Early Iron Club thanks city for support

ALAMOSA — Members of the Early Iron Club thanked Alamosa city council and staff this week for the city’s support of the event, which brings more than 600 vehicles and their owners to town over Labor Day weekend.

Early Iron Club President Jeff Woodward told the city council the club could not hold this event without the city’s and community’s support. The event celebrated its 37th annual festival this year.

Woodward said people who come to the festival from all over the state and nation are amazed at how such a small group of volunteers — the club has 15 members — are able to pull off such an awesome event.

“It takes all of the community to make this thing happen,” Woodward said.

He explained that the event is so successful because of volunteers in the club and community, which includes the entire San Luis Valley, and the support of all of the city departments from parks and recreation to the police department. He added that groups like the Adams State football red shirt freshmen helped with some of the heavy lifting during the events the club hosted for guests during the weekend, and the event’s success is due to support like that.

“It makes our job a lot of fun,” Woodward said. “That’s why we do it because it’s fun and we do it for the love of our community.”

The event has grown from three dozen cars in Cole Park, permitted by a then-skeptical city council, to more than 600 vehicles and a fully supportive city council and staff, Woodward explained.

He added that the event generates an estimated $2 million for the local economy each year, with all of the motels filled and other local businesses enjoying the Labor Day boon.

In addition, the club raises money for a different charity each year through the panel jam, with the recipient this year being the Sangre de Cristo FFA.

Woodward and members of the Early Iron Club presented the city council and staff with a uniquely pinstriped major sponsor trophy and $500 towards the wi fi and PA system in the park.

“We appreciate you very much,” Woodward said. “It takes us all to do it … We are very very proud of our community.”

Caption: Members of the Early Iron Club present a trophy and check to the City of Alamosa, with Mayor Josef Lucero accepting the trophy and City Finance Director Judy Kelloff accepting the check, center. From left are Councilman Michael Stefano, Early Iron Club members Roni and Michael Wisdom, Helen Craig and Jeff Woodward, Councilors Liz Thomas Hensley and Jan Vigil (behind Lucero and Kelloff), City Information Technology Director Jim Belknap, City Manager Heather Brooks, Early Iron Club member Robert Jackson, City Councilors Kristina Daniel and Charles Griego, City Parks & Recreation Director Andy Rice, Alamosa Police Captain Sam Maestas and Councilman Ty Coleman. Courier photo by Ruth Heide