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After serving three years as the director of the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, Mandy Cassiano is moving on to new adventures. Those of us who have had the pleasure of working with Mandy over the years gathered together on Sunday evening in the garden of the Island Hotel to acknowledge and applaud her good works and service to the community.
It was our good fortune to have her strengthen our standing in the fine arts community through maintaining a high standard of juried participation in the Cedar Key fine arts festival, the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts. Mandy diligently followed the premise of those who revamped our spring festival a few years ago. The vision of rejuvenating a fine arts festival as begun by Carol Pattillo and Marsha Schwartz has been continued through community efforts under Mandy’s direction. Mandy’s ability to work with the community and its leaders as well as working with her volunteers was a key element to her success. After all, it does take a village to host such an event.
Although Mandy’s managerial and organizational skills served her well, it was her charm and good natured spirit that sparked her success. Her good spirit reflected the friendly and welcoming essence of Cedar Key and radiated through her committee, her volunteers and herself to the guest artists and town visitors. Visiting artists, time again, spoke kindly of the reception they received from the festival committee, the volunteers, the town and from Mandy.
As it was our good fortune to have Mandy as a member of our community and as a friend to many of us, let us wish Mandy good health, good fortune and all the goodness life has to offer.
So, I say to Mandy, “Now, dear lady, off you go. Know you did well. Know you were kind and honorable, and know you touched others joyously. Go. Enjoy your life adventures. Celebrate life with Eric and your children, Isaac and Mercy Rose.
And when you think of us in Cedar Key, smile.”