ROCK HILL S.C. (CN2 News) – Carowinds Amusement Park has been entertaining guests since 1973. We are familiar with the thrills, shows, food and games, but there is one person – some would say – is more popular than the attractions.
Jerry Helms is the Vice President of Operations and for the past 48 years he has been part of the magic at our theme park, but on this Friday, June 4th Jerry is retiring.
A lot has change at Carowinds since it first opened, but for 48 years Jerry Helms has been a fixture at the theme park.
Jerry Helms says “This has not been a job, it’s been a journey.” A Journey that begin for Jerry in 1973. When he got home from college, he jumped in his car and drove to Carowinds looking for a job. Jerry says he was so excited he missed the employee parking lot and ended up in the guest parking lot where he accidently met the Founder of Carowinds, E. Pat Hall.
Besides meeting the Founder, Jerry also met his wife at Carowinds. He worked in security and Miss Irene (that’s what Jerry calls her) was the Balloon Girl. Two kids later and the happy couple recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary.
Jerry is passionate about helping young employees at the park and working with the business community.
His biggest mistake of last 10 Years, Jerry says would be getting on ‘The Intimidator.’ Jerry says “I rode The Intimidator twice, back to back and had to sit on a bench for a few minutes to let my stomach catch-up with the rest of my body.”
In retirement, Jerry says he has a long list of projects to work on that Miss Irene has left him.
Happy Retirement Jerry Helms.