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CAUSE & EFFECT: January 2017 issue

CAUSE & EFFECT: January 2017 issue

January 2017 issue
Happy “NEWS” Year
Sarah Owen, Pres & CEO
Southwest Florida Community Foundation
Perhaps you are still getting used to writing or even saying “2017,” but the calendar doesn’t wait and things are off to a great start in the community and the Foundation.

Check out what’s been in the news so far this year:

News-Press People of the Year

  • One of our Foundation’s founders John Sheppard has been selected as the News-Press’ prestigious Luminary for 2016. 
  • Community Foundation trustee Carolyn Conant has been tapped as a TrailBlazer.
  • One of our fundholders and up and coming “Millennials” Marc Devisse is a nominee for Young Professional of the Year. 
  • Fundholders and change-makers Jerry and Sharon Miller are recognized as Heros. 
  • Grantees Heights Foundation’s Kathryn Kelly, Family Initiative’s David Brown and Anjali Van Drie and Valerie’s House’s Angela Melvin are also selected for honors.
From this exclusive list, I would say that we are “Southwest Florida Strong” with such passionate people involved.  (Click here to read more about People of the Year on the News-Press website.)

We announced our newest grantee tribe and they are meeting with us for the first time as a group this afternoon. Stay tuned for more detail on this online and in the news.

FutureMakers and New Funds Opened

Activities in FutureMakers Coalition, a regional coalition that we provide backbone support with the goal to transform the workforce by increasing the number of college degrees and post-secondary certifications by 2025 is strong (, our scholarship season launched this week, and we are geared up for a season of events and programs with our donors, partners and friends. We are still enjoying a record season of opening new funds and welcoming new invigorated donors to the foundation. And that simply means more good for our region.

Train Depot
We finalized our partnerships with the Florida Community Loan Fund and the City of Fort Myers to start the Midtown New Market Tax Credits project breaking ground on the Atlantic Railroad Train Depot renovation and collaboration accelerator  project this February. (read more here

2017 has been something we have been planning for and with your support and partnership, we are ready for a great year ahead.  Join us!
In Gratitude,
THANK YOU to our Referring Professional Advisors

Gift ideas are only limited by causes.  Board Chair Guy Whitesman shows his enthusiasm at a recent reception with donors and friends.

We often say we are better together when working with our donors, friends, partners and supporters. Our referring professional advisers put an exclamation point on that statement. They are those who are estate planning attorneys, bankers, accountants, and wealth advisers who refer their clients to us for philanthropic (and sometimes tax solutions) for current and future gifts.

MANY THANKS the following for all of your support this past year:
  • Lowell Schoenfeld, Green, Schoenfeld & Kyle LLP
  • Michael Stone, CPA, Freedom Tax & Financial Group
  • A. Scott White, Scott White Advisors
  • Kelly Fayer, PA, The Law Office of Kelly Fayer
  • LaDonna J. Cody, PA, Attorney
  • Andrew Barnette, CPA, Andrew Barnette & Associates
  • Juan D. Bendeck, Partner, Hahn Loeser Attorneys at Law
  • Jay Brett, Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Kinsey & Hill, P.A.
  • Terri Alsept, Northern Trust Bank
  • Mary Beth Crawford and Grace Guittierez, Cummings & Lockwood (Bonita office)
  • Guy Whitesman and Eric Gurgold, Henderson Franklin (Fort Myers office)
  • William Horowitz, Cummings & Lockwood
  • Marc Reisman, RS Wealth Management
  • Pavita Sandhu, Regions Bank
  • Renee Porter-Medley, Key Bank
  • Craig Folk, CPA, Miller, Helms & Folk, PA
  • Danielle Lucht, Alliance Financial Group
  • Hugh Kinsey, Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Kinsey & Hill, P.A.
  • Steven “Rusty” Whitley, CPA, Wiltshire, Whitley, Richardson & English, PA
  • Trevor Whitley, Marquis Wealth Group
  • Sandy Robinson (retired) Northern Trust Bank
  • Dave Owens, Midland IRA
  • Fran Payson, Merrill Lynch
  • Jennifer Hammond, Green, Schoenfeld & Kyle LLP
  • Charlotte Hause, Charlotte State Bank & Trust
Donors, we are happy to work your professional adviser on your philanthropic planning. It’s among our most favorite things to do.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!

Jordan Ashley Gutheim Foundation 
Fund established to support causes that were important to local woman

Jordan Ashley Gutheim
The Gutheim family has established the Jordan Ashley Gutheim Foundation Fund in memory of Jordan Gutheim, a 20-year-old graduate of Evangelical Christian School and a junior at Florida State University, who was killed in a car accident on May 12, 2016.
According to her family, Jordan was passionate about animal safety, seniors and helping those in need in impoverished countries like Dominican Republic. They plan for the fund to support efforts including no-kill animal shelters, seniors facing dementia, humanitarian mission trips, driver safety and family services. The family also plans to fund an annual scholarship at FSU.
Born in Fort Myers, Jordan was known for her fun and loving spirit, her happiness, sensitivity and interest in going out of her way to help others.
“We are the Community Foundation, and community is what we are all about,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Foundation. “We want to be here for the members of our community so that we can provide support for philanthropy and building legacy.
The Gutheims are an important part of our Foundation family and we look forward to walking alongside them in making meaningful and effective grants in Jordan’s memory.”

To give directly to the fund in Jordan’s memory, please click here.

Legacy Society Events Upcoming

It’s our favorite time of the year when we get to spend it 
with our Legacy Society members, those who have a fund with the Foundation or have planned to establish a fund in their estate.  We have three great outings planned for January and February including receptions, evenings at with the Gulf Coast Symphony and at a theatre matinee with Florida Rep.

If you have not received your invitation OR if you have not RSVP’d, please call Sydney Roberts at 239-274-5900.

We can’t wait to see you at the reception and enjoy music and the arts together.
Scholarship Season Opens with $500,000 available 

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s scholarship application process for the 2017-2018 school year will begin this month.
Approximately $500,000 in scholarship money is available through more than 50 scholarships for local high school students, undergraduate and graduate students from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.

Our scholarship portal opened on Jan. 16 and students may apply for scholarships here here.
  The scholarship application process will close March 3.

Students may review the scholarships available online as well as a tutorial about how to create and submit the online application. Students may apply for multiple scholarships and upload transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, letters of recommendation and the FAFSA student aid report. 

Educators, mentors, parents and students can find resources to complete the FAFSA form through the local FAFSA first website recently launched by the FutureMakers Coalition at

The goal of the FutureMakers Coalition is to transform the workforce by increasing the number of Southwest Florida residents with degrees, certificates and other high-quality credentials by the year 2025. 
Southwest Florida Community Foundation
Southwest Florida Community Foundation

Our ambition is a more vibrant community that will continually address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties in Southwest Florida. We invite you to join our family and invest in the community with us!