Winter Garden Heritage Foundation Inc.
21 East Plant Street
Winter Garden FL 34787-3146
Contact Information
Address 21 East Plant Street
Winter Garden, FL 34787 3146
Phone (407) 656-3244
Fax (407) 656-0110
Web and Social Media
Instagram
Mission
Mission The mission of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation is to preserve our heritage and architecture while creating new cultural experiences.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Cynthia Cardona
Board Chair Ms Cara Hennen
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History
IRS Ruling Year 1994
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph
 
 
Projected Revenue 366292
Projected Expenses 357459
Statements
Mission The mission of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation is to preserve our heritage and architecture while creating new cultural experiences.
Impact

Since 1994, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has been an integral part of the preservation and revitalization of historic downtown Winter Garden, fostering an understanding of the social, cultural, economic, and environmental transformations that have shaped the area. The organization was formed when plans arose to demolish the historic 1927 Edgewater Hotel. After an investor stepped forward to restore the important historic structure, the Foundation began making steps to save other endangered buildings in the downtown center, becoming the moving force behind the restoration of the historic district and a strong voice promoting historic authenticity. In 2008, after a $3.5 million restoration project, we reopened the historic 1935 Garden Theatre, now a performing arts center bringing over 50,000 people to downtown annually. We have also lovingly restored the city’s two historic railroad depots, both serving as small museums. In January 2015, we opened the History Research and Education Center, providing a local history archive, a Visitors’ Center, and a meeting hall for educational and cultural programming. This meeting space, Heller Hall, is quickly becoming a popular event venue in downtown Winter Garden, bringing new audiences to the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation and historic downtown Winter Garden. The programs and activities impact not only downtown Winter Garden, but the surrounding neighborhood areas as well. Partly because of our work, the city is known today for its charming historic brick buildings that are currently 98.6% occupied by restaurants, retail shops, and small businesses. Once almost deserted, the downtown streets are now teeming with people. In the last five years, investment in the downtown area has averaged over $1 million a year. Currently, the property value of the Historic District is up from just over $20 million in 1995 to $77 million in 2017. Winter Garden is gaining recognition as a cultural tourism destination as evidenced by recent coverage received by lifestyle website, Thrillist. In April 2016, the website named Winter Garden as one of the nation’s coolest suburbs among the best suburbs in the country’s 35 biggest metro areas. In 2016, we served 97,577 people (roughly 30.4% from outside Orange County and 30% from minority populations) during 124 events. In 2018, we estimate that we will serve 111,125 people at 128 different events. According to the Americans for the Arts economic impact calculator, our proposal programs in 2018/2019 will have an economic impact of $2,500,000.

 

Independent Research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or program effectiveness? No
Needs
1) Educational Programs:

Through our Educational programming, we reach adults and children of all abilities, races, cultures, and socioeconomic levels. Title I schools have access to our programs at no charge and we use a variety of program venues all over West Orange County to encourage participation from culturally diverse, underserved, and special needs populations.

Cost annually: $20,000 

 

2) Operational and Facilities Management: $100,000 annually
3) Staff Benefits/Human Resource Needs: $10,000 annually
5) Conservation and care of collection: $50,000 annually
 
Background

 

WGHF originated in 1991 when a group of citizens met with city officials and became a Florida Main Street city to provide economic development assistance in historic downtown Winter Garden. The organization evolved into the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation when plans arose to demolish the Edgewater Hotel. In rallying to save the 1927 building—and other endangered historic sites in Winter Garden—the organization saw the need to become a 501(c)(3) to fund historic preservation projects. WGHF worked with the city to inventory historic buildings leading to the registry of two historic districts on the Department of the Interior on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. In 2004, WGHF began the $3.5 million, 5-year restoration of the historic Garden Theatre. The theater now operates as a separate and thriving non-profit organization, hosting a wide variety of performances.

