Family upset at JCC for using Vila Brothers Memorial Park as parking lot

Posted at 6:37 PM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 02:13:40-04

"Wilfred, Willie,” said veteran Denio Vila pointing to the photos on his brother’s tee shirt.

There are only two left of the seven Vila Brothers.

"I joined right out of high school. I enlisted and she said, you don't have to go. You got six brothers already serving,” said veteran Tony Vila.

The Vila Brothers Memorial Park honors a family who fought for our country--seven brothers from West Tampa who all came home from war alive.

But that memorial isn't being respected if you ask Denio and Tony Vila.

"Well, it's a dishonor to my brothers. The ones who fought in World War II in the Pacific and the one in the Europe campaign,” said Tony Vila.

The city park is becoming a parking lot for hundreds of people attending events at the new Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center.

RELATED: Neighbors protest use of park as a parking lot




"We have been overflow parking at Vila Brothers. It has assisted us at over 50 events with the majority of those being non-profits who have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars by doing their fundraisers within our building,” said JCC COO Heidi Shimberg.

Tampa officials have asked the JCC to stop using the park as overflow parking.

Still the JCC hasn't resolved the problem by hiring a valet company though its coo tells me they're working on it.

RELATED: Neighbors complain about parking overflow from JCC




For these two veterans, it's a matter of respect for the brothers they lost and looked up to so much. 

"Right in front of the memorial and I'm afraid that one of these days there might be an accident and knock down the memorial,” said Denio Vila. "When you go over there it's, it's very emotional."