LoveLakeland’s December 2022 CityMaker

Guy LaLonde III

By Jonathan Camargo

Pictured: CREATE at Catapult, Gillian Fazio

Through toothless smiles and sweaty faces, the giddy sound of children tumbling around on an inflatable is one we’re all too familiar with – especially if you’ve ever attended just about any local event or party. Poised proudly near the bounce house entrance is Guy LaLonde III, co-owner of Lakeland Moonwalk. You’ve probably seen him or one of his company’s trucks before, but what you probably haven’t seen are all the many ways that he’s chosen to invest in our community. From supporting local events to putting out fires (both literally and figuratively), Guy is an example of communal excellence at its best, and we couldn’t be more proud to call him our October 2022 Lakeland CityMaker!

Family First

Guy is a Lakelander through and through. He was born and raised here, as is the story for so many in our community. Although he may not have had much of a choice in the cosmic lottery of his birth, choosing to stick around our town was a no-brainer.

“I’ve got a 4-year-old daughter, I’ve got my wife and I’ve got another daughter on the way,” Guy explained. “I couldn’t choose a better city to raise my family than here. It’s a great place for us to build our business and to have my family grow.”

Guy is the co-owner of Lakeland Moonwalk, a party rental business that his father opened in 2004. Over the past few years, the business has racked up numerous small business awards from both the Lakeland Chamber and The Ledger alike. Though these awards are well-deserved, it’s the unsung praise for actions done when no one’s watching that truly define what it means to be a Lakeland CityMaker.

Fighting Fires, Packing Buses

Lakeland Moonwalk wasn’t a household name when it first opened its doors nearly two decades ago. Facing its fair share of growing pains, the business wasn’t able to support both generations of the LaLondes. 

In an effort to secure supplemental income for himself, Guy sought out a job with Polk County Fire Rescue back in 2012. 

“I always thought, you know, firefighters work one day and [they’re] off two,” Guy explained. “So at least for those two days off, I have time to – you know – focus on the small business.”

This careful balancing act gave Guy and the family business an opportunity to grow alongside one another. Unbeknownst to Guy, his bid for supplemental income would turn into a 9-year stint working as a firefighter/EMT, a role he didn’t step down from until 2021.

In his days focused on the family business, one opportunity would cascade into so much more. In 2014, local charity kidsPACK contacted Guy to request the donation of a mechanical bull for an event they were hosting. He agreed, and that simple action would propel Guy’s philanthropic efforts to new heights. After attending the event, kidsPACK’s cause resonated so greatly with Guy that he joined their event committee that very same year. Eight years later, Guy continues to reside on the kidsPACK committee, offering his guidance and resources however he can.

“Definitely more small business, because we all know that’s the heart of Lakeland and our nation.”

– Guy LaLonde III, on his hope for the future of Lakeland

“Definitely more small business, because we all know that’s the heart of Lakeland and our nation.”

– Guy LaLonde III, on his hope for the future of Lakeland

The Hallmark of Availability

In finding time to be a father, business owner and philanthropic leader for our local community, it may seem like Guy has more hours in the day than most. The truth is, it’s Guy’s approach to handling the simple things that allows for truly big things to happen.

“A rule that we’ve had since the beginning – that my dad bestowed upon us – was to just be available,” Guy shared. “I brought that same mentality to my philanthropic career, just trying to make myself available, present, and willing to engage in the community.”

Led through humility and a servant’s heart, Guy shows up time and time again. His unwavering passion to make this town the best it can be shows up in every project and event he’s had a hand in – even at our local schools. 

Less than a month ago, he and his father stepped up to help deliver some 340 meals to underserved children at schools across the county.

“They just needed help getting some routes out,” Guy explained.

It’s his simple approach to these situations where he shines the most. Finding the time and making it happen is what Guy’s known for – it’s what he does. Whether he’s donating his equipment, time or sweat equity, Guy’s the guy for the job.

“A rule that we’ve had since the beginning – that my dad bestowed upon us – was to just be available.”

– Guy LaLonde III

“A rule that we’ve had since the beginning – that my dad bestowed upon us – was to just be available.”

– Guy LaLonde III

New Beginnings

Recently, Guy’s taken upon a new venture as the incoming treasurer for Camp Fire Sunshine Central Florida, a youth organization designed to help young people discover their spark, gain self-confidence, and learn life-changing life skills to help them thrive now and in the future.

You’d think this role would be enough for most people, but Guy isn’t most people.

He and his father are the latest additions to the board of directors for the Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center, where they share their expertise to help the center achieve its goal of providing “the highest quality speech, language and hearing services, always in a caring manner.”

In his pursuit to further aid future generations of Lakelanders, Guy also serves on the board of directors for InnerAct Alliance, formerly known as the Drug Prevention Resource Center. They emphasize an anti-substance abuse and anti-bullying message.

Did we mention he’s also the co-owner of a new business, too? Under One Tent is a party equipment rental service that provides everything from seating to tables to tents and more.

A Memory to Last a Lifetime

If there’s one thing that Guy’s passionate about, it’s the everyday person that contributes to the prosperity of our community and local economy through their entrepreneurial endeavors. He hopes to see more small businesses pop up in this town of ours because “[they’re] the heart of Lakeland and our nation.”

Taking a moment to reflect on his day-to-day, the small business he runs is anything but.

“We’re part of everybody’s favorite day,” Guy shared. “When you set up for a kid’s [first] birthday party, you see this look in their eyes and realize you’re providing this memory.”

That’s why we’re grateful to Guy and his family for bringing their passion to Lakeland.

It’s people like Guy that make Lakeland special.

And that’s why we’re excited to honor him for his work and introduce him as our next CityMaker.