 

Today WGHF reaches over 88,000 visitors annually, with two museums in Historic Downtown Winter Garden; a public research library with extensive collections of photographs, oral histories, memorabilia and historic documents from Winter Garden and neighboring towns; educational programs for all ages; exhibitions, publications, tours and annual events, including Music Fest—a three-day music festival in downtown Winter Garden. WGHF is sustained by over 225 enthusiastic volunteers who serve in a variety of ways: on the board of directors, as museum docents, collection archivists, and marketing and event support. WGHF also regularly partners with the City of Winter Garden and the Orange County Library System Winter Garden Branch, as well as local non-profit organizations and artists to sponsor exhibitions and events that explore aspects of local history and preserve the beautiful, natural and architectural landscape of West Orange County.

 

In January 2015 WGHF completed construction of the History Research and Education Center just east of and adjacent to the Heritage Museum at 21 East Plant Street. The beautiful structure complements the historic nature of downtown and provides a climate-controlled, fire-safe environment suitable for properly storing, exhibiting, and maintaining our extensive collection of objects, documents, photographs and books of historic significance. The new building also provides an exhibition area, meeting space, and a Visitors Information Center alongside the West Orange Trail.
CEO Statement

 Research strongly indicates that residents who know about their community’s history are more likely to be involved and take pride in the community in which they live, leading to an improved quality of life and preservation of the community’s unique character. This research is the basis for the programming of WGHF.

 
I am proud to be part of this organization, which is fueled by a love of Winter Garden and its heritage. With the assistance of an army of volunteers and a small part-time staff, I work to engage residents and visitors in a multitude of creative and interactive programs that foster a passion for West Orange County.  

 

In addition to our regular programming, we have recently fulfilled a long-time dream! Since our inception in 1994, we have amassed, curated, cataloged, and housed a local historic collection in three different temporary locations. Until December 2014, the collection and our administrative offices were in a 1680 square-foot metal warehouse.The building, once a storage facility, did not provide the appropriate environment for the proper care of the collection, nor adequate space to accomplish our work.

 

 
In December 2011, we took the first step towards correcting the situation. We purchased a piece of property adjacent to and just east of our Heritage Museum. On this property, we constructed a facility that provides a climate-controlled, fire-safe environment to properly store, exhibit, and maintain our extensive historic collection, and provides administrative offices, classroom space for visiting school field trips and rotating exhibits, and a visitors information center.

 

The new building, designed to resemble an old Florida railroad depot, includes details such as a steeply pitched roof, bracketed overhangs, cargo doors, large double-hung windows, and recessed entries. The capital campaign for the new building included $1,100,000 for its construction, plus $275,000 for a reserve fund, the interest of which will care for the maintenance of the structure and our beloved caboose, fire truck, and tractor collection.

 

In 2013 and 2014, we were awarded top score and $250,000 (for a total of $500,000) on Cultural Facilities grant applications from Orange County’s Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs. In addition we raised $853,000 in cash and multi-year pledges, bringing us close to the end of the campaign.
We are very excited to be operating in the new building. It is major step forward, allowing us to better serve the community, enhance our programming, increase our visibility, provide additional revenue sources, and enable us to properly maintain our historic items for the enjoyment of future generations.

 

Board Chair Statement

 

“You could shoot a shot-gun down the middle of Plant Street

and not hit a soul.

The place was totally abandoned and lifeless.”

 

This description of downtown Winter Garden during the 1980s and 90s is incomprehensible when compared to the vibrant downtown of today. On any given day or night, stroll along Plant Street and you’ll see diners lingering at outdoor tables, musical ensembles performing at the outdoor gazebo, bikers, joggers and pedestrians traveling the West Orange Trail, patrons gathering in front of the Garden Theatre for a show, and children playing around the fountain while parents gather to talk nearby. It’s a testament to what a community can do when it pulls together.

