The Celebration Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that stimulates the development of local programs and services that address a variety of community needs by offering civic, cultural, educational, leadership, and community service opportunities. Through a variety of programs and initiatives, the foundation responds to critical human needs in the areas of Celebration and Osceola County. As part of the strategic plan, the board focuses on three areas: Education, Human Services, and the Arts.
The Celebration Foundation Scholarship program was established to demonstrate support for our high school graduates and to help further their education. Several $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually to graduating seniors who live in Celebration or attend Celebration High School. Having the scholarship tied to community service invites students to be sensitive to community involvement and volunteerism.
The Foundation served as the catalyst for identifying needs of children who are homeless or precariously housed in Osceola County. It formed Osceola Connected, a consortium of concerned faith-based organizations, businesses or civic groups to combat childhood hunger. Osceola Connected has organized meal packing events, launched Learning without Hunger, and collected sneakers, toiletry items and school supplies for children throughout the county. Learning without Hunger now provides weekend food to over 1,000 elementary children every week during the school year.
The Celebration Foundation Concert Series presents high quality music to Celebration and Osceola County residents. Because of the hours of planning and organizing on behalf of the committee and the generosity of sponsors, ticket prices are low to encourage attendance. The committee also offers free or discounted tickets to students. The Orlando Philharmonic, Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Brass Band of Central Florida play frequently along with nationally or internationally acclaimed performers. The Concert Series has featured jazz performers, Americana music, and vocal performers such as the Vienna Choir Boys and Notre Dame Glee Club. Grammy award winners also have appeared as part of the Concert Series and the committee is developing a Concert in the Parks series.
The Celebration Foundation sponsors campus tours of the Technical Education Center Osceola (TECO) and Valencia College for disadvantaged students to encourage post-secondary education. This program, called Campus Express, has been recognized as one of the top eight strategies for improving the college going rate for Osceola students. Campus Express Navigators, a program for 5th graders, focuses on career exploration. Over 4,000 Osceola students have participated in Campus Express tours.
The Celebration Foundation’s WINGS program was created to explore ways for women and girls to create strong, powerful and positive life journeys. Goal setting, leadership qualities, positive self-image and stereotype myths are some of the topics explored through Power Lunches and annual events.
In 2012, the Celebration Foundation convened a group of architects and urban planners to preserve, protect and advance the New Urbanism Principles which were part of the framework in developing Celebration. Classes are taught at Stetson Lifelong Learning and a Founder’s Day Speaker Series is sponsored every year.
The Celebration Foundation Thriving in Place program was conceived to enable Celebration residents to live in their own homes leading healthy, safe, independent and productive lives as they age or manage a disability. Based on the Village to Village movement, members enjoy a one call resource for access to volunteers and vetted service providers, social, cultural, wellness and educational activities, assistance from professional staff, and much more.