Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
9:36 am EDT
Monday, September 21, 2020

Lake Care Food Pantry launches sequel diamond necklace fundraiser

Lake Cares Food Pantry in Mount Dora is hosting a sequel diamond necklace fundraiser–touted as the Diamond Endowment Raffle–after having great success with its first raffle last month of a $21,000 necklace in celebration of the food pantry’s 10th anniversary.
The prize this time is “Maribella,” a white gold necklace with a larger pear-shaped pendant bedazzled with 28 carats of blue topaz, teal, blue and white diamonds. It was custom designed and crafted by Gold in Art Jewelers of Mount Dora and is listed with a minimum value of $21,500.
The Maribella raffle drawing will take place April 2, 2020. The second-place prize will be $5,000; third prize is $2,500.
In the preceding months, each of the dozen “Women of Maribella” for a month will don the necklace, then later gather to share her experiences with the group and hand off the necklace to the next wearer.
Hailing from Mount Dora, Eustis, Leesburg, Tavares, and Orlando, the “Women of Maribella” are: Holly Stratton Farley, Tina Morin, Erika Green, Kelsey Gonzalez, Edna Gonzalez, Theresa Elliott, Christina Williams Stewart, Donna Marini, Jodie McEwen, Linda and Jeanette Bokland, Cathy Hoechst, and Clara Schneider.
The women also serve as emissaries educating the public about Lake Cares and about the region’s growing food insecurity crisis that feeds the pantry’s fiscal need.
One in six Central Floridians battle hunger and “food insecurity.”  The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines that as the “lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.”
And hunger doesn’t discriminate. Lake Cares struggles to keep pace with the swelling number of seniors, middle-class families, and increasingly immigrants from ravaged areas such as Puerto Rico and Venezuela, who need what Lake Cares provides to make it each month.
In 2018, Lake Cares served 48,904 individuals, 11,650 families, and distributed more than 733,000 pounds of food. Those figures eclipsed the pantry’s 2017 totals of 36,201 individuals, 10,695 families, and 600,000 pounds of food distributed.
Lake Cares’ main distribution hub and offices are located in Mount Dora. It operates four satellite locations: Martin Luther King Center in Mount Dora; Bates Neighborhood Resource Center in Eustis; Faith Christian Fellowship; and the Paisley Community Center.
The Diamond Endowment Raffle emulates the life-changing saga of 13 women who took turns sporting a necklace named “Jewelia” after cooking legend Julia Child famously chronicled in the 2008 Cheryl Jarvis book, “The Necklace.”
Tickets are $50 and only 1,000 will be sold. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 352-383-0100.


 Lake Cares Food Pantry, an independent community food pantry and not for profit 501 (c) (3) organization, honors its mission to feed the body, educate the mind, and lift the spirits of all individuals by providing food and other necessities directly to needy Lake County residents.