Feature

Community
App-reciation

The Winter Garden App celebrates 5 years of
digitally connecting the local community.

In an age where technology often drives us apart, imagine an app that actually works toward the greater good, bringing people closer together. 

That was the vision Marc Jablon had for the Winter Garden App in 2019. Five years later, it has transcended his greatest hopes, becoming a juggernaut of positivity, connection, and prosperity. Whether it’s rallying support for a local cause or fostering partnerships between businesses and nonprofits, its influence has definitely been felt in the community.

Of course, that didn’t happen overnight. Relying on people to find the app on their own or through social media was only a small part of the equation. Over the last five years, the We Are Winter Garden team has attended thousands of local events and given away endless amounts of swag. They’ve also partnered with groups like the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, Winter Garden Rotary, Matthew’s Hope Ministries, Healthy West Orange, Crooked Can, Garden Theatre, Gymnastics USA, Lift Disability Network, Advent Health, and many more.

So what’s their secret? How did they go from a mere concept to over 27,000 downloads and 124,000 members in five years?  A whole lot of help from their friends.

“‘We see you everywhere.’ That’s what we hear over and over from the people we meet in life and online,” Marc says. “You can’t represent the community and not be in the community. To do that, we had to build a team.”

The people who first helped breathe life into Marc’s vision were Tracy Lewis and Bobbi Mottin, the dynamic duo behind the Winter Garden Community Group, as well as Windermere & Surrounding Communities Group. “Their contributions can’t be quantified,” Marc shares. In fact, Tracy helped introduce Marc to the people most often associated with We Are Winter Garden—Michelle Meachem and Jon Burket.

“Jon, Amanda, Tracy, and Michelle—these are the names that have shouldered the weight of the Winter Garden App, transforming it from a concept into a community lifeline,” Marc says. “In the last two years, they’ve been joined by a cadre of dedicated individuals: Kylie, Gwen, Jordan, Calvin,Samantha, and Mindy. They’ve poured countless hours into building We Are Winter Garden into a brand that embodies the spirit of the community.”

But none of this would be possible without the unwavering support of the community. The list of partners and supporters is endless. At its five-year mark, We Are Winter Garden has nearly 150,000 people interact with it online via the app, Facebook, Instagram, and private local groups. It’s not just an app—it’s a lifeline, a force for good, and a symbol of the power of community.

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