For immediate release - July 19, 2005
Leesburg Selected “Hometown of the Year”
The City of Leesburg has been selected as “2004 Hometown of the Year” by Florida’s Hometown USA Program. Miss Leesburg, Jennifer Wooten, presented the plaque to Leesburg Mayor David Knowles at the October 25th City commission meeting (pictured). This year’s representatives for the program include Jennifer Wooten of Leesburg; Hannah Hawkinberry of Jacksonville; Adriana Milbrath of Orlando, Gabby Reyes of Miami and Garcia Anderson of Windermere.
Florida's Hometown USA was organized in 1986 as an educational endeavor to instill in the youth of Florida the importance of volunteer service. Students are selected each year to participate in this program. They are from different cities in the state. They are active in volunteer programs in their hometown and also throughout the state. The focus on the volunteer work is with children and the elderly.
The students visit, entertain, and take gifts to Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital in Orlando, Shriner Children's Hospital in Tampa, All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay and Orlando, and the Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville. A special project each year at Christmas is collecting gifts for the Santa program at the hospitals. A program started at local hospitals has been well received - visiting patients and passing out gifts in the Pediatric Ward on all holidays.
Since 1986, we have had hundreds of students who have given many hours of volunteer service to our state. These young people have shown the commitment of values such as kindness, helpfulness, personal responsibility and respect for others – qualities that we believe are essential to leading productive lives in our society.
Fruitland Park resident Linda Watts is the Director (and founder) for the Hometown USA program. Florida's Hometown U.S.A. Program is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization. The program is featured at the Florida Home Town USA website