Lift Orlando Named Floridian of the Year

A big congratulations to our friends at Lift Orlando named Florida Trend’s  Floridian of the Year.  Lift stands for learn, identify, focus, and transform.  Lift Orlando is a nonprofit organization strengthening the historic neighborhoods around Camping World Stadium. Listed among Lift’s key projects was the $9 Million Lake Lorna Doone Park, completed by Collage in 2021.

When the Polis Institute surveyed residents of West Lakes about their concerns in late 2013, the Lake Lorna Doone city park was near the top of their list. In 1955, the park (located just north of Camping World Stadium) hosted the South’s first racially integrated Little League baseball game, but 60 years later, it became a popular spot for homeless people and drug activity, causing many families to shy away. More than two dozen residents participated in the redesign process, and Lake Lorna Doone reopened last summer with $9 million in upgrades, including a splash pad, basketball courts and a miniature golf course inspired by the back nine at Bay Hill.

As part of the Collage mission to build projects that strengthen the foundation and fabric of our community we were inspired to contribute the placement of the newly-iconic fountain located at Lake Lorna Doone Park. The City of Orlando honored The Collage Companies with a dedication plaque located at the park. The installation of a focal-point fountain in the center of Lake Lorna Doone is a central part of the Lake Lorna Doone project.  “We hope this display will act as a beacon of new hope and new life throughout the historic West Lakes neighborhood. The fountain will forever be a symbol of the vibrant spirit of the people living in the Communities of West Lakes,” says Brian A. Walsh, Founder of The Collage Companies who served as General Contractor for the project.

During the 2018 Party with a Purpose event, The Collage Companies presented a check to LIFT Orlando  for the $50,000 needed for the fountain. During the same event Collage named Eddie Moratin, Executive Director of LIFT Orlando and Tangia Smikle (a second-generation resident of West Lakes who has become the voice around which others would rally – to see Lake Lorna Doone become a greater asset for neighborhood families) as Bring Change Award Winners.

In 2019, Collage honored Terry Prather, Chief Operating Officer of LIFT Orlando as a Bring Change Award Winner at the annual Party with a Purpose event for his partnership with residents to break the cycle of concentrated through neighborhood revitalization in the neighborhood surrounding Camping World Stadium.