 

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has been the moving force behind the last 20 years of restoration and revitalization of the city’s downtown. Our last huge venture was the construction of the new History Research and Education Center, a long dreamed-of building with three important purposes:

 

1.     Education Center - A multi-purpose space for rotating exhibitions, community meetings, and visiting field trip groups.

 

2.     Visitors Information Center - Winter Garden is positioned to become a major cultural, heritage, outdoor and eco tourist destination! Already, about one million people annually come from all over the state, the nation, and the world to use the popular West Orange Trail that runs through the center of the historic downtown. In addition, the Green Mountain Scenic Byway, which also runs through downtown, is drawing cyclists from around the world to tour and train on the route that includes rolling hills and sweeping vistas. Within the next two years, the Lake Apopka Loop, the 47-mile bicycle, pedestrian, and equestrian trail encircling the lake, should be nearly complete and is expected to bring huge numbers of tourists to the area. Historic downtown Winter Garden, located on the crossroads of Florida’s Turnpike and SR 429, is the natural entrance to the destination. Currently, visitors use our Heritage Museum volunteer docents as an informal information source to learn about area resources and opportunities. With the construction of a Visitor’s Information Center at the city’s downtown entrance, WGHF will be providing a much needed service and positioning itself as the first stop for visitors.

 

3.     West Orange County History Research Center - Since 1994, WGHF has been the only West Orange organization collecting historic research materials for Winter Garden and the eight small towns and unincorporated areas on the county’s west side. The significant collection has already been moved three times. WGHF has longed to find a permanent, climate-controlled, and fire-safe location for maintaining this large collection of objects, documents, photographs and books of local historic significance. The new building not only provides storage space for these important items but also will be a research center for scholars, historians, authors, genealogists, city planners, reporters, students and the general public exploring the history of the communities of Winter Garden, Ocoee, Windermere, Oakland, Gotha, Tildenville, Avalon, Killarney, and Dr. Phillips.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
Since 1994, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has housed its historic collection in three different temporary locations.  Until December 2014, the collection and WGHF's administrative officers were in a 1680-square foot metal warehouse behind the Central Florida Railroad Museum.  The building, once a storage facility, did not provide the appropriate environment for the proper care of the collection, nor adequate space for office staff. 
 
In December 2011, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation took the first step towards fulfilling the long-term dream of a permanent home for the collection and administrative offices.  We purchased a piece of property adjacent to and just east of the Heritage Museum on Plant Street.  On this property, we constructed a facility that not only houses our extensive collection and offices, but also provide classroom space for visiting school field trips and a Visitors' Center alongside the West Orange Trail.
 
A successful Capital Campaign for this exciting and much needed expansion raised $1,353,000.  $1.1 million went towards construction costs; the remaining funds have been set aside for a maintenance reserve. 
 
We are very excited about this major step for the future of the organization, allowing us to better serve the community and provide proper maintenance of historic items for the enjoyment of future generations.
NTEE Information
Primary Organization Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Primary Organization SubType Historical Societies & Historic Preservation
Secondary Organization Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Organiztion SubType History Museums
Tertiary Organization Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Tertiary Organization SubType Cultural & Ethnic Awareness
Areas Served
Geographic Areas Served
FL - Orange
FL - Lake
FL - Osceola
FL - Seminole
International
National
The Heritage Foundation's two museums and History Research Center are all located in the heart of downtown historic Winter Garden, located in West Orange County, Florida. Although geographically bound to West Orange County, WGHF reaches visitors and audiences across the globe. 42% of museum visitors are from outside of Orange County; 11% of those from out of country and 32% from out of state.
Goals
HelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.

 

The goals of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation are:

1. Educational Outreach: We operate under the belief that when residents are aware of their community’s heritage, they are more likely to value the qualities that make the area unique and be more involved in community life.

2. Preservation: WGHF identifies, acquires, preserves and makes available historic materials that narrate the history of Winter Garden and seven neighboring communities in west Orange County (population: approx. 500,000).

