ENMU shrimp boil to raise scholarship money

Freedom New Mexico: Alisa Boswell Jamie Huizenga, left, and Melissa Sena, of the Alumni Affairs Office at Eastern New Mexico University, count how many tickets remain Wednesday afternoon for the ENMU alumni shrimp boil fundraiser. The event raises funds for scholarships for Portales High School seniors who will be attending ENMU.

Alisa Boswell

Eastern New Mexico University’s annual alumni shrimp boil fundraiser raises thousands of dollars each year for Portales High School students to attend ENMU.

The event is being held Aug. 13.

Trish Maguire, director of distance education and alumni board member at ENMU, said the event has been held for seven years, usually in June, with this being the university’s second time to hold it in August.

The event includes an all-you-can-eat buffet with shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes and more. Entertainment will be provided by local band The Good Ol’ Boys, which is led by ENMU athletic director Jeff Geiser.

“We’re really excited about doing it in August because faculty are returning and the town is lighting back up this time of year,” Maguire said. “Serving on the alumni board and awarding students the funds to come to our school, I think is one of the greatest joys.”

The scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen.

Maguire said the event brought in enough for only $500 scholarships in its first two years or so, but the amount has steadily increased over the years.

She said now the fundraiser generates enough funds to supply $1,000 scholarships for 10 students.

“It’s gotten better, which is great and we hope to maintain that or do even better every year,” Maguire said. “If we can do a fundraiser that helps students in our community, I think that’s the best.”

Portales High School guidance counselor Thomas Tafoya said requirements for Portales seniors applying for the scholarship must have a 3.0 or higher GPA and must demonstrate leadership qualities.

He said the amount a student will receive can be altered if there is a greater need for financial assistance.

“Scholarships are critical for high school students,” Tafoya said. “We try to help students in any way we can to get financial assistance for college. Any extra scholarships they get are really going to alleviate those extra costs. We’re very fortunate here because of the many scholarships Eastern offers and all the money local organizations help with.”

Dawn Wolf-Taylor, the new alumni affairs coordinator, said the event has come together smoothly with all of the multiple ENMU faculty who have volunteered.

“I’m all about anything that can support local students coming to Eastern,” Taylor said. “It’s important because it’s raising money for students and even more important because it’s local.”

Maguire said about 50 tickets available.