On July 5th, 2011, a ceremony was held to rename the Sully-Miller Arena after the late Mara Brandman. A rendering of a new sign was unveiled at the event which was attended by Mayor Carolyn Cavecche (a friend and colleague of Mara’s), City Council members, City Commissioners, School Board Members, family and friends. The new sign will be built as part of the Arena reconstruction.
So, who was Mara Brandman?
- Mara served as a member, director and officer of the Orange Park Association
- Mara took an active interest in Orange schools, serving on the Citizens Steering Committee for the Orange Unified School District and as the G.A.T.E. representative for El Modena High School
- Mara’s dedication to her community eventually led to her appointment to the City of Orange Planning Commission and to the City of Orange Public Library Board of Trustees.
Mara loved her community and played an integral role in securing the current arena site in Orange Park Acres in 1992. She negotiated with the land owner at that time for a lease on the current arena site on Santiago Canyon Blvd. A community arena went from dream to reality. Interestingly, Mara wasn’t even an equestrian herself! Nevertheless, she understood the importance of an arena to this equestrian community and fought to ensure that Orange Park Acres had its own.
It was the desire of Mayor Carolyn Cavecche, the Martin Family and so many members of the community that Mara’s contributions to the Orange Park Acres community be forever remembered. What better way than to name the arena site that she secured long ago for all of us – the Mara Brandman Horse Arena.