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Generosity complements determination

A generosity of spirit lingered in the air Saturday from sunrise to well past sunset.

People were generous with their time, talent and tills as they toiled and gathered together to help ensure the future health of Boulder City’s residents and its buildings.

The day was primarily devoted to historic preservation, with volunteers, staff members, students and retirees setting up at locations around town to showcase the city’s precious assets.

This year’s Historic Preservation Day was a combined effort of many groups and organizations that partnered with the city’s Historic Preservation Committee to highlight the story of Boulder City. Among them were the Silver State Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Boulder City High School, the Bureau of Reclamation, Boulder City Art Guild and Boulder City History &Arts Foundation.

After a quick stop at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Building on Nevada Way to pick up a map and schedule of events, participants were invited to visit the sites in any order. Each location featured volunteers who were happy to share information about the site and people that helped shape the city.

Sitting in the shade in front of the Browder building, members of the DAR spoke about the life of Ida Browder, who owned and operated the city’s first commercial business, a cafe. Additionally, the ladies told about her contributions as a banker, librarian, counselor and school board member. They offered details about her personal life as well, such as the fact that she outlived four husbands, the death of her son and that her favorite color was purple.

Their largess of spirit and devotion to accuracy was even evident in their 1930s era attire, including the dress worn by Sue Bell that she made using an old Simplicity pattern.

One of the most well-attended activities was a presentation about aviation in Boulder City presented in the old airport hangar at Bullock Field. Mark Hall-Patton, museum administrator of the Clark County Museum system, spoke about how the hangar, adjacent runways and former TWA terminal came to be and how their operation impacted life in the city from the 1930s to present times.

In the afternoon, noted historian, author and director of the Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas, Dennis McBride, told stories about the city’s pioneers.

Another addition to this year’s event was a partnership with The Dillinger Food and Drinkery, which hosted its annual block party. A parade from the high school ended at the celebration on Arizona Street, where historic preservationists mingled with those savoring this moment in history.

The evening also saw Boulder City Hospital present its 10th annual Heart of the Community Gala that celebrated the contributions and volunteer efforts that Lori and Dr. Robert Merrell have given to make the lives of others better. For several decades they have donated their time and talents to help children succeed whether through education, personal pep talks, outings to purchase new clothes or finding a place to live.

They have been involved in Rotary club activities, Emergency Aid of Boulder City, Boulder Dam Credit Union, Boulder City Library and more.

Their generosity of time was matched by those who came to honor them. During live and silent auctions and a cash call for new radiology equipment thousands of dollars were donated to ensure the hospital can continue to operate and provide care to those who need it. The live auction alone raised over $65,000 and the cash call raised more than $40,000.

Throughout the day it was evident that people were willing to share whatever they could to make sure that Boulder City continues to thrive. That generous spirit is equal to the determination that helped create the community more than 85 years ago, and it doesn’t appear likely that it will diminish in the future.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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