It was already a Thanksgiving meeting of the Hesperia City Council, by virtue of being pushed forward a day to accommodate the holiday plans of council members, city staff and residents. But the council made the holiday celebration formal, specifically giving thanks for the contributions of specific individuals to the city.

Mayor Rita Vogler and the city council first presented a certificate of thanks to Gene and Jeanne Helsley. Jeanne Helsley had previously worked with Vogler on the executive board of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce.

"Way back, when there was no money, we made [the chamber] grow," Vogler said.

Current chamber executive board member Becky Otwell was also singled out for the thanks of a grateful city.

"She's the force behind many things in this community," Vogler said.

Sheriff's deputy Paul Solorio, the first deputy to be shot in the line of duty since the city was incorporated in 1988, was also recognized.

"You went beyond the call of duty," Vogler said.

Volunteer Gaylene Anderson and her family were also recognized.

"She's the type of person we strive to be," said the mayor.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Captain Joe Cusimano also received a certificate of appreciation. Cusimano, currently the captain in Rancho Cucamonga, was the head of the Hesperia sheriff's station from 2005 through July of this year.

Ray Hamilton, who works with the Citizens On Patrol volunteer police auxiliary, businessman Cal Herbold, National Night Out organizer Tony Mendez and San Bernardino County Fire Department Captain Secundino Vargas were also recognized.

The next meeting of the Hesperia City Council will be held on December 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Hesperia City Hall, located at 9700 Seventh Avenue.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.