A check for $2,600 was presented to Roni Vallejos, Child Life Specialist and Good Grief Coordinator this past Friday, March 10th by the Southern Plains Father Daughter Dance Committee. The proceeds were from the second annual dance held January 21st at the Lamar Elks Lodge and will be used to continue Vallejos’s work with children who are experiencing the loss of a loved one. Her work is done through the Lamar Area Hospice headquarters on West Olive Street in Lamar.
“This is so very nice,” she said, adding that the funds have increased over the $2,300 donation from the first year’s dance. “We had so many donations and contributors that it helped keep our costs down, and we were able to use the decorations from a wedding reception held the previous at the Elk’s Lodge, so that really made it nice for everyone.” She said the attendance had daughters from only nine days old, to those in their 40’s who came with their fathers.
Vallejos directs a grief counseling service for local children who have lost a family member and although she is headquartered in the Lamar Hospice building, conducts her work separately from them. Children can enroll in a six week course that takes them through various stages of grief counseling and interact with other area youngsters where they can form relationships during the sessions. The dances are open for any family who wishes to attend and need not be connected to Hospice or the Good Grief Group in any manner. The SPFDD Committee members, Christina Sanchez, Jana Weimer, Roni Vallejos, JoDell Rodgers, Jessica Long, Jill Smith and Meena Shelton, coordinate the dance at the Lamar Elks Lodge, one of several events that support the Good Grief Group in the area.
By Russ Baldwin
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