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Locals hit the greens to help the homeless, those in need

J.L. Gray Co. employees and other volunteers give away food and collect money and goods for the homeless and the elderly during a Friday event on North Main Street. (Submitted Photo)

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Roswell residents and companies teed up and passed the hat at two separate fundraising events this weekend.

Roswell Homeless Coalition board members and staff attend the Drive Out Homelessness fundraiser at the Nancy Lopez Spring River Gold Course Saturday morning. From left are Brandon Hebert, Jeanette Schaffer, Brooke Linthicum, Joel Wood, Sara Lewis, Chris LaDuca, Josh Worley and David Bugarin. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The Roswell Chamber of Commerce and a group of local employees of an apartment management company held events to raise money and goods for the Roswell Homeless Coalition, which manages two shelters and connects the homeless with needed services. The event by the apartment management group J.L. Gray also benefited the elderly served by the Roswell JOY Center.

Drive Out Homelessness, the chamber’s second annual charity golf tournament, occurred at the Nancy Lopez Spring River Golf Course on Saturday morning. The event drew 21 four-people teams, each paying $400 entry fees.

The chamber was able to present the coalition with a check of $3,500, said chamber Executive Director Candace Lewis. Last year, the tournament raised money for the Roswell Refuge.

Lewis said she was grateful for the participants and the event sponsors, which included AirMethods, Xcel Energy, Culligan Water, Leprino Foods, Demaree’s Pumping Service, Dean Baldwin Painting, Elkhorn Land and Title, GM Inc., New Mexico Gas Co., Foxworth Galbraith and L & F Distributors.

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“Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” she said.

Brooke Linthicum, a Roswell Homeless Coalition board member, said that each event is significant to the nonprofit.

“Every bit helps,” she said. “I think the most important thing for people to understand is that we are funded completely by the community.”

The coalition has housed more than 200 people since October 2017 and provided more than 1,900 meals, said Linthicum. October is when the nonprofit began managing the women’s shelter on East Bland Street. The men’s shelter on East Albuquerque Street reopened in April. As of July, there were 20 men and 13 women and their children in the shelters. A few people already have been able to obtain jobs and move into their own apartments or rental units.

“There are some amazing stories,” Linthicum said. “We just have to continue that and be able to connect our clients with the resources they need.”

Linthicum added that the group also plans to apply for grants and, once it has enough of a history and an organizational record in place, to become a United Way affiliate.

It also is staging the “Rock Run ‘N Roll” charity 1K and 5K on Nov. 3, which the group intends to become the annual fundraiser to provide year-long support for the coalition’s operations.

The J.L. Gray Co. event for the Roswell Homeless Coalition and the Roswell JOY Center took place on Friday morning.

J.L. Gray’s local employees, which includes staff with the Cielo de Oro Senior Apartments and Rio Vista Apartments, raised $363 and collected two baskets of clothing, blankets and other items at a location set up in front of the Rent-A-Center store on North Main Street. The group also gave hotdogs and other food to the shelters.

The Roswell employees chose to hold the fundraiser as their participation in a statewide volunteer day held by the Apartment Association of New Mexico.

Sponsors for the event included Health Quest, New Mexico Gas, Addus Homecare, Fergie’s Plumbing, local restaurant owners, Wells Fargo Bank and businessman Michael Trujillo.

Jeff Curry, director of development with J.L. Gray, said that the company works on a daily basis with people at risk of being homeless.

“We understand the importance of programs that help people find stable and affordable housing,” he said.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.