Winter Garden, FL., – Each year, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC), in partnership with the West Orange Foundation (WOF), celebrates outstanding students at its annual Education Awards Ceremony. Graduating high school seniors who are recipients of the Danniel J. Petro Scholarship, and fifth, eighth, and eleventh-grade recipients of the Student of Achievement and Renown (SOAR) award are honored and presented with their awards. This year, the Chamber and Foundation awarded seven scholarships and 32 SOAR awards.

Dignitaries, educators representing area schools, family and friends joined the celebration to offer support and praise for this deserving group of students. A few notables on hand to help honor the award recipients were Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Pam Gould, Orange County School Board – District 4, Dr. Maria Vazquez, Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools, and WOCC Executive Board Member Betsy VanderLey.

The Danniel J. Petro Scholarship fund was established to make it possible for eligible students from local high schools in Orange County, both public or private, to further their education at one of the following educational institutions: Valencia College, Orange Technical College, or the University of Central Florida.

The West Orange Foundation was able to fund this year’s scholarship program through the generosity of the Petro Family Foundation and Duke Energy. The administration and implementation of the program are provided by the West Orange Chamber of Commerce.

The SOAR program also recognizes students in the West Orange area who attend WOCC member schools. It is an award of merit for students who have shown initiative, good citizenship, commitment, and personal growth in the classroom.  SOAR Awards are only presented to students in fifth, eight or eleventh grade meeting certain criteria.

The West Orange Chamber of Commerce and the West Orange Foundation would like to send our sincerest gratitude to all of our sponsors to our Presenting Sponsors Bright Future Electric, Orlando Health, McCoy Federal Credit Union, and Event Sponsors Olympia High School, Trophies Unlimited, and Cannonfire Photography.

About the West Orange Foundation

The West Orange Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that serves as the community-based, philanthropic arm of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC). The Foundation’s vision is to create a broader community reach, streamline the Chamber’s philanthropy and community outreach programs, engage more industries & businesses, create and embolden alliances and foster positive change, health, and growth. It will support many WOCC philanthropic initiatives, including its adult and youth leadership programs, scholarships for local students, community-need projects, and educational Chamber events.

About West Orange Chamber of Commerce

Founded in 1972, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) serves as the leading business advocate in Central Florida by advancing community, collaboration, and leadership for its 1,000 member businesses. Learn more on how the West Orange Chamber of Commerce can help grow your business, by visiting