Submitted by the Neighborhood Center of South Lake

The Neighborhood Center of South Lake hosted a 50th Anniversary Garden Party Fundraiser on Oct. 8, 2022, at Mission Inn Resort and Club which raised more than $21,000 for the organization. The event was emceed by Jim Payne of WESH-2, featured live music from Lake Minneola High School’s Shades of Green Jazz Band and highlighted the achievements of the Center over the past 50 years.

The Smythe Family

During the event, the Center honored the six tenacious women who founded the organization in 1972. Robin Smythe Weisman, daughter of founder Dele Smythe shared reflections of her mother along with those of Ruth Delano, Virginia Dodge, Esther Henry, Hazel Johnson and Bess Jones. “Giving was a blessing to my mother,” noted Robin, “And I could tell by the look in her eye when she spoke about the idea of the Neighborhood Center, that somehow, someway, she was going to will that to happen. And here we are today.”

The Smyth Family with Board Member Members, Trish Kry and Jim Payne of WESH-2

The Center’s CEO, Patricia Kry, spoke about the continued need within the south Lake community, “The need is real, and the need is growing.” Kry also shared plans to construct a new facility on Beverly Road in Groveland. The new location will feature a shoppable pantry and a community garden.

The event also reintroduced the organization to members of the community. “It was great to see so many people and organizations at the event supporting The Neighborhood Center of South Lake,” shared Dr. Nancy H. Cummings, TNC Board President. “The more we share our story and our mission, the more people want to join our cause. It is so compelling – my company chose to be an event sponsor so we can continue to scale our impact.”

Lake Minneola Shades of Green Jazz Band

The event was sponsored by Boyer Business Corp., Kroger Delivery, Advanced Septic Services, Micki Blackburn Realty, Cherrylake, Inc., Clermont Police Department, Cummings Collaborative and Orlando Health.

To learn more about The Neighborhood Center of South Lake, including opportunities to volunteer and donate, please visit

(For additional information, see NCSL ARTICLE by Chuck Seaver) 

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