Minors A Field at Overlook Park in White Rock may be renamed Hope Field to honor Hope Jaramillo. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
Los Alamos resident Hope Jaramillo died in January, and community members and the Los Alamos County Parks and Recreation Board are considering naming a softball field after her.
Jaramillo, who died from cancer, was extremely active in the high school softball program. A player herself in school, Jaramillo went on to be a coach and a volunteer in the local softball programs.
In honor of her contributions, the Parks and Recreation Board approved to recommend that Los Alamos County Council rename the Minors A Field at Overlook Park in White Rock after Jaramillo during its regular meeting March 12. Parks and Recreation Division Manager Dan Erickson told the Los Alamos Daily Post that County ordinance requires a person to be dead for five years for a County building to be renamed after them. For a County facility, an individual has to be dead for six months.
As a result, Council is expected to consider this recommendation sometime in August.
Board member Robbie Harris presented the idea of renaming the Minors A Field after Jaramillo.
He explained the high school softball team uses the field as well as Little League.
“The reason why I am approaching the board about renaming the field from Minor A to Hope Field is just recently, over a month ago, we had a valuable asset within our softball community pass away after a long, lengthy battle with cancer,” Harris said. “The thing with Hope Jaramillo – she was instrumental in the development of girls’ softball here in Los Alamos as far as coaching, little league softball, youth triple A softball, supporting the high school JV tournament … so Hope originally was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and from that period till she passed away, she had 10 surgeries for her cancer not including additional treatments that she also had but the thing about it is, if you knew Hope, even though she was battling this she never ever wore it on her sleeve; you never would have guessed that was what she was doing. She would go for treatment one week and be back the next week ready to coach softball … that’s the thing about Hope, she was extremely selfless in volunteering her time and also as far as being an example of volunteerism in here, in the community, that is exactly what she was.”
Harris said a petition was being circulated to rename the field after Jaramillo and as of March 12, it has collected 491 signatures and 89 comments in support of the name change.
To further emphasize the community’s support for this name change, the entire high school varsity softball team showed up at the Parks and Recreation Board meeting to encourage renaming the field after Jaramillo.
Erickson told the Daily Post that as a County employee he needs to take a neutral position on the recommendation but on a personal note, he said he went to high school with Jaramillo and even was on the school’s wrestling team when Jaramillo worked as the wrestling team’s manager.
Therefore, he said, it seems appropriate to name the field after Jaramillo “because Hope was so active as a player, as a volunteer and as a coach for 30 years.”
Erickson added that looking at the response to the petition as well as response from the high school softball team, “it has pretty strong support.”
There hasn’t been many County recreation or sports facilities recently named in memory of residents, he said. However, Virchow Fields was named in honor of a local family who died in car accident and Spiro Soccer Fields is named after Paul Spiro.
To add a new one to this list seems like a good move, Erickson said.
“I think it’s a nice endeavor,” he said. “I think it would be a nice memorial.”