John Gaines, Ken Dempsey, Diane Wootten, and Denis Peak originally founded HAMBA. These individuals felt there was a need for the business owners in Helotes to have an organization that would assist with ribbon cuttings, grand openings, and provide the opportunity for individuals to network and grow their businesses.
HAMBA filled the void when the first Helotes Chamber collapsed.
Membership in the organization was limited to within two miles outside the city limits of Helotes.
In recent years, the organization awarded a scholarship to a graduating senior from Brandeis High School and O’Connor High School.
In 2013 a group of business leaders joined together to revive the Helotes Area Chamber of Commerce. In the last two years, the membership of HAMBA has fallen drastically and within the last year, the same 20 members attended most of the mixers.
Therefore, the officers on Thursday, April 14 decided to disband HAMBA. After the scholarships are paid for this year, the remaining money in the bank accounts will be divided between the Helotes 4H and the O’Connor FFA program.
Even as HAMBA closed the books on the organization they made the noble decision to assist other nonprofits in the Helotes area.
Members met for the last formal function on Thursday, April 21 at La Escondida where the die hard remaining few visited with friends, spoke fondly of the organization and agreed to meet for happy hour later in the year.