2017-11-23 / Local & State

Harry Helser Named GSR 2017 Honorary Member


Pictured, left, are Helser’s grandson Jake; son Joe; son Buck; Helser, 2017 GSR Honorary Member; and grandson Cory. Pictured, left, are Helser’s grandson Jake; son Joe; son Buck; Helser, 2017 GSR Honorary Member; and grandson Cory. Before the start of the truck pulls at the 44th Fulton Fall Folk Festival (FFFF) on Oct. 20, members of the Grease Steam & Rust Association Inc. (GSR), now in its 37th year, presented Harry Helser with its 2017 Honorary Member award.

It was fitting this was done on the pulling track at the Fulton County Fairgrounds as Helser has been instrumental in the development and maintenance of the track since about 2006. Presenting this award was Russell McLucas, one of the founders of the GSR.

The distinction of honorary member in the GSR is given to an individual who gives consistently and continuously to the good of the organization. This honorary membership is bestowed by the GSR membership on a deserving member, and in Helser’s case it is certainly well deserved. In 2017 he was the organization’s only nominee for the award and was voted unanimously to receive the honor.

Helser joined GSR in the mid- 1990s and has been a contributing member since then. He is best known for his efforts in maintaining and upgrading the pulling track at the Fairgrounds. In 2017 more participants than ever were at the track for the FFFF activities, and GSR members received many compliments on the track’s condition. Many participants said that it was the best they have ever pulled on and that they will return in 2018.

One of Helser’s most admirable qualities, and there are many, is that he, at age 69, recognized the importance of passing his knowledge about the pulling track to the next generation. This year he asked Brandon Morton to begin assuming the direction of this critical function for the GSR. Not everyone recognizes the importance of preparing the next generation to ensure that what you have been involved with building can be maintained, but Helser does.

Helser is married to Janet, a former employee at Giant Food Store in McConnellsburg, and they are the parents of Joey (husband of Lori) and Brian “Buck” (husband of Becky) and the grandparents of Cory, Jacob, Sierra and Alexa. He opened Helser Excavating in 2001, closed the business in 2016 and went to work for P&W in McConnellsburg.

The GSR membership cannot say enough good things about Helser and his family who are committed to the GSR organization. Those who have had the opportunity to work with them say they are blessed and privileged.

If you are interested in learning more about the GSR or if you want to volunteer your time with a great bunch of people who are focused on preserving the activities at the fairgrounds for FFFF and who partner with the Fair Board Association for events at the fairgrounds; please visit our website at: www.gsandr.com. Make the time to check out the videos and photos.

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