Tickets are now on sale for the annual fundraising dinner for the Las Cruces Dress the Child program, which will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, October 4, at the Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave., said Dress the Child Coordinator Doug Boberg. Tickets are $60 each or $600 for a table of 10. This is the program’s 29th year.
Again this year, all the food and labor for the dinner, as well as the venue, will be donated by local chefs, the Las Cruces Convention Center, Las Cruces restaurants and St. Clair winery, said Boberg. That means 100 percent of the money collected from dinner ticket sales will go to buy clothes and shoes for participating students, who are selected because of financial need by Las Cruces Public Schools and the Gadsden Independent School District.
“Dress The Child is a program that benefits families throughout our school district at a time that is very difficult for our parents,” said LCPS Lead Social Worker Yoli Silva, who helps schools select students to receive the clothing. “Getting to go a store that so many of our families are not able to shop at and to select and take home new clothing and shoes are such a wonderful experience for children during these economically difficult times. Parents are very grateful and appreciative that a program exits to assist them with such a huge necessity. We all love to see the children’s enthusiasm and smiles as they go through this wonderful process. Dress the Child is a program that is a blessing to so many of our students,” said Silva.
This year’s chefs are Tom Agius, executive chef at the Las Cruces Convention Center; Gabriel Hernandez, executive chef and dietary director at Good Samaritan Society; Keith Leroux, executive chef at De la Vega’s Pecan Grill and Brewery; Darrel Smith, executive chef at Memorial Medical Center; Luke Roberts, executive chef at the Double Eagle; and Aida Samaniego, executive chef at New Mexico State University, said Vince Campbell of Prime Sales and Marketing. Campbell was one of Dress the Child’s original chefs when the dinner was first held at the Brass Cactus Bistro in Mesilla nearly three decades ago.
Again this year, servers will be students from the Centennial High School Culinary Arts Program and FCCLA Chapter, supervised by Carleigh Salmon and Rainbow Plasner.
The Dress the Child program, which is sponsored by the Las Cruces Rio Grande Rotary Foundation (LCRGRF) of Las Cruces, began in 1984 by providing clothing to 15 needy children. In 2014, the program raised more than $45,000 and provided clothing and shoes for more than 450 children, said Boberg.
Dress the Child volunteers, who include individuals, New Mexico State University Aggie athletes, local high school students, and Rotary Club members, take participating children shopping at local merchants in November and December. Each child is allocated $100. With the support of participating merchants, each child actually receives $120 – $150 in new clothes and shoes, said Boberg. The shopping events have not yet been scheduled, but volunteers will be needed to assist children with shopping.
To purchase tickets to the dinner, call Dress the Child Co-Chairs Doug Boberg at 644-9469 or Matt Holt at 993-2331; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Dress the Child events, go online at dressthechild.weebly.com/how-you-can-help.html.
A cash donation in any amount can be made to the Dress the Child Program, c/o the Las Cruces Rio Grande Rotary Foundation. Mail it to ATTN: Brad Beasley, P.O. Box 550, Las Cruces, NM 88014.