The Mount Dora Community Trust, which has shared space with the Trust Department of First National Bank for 43 years, is moving soon. Ed Brooks, Senior Advisor to the Trust, remembers the day the original donor came into the First National Bank in order to create the Trust. Brooks retired from First National Bank of Mount Dora on June 30, also after 43 years. Although Ed Brooks has retired from his position as Executive Vice President and Trust Officer for First National Bank of Mount Dora, he will continue to serve as Senior Trust Advisor for the Mount Dora Community Trust. Funds of the trust will remain with the Trustee, First National Bank of Mount Dora. The Trust’s new offices, at 821 North Donnelly Street, are currently undergoing renovations.
The Mount Dora Community Trust was established in 1972, originally funded by an endowment from an anonymous donor from Mount Vernon, Ohio who had a home on Overlook Drive in Mount Dora. That donor came to the First National Bank, to replicate a community trust program from Ohio. With the assistance of a local attorney and the Trust Department of First National Bank, the bank matched the first several thousand dollars that were donated to begin the program and began to market the program within the community. Today, the balance of funds administered by the Mount Dora Community Trust is almost $14,000,000.
The Mount Dora Community Trust continues its mission to provide funding to community organizations, activities and programs that benefit the community. Grants from the Trust have provided funding-most often with matching funding from grant applicants-to such organizations as Alzheimer’s Helpers, Hospice of Lake & Sumter, Mount Dora Library, Lake Cares Food Pantry, Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra, various scholarship funds and the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber of Commerce is the recipient of one of the largest grants ever awarded by the Trust. Those funds, along with money from the Chamber of Commerce are being used to restore the historic train depot on Third and Alexander Street in downtown Mount Dora. That depot serves as the base of operations for the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as the being the City’s official visitors’ center.
“Through the incredible generosity of Mount Dora Community Trust, the Mount Dora Train Depot has received funding necessary to complete its recent improvements. With the elaborate restoration of the baggage room, this portion of the building is now an extraordinary banquet site. Weddings, parties, business meetings as well as regularly scheduled club and organization meetings can be held in this charming facility. The new baggage room can now accommodate this variety of venues that will be revenue generative for the chamber as it adds additional options to residents and visitors who are looking for the perfect place in the heart of Mount Dora…all possible by Mount Dora Community Trust,” says Rob English, President of the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce.
Since it began, Mount Dora Community Trust has awarded over $5,000,000 in grants to the community. The Distribution Committee of the Trust meets several times annually and is charged with distributing the Trust’s funds to applicants in a manner it feels will best serve the community. The committee is made up of five members. The five include representation from local civic groups, Mount Dora Ministerial Association, First National Bank Board of Directors, Mount Dora City Council and the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce. The Distribution Committee positions are volunteer. Brooks is looking forward to continuing the good works of Mount Dora Community Trust during his “retirement”.
Melissa DeMarco, Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)