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Caught in the Act of Kindness - June 2022

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


How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time. ~ Morgan Freeman


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 you have a related high-resolution photo, please include that as well.

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Nancy Suarez, Barbara Berman and Lois LeVasseur

The Rotonda West Woman’s Club donated a dozen handmade “bedtime bags” to the Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit so children entering foster care or temporary homes can feel comfort and warmth in their new surroundings.

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Students from The Immokalee Foundations Healthcare Pathway pose with Scott-Lowe, Market CEO for Physicians Regional Healthcare System (3rd from left)

Physicians Regional Healthcare System provided funding and hands-on experiential learning opportunities to support The Immokalee Foundation’s Healthcare Pathway.

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Ty Kaufman, Willem Jaron, Maggie Platten, Isabella Alvarez, Jack McElrath, Grace Humphrey and Aelia Trainer. Not pictured: Kody Horton


First Tee – Naples/Collier selected two candidates, Isabella Alvarez and Maggie Platten, as its 2022 four-year college scholarship recipients. It also presented one-time scholarship awards in the amount of $5,000 to Jack McElrath for becoming ACE Certified and $2,500 each to Kody Horton, Grace Humphrey, Willem Jaron, Ty Kaufman and Aelia Trainer.

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Autism Acceptance Awards Gala Silent Auction


Family Initiative, Inc. raised over $300,000 at its 2022 Autism Acceptance Awards Gala.

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Louise Penta donated $250,000 to underwrite the Immokalee Foundation Learning Lab home.

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Collier Community Foundation presented three grants:

  • $40,000 to Legal Aid Service of Collier County (LASCC) to support its Housing Unit and free legal services it provides to tenants

  • $10,000 to the Marco Island Center for the Arts to fund its “Every Child Deserves Art” project

  • $10,000 Food and Hunger grant to Cancer Alliance of Naples (CAN) in support of cancer patients and their families.


Rachel Toomey, Melissa Mitchell, Livia Rosales, Nicki McTeague, Emily Golden and Noelani Fender


The ‘Sunset at St. Charles Yacht Club’ Love That Dress! collection event raised $53,000 for Pace Center for Girls, Lee.

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Jim Sanger, Kathryn Kelly, Susan Scott, Gordon Fraley


The Heights Center Early Learning Program’s Craig Scott Memorial Tournament raised $50,000.

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Fun Time Early Childhood Academy recently received a $20,000 grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to support the academy’s Quality Educational Programming for spring of 2022.


Rob Funderburg, Cathy Funderburg, Doris McGuire, Don Strumillo, Neal Gelfand, Linda Kloman, Jack Keane, Beth Stein, Yone Schwab, Kitty Keane, Van Williams, Donna Messer, Mark Schwab and Dick Woodbridge

Greater Naples Leadership (GNL) members completed a comprehensive cleanup day at Naples Botanical Garden (NBG) as part of its 2022 GNL “Done in a Day” series of volunteer efforts.

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Naples-based Hope for Haiti planted 2,248 trees in the community of Boisrond. Additionally, nine months after a devastating earthquake struck southern Haiti, the organization received a $1.2 million grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation to strengthen school communities in that part of the country.

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Student tutors younger students as part of the Career Pathways program.

Immokalee Foundation received a $25,000 grant from United Way of Collier and the Keys to support its Career Pathways program.

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Community Cooperative’s Empty Bowls event raised $24,000, benefiting the nonprofit’s emergency food programs, including Sam’s Community Café & Kitchen, the Community Market, Meals on Wheels and Mobile Food Pantries. Its food drive collected over two tons of PB&J donations.


The Marco Island Community Grant Fund of the Collier Community Foundation awarded a $7,000 grant to St. Vincent de Paul Naples to support programs on Marco Island.

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Thanks to a $500 gift from the German American Social Club of Cape Coral, some Lee County 5th graders will have the opportunity to attend a Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra performance in the coming school year.

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Donna Messer, Lynda Waterhouse, Anne Fleming and Eileen Connolly-Keesler


Women’s Foundation of Collier County raised more than $12,000 for homeless senior women and young women empowerment at a Waterside Shops event.

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The Immokalee Foundation was awarded a $10,000 College Board SAT/ACT test preparation grant.


Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., P.A. (MNMW) partnered with Secure Shredding, Inc. to host its free annual Community Shred Day to benefit the United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades counties. More than 145 cars stopped by and more than $1,300 was raised. Additionally, visitors donated enough nonperishable goods, new/gently used clothing, and other items to fill a box truck for those in need.


Collier Resource Center connected the Bonita Quilters with local philanthropist Jack Nortman, to take 50 handmade quilts and tote bags to the Ukraine border.

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Jeannie Bates, Patty Baker, Jay Baker, Annelise Gerry, Susan Meyer, Ken Meyer, Sharon Ubben, Pam Wisniski and Kyle Reed

Golden PAWS officials thanked campaign leadership donors Sharon Ubben and her daughter, Pam Wisniski; Patty and Jay Baker; Ken and Susan Meyer; and Annelise Gerry at a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new training facility, the Ken & Susan Meyer Center for Golden PAWS Assistance Dogs.

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Shirley Mann, Scholarship Fund Coordinator; Elizabeth Parker; Mikayla Ricigliano; Stephane Pierre; Rocc Robaul; Christian Gonzalez-Villa; Teresa Ricigliano; David Drewek, NCB President; and Harris Lanzel, NCB Music Director/Conductor. Not pictured: Ian Laufer.

The Naples Concert Band announced annual Scholarship Fund recipients: Elizabeth Parker, Mikayla Ricigliano, Stephane Pierre, Rocc Robaul, Christian Gonzalez-Villa, Teresa Ricigliano and Ian Laufer.

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DeAngelis Diamond staff


Maria Jimene Lara and Paul Hills of NCEF

At its first-ever Mind Your Mind Community Day, David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) presented Naples-based construction management firm, DeAngelis Diamond, the Business of the Year award and Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) the Community Partner of the Year award.

Scott Lowe, Michael Wynn, Sandra Stilwell Youngquist, Gail Markham, Marie Rubenstein, Davi

Scott Lowe, Michael Wynn, Sandra Stilwell Youngquist, Gail Markham, Marie Rubenstein, David Corban, Brian Rist, Ryan Carter and Corey Lazar

Business Leaders offered wisdom and inspiration at The Immokalee Foundation’s inaugural CEO Leadership Summit. The speaker panel included CEOs Ryan D. Carter, president of Scotlynn USA Division; David Corban, president of David Corban Architects, PLLC; Scott Lowe, Market CEO of Physicians Regional Healthcare System; Gail Markham, founder of Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., P.A.; Brian Rist, chairman of Rist Family Foundation and former CEO of the Smart Companies; Michael Wynn, president of Sunshine Ace Hardware and chairman of Wynn Family Companies; and Sandra Stilwell Youngquist, CEO of Stilwell Enterprises and Restaurant Group.

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Mercedes R., Jaden M., Debora M., Bella E., Jamie R and Miranda H. Photo Credit: Kaleigh Admire

Pace Center for Girls, Collier at Immokalee honored Earth Day throughout the month of April.

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For the Love of Cats continued its partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University, increasing its scholarship funding to support two biology students enrolled in FGCU’s biology curriculum to create more interest in a career in veterinary medicine.

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