Because of the massive amount of work involved in trying to get the 1998 Winter Olympic Games bid for Salt Lake City, the board of governors of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday ratified an offer of help from the chamber staff.

The board approved a proposal to have Fred S. Ball, chamber president, and several staff members help with fund raising, community relations and finding hosts when members of the International Olympic Committee come to Salt Lake City to look over the area.Several weeks ago, Ball told those attending a regular Olympics update breakfast that the chamber would be heavily involved in the effort, and Wednesday his board members gave him the go-ahead unanimously.

Circulated at the meeting was a letter from Tom Welch, chairman and president of the Salt Lake City Olympic Bid Committee, thanking Ball for offering to help with the effort and outlining some of Ball's duties as vice chairman.

Ball and his staff will assume responsibility for community relations activities with the primary goal of inspiring the community to support the Olympics effort. He will coordinate all press relations, make contacts with various groups and run the speakers bureau.

Although the primary goal of fund raising will remain with Welch, he said Ball will be heavily involved between now and June when the IOC announces in Birmingham, England, which city will host the 1998 Winter Games. Welch said Ball will assist in soliciting large contributions from companies to keep the bid effort going.

More than 50 voting IOC members are expected in Utah between now and June, and Ball will look for hosts to provide the most favorable impression possible.