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New Year’s Eve Party attended by over 500

By Staff | Jan 6, 2010

For City Councilman Steve Brown, left, rings in the new year at the Sanibel Recreation Center with event organizer Barry Alan Roth.

For most of 2009, Barry Alan Roth worked in cooperation with local officials to coordinate a city-sponsored New Year’s Eve Party, a gathering for islanders of all ages with plenty of food, festivities and fun for all. He helped secure sponsors, planned activities and logistics, and promoted the evening everywhere he went.

Last Thursday night at the Recreation Center, more than 500 revelers enjoyed ringing in 2010 with merriment and mirth, thanks in large part to Roth’s tireless efforts and dedication to the event.

“Barry did a great job with this,” said former Sanibel City Council member Steve Brown. “It’s so much fun. This is very rewarding, to see the Rec Center being used like this. It’s a party which appeals to all ages, bringing our community together.”

Gourmet-quality foods like freshly-made sushi, chicken fingers, sandwiches and deli platters with meats, cheeses, vegetables and salads of all sorts were spread across tablecloth-covered food stations throughout the facility. Participants were also offered hot dogs, pizza, pretzels and other party-style noshes.

“I’m going to eat two pounds of sushi!” proclaimed Sam Horwood, 7, visiting from Chicago, Ill.

Recreation Department staff members, from left, Andrea Miller, Matt Faughn and Christopher Deal.

For the sweet tooth, menu selections included ice cream, cookies, candy, sodas and juices, root beer floats and popsicles.

City Manager Judie Zimomra, one of the many volunteers helping run the party, said that she was delighted by the turnout for the first event of this type on Sanibel.

“Tonight’s attendance shows that there’s a demand for this,” Zimomra stated. “We have felt the need to do something like this for years. There are so many multi-generational families living here on Sanibel, so we wanted to do something that would appeal to all ages. It’s perfect for people without families, too, who normally would be sitting at home alone tonight.”

“It’s great to see the whole city gather together,” said City Councilman Jim Jennings, seated in the Bingo Hall prior to the start of the first game of the night. “There are fun things to do for all ages.”

In addition to the adults-only bingo game, which handed out more than $4,800 worth of prizes donated by event sponsors and local businesses, activities included karaoke and dancing, a Guitar Hero tournament, marshmallow and ping pong ball relays, games of hula hoop and cup stacking as well as trivia challenges.

Jaimie Lynn, left, serves a slice of pizza to party participant Bob Watson.

“I was just looking around and this party just started,” added Jennings, “and already it looks like everyone is having a wonderful time.”

Terry Igo came to the party with daughter Maeve Igo and Lily Brown.

Teenagers filled the room where a Guitar Hero competition was taking place.