Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel

From: "Billy Ray"
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 12:06:54 -0600
To: 'Chamber'<b.ray@phillipscountychamber.org>
Subject: Happenings

Wow... get ready.  This may turn into a long email message. 
Thank you to all the businesses, residences, and educational institutions that displayed red and blue colors this past Friday for the Chamber's "Paint the Town Red & Blue" Day.  It was quite pleasing to ride through town and see the display of support for both teams in Helena-West Helena.  On behalf of the Chamber, we appreciate it and I am sure I can speak on behalf of the players, coaches, and school officials to say it meant alot to them as well.
Last week was a bitter sweet week.  We all began the week by congratulating the Desoto Thunderbirds on their first-ever school football championship and had plans of going to Little Rock to see the Central High School Cougars beat the Pulaski Academy Bruins for the 5A State Championship.  Let me tell you as one of the several thousand from Phillips County that traveled to Little Rock in support of the Cougars, we got to see a heck of a game.  In the end, the Cougars were about two minutes and three points (actually four points of winning) shy of being victorious but they are CHAMPS to us.  It was a heartbreaking loss, but it was a heartwarming to witness all that has occurred in our community to not only support both teams, but to bring this community together.  What a great season we had!  Our Cougars played their hearts out and displayed passion, drive, and sportsmanship that can only deserve a tremendous amount of respect.  Matter of fact, the coach of the Pulaski Academy Bruins wrote the attached letter and it was published on rivals.com and wanted to pass it along.  It really tells the impact that the team and coaching staff had on the state's football circuit and how well they served as ambassadors for us.  Good job guys!  Also, want to send a "shout out" to Cary Tyson, Director of Main Street Arkansas, who came out to War Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening to support the Cougars.  It was great seeing him and to know the community has his support well beyond our downtown (Main Street) district.  He has told me for years that he has a passion for Helena and he truly sees the great potential.  Saturday night, he showed up not as the Director of Main Street Arkansas, but as a fan of the city - that means a whole lot to us Cary! - THANKS!
On to other happenings...
Helena-West Helena and Marvell both had successful yule-tide parades.  Sunday, there was a great turn out for the downtown Helena Holiday Open House.  Nine merchants opened their doors to a good turnout of shoppers and also Mr. Bob & Mrs. Barbara Sanders opened their apartments upstairs of the revenue department offices and let me tell you... they are impressive.  Mr. Phil Baldwin, CEO of Southern Bancorp has already rented the two bedroom apartment as his place of abode whenever he's in town and the remaining three apartments are one bedroom.  It is really nice and the Sanders' should be commended for taking the leadership position of downtown revitalization and leading by example.  There are other plans in the works for upper-floor housing in our downtown which only adds to the enthusiasm and momentum that is taking place downtown. 
For those registered to vote in Helena-West Helena, don't forget to vote in today's mixed drink election.  This election is basically a housekeeping type of election.  When the two cities consolidated, all the laws were basically abolished and we had to start from scratch and this was never put on the priority list.  If this does not pass, then Oliver's and River Road will have to cease serving mixed drinks to their patrons which will mean a tremendous loss of revenue.  And passage will mean that restaurants in Helena-West Helena will have the opportunity to secure a license to sell mixed drinks that currently do not such as The Bistro and El Canaveral.  They already serve beer, but this would allow the sell of the mixed drinks.  I am asking that you support these businesses by voting FOR the measure.
Coming up:
Elaine Country Christmas and Parade - this Saturday, December 13th beginning at 10:00a.m.
Delta Heritage Trail State Park's Winter Wonderland - Friday, December 19th at 6:00p.m. at their location at Barton on Hwy 49
Have a good rest of the week!

Billy Ray, PCED I Executive Director

Phillips County Chamber of Commerce

Helena-West Helena, Arkansas

870-338-8327 office I 870-338-8882 Fax



Mission: “Together we can” enhance the quality of life in Phillips County through education, service, leadership, community, and economic development.



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