Helena City Council recognizes youth football victory, planning committees

Published 8:57 am Thursday, December 14, 2023

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

HELENA – It was a night filled with congratulatory recognitions at Helena’s City Hall during a regularly scheduled city council session on the night of Dec. 11.

First and foremost, the city of Helena officially recognized the successful season had by the “Helena Black” fifth grade football team which won the Shelby Youth Football League American Division Championship held on Nov. 11.

“Recognizing greatness is one of the things we love to do the most here at our council meetings,” said Council President Alice Lobell.

Coach Eric Collins and assistant coaches Brandon Tucker, Brandon Kennedy, Daniel Hedrick, Sam Fuller, Frederick Billings and Tim Vakakes stood with their championship team in front of a packed audience of residents and family members and received recognition from Helena Mayor Brian Puckett and City Council members.

“The fifth-grade Helena Husky Black team had an amazing year this season,” Puckett said. “They finished the season with a 9-1 record and were undefeated in the district and beat Vestavia Hills 44 to 8 to bring home the American Division Championship to Helena. The Huskies outscored their opponents 250 points to 74.”

The team’s season was dedicated to Lee Pate, the late father of Peyton Pate, who is No. 9 on the team, that passed away during the course of the season.

“Lee’s courage in his fight against ALS galvanized this team and inspired the way they played,” Puckett said. “I cannot thank them enough for how hard (they played) and how greatly they represented our city—by getting out there each week on the field. The way they played, the way their sportsmanship was and everything associated represented our city and represented their team. We as a city could not be prouder of them and how they were successful in all of those things.”

Puckett and the Council then recognized and publicly thanked the work done by the Helena Christmas Parade Committee who successfully presented the city’s annual parade on Saturday, Dec. 2.

“The parade committee puts on our city’s parade and makes our lives—makes my life—easy because I know I don’t need to worry about anything. (With them) I know the parade will always be run smooth,” Puckett said. “It is because of all of these talented individuals who use each of their talents together as a group to come together and make (the event) a success. Months and months of planning and hard work go into about four hours of enjoyment for this entire city. Thank you so much for all that you do.”

Immediately following, the Helena Beautification Board, led by Chairperson Rebeckah Henderson and Vice Chair Christina Levio, were recognized along with the rest of the Board for their organization of multiple other events throughout the year. First and foremost was its organization and presentation of Helena’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 1.

Puckett, who formerly sat on the Beautification Board for several years, took extra steps to express his gratitude to them and the parade committee at the close of the Council’s procession of recognitions.

“This was the first year where I did not freak out internally because I knew that everything was handled,” Puckett said. “The leadership that this team had this year was, by far, better than I’ve seen in a few years past. They made it go smoothly, transitioned well and everything went flawlessly. I have not heard a complaint because there has not been any reasons to complain. They’ve done an amazing job.”

Lastly, Puckett himself was recognized by Lobell for his nomination for and reception of the 2023 Public Servant of the Year Award at the Diamond Awards hosted by the Shelby County Chamber on Dec. 7.

“I feel like I’m sitting with royalty,” Lobell said. “Congratulations mayor, I’m very proud of you.”

In other news, the Helena City Council approved the following items on the agenda:

  • A resolution approving Helena’s role in the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs Mutual Aide Consortium.
  • The beginning of the condemnation process for 4734 Hollow Lane and 1128 Amberly Woods Drive.
  • The appointment of Stephanie Gray to the Helena Beautification Board.
  • An ordinance for fees/dues for fire protection and coverage outside of Helena city limits.
  • The annexation ordinances of six properties attributed to Brenda Seales Warren with addresses in Bessemer Alabama.
  • The annexation ordinances of two properties attributed to Brenda Gail Warren with addresses in Bessemer Alabama.
  • The annexation ordinance for 187 Porter Road SE, Bessemer AL attributed to James Ivey Warren and Brenda Warren.
  • The annexation ordinance for 226 Aviation Road SE, Bessemer AL attributed to Kevin D. Beck and Brenda S. Warren.
  • The annexation ordinance for 3963 Woodhaven Road, Birmingham AL attributed to Jeffery Smith.
  • The annexation ordinance for 8130 Pecan Drive Bessemer, AL attributed to Anthony Kyle Stevens.