Members of the community from various backgrounds have been assembled to help bring a sandcastle competition back to Imperial Beach, said Jim Hutzelman with the Port of San Diego.
After getting together with event organizers Kent Trollen of Sand Castles Unlimited and Gordon Summer of To Market To Market, the Port put out a call to action last month.
More than 60 members of the community attended meetings and filled out volunteer forms. Steering and auxiliary committees were created last week to help organize an event that could take place this summer or next year, Hutzelman said.
"We wanted to get a cross range as well so we have people representing different aspects of the community," he said.
Members of both committees are made up of people who have owned businesses, been volunteers or stayed active in IB for decades, while other members were inspired to action by a desire to see sandcastles return.
Jazmine Decker, 25, was selected to be a member of the steering committee. She has not been an active volunteer in IB before and may be the youngest member of the two committees.
"Well I've lived in Imperial Beach my entire life and sandcastles was one thing I looked forward to every year, so it's kind of a nostalgia thing," she said.
The committees will hold their first meeting April 18 at 6 p.m. in the Community Room at City Hall. The meeting is for committee members only, Hutzelman said.
"The timeline going forward will be discussed. At the next meeting were looking at how this can possibly work given the time we have for 2013 and 2014 so a number of decisions need to be made pretty quickly here," he said.
Some of the next big tasks ahead in the immediate future include signing a management contract with Summers and Trollen for the next two years and setting a date for the competition. The Port will work with the city and event organizers to determine a date for the competition.
Sponsors are needed to raise up to $70,000 for an event to go forward, Trollen told IB Patch.
"Eventually we [Port of San Diego] want to hand it over. Once we have a few arrangements in place we'll be more hands-off and leave it up to the organizers and the committee," Hutzelman said.
Committee members were selected by the Port of San Diego and event organizers with input from City Manager Gary Brown, Hutzelman said.
Members were chosen based on their expressed desire to be a part of the effort, various skills and willingness to attend regular meetings, he said.
The steering committee consists of 14 members who will help event producers evaluate major decisions that have to be made for how the competition will operate like revenue streams and other key decisions.
The 12-member auxiliary committee will be asked to carry out various tasks related to the competition.
If a competition is held this year it will double as a celebration of the Port of San Diego's 50th anniversary and be smaller than U.S. Open Sandcastle Competitions held in the past which attracted hundreds of thousands of people. The all-volunteer U.S. Open Sandcastle Committee was disbanded in 2011.
The event is being pressured by a "compressed timeframe" so it is possible that the committee may be organizing a competition that may not be held until 2014, Hutzelman said.
Steering CommitteeLuis Acevez Local resident
Valerie Acevez 2012 Imperial Beach City Council candidate Jason Brent Local resident
Sha-Ron Cobb Longtime resident
Jazmine Decker Longtime resident
Leonard Gonzalez Captain, I.B. Posse sandcastle team Leah Goodwin Councilman Ed Spriggs' Campaign Manager
Dan Gutowski Captain, Sand Squirrels sandcastle team Nellie Hazel Local resident
Deb Janney Owner, OAP Packaging, wife of Mayor Jim Janney Stephanie Kinnamon Teacher
Richard Schaumburg Coldwell Realty
Rico Toscano President, Optimist Club Imperial Beach Candy Unger I Heart IB
Auxiliary CommitteeMary Corklin St. James Lutheran Church
Douglas Jones Pastor, St. James Methodist Church and School Chrstine LaPausky Owner, D'ames Day Spa Erika Lowery Former Imperial Beach City Council candidate Kim Miller Longtime resident, Mar Vista High School Class of 1979
Tim O'Neal Longtime resident and 2010 Imperial Beach City Council candidate Mike Osborne
Imperial Beach Business Improvement DistrictKatie Patton PTA member, Imperial Beach Charter School, wife of Councilman Bobby Patton Paul Spear Owner, Imperial Beach Technology
Audra White Imperial Beach Health Center Jaimy Wilkinson Owner, IB Yoga
William Zidbeck Friends of the Imperial Beach Library, Optimist Club Imperial Beach