The Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club has announced it plans to rebuild its community clubhouse after it was destroyed by Hurricane Ian. Built in 1938, the historic Woman’s Clubhouse was the island’s first schoolhouse, a teenager’s dance hall and a community meeting place.
Built in 1938 the facility ran as a school until 1948 when it no longer could house all the island children. The historic building serves as a remembrance to the Estero island architecture. Throughout the past 82 years, it weathered many storms. It could not withstand the powerful Ian that wiped out so many structures on September 28, 2022.
“We have saved the original signage and cameo that was outside the clubhouse,” said Megan Allers, VP of Facilities. “We also saved some of the original pecky cypress wood that was prevalent throughout the original schoolhouse.”
In 2020, the Woman’s Club began the process of a Capital Campaign, but was stalled by COVID. Now with Hurricane Ian, a new plan will be developed. No date has been set for the new Capital Campaign and rebuild, but the Woman’s Club is committed to rebuilding a community hub for the town and non-profits to enjoy.
Since Hurricane Ian, The Woman’s Club has partnered with The Community Foundation to develop the #WeAreFMB 33931 Fund. With generous donations from all over the world, The Woman’s Club has been able to make the following contributions back to the community:
– $250,000 direct donation– to the #WeAreFMB 33931 Fund, which has distributed $575,000 to Residents in the 33931 Zip Code.
– The Christmas Tree Festival raised an additional $10,060 to the #WeAreFMB Fund, and $3,175 for area nonprofits.
– $5,000 was in Wishlist Items were purchased for FMB Elementary Teachers.
– More than $40,000 has been purchased in supplies for the Buttonwood facility, including generators, power washers, shop vacs and power tools.