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SUN CITY CENTER – There are smiles on the faces but the tears are just a comment or two below the surface. For the staff at Kings Point, a coworker, a friend and a woman many referred to as ‘Mom’ is gone. Diane Borini was the director of the Kings Point recreational facilities and a 22-year employee until she passed away on Aug. 6. In the near future, her dedication and friendship will become a permanent legacy with the renaming of the clubhouse theater to Borini Theater in her honor.
|Diane Borini, a 22-year employee at Kings Point ran the gamut of thousands of events at the community’s clubhouse - ranging from computer classes and seminars to presidential visits. Above, she is pictured with George W. Bush, during a visit to Kings Point last year. Photo courtesy of Kings Point|
“Diane, in her management style, came across as a very warm and compassionate person,” said her supervisor and friend, Ginger Anzalone. “She was very approachable, very congenial – we called her Mom because she was the mom, she had such a warm mom feel to her.”
For Anzalone and others at Kings Point, it goes well beyond the loss of a friend.
“The big loss to this community is the loss of a community historian,” she said. “At any question, I could pick up the phone and ask her to explain to me the history of a rule created from a situation that occurred 20 years ago – she would just say, ‘This is how that happened.’”
The 10,000 residents of the community will most acutely feel her passing, but many in the south county area will also feel it. Her job responsibilities ranged from the organization and set up of everything from computer classes and seminars to Presidential visits. According to Anzalone, the clubhouse literally hosts hundreds of events each week. And with nearly 220 clubs and organizations in the community, the needs and requirements were diverse. Borini, however, always managed to roll with the punches.
“She was very open-minded,” Anzalone said. “Even when things changed, she always understood and made things work. That is a true gift that you often take for granted until it’s no longer there.”
She also left a gift of inspiration as she battled the illness that eventually took her life.
“Never once did the woman complain,” Anzalone said. “She never took a day off of work - through her chemotherapy and radiation, she never took a day off of work. She had so much vacation time, I would beg her to take time off but she never did. We learned so much from her about grace under fire. She never, ever let on. I spoke to her two days before [she passed away] and asked her how she was, she said, “I’m fine.” She was an inspiration - she was unbelievable.
In a world in which jobs are sometimes traded with the frequency of used cars, Borini, with 22 years on the job, was an exception – and she wasn’t the only one. According to Anzalone, at least a half a dozen people who worked with her were with her the whole time. And through that dedication, along with her compassion and inspirational nature, she will never be forgotten at Kings Point.
In the future, long after many of us will only exist in the pages of family history, a community organization will host an event or veterans will gather for a Memorial Day ceremony or perhaps the President of the United States will visit to talk with citizens in the area – and it will all happen in the Borini Theater.
|Borini, pictured above with a canine friend, was an animal lover. Her family has requested that any donations in her memory be made to CARE, the no-kill animal shelter in Ruskin, or to Hillsborough County Animal Services. Photo courtesy of Kings Point.|
But for now, people at Kings Point are still adjusting to the present.
“It was a rough week last week,” Anzalone said, reflecting on Borini’s passing. “There is such a temptation to pick up the phone but then I’m left wondering who to call.”
A dedication ceremony for the theater will be announced at some future date. According to Anzalone, it will be a community event.
As Borini was an animal lover, her family has requested that any donations be made to either CARE, the no-kill animal shelter in Ruskin, or to Hillsborough County Animal Services. The address for CARE is 1528 27th Street, S.E., Ruskin, FL, 33570. The address for Animal Services is 440 Falkenburg Rd, Tampa, FL, 33619. Checks should include a notation as being sent in memory of Diane Borini.
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