The Chamber was delighted to welcome more than 160 local business leaders during our monthly Chamber breakfast on Friday, June 16, 2023. The morning began with the Spread the Love campaign where guests were encouraged to deliver jars of peanut butter and jelly to help provide lunch for families in need. The Chamber and the Fabulous Flockers partnered with The Neighborhood Center of South Lake as a drop-off location during our Chamber breakfast. We are excited to announce that Kroger kicked off this campaign by donating 500 jars of jelly!

President of Orlando Health South Lake Hospital and Senior Vice President of Orlando Health North Central Region, Lance Sewell, delivered a keynote presentation on the growth happening at South Lake Hospital. Their highly anticipated 95-bed patient tower is scheduled to open to the community in January 2024 and will feature expanded Women’s Services, 24-Bed ICU, 30-Bed Medical Unit, 20-Bed Stepdown Care and Shelled space for a level II NICU, and Shelled space for an additional 30 Bed unit. Mr. Sewell also announced the winners of the Wellness Challenge:

Individual Male Category:

  1. David Feiner
  2. Ryan Gates
  3. Michael Guidice

Individual Female Category:

  1. Janet Contreras
  2. Debbie Flinn
  3. Linda Smith

Team Category:

  1. The Live Well Foundation of South Lake
  2. Triple D Team
  3. Ambassador Team


The Chamber congratulates the winners and all participants in the 2023 Wellness Challenge. Delivering this experience would not have been possible without the partnership of Orlando Health South Lake Hospital and The Live Well Foundation of South Lake.

Lake County Commissioner, Doug Shields, presented the Gem of the Hills Community Service Award to Evelisse Bookhout of Hands of Hope America.

The Gem of the Hills Community Service Award honors residents or organizations that contribute to the South Lake community; they lend their time, efforts, and talents outside any volunteer work done for their employer.

Evelisse is truly a remarkable individual who has dedicated her life to serving others. Her unwavering commitment to empowering the next generation and delivering essential resources to families and individuals in need is truly inspiring. As an ordained minister, veteran, leader, and advocate, she has made a huge impact on the lives of countless individuals in this community.

Evelisse and her team aim to provide accessible, culturally sensitive, and evidence-based services through various programs like emergency food assistance, social services, education, financial literacy, and youth enrichment. She is the Executive Director for Hands of Hope America who recently received the Business of the Year Award from Lake Technical College; both organizations have also partnered to provide ESOL classes in the Four Corners Community.

Evelisse is a true gem in this community. Her passion and dedication are certainly unparalleled, and we are grateful for all that she does to make South Lake a better place. Congratulations, Evelisse Bookhout!

The Chamber would like to thank our sponsors for their support and contribution towards our June Chamber breakfast:

  • Main Event Sponsor: Orlando Health South Lake Hospital
  • Co-Sponsor: Home Instead
  • Co-Sponsor: Take Stock in Children of Lake & Sumter Counties
  • Coffee Station & Coffee Cup Sponsor: Computer Business Consultants
  • Linen Sponsor: Holiday Inn Express
  • Water Sponsor: Addition Financial
  • Caterer: Premier Event Services
  • Broadcast Partner: SouthLake.TV

In case you missed our breakfast, you can rebroadcast by visiting SouthLake.TV.

We encourage our members to register early for next month’s breakfast that will be held in the Sterling Event Venue (20524 County Rd 455 Minneola, FL 34715) on Thursday, July 20th, 2023, at 7:00 a.m. The City of Minneola will deliver an update on the expansion happening, so reserve your seat before it’s too late! You can register by clicking here.

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