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Author: Sarah Owen

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Recently I had the honor and privilege to say a few words of love and remembrance at the Celebration of Life for Kappy King, a beloved wife, mother, friend, philanthropist...

The thirty-something skateboarders served as a Venice Beach Boardwalk choir of sorts. Their cathedral was the small skate park just a few hundred feet away from the famous Venice Muscle Beach. It’s...

I wait with anticipation for “this time last year” photo alerts on my phone. Sometimes I feel let down when it is a misguided shot of my shoe from 2016, but...

Floridians learn to be creative in marking the seasons.  Since nature does not provide the obvious clues in the form of fall foliage, snow days and cherry blossom blooms, we...

  It wasn’t easy to jump into the fray of all the fundraising pledges happening under the tent on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, but leave it to a strong,...

The first cup of my vacation coffee was bitter and full of grounds.  As my family planned a week of high adventure, going as fast as they could down mountains,...

  During this month of “love,” I am pleased to share a love poem to the community written by residents who joined the trustees and team of the Southwest Florida Community...

For the past year I have been wearing a simple gold ring in the shape of a circle.  It isn’t an infinity sign, but the continuous circle serves as a...

For nearly 30 years a woman I never met has been whispering in my ear every time I sit down to write.  Sometimes she shows up in everyday conversations as...

The woman sat awkwardly on the folding chair outside the dark office of a small business, continually checking the posted hours of operation and the calendar housed on her phone. Without...

Last week a teammate placed a hand-crafted sign on her desk that read, “this is my year” and I believe her.  She is talented, committed and has some big goals. January...

I have long resisted the urge to use the phrase “huddle up everyone” in a team or staff meeting.  As a lover of all things sports and team building, I...

If the weather in Southwest Florida dips below 60 degrees I pull out my winter wear. Coats, sweaters, scarves, tights and boots all emerge from my closet and I am...

I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone asked me about ghosts. When the Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently moved into our new home, Collaboratory, we were following in the...

When I was a kid there was a corny saying that worked its way into conversations whenever someone said something that rhymed.  I am guessing most of you have uttered it at...

  I work alongside a team member who likes to ask “there are no bad ideas, right?” before she launches into an idea generating session at the office.   I find myself...

  The sights and sounds of commencements are all around us this time of year.  I remember my own graduations and the sense that the whole world had stopped and noted...

Last week I ran into now former Fort Myers city councilman, Mike Flanders in a downtown coffee shop.  I flagged him down on his way out the door to introduce...

I found out last week that I am not the only one with a storied past.  If you are a regular reader of this column you know that I share...

Can you imagine standing up on stage in front of a large rowdy crowd and reading excerpts from your childhood diary?  It seems unimaginable to me, but last weekend I...

  This column was not written on Saturday, March 24, 2018 between 3:30-4:30 pm or 8:30-9:30pm. The reason I am certain about the timing is my observation of Earth Hour 2018. Every year...

  When I walked into a Makerspace for the first time, I curled up on a well-worn sofa, surrounded by workspaces that were flanked by shelves and bins filled with tools...

Wandering into the Chapultepec Forest seemed a bit mysterious.  As I stood at the gates leading into one of the largest parks in the Western Hemisphere, I didn’t have a plan. I...

  When someone asks you to help them change the world, it feels exciting at the onset and then all of a sudden, daunting. Changing the world can mean many things to...

The theme of a recent conference I attended was delivered in the form of a question, “What Drives You?” Throughout the three days I spent with other grant makers and funders...

  I enjoy reading and listening to interviews with famous leaders and CEOs.  No matter the media outlet the questions seem to follow a similar pattern and always include the “What...

  The plates of cookies and pitchers of fruit-infused water went untouched for weeks.  This surprised me as I thought the smell of warm chocolate chip wonders and refreshing thirst quenchers...

Over the past year the Southwest Florida Community Foundation has sent at least two thousand thank you notes. Every letter we pen, whether electronically or handwritten reminds me of the generosity...