Temple Terrace residents fear heritage group dinner at country club would damage reputation

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. (WFLA) – Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Temple Terrace Country Club has been part of the fabric of the community for decades.

When dozens of local residents got wind of a planned dinner at the club, to be hosted by the Southern Heritage Florida group, they feared it would tear at that fabric.

“I think it would give us a really bad reputation, especially since we have one of the most diverse communities,” said resident Edelyn Verona.

Verona and others sent a letter to the country club asking them to cancel the dinner where participants planned to talk about recent events, including the removal of Confederate monuments in Florida.

“They have a right if they want,” Verona said. “And we have a right to object it.”

The general manger of the private club discussed it with David McCallister, organizer of the heritage dinner.

McCallister decided to move the event, claiming there wasn’t enough space at the club.

“Do you think their petition had anything to do with it?” reporter Ryan Hughes asked.

“I don’t know. I suspect it did. I don’t know for sure. I think it’s unfair and un-American for people to interfere with a private organization,” McCallister said.

This weekend, Verona and her group will hold a unity picnic at Riverhills Park in Temple Terrace.

McCallister and his group will go on with the dinner at another, undisclosed location.  They’ve held similar events at the country club for years, he said.

“It’s going to be a great meeting. It’s going to be a great time,” he said.

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