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Caught in the Act of Kindness - February 2023

Celebrating individuals, groups and organizations that share their time, talent and treasure to meet the needs in our community.


What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?  ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Photo by Mila Bridger


The 2023 Naples Winter Wine Festival raised nearly $26 million to support at-risk and underprivileged children in Collier County. The live auction alone raised just over $600,000.

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An anonymous board member pledged a new $1 million matching gift in support of Artis—Naples’ multidisciplinary mission, encompassing wide-ranging community initiatives and education programs.

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Nancy Ruben, elementary school counselor, and Mary Farr, Barron Collier High School Spanish teacher, receive funds to assist with housing challenges.

Thanks to a $500,000 grant from the Wanda and James M. Moran, Jr. Foundation, the Collier Community Foundation, provided a $587,000 grant to Champions For Learning to assist school educators and staff facing transportation and housing challenges due to Hurricane Ian. CCF provided additional funding through its Collier Comes Together Hurricane Relief Fund.

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Local interior designers Lisa Davenport of LDD Interiors, Jolene Hardy of Jolene Designs, Luanza Maitland with Norris Furniture & Interiors and Mickey Dickson Marzucco with Ecru and Ebony Design volunteered to help Valerie’s House design its new Lee County Forever Home!

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Baby Basics volunteers Georgianne Farley and Bev Gromek with Guadalupe Center President, Dawn Montecalvo; Baby Basics President and Founder, Jean Ann Lynch; and Nenaly Patino, executive assistant to the president at Guadalupe Center

Baby Basics of Collier County recently partnered with Guadalupe Center in Immokalee to provide diapers each month for the babies in their program.

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Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, in partnership with various community organizations, held a school supply drive and recently replenished supplies for more than 700 Southwest Florida students, many of whom were displaced by Hurricane Ian and lost their personal possessions.

Immokalee Foundation postsecondary students Yves Pierre from Florida International Univers

Immokalee Foundation postsecondary students Yves Pierre from Florida International University and David Silva from Florida Gulf Coast University


The Isabella Eghrari Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to 16 Immokalee Foundation postsecondary students who successfully completed the first semester of their freshman year in college. They are required to use their $500 awards for something fun.

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Collier Community Foundation recently awarded a Collier Comes Together grant in the amount of $2,350 to Naples Historical Society for the repair of the alley security gate and adjacent fence protecting Historic Palm Cottage.

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Charity for Change received a $25,000 grant from the Collier Community Foundation to update its elementary school curriculum to meet new state educational standards. It also received a $16,572 grant from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Naples.

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The Immokalee Foundation Dream Gala raised more than $1.8 million to help make dreams come true and support the educational needs of over 1,300 students in Immokalee.

Guadalupe Center raised $1.4 million at its gala, ELEVATE: Endless Possibilities.

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Karen Fitzgerald, Mary Ann Keneally, Danyel Baker and Liz Pechock. Photographer: Helen Werner

Youth Haven raised over $500,000 at its Cherish the Children luncheon.

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Cole Caruso; Laurie Cowan-Phillips; Karen Schmitt; PPSWCF CEO, Stephanie Fraim; and PPSWCF Global Director, Dawn Laguens

Planned Parenthood’s Choice Affair in Naples raised $485,000.


Mike Carpenter, Dottie Post, Bill Post, Dudley Billings, Duwayne Wessels and George Johnson. Photo credit: Shane Antalick Photography

The 7th Annual MarineMax Yacht Gala raised more than $330,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital.

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Scott Fischer and Lisa Farrell-Sands, co-hosts of the Annual Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational, present a check to one of three recipients.

The 26th Annual Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational raised $78,000 to benefit children in need. The three organizations receiving grants include the Real Estate Investment Society Scholarship Fund at Florida Gulf Coast University, Blessings in a Backpack of Southwest Florida and Valerie’s House.


For the Love of Cats raised in excess of $45,000 at its casino-themed fundraising event, Catsino Night.

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Bentley Village Foundation grant presentation

Baker Senior Center Naples was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Bentley Village Foundation, Inc. to help provide staffing and supplies to enhance the senior center’s Creative Arts Program.


Guadalupe Center was the recipient of nearly $20,000 raised from Preferred Travel of Naples’ exclusive ship tours in January.


Chris Andrews, Kim Gratton, Emily Fogelgren, Donnie Green, Rick Giovannelli, LuAnn Giovannelli

The Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit, raised $10,290 at Golfing Fore a Great Cause, a fundraising event at Topgolf, for programs benefiting children and teens in foster care.

For consideration in Caught in the Act of Kindness, email an example of how an individual, group or organization went above and beyond to help those in need to Please include a related high-resolution photo as well.

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