HAMMONTON – When the members of the Hammonton Kiwanis Club decided to renovate the pavilion and bandstand area of Hammonton Lake Park, they most likely envisioned days like Oct. 11.

On a sun-splashed Sunday afternoon, the Kiwanis Club held a chicken barbecue at the updated facility, where members celebrated their accomplishment, and thanked donors with food, music and friends.

For their efforts and service to the community, the area was officially dedicated to the club and named the Kiwanis Community Complex at Hammonton Lake Park. Hammonton Mayor Steve DiDonato was joined by Deputy Mayor Thomas Gribbin, Councilman Steve Furgione and Councilman Sam Rodio in an official dedication ceremony.

Town Council and the Hammonton Recreation Board both approved the new name.

“I want to thank the Kiwanis Club and Butch Rodio, the Club President. I want to thank all the many volunteers, members and donors,” DiDonato said during the ceremony. “Thank you so much. This is such a beautiful job. What a beautiful day and a beautiful venue. You look out at the lake and it is surreal. Thank you so much.”

The Kiwanis Club with the help of area businesses and the city, renovated the bandstand and pavilion. They took down a bandstand wall to give the crowd a better view of the stage. They also painted the bandstand, and added a large patch of sod in front of the bandstand so the audience can set down chairs or blankets to watch events.

The pavilion was also updated and painted, and more tables were added to the area so more people can enjoy the park. The Kiwanis Club will maintain the areas.

During the barbecue, which attracted more than a 100 people, musicians, including the Maplewood Band along with special guest Anthony Pace, delighted the crowd with a variety of music.

Butch Rodio also thanked the volunteers and donors during the event. According to the Kiwanis Club President, 18 companies donated their time and money to the project, which was a year in the making. The club goal was to make the area more attractive so residents and their families can come out and enjoy the park.

“I think it is awesome. I think it came out as good, if not better than we expected,” Butch Rodio said. “We just have to maintain it and carry it on from here. We have to put in more barbecue pits so we can get the park to a place where more people can come in and use it. We need to get some events, and use the bandstand for kids. At Kiwanis, our organization is all about the kids. We want to try to have kids shows and concerts for kids.”

“I think the end result is fantastic,” said Sam Rodio. “Everything the club did and all the volunteer work Butch and Bobby put together was fantastic. Butch did a fantastic job. The town pitched in a little bit by evening out the ground and adding sand. It was a win-win for the park.”

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