Reporter’s Notebook: Hobbs students show true colors

Jean Verlich: CNJ New Editor

WHEN THEY HEARD ABOUT the destruction from the March 23 tornado suffered by residents of their arch-rival Clovis, Hobbs students put aside their competitive spirit to help.

Jars wrapped with ribbons in Clovis’ purple school color were set out to collect “Coins for Clovis” in Hobbs schools.

HOBBS MUNICIPAL SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT Cliff Burch and Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, on Thursday delivered a check for $2,000 from the students to United Way of Eastern New Mexico. Kernan, whose legislative district includes both school districts, also presented a check for $500, according to Rhonda Seidenwurm, Clovis Municipal Schools superintendent.

“I was touched by the idea,” said United Way Executive Director Erinn Burch, who was contacted by Cliff Burch, a Clovis native but no relation.

The United Way executive director invited Seidenwurm and Clovis school board president Max Best to participate “because of the rivalry,” she said.

“I thought this was very poignant,” Erinn Burch said.

NOTING THE RIVALRY between the two school districts, Seidenwurm agreed.

“This was a very special thing,” she said, “a school district helping another school district.”

The Coins for Clovis effort shows the rivalry “is not personal among the kids,” she said.

“They wanted that to be from their kids to our kids,” she said of the fund raising.

LANCE CLEMMONS, chairman of the Eastern New Mexico Disaster Recovery Council, said the funds will be used for unmet needs of disaster victims after they have exhausted other resources.