We express our heartfelt condolences for the families and loved ones who are suffering as a result of the tragic events from this weekend. When most people think of Orlando they think of Mickey Mouse, tourists, and time-shares. Orlando is so much more. And I’m not just talking about the Orlando Magic, the UCF Knights, Harry Potter, the fact that Orlando is home to the best pediatric hospitals and trauma centers in the United States, or even that Orlando was ranked the leading city for job growth in the nation last year.
No, what I’m referring to is how our beautiful city came together in a time of tragedy and continues to remain strong. I’m referring to six hundred people who waited 7 hours to donate blood. Our community members who have donated tens of thousands of items of food and water. Our neighbors who are offering their services and places of business to provide counseling and support. The first responders, medical personnel, police officers, non-profits, and other city and government officials who are helping those in need and trying to secure a safer future.