Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
PORTALES—The Eastern New Mexico University Foundation will present awards to a local Portales business, a Volunteer of the Year posthumous award to a former regent, and Philanthropists of the Year award to the family of a late graduate.
The awards will be presented during the ENMU Foundation 34th Annual Breakfast in the Campus Union Ballroom at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3. Tickets for non-donors are $10 per person. For ticket information, call 575.562.2412.
Business of the Year—Super 8
The Super 8 hotel opened in Portales in 1992. The owners of Mischel’s LLC that owns the Super 8 hotel, Sherry Mischel and Timothy Finlay, currently live in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Super 8 has been a consistent supporter to the ENMU Athletic Department as a corporate sponsor for the past eight years, contributing over $23,400. Mischel and Finlay own seven other Super 8 hotels with four others in New Mexico, two in Colorado and one in Arizona.
The owners give back to these communities in numerous ways. They support the local hospitals in the various communities by offering low cost or free accommodations for patients having treatments. The company is also a strong supporter of the American Cancer Society and the Relay for Life. Sherry and Timothy are generous with the Crow Canyon Archeological Center in Cortez, Colo. supporting its programs and elementary school outreach projects.
Mischel has been a long-time Rotarian. This year she chartered the new Rotary Club of Scottsdale North and currently serves as the district secretary. Finlay has volunteered for Junior Achievement and for the I.R.S. as a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistant) helping senior citizens and low income individuals complete their tax forms.
Philanthropists of the Year—Ralph and Jan Fort and Family
Ralph and Jan Fort were very proud of their son, Frank Wilburn Hilliard Fort, who graduated from ENMU with a B.S. in communication education in December 1995. His life was dedicated to helping others.
For 14 years, Frank served as a leadership consultant for the New Mexico Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (NMFCCLA). Later he served on the National FCCLA Board of Directors representing the Pacific region. Frank was honored in 2007 in Anaheim, Calif., with the FCCLA Alumni Achievement Award. He was the state advisor for the CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization). Later, he became a training specialist for Pegasus Solutions, which gave him the opportunity to travel around the world conducting leadership training.
Frank Fort died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty heater in his Albuquerque home at the young age of 36. His parents, Ralph and Jan Fort, and his family have chosen to honor him with a $50,000 gift to establish the Frank W. Fort Memorial Scholarship.
The family has also committed to making significant annual contributions to this scholarship to help more students in Frank’s memory. Ralph and Jan Fort visited with their daughter, Wendy Branstine, and decided that ENMU was the best place to memorialize Frank because he cared so much about the school and was very involved as a student.
Volunteer of the Year—Alva C. Carter (posthumous)
Alva Carter was born April 18, 1940, and died Nov. 20, 2008. For those 68 years, Carter was always one to take on a challenge and demonstrate his strong work ethic and dedication to what was right.
He was born to support eastern New Mexico and especially Roosevelt County and Portales. He was appointed to the Board of Regents by Governor Bill Richardson in 2003 and was serving as president of the ENMU Board of Regents when his life ended in an automobile accident. “Mr. Carter’s commitment to the University and his strong support of this community was well-known and he will be sorely missed,” said Dr. Steven Gamble, ENMU president.
Besides leading ENMU into the future, Carter was also the past president of the New Mexico Peanut Growers. He served on the National Peanut Board and was most recently serving on the National Corporate Board of Dairy Farmers of America, as well as several other local and national dairy boards.
His wife, Mary Helen, recalls when he was instrumental in establishing the first Portales girls softball league and helped to prepare a new field for the team to practice on and use for games.