Cape Canaveral on the Lagoon

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A replica of the recently grounded Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Dorney home was a winner.  A replica of the recently grounded Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Dorney home was a winner.

Dorney family outdid itself with Space Shuttle decor

A lot of families go all-out to make Night in Venice special for their guests and neighbors. With the theme of “Under the Sea,” the McGowan family hosted a party on the Gardens Lagoon. The McMahon family hosted “Back to the Future,” the latest in a string of 22 annual events. Bill and Donna Dorney’s “Time to Say Goodbye” project on the 17th Street lagoon, featuring a replica of the Space Shuttle, won first place for decorated homes.

The Dorneys have been decorating for more than two decades. Rising more than 35 feet in the air, Atlantis was a real showstopper.

“We knew the shuttle program was coming to an end,” said Dorney, “So we thought it would be a great tribute to the men and women in the space program. I’ve watched a few launches at Cape Canaveral, and every one of them made me feel proud to be an American.”

Dorney, a longtime veteran of the Ocean City Beach Patrol, said his Stenton Place stand partner, Jack Brooks, challenged him.

“We always try to top what we did the year before, make it bigger and better,” said Dorney. “I think we were successful.”

The Dorneys stopped at the Kennedy Space Center on their way home from Florida in the spring and took pictures. They studied the launch pad and created a scaled-down version for the lagoon, complete with external fuel tanks.

“We tried to make it as authentic as we could,” Dorney said. “We started Memorial Day. I spent at least six solid days and lots of hours after work. We were really excited about this project.”

The song “Time to Say Goodbye” brought tears to many eyes as the music, with Amy Lu singing live, blasted across the lagoon.

“It was mesmerizing,” said Dorney. “It was so moving, very, very emotional. We even had NASA headquarters, with mission control. We were wearing official NASA uniforms; all the kids got official patches. I had a Hazmat suit on. We had lots of help with this one. The Kennedy Space Center on the 17th Street Lagoon! We had a great time.”

 

 


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