The Hesperia Recreation and Park District's 50th anniversary gala last Saturday night served as a reminder that not everything is going up in flames. Good things have been happening for literally half a century, and they continue in our parks and recreational activity rooms, and sports fields on daily basis.

The event, held at the district-owned Percy Bakker Community Center on E Avenue, attracted many stakeholders who have committed their time and resources to make the district an entity for youth and adults alike. Among those recognized for their support were Percy Bakker, who served on the district's first board of trustees in the late 1950s, Woody Bray, John Connolly, Barbara and Kermit Harrison - who donated a building on Main Street that currently houses the International Banana Museum - Mike and Carolyn Lampignano, Mike Matlock, Dee Dee Shore and many others.

Mike Limbaugh, the president of the district's board of directors, spoke about the district's future plans. He cited equestrian program booster Charlene Peters as "perfect example" of how community members can get involved and make a difference. Joining Limbaugh at the event were fellow board members Richard Lupton, Rebekah Swanson, Bob Chandler, Jack Hamilton and their spouses.

Mayor Rita Vogler presented a plaque from the city in honor of the occasion. Joining her were councilmembers Mike Leonard, Ed Pack and Thurston "Smitty" Smith. Vogler complimented longtime park district administrator Cal Camara and his staff for working diligently to keep the park district moving forward.

Assemblyman Anthony Adams, who made a presentation to Camara and the board, said the park district has made a real difference in people's lives.

"They have seen the fruits of their labor, and that's such a blessing. There's a sense of community," Adams said. "What a remarkable thing."