United lifetime recognized

A teary-eyed Hank Baskett Jr. received a standing ovation as he accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from the United Way of Eastern New Mexico for his dedicated service to the Oasis Children's Advocacy Center.

Retiring United Way officials were also recognized at Thursday night's United Way awards banquet at the Clovis Civic Center.

CMI staff photo: Tony Bullocks

Hank Baskett Jr. of Clovis, director of Oasis Child Advocacy Center wipes away tears Thursday night at the Clovis Civic Center during his acceptance speech after receiving the lifetime achievement award from the United Way of Eastern New Mexico.

"All I can say is thank God," said Baskett, the executive director at the Oasis Children's Advocacy Center, which is a safehouse for children who have been abused or witnessed serious crimes, after accepting the award.

"I would put this team against anybody in the country and win," Baskett said about his co-workers at the safehouse taking on child abuse cases.

District Attorney Matt Chandler presented the award to Baskett, and talked about his first experience seeing Baskett working at the safehouse. Chandler told the story of a 5-year old girl who had witnessed brutal violence within her home and there was Baskett, playing with dolls and Play-Doh, gaining the little girl's trust, and becoming the advocate she needed.

"He helps bring justice to so many children and families in this community that we will never know about," Chandler said.

Sandy Chancey and Steve Rickman were recognized as each of them served two full terms on the board of directors.

Sandy Chancey served as secretary and treasurer. Rickman served as fund distribution chair and secretary.

Louis Gordon, who has served as the president of United Way of Eastern New Mexico since last March was awarded with the Past Presidents Award.

"It's been a blessing," said Gordon, who works in the city of Clovis' building safety department. "Between two counties (Clovis and Roosevelt) $550,000 was donated in 2012. That speaks volumes concerning the heart of our communities."

Gordon said the United Way donated money to local organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Foodbank of Eastern New Mexico.

Anthony Schroeder's presidency at the United Way of Eastern New Mexico officially began Thursday night.

He is a retired professor of communication at Eastern New Mexico University and he is beginning his fourth year on the board of directors at the United Way.

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