The movie “The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill And Came Down A Mountain” tells the story of a Welsh town that boasts of having the first mountain in Wales.
When an English surveyor determines the mountain is only 984 feet high, 16 feet short of the 1,000 foot minimum to be classified as a mountain, the entire town works to add the necessary height by carrying dirt from the town to the top of the mountain.
Despite a torrential downpour and other complications, the townspeople succeed in making the hill into a mountain. At the end of the movie, the filmmakers leave the audience with the impression this is a true story.
Even if it’s not true in Wales, it can be true in our neighborhood.
We don’t have a mountain, but we do have White Rock Lake. We, like the Welsh townspeople, are very fond of our lake, not because it is the biggest or grandest, but because it makes our community something special.
Also, like the townspeople, we have discovered that maybe we don’t have a lake after all. For years, we took our lake for granted, assuming it would always be there. Years of neglect damaged our precious lake, so now it is a mere shadow of its former self.
The battle is underway to determine the fate of White Rock Lake. The recently passed bond issue allocated funds to dredge the lake, but no funds are allocated for the restoration and beautification of the park land surrounding the lake.
And this is where we come in. The restoration and beautification of the lake will require lots of time and money, possibly years and millions of dollars. Two groups of our neighbors – Friends of White Rock and Save the Rock – started the process; but, like the movie, this project will require our entire community’s effort.
The groups need our help to make it a reality. The mountain will not raise itself by wishing or talking, but we can raise it with commitment and hard work.
We can start helping now. The Coca-Cola Starplex Amphitheatre donated about 200 tickets to the July 14 Chicago/Christopher Cross concert to benefit White Rock Lake. Friends of White Rock will give a ticket to anyone who makes a $50 contribution. Volunteers are needed immediately to promote the concert and solicit donations.
Friends of White Rock is planning a White Rock Music Festival and Run for Summer 1996 to raise money for the lake. This festival will be an annual, bring-the-entire-family event with local and nationally known bands providing a day of entertainment.
Making this festival possible will require many dedicated volunteers. So, if you are willing to make a mountain out of a lake, offer your help, whether it is a little or a lot. Volunteers are needed to help with advertising, promotions, staging, electrical, concessions, recruiting musical groups and sponsors, children’s activities, security, parking, ticket sales and much more.
No experience is necessary. If you are willing to help, there will be a place for you.
Of course, no one can promise that someone will make a movie about you, but one thing is for sure: Your help will make a difference.
If you are interested, call Ala Tompkins at 823-4321.