The South Lake Chamber of Commerce hosted its 2nd Annual First Responders Breakfast on Friday, September 15, 2023, at the Clermont Performing Arts Center. This event was a heartwarming tribute to the brave men and women who tirelessly serve our community, ensuring our safety and well-being.

First responders from various South Lake agencies gathered at this special event, including representatives from the Clermont Fire Department, Clermont Police Department, Groveland Fire Department, Groveland Police Department, Mascotte Police Department, Howey in the Hills Police Department, Minneola Fire Department, Lake County Fire Rescue, and Lake County Sheriff’s Department. It was a morning filled with harmony, gratitude, and a shared commitment to our community’s safety.

Clermont Fire Chief David Ezell and Clermont Police Chief Chuck Broadway took the stage to honor and acknowledge the dedication and courage displayed by our first responders every day. They presented medals to these local South Lake agencies, symbolizing our profound gratitude for their service. During this breakfast, the Chamber displayed the South Lake community’s appreciation and admiration for these men and women.

The keynote presentation at the event was Chief Julius Halas, former Fire Chief of Sarasota County and the Town of Longboat Key. Chief Halas shared his experiences and insights, emphasizing the importance of community support for our first responders. His presentation added a touch of wisdom and inspiration to the proceedings, reminding us of the vital role first responders play in our lives.

Through this event, the South Lake Chamber of Commerce aimed to strengthen the bond between our community and its first responders, recognizing the sacrifices they make daily to keep us safe. The 2nd Annual First Responders Breakfast was a resounding success, and it left everyone in attendance with a renewed appreciation for the brave individuals who stand ready to protect and serve our South Lake community.

The Chamber is grateful to the Table & Medal Sponsors, who allowed us to provide our local first responders with a complimentary breakfast. Without their generous contributions, we wouldn’t have been able to show our appreciation meaningfully. They are as follows:

  • AdventHealth
  • Brown & Brown
  • Caribbean American Association of Lake County
  • Clermont Woman’s Club
  • Community Foundation of South Lake
  • Computer Business Consultants
  • Denise Calderon CPA
  • Find, Feed, & Restore
  • Firebase Home Inspections
  • Germana Engineering and Associates
  • Granny Nannies
  • Great Clermont Cancer Foundation
  • Headquarter Honda
  • Home Instead
  • HouseMaster Home Inspections
  • Insight Credit Union
  • Regina Cruz – Keller Williams Elite Partners III Realty
  • Lake Technical College
  • Live Well Foundation of South Lake
  • Living Message Church
  • McDonald’s
  • Marz Event Management
  • New Heights Communication
  • OCR Roofing
  • Optima One Realty
  • Orlando Health South Lake Hospital
  • Servpro of Lake County
  • State Farm Insurance – Mike Richards
  • State Representative Keith Truenow
  • Sunshine Water Services
  • Super Claims Adjusting
  • Surveillance Plus
  • The Joint Chiropractic
  • Vista Clinical Diagnostics Laboratory
  • Visual Harmony Productions
  • We Can Do It Realty and Investments

During the 2nd Annual First Responders Breakfast, Thom Kieft, the 2023 South Lake Chamber Board Chair, presented the prestigious $1,000 Ray Goodgame Outstanding Student Leader Scholarship to Leonard Polcaro of Montverde Academy.

The Ray Goodgame Scholarship honors exceptional students in the South Lake area who serve as champions for our community.

Leonard has been an outstanding leader throughout his high school career. He has achieved immense success, boasting an impressive GPA of 4.27 and a long list of academic accolades. Leonard’s commitment to excellence extends beyond the classroom, as evidenced by his involvement in various extracurricular activities such as the National Honor Society, student leadership council, and Spanish Honor Society. This exceptional student leader has also been a valuable team player in boys Varsity Track and Field and Cross Country, earning recognition for his leadership and outstanding conduct. Leonard’s dedication to serving his community is evident through his involvement in Night for the Cure, a fundraiser to find a cure for cancer and support families affected by the disease. With a strong work ethic, Leonard has also gained valuable experience at Montverde Academy Summer Camp and Wendy’s. His admirable qualities of citizenship and commitment to excellence are inspiring, and there is no doubt that he will continue to achieve great things in their future endeavors.

This event would not be possible without the support of our Event sponsors:

  • Venue Sponsor – City of Clermont 
  • Main Event Sponsor – Life’s Choices Women’s Clinic 
  • Coffee Station & Coffee Cup Sponsor: Computer Business Consultants 
  • Coffee Sponsor: Dunkin’ 
  • Linen Sponsor: Hampton Inn 
  • Water Sponsor: Addition Financial 
  • Caterer: East Ridge High School 
  • Broadcast Partner: SouthLake.TV

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