September 2015 issue

Falling for Fall

Our team at the SWFL Community Foundation greets fall with open arms not just for the promise of cooler weather and slight change of season, even for our tropical climate, but also in anticipation of our many seasonal friends and part-time residents returning to the region. We have a lot of things planned to accomplish and to enjoy together with you this year.


Don’t miss out as your Community Foundation kicks off the month of October by opening the City of Fort Myers’ Arts & Culture grant cycle that we administer for the City (check out “grants” on our website or click here), being part of the Walkable Communities Symposium and Mayors Luncheon on Oct. 15, and hosting the Women’s Legacy Fund Luncheon on Oct. 22.  The popular Visual Voice photography exhibit featuring the work of News-Press photojournalists’ will be up throughout the month in the Community Hub (our offices).


Read more about all of it here or on our website by clicking here.  We can’t wait to see you at something this season!


In Gratitude,

Women's Legacy Fund luncheon invitation
Women’s Legacy Luncheon
Thursday, October 22
It’s that special time of year when we get to announce the WLF 2016 grant winner and celebrate women sharing in philanthropy at the Fall WLF Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 22,
11:15 am to 1:15 pm.
Please join us as we gather at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club for lunch, a special presentation of WLF Angels and the announcement of the grant chosen this year for the support of women and girls in the cause area: Access to Goods and Services in Neighborhoods.
The speaker Yajaida Vasquez, ARNP, will talk about access to health care.  Featured in Gulfshore Life Magazine this month, be prepared to be inspired by this lovely “warrior,” and change-maker.  The cost to cover the lunch is $40.  Please click here to RSVP or call us at 239.274-5900.  For more info on the Women’s Legacy Fund, click here.
Walkable Communities Symposium – Oct. 15
Making Dollars and Sense of Mixed Use

In an ongoing effort to be part of what makes SWFL great and ways to make our region even better, the Community Foundation is participating in the upcoming regional Urban Walkable Communities Symposium at Harbourside Convention Center Thursday, Oct. 15. Featuring national consultants and experts, Florida investors and developers will analyze commercial area revitalization, financing and more.  To read more, click here and to register, call (239) 321-7100, visit:

The Community Foundation is facilitating some “friendly” Shark Tank presentations and panels for local redevelopment agencies to share their big ideas.  We can’t wait to hear what creative solutions they have!  Join us from 8 am to 4 pm. $55 includes Breakfast, Lunch and Symposium.

We Are FutureMakers


(L to R): Nate Swan (Gartner), Will McDonough (Tech Attorney, Naples),   Sarah Owen (SWFL Community Foundation), and Charles Chapman (Hendry County – Economic Development)

FutureMakers Coalition Champions Team learns coalition building from national coaches
Two national coalition-building experts recently met with the FutureMakers Champions Team, part of a Southwest partnership committed to transforming the regional workforce by increasing post-secondary completion.
“The Champions Team members are key leaders and influencers who, together, have the opportunity to help shift the culture and conversation in Southwest Florida, and the coaches were here to help us all learn together just how to do that,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, which is serving as the anchor organization for Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnership for Attainment network. For more information and to become a FutureMaker, visit
Robert Rauschenberg Grantee “Tribe” Visits the Artist’s Residency
It’s not just your normal workday when you get to visit the studio and campus of the late internationally-renown Artist Robert Rauschenberg.  The SWFL Community Foundation took the grantees who received this year’s Robert Rauschenberg Foundation SWFL Grants totaling $250,000 on a field trip to the Artist Residency on Captiva Island recently.  The grant recipients are: Goodwill Industries of SWFL, The Laboratory Theater, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships, and Jewish Family & Community Service.
A Beautiful Gift to Fight Hunger – Forever
It’s What Community Foundations Do Best

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation donated $100,000 to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida for its capital campaign.

Acting in the community’s trust, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation played an important role in nurturing funds intended to fight hunger in Southwest Florida given years ago through the foundation by donors of another nonprofit organization with a similar mission to fight hunger in Southwest Florida.

“It is a beautiful story with the best possible ending,” Owen said. “Because of some important wording in a fund agreement established by a group of dedicated hunger fighters involved in Wake Up America many years ago, the corpus of the original donation was able to be retained after the sale of the nonprofit’s property, once they decided to sunset their operations. The funds realized from the sale were put back out into the community, to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, to continue to do the good it was intended to do.”

With a goal of $5.1 million, the campaign aims to improve the food bank’s ability to acquire and distribute more nutritious, fresh food to children, working-poor families and others who struggle with hunger.

Wake Up America closed its Fort Myers operations in 2013.

Want to leave a lasting legacy like this?  Contact us and we will show you how to benefit the causes you care about most and sometimes save current income, or estate tax dollars.  Click here or call us at 239-274-5900.


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