Benefit Dance for Furloughed Federal Workers at HU Jan. 27

Las Vegas, New Mexico – There will be a dance party to benefit local furloughed federal workers Jan. 27 from 3 – 6 p.m. at the Highlands University Sala de Madrid building at 801 University Ave.

Victoria Evans, the anthropology laboratory director at Highlands, is one of the community members spearheading the benefit.

“We have many neighbors in our Las Vegas community who are affected by this government shutdown,” Evans said. “These are people who serve us, from the U.S. Forest Service to the National Park Service. I personally know people who are having trouble paying their rent and feeding their families.”

Evans said the federal employees are being unfairly penalized by the partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history. It began Dec. 22, 2018.

“Business owners in our community and other Highlands employees are supporting this benefit. For example, the reason we’re having the family friendly dance party at Highlands is our organizing committee was meeting at Borracho’s and Highlands President Sam Minner asked what the university could do to help,” Evans said.

Eric Alarid of Las Vegas will be the DJ for the dance party. He operates DesertGate Internet on Bridge Street in Las Vegas.

The door fee for the dance party is an item from the following list: diapers, baby formula, baby wipes, baby clothes, shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream and razors, sanitary napkins and tampons, hand soap, dish soap, cleaning supplies, trash bags, toilet paper, tissue, pellets or cut wood for fireplaces or wood stoves, gift cards to grocery stores, gift cards to gas stations, and pet supplies.

“For those who don’t wish to donate an item from the list, a $5 cover charge will go toward an online Go Fund Me account we’ve set up to help local furloughed people pay their rent, mortgage or utility bills” Evans said.

To donate online, go to and enter Relief for Furloughed Workers in the search bar. There are a number of communities listed. Use the Las Vegas, NM link with the photograph of the train depot.

Evans and Ana Murphy are coordinating distribution for the Go Fund Me proceeds. Furloughed people may email Evans at for more information.

Evans said that for those who are furloughed, there is no entry fee to the dance benefit.

“These furloughed workers are free to pick up items they need that are donated at the event. They just need to show some form of federal identification,” Evans said.

The Samaritan House in Las Vegas will be the distribution center for items that are donated for furloughed families. It is located at 1000 Mills Ave. and is open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday. The phone number is 505-454-1390.

“The furloughed federal workers just need to show some form of federal identification at Samaritan House,” Evans said.

Other community members who are on the organizing committee for the benefit include Nancy Colalillo, Don Evans, Mark Gillingham, Sara Jo Mathews, Ana Murphy, Kevin Murphy, Elizabeth Ratzlaff, and Beth Urech.

For more information about the benefit, contact Evans at