good time,” Terry said. “That’s the most important thing when planning this banquet is people being able to relax and have a good time.”

Terry said the event theme will be honoring New Mexico’s 100th anniversary with a special collection of New Mexico historical items and door prize give-aways of centennial coffee mugs, books and T-shirts.

He said the cuisine will also reflect the event’s theme.

“Something we didn’t have last year is … a silent auction,” Terry said. “We’ll have some items related to the centennial up for auction.”

He said the main item for auction will be a centennial edition Pendleton wool blanket, signed by the governor. A New Mexico centennial belt buckle will also be included.

“We’re doing it more for people to be able to have a special item they might want rather then to raise significant money,” Terry said.

Guest speaker Don “Doc” Elder, a history professor at Eastern New Mexico University, said he will be talking about the New Mexico that could have been.

“Most people are going to know that New Mexico became a state in 1912, but what a lot of people may not know is that Zachary Taylor suggested they make a state of New Mexico in 1849,” Elder said. “So what I’m going to do is explain why Taylor wanted to create a state of New Mexico in 1849 and what it would have been, because it would have been a vastly different state than what we know.”

Elder said he will also go on to explain why it took New Mexico another 63 years to become a state.

“I’m honored,” Elder said of being asked to be the speaker for the event. “I’m a member of the chamber as an individual, because I support chambers and what they do. Being the chamber speaker is a distinction, so I hope I am worthy of that task.”

Terry said local resident and chamber member Alyssa Idsinga will be formally announced as the new chamber president, replacing Chris Wood, who will go on to be treasurer.

“I think that getting more businesses signed up as members will be a goal for me,” Idsinga said. “And also specifically for this year, help out businesses affected by the road construction. I’m just excited because there’s just a lot going on in Portales and Portales is growing.”