Looking up at palm trees at Curtis Hixon Park

Community Celebration: Renaming of Dog Park at Vila Brothers Park to Honor West Tampa Advocate

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Vila Brothers Park in Tampa will soon honor a community advocate and champion of West Tampa with the official naming of its dog park.
The naming of the "Sandra de Diego Sanchez Dog Park," lead by Tampa City Council Chairman Guido Maniscalco, will recognize the impact of 81-year-old West Tampa native and resident Sandra de Diego Sanchez.

Seeing a need for community engagement more than a decade ago, Sandra initiated a Neighborhood Watch program, distributing more than 500 flyers in what is now known as the Armory Gardens Community. Her efforts earned her the District 1 Neighborhood Volunteer Award and led to the formation of the Armory Gardens Civic Association in 2014, boasting more than 300 members today. Under Sandra's leadership, Armory Gardens has seen remarkable improvements in quality of life and security, securing grants and nonprofit status.
Additionally, Sandra played a pivotal role in the revitalization of Vila Brothers Park, advocating for funding and amenities alongside Martha Vila, a member of the Vila family. The park is named after seven brothers, all fellow West Tampa natives, who bravely served in different branches of the military from World War II to Desert Storm.
An avid animal lover and owner of two beloved pets, Giuseppe and Rob Kitty, Sandra will be honored for her community advocacy through the naming of the Vila Brothers dog park in her honor on Saturday, March 23, at 10:00 am inside Vila Brothers Park, 700 N Armenia Ave.
Speakers will include Council Chairman Maniscalco, representatives from the Armory Gardens Neighborhood Association, West Tampa Chamber of Commerce, West Tampa Community Redevelopment Area (CRA), a close friend of the honoree, and Sandra de Diego Sanchez herself.