Boots for Bucks To Raise Scholarship Money

Sharon Vander Meer

Las Vegas, N.M. — New Mexico Highlands University boosters with purple cowboy boots in hand will be out in force March 17 — 18 for Boots for Bucks, a drive to help raise scholarship money that is part of the April 21 President’s Gala: Dollars for Scholars.

The President’s Gala is a scholarshipfundraiser that will also celebrate Highlands University President Jim Fries’ five-year anniversary.

Instead of passing a hat, community volunteers will be collecting donations in purple boots on March 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. at local businesses including Charlie’s Spic & Span, Lowes, Walgreens and Walmart.

Sharon Vander Meer, local author, blogger and entrepreneur, is coordinating Boots for Bucks. She also chairs the publicity committee for the President’s Gala.

“We thought Boots for Bucks was a kicking good and fun way to help get the community involved in the President’s Gala,” Vander Meer said. “Not everyone can attend the gala and Boots for Bucks gives more people an opportunity to participate. Whether it’s for education or the economy, Highlands is one of the most important entities in town and I think people want to support the university however they can.”

Vander Meer said there’s a greater need than ever for scholarships that help students of all ages, making scholarship fundraisers like Dollars for Scholars important.

“A college education gives you an enormous leg up when it comes to being successful,” Vander Meer said.

She said each person who drops money into one of the purple boots will receive a purple boot bookmark with details about the scholarship fundraiser.

“Businesses in Las Vegas are so generous when it comes to supporting community initiatives and we want to thank the ones who are giving us space for Boots for Bucks,” Vander Meer said.

She added that local civic groups interested in having her talk about Dollars for Scholars, and pass the purple boot, may contact her at

The President’s Gala will begin at 6 p.m. on April 21 in the university’s Wilson Complex, 1241 9th St, which will be transformed for the evening by the university’s media arts students.

Other highlights of the President’s Gala include a silent auction featuring the work of local artists and a raffle for a four-year scholarship to Highlands.

Individual tickets for the gala are $100, with options for sponsors to reserve tables. Sixty-five dollars of each ticket is tax deductible.

Tickets and more details are available online through the Highlands University Foundation’s “Dollars for Scholars” website www.purpletieaffair.comor in person in the Alumni Office in Margaret Kennedy Alumni Hall, 905 University Ave., or call 505-454-3248.