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Youth also benefits at JOY Center fundraiser

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Three kiddos from the Hunt family of Roswell show their family togetherness Saturday morning at the Chaves County JOY Centers Back-to-School Breakfast in Roswell. Brothers Russell, in front, and Brandon received donated backpacks. Sister Emma gives a big hug. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Area families and seniors enjoyed some pancakes, eggs, sausage and biscuits and received some free items to prepare for the new school year as the Chaves County JOY Centers held a back-to-school breakfast Saturday morning at the Roswell location on North Montana Avenue.

Stylists Lorena Ramirez, in distance, and Bea Mendiola from Shear Delight give some free haircuts to youth as part of the back-to-school breakfast held Saturday morning by the Chaves County JOY Centers at the North Montana Avenue location in Roswell. Two of their estimated 75 clients are shown here, Brandon Cayatineto, 11, near Ramirez, and Michael Contreras, 14. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

About 375 people attended the $5 breakfast, said Executive Director Monica Duran, which would mean the group raised about $1,875.
“This is the first time that we did the breakfast for back-to-school,” she said, “but we did one in May for Mother’s Day.”
Duran said the events are meant to raise money for JOY Center operations, which have been hit hard by state budget cuts over the past year, but the fundraisers also are meant to contribute to others as well, which is why the Saturday event included raffling off free backpacks and school supplies and giving free haircuts to youth.
“We are always hoping that these events provide information about who we are and what we do,” Duran said. “This is our way of giving back to the community.”

The organization received 120 backpacks from donors and will be distributing any not given away at the event to foster grandmothers in area schools, who will provide them to school children. Haircuts were given to about 75 youth during the event, with two stylists from Shear Delight in Roswell donating three hours and their talents to the work, Duran said.
She said she thought the event was successful, adding, “We look forward to doing another one in December.”
The Chaves County JOY Centers provide adult day care, meals for seniors, caregiver assistance, housekeeping assistance and foster grandmother and senior companion programs. Locations besides Roswell include Hagerman, Midway and Lake Arthur. JOY stands for “Just Older Youth.”
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.