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.

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