BLOOMFIELD — A group of service-oriented Bloomfield residents are founding a Civitan Club to help out at events and beautify the city's public spaces.

Bloomfield members of Farmington Noon Day Civitan are leading Gateway City Civitan Club's formation.

"We are all about hands-on service to the community," said Liza Gomez, a Bloomfield resident who leads San Juan County's indigent program.

Civitan International was founded in 1917. Civitan clubs around the world carry out service projects, and the organization has a close relationship with the Special Olympics.

Famous Civitans include chef Paula Deen, driver Richard Petty and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served as charter president of Civitan in New York.

In Bloomfield, 11 members have signed up for Gateway City Civitan Club. The group hopes to get 30 members before chartering around Nov. 1.

Bloomfield leaders have for years discussed the need for a service club in the city of 7,998. Churches and the Police Athletic League do community service projects, but Bloomfield has nothing like a Kiwanis or Civitan club.

"We're very supportive of it," said Mayor Scott Eckstein, who joined the club along with City Manager David Fuqua. "I think it's a great organization to have here locally."

Gateway City Civitan Club began meeting weekly on Sept. 20.

"There's a lot of interest," Gomez said. "We just need to find the right time of day, and day to attract people to come to meetings.



The group plans to add aesthetic features to Bloomfield's medians after the months-long construction project is finished. There is also discussion of improving Bloomfield's river walk and adding veterans' memorials.

Gateway City Civitan's first task may be helping the Police Athletic League with the Halloween Carnival on Oct. 20 at Bloomfield High School's old gymnasium.

The club's next meeting will be noon Thursday at the Bloomfield Cultural Center, 333 S. 1st St. Gomez encouraged interested volunteers to attend.

"And we'll be serving posole," she said.