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

United Way honors Betty Williamson at banquet


April 6, 2018

PORTALES — One of Roosevelt County’s most active volunteers was honored for her work on Thursday night — but she couldn’t be on hand to accept the award. That’s because she was helping out with a different cause.

United Way of Eastern New Mexico named Betty Williamson its Patricia Bazar Community Volunteer of the Year during its annual banquet at Portales’ Yam Theatre.

Williamson had to accept the honor via a video recorded earlier because she was involved in the 42nd Annual Jack Williamson Lectureship on Thursday night.

The lectureship brings science fiction writers to Eastern New Mexico University in honor of Williamson’s late uncle, widely recognized as the dean of sci-fi writers.

While she was engaged with the pretend world, the real world was singing her praises.

United Way Vice President Mindy Watson described Williamson as “the glue that holds Roosevelt County together” and listed some of her work:

• More than 30 years with the Roosevelt County Spelling Bee;

• 22 years with Portales Public Library;

• 15 years at First United Methodist Church;

• at least 10 years supporting the ENMU Music and Liberal Arts Colleges.

“These groups estimate that in 2017 alone Betty contributed over 320 hours,” Watson said.

Watson also passed along praise from Portales Public Library Director Denise Burnett, who said:

“I can think of no better person to be awarded as Volunteer of the Year ... Betty is the treasurer of the Friends of the Library, but her work here at the library extends far beyond those duties.”

Burnett said Williamson supervises the library’s annual book sale, plans programs, reads aloud to children and even helped keep the library open when staff members were sick with the flu.

“Suffice it to say she devotes hundreds of hours to the library each year,” Burnett said.

United Way also on Thursday recognized board members and volunteers and spotlighted local workplaces that provided the largest contributions to United Way in the past year.

Clovis Municipal Schools donated $55,442 to lead the way in Curry County. Eastern New Mexico University topped Roosevelt County contributors with $19,191, United Way officials said.


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