Pam Jones on behalf of Congressman Daniel Webster, Chloe Gentry of Cherrylake Inc., and Samantha Surdin on behalf of Congressman Ross Spano

The South Lake Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Cherrylake, Inc., Montverde Academy, New Vision for Independence and Lake Tech, who were honored at the Lake County Community Service Awards on May 8. The Lake County Chamber Alliance hosts this annual awards dinner to recognize individuals and businesses in the Lake County community. Members of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce were among those honored throughout the evening.

Cherrylake was honored with the Special Judges’ Award not only because of their commitment to the environment, but also their commitment to the community. This year, Cherrylake donated 500 one-gallon bald cypress trees to the City of Tavares as part of its 1,000 Trees for 1,000 years initiative, and it has likewise donated trees to Lake Apopka of Central Florida and Audubon Nature Center in New Orleans.

Mr. Warren Delmolino, Montverde Academy Dean of the Middle School, was honored with the Education Award that recognizes the importance of educational leadership to affect positive change through setting a vision, encouraging teamwork and empowering others. Warren is a dedicated and passionate educator who has spent his entire career in the education field. He began as a teacher and coach at Umatilla High School, followed by an administrator, teaching and coaching positions at Eustis High School where he was chosen as a Teacher of the Year and led the football team to a State Championship title.

Warren Delmolino and Matthew Karen of Montverde Academy

In 1990, Warren joined Montverde Academy in the Upper School serving in key positions. He also served as Dean for the Lower School during the critical process of creating the program, effectively overseeing that process, which resulted in a highly successful program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. For the past ten years, he has served as the Dean of the Middle School, which continues to flourish. Warren is a respected leader and an outstanding asset who will retire this year, after 29 years of making a difference in MVA students’ lives and community.

Matthew Karen received the Youth Award, which recognizes a Lake County Student for his/her efforts to positively impact his/her school and community. He is an outstanding student who has distinguished himself as a leader in his school and community. As a member of the Headmaster’s Leadership Institute, he began serving as the Student Director for the Academy’s Night for the Cure annual fundraising event this year. In this role, he helped organize the details, manage promotions, and execute plans in conjunction with a faculty advisor to raise more than $25,000 for Lake County non-profit organizations that help community members affected by cancer.

Matt serves as Key Club Vice President, an Eagle Ambassador, an Honor Council member, and competes as part of the MVA Academic Team. He belongs to the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and National Math Honor Society, and volunteers for South Lake Hospital.

New Vision for Independence, which helps those with visual impairments overcome their challenges and live fully and happily was honored with the Non-Profit Organization Award. New Vision for Independence offers an array of services to clients who suffer from moderate to complete blindness. It provides rehabilitation, advocacy and support services to people with blindness and their families. Its staff of certified instructors are highly skilled at equipping the visually impaired with new skills that allow them to adapt to their new normal. From identifying money to handling medications to using a computer, to closing a busy highway, New Vision removes barriers to independence for thousands of clients.

Diane Culpepper of Lake Technical College received the 2019 Award for Leadership. This award recognizes an individual whose guidance and leadership has proven transformational in some meaningful way. It celebrates those who are forward thinking, who excel at and motivating and whose honesty and integrity are an example to others. Culpepper heads one of the most important and iconic institutions in Lake County, Lake Technical College, and has done as much as anyone to foster a strong economic climate while offering valuable training that has enriched and improved the lives of thousands of Lake County residents.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

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