The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Club extends holiday greetings


Cannon Connections photo: Liliana Castillo Nancy LaVallee twists garland around her tree.

The Cannon Spouses Club has been bringing smiles and Christmas goodies to local retirement center residents for the third year.

On Tuesday club members decorated miniature Christmas trees and filled goodie bags for Clovis retirement center residents who are veterans or don’t have family. Club President Apryl Nenortas said no Portales facilities responded when the club checked into including them.

The club prepared 37 trees and 37 goodie bags to be distributed within the week to 30 veterans, one of them female, and seven people without families at the Retirement Ranch Inc. of Clovis, St. Anthony Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center and Clovis Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Nenortas said. This year, Spouses Club Treasurer Janeen Mack said, the goodie bags contained socks, shampoo, soap, lotion and a word-puzzle book.

“I think it’s fun when you’re decorating to know you’re going to put a smile on somebody’s face,” Mack said.

Nenortas said she thought it was important to recall that she and others could one day live in a nursing home and have no visitors, as well as to remember those who served before.

Club members and other people deliver the gifts in small groups and talk with residents. On Tuesday Nenortas said two active duty airmen came along to hear the veterans’ military stories and see how they compared with the experience today.

Retirement Ranch Activities Director Della Gross said residents respond well to the visitors.

“We received a lot of smiles,” she said.

Gross said it’s a blessing for residents to have someone come in from the outside, someone who’s still serving.

Nenortas said the retirement home residents are excited to receive the gifts. They enjoy the Christmas trees, but like the goodie bags even better.

“It’s a lot of fun to watch them go through (the bag), it really is,” she said.

In the past, the spouses have given out donated items, but this year, the club provided the presents.

Nenortas said she hopes the program will continue and grow next year.


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