News & Information > News Releases

November 13, 2014                                                  

CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Tacachale Celebrates 30 Years of Holiday Lights

GAINESVILLE, FL —Tacachale Center in Gainesville is hosting two community events to celebrate the Holidays and is inviting the public to come and enjoy the fun. Tacachale is located at 1621 Northeast Waldo Road and is home to 404 people with developmental disabilities.

On December 9, the center will host its annual Holiday Parade beginning at 10 a.m. School bands, ROTC units, law enforcement agencies, antique cars, floats, and Santa will ride through the Tacachale campus.

On December 11, Tacachale will host its 30th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:45 p.m. 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. Community members are encouraged to attend and participate in the fun activities including tree trimming. Joyce Smith, Coordinator with the University of Florida Health Office for Regional and Governmental Affairs, will serve as this year’s Master of Ceremonies. Father Roland Julien from St. Patrick Catholic Church will provide the invocation. Performers include the Duval Elementary Choir and the Tacachale Carolers.

Tacachale is seeking sponsors for its Christmas Home Adoption. Individuals or groups who would like to sponsor a home are asked to provide a gift for each person living there and to throw a small party with light refreshments. For more details, contact Erin Saunders at (352) 955-5973.

Additionally, the generosity of the Gainesville community is sought to help meet the Holiday wish list of Tacachale residents. Tax deductible donations can be made to Tacachale Christmas 2014 and mailed to:

Tacachale Volunteer Services
1621 NE Waldo Road
Gainesville, FL 32609

For more information about the tree lighting ceremony activities, contact Cindy Boyd at (352) 955-5981 or For details about the parade or donations, contact Volunteer Services Coordinator Paula Hawkins at (352) 955-5958 or

Tacachale is operated by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). APD annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with the developmental disabilities of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, spina bifida, and Prader-Willi syndrome. To learn more about the agency, call 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273) or visit