Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center marks 50th
The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center has made a major splash in the community since opening its doors 50 years ago.
On April 20, the facility, 405 Beverly Blvd., will celebrate its golden anniversary with festivities that will include a commemoration ceremony, sports demonstrations and an open house for its upcoming summer camp.
Lori Bukaweski, BSAC's associate executive director, said the day will double as a celebration of the community that has supported the center throughout its five decades.
“This community has impacted us as much as we have impacted them,” Bukaweski said. “I've found the community comes in here and teaches us every day.”
BSAC opened in May 1963 and serves more than 800 children per day who are enrolled in the center's afterschool, athletic and early childhood programs. The center also houses Team TRIDENT, a physical education and academic program for intellectually disabled youths and adults.
Saturday's celebration includes scheduled appearances by officials including Hillsborough County Commissioners Al Higginbotham and Ken Hagan, who will be joined by longtime BSAC patrons.
There will also be sports demonstrations, showcasing its members swimming, tennis and soccer prowess, as well as a water safety exhibition and carnival games.
Bukaweski believes the facility's staying power is a reflection of the surrounding community and its residents.
“This is not a transient community; there's a lot of tradition here,” she said. “There are people who have been coming to BSAC for generation after generation.”
Top 5 at noon: Interactive story: Why Hurricane Irma turned when it did; former champion boxer Jake LaMotta dies; and more