GROW Central Florida Logo

GROW Central Florida

GROW Central Florida works to promote environments that support increased opportunities for physical activity and healthy living for Central Florida elementary school children.

GROW stands for: Grass Roots Outreach Within. Our goal is to help develop the healthiest children by supporting grass roots wellness initiatives. We do this by partnering with unfunded elementary school health & wellness programs in Central Florida such as the elementary school cross country running program.

Our mission is to make a positive difference in children's lives by increasing opportunities for healthy living. GROW Central Florida, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

GROW stands for: Grass Roots Outreach Within

Why Is Support Needed?

Trophies at one of our events

For over 21 years, grass root volunteers in Seminole County have come together to make the elementary school cross country running program possible. During the 2016-2017 school year, over 3,800 students age 5-12 trained to run. The program is free to all participants. Teachers and volunteers dedicate time outside of normal work hours to coordinate and coach the elementary running teams. But these volunteers face challenges like fundraising and purchasing awards, team shirts, and other durable goods. For many school districts, there is no funding for programs like elementary cross country. GROW Central Florida works to mentor volunteers and fill gaps so volunteers can spend more time coaching their teams and less time worrying about raising funds, creating training materials, and obtaining the needed goods and resources.

Board of Directors

Colleen Gonzalez - Founder of GROW Central Florida

Colleen Gonzalez

President, Founder, Community Volunteer

Luis Gonzalez - Secretary, Attorney at Holland & Knight

Luis Gonzalez

Secretary, Partner at Holland & Knight

Lenore Logsdon - Director, Principal at Highlands Elementary School

Lenore Logsdon

Principal at Idyllwilde Elementary School Sanford

Krissy Lester - Director, Assistant Principal at Wilson Elementary School

Krissy Lester

Assistant Principal at Midway Elementray School

Kerri Segrest - Physical Education Teacher, Cross Country Coach at Red Bug 
    	                            Elementary School

Kerri Segrest

Director, PE Teacher, Red Bug Elementary

Fritz Voltaire - Director, Philanthropist, Volunteer Running Coach 
                                    at Idyllwilde Elementary

Fritz Voltaire

Director, Philanthropist, Volunteer Running Coach at Idyllwilde Elementary

Colleen Gonzalez - Founder of GROW Central Florida

About Our Founder

Colleen Gonzalez is the mother of two teens who grew up attending Seminole County Public Schools. She graduated from Rollins College with a BA degree in Organizational Behavior. For over ten years Colleen worked in the field of human resources. During her professional career she worked in the hospitality and medical industry as a generalist, manager, and director.

When her children were in elementary school, Colleen learned about the cross country running program at other schools and questioned why her children’s school did not participate. Colleen was informed that teachers must volunteer their time and fund their running teams. Simply put: no volunteers, no funds, no program.

In 2009, Colleen put together an action plan to ensure her children’s school could have a cross country running team. Over the years, she has lead a cross country running team and organized division and district-wide meets. In addition, Colleen has lead other programs promoting physical activity and healthy living such as a school wide “Friday Fun Run” and “Walk & Roll” program.

Since 2011, Colleen has received the following awards:

  • Florida Blue Foundation, Sapphire Award Recognizing Excellence and Innovation in Community Health, Individual Category, Runner-up (April 2017)
  • Action for Healthy Kids Health School Hero (October 2014)
  • Rotary International Community Service Leadership Award (June 2013)
  • Seminole County Public School Dividend of the Year (2011 – 2012 School Year)
  • Lake Orienta Elementary School Dividend of the Year (2011 – 2012 School Year)
  • Seminole County Public Schools, Parent Involvement Award District Winner (2012)


Platinum Sponsors ($5,000.00 or more)

Subway Development Co. of Central Florida, Inc. Logo

Subway Development Co. of Central Florida, Inc.

Gold Sponsors ($1,000.00 or more)

Track Shack Foundation Logo

Track Shack Foundation

The Home Depot LogoLogo

The Home Depot

Adult Toy Storage Logo

Adult Toy Storage

Fleet Feet Sports Logo

Fleet Feet Sports

Holland & Knight Logo

The Holland & Knight Foundatioin

Orlando Ortopaedic Center Foundation Logo

Orlando Ortopaedic Center Foundation

Nemours Children's Health System Logo

Nemours Children's Health System

Jinx IT Logo

Jinx IT

United Health Community Plan Logo

United Health Community Plan

Silver Sponsors ($500.00 or more)

Coca-Cola Logo


Carl Vano and Michelle Stromberg

Carl Vano and Michelle Stromberg

Cortes & Medina, PLLC Logo

Cortes & Medina, PLLC

Maitland Vision Center Logo

Maitland Vision Center

Lotsa Panache Dreamshop Logo

Lotsa Panache Dreamshop

Rudolph & Shivers CPA Logo

Rudolph & Shivers CPA

LC&Z - General & Cosmetic Dentistry Logo

LC&Z - General & Cosmetic Dentistry

McFadden's Roofing, Inc. Logo

McFadden's Roofing, Inc.

Photos by Kevin Davis Logo

Photos by Kevin DAvis

RDV Sportsplex Logo

RDV Sportsplex

Publix Super Markets Charities Logo

Publix Super Markets Charities

Massey Services Logo

Massey Services, Inc.

Jonathan McGrath Construction Logo

Jonathan McGrath Construction

Bronze Sponsors ($250.00 or more)

Celeste Baez, Charles Rutenberg Realty

Celeste Baez

Boosterthon Fun Run Logo


Scott Sturgill DSP Partners Logo

Scott Sturgill, DSP Partners

Crade Depot Logo

Crate Depot

Target Logo


Sign-O-Saurus Logo


Panera Bread Logo

Panera Bread

Community Partners

  • Action For Healthy Kids
  • Orlando City Soccer Foundation
  • Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
  • Seminole County Sheriff's Office
  • Herzing University
  • Florida Department of Health in Seminole County
  • UF/ IFAS Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program
  • Orlando Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • The DALE Foundation (Do A Little Extra)
  • Mission: FIT Possible, a Florida Hospital for Children Program

Contact Us



Phone: 407-461-2611


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