3. Cultural and Economic Vitality: WGHF positively influences the economy and cultural vitality of Winter Garden by:

   -providing volunteer opportunities that enhance social involvement and represent all ages, abilities, races, cultures and socioeconomic levels;

   - encouraging neighborhood renewal through preservation and restoration of  significant structures;

   - offering programs that promote tourist development and community engagement; and

   - promoting local businesses and other local arts and cultural organizations.   

 

Strategies
HelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

 

 

Strategies for achieving our Education goals include:

1. The operation of the Winter Garden Heritage Museum in the 1918 ACL Railroad depot, narrating the city’s history (open 350 days/year, 1-5 pm);

2.  The operation of the Central Florida Railroad Museum in the 1913 Tavares and Gulf Railroad depot, highlighting local, state, and national railroading (open 350 days/year, 1-5 pm);

3. School education programs that serve over 3,300 students annually and teach local history in accordance with Sunshine State and Core Curriculum grade level guidelines,

4. A variety of programs designed to appeal to all ages, using all of the city’s Historic District as our museum.

 

Strategies for achieving our Preservation goals include:

1. The operation of the History Research Center, providing local research materials to the general public, genealogists, journalists, scholars, historians, businesses, other museums, local authors, journalists, students, and city planners.

2. The continued acquisition, maintenance, and cataloging of historic photographs, documents, and items related to the area’s history.

 
3. Training of staff and volunteers on museum best practices. 

 

Strategies for achieving our Cultural and Economic Vitality goals include:

1. Promoting tourist development through the operation of the Visitor Center in the History Research and Education Center, providing the area’s only information source about nearby amenities, events, businesses, cultural venues, and local history to the nearly one million annual users of the West Orange Trail;

2. Providing volunteer opportunities that enhance social involvement and represent all ages, abilities, races, cultures, and socioeconomic levels.

 
3. Encouraging neighborhood renewal through preservation and restoration of significant structures.
 
4. Working collaborativelly with businesses, local government, and other local cultural organizations.
 
5. maintaining and displaying the fire truck, tractors, and caboose to provide opportunities for exploration and interpretive play within the Historic District.
 
6. Promoting and hosting a variety of cultural events that enhance economic vitality, community pride and interaction between ethnicities.

 

 

Capabilities
HelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?

Since inception in 1994, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has been the moving force behind much of the recent restoration and revitalization of the city’s historic downtown by fulfilling our mission “to preserve our heritage and architecture, while creating new cultural experiences” through:

·      the operation of museums in both of Winter Garden’s historic railroad depots,

·      the restoration and reopening of the Garden Theatre,

·      the identification, acquisition and preservation of materials that document the history of eight west-side cities, communities, and towns (a total population of approximately 500,000),

·      the operation of a history research library,

·      the protection of important historic structures, documents, and artifacts, and

·      publications, education programming, exhibitions, and cultural festivals benefiting residents, visitors, and future generation

We served over 88,000 people in 2014, playing an important part in the economic vitality of the area. We operate through the efforts of 225 committed volunteers (providing 7.073 hours of service in FY 2014), one full-time and six part-time staff members, two unpaid college interns, 28 board members, and collaborations with the cities of Winter Garden, Ocoee, Oakland, and Windermere, and with 14 local non-profit and citizen advocacy organizations.

We enjoy tremendous support from the community and a track record of financial stability. In addition to raising over $1,300,000 over two years in our capital campaign, we also raised approximately $200,000/year in operating support through contributions, memberships, grants, fees, and fundraising events.


Indicators
HelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact?

Attendance statistics are collected and evaluated for all WGHF programming. Visitation is recorded at City Hall, Oakland Town Hall, and Winter Garden Library exhibitions, at both museums, the History Research Center, at all events and education programs, on our website, and on social media sites. A visitor survey is used to evaluate visitors' museum experience and includes visitors' demographic and zip code information. We often receive feedback from Facebook "Pic of the Week" entries, as well as additional information about the posted historic photo. Teachers complete evaluation forms critiquing our educational program experiences. Google Analytics is used to monitor growth in soical networking.

