The Collective Blog

Highlighting Central Florida's nonprofit news and events. Got a tip or want to write for us? Contact


Of all the places where violence could have happened, I didn’t think it would happen in Charlottesville.

As a young reporter at the Lynchburg News & Advance in Virginia, I lived less than 70 miles from where the tragic events of Aug. 12 occurred. I remember Charlottesville as a place where I could escape the slow life of Lynchburg and experience the culture of a picturesque college town.

Nicole Dupre, Opera del Sol

The first time I met Nicole Dupre, she made me into a beast. Well, not just any beast, but THE Beast from “Beauty and the Beast.”

About a year ago, when I was still a reporter at WESH-TV, I invited Nicole, who has done makeup for countless organizations around Orlando, to the TV station for a morning interview about the upcoming Orlando Ballet production. But instead of a typical interview, I asked if she would transform me into Beast.



“No one follows a quitter.” – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

That quote stuck out to me last week when Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer spoke to The Collective. He was one of three speakers at our July meeting, which also featured a former Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey ringmaster and a couple who became unlikely nonprofit advocates after losing a child.

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