LEESBURG – When King James and his royal court visited his prototypical shire in a Tavares forest last month, they were greeted by thousands of loyal subjects who helped raise a lot of money for the Education Foundation of Lake County, the sole support organization for Lake County Schools.
The Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire, held the first two weekends in November, is the Education Foundation’s largest fundraiser. This year’s event raised 30% more funds than the previous Faire held in 2019.
Attendance was up by 10% over the last festival despite the cancellation of Education Day, which is typically held the first Friday of the event. It is open to students and teachers who experience an immersive history lesson at the faire, which models a Renaissance-era village complete with non-stop entertainment, games, food, vendors and more.
“We took a gamble on this year’s event due to lingering uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the loss of critical resources, but it was one that paid off after having to cancel almost all of our key fundraisers since March 2020,” said Carman Cullen, Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Lake County. “Fundraisers contribute to approximately about a third of our annual foundation budget, and income from those canceled events was down almost 85% which severely impacted our coffers.”
Almost 200 volunteers, many of them Lake County Schools’ students and teachers, helped out at the Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire. In fact, local high school culinary departments prepare all of the food that is sold, and drama students make up the majority of the cast of characters who mingle with patrons and perform at the event.
“The pandemic presented new challenges to Lake County Schools and demands for different resources. Never once has the Education Foundation of Lake County said ‘no’ to a District request for funds or resources,” said Diane Kornegay, Superintendent of Lake County Schools. “The Foundation staff, Board and volunteers worked so hard to ensure a safe and enjoyable Renaissance Faire. We congratulate them for such a successful event that will ultimately impact our teachers and students.”
The Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire is scheduled to return on November 4, 5, 6, 12 and 13, 2022. For information about the Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire, visit https://LakeRenFaire.com.
About the Education Foundation of Lake County
Established in 1987, the Education Foundation of Lake County is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and designated direct support organization for Lake County Schools. Our mission is to serve as the connection between our community and public education, evaluating needs and securing resources to enhance the quality of education. The Education Foundation of Lake County operates for the benefit of students and teachers in Lake County Public Schools. Education Foundation of Lake County is ranked among the Top 50 Education Foundations in the United States by the Caruthers Institute. For more info, please visit EdFoundationLake.com.
Sherrie Owens is the communications director for Lake County Schools. She may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org