 
Statistics gathered through these various methods are reviewed by the Director and staff throughout the year and at monthly Board meetings - and are compared to previous years' attendance and program costs - to determine trends and value. From past evaluations we have learned that hosting exhibitions at a variety of venues throughout our area (such as the local library and City Hall) greatly expands our audience reach, especially to different segments of the local population.
 
In addition to evaluating programs through visitor evaluations and statistics, we have also participated in industry reviews. We completed a Museums Assessment Program (MAP) review in 2009 and a Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) review in 2011. Feedback from these peer evaluations has been used to formulate strategic planning. The CAP study provided the impetus to begin a capital campaign to construct a long-term and permanent solution to a dire archival storage situation. Before initiating the successful campaign in 2012, we contracted with a private consulting firm to conduct a Feasibility Study to determine the knowledge of the WGHF brand locally and the potential for private philanthropic support for the construction project. (The study can be found under the "Other Documents" menu tab.) 
Progress
HelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?

Three years ago, we began a capital campaign in order to achieve our long-term goal of constructing the History Research and Education Center. Construction for the new facility was completed in December 2014 and opened on January 2015.  The building now provides a welcoming gateway to the approximately one million West Orange Trail users that travel through historic downtown Winter Garden. Inside and outside of the new building and the adjacent Heritage Museum we have included activities that :

·      promote fun, playfulness, improvisation, curiosity, and discovery both for visitors and residents;

·      build emotional connections, attracting passionate people and providing interpersonal connections;

·      enhance artistic, cultural, and aesthetic elements within the Historic District;

·     concentrate on smaller, intimate pleasures that provide comfort and a sense of friendliness; and

·     provide the space requirements needed to enhance programming.

The ability to properly sustain this new building will be our next challenge. Before beginning construction, we contracted without an outside consultant to assess and refine our current programs, fundraising endeavors, and membership structure. The refinement included an annual membership campaign, a restructuring of giving levels and corporate sponsorships, growth in fundraising events, support from the city, fee revenue from research, tours, and facility rental, expansion of retail merchandise, active pursuit of operational grants, enhanced marketing, and the continued strong support of the west-end community. Since opening the building, we have seen growth in the number of volunteers, merchandise sales, and in revenue generated from the leasing of Heller Hall, the multi-use space in the new building.

 
 
 
 
Programs
Description

 

WGHF operates the only two museums in our area, both housed in historic railroad depots located on the National Register Historic Downtown District of Winter Garden, and within walking distance from one another. The Winter Garden Heritage Museum on Plant Street features exhibitions on Winter Garden’s glorious past.  The Central Florida Railroad Museum on South Boyd Street contains an expansive collection of local, state and national railroad material. The museum has several activities for children and is a must-see for railroad and train enthusiasts. Both are open 350 days a year from 1 pm to 5 pm at no charge.

 

Population Served Adults
Families
K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

The goal for the museums is to be even more visitor-friendly, and to educate visitors and residents about the rich heritage of the area by transporting visitors to a different time and place through the experience of stories, photographs and artifacts.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Research indicates that children and adults who know the history of the community in which they live become more involved in their community and make better citizens. To that end, the long-term goal of WGHF is to foster an appreciation for the area's heritage and build a strong community for the next generation.

 

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Success is measured through direct feedback, satisfaction and awareness indicators on audience surveys, an incremental increase in attendance, and achieving fundraising and sponsorship goals.

