The Helper Project to Memorialize Thomas Williams


During last week’s Helper City Council meeting, a representative of The Helper Project informed the council that it has been decided to complete a memorial for Thomas Elmo Williams.

Williams, who passed away in March of 2022, was a staple to the Helper community in many ways. He was not only a talented artist, also served on the city council for some time.

For the memorial, improvements to the Locust Street Park basketball park were proposed. This is due to Williams being vested in the court. He would visit the court to sweep and change the chains, and he was always an advocate for basketball, according to the project representative.

Funding for this project has been approved and the hope is to either restore the court or completely re-do it. From there, the dedication to Williams would come in the form of the courts being named after him.

There has been much discussion regarding the park recently, with the development of an all-access playground in the works as well as a request for a pickleball court. Councilwoman Michelle Goldsmith said that she loves the idea and wants The Helper Project to speak with the individual that requested the pickleball court.

Many courts are pickleball-friendly, which means that it is possible for both sports to be played on one court. The project would simply like to be kept informed with what is going on and they would be able to handle the project from that point.

Mayor Lenise Peterman gave many thanks to The Helper Project for stepping up to create this memorial. “He wanted to see something happen with that basketball court,” she stated, echoing the sentiment that it would be important to him.

The mayor also stated that she did not believe that the project would meet any resistance before acknowledging that there is a lot of homework that needs to be done to put the ideas of the park together.

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