Finding peace in Parramore: Neighborhood association president is making a difference

Vencina 'Vinnie' Cannady is this week's Getting Results Award winner

ORLANDO, Fla. – Vencina "Vinnie" Cannady is this week's Getting Results Award winner.

Cannady's day volunteering starts before the sun rises.

You can often find her at the corner of Randall Street and Westmoreland Drive. That's where the "walking school bus" begins its mile-long journey. Cannady along with a group of parents and their children walk to the new Academic Center for Excellence.

"We want them to feel comfortable and safe," she said while keeping an eye on all the kids behavior. "We care, we love them and they're our children. That's the bottom line."

The children are her's in spirit, just like the entire neighborhood.

Two years ago, she decided it was up to her to unite the community. 

Cannady reestablished the Carter Street Neighborhood Association and set her sights on making a difference in the community she loves. 

As president, she holds monthly meetings to keep everyone informed. According to the city, those meetings attract some of the largest numbers of participants city wide. 

Cindy Light, Neighborhood Relations Supervisor for the City of Orlando, nominated her for the award.

"She's getting results and doing it the right way," Light said. "The leadership she shows, people gravitate towards that. She is everyone's best friend. You meet her and you feel good being around her."

Cannady has called Parramore home for more than 60 years. She said she's seen a lot of changes in that time, both good and bad, but has never thought of leaving the area.

"This is home," she said from the front porch of her house on Randall Street. "This is where we live and we chose to stay here."

Cannady organizes street clean-ups and twice a week collects trash on her own, hoping others will see her and offer to help.

She's mastered both pride and persuasion as our cameras caught her recruiting several young men to trim trees and remove trash along with her.

With a bucket full of items collected off the street, she looks around satisfied that she made a difference on this particular day.

"It started with caring for my neighborhood. No one else is going to care like I do." 

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