It’s time to volunteer to volunteer

Published 4:28 pm Monday, March 29, 2010

With major events looming in Helena’s near future — Buck Creek Festival in conjunction with the Alabama Year of Small Towns celebration, the second season of Saturday Farmers’ Market Day, Friday Night Movies, the first BlueZ and Gumbo cookoff and July 4th festivities — it’s time to volunteer to volunteer.

For most of the community, it’s just a matter of showing up to mingle and nosh at these small-town socials, but behind the scenes is a core of dedicated volunteers who plan and meet for months in advance, then test their bodily endurance to bring about the successful venues that beckon young and old alike.

Recently, I observed that many of the same faces are the behind-the-scene movers and shakers on an on-going basis. I questioned Councilmember Cris Nelson as to why Helena has such dedicated community volunteers.

After some serious pontificating, she added, “Sometimes I think we all just have a loose screw.”

Upon my invitation, Nelson issued the following manifesto:

“There is no cure for the loose screw syndrome, all afflicted people gravitate toward others of their kind at different social events to compare symptoms and try different activities that according to old wives tales have been known to cure the individual, i.e. Movies in the Park, Buck Creek Festival, Easter Egg Hunt, etc., but actually leave the individual more afflicted and tired than before.

“The members of the Loose Screw Society vow to stick together and hope that the group as whole can work toward finding a cure for each and everyone. However, the current outlook is not good, but we will not shun or abandon our fellow loose screws, no matter how long it takes.  This is obviously becoming contagious as the society is acquiring more members. CDC in Atlanta has been notified and is at a loss to explain the cause. They have contacted the Helena Water Department for testing of the city’s water supply. We are currently awaiting these results.”

Charter members of The Loose Screw Society, you know who you are. Due to space constraints, I cannot list everyone by name. I would be sure to omit someone important and be banned to the un-air conditioned caboose with Major Dundee for the month of August.

Though you remain nameless here, the community of Helena thanks each of you for your dedicated presence, toil and sweat, and hours of sacrificed personal time.

Consider stepping up — extra volunteer hands are always welcome, with or without loose screws.

Laura Brookhart can be reached by e–mail at