To recognize and kick off the Week of the Family throughout Orange County, Mayor Teresa Jacobs joined the community at the Mayor’s Family Fun Day celebration held at Blanchard Park on Nov. 7.
“This year’s theme, ‘Family – Strength in Unity,’ recognizes that spending time with our loved ones is vital to strengthening family relationships,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Orange County is built for families by families and I am so proud of how we all continue to Invest in Our Home for Life.”
Now in its 13th year, and in partnership with Bright House Networks and the Orange County Parks and Recreation Division, the event’s planning committee is composed of business, government, schools, libraries, nonprofits, churches and individuals. The committee agrees on an annual theme and family-centered events to strengthen and celebrate Orange County family throughout this first week of November.
The Mayor’s Family Fun Day is a free, four-hour event at Blanchard Park providing guests with live entertainment, carnival-like games, a train for children to ride, “Weird Science” demonstrations from the Orlando Science Center, an entertainment area called the Bright House TV Lounge and crafts by the Walt Disney Co.
At the event, Mayor Jacobs announced the winners of the “My Family is Strong Because” essay contest:
- Grade Level K-2 - Joshua Scherer, Age 6, Grade 1; Thornebrooke Elementary School
- Grade Level 3-5 - Isabella Wallace, Age 8, Grade 3; Audubon Park Elementary School
- Grade Level 6-8 - Farrah Diogene, Age 12, Grade 7; Gotha Middle School
- Grade Level 9-12 - Emmanuel C. Pullen, Age 16, Grade 11; Lake Nona High School
"I was honored to be presented with this prestigious award by Mayor Jacobs," said 12-year-old Gotha Middle School student Farrah Diogene.
Milford and Eva Lankford received the “Grandparents of the Year” award. The Week of the Family Foundation, Inc. began in 2003 as a local nonprofit brought together by a group of mothers and grandmothers to encourage more family unity. “Eventually, the Week of the Family theme was adopted to involve families throughout Orange County and it’s now expanded to other counties throughout Florida and communities in several other states,” said Orange County Parks and Recreation Special Events Coordinator Todd Rowley.
Week of the Family continues until Nov. 14 and is focused on strengthening family relationships through education, wholesome activities and community service.
Citizens of Orange County can see the full list of events for the entire family at the Orange County Week of the Family website.
Photos from the celebration may be found on Flickr for use by the media.