Photo by Cathy Nelson/Fall River County Herald Star
The Keep Hot Springs Beautiful Board members from left are President Shelley Hagans-Brown, Lauren Weiss, Treasurer Christine Fraser, Suzanne Silverson, Sandra Merrill, Cherie Largent and Secretary Caitlyn Mosset.
By Cathy Nelson
HOT SPRINGS – Keep Hot Springs Beautiful (KHSB) hosted their annual banquet on Friday, Nov. 3 at the American Legion with fifty people in attendance. They celebrated a year of keeping Hot Springs beautiful and emphasized gratitude for the volunteer work of so many. A roast beef dinner was prepared and served buffet style by Legion members.
President Shelley Hagans-Brown explained that they did not invite a speaker for the banquet but instead wanted to tell everyone about the KHSB activities and inspire more members to join. She said the year held victories because KHSB members rose to meet the challenges.
One of the challenges Hagans-Brown talked about is the Highway 385 construction. She said that KHSB members had taken the plants out of the corner pods and put them in storage gardens, but then found out the highway construction was delayed. However, with some of the new pods completed later in the year, she said, “We were able to put in plants last fall, and the City placed boulders in the pods.” She also explained that instead of calling them “pods,” they now will be referred to as “bump-outs.” She praised the pod squads for their efforts in planting, maintaining, and cleaning the bump-outs. She also asked for volunteers to “consider working with others to plant and maintain the bump-outs.”
Hagans-Brown gave an overview of the KHSB year saying the group participated in the Christmas in the Hills parade; held a recycling program; put up Christmas lights in Centennial Park; held an Earth Day Rummage Sale in April and the Great American Cleanup in May; had aluminum can recycling; held a membership mixer and a team-building party in July and hosted electronic recycling called the Super Recycling Event. She also said they may close the electronic recycling event because the participation was lower than it had been in past years. She said they may scale back recycling due to lack of enough volunteers.
Looking to the future of KHSB, Hagans-Brown said a new more user-friendly website is being created, which will also make it possible to pay for memberships online. An annual membership of $30 is due by March 1. She said members will be eligible to win prizes between March 1 and Earth Day in April.
“We have 120 members, which includes 35 businesses,” Hagans-Brown said. “Our goal is 200 members, which will help cover the costs for a year.” She said the new Facebook will help market the activities of the group. Their marketing will include new t-shirts and cling decals.
Board member Cherie Largent presented cards of appreciation to two outstanding volunteers, Clark Brown and Doug Mangold.
“If we had a Volunteer of the Year award, it would go to Doug Mangold,” Hagans-Brown said.
The 2023 KHSB board members were introduced. They are President Shelley Hagans-Brown, Secretary Caitlyn Mosset, Treasurer Cherie Largent, Lauren Weiss, Sandra Merrow, Suzanne Silverson, Christine Fraser, and John Notheis. For 2024 the elected officers are President Shelley Hagans-Brown, Secretary Caitlyn Mosset and Treasurer Christine Fraser.