|Left to right: Lois Giordano and Neida Garcia were surprised by a $500 check sent to the Sun Advocate to help out with their Helper City beautification campaign which was presented to the women by Claudette Langley. Councilman John Jones watches the presentation.|
With too many activities scheduled for Father's Day weekend, Helper officials are seeking to find a way to settle a space-time conflict raised by groups at the last two city council meetings.
The organizers of the city's annual classic car show, which is presented annually on Father's Day weekend, told councilmembers at the city's Feb. 7 meeting that they were concerned about a baseball tournament that is scheduled for the same weekend.
"Foul balls would be devastating if they hit one of the cars," Mike James, the car show organizer said. "If you did have a ball hit a car that would be the end of it (the car show)."
At the Feb. 21 council meeting, Jeff Cisneros, who organized the American Legion baseball tournament for the same weekend as the car show said he was willing to reschedule some games to avoid the issues with the car show.
"By no means do I want conflict with the car show," Cisneros said.
However, despite his willingness to be flexible, Cisneros admitted that it would be problematic at this point to rearrange the tournament schedule.
"It would kind of put a hamper on it (tournament), " he said, adding that the event brings in about $3,000 for the program.
However, Mayor Mike Dalpiaz and the councilmembers seemed excited by the prospect of two events on the same weekend that would bring visitors streaming into the area.
"We as a council made a unanimous decision to try and work it out for both of you," said Dalpiaz.
The point of contention is the location of both events, which would be presented at Helper park.
The cars are displayed allround the park and the ballfield is next to where the cars would be parked.
The close proximity raised the foul ball fears that the council is now trying to allay.
"Before you cancel anything, let's see if it's at all possible to work out the details for both events," said Dalpiaz. "Because the real winner here is Helper."
If the car show and the tournament kick into gear the same weekend, Helper will be buzzing with activities that would likely draw red-blooded Americans to town.
This year the gleaming chrome of days gone past won't just be sitting around waiting for throngs of admirers.
The cars representing the time when gas was cheap and the size of a motor mattered will cruise Main Street, according to Roger Metzger from the Clampers community.
"We have basically put together a cruise night and the Clampers will be serving hot dogs and hamburgers," he said. "We will also have a big screen television and be showing "American Graffiti."
Where the event organizers appear to see mostly conflict, council members beam about the advantages of opening the town up to popular events. And instead of thinking limitations, council members offered even more incentives to fill the streets and the parks with visitors.
"We will provide free passes to the swimming pool at the game, we'll make it a fun weekend," the mayor said.
In further business at the Feb. 21 meeting, Helper's beautification powerhouses reported in on their committee's progress and latest project.
Neida Garcia and Lois Giordano have not lost any momentum since they first proposed the idea of a volunteer-based beautification committee to the council in November.
In January the women came armed with a plethora of activities, actions and plans, including the Clampers cleaning up and cutting a tree in their alley, tapping Helper Junior High students to decorate store windows and initiating plans to create a new "Welcome to Helper" sign.
On Feb. 21, the duo came with a large photo of the original "Welcome to Helper" sign taken at a time when Model T Fords were parked in front the stores. They told the officials that they are hoping to recreate it.
In addition they shared their vision for a spruced up parkway with new trees and flowers, which sparked a discussion about banning dogs from the area.
"If we spend money on beautifying the parkway and we have a dog problem it just doesn't work," he said.
Garcia and Giordano came to the meeting with money on the mind as they had been lobbying the city council to free up some money for the projects.
"Neida, you need to make requests - say to us, 'I need $500,'" explained Dalpiaz at the January check in
At the Feb. 21 meeting, the exact amount appeared, however it did not come from the city.
The $500 check was delivered by this reporter, who received a letter with the check from Norma Speroni (now Belston) a former resident who said she had been following the stories of the committee and wanted to donate to help its work.
With excited looks of surprise Garcia and Giordano took the check vowing to use it wisely and also to send personal thanks to Belston for her support.
For locals who might feel inclined to give the ladies a boost, donations may be made at the Balance Rock Credit Union,100 West 200 North Helper, to the Helper Community Development account, mark donations Beautify Helper.