Dear Clairmont Heights Neighbors,
Happy New Year everyone! I hope y’all ate your greens and black-eyed peas. I know I did.
2021 was a pretty eventful year despite ongoing public health precautions preventing us from doing everything we hoped.
During the first CHCA Board meeting of the year, we made the decision to push back the proposed Neighborhood Spring Party. Nobody was more disappointed than me. It was during this same meeting that the street sign topper idea was proposed by Corresponding Secretary Eric Gilbert and our 2021 signature project was born! Nobody was more excited than me.
Twenty-twentyone marked the 75th anniversary of the founding of Clairmont Heights. We celebrated this milestone with a socially-distanced scavenger hunt in which we introduced Clairmont H. Gnome, the neighborhood mascot. The winners of this golden gnome statue get to display it in their yard until it’s handed off to the winners of the next qualifying event. The honor of being the first host to Clairmont H. Gnome went to the Gilbert-Givers household.
Continuing the annual tradition, we celebrated all of our neighborhood 2021 high school graduates with custom banners on Desmond St. and N. Superior.
In May, we held our annual neighborhood meeting via Zoom. Valarie Basheda stepped down as Recording Secretary and Nancy Rosetti was voted in to take her place.
In July, our Membership Chair, Claire Anne Gutekunst, reported that 89 households joined or renewed their membership to the CHCA! Supergood!
To me, the street sign toppers are one of the most visible and lasting contributions to the neighborhood that the CHCA made in 2021. An enduring legacy of which we are all proud.
Getting the sign toppers was a big task: Designs were created and evaluated, vendors identified, County approval was requested. In August the County approved our request for installation.
We held our sign topper inauguration event in September with custom cupcakes, a La Croix toast, and special guest State Senator Elena Parent. A good time was had by all! To top it off, we got neighborhood sponsorship for all of the signs which covered most of the purchase and installation costs. Thanks to everyone for your support of this effort!
We were still wrestling with public health restrictions in October which put a damper on Halloween. Although we weren’t able to host our traditional and much-anticipated Halloween gathering, the CHCA sponsored a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt, a costume contest, and a jack-o-lantern contest. The Powell family took the honor of hosting Clairmont H. Gnome, where he currently resides. Stay tuned for our next scavenger hunt and the next opportunity to claim host to the golden gnome, probably in February.
In November, the CHCA Board funded a grant request from the Friends of Ira B. Melton Park for $500 towards continued improvements and beautification projects. This money was added to a pool of funds collected towards a matching grant from the Park Pride organization. The CHCA Board also provided a letter of support for the ongoing effort of the Friends. This was our only grant request for the year. Please keep in mind that we accept grant requests for any projects that contribute to the improvement of our neighborhood experience.
And that, friends and neighbors, was our year in the neighborhood!!
Looking to the new year I see a lot of opportunities. We are watching what community spread levels and public health guidance will be, and are keeping our Spring Party plans tentative. If a Spring party doesn’t happen, we can still hope for a Halloween blowout, which is my favorite time of year.
We will be looking for folks with fresh ideas to join the board this year. I encourage everyone to consider accepting and/or pursuing nominations for board positions. It’s a great organization where you can make a positive impact on your immediate community. You also get to hang out with really cool folks like myself at least once a month. There’s a plug-in opportunity for everyone. It’s such a blast!
Bert Ackermann, President & Lord Mayor
Clairmont Heights Civic Association