Celebrating the 26th Holiday in the Park

The park event sign was funded by the Dr. Joseph Labarbera family.

The park event sign was funded by the Dr. Joseph Labarbera family.

Approximately 1,400 friends of the Apollo Beach Recreation Park were on hand to celebrate the 26th annual Holiday in the Park on Dec. 11.

Along with entertainment and demonstrations, Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman presented a plaque to Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Labarbera and family to thank them for their donation of $6,834.84 to purchase the new event sign for the park.

Murman also recognized David Amshel, of Boy Scout Troop 661, who completed his Eagle Project at the Hillsborough County Apollo Beach Recreation Park this year. Amshel contacted Jack Reeder, AB Park manager and solicited ideas to improve the park.

Amshel then decided to replace the 40-year-old fencing and add a bench for park visitors. He gave credit to his scoutmaster, David Mortus; his father, Dr. Craig Amshel; a neighbor with woodworking skills; Home Depot for donating supplies; and his fellow scout members for their assistance building the fence and bench.

Park programs demonstrated at the event were Zumba, by instructor Eika Rivere; martial arts, by instructor Jeff Corneillo; and a self-defense class.

The celebration included a county-wide skate park competition.

Apollo Beach Elementary chorus performs at Holiday in the Park under the direction of Christina Russell.

Apollo Beach Elementary chorus performs at Holiday in the Park under the direction of Christina Russell.

The AB park has a weight room with a special program for seniors, a dog park, skate park and other facilities available by contacting the park manager. For example, the Apollo Beach Woman’s Club – Garden Club will be meeting in the community room Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. All interested are welcome to join. The topic is succulent dish gardening.

The Holiday in the Park event was planned under the guidance of Park Manager Jack Reeder. The planning committee consisted of Hillsborough County park staff, Friends of the Park, Apollo Beach Focus Group, Gleaners Insurance Society – Bay Area Arbor, and Bell Shoals Baptist Church. Donations of food, funds and Santa were provided by Gleaners Insurance; the use of audio equipment provided by Bell Shoals Baptist Church; cookies were furnished by Sonja Davidson of the Apollo Beach Woman’s Club; McDonalds; and toy donations/drawing items were provided by various local businesses.

David Amshel, of Boy Scout Troop 661, chose Apollo Beach Park for his Eagle Scout project. With help from the community and members of his troop, Amshel led the group in replacing a fence and constructing a bench for visitors.

David Amshel, of Boy Scout Troop 661, chose Apollo Beach Park for his Eagle Scout project. With help from the community and members of his troop, Amshel led the group in replacing a fence and constructing a bench for visitors.

Santa arrived at the park to greet the crowd of children.

Santa arrived at the park to greet the crowd of children.

Apollo Beach Recreation Park is located at 664 Golf and Sea Blvd., Apollo Beach. Call 813-671-7635 for more information.

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