Description

 

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation houses an archive at the History Research and Education Center which contains an extensive and growing collection of photographs, artifacts, and archival material from Winter Garden and the neighboring communities of Ocoee, Oakland, Windermere, Avalon, Gotha, Dr. Phillips, Tildenville and Killarney. The public is able to conduct research of material in our archive. The collection is also used as a teaching tool in a wide range of programs, exhibitions, and publications.  The History Research and Education Center also operates a Visitor Center which allows the Foundation to promote West Orange County businesses and cultural venues, enhancing the economic vitality of the area.  The Visitor Center serves as the area's only one-stop source for information on nearby amenities, attractions, events, cultural venues, and local history.

 
 
 
 

 

 

Population Served Adults
K-12 (5-19 years)
Families
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

 

The goal of the History Research Center is to serve the community by carefully preserving historic documentation according to museum standards, and to make the archives accessible for exhibitions, historic and civic publications, genealogy research, college and university studies, and archeological surveys.

 

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Research indicates that children and adults who know the history and heritage of the community in which they live become more involved in their community and make better citizens. To that end, the long-term goal of WGHF is to foster an appreciation for the area's heritage and build a strong community for the next generation.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Success is measured through direct feedback, satisfaction and awareness indicators on audience surveys, an incremental increase in attendance, and achieving fundraising and sponsorship goals.

Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

WGHF serves approximately 300 individuals and/or organizations annually. Articles and photographs from the archives have been a major resource for recent research papers and books.

Description

 

Throughout the year, WGHF offers school educational tours and walking tours for all ages, utilizing all of Winter Garden’s Historic Downtown District as its museum. School programs meet Florida Sunshine and Common Core State Standards, and are offered at the museums as well as at participating schools.

 

Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Adults
Families
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

The goal of the education programs is to foster an appreciation for the area's heritage by connecting national and international events in American history to tangible locations, structures, artifacts and local stories. 

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Research indicates that children and adults who know the history and heritage of the community in which they live become more involved in their community and make better citizens. To that end, the long-term goal of WGHF is to foster an appreciation for the area's heritage and build strong community for the next generation.

 

 

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Success is measured through direct feedback, teacher evaluations, satisfaction and awareness indicators on audience surveys, an incremental increase in attendance, and achieving fundraising and sponsorship goals.

Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
In 2013, WGHF served 3000 students and approximately 400 adults. Some of the teacher comments we have received:  
"This is a fabulous program! It creates a connection from students’ present life to the past and directly relates to the Sunshine State Standards covering Native Americans and Florida History."  - C. Leonard, Dillard Street Elementary;  

"The field trip activities review all of the information over and over again. Fun way to get the information planted in their minds." - Rosanne Monroe, Palm Lake Elementary;  

"This is the best field trip I’ve been on! We’ll be back!" - Carol Roffman, Windermere Elementary

 

 

 

Description

WGHF hosts several special events throughout the year to celebrate local heritage and honor key “history makers.” Since 2002, Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has presented exhibitions that use the visual arts to illuminate the history and heritage of Winter Garden and surrounding communities, in partnership with organizations including the City of Winter Garden, Crealdé School of Art, Friends of Lake Apopka, Oakland Nature Preserve, and Lakeview Middle School. We provide twice annual exhibits in Winter Garden's City Hall and the Orange County Library System Winter Garden Branch.

Population Served Adults
Families
K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. As with other WGHF programs, the short-term goal is to create an awareness of the area’s rich heritage and to build a strong sense of community. 
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Research indicates that children and adults who know the history of the community in which they live become more involved in their community and make better citizens. To that end, the long-term goal of WGHF is to foster an appreciation for the area's heritage and build a strong community for the next generation.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Success is measured through direct feedback, satisfaction and awareness indicators on audience surveys, an incremental increase in attendance, and achieving fundraising and sponsorship goals.

 

Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

In 2012, WGHF served approximately 45,000 people through its exhibitions and special events, not including Music Fest.

