Day, I hugged strangers at Lake Eola Park. By
itself, that's not significant. But on that day,
I was participating as Orlando's "Official
Cupid" during Why I Love Orlando's first Public
Display of Affection. Along with other
volunteers, I helped Why I Love Orlando
encourage people to literally embrace the unique
parts of our community.
Why I Love Orlando is just one of many local
non-profits that helps create pride in our City,
tackle social service needs, educate our youth
or promote the arts. Our neighborhood groups
also address the issues facing their slice of
Orlando. These organizations flourish and impact
our community because of the power of
To recognize the impact these groups have on our
City and to nurture their growth, I hold the
Mayor's Neighborhood and Community Summit each
year. This half-day event brings together
neighborhood, arts and cultural, civic,
community and faith-based leaders and volunteers
to learn and share new trends and practices for
civic engagement and community building.
Attendees represent the hard-working individuals
that give of their time to make Orlando better.
Without these leaders and their teams, Orlando
would not have our beautiful neighborhoods. We
would not have places for people to go when they
are facing hard times. We would not have our
diverse cultural opportunities.
We rely on our volunteer organizations to
provide many valuable services for our
community. The Neighborhood and Community
Summit, which takes place tomorrow, will bring
these leaders together to refresh their spirit
and to promote the collaboration that makes our
City grow to greater heights.