The Helper Project, which is well-known within the community for its dedication to all things Helper, was founded by Roy and Anne Jespersen. The project works to assist in the preservation, restoration and rejuvenation of the history of Helper.
To begin the new year, The Helper Project gained new leadership when Keith Bateman was named the chairperson on Jan. 1.
In May of 2019, Bateman’s wife expressed a desire to visit Nine Mile Canyon, as they had never been before. Coming from Salt Lake City (SLC), the Bateman’s knew they would like the trip to last more than a day.
Perusing places to stay online, Bateman discovered the Lincoln Hotel in Helper and stated that they were shocked at how beautiful it was. That weekend also happened to be during one of Helper’s many First Friday events and the Bateman’s were able to experience Helper in all of its glory, walking down the historic Main Street, listening to music, visiting galleries and meeting many people.
As they were leaving their trip, they noticed “for sale” signs on some cottages on North Main. They later purchased them, renovated them and fell in love with all that Helper has to offer. Through Bateman’s involvement in Helper, this leadership opportunity came about.
Bateman is originally from Utah and spent 10 years working for the United States Government in Thailand, Indonesia and many other places. When he returned, he dove into the medical laser business, a career from which he retired after 27 years. He and his wife have a home in Helper and visit frequently, though they reside in SLC.
The Helper Project is currently overseeing many improvements. Bateman said that they have been heavily involved in helping businesses along Helper’s Main Street with renovations. The Helper Project’s website has a list of projects available to view that they are helping fund as well.
Bateman also spoke on the Helper beer project that is coming via a young family. The husband was a brewer at several SLC breweries and when they moved to Helper several years ago, the desire to bring the fun to the area awakened.
Bateman said that this brewery is very close to opening on the west side of Highway 6 in the old antique store. The Helper Project assisted in this by contributing funding for the facade.
Bateman explained that the project also desires to create a memorial for Thomas Elmo Williams. He wants the community to know that the Helper Project is committed to serving the needs of Helper and the community in general.
The project also gives quite a few scholarships every year. Bateman said that that is the goal: preserving the historic nature of Helper, developing the arts and “working with the community to make Helper a better place.”