Comments
CEO Comments

At the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, we strongly believe that residents who know about their local heritage are more involved and better citizens. We are proud of the fact that we offer a variety of programs that create citizenship and enhance the quality of life in our community. We are constantly updating our historic collection and use every means possible to promote history and culture to both residents and visitors. In 2014 we provided exhibitions, tours, speaking engagements, storytelling, musical festivals, a citrus collection event, field trips, in-class presentations, parades and scavenger hunts – all in an effort to create community and excite residents and visitors about our rich heritage.

We are especially excited about programs that use all of downtown as part of our museum. The Winter Garden History Hunt is a family-friendly activity combining local history with good old-fashioned fun. Within the treasure hunt are 12 treasure boxes in historic downtown Winter Garden. Each box contains history information about the location, an inked stamp and a log book. When treasure hunters have found all 12 “treasures” and recorded information unique to each location, they redeem their completed “treasure maps” for a prize. The hunt can be done using written clues or as a geocache, using GPS coordinates.   

Another project using all of the business district is an audio walking tour. The tour can be downloaded to MP3 players and smart-phones and includes 13 stops within the historic district and near Lake Apopka. The tour enables visitors to see what our historic buildings looked like in decades past.

We also continue to work on a series of historic plaques mounted on historic sites within our National Historic Register District. Each plaque outlines the historical and architecture importance of the structure.
 
The committed staff and volunteers of WGHF continue to find new and innovative ways in which to engage and inspire people about the wonderful community of Winter Garden and the surrounding area. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms Cara Hennen
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Jan 2016 to Sept 2017
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair Ms Gee Gee Bailey
Company Affiliation Bright Future Electric, LLC
Term Start Jan 2016 Sept 2017
Board
Board Members
NameCompany AffiliationsStatusCertificate*
Ms. GeeGee Bailey Bright Future ElectricVotingNo
Mr. Harold L. Bouler RetiredVotingNo
Mr. Ward Britt RetiredVoting
Mr. Larry Cappleman Hillcrest InsuranceVotingNo
Ms. Kay Cappleman RetiredVotingNo
Mr. Frank Chase F. W. Chase Enterprises, LLCVotingNo
Mr. Phil Cross Woodard & Curran Inc.Voting
Mrs. Andrea Davis RetiredVoting
Ms. Lori Gibson Attic Door Coffee & Wine BarVoting
Mr. Dennis Gillard Gillard Financial Solutions, LLCVotingNo
Mr. Mark W. Griffith InsuranceVoting
Ms Cara Hennen Community VolunteerVotingNo
Mr. Christopher M. Lee 1st Choice Door & Millwork, Inc.VotingNo
Mr. Joseph Lehmann JrRealtorVotingNo
Mr. Irv Lipscomb retiredVoting
Ms. Annie King Morris retiredExofficio
Mr. John Murphy Darden RestaurantsVoting
Ms Erin Rauch Community Volunteer
Dr. James Barton Rodier Orlando Health Central HospitalVotingNo
Mr. Ronald W. Sikes Sikes and Van der Reit, LLCVoting
Mr. Henry Wright Mercedes Benz of South Orlando
Ms Mimi O. Wright Invitation Homes
*This individual has been awarded a Certificate in Orientation to Board Service by the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College ebi.rollins.edu,
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 2
Board Ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 18
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Policies
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Standing Committees
Committee Name
Executive
Program / Program Planning
Finance
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Building
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Cynthia Cardona
Term Start Mar 2016
Email ccardona@wghf.org
Experience


CEO Salary Range $50,001 - $75,000
Former CEOs
Former CEOs
NameStartEnd
Kay Cappleman Mar 2010Mar 2016
Mr. Benjamin Salata Mar 2009Feb 2010
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 6
Number of Volunteers 225
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 0%
Plans
Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Aug 2015
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Other
Collaborations

