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LEESBURG, FLA — Understanding Beacon College’s unique nonprofit mission, Harriett Lake, the flamboyant and big-hearted Central Florida philanthropist who has shared her millions to elevate Central Florida, recently pulled out her checkbook and boosted Beacon with a $10,000 gift.

Lake, known throughout Greater Orlando as much for her incomparable fashion sense as for her vigorous support of the arts community — including a $1 million donation to the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Orlando — discovered Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla. during a January phone call. Before the conversation ended, she asked where to send the check.

Lake’s altruism is legendary: She supports some 200 local groups each with no less than $1,000 annually.

Beacon College — the first accredited higher-education institution to award bachelor’s degrees exclusively to students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and high-functioning autistic-spectrum disorders — is honored this year to be part of “Harriett’s United Way.”

Thanks to Ms. Lake (pictured with Beacon Communication Director Darryl E. Owens) for her generosity and welcome to the Beacon family.

Darryl and Harriett Lake