Submitted photo
Century High School student, Luz Rangel, receives $100 from Rotarian Greg Gaudette as Rotarians Nick Blea and Connie Irwin on Dec. 15 at Walmart in Los Lunas.

LOS LUNAS—The Rotary Club of Los Lunas has been providing clothing to children identified by Los Lunas Schools for well over twenty years. Typically, Rotarians have been matched with these students and shopped alongside those chosen. In 2020, the club had to adapt to the changing situation.

In order to keep the number of people congregating low, and in accordance with public health orders, students reported at staggered times on two different days. Walmart in Los Lunas again hosted the club, but this year only a few club members met the students outside the store. During the two shopping days, COVID-19 restrictions limited the number of personnel in stores to 75.

Instead of shopping with the students, each was given a $100 along with a letter that informed them of the intent of the program. Temperatures were low on both nights and families were told it would be acceptable if they shopped at a different time.

“While we could not enjoy shopping with the students this year, getting the money to the kids was the real purpose of the project,” said George Greenlee, the project coordinator.

All the students were very gracious and appreciative, many providing thank you letters. One such letter read, “I’ve never really been on a shopping spree before, so I am curious to find out what’s in store. Thank you for your blessings and Happy Christmas. Love, Victoria”

“Next year, we hope to return to business as usual, but we can accept temporary changes if it keeps our programs running, our club members and our community safe,” said club President Rev. Robert Mundy.

For the past two years, the club has used a pancake breakfast to help fund the event. This year that fundraiser had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. The club is very appreciative of United Business Bank who stepped in to help fill the funding gap.

Information on the club is available online at rotaryloslunas.org. Rotary meets at noon each Tuesday at Ribs Restaurant in Los Lunas.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.