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Hall Democrats gather to celebrate Obama's 50th birthday
Brothers Kashon Borders, left, 3, and Deshun, 2, play with balloons Saturday during a celebration of President Barack Obama's 50th birthday at DeSota Park in Gainesville. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Democrats got together Saturday to have a party in honor of President Barack Obama's birthday.

Obama celebrated his 50th birthday Thursday. The Hall County Democrats threw two parties for him Saturday.

"The state party encouraged all the counties across the state to do something on this day to celebrate the president's birthday," said Diana Dokken, Secretary for the Hall County Democratic Committee.

The committee brainstormed on ways to celebrate. Birthday cake seemed the obvious choice.

"We looked for something simple, something that could bring the whole community together," said Jim Taflinger, Hall County Democratic Committee Chairman.

"A lot of time this kind of thing is only done in election year, only like three months before the election, and it shouldn't. Our support should be ongoing."

Cake and lemonade were served at DeSota Park and Wilshire Trails. A band played at DeSota Park. They also collected canned food items for the local food bank and personal care items to give to a women's shelter.

Dokken said they hoped to encourage attendance by holding parties in both areas of the city. She said they are trying to make party involvement more convenient by holding meetings and events in different locations each month.

"People might be more interested if we come to their neighborhood," Dokken said.

Beatrice Jones of Gainesville said she wouldn't have missed the event for anything.

"I'm here to show my support," Jones said.

"Matter of fact, I was here before anybody got here. I wasn't about to turn this down."

Wendy Glasbrenner passed out cake at DeSota Park. She said she was glad to see so many people celebrate the president's birthday.

"The whole idea is to celebrate his presidency and how important he has been for a lot of people in our community," Glasbrenner said.

"Especially in this neighborhood, he has given a lot of hope to a lot of people."

Gainesville's Blondie Summerour has been an active Democrat all of her life. She said she's glad to see her fellow party members are thinking of the president and getting together to show their support.

"I think that he is doing a good job. Other people may think different but I think he is," Summerour said.

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