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Blog

My friend had tears in her eyes as she shared her visit with a woman she hadn’t seen in years at an assisted living complex in town. The facility was comfortable...

Southwest Florida Community Foundation Tribes are groups of nonprofit agencies and their leaders who have been granted dollars from the foundation to advance their mission in Southwest Florida....

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation has awarded $557,036.00 to both established and new programs that are designed to increase the quality of life in sustainable and equitable ways for Southwest...

What's Your Word? Every week we will feature one of our Faces of Philanthropy in honor of the Foundation's 40th anniversary. Everyone has something to share in our community. Please engage...

What's Your Word? Every week we will feature one of our Faces of Philanthropy in honor of the Foundation's 40th anniversary. Everyone has something to share in our community. Please engage...

What's Your Word? Every week we will feature one of our Faces of Philanthropy in honor of the Foundation's 40th anniversary. Everyone has something to share in our community. Please engage...

What's Your Word? Every week we will feature one of our Faces of Philanthropy in honor of the Foundation's 40th anniversary. Everyone has something to share in our community. Please engage...

The tables at my favorite coffee shops have been occupied to overflowing the last couple of weeks.  At first glance I thought it was probably the influx of winter residents...

What's Your Word? Every week we will feature one of our Faces of Philanthropy in honor of the Foundation's 40th anniversary. Everyone has something to share in our community. Please engage...

What's Your Word? Every week we will feature one of our Faces of Philanthropy in honor of the Foundation's 40th anniversary. Everyone has something to share in our community. Please engage...

What's Your Word? Every week we will feature one of our Faces of Philanthropy in honor of the Foundation's 40th anniversary. Everyone has something to share in our community. Please engage...

When my kids were little, the PBS series Sesame Street was a staple in our house.  We didn’t have cable, because somehow I thought not having paid television made me a better mother, so the public television station was our singular source of children’s programming. One of my favorite segments on the show (yes I watched it with them) was “Which One of These Things Doesn’t Belong Here” in which a series of items would be lined up and the kids had to pick which one was out of place.  I would always guess the wrong one just to make my 3 and 6 year olds roll on the floor with laughter.
I knew it wasn’t going to be an ordinary day last week when I reviewed my calendar for the Tuesday’s activities.  Lunch in Bonita with the Robertshaws is hardly considered work.  Darren is on our board of trustees of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, and a big supporter of all things Bonita.  His wife and partner Stacy is a hard worker in their business and in the Bonita Springs community too.
I wandered into the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center last Monday night to escape reality for a few hours.  On a complete whim I purchased tickets for the Fort Myers Film Festival’s (FMff) kick off to their monthly Monday night independent film screening.  This is one of those things that I have been meaning to attend for years and just haven’t made happen. I have been on a kick recently to take action on things I have been intending to do and checking out the Fort Myers Film Festival is one of them.  If you read this column on a regular basis you know over the last few years, I have been trying to become more engaged in the Arts scene in Southwest Florida.  An area I have no known talent but great interest.
Last week, culinary students in Pine Manor served up a Caesar salad to start, chicken masala with risotto, assorted wild mushrooms and zucchini as an entree, and a four-cheese cannoli with raspberry ice cream for dessert. But for the 10 graduates, this lunch was much more than the three-course meal they served. The lunch meant a new trajectory to a second chance. The Pine Manor Community Center culminated its inaugural culinary arts class with a community lunch on Friday, July 11, featuring the talents of the student chefs.
Ashley is from Lehigh Acres, and Nip is from Pittsburgh. She was born to Generation Z; he was born in the Depression Era. Ashley is petite, grinning from ear to ear, and Nip is a staggering 5 feet, 10 inches with a quick smile and twinkle in his eye. As a high school student, she started her own nonprofit called Intro to Excellence, and he is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, exhibiting excellence in leadership defending our country. The differences go on and the two appear to be worlds apart, but were connected through the work of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.
Southwest Florida is the land of palm trees, beautiful beaches and retirees. Or at least that’s what I thought before I came to the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to begin my public interest communications internship this summer. That’s before I met community and nonprofit leaders who showed me the important work that is being done here. It turns out that my journey to Southwest Florida started years ago when I was a confused sophomore at the University of Florida and walked into professor Ann Christiano’s office.  She encouraged me to find a passion and introduced me to the world of public interest communications. Four years and four courses later, Professor Christiano introduced me to the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.
A couple of weekends ago I spent a few days in a college town.  I was visiting family and we spent some time wandering the downtown area that surrounds the campus and a landmark football stadium. I am not going to get into college football politics here but I rarely visit this town or stadium because I consider them rivals.  But my husband got his MBA from the institution so once and a while I have to put my football loyalty aside and enter enemy territory for the good of my marriage.
It is tough for me to admit but in a moment of weakness I succumbed to the little i.  Ever since iPods, iPhones and iPads have come into our world, the little i has come to represent something innovative. For years I have resisted the urge to put that lowercase letter in front of projects or program names.  It seemed like the easy way out of trying to come up with an original name for a creative endeavor. But a few months ago the team at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation was working on developing a name for a region wide gathering for nonprofit leaders.  The goal of the event was to introduce them to our new grant process and to hear their take on solving issues in our communities.  We selected a location known for innovation, Arthrex in Naples and we thought long and hard about how to make the day inspiring and interesting.