Community Association

Welcome...

The Association was started in 1966 when The United Truck Growers Association gave the community building to the Community Association because they no longer wanted the responsibility of maintaining the building. The idea was to have a place for fellowship and shared interest.  John Leimone was elected as our first President and John Fedoronko as vice-president.  Each family donated twelve dollars and a cement block for the pump house.  The twelve dollars was used for the upkeep of the building and for refreshments at the meetings.  Since the building needed additional work, dances, bingo, and dinners were held to raise money in addition to the money raised each year by dues.  In 1967,a septic system was installed and in 1968, the Association received an ABC license.  There were dances on many occasions and Bingo was held during the cooler months of the year.

As time went on, life changed and people left the Association.  The gathering of farmers had changed to people working in other areas outside of farming. Old members were gone  and many of the younger ones  moved away.  Even with less people, there was still the occasional bingo party and some members still met to socialize.

In 1975, the Association members decided to put a float in the Pender County Centennial Parade.  This was a tall order for such a small group!  With the help of Ike Ives Chevrolet (a business in St. Helena), a float was presented in full glory with nine young ladies in ethnic costumes. Afterward, a  reception was held at the Community Building with ethnic food, fun, and a new appreciation of St. Helena's history.

In 1984, with worries about St. Helena losing its identity, a committee  composed of several association members was convened to decide whether to incorporate or not.  This was not an easy decision.  After much thought, it was decided to incorporate and on July 1, 1988 the first St. Helena Council was sworn in.

In 1986, the Community Association sold the community building to the Village for one dollar.  It was too expensive to keep the building in good shape, so the Council agreed to maintain it and to add central heating and air.

During the nineties, some parties were being held but  many believed that the Association was no longer needed. The core idea of the Association was to look after St. Helena's interest but that seemed no longer necessary with the Council in place.  The building that the Association tended to with love and care is now the property of the Village Government. The Association had lost their place but not for long.  The Association was headed into a new direction.

As part of a fund raiser for the Association, it was decided to do a cookbook with recipes from St. Helena cooks.  This book was finished in September 1996 (during Hurricane Fran no less ).  Of the 273 recipes in the book, at least 108 of these were ethnic in nature.  Everything from Baklava to Easter Cheese was included.  The cookbook represented St. Helena well because it demonstrated the modern village intertwined with the historic one.

In 2002, plans began for St. Helena's Centennial.  It was agreed that something should be done to mark such a grand occasion.  The Association members compiled a history book about St. Helena and the families that settled here. It was a long time in the making but it turned out to be a wonderful tribute to St. Helena's history.

On October 8, 2005, St. Helena held its Centennial Celebration (despite flooding in areas during a severe storm).  The late Dr. Frank Ainsley presented a slide show commentary about the rich history of St. Helena. Pictures from the history book were projected for all to see, and the books, as well as new editions of the cookbook, were available for purchasing.  Ethnic foods were served, family heirlooms were displayed, and there were tours of the historical Saints Peter and Paul Greek Russian Church.  Approximately 150 visitors attended the ceremony.  As an extension of the Centennial, a float was  entered in the Burgaw Christmas Parade.  The float was pulled by a tractor “on its last legs”and the lights kept turning off, but everyone had fun! The Association members were in the process of becoming good will ambassadors for St. Helena.

In 2007, it was decided to do another float and enter it into the Burgaw Christmas Parade.  Costumes were designed to represent the ethnic history of St, Helena.  The hand-sewn regional flags were from the first 1975 float, were used in the Centennial, and have been used in several other floats.   The theme of the next float in 2008 was “An Old Fashion Christmas”.  It was very cold, but the pot-belly stove, flags flying, and tree with handmade flag decorations provided comfort.  The 2009 float was “A Salute to Our Military”. The red, white and blue theme was used and military uniforms were displayed. We had a record number of children on the float.  We also decorated the community building to make it more festive.  More members were participating and the association was growing.

In addition to the float, a beautiful young queen represented St. Helena was in the parade.  Amber Hunter was our first “Miss St. Helena”. Her picture and biography can be found under “photos” in the website.

In 2009, we decided to do some landscaping to the community building.  Roses  and cedar chips replaced an overgrown holly tree. The Council provided spotlights for the community sign, and flowers were planted under it.  We were moving in more directions and it felt good.

In 2010, we also did a float for Burgaw's Christmas Parade.  Unfortunately, the parade was rained out but we are proud of the work we put into our float.  Miss St. Helena 2011 was chosen.  Her name was Courtney Wilkens and she represented St. Helena in Atkinson's Christmas Parade.  2010 was also the year we had a major fundraiser by having a massive yard sale.  That and a 50/50 raffle brought in over $700.00 to the association's kitty.  Because of this, we made several improvements to the town hall/community building in 2011.  We repainted several parts of the building, added new driveway posts, added color by painting the railings, and pruned back the roses and added more flowers.  We also changed the light bulbs to more energy-efficient ones which brought in more light for less money.

Thank you for your interest in the St. Helena Community Association.

 

General Information

Meetings : 6:30 pm every 2nd Tuesday of each month

 

Dues : St. Helena residents $15.00 per year

 

Hall Rental :  St. Helena residents $20.00 per day.  Rules and regulations are given when rented, and are also posted in the hall.  To reserve, call :

Alice Southerland at 910-259-2200   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Newcomers :  We are always happy to welcome newcomers.  Call if you have any further questions.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014 12:36