Recently a social media feed displayed a quote celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. My feeds were full of such quotes as the annual day that we celebrate Dr. King had recently come and gone. The quote said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

It was a simple quote but caught me by surprise at that moment for its exactness in capturing much of the state of our society today. I’ve been thinking about history lately and how it might impact our future, particularly as it pertains to the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District. The timing of the quote perhaps impacted me so profoundly as the district is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and that milestone, commemorated by many different upcoming activities, has caused some me some serious reflection.

The district was formed to provide high quality recreation programs and services and that goal is still reflected in our actions each day.

Additionally, the district recently prepared an annual report, a document which will be shared throughout our community and highlights the many projects and accomplishments of SEPRD over the past calendar year. While we can’t print that document in its entirety here I would like to summarize some of what happened in 2018!

Capital projects: The district embarked on several large capital projects. Those included Kennedy Park, the playground and basketball court directly west of the Seaside Youth Center and the Bob Chisholm Community Center Refresh Project in the main hall. Both projects turned out amazing and are serving our community in an improved fashion.

New special events: The district is always refocusing and honing our special events. This year we offered a spooky swim, Santa swim and a family Triathlon that were new or improved and all three were a hit!

Senior lunch program: Through partnerships with other government agencies, we served more than 10,900 meals through our meal site program and Meals on Wheels.

Turkey Trot: We had over 300 participants in our annual Turkey Trot, with runners/walkers braving the elements and starting their Thanksgiving off in a healthy fashion.

Scholarships: Our park and recreation foundation distributed nearly $22,000 in scholarships to provide greater access to district programs!

Additionally, the district met the following needs in our community through the following activities:

• 35 children per day in after-school programming

• 39 children per day in summer camp programming

• 22 children per day in a quality-rated preschool

• 964 children throughout the year in swim lessons

• 11,808 fitness class participations

• 30,000 visitors to the Bob Chisholm Community Center

• 3,500 people served through various special events

• 50 vendors each week at the Seaside Farmers Market

Obviously the work of the district is ever-changing so if there is a way that we can meet your recreation needs, please let me know.

To celebrate our 50th birthday the district will be hosting a 50th birthday party on Saturday, June 22. While the event is obviously a few months away, I want to provide a simple preview. We’ll be providing a wide array of free programs that day with highlights including an abundance of field activities, a community fitness class and barbecue, themed open swim and many, many other activities. All of these events will be completely free as we demonstrate our gratitude to the community that we love to serve!

I hope you have a great 2019!

For copies of our annual report please stop by the Sunset Pool front desk or go to

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