United Church Of Los Alamos Hosts 32nd Annual Trip

Group photo. Courtesy photo
Auctioneer Mike Lipiatt will step up to the microphone Sunday, 2-5 p.m., to volunteer his time and golden, melodious tones, to raise money to build homes for the poor during spring break.
The United Church of Los Alamos will host its 32nd annual trip, once again joined by the Unitarian Universalist congregation to make life better for the less fortunate.
The church has actually been on six additional summer trips in addition to the annual trips, crafted and organized by church members, Randy and Laura Erickson.
The dynamic couple know this weekend is the second most important part as they raise the funds to feed the campers throughout the week, pay for the gas to travel to Puerto Penasco Mexico and pay for building supplies, too.
Pastor Keith Lewis will bring the humor and spiritual guidance as the 61 members depart at the end of the month. What does he enjoy most?
“I enjoyed the families we built for,” Lewis said. “They were engaged with our kids and were excited for their new homes. Everyone has something to contribute and age is never a barrier.” 
The campers always plan to build three homes during the week, working in teams with a clear cut plan on how to get it all done on time. The days consist of concrete day, framing day, roofing day and then comes the tar and stucco day.
“I remember our first year in Puerto Penasco and a Grandfather we built for,” Lewis said. “Since that time, eight years ago, he always seems to find us.”
Those auctions, campers and builds have resulted in 2,450 worker weeks and 142 single family homes. This year the dampers are equally divided between the number of youth and adults.
While items can still be left at the church and large items possibility available for pick up, time is getting close. Donations of items such as; gift certificates, art jewelry, hand-made items, brand new and gently used are all things that will delight shoppers.
The campers not only work to run the auction but often donate their time and talent in the way of services auctioned off that can benefit shoppers, with items like live concert music, landscaping services, babysitting services and more.
“The auction is just a cool event that involves the whole community,” Lewis said. “I like seeing old electronics and explaining to kids how they are used.” 
The fundraising for what Lewis calls, “The best week of the year,” begins at 2 p.m., with free cookies and a silent auction. The live auction begins at 3 p.m. The United Church is at 2525 Canyon Road, call 505.662.2971 for information.
Courtesy photo