Thursday, February 19, 2015

DPOC Hold Presidents Day Dinner and Scholarship Fundraiser

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Democratic Party of Otero County (DPOC)  held a Presidents Day Dinner and Scholarship Fundraiser at Stella Vita Restaurant in Alamogordo, New Mexico.  There was a good crowd at this $50 a plate event and the food was, as always, superb.

Nadia Sikes, Chair of DPOC, gave the welcoming remarks and Jeff Swanson, a retired Marine Chaplain, gave the invocation. Local talented singer, Ann Bagby, invited everyone to sing along as she sang the "Star Spangled Banner" followed by "America the Beautiful".

Following dinner, Karen Hutchison, secretary of DPOC, gave a delightful and informative Presidents Day Commemoration speech.

Steve Brockett, former mayor of Alamogordo, gave the keynote introduction for Barbara and Clif MacDonald, longtime residents of the area and extremely active Democrats.

Clif said, "I went into politics and ran my first race in 1969. I served two terms as county commissioner and four as county assessor and was chairman of the Otero County Democratic Party for 12 years. And that's just for starters. I've had several businesses in addition to a continuing interest in the barbering business including a real estate appraisal business and a landscaping business."

In 1976, he and several others applied to charter a bank. He has been a director at Western Bank for the past 29 years. McDonald has served as president of the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, president of the Lions Club, and president of United Way of Otero County.  He was very successful in getting many road improvements in the area.

He is also known in the community for his collection of area historical photographs. "After I got older, I wished I got pictures of some of the stuff that I'd seen," he said. He started borrowing photos from families and copying them. Then he started offering slide shows of these photos and he met people at these shows who had photos and he would copy them and add to his collection.

McDonald runs tours of the Orogrande mines with the Tularosa Basin Historical Society. He said, "I got interested in the mines at a time when I was a child shearing goats. The Orogrande big boom was over, but there were a lot of little active mines mostly digging for gold, but the biggest was iron. In its heyday, Orogrande also mined silver, garnet for sandpaper, copper and turquoise."

Attendees were than treated to a slide show from Clif and Barbara's collection of historic photos.

Nadia Sikes made special presentation certificates to Wayne McDonald, owner of Sunset Run Restaurant where DPOC meets each month and to Karen Hutchison for her unparalleled assistance to DPOC.

Nadia Sikes made closing remarks.

DPOC Chair Nadia Sikes making opening remarks

Kay Gomolak and Carla Kerr having a laugh

Carla enjoying a beverage

Joyce and Bing France checking out the program

Chris Jones looking pensive
Officers of the LULAC Chapter at the University being introduced
Our mountain girl, Ellen Wedum and Chaplain Jeff Swanson listening intently
Doc DuBois, Pearl Harbor survivor and celebrated nonagenarian
L to R: Clif and Barbara McDonald, Steve Brockett, Dr. David Townsend
Photographer Stephen Jones from Las Cruces, New Mexico
Andrew and Kay Gomolak (Kay is head of the COPE organization in Alamogordo)
Songstress Ann Bagby
Chaplain Jeff Swanson preparing to give the invocation
Stephanie DuBois, a veteran campaigner and one of the best
DPOC Secretary Karen Hutchison relating the Presidents Day Commemoration
Steve Brockett introducing keynote speakers
Keynote Speakers Clif and Barbara McDonald
Barbara has that wifely look on her face like "I don't know if I'd a told that!"
One of Clif's historic photos of the original RR Station in Alamogordo
The DPOC banner with Barbara and Clif added to it as outstanding Democrats
Nadia holding certificate going to Wayne McDonald at Sunset Run Restaurant for service above and beyond
A favorite shot of Karen Hutchison
Nadia presented Karen with a certificate for her always willing assistance and long time work for DPOC
Nadia also made a presentation certificate to the LULAC Chapter President for her effectiveness and efforts
DPOC's delightful and hard-working treasurer, Judy Pingle holds the drawing for the 50-50 with Nadia
L to R: Carla Kerr, Ida Hightower (winner of the 50-50), Karen Huchison, Denise Lang and Helen Savoy and a great time was had by all
Thanks to Douglas A. Kerr, Photographer for the fine photographs.

This is all I have to say for now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer" Presented at Rohovec Theatre

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A cast of 17 people presented "A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer" edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle, to commemorate V-Day Otero County 2015. Writings to stop violence against women and girls were beautifully presented by the cast on February 6, 7 and 8, 2015 at New Mexico State University-Alamogordo in their Rohovec Theatre in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

V-Day is an organized response against violence toward women. V-Day believes women should spend their lives creating and thriving rather than surviving or recovering from terrible atrocities. V-Day is a catalyst: By raising money and consciousness, it will unify and strengthen existing anti-violence efforts. Triggering far-reaching awareness, it will lay the groundwork for new educational, protective, and legislative endeavors throughout the world. The foregoing are some of the goals in the V-Day Mission Statement.

Many people came together from the community to help Director Sherri L. Campbell fulfill her vision of awakening everyone to the various forms of violence in this world and indeed in our very own community. The setting for the production is a coffee house and each performer comes forward at the appointed time to speak.

L to R: Narrator Nadia Sikes, Monica Helm "I Can Hear My Soul Cracking" by Slavenka Drakulic
The Coffee House Setting
The Lobby Billboard
Carla Kerr with Director Sherri L. Campbell who stepped in and did "Groceries" by Abiola Abrams
Sherri Campbell giving instruction to Remi Gibbs "Maurice" by Kathy Najimy
L to R: April Cray Rhodes "To Stop The Violence Against Women" by Alice Walker, Cliff Young "Untitled" by Nicholas D. Kristof, and Remi Gibbs
Lighting Designer Rod Barnes and Kathy Barnes "True" by Carol Michele Kaplan
In makeup room, Keddy Richardson "The Perfect Marriage" by Edward Albee
Three lovely young ladies from Alamogordo High School volunteering their time at the snack bar of the theatre, Janelle, Isa and Naomi
T-shirts hanging in the lobby created by students for V-Day
Ann Bagby "Banana Beer Bath" by Lynn Nottage
Perry Lawson "Rescue" by Mark Matousek
L to R: Mary Hammon "True", Lorie Stauffer  and Shirley Warsham "Banana Beer Bath"
L to R: Cliff Young, Sherri L. Campbell and Remi Gibbs
Director Sherri  discussing staging with Chris
Joylyn Mercouris, all around helper, actress and usher
Joylynn and Assistant Director/Stage Manager Connie Breding having fun pointing to one of the pictures taken by Photographer Rachel Telles
Publicity Writer extraordinaire Carolyn Dittmer
Kristina Marzano "The Most Beautiful Girl" by Jyllian Gunther
Crystal Sierra "Celia" by Edwidge Danticat

Kristine Fambrough "I Can't Wait" by James Lecesne
Carla Kerr "Variations on M. Weinberg" by Moises Kaufman and Doug Kerr "The Closet" by Howard Zinn
Poem: "My Revolution Begins in the Body", Ensemble
Pita Quintana, House Manager
Doug (her sweetie) and Kristina at the after party in Chili's
Producers were Peace and Justice of La Luz We Trust Women Council of Elders, The Southern New Mexico Wellness Alliance, Inc. and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program. 

Doug Kerr and I were indeed privileged to be a part of this community effort to help eradicate violence. What an extraordinary cast and visionary Director Sherri L. Campbell we got to work with. We look forward to staying involved until the violence is no more.

This is all I have to say for now.