Monday, May 22, 2017
Marlene Quaroni - Florida Catholic
MIAMI GARDENS | On what would have been the 97th birthday of Sister Lucia Ceccotti,
“Sister Lucia blesses us with her knowledge and wisdom,” said PTA president Toni Acocella. “She continues to sprinkle her magic on the Marian Center. She is in heaven working for us. Let’s all wish Sister Lucia a happy birthday!”
Acocella was joined at the May 5 event by the Marian Center’s parents, board members and archdiocesan officials, including Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who tried out one of the new playground’s four slides after the ribbon-cutting and blessing.
“This is wonderful. It’s good to get in shape, myself included,” he said afterward. “I hope you students will play and exercise and become strong in both body and spirit.”
The Marian Center is a fully-accredited school, established in 1963, that educates, trains and serves about 120 children and young adults, ages 6 to 21, who have developmental disabilities. Its adult day training center
The new Sister Lucia Sport and Fitness Park “has poured-in-place rubber safety flooring to absorb impacts,” said David Prada, senior director of Building and Properties for the archdiocese, who oversaw the construction of the new area.
He said the facility was designed and built by Beyond Your Ordinary-BYO Recreation of St. Augustine, a nationwide distributor of playground equipment.
The new facility includes a play structure for climbing and sliding, swings, and a renovated basketball court that can also be used for volleyball,
Sean Clancy, chairman of the Marian Center’s board of directors, also recognized Sister Lucia in his address to those at the dedication.
“We all know that this new facility couldn’t have happened without Sister Lucia and her divine providence,” said Clancy. “I love Sister Lucia. We were fortunate to have had her. Miracles happen every day. Let’s enjoy this beautiful facility.”
Sister Lidia Valli, the school’s
“They need a lot of hands-on coordination,” she said, adding that educational studies are promoting physical activity along with classroom learning. “This facility is unbelievable. We don’t have words to describe how happy we are with it,” she added.
The Marian Center already has a swimming pool and grounds for playing soccer and other field sports. Students can participate in the school’s in-house Special Olympics and possibly move on to the national event, said school Coach Gloria Oyarzun.
During the dedication, the school’s physical therapist, Ozzie Perez, played Sister Lucia’s favorite song on his trumpet, “Majesty,” and the school’s bell choir performed.
“Thank you to the PTA, board of directors, students and clients,” said Acocella. “You’re beautiful souls that God created. Because of all of you, we are here today dedicating this facility. This is a dream come true.”
The play area cost about $310,000 to build,