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Support non-profits

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By Optic Editorial Board

One of the great things about Las Vegas is the many organizations here that work hard to provide opportunities to area residents and to make our community a better place to live.

Among those organizations are the First Presbyterian Church Mustard Seed program, Habitat for Humanity and the New Mexico Highlands University Foundation. Each of these groups is currently raising money to further its mission, and each one is worthy of your support.

First Presbyterian Church is hosting its annual Mustard Seed Benefit Enchilada Dinner this Thursday at Hillcrest Restaurant’s Flamingo Dining Room. Money raised goes into a fund that is used to provide grants to other community groups.

This year alone, the Mustard Seed program doled out $5,050 to seven organizations. First Born of Northern New Mexico received money for office flooring; the Sheridan fire department received money to pay for self-contained breathing apparatus units; Comedor de San Pascual received funds for a floor buffer. Silver Threads Quilt Guild was given money to purchase fabric for charity quilts; New Mexico Highlands University received a grant to help cover expenses for the community summer choir, Las Vegas City Schools received money for an empowerment symposium and money raised also helped purchase tables for the mission church.

Tickets for Thursday’s enchilada fundraiser are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10. They are available from church members or at the door.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with dinner served from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Habitat for Humanity, meanwhile, is raising money through a silent auction of potter Paul Volckening’s work. The items are on display at the New Mexico Highlands University Ray Drew Gallery through Oct. 19.

Starting bids for the artwork range from $30 to $75.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit that builds and repairs houses worldwide using volunteers and donations. The local Habitat for Humanity organization has built 22 homes and completed remodels for needy families. Families purchasing a home are given no-interest loans. They are required to put in 400 hours of sweat equity.

The New Mexico Highlands University Foundation, meanwhile, raises money for scholarships and other needs of the university. Each year it awards more than $200,000 in scholarships.

This year, the foundation is celebrating its 30th year, along with Ilfeld Auditorium’s 90th and the university’s 120th.

The foundation is hosting a “Politics as Unusual Variety Show” at 7 p.m. this Saturday at Ilfeld Auditorium. Admission is $10. The university’s big birthday bash will be Oct. 18. Tickets for the party, which include the screening of a documentary film about the university at Ilfeld and dinner at the new Student Union Building, are being sold for $100. A portion of that revenue will go directly to student scholarships.

To get your tickets, contact the foundation office at 454-3248 or go to highlandsbirthday.com.

There are also many other organizations in our community worthy of your support. Before the holiday season gets under way, we hope you pick one of them and donate. Whether its $10 or $100, every dollar you donate to a charitable organization helps build a stronger community.