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Dignitaries break ground for St. Barbara Church's athletic center

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.app.com/article/20090204/GETPUBLISHED/902040395/-1/LOCAL02favicon.ico Dignitaries break ground for St. Barbara Church s athletic center Toms River,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2009
      http://www.app.com/article/20090204/GETPUBLISHED/902040395/-1/LOCAL02favicon.ico

      Dignitaries break ground for St. Barbara Church's athletic center

      Toms River, New Jersey
      By Angela Santoriello • Reader Submitted • February 4, 2009

      After three years of fundraising, dedicated
      congregants were able to see the fruit of their
      labor Sunday during the St. Barbara Greek
      Orthodox Church Athletic Center Groundbreaking Ceremony.

      “I am very proud to be a part of the St. Barbara
      family and the many accomplishments the church
      has made through the years,” said Councilman John
      Sevastakis, a congregant at the church who
      presented a township proclamation to church
      officials on behalf of Mayor Kelaher and the
      Township Council. “I am confidant this large task
      ahead of our community will be accomplished
      knowing the history of St. Barbara and the
      reputation our church community has in achieving
      its goals. St. Barbara has been very supportive
      of me and I owe much of my own success to my family of St. Barbara.”

      His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos came to Toms
      River Sunday to bless the grounds of the athletic
      center. Chanting Greek prayers, Evangelos
      passionately prayed over the site while
      congregants gathered closely together underneath
      the warm sun watching as other church officials
      partook in the celebratory ceremony.

      Present for the service, Council President
      Gregory P. McGuckin spoke on the church's rich
      history to attendees enjoying a gratis luncheon after the ground breaking.

      “St Barbara's has been an integral part of the
      Toms River community for 37 years now. It is part
      of what makes Toms River such a unique place to
      live, work and raise a family,” said Council
      President McGuckin of the house of worship
      started almost four decades ago by fifty men and
      women who convened together in to fulfill their
      vision of having a Greek Orthodox church here in
      Ocean County. “St Barbara's has grown with Toms
      River over the last 37 years and once again they
      are at the forefront of meeting the needs of
      their parishioners. It was an honor and a
      privilege to represent Mayor Kelaher and the Township Council.”

      Congressman John Adler called the day a miracle,
      citing how the recent cold weather was not
      present Sunday when church officials, dignitaries
      and children shoveled and blessed a cinder block
      they will lay be laid for the athletic center's
      foundation. Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari
      noted the growth of Greece's democracy and how
      the culture and religion is fundamental to the Ocean County Community.

      The motive to construct a athletic center was to
      encourage the youth and church community as a
      whole to become healthier through exercise in a
      safe and healthy environment, said Councilman
      Sevastakis, adding healthier children will become
      stronger contributing members of society. Aside
      from healthy parishioners, Councilman Sevastakis
      noted the new athletic center will help offset
      costs incurred during the annual Greek Festival
      as well as being used for fundraising events that are currently held off- site.

      Designed to be complete in four phases with the
      first phase already complete, the second phase
      consist of masonry, roofing, HVAC, framing,
      electrical and plumbing work; phase three will be
      the completion of restrooms, concession stands,
      all wood flooring and stage accommodations; and
      phase four includes the addition of a scoreboard
      and bleachers, second floor classrooms, staging
      equipment, furnishings and landscaping.

      Whether a St. Barbara youth organization
      graduate, parent of a graduate, community
      resident, corporate sponsor or a sports
      enthusiast, St. Barbara Greek Orthodox is asking
      others to help them realize 10-year-old dream to
      build a community-wide gymnasium so other
      organizations and groups could gather together under one roof.

      To request a Gymnasium Fund Pledge Card, which is
      a tax-deductible donation, contact the church office at (732) 255-5525.
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