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Everything award-winning Realtor Robin Skaggs does is focused through an optimistic lens. It’s something she learned in her youth and has guided her to where she is today.

“From an early age as a Brownie and Girl Scout I always participated in volunteering projects, says Robin, one of 12 women participating in the Diamond Endowment project for Lake Cares Food Pantry. “Service is in my DNA.”

Living an impactful life is in lockstep with the mission of Lake Cares Food Pantry.

“It is how I love others and how I prefer to be loved. In 2016 my office, Watson Realty Corp. in Mount Dora, received the Growth and Service Award for outstanding leadership, support, and contribution. It was the first of its kind, largely because of how involved my agents and I are in our community. My motto is ‘to leave a positive footprint wherever I go,’ so that’s my goal always. I cannot sit back knowing I can make a difference and do nothing.”

Since Lake Cares Food Pantry opened in the spring of 2009, the agency’s footprint has expanded to serve a fast-growing region. In 2017, Lake Cares served 36,201 individuals, 10,695 families, and distributed more than 600,000 pounds of food. To keep up with that pace fundraising, gathering donations, and recruiting volunteers are paramount.

The Lake Cares Diamond Endowment project was something Robin jumped at the chance to do. “Lake Cares Executive Director Irene O’Malley presented it to my husband Steve first. As publisher of both the Daily Commercial and the South Lake Press, regional newspapers with a pulse on community needs, he knew I would want to be a part of this. Before we moved to Florida, I served at a North Carolina food pantry, so I was already knowledgeable about the critical impact an organization such as Lake Cares can have.”

Robin is one of 12 women participating in the fundraiser that inspired by the 2008 best-selling book “The Necklace,” which chronicled how a jewelry-sharing journey changed the lives of 13 women. Each woman wears the necklace, dubbed “Bella Diamante,” for one month raising funds and awareness throughout Lake County. The pantry is selling 1,000 raffle ticket at $50 per ticket. In the spring of 2019 at the10th Anniversary Gala at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora, the winner will take home the show-stopping necklace appraised at more than $20,000. Second prize is $5,000, and third prize is $2,500.
 
Setting aside the glamorous aspect of the Diamond Endowment project, Robin knows that without Lake Cares people will go hungry: “I truly am honored to spend time with ladies that want to make a difference. Who cannot get behind or support feeding children, the elderly, and families?  Lake Cares changes lives, and we get to be a small part of that. This project has given me the opportunity to bring awareness to Lake Cares, and it has reminded me why I love it so much.  It has also helped me step outside of my comfort zone and start a conversation with random people. I hope each of my fellow participants gets as much out of this experience as I did.  My heart is full in that I was lucky enough to be chosen to share this message.”