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Bay Meadows Park name may honor Bobette & Charlie Giles

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POSTED November 14, 2009 3:09 a.m.
Bay Meadows Park adjoining the Boys & Girls Club could be renamed in honor of the late Bobette and Charlie Giles.

The Manteca City Council Tuesday will consider the name change request when they meet at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The Boys & Girls Club board is asking for the name change.

In a report to the council, Assistant City Manager Karen McLaughlin delineated three points the staff brought up in connection with the request.

They include:

•Setting precedent. When staff has been contacted by others in the community over the years about renaming city parks, those making the request were encouraged to contact developers instead to dedicate a future park in that person’s name instead rather than change the name of an existing park.

•Continuity in the park’s name. The park has been named Bay Meadows for over 30 years. If the council elected to go forward and that’s a concern the park could be named “Bobette and Charlie Giles/Bay Meadow Memorial Park.”

•There would be some cost to the city in changing the signs. A new sign would cost between $800 and $1,000 using recycled materials with UV inhibitors in them to help them look better and last longer.

Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Charlie Halford believes donors would step forward to cover the cost of the signs if needed. If the amount isn’t donated, the council could take the money out of the park reserve account.

Halford said the club would like to see the park named in the Giles’ honor for all that they did on behalf of the club and other community non-profits.

Giles served on the founding board and over the course of their lifetime the couple donated close to $500,000 to help provide programs for kids in Manteca and Lathrop. Both also worked the club’s major fundraisers including the now defunct Monday bingo, the telethon, and crab feeds. The couple was also active in the St. Vincent de Paul Societyand Charlie was a member of the Manteca Rotary.

Giles founded Mountain Valley Express in 1967. He started with one truck specializing in less than truckload hauling. His big break came when Dana Corp. called him to haul freight. He didn’t have a truck available so he rented a U-Haul and backed the small truck up next to the loading docks at Dana right next to large trucks from more established carriers. His spunk impressed Dana and Mountain Valley Express was on the move.

Mountain Valley Express today has 320 employees, 400 pieces of equipment, five locations, and annual revenues of $26 million.

Giles was inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame for his successful effort as a businessman and civic-minded community member.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com
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