By Chuck Wentworth
Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) Cabinet Secretary Monique Jacobson (inset) visited with youngsters from AppleTree Educational Center, as well as organizers and sponsors of the Father’s Day weekend sandcastle contest at Elephant Butte Lake State Park Thursday afternoon, June 16.
In her first year with the CYFD Jacobson has established a unique initiative ( aimed at promoting healthy and affordable activities that are readily available for families throughout New Mexico. The program enlists parents, community members and leaders, and young people to join in the effort to make sure the State’s children are safe, cared for, and are ready to succeed in life.
Staged in conjunction with the Elephant Butte Boat, RV and Adventure Show, the sandcastle contest featured some very creative entries by a number of local teams. Volunteers assured participants were well fortified against the intense summer heat, and earlier in the week, provided hands-on classes in sandcastle building techniques.
After speaking briefly with those on hand Thursday afternoon, Jacobson joined with the youngsters, Elephant Butte City leaders, event sponsors and volunteers for a group photo to commemorate what will hopefully become an annual event.

Rebecc Dow CYFD (1) Rebecc Dow CYFD (2)