Las Vegas, New Mexico Outpost One Year Old

“Lots of Spirit!”

by Arthur Ingraham III –
Advisory Board Chairman

The Las Vegas, New Mex., outpost completed its first year with remarkable Christmas success. In a community which had seen its largest private employer close down, Envoys Stan and Peggy Sons and their small band of soldiers and volunteers provided the spirit of Christmas in many ways.

Though all businesses allowed kettles indoors, the unusual cold slowed the number of shoppers. A small, steady group of seven soldiers rang bells and worked the Angel Tree for the entire season in spite of some “time outs” for flu. A deep debt of gratitude is owed to radio stations KFUN-AM and KLVF-FM, which carried “Angel Tree on the Air.” In the absence of shopping malls, the tree was in a thrift store. The radio campaign gave enough publicity to bring a sponsor for every angel on the tree.

“Hands and Voices,” the outposts’ singing company, provided a great deal of the vocal entertainment at three community Christmas events.

All regular programs continued full speed ahead during this very active period for the seven “hard core” volunteers and 13 others who provided essential help.

The outpost is thankful to the people and businesses of Las Vegas and the surrounding area for their support. A “Tickle Me Elmo” doll radio auction raised $575, an important part of the $9,600 raised during the season. Many thousands of dollars more in gifts were received–an incredible amount for a first-time effort. Because the community responded so generously with time, money and other donations, no paid help was necessary, nor were any toys or other materials purchased.

A bright spot of the season was the envoys’ daughter, Roberta. Instead of ringing a bell, she stood her post at the post office and sang Christmas carols. After the first week, her kettles did very well as people came by just to hear the music.

One resident was heard to say, “I knew about the kettles, but I didn’t know where the money went. I do now, and the joy on the faces of many who likely would have done without at Christmas answers all my questions.”

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