Volunteering benefits everyone

By Clyde Davis: CNJ columnist

What has between 700 and 800 heads, represents New Mexico’s civic leaders, has never been to Clovis before, and will be coming to town Aug. 12-14?

The answer, should your curiosity be excited, is the New Mexico Municipal League. Your curiosity, or at least your civic pride, should indeed be excited. This particular group, made up of community leaders from across the state, has never been to Clovis before.

Now, with the facility of the civic center available, it is possible to host this organization, and similar size gatherings. Proximity and the quality of facilities at Clovis Community College allow that institution to share in hosting.

“The New Mexico Municipal League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing and serving New Mexico’s cities, towns and villages. Its 103 member cities comprise 100 percent of the state’s municipal population and approximately 68 percent of its total population. Its largest member has 10,000 times the population of its smallest, yet each member city casts one delegate vote in setting policy and electing officers at the annual conference.”

That is lifted from the organization’s Web site, but the gist of it reminds us that, in this gathering, size does not determine influence. In truth, our growing city is something to be proud of, but Mora, assuming Mora has representation, counts equally with Albuquerque. The goal — to improve everyone’s opportunities.

Perhaps you would like to volunteer your help, showing your own civic pride by helping host. One way in which you could do so is by volunteering to work with the opening night fiesta, scheduled for Hillcrest Park on Aug. 12.

I am sure that other opportunities exist, if you, like this writer, are not available that evening. Call the Chamber office at 763-3435.

Why should it matter — to whom should it matter? The short answer is, it should matter to all of us. I remember, last year, receiving an e-mail from my college alumni office, something about — well, I really don’t recall. In an arrogant and cynical mood that day, I typed out a response which I believed would go to cyberspace — “Who cares?” Much to my surprise, I got a lengthy e-mail from alumni affairs, under the rather curt subject heading, “Many Do Care.”

The same may be said, in a less curt manner, about this event. Obviously, the lodging facility owners will care. That large number of guests will stay somewhere. Restaurants will benefit, and the entire retail scene should experience a boost. The trickle down effect will, of course, benefit everyone.

Finances are not the only plus — community pride is at least as important. Needless to say, if each delegate is made to realize that he or she is welcome and important, the word will spread to the communities from which our guests come and future opportunities will increase.

I was going to use, as a parable and illustration, what happened to me in the McDonald’s of a small Texas community I drove through early this morning. However, I think I will save it, rather than risk muddying the waters. Just get out there and, even if you can’t volunteer some help, be friendly and courteous to everyone you meet. They may be a Municipal League guest. Come to think of it, do that whether they look like a guest or not.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and a college instructor. He can be contacted at: clyde_davis@yahoo.com