Zachary Sisson, 8, receives flags and a pin from Harry McGraw at the Roswell Veterens Cemetery booth during the Eastern New Mexico State Fair, Wednesday. Mark Wilson Photo
Eastern New Mexico State Fair attendees have had the opportunity to visit with a variety of vendors in the Commercial Building this week. Private businesses, public service organizations and political parties have assembled to share information and products at the expo, which runs today from 4 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m.
Veterans and volunteers in support of the new veterans cemetery have a booth set up just outside the building, selling $1 and $5 raffle tickets to raise money for the cemetery. Items for raffle include a 39-inch flat-screen TV, a .45 pistol, a handmade saddle, a shooting vice, tool boxes, a welding hood, four free [auth] rounds of golf to the Country Club Golf Course and a Nook Book. The drawing will take place Saturday around 8 p.m.
Vietnam veteran Bert Eldridge said individuals are on hand to copy any DD214 forms brought in and to set up a file for burial arrangements in the cemetery.
“This is the most important thing going on in town right now, this VA cemetery,” Eldridge said. “We’ve been working on it almost two years.
We’re progressing real good, and we’re just trying to raise some money and get it going along.
The Chaves County DWI Prevention program is talking to people about the dangers of prescription drugs, alcohol and texting while driving.
Diane Taylor, DWI Prevention specialist, said the organization allows booth visitors to experience a sobriety test with the use of fatal vision goggles, helping to raise awareness of how a person truly reacts when he’s under the influence.
“We’re trying to educate. And through education we hope to make a difference,” Taylor said. “Because every one of these accidents is totally preventable. No phone call, no text message, no party, is worth taking someone’s life or your own life.
“The brain cannot handle both talking or texting on a cell phone and paying attention to what’s going on around you.”
Imagine That! Scrapbook & Gifts has a breast cancer volunteer booth, raising awareness and funds for local chapters of breast cancer research. The volunteers are giving out pamphlets that include information about the stages of breast cancer, diagnosing lymphoma, reconstructive surgery, co-surviving and surviving breast cancer and a list of questions to ask your doctor regarding the disease.
“Breast cancer affects men and women worldwide,” Krista Van Winkle-Riley, operations director, said. “One in 40 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and as long as we can continue to raise awareness and make sure that men and women both get their annual exams for early detection and to stop and prevent breast cancer.”
Others on hand include Healthy Kids Chaves County, Children Youth and Families Department, Midway Youth Development Center, Roswell Fire Department, Roswell Noon Optimist Club, Roswell Recycling Center and Casa Maria Health Care Center. The Chaves County Republicans and Chaves County Democrats are also available to the public to share information about their respective parties as well as to provide voting information.
Dozens of private business vendors offer products that include custom handmade jewelry, nail polish, sporting goods and memorabilia, clothing, beach towels, toys, trinkets, candy apples and even palm reading.