STAFFORD – At a recent Township Council meeting, the council members surprised Mayor John Spodofora with a dedication of the Manahawkin Lake Park Pavilion in his name.
Prior to reading the proclamation listed on the evening’s agenda, Councilman Alan Smith requested that the entire council stand at the podium for an unplanned proclamation.
“Township Council has written a proclamation dedicating Manahawkin Lake Park pavilion the Mayor John Spodofora pavilion,” read Smith.
Smith noted that Spodofora has served the township for 30 years, 7 of which he has been mayor, defining him as “a leader in the protection of our environment, and the preservation of our parts and open space.”
It seemed only fitting that the Manahawkin Lake be named for Spodofora, as the restoration project there was one of the biggest projects during his time.
Smith cited Spodofora’s persistence in restoring and preserving the “historical treasures” of the township, the lake being one of them, as well as rebuilding the pavilion there, as some of the reasons for this dedication.
“The Manahawkin Lake pavilion stands as a monument to his efforts and the efforts of the community to restore our past and make it part of our future,” read Smith.
Spodofora was quite surprised at the dedication, joking “for once, I’m at a loss for words.” His family also attended the meeting in support.
“I truly appreciate it, that lake was so important to me growing up here in Stafford Township, it is such a historical part of our town,” he said. “The 30 years I’ve been in office, I feel very blessed to do what we have done and it wasn’t me by myself…Thank you everybody.”
Manahawkin Lake Park is located at Route 9 and North Lakeshore Drive in the township. As a focal point of the town, numerous events and festivals are held there year-round.
Although Spodofora’s time on the council will soon be up, his legacy will continue on, now as part of the park.