Like many of you, my eyes have been glued to local media, national media, and even social media in the wake of the Pulse nightclub tragedy. While our Central Florida community has demonstrated amazing unity, love and compassion, I continue to be amazed at the generosity of our local business community.
Over the years I’ve written many times that the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is as much a “chamber of community” as a chamber of commerce. And by that I mean we are an organization of business leaders who come together, yes to do business, but more so to give back and make a difference in the well-being of our community. As a united front we’ve tackled issues surrounding education, hunger, children and seniors. But this time, it’s bigger than that.
Everywhere I turn I see businesses taking action. Fineline Printing donated programs and other print needs for victims’ funerals. John Rivers opened 4 Rivers Smokehouse on Father’s Day – a Sunday – to feed the soul and donate proceeds to OneOrlando. Winter Park Lost Pets is even recruiting help for the pets in need as a result of this tragedy. I could go on, and on.
Today, June 30, I’m looking forward to a statewide effort organized by Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and Visit Florida called, “Dine Out for Orlando United.” Restaurants across the state, and even some with nationwide locations, are giving to the OneOrlando fund. Some are donating a dollar for every patron served, others, a portion of total proceeds. As of press time, 24 chamber member restaurants are on board with the effort, including:
4 Rivers Smokehouse
310 Park South
Another Broken Egg
blu on the avenue
Cask & Larder
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Krispy Kreme Donuts
Luma on Park
Miller’s Ale House – Winter Park Village
Orlando Ale House Winter Park
The Ravenous Pig
Square 1 Burgers & Bar
Swine & Sons Provisions
TR Fire Grill
Zona Fresca Fresh Mexican Grill
I for one am happy to make a reservation (or two), share a meal with friends, family and co-workers and, through some small action, honor the victims.
Politics in the Park
Yard signs supporting a variety of candidates for elected office have started to spring up around town and candidates are refining their stump speeches, ordering their stickers and asking for your support. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce will host the 2016 Winter Park Political Mingle and Straw Poll presented by Charter Spectrum on Tuesday, July 19, at the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center from 5 to 8 p.m. The event is the perfect opportunity to meet with many of the candidates running in fall’s hottest races all in one place. Come out for a delicious meal, get your questions answered and vote in a straw poll.
A list of confirmed candidates participating in the event, tickets for the evening and additional information can be found at winterpark.org
Erika Spence is the senior director of marketing and communications at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce.