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Who We Are


The Triangle Connection is a non-profit social and service organization for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and  Transgender Persons who live, love, work or play in 
Lake County's Golden Triangle communities of Mount Dora, Eustis, and Tavares, Florida.

A Brief History - The First Five Years

THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE
Beautiful lakes, rolling hills, and a concentration of quality dining, art, theatrical, and shopping opportunities have long attracted gay people to the area of northern Lake County that includes the Golden Triangle cities of Mount Dora, Eustis, and Tavares.  Today lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender  people who “live, love, work, and play” in the area have their own social and networking organization to host events, coordinate entertainment possibilities, and provide a platform for charitable and civic action.
 
Now nine years old, The Triangle Connection, Inc. (originally known as "The Triangle Group"), is a non-profit corporation coordinated by volunteers. Its premiere monthly meet-and-greet was held in November, 2006 at what was then The Gables restaurant, and our network of participants has been growing ever since, with a current e-mailing list of about 350 people. 

WHAT WE DO
Typically, from 50 to 80 of us – singles and couples, men and women of all ages – gather for our monthly meet-and-greet evenings at a wide variety of area restaurants.  Smaller groups explore other restaurants as part of informal dining and breakfast clubs.  Triangle Connection participants have enriched all our lives by organizing trips to numerous theatrical productions, hosting wonderful holiday parties, and establishing interest groups for, among others,  motorcyclists, horseback enthusiasts, and kayakers.

Moving to the area?

If so, please drop us a line. We'll be happy to provide you information and introduce you to lots of great people.


 
    


What We Do

CIVIC & SOCIAL SERVICE
Under The Triangle Connection's umbrella, volunteers have also taken the lead in various civic and civil-rights campaigns.  Moneys have been raised to support the Mount Dora Dog Park and programs for LGBTQ young people. Thousands of pounds of food have been collected and delivered to Mount Dora-based Lake Cares Food Pantry, which provides groceries to hundreds of financially struggling households throughout Lake County.

ADVOCACY:  FROM A BURNING HOUSE
In October of 2011, the organization presented the critically acclaimed world premiere performances of the AIDS-themed theatrical stories “From a Burning House: The AIDS Project Los Angeles Writers Workshop Collection” at The Bay Street Players Historic State Theatre in Eustis. More than $2,000 was raised to support Central Florida’s AIDS-services organization, the Hope & Help Center, with funds targeted to expanding its services in Lake County. The workshop's creator (and editor of the book) Irene Borger flew in from Los Angeles for our production.

SERVICE:  THE TRIANGLE YOUTH ALLIANCE
The Triangle Connection has an affiliated youth-service organization, The Triangle Youth Alliance, which works with other Central Florida and statewide civil-rights groups to promote stronger anti-bullying policies and safe schools programs. And our volunteers organized a charter bus trip to the 2009 “Rally in Tally” to speak with legislators at the State Capitol in support of LGBT rights.

ORGANIZED EVENTS
Aside from the meet-and-greet events, most of these activities are arranged by our participating members.  The Triangle Connection serves as an information conduit, and all of our participants are encouraged to create and organize an event or program that may interest various members of our community.

Although The Triangle Connection focuses on people who live in or near the three cities of the Golden Triangle, participants also include folks who live in nearby communities, including Leesburg, The Villages, and Paisley.

Today, scores of lesbians, gay men, and transgender people are vitally involved in making this organization meaningful and fun for our entire community!

Before The Connection

NOT THE FIRST
The Triangle Connection is not the first LGBT organization to form in the Mount Dora, Eustis, & Tavares area. It has picked up where the much-loved Tuesday Night Friends left off in the early part of the last decade. Originally established to host happy-hour socials, Friends grew so dramatically – even publishing its own magazine and creating events which drew upwards of 350 people from all over greater Orlando – that its volunteer creators (Glenna and Marsha) became overwhelmed by their success.

THE FOUNDERS
Based on the experience of Friends, the founders of The Triangle Connection decided to limit the scope of their offerings, focusing primarily on the monthly meet-and-greets while encouraging participants to launch and promote their own projects, as well as additional social activities – which now include Friday evening happy hours at local restaurants, usually on the deck of Pisces Rising in Mount Dora.  

Scot Cornwall, who helped found a similar social organization in his old Boston neighborhood of Dorchester, and his spouse Bill Opperman moved to northern Lake County in 2005.  After more than 25 years together, they were legally married in Massachusetts in 2004. Cornwall and Opperman – as well as Triangle Connection cofounders Ed Fenninger and Charly Schormann (also formerly of Boston and also legally married) – chose to make their home in this area in part because Tuesday Night Friends had done such an excellent job of bringing the LGBT community together.

Other organizers and early supporters of The Triangle Connection include Bill Sievert and John Theis (who have been together nearly four decades); spouses Sally and June Sellers; Joan Kennedy; Bob Dumais and Jamie Simpson; and Bruce Freeman and Dale Gruber.