A look back at a city’s heritage
SUN PHOTO/PAT COPELAND
Debbie Lannon, wife of the late Officer Pete Lannon, reacts
in surprise and delight after seeing the image of her husband on the
sign naming the skate park in Holmes Beach after him.
HOLMES BEACH – Old timers and newcomers came together to celebrate the city’s heritage at the first Founder’s Day event Friday.
Mayor Rich Bohnenberger welcomed guests and drew attention to the display of historical photos donated by the Anna Maria Island Historical Society. The photos will be on display at city hall for the next week, then framed and hung in the commission chamber.
"Today is not for elected officials," Bohnenberger told the group "Today is to recognize the citizens who came forward to fill a need in the city."
He unveiled one plaque that listed the first mayor, aldermen, clerk and marshal. He unveiled a second plaque to honor community partners and noted, "These are the people who have donated land to the city for public purpose and organizations that have helped the city be as beautiful an viable as it is."
Another group of plaques in the commission chamber listed the members of the city’s code enforcement board, planning commission, board of adjustment, parks and beautification advisory board and police retirement board.
The group then moved outside to unveil the sign naming the skate park after the late Officer Pete Lannon, who also served as the school resource officer and DARE (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) teacher.
"We are fortunate that he taught the DARE program but also became very close to the students and instilled in them a creed," Bohnenberger said. "He taught them how to live their lives."
"This symbolizes what Pete was about," Police Chief Jay Romine added, "and gives them a place to be safe."
Lannon’s brother, Don, thanked the city for "embracing Pete. What he instilled in the kids can’t be beat."
The event concluded with a ribbon cutting at the city’s new tot lot.