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CHAPTER 169

Caught in the Act of Kindness - June 2024

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

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Over 37 years, The League Club has provided $7.3 million in grants to 217 nonprofit organizations in Collier and Lee counties that are supporting children, families, the elderly and veterans. These monies are raised from The League Club’s Annual Fundraiser, NAPLES TABLES® held every spring, and from the generosity of The League Club members and donors in the community.

 

For 2024, The League Club awarded grants to the following 35 area nonprofit organizations totaling $683,000: Alliance for Period Supplies; A.N.A.'s Friends; Arts Bonita; Better Together Strengthening Families; Bikes for Tykes; Blessings in a Backpack; Books for Collier Kids; Charity for Change; Childcare of SWFL; Children's Home Society of Florida, Inc.; Community Cooperative; Dress for Success; Florida Lion's Eye Clinic; Fostering Success; Freedom Waters Foundation; Goodwill Industries; Habitat for Humanity of Collier County; Harry Chapin Food Bank of SWFL; Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance; Laces of Love; Lee County Alliance of the Arts; Lighthouse of Collier County; Lighthouse of Southwest Florida; Meals of Hope; Naples Lion's Club Foundation; Naples Therapeutic Riding Center; Neighborhood Health Clinic; Our Daily Bread Food Pantry; Pan Florida Challenge; Partners for Breast Cancer Care; St. Matthew's House; The Immokalee Foundation; Warrior Homes of Collier; Wheelchairs 4 Kids; and Youth Haven, Inc.

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Photo of Jeff Provol courtesy of Tax Advisory Group at HBK

The Collier Community Foundation received an unrestricted estate gift of approximately $17 million from G. Jeffrey “Jeff” Provol, a Naples resident whose legacy will significantly impact the community through his quiet yet visionary philanthropy. These generous funds represent the most substantial gift CCF has received in its 39-year history.

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Gulfshore Playhouse Baker Theatre and Education Center received a generous $1 million matching gift from Glenda and Rich Struthers.

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Left: Joan Thomas, wife of the late George Thomas who served as a board member of the Founders Scholarship Fund for many years, presented a college scholarship in his honor to Charles Nicholson.

Founders Scholarship Fund awarded $720,000 worth of college scholarships to 30 Collier County students at an awards presentation held at Club Pelican Bay.

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Family Initiative’s 2024 annual Autism Acceptance Awards Gala raised $432,000 to provide family-centered compassionate support, innovative programs and evidence-based therapies to children, teens and young adults impacted by autism spectrum disorder.

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The Florida Lions Eye Clinic held its annual fundraising event, Vision Fest, at the Bonita Springs Lions Club Hall, raising $85,000 in support of the mission to provide essential eye care services to underserved individuals in the community. FLLEC was also awarded a $30,000 grant from the Naples Children & Education Foundation in support of the mission. 

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Claudine Leger-Wetzel and Denise Murphy

The Leadership Collier Foundation honored Stock Development with one of the 2024 Leadership Legacy Awards showcasing their exceptional commitment to LCF programming, LCF alumni engagement and philanthropic support.

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Harry Chapin Food Bank dedicated its Donor of the Month honor to its active volunteers — more than 5,100 of them! In 2023, these dedicated individuals provided nearly 65,000 hours of service to Harry Chapin Food Bank, which equates to more than $2 million of in-kind services. Also, Lee County Solid Waste collected 7,623 pounds of food during its annual “Donated not Wasted” food rescue campaign — an initiative that encourages seasonal residents and visitors to donate unopened pantry items before returning north — to donate to Harry Chapin Food Bank.

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Olde Hickory Golf and Country Club residents hosted Stars Fighting Cancer raising $65,000 to support the American Cancer Society’s mission. 

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Scott Fischer with Kathryn Kelly from The Heights Foundation

The Fischer Family Foundation awarded $67,400 in grant funding to support six local nonprofits: Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County; Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida; Community Cooperative; The Heights Foundation; The Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties; and Youth Haven, Inc.

Video creation by Decius Films

 

Renee Manzolillo, owner and founder of Breakin Boundaries and The Sacred Alignment ™  BIZ + Wellness Community group, organized and curated the Second Annual Spring Into Action Gala raising $40,000 to benefit the children of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida.

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Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida’s Disability Services program received a grant of $45,000 from the Golisano Foundation to formalize the Goodwill Disability Navigation Program. It also received a $5,000 donation from Valley Bank for its Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise Institute program.

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New Horizons of SWFL received a $30,000 grant from Copperleaf Charitable Foundation.

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Help A Diabetic Child was awarded a $23,000 grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to purchase insulin, diabetes medical supplies and medical services for children and young adults in Southwest Florida who live with Type 1 diabetes and struggle to afford their life-saving diabetes care.

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Members of the Southwest Florida Gator Club gathered in the new kitchen of the Family Is Forever Home in Fort Myers for their annual Gator day of service to bake and decorate cookies with the children and teens of Valerie’s House. Also in attendance were University of Florida graduates, Phil and Susan Bennett, who donated $25,000 to sponsor the communications office at Valerie’s House.

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Hundreds of individuals gathered in Cambier Park for Avow’s 18th annual Butterfly Release contributing more than $76,000 to support its mission. The remembrance ceremony gave flight to over 1,000 butterflies — symbolizing hope, transformation and remembrance — as the names of 650 loved ones were read aloud.

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TLC Marketing & Creative Services held a Mother's Day Jewelry Drive where thousands of pieces of costume jewelry were collected for Bonita Springs Elementary School children to select for the special women in their lives. The event was a huge success thanks to the volunteers from both Bonita AM and Bonita-Naples Noon Rotary who sorted through the jewelry and for Shangri La Springs for donating the room and refreshments.

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 inspireme@ebellamag.com. Please include a related high-resolution photo as well.

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If you want to make sure someone you know also gets èBella èXtra, submit their email address in the box below or send their email address to inspireme@ebellamag.com.

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