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

By David Stevens
Editor 

Best good cause up to private donors

 

September 21, 2017



CLOVIS — The Clovis Library Victims Memorial Fund has raised more than $30,000 already.

Another $10,000 is almost certain to be added when four quarters of beef are awarded via raffle at the Oct. 13 Clovis High football game.

Other pledges and money from restaurant fundraisers are expected to boost the total to $45,000 or more in the coming weeks.

Clovis has stepped up big time to help those impacted by one of the worst tragedies in the 110-year history of the city.

Unfortunately, the good hearts behind the great effort did not put a lot of thought into planning exactly what to do with the money.

Now there are debates about whether it should go directly to victims of the Aug. 28 shooting at the library or whether it might be used to build a memorial to Krissie Carter and Wanda Walters, who were killed that day.

If the money goes to victims of the violence, who exactly are the victims and how will that money be divided?

“We were just trying to do something good,” said Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ernie Kos who helped spearhead the fundraising.

“We’re still trying to do something good.”

Kos said a committee chaired by Scott Odom, vice president of finance for the Chamber board of directors, will meet next week to discuss the issue again and maybe make some decisions.

Two things to keep in mind:

1) It’s going to be complicated.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has said all shooting victims will have medical expenses — including professional counseling — paid for by the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission.

Assuming that happens, what’s the best way to use donated funds, without duplication, to help the victims?

Or what kind of memorial would be appropriate? At what cost?

2) This really is not up for public debate.

Think about it.

It’s important to remember the money comes from private donors, not from taxpayers.

If the private donors have complaints about how it’s going to be spent, they are justified in questioning the Chamber committee making that decision.

Otherwise, it’s really nobody’s business what good-hearted people decide to do with money raised for a meaningful cause, even if that cause was not well defined in advance.

They’re just trying to help.

Let them do so in whatever way they choose.

David Stevens is editor for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: dstevens@thenews.email

 

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