Holiday was happening

Glowing decor sat atop the tables in the Eastern New Mexico University Campus Union Ballroom Saturday.

Some tables had Christmas trees and other holiday favorites. Others had animals or themes connected to the creator's heart.

Sharon Davis with the Altrusa Club of Portales decorated her table for the 15th year. But this year was quite special for her as all the decorations on her table represented Christmas with her grandmother Cora Calton.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune

The Thomas family of Portales struts down the runway at the Altrusa Club's holiday fashion show at their annual Holiday Happening. From left: Suzanne, Landri, Don and Levi Thomas.

"My granny lived to be 104 and 10 months," Davis said. "We tried to think of things she would decorate with and we thought of teacups."

Including Davis, 64 decorated tables, tasty food, a silent auction, a fashion show and good conversation made up the Altrusa Club's 15th annual Holiday Happening.

Being Altrusa's biggest fundraising event of the year, proceeds from the Holiday Happening will be used for various charities in the community.

Davis recalls the first Holiday Happening taking place in Portales' Memorial Building, holding only 24 tables and is pleased to see how much the event has grown.

Over the years, the Holiday Happenings has pumped about $50,000 back into the local community, according to event organizers.

Guests of Sheila Hays tried to stave off hunger at her table with a "Sweet Dreams" theme. The tree on top of the table resembled cotton candy while the rest of the table was scattered with treats, including chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks and strawberries, marshmallows, lollipops, jelly beans, brownies, cupcakes and gum balls.

"Our pastor's wife wanted to do something different so she came up with sweet dreams," said Lezlie Privett of Portales. "One day we worked on it for 12 hours."

Altrusa member Wanda Pettus said the Holiday Happening has been sold out every year. She says they got the idea to hold this event at a district conference and it has been a success ever since.

"It's an excellent fundraiser to raise money to go back into the community," she said. "My favorite part is seeing the many different ideas for table decorations. I don't see one table similar to last year's."

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune

Candy, marshmallows and other sweet treats topped this table sponsored by Sheila Hays at Altrusa's Holiday Happening Saturday in the Eastern New Mexico University Campus Union Ballroom.

Closing out the event was a Dillards-sponsored fashion show featuring community members and the announcement of silent auction winners.

"Whatever money we take in always goes back into the community," Pettus said.

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