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

Great kids wash for children's cause


September 14, 2017

While they may not earn an “A” for planning ahead, some compassionate Elida sixth-graders armed with buckets, scrub brushes, and soap collected $627 last week to help battle childhood cancer.

Tresten Wolf, 11, said last Wednesday night he literally had a dream about holding a car wash with some of his friends. When he woke up, he decided it should be to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

His reason? “I’ve just seen their commercials and stuff,” he told me.

When he got to school on Thursday, Tresten told his friends Teagan Norman, Seth “Flash” Smith, and Jeremiah Woodruff about his idea, and they enthusiastically jumped on board.

Elida Principal Waverly Criswell said the foursome invited her to come to their car wash, telling her it was set for the following day at the Elida City Park.

“I heard them throughout the day inviting people to their car wash,” Criswell said. “I was just so impressed that they had decided to do this.”

Criswell offered to help them with a little free publicity — a text announcement through the school’s system that sends out text messages to all parents and interested community members.

That turned out to be “kind of a fortunate mistake,” Criswell said, because a flurry of phone calls and return texts revealed that no parents knew about it, nor had permission been secured to use the Elida City Park.

“After some initial panic and confusion,” Criswell said, “the parents came together to get approval from the city and throw together this wonderful event.”

I drove my grubby car to Elida on Friday morning hoping to take advantage, but found there would be quite a wait.

The four guys, plus their classmate Taylea Nelson and homeschooled friend Holly Bilbrey, had a string of vehicles already cued up, thanks in part to a fortunately timed meeting of the Elida Homemakers Club in a nearby building.

Tresten’s mom, Tabby Wolf, had responsibly assumed control of the hose, and Kristi Victor, math teacher for grades 4-6 in Elida, was nearby with a watchful eye.

“They asked me to not give them any homework,” Victor reported with a smile. “I said, ‘I am paying you to wash my car. You will have homework.’”

But as she watched her students clambering onto vehicles to reach every inch with their brushes and rags, Victor added, “If you don’t live out here, I don’t know if people realize how good it is in small town America. We really, really do have good kids.”

Betty Williamson still needs a car wash. You may reach her at:


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