Grand Heights Early Childhood Center is currently seeking donations of water and Gatorade for its annual Cpl. D. Robert Harvey “Thirst” Responders Drive.
Each case of water or Gatorade will go to support the Artesia Police Department, Artesia Fire Department, Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, Atoka and Riverside Volunteer Fire Departments, and the New Mexico State Police.
The drive is held each year in memory of Harvey, who was killed by a drunk driver while on duty as a night commander with the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department. Diana Harvey, his mother and a teacher at Grand Heights, originally started the drive four years ago to honor her son. Since then, the drive has been taken over by Cindy Wood, whose daughter was in Diana Harvey’s kindergarten class when the drive began.
“Everyone who goes through Mrs. Harvey’s class leaves knowing who D. [Robert Harvey] was,” said Wood. “My daughter, Alyssa, never met him but feels love for him.”
According to Wood, the various law enforcement agencies hold DWI saturation points and other long, tiring events during which water and Gatorade are both appreciated and needed.
“Sometimes they can be out there for long periods of time,” said Wood. “They need to stay hydrated.”
Last year, Grand Heights collected somewhere between 1,100 and 1,200 cases of water and Gatorade.
A presentation ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, at the kindergarten, with representatives from each department recognized. The first responders will also walk through a “high-five tunnel,” where students and teachers will thank them for their service.
Anyone interested in donating to the project may contact Tracy Allen, Donna Williams or Diana Harvey at 746-6282. Wood is also available to pick up water and Gatorade from anyone unable to bring the beverages to Grand Heights and can be contacted at 513-5020.
Additionally, Pecos Diamond is collecting for the drive and is offering a free seven-ounce New York strip dinner with salad bar and drink to any diner bringing in four cases of water.