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The word commitment is something Janet Gamache has never taken lightly. From volunteering in her youth to her work today with Visit Mount Dora, finding those special things in a community in need of assistance or that need to be highlighted is her forte.

Janet is one of 12 women participating in the fundraiser that was inspired by the 2008 best-selling book “The Necklace,” which chronicled how a jewelry-sharing journey changed the lives of 13 women.

“At first I had hesitations about being the center of public attention wearing such a lavish piece,” said Janet.

“I didn't want to make the statement – ‘Look at me. Look at what I'm doing’ – but then after real heartfelt discussion with people about the mission behind the necklace, I understood better how the necklace would raise awareness about Lake Cares Food Pantry and bring in a lot of money through raffle and gala tickets. Both are vitally important to keeping food and other essential living supplies available to needy families and their pets.”

Service to others was instilled in Janet at a young age. “I started volunteering as a Candy Striper at a local hospital in junior high school and the happy feeling you get when you help others never gets old. It can be tough finding time in our hectic lives to volunteer but it's an enriching experience every time. Volunteers are there because they want to be there, and no matter what agency or institution it involves, the commitment creates a warm environment and a sense of camaraderie.”

Through her participation in the project, Janet was able to share with others how important Lake Cares Food Pantry is an extremely important organization that helps citizens in the region. “They don't just help the poor, they help people going through rough emotional and financial transitions.”

“The Diamond Endowment experience was a blur, says Janet. “The year has absolutely flown by. I got to meet some great ladies in our community and made some lifelong friends.”

Janet had the privilege of passing Bella off to the raffle winner Caroly Lynn of the Villages, “I hope she will not only enjoy the beauty of the necklace forever but also remember what the necklace represents and how it came to be.”