About 200 of Mary Laveroni's closest friends helped dedicate Groveland's former Wayside Park in her honor yesterday.
A truant Tuolumne County supervisor, a Groveland Community Services District director who wished he could sing and lots of Hetch Hetchy water were all part of the ceremony.
Wayside was renamed Mary Laveroni Community Park at the dedication, which also marked the 50th anniversary of the Groveland Community Services District.
Laveroni was one of three founding GCSD board members in 1953. She served on the board for 25 years, 15 as chairwoman. The 89-year-old moved to Groveland 69 years ago, and helped secure water from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir for GCSD customers.
With the iron-rich Del Monte Mine water Groveland used before hooking into Hetch Hetchy, Laveroni said, "white sheep turned red."
"It's an honor having my name on this beautiful park," Laveroni said yesterday, as she stood before the crowd.
Family and friends sat in the audience as representatives from California Assemblyman Dave Cogdill's and U.S. Rep. George Radanovich's offices offered their congratulations. The Pine Cone Singers, a Tuolumne County choral group, lifted their voices in a medley of patriotic tunes.
"I salute each and every one of you Pine Cone Singers," said GCSD Director Craig Maxwell. "Maybe my wife will let me join your group."
Maxwell lamented his singing talent earlier in the dedication, after Groveland resident Gail Perlee performed "The Star Spangled Banner."
"If I could sing like that, my wife would let me stay in the shower longer," Maxwell said.
Tuolumne County Supervisor Mark Thornton read a Board of Supervisors' resolution honoring Laveroni and detailing the history of her Groveland career a task he, as a historian, relished.
"I'm just savoring this," Thornton said, adding that he was also "very indebted that I got out of the rest of the board (of supervisors) meeting today."