The Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway Organization held their 4th Annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner in Lake Panasoffkee on October 16th. This annual event recognizes all the volunteers that contribute their time to educate the community on the heritage and natural beauty of Sumter County.
The host for this event was byway organization board member, Martin Steele, who welcomed more than 20 attendees to the evening’s presentations and country cooking provided by Catfish Johnny’s Restaurant. During the presentation, Martin updated those in attendance on the byway organization’s accomplishments for 2019 and their Work Plan for 2020. He identified aesthetic upgrades focused on the National Cemetery interchange (I-75, Exit 309) and community outreach as the organization’s key focus points for the upcoming year. Claudia Calzaretta, the Florida Department of Transportation/District Scenic Highways Coordinator discussed her 2020 Work Plan for the Central Florida Scenic Highways, and the recently completed volunteer recruitment video clips that were developed in partnership with the Byway organization. These two 60-second video clips focus on the recruitment of youth and retired citizens as volunteers to the organization.
The guest speaker for the evening was Richard Baier, District Manager for The Villages Community Development Districts who talked about “A Sense of Place” as it relates to the communities we live in and the importance that “place” has to those that live there.
The Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway is part of a collection of 26 byways across the state that are part of the Florida Scenic Highways Program. Sumter Byway’s mission is to educate and preserve the history and heritage of Sumter County, and to encourage exploration of Sumter County. Future meeting announcements and additional information on the organization can be found on the Byway’s website http://sumterbyway.com/ and on Facebook and Instagram.