I recently heard a story in which a man was trying to break a Guinness World Record by rowing the distance in a boat made out of a huge, human-sized pumpkin grown originally to win the record for the world’s largest pumpkin competition. When his prized pumpkin came up short, he found another record to beat. I had never heard of a pumpkin boat much less a record for the longest miles rowed in a gourd.
When he set out on his adventure he knew from the folks at Guinness that he needed to travel 8 miles to break the record. The voyage went off without a hitch and when the 8-mile finish line was in sight he received an urgent text informing him that the old record had been broken the week before with an astonishing 15 mile journey.
So the great pumpkin traveled on and 13 hours later made it to the 25.6-mile mark, crushing the previous record.
I am sure that to the pumpkin growing captain breaking the record was of utmost importance but the rest of us were probably not losing sleep over it.
Records and milestones provide people and organizations unique opportunities to celebrate accomplishments and milestones. Some are personal bests while others impact entire communities.
In this edition of Florida Weekly you will find the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s annual report to the community. And I am pleased to report that our generous donors have reached a record of their own in 2016: A record breaking $5 million year of investing in our region.
This is only possible through powerful partnerships with donors, funding partners and a visionary board of trustees. But it’s not only about the dollars, the investment also represents a diverse funding stream addressing a variety of community opportunities including the environment, social justice issues, economic development, the arts and health, safety and animals, and more.
More resources to support these important causes is a record worthy of being broken every year.
Our goal in 2107 is to create more record breaking moments of change. I hope we have the tenacity and drive of the pumpkin paddler to not only hit the mark but move way beyond it for the good of our region.
Please read our annual report here in Florida Weekly, and go online at www.floridacommunity.com/annual-report to view the hundreds of partners and supporters of the Foundation’s work. If you want to get involved and become a change-maker, or simply be part of a record with us, please let me know at [email protected].
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. Last year, the Foundation partnered with individuals, families and corporations who have created over 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, we’ve invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of $93 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Based in Fort Myers, the Foundation has satellite offices located in Sanibel Island, LaBelle (Hendry County), and downtown Fort Myers. For more information, visit www.FloridaCommunity.com or call 239-274-5900.