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December 4, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board recently honored Marilyn Samaha, as the first Land Resources volunteer of the year.

Samaha was recognized for the countless hours she spent developing a recreational partnership between the District, Hillsborough County and the Tampa Bypass Canal Rowing Council (TBCRC), which she created and serves as president.

The development of the TBCRC to coordinate with the District and the county has resulted in a strong public/private relationship. This partnership continues to manage and enhance rowing opportunities on the Tampa Bypass Canal.

“It is an honor to receive this award from the District,” said Samaha. “Through our partnership, we have been able to provide a first-class rowing venue and the opportunities to invest in the development and future of our young adults.”

The TBCRC organizes and manages all rowing regattas at the Tampa Bypass/Harney Park site, a 10-acre park managed by Hillsborough County on District land. The park features a public boat ramp, fishing pier, parking, portable toilets and picnic tables.

Samaha was instrumental in developing the facilities for the use of high school and college rowing teams. In fact, the facility is recognized as the
best high school rowing venue in Florida.

“Marilyn made a tremendous contribution toward the development of this recreation partnership,” said Fritz Musselmann, Land Resources Director. “She demonstrates leadership and embodies the true spirit of volunteerism. We need more volunteers like her and look forward to working with her and the TBCRC in the future.”

The District recently developed a description of criteria for individuals or groups who take part in the District’s Land Resources Volunteer Program to be considered as volunteer of the year. The annual award will be given to the individual or group that has demonstrated leadership, is dedicated to the District’s mission and serving others, provided service to the community and the District and has completed a special achievement that embodies the true spirit of volunteerism.

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