News & Information > News Releases

December 1, 2011
Melanie Mowry Etters
Communications Director
(850) 488-4257

Lighting Up the Holidays

GAINESVILLE, FL—Tacachale Center in Gainesville will host its 27th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, December 8, at 6:30 p.m. Tacachale is located at 1621 Northeast Waldo Road. The center is home to 450 people with developmental disabilities.

The tree lighting ceremony is a festive event with tree trimming and holiday songs. There is a strong chance that Santa Claus may make a surprise appearance. The festivities are free and open to the public. Area residents are encouraged to attend and participate in the activities.

The manager of Gainesville’s Belk Lindsey department store, Dan Mixson, will serve as this year’s Master of Ceremonies.

Performers include the Duval Elementary Choir directed by Musical Director Rob Hyatt, the Soul Rockers, Tacachale Carolers directed by Tacachale Musical Director Megan Williams, and the Tacachale Dance Troupe “Controlled Chaos” (consisting of staff and residents) choreographed by Tacachale attorney Julie Waldman. For more information about the tree lighting ceremony activities, contact Justina McDonald at (352) 955-5829 or

APD annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with developmental disabilities of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, spina bifida, and Prader-Willi syndrome.

For more information on the agency, call 1-866-APD-CARES or visit