More than 300 people gathered at the Taoist Tai Chi Society USA’s center in Dunedin, Florida, for the Grand Opening on January 15, 2011. Reverberating through the wonderful new space were the sounds of a Highland Piper from the Dunedin High School Scottish Higher Band and the beating of the Chinese drums that accompanied a Traditional Lion Dance performed by Wah Lam Kung Fu of Tampa.
The diversity of the city was addressed by Dunedin’s Mayor David Eggers when he brought greetings from the city and introduced two of Dunedin’s City Commissioners – Ron Barnette and Julie Scales. He acknowledged the cities’ Scottish heritage and said our Center was a welcome addition to the community. Mayor Eggers and the Commissioners were joined by the International and USA representatives of TTCS in a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Next, came remarks from the representatives of the Society. Karen Laughlin, President of the International Tai Chi Society, brought greetings. Marsha Eberhardt, Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism President. Sean Dennison, Taoist Tai Chi Society USA Executive Director, also offered congratulations and support.
Ann McDonald, president of the Dunedin center council, thanked all those present for coming to join the celebration and all the members who worked so hard to make the day a success. McDonald narrated the demonstration of the Tai chi set and introduced Chinese dancers from My BrightDream, which included several children. All in attendance were invited to stay for lunch. The room was quickly transformed by many willing hands for the luncheon and the air filled with voices of friends, new and old.
Many of the attendees of the Grand Opening also attended an International Workshop the same weekend. Folks gathered on Friday evening to register, to enjoy time with old friends, and to greet new people.
Saturday Morning at 9:30 the workshop began with the introduction of Marsha Eberhardt an international instructor from Ontario, Canada, and Karen Laughlin and Sean Dennison, International instructors, from Tallahassee, Florida. The participants worked until 11 a.m., attended the Grand Opening program and resumed after the luncheon at 2:30 p.m., broke for dinner at 6 p.m, and settled down again at 8 p.m.for some wonderful stories about the purchase of buildings throughout the US. and of Master Moy’s dream for the society.
The workshop activities continued on Sunday. Bagels and coffee with some tai chi happened at Weaver Park on St. Joseph’s Sound early in the morning. Two workshop sessions and lunch were at the Dunedin Center; concluding with two sets outside along Main Street.