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The Lifeline

Bringing you the best local stories in and around our community.

Holiday Giving Starts Now

Featured Photo from Holiday Giving Starts Now

The holiday season is when many of our local charities do the most good, but it’s not when they typically need the most help. That time is now. In this issue we highlight several area nonprofits and discuss what our community can do right now to help these charities prepare for a busy – and beneficial – holiday.

The Sharing Center

Two major fundraisers for The Sharing Center are happening in September.

What do they do?

The Sharing Center is focused on preventing hunger and homelessness for families and individuals in crisis. They offer a hand-up to the working poor in Seminole County and those who are struggling to escape homelessness.

What’s going on?

The Rotary Club of Lake Mary’s Champions Ride for Charities – Sunday, September 11

This non-competitive bike ride features 100-, 62-, and 33-mile routes plus a 10-mile family-friendly option. The event honors fallen first responders, and proceeds will benefit both The Sharing Center and the Seminole County branches of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. To register or for more information, visit

Sweet Charity – Sunday, September 18 

An afternoon of wine, fashion, and dessert, this event benefits The Sharing Center’s many programs to help neighbors in need. Guests will enjoy great wine, delectable desserts, and wonderful chocolates from some of the best bakery chefs in Central Florida. There will be live music plus a silent auction and a number of raffle prizes. The Sweet Charity event is held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit

The Sharing Center always has a need for volunteers at their food pantry, warehouse, thrift store, community garden, and Oasis drop-in center for the homeless.


IMPOWER’s signature fundraising event is coming up in November, and you can help support it right now by entering for a chance to win a brand-new car.

What do they do?

IMPOWER is a leading nonprofit mental health and child well-being organization dedicated to empowering the lives of those in need. By offering personal attention, counseling, assistance, and inspiration IMPOWER helps them reach their full potential and achieve individual success. No matter what barriers an individual may have encountered, IMPOWER provides the tools necessary to achieve goals and overcome obstacles.

What’s going on?

The Power Event Live! – Saturday, November 19  

IMPOWER is the beneficiary of this high-octane night of mingling among the world’s most exotic cars, contemporary aircraft, high-performance boats, and motorcycles. Held in three private airport hangars at the Sanford International Airport, the event will feature live entertainment, cirque performances, exquisite food, and cocktails. Tickets are $150 each and available at

Your Chance to Win a 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA or $25,000.  

Support IMPOWER through this charity raffle drawing, and you could win BIG! Only 2,000 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held on November 19 at 9:00 p.m. during The Power Event Live! (you must be present to win). Tickets are $100 each or two for $150. Info and tickets are available at

Guardian ad Litem and Seminole County Friends of Abused Children

Two fundraisers and several opportunities to learn more about Guardian ad Litem are planned during the next several months

What do they do?

Guardians ad Litem are volunteers who act on behalf of children in foster care as their cases make their way through the court system. Seminole County Friends of Abused Children raise funds and collect donations to help the Guardians improve the lives of children in their care. Funds raised provide abused and neglected children with clothing, shoes, luggage, tutoring, school supplies, summer camp, eyeglasses, in-depth counseling/therapy, holiday gifts, as well as educational, medical, and legal needs.

What’s going on?

An Evening with Friends – Thursday, September 29

Held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz of North Orlando, this event features hors d’oeuvres, wine, and beer. Tickets are $30, and proceeds will provide abused and neglected children with educational, therapeutic, and everyday living necessities.

Superhero 5K – Saturday, October 8

Hosted by UCF’s Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity and Seminole County Friends of Abused Children, the Superhero 5K is a family-friendly event that invites runners of all ages and experience levels to dress as their favorite superhero and walk, jog, run, or “fly” to the finish line. For more information, visit

Guardian ad Litem Info Nights – Tuesdays, September 13, November 8, and December 13

Becoming a Guardian ad Litem is a big commitment. Information Nights provide an opportunity to learn more about what it takes to become a volunteer Guardian ad Litem and a chance to ask questions in a casual, no-obligation format. These 90-minute sessions begin at 6:00 p.m. and are held at the Seminole County Juvenile Justice Center, located at 190 Bush Boulevard in Sanford. The meetings are free and open to the public, but an RSVP is appreciated. Call 407-665-5370.

Meals on Wheels, Etc.

The next major Meals on Wheels fundraiser isn’t until next year, but the organization is raising money for the event now and always has a number of needed donation items to help neighbors in distress.

What do they do?

The mission of Meals on Wheels, Etc. is to enhance the quality of life for young and old by providing appetizing, nutritious meals as well as support services for seniors, which enable them to maintain their independence and dignity. There are about 275 homebound residents (average age 81) in Seminole County who are on a waiting list for meals.

Meals on Wheels, Etc. needs the following items year-round:

• Nutritional supplements (like Boost or Ensure)

• Depends or other bladder-protection products (all sizes)

• Dish/laundry detergents

• Toilet tissue

• Hand soap/hard or soft soap

• Hand towels/dish towels/washcloths

• Paper towels

All items can be delivered to the Meals on Wheels office at

2801 South Financial Court, Sanford.

SafeHouse of Seminole

One of the biggest fundraisers for SafeHouse is in September, and it’s right here in Lake Mary.

What do they do?

As the county’s emergency shelter for victims of domestic abuse, SafeHouse of Seminole’s mission is to have a community of healthy, violence-free relationships and families by developing, promoting, and enhancing creative prevention and effective intervention initiatives that will reduce the amount of violence in intimate relationships.

What’s going on?

The Walk on Water Friends Helping Friends 5K Fun Run/Walk – Saturday, September 17

The eighth annual Friends Helping Friends 5K will begin at 7:30 a.m. in front of the Walk on Water boutique in Lake Mary. This has become one of Lake Mary’s signature 5K fundraisers, and all proceeds will benefit SafeHouse of Seminole. To register, visit

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Advocates will spend the month promoting awareness of domestic violence and helping the community work together to make Seminole County safe and every relationship violence-free. The SafeHouse Violence Prevention Team plans to be out in the community every day hoping to spark conversation about how to end relationship violence and domestic violence. On October 25, SafeHouse of Seminole will honor survivors of domestic violence at its Celebrate Hope event. The shelter will also pay tribute to those in our community including law enforcement, volunteers, and community leaders who help survivors move into lives free from violence. For more information, visit

Look for the continuation of this story in our November/December issue as we focus on toy and food drives, sponsoring children in foster care, and volunteer opportunities to help make the holiday season merry and bright for disadvantaged children and families in our community.


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