Heber residents forming non-profit foundation

March 22, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

HEBER — Residents of this town are forming a non-profit group called the Heber Community Foundation.

By creating the foundation, Heber residents will be able to solicit and deposit grant money or money taken in from fund raisers into an account, then spend that money for the benefit of the town.

Heber Public Utility District General Manager George Aguilar said the hierarchy of the foundation has not been decided.

"We're in the process of being founded," he said.

It will most likely be administered by some sort of board of directors, he offered.

To help the foundation get started, Aguilar and members of the Heber PUD board are organizing a fund raiser. The fund raiser will be April 20 in the Imperial Valley Expo's Casa de Mañana. Tickets are $100.

Attendees will dine on New York steak and listen to live music.

In addition, the founders are lobbying the California Endowment for a $25,000 donation.


As for the possibility of getting millions from the Bahamas-based Honberg Group, Aguilar said it was one of the reasons the foundation was being set up, but the founders weren't solely counting on the money.

Last year the Heber PUD board paid $25,000 to Beck Genesis, a subsidiary of Seattle-based R.W. Beck, to put together a feasibility plan to lobby the Honberg Group for money.

Members of the Heber board and Aguilar traveled to Los Angeles to personally meet with Honberg reps.

Whether the group comes through with millions or not, Aguilar doesn't think the foundation will compete with the HPUD and its board.

"It should complement the PUD. There are certain things the PUD can't do," he said.

Once it is running, the foundation will sponsor youth activities, provide care for seniors and general health care for Heber's thousands of residents.

Aguilar said there is tremendous need for health care in Heber, since the town has no doctor, dentist or chiropractor.

"We want to bring in those types of professionals," he said.

As for the foundation's role in youth activities, Aguilar said it would help sponsor sports such as Little League baseball, skateboarding and soccer.

For a long time, "Soccer has been the only thing we have been able to keep going here," he said.

Recently, though, Aguilar and others founded a kids baseball league.

He said it started slowly but after kids started seeing others practicing; more than 104 youths have signed up.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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