(By Nancy Bouchard) Wow! Over $70,000. Yes, over $70,000 was distributed by The Community Foundation this week to benefit the lives of everyone living or working on Fort Myers Beach.
May 4, 2022 will be remembered as one of the most fabulous celebrations ever. At the Island Pancake House, members of the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation achieved this amazing philanthropic accomplishment.
Education is a major part of the mission of FMBCF. We distributed thousands to over 10 students who attend either Florida Southwestern College or other colleges such as FGCU, FSU, Salon Professional Academy, and UCF. We also completed funding our endowment at FSW – in just two years.
The health and welfare of our neighbors benefited with donations to Choice Market, God’s Table, and St Vincent de Paul. These organizations provide food, money for utilities and other necessities, and help to the homeless. Craig Nelms of Choice Market explained the need for food for many underemployed people.
Our efforts include the children. Chantal Blais explained that the PTO supports the teachers in tremendous ways from ink and paper to end-of-the-year celebrations. There are five summer camps on or near Estero Island—Bay Oaks, Mound House, Edison Sailing, Ostego Bay, and Friends of Lovers Key. Denise Monahan has been teaching children how to sail for over a decade and has seen amazing growth in them.
What a joy to hand Eve Haverfield funds to enhance Turtle Time’s pamphlets. It was amazing timing as she was pondering updating and printing more when our call came through.
The culture of our home is important in our ever-changing world. Betty Simpson of the Estero Island Historic Society explained that the funds will go to the speakers and efforts they provide to keep our past stories alive. The FMB Film Festival was a huge success last weekend and the FMB Art Association will continue to provide classes and shows.
With all the joy of the culmination of our successful year, many people were recognized. Mary Louise Bauman received the President’s Award for her guidance and drive to establish the FSW Endowed Scholarship. Kelly Smith received the Nancy Mulholland Star award voted on by our members.
Lastly, our membership meetings truly inspired friendships of all who attended. We sincerely thank Robert and Tina Morrill for opening up The Island Pancake House and hosting them. What fun we had!
$70,000. Well, actually, in the last two years, the total the FMBCF distributed is $134,000. Wow!
Nancy Bouchard is the President of The Community Foundation on Fort Myers Beach and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.