Calaveras Enterprise

Murphys to honor John and Helen Yost during Irish Days parade

John and Helen Yost, who have contributed to the community in many ways, most notably in the development of Feeney Park, have been named Grand Marshals for the Murphys Irish Days parade, according to Bill Davies, president of the Murphys Business Association.

“We feel that John and Helen epitomize the importance of volunteers in making our area the wonderful place it is and we are pleased to honor them this way,” said Davies.

The parade will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 15, as part of the Irish Days celebration, staged by the business association. It will proceed down Main Street in historic Murphys.

John Yost currently is president of the Feeney Park Association and Helen is its treasurer. He has been the Feeney field coordinator since 1997 and has overseen the construction of the snack shop and other buildings as well as the installation of the baseball diamonds and soccer fields. The present major project is the creation of a skateboard area to meet the needs of local youngsters.

Helen Yost has been Feeney Park’s landscape coordinator since 1999.

“My pull to the park came in a desire to help the healing of construction scars by planting trees and bushes,” she says. “I find the park a very pleasant place to spend time, and I think it will keep getting better as the new trees grow and we are able to add other landscaping,” she said.

John Yost said his Feeney involvement began because of the urgent need for soccer fields in the area surrounding Murphys.

“I keep working because the creation of a community recreational area is gratifying, and the opportunity to influence the style and content of the park is irresistible,” he says. “I love driving by and seeing the park in use, or just admiring a building or the turf.”

Feeney Park, often referred to as the “field of dreams,” is located near the intersection of Highway 4 and Pennsylvania Gulch Road in Murphys.

The Yosts have many other community involvements. Helen Yost has been active in the Boy Scouts, school site councils, Bret Harte High School curriculum committee, Symphony of the Sierra, and her church. She is treasurer of the Vallecito Music Boosters and a member of the Motherlode Brass and Reed Band.

John Yost has been a Cub Scout master and Boy Scout leader, youth soccer coach, and is currently a high school girl’s soccer coach.

The Yosts have three children who have attended Michelson Elementary, Avery Middle, and Bret Harte High schools. David, 20, is a junior at the University of California at Santa Cruz where he’s a Popular Culture major; John (JJ), 19, is a freshman at UCSC; Arla, 16, is a junior at Bret Harte.

Professionally, John Yost was co-founder and president of Sobek Expeditions Inc., an international whitewater and adventure travel company. He has been president of Earthwise Ecotourism and Lodging since 1999. Helen Yost, a physician, was with the Yosemite National Park Medical Clinic for five years. She is now associated with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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