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Rose is pictured with her Big Sister Alex.  My name is Rose and I am a graduating senior. I am a happy, healthy, well adjusted, young woman who excels in school...

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...

I just returned from a series of meetings and a conference in New York City. I was traveling solo most of the week which provided me plenty of alone time...

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...

Dear Readers, I have been writing this column for seven years, but this week feels as if I am reaching out to you for the first time. I always take the summer...

  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...

When I was a kid, I fell in love with the band REM.  It was the album Out of Time that changed the way I thought about music and made...

Sometimes I feel like I am living in a commercial for Southwest Florida complete with soundbites, video clips, campaign themes and headlines. I see it all around me as I...

As expected this time of year the line to valet at the Naples resort seemed to stretch out endlessly.  Experienced Southwest Floridian’s have grown to expect this during season and...

  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...

There was something very special about Mary. She lived to be 96 and during her lifetime she was educated, married a wonderful man, was well-traveled, had children and grandchildren she...

I have always known that lessons come from those you least expect. I have experienced it many times in my life so I was surprised how long it took me...

by Brandi Couse, Director of Operations and Education, Alliance for the Arts The Alliance for the Arts is many things for many people.  For some it is a place to buy...

by Anne M. Chernin, MBA, MSW, Director of Client Services JFCS of Southwest Florida Last month I had the opportunity to travel to the University of Florida in Gainesville to participate in...

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...

Are you a student of wonder? One of the 5 values that guides our team’s work at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is encouraging curiosity and exploration to promote learning and...

A friend invited me to lunch last week.  Not long ago she had a highly successful career, owned her own business, and was a leader in her field.  Those were...

Last week I was driving down College Parkway in Fort Myers and noticed a car stalled out in a turn lane.  A moment later people were racing across the road...

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...

Neon orange shirt, crisp khaki shorts, tennis shoes, snowy white beard affixed with elastic band and a traditional red Santa hat.  He looked exactly like what you might imagine for...

by Janelle Beaber, Director of Project Advancement, New Mission Systems International Two years ago, New Mission Systems International was opening The Fig Leaf Boutique, an upscale, second hand clothing and furniture...

When it comes to anniversaries and birthdays some numbers just seem to be bigger than others. Decade and half decade markers get the most attention and provide fantastic opportunities for...

I grew up in Central Florida, which provided me access to Mickey Mouse, beautiful lakes, fresh oranges on demand and space shuttles. One of my favorite memories is going to Cape...