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La Sociedad Para Las Artes sponsors 19th annual event for local families in need

The English department's La Sociedad Para Las Artes at New Mexico State University is holding their 19th annual benefit to help needy families in Dona Ana County. The annual reading is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at the Beverly Hill Hall, 150 N. Hermosa. A reception following the reading will include a silent auction, a chili cook-off and a carnival. Tickets cost $10 at the door, and all proceeds go to Casa de Peregrinos.



The English department's La Sociedad Para Las Artes at New Mexico State University is holding their 19th annual benefit to help needy families in Dona Ana County. The annual reading is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 at the Beverly Hill Hall. (Submitted photo)

Casa de Peregrinos is a Las Cruces food pantry working to serve the needs of Dona Ana County, relying in part on local support. The organization recently provided more than 500 families in August with dietary staples such as flour, sugar, fresh produce, eggs, meat and pasta.

"Since Las Sociedad Para Las Artes began the benefit 19 years ago, we have raised $70,000 to help fight hunger, and we are hoping to make 2012 a record year for this wonderful cause," said Emily Haymans, a benefit committee member and graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Two noted authors with ties to the community are scheduled to present their work. Richard Yanez, an NMSU alumnus, is a professor of English at El Paso Community College. His publications include the novel "Cross Over the Water," and the short fiction collection "El Paso Del Norte: Stories on the Border." The journal publication, Latino Stories, recently named Yanez to its 2012 top ten list of new Latino authors. New Mexico native Patrick Donnelley has authored two poetry collections, including "The Charge" and "Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin." His writing and translations have appeared in several periodicals such as The American Poetry Review; Ploughshares; and The Yale Review. Donnelley is currently an instructor at Smith College and George Washington University.

Following the reading, there will be a silent auction and chili cook off. The family event will include pay-to-play carnival-style games, a photo booth and a live local band.

"Your ticket also gives you access to the chili cook-off," Haymans said. "You get to sample all the chili when you buy a bowl."

The silent auction will include items from local area businesses such as Cutter Gallery, SI Bistro, Dublin's, Toucan Market and Austin's Jewelry. Additionally, several local artists and craftspeople from the Farmer and Ranchers market are participating.

Advance tickets are also available at the NMSU English department office in Clara Belle Williams Hall at NMSU. For more information about tickets contact the department at 575-646-3931. Individuals and businesses seeking to donate items for the silent auction contact NMSU English professor Connie Voisine at connie.voisine@gmail.com.

For more information about Casa de Peregrinos visit their website, http://www.casadeperegrinos.org/home.