 The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation collaborates with organizations within Central Florida in order to expand our impact in the community.   In partnership with Visit Florida, our Visitors’ Center is now a Visit Florida Certified Travel Information Center. This mutually beneficial partnership allows us to continue to actively promote West Orange County businesses in out of area Visit Florida locations, enhancing the economic vitality of the area, all while promoting the programs of the Foundation. The City of Winter Garden highlights our events in their full-color, free, quarterly brochure, City of Winter Garden News, which is mailed to over 15,000 city residents.  As the area’s Visitor Center, we continue to work closely with the City and area merchants on a collaborative marketing venture and publication, called the Winter Garden Experience, to increase the number of out-of-town visitors. As a member of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, we benefit from the Chamber’s marketing and outreach efforts including features on their website and social media outlets, networking events, and state-wide advocacy promoting the region’s arts organizations. A sampling of other organizations we collaborate with include:

Crealde School of Art
Orange County Library System
Orange County Public Schools
University of Central Florida
Town of Oakland 
 

















Affiliations
AffiliationYear
American Association for State and Local History2010
American Association of Museums - Member2010
National Railway Historical Society (NRHS)2010
Rollins College Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Center2010
Florida Association of Museums2015
External Assessments and Accreditations
External Assessment or Accreditation Year
American Association of Museums2009
National Register of Historic Places - Listed Property1997
National Main Street Center (National Trust for Historic Preservation) - Accreditation1991
National Register of Historic Places - Listed Property1994
Awards
AwardAwarding OrganizationYear
Museums Assessment ProgramAmerican Association of Museums2008
Conservation Assessment ProgramInstitute for Museum and Library Services2011
Award for the Restoration/Rehabilitation of the Garden TheatreFlorida Trust for Preservation2011
Risk Management Provisions
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
CEO Comments


   


  
State Registration Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Month May
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Year 2018
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Oct 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Sept 30, 2017
Documents
Form 990s
YearDocument
2016FY 2016 990
2015990
2014990
2013990
2012990
2012990 signature page
2011990 pt 2
2011990 pt 1
2010990
2009990
2008990
2007990
2006990
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Form
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$0$0$0
Government Contributions$47,081$37,777$35,000
Federal$0$0$0
State$0$0$0
Local$0$0$0
Unspecified$47,081$37,777$35,000
Individual Contributions$142,159$178,361$898,507
$0$0$0
$20,536$8,423$5,353
Investment Income, Net of Losses$0$0$0
Membership Dues$13,994$13,545$16,010
Special Events$10,577$30,416$24,925
Revenue In-Kind$53,400$69,057$54,553
Other$0$0$0
Expense Allocations
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$304,276$234,079$174,554
Administration Expense$32,789$26,394$25,662
Fundraising Expense$0$0$736
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.851.305.15
Program Expense/Total Expenses90%90%87%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,458,153$1,505,767$1,586,195
Current Assets$354,725$370,486$544,857
Long-Term Liabilities$4,352$1,375$64,586
Current Liabilities$59,626$60,899$155,222
Total Net Assets$1,394,175$1,443,493$1,366,387
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividuals, corporations and foundations $142,159Foundations, Corporations and Individuals $178,361Individuals $898,507
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIn kind $53,400In-Kind $69,057In-Kind $54,553
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment unspecified $47,081Government $37,777Government $35,000
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5.956.083.51
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%4%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
Comments
CEO Comments
Discrepancies between 2009 and 2010/11 are attributed to the creation of a separate non-profit for the Garden Theatre at the end of 2009. $227,000 in cash has been raised for the Capital Campaign as of February 2013. In addition, $73,000 of multi-year pledges and $50,000 of in-kind support have been secured.
Foundation Comments
  Financial figures taken from IRS Form 990s.
Contributions from foundations and corporations are included with total for individuals, as they were not separated in the 990 or audit. 
Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Notes Programs listed here are those that are only activated during a disaster. Some organizations have unified budgeting and do not budget by program. Because of this, some budget fields may be blank or represent an approximation. Organization describes previous experience during the immediate response, recovery or rebuilding phases following a disaster.