KNOW YOUR NEIGH­BOR: Dolores “Lola” Lewis

The Taos News - - LOCAL NEWS - By Kathy Cór­dova

All around the world, peo­ple give thanks for many things – fam­ily, friends, a home, ca­reer and other ma­te­rial and non­ma­te­rial items. Thanks­giv­ing Day has passed for those who cel­e­brate it, but for Taos res­i­dent Dolores “Lola” Lewis, she gives thanks ev­ery day.

“I have much for which to be thank­ful,” said Lewis. “I have a job that I con­sider help­ful to our clients, a com­mu­nity that helps our or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ef­forts, a won­der­ful fam­ily and en­joy­able spare time ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Lewis, a sex­ual as­sault vic­tim ad­vo­cate and sex­ual abuse pre­ven­tion co­or­di­na­tor for the non­profit Com­mu­nity Against Vi­o­lence, has worked in her po­si­tion for six years. Some of her du­ties in­clude con­nect­ing vic­tims to ser­vices and ad­vo­cat­ing for them.

Lewis ac­com­pa­nies vic­tims to ex­ams and re­ports to law of­fi­cials and the judicial sys­tem. Lewis col­lab­o­rates with other part­ners, such as law en­force­ment and the district at­tor­ney’s of­fice. “In gen­eral, I make cer­tain the pro­gram works well and that I’m there for the client,” Lewis said.

Lewis’ po­si­tions also in­clude as­sist­ing with fundrais­ing ef­forts and re­port­ing on grants. “Our an­nual goal is $150,000. This year, the Ra­dio­thon raised $76,000, so we’re not quite there yet,” she said.

The vic­tim ad­vo­cate added that the or­ga­ni­za­tion ac­cepts dona­tions through­out the year. Fund­ing of this type as­sists to keep the doors open. “In re­cent times, we have served over 800 adults and chil­dren and pro­vided out of town trans­porta­tion if nec­es­sary,” re­lated Lewis.

In gen­eral, Thanks­giv­ing cel­e­bra­tions in­clude great food and a meal chiefly re­served for fam­ily. But at the CAV shel­ter, Thanks­giv­ing is much more fre­quent.

Churches and res­i­dents of­ten­times do­nate food. In cases where the food do­na­tion ar­rives raw, the ladies cook, ac­cord­ing to Lewis. “The main thing for which ev­ery­one is thank­ful is to have a safe haven for them­selves and their chil­dren, es­pe­cially dur­ing the cold weather. They have a roof over their heads and some warmth,” said Lewis. “Who knows where they’d be if not for the shel­ter?”

Lewis, daugh­ter of the late Jose Car­aveo and Max­ine Car­aveo, lived in Cos­tilla un­til fourth-grade when the fam­ily moved to Taos. She grew up as the youngest of five chil­dren.

Her sib­lings in­clude Eli Martinez (Shirley) of Salt Lake City, Randy Martinez of Taos, An­thony Martinez of Taos and Mary Chavez (Hec­tor) of Taos. Her sib­lings’ five chil­dren make their aunt proud.

In 1999, Dolores Car­aveo Lewis grad­u­ated from Taos High. She at­tended Univer­sity of New Mex­ico-Taos and then trans­ferred to UNM in Al­bu­querque. Af­ter a break from ed­u­ca­tion, Lewis re­turned to Taos in 2005 and earned her bach­e­lor’s de­gree.

She worked odd jobs for four years and cared for her son who was di­ag­nosed, be­fore he was five years old, with leukemia. “My son is a can­cer sur­vivor, and I thank God ev­ery day that he’s bet­ter now,” said Lewis.

She mar­ried Chad Lewis, and they had two sons. Joe An­thony, 13, the young­ster in re­mis­sion, at­tends Taos Academy as an eighth-grader. Rainy, 2½, en­joys his role as the youngest son.

Be­sides grat­i­tude for a full, rich ca­reer life, Lewis also feels thank­ful for a won­der­ful per­sonal fam­ily life. She helps her hus­band Chad build the fam­ily busi­ness, Lewis Vend­ing, serv­ing Taos, Es­pañola and Santa Fe.

She is in­volved in The Pot­ter’s House, an im­por­tant part of her life, as a nurs­ery worker. In ad­di­tion, some of her fa­vorite pas­times are read­ing true crime books and watch­ing re­al­ity shows and “The Walk­ing Dead.”

In this sea­son of grat­i­tude, Lewis summed up her sen­ti­ments for giv­ing thanks: “I’d like to thank the com­mu­nity for be­ing so gen­er­ous in sup­port­ing our cause with CAV this past 40 years. We’re thank­ful for the back­ing of the com­mu­nity. We wouldn’t be here with­out such help.”

Cour­tesy photo

Dolores “Lola” Lewis

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