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Caught in the Act of Kindness - May 2023

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


“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.” ~Albert Schweitzer

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Family Initiative raised $391,000 at its 2023 Autism Acceptance Awards Gala 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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WLW Leadership Cabinet Member Ingrid Aielli and WLW Honorary Chair Elizabeth Star.
Photography by Nick Shirghio Photography.


Women's Foundation of Collier County’s Women Lifting Women campaign raised $135,000 for homeless senior women in Collier County at its Sea Salt charity luncheon.

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Pace Girls Shantal, Shelby and Yuritza.
Photo Credit: Nick Ummarino


Pace Center for Girls, Collier raised $210,000 at its annual luncheon, which will be used to serve at-risk girls ages 12-18.

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St. Matthew's House Dean Lind Golf Classic raised more than $280,000 to provide hope, help and healing to those experiencing hunger, homelessness, poverty and addiction.

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First Horizon Foundation donated $75,000 to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida, which will allow them to continue their work with children and families in a safe environment.

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Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, awarded a $60,000 grant to Leadership Collier Foundation to expand the work-based learning initiatives of the Greater Naples Chamber.

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Bob Miner on the tenor sax (Top Shelf Trio featuring Bob Miner)

Guardian ad Litem Foundation’s Jazz on the Harbor celebration raised $35,591 to fund the foundation’s Children's Needs Program, which supports local children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned and are placed in foster care or temporary homes.

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Collier Senior Center Social Services Coordinator Alelaniz (Lani) Rosario with an Emergency Direct Assistance Program participant

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation presented Collier Senior Center with a $30,000 grant to provide Collier County adults ages 60+ and living within 175% of the federal poverty level with financial assistance to meet their most basic needs.

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Paula DiGrigoli, Cari Jones, Gloria Padilla, Jean Ann Lynch and Julie Pedretti

The Hangout by Two Guys hosted a "guest bartenders and karaoke for a cause" to raise funds and awareness for Baby Basics.

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NAMI Collier County raised more than $35,000 as well as mental health awareness and support at its 21st annual ‘Hope Shines’ walk.

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United Way awarded a $15,000 grant to Help A Diabetic Child to support underserved children and young adults in Southwest Florida who have Type 1 diabetes and cannot afford life-saving insulin, diabetes medical supplies and medical services.


Bonita-Estero Elks Lodge #2753 awarded an $8,000 grant to New Horizons of SWFL, providing resources for Super Teens stations including computers for their Masterclass lab, educational games and art supplies.

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Geoff Cross, Martin de St. Pierre and David Gordley

First Horizon Foundation provided a $10,000 health and social services grant to Naples Therapeutic Riding Center to provide services to children and adults with physical, social and mental health needs.

Randy Schumacher, Jason Cooper, Bill Starr, Armando Hernandez, Barb Brown and Bill O'Dell_

Randy Schumacher, Jason Cooper, Bill Starr, Armando Hernandez, Barb Brown and Bill O’Dell

Copperleaf Charitable Foundation donated $40,000 to Home Base Florida, a local nonprofit dedicated to supporting Veterans and military families, founded by the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Collier County Medical Society and the Foundation of CCMS hosted the Women's Health Forum, raising nearly $6,500 to provide support and leadership to programs that address access to health care and promote health education.

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The Marco Island Community Fund of Collier Community Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to Better Together to support the expansion of its programs to keep struggling families together on Marco Island.

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New Horizons of SWFL held its Come Fly With Me fundraising event to assure that under-resourced students in Southwest Florida receive what they need to succeed in school and life.

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Youth Haven donors Valerie and Arturo Guido funded a trip to Walt Disney World for Youth Haven’s children and teens who have been traumatized, abused, neglected and homeless.

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Dr. Ashish Sharma and Dr. Nadia Kazim

Community School of Naples’ Angel Ball raised funds to provide financial aid to deserving students who would otherwise not be able to afford the tuition.

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Copyright and credit Michael Shapiro

Florida Repertory Theatre‘s Silver Jubilee Gala raised over $560,000, which will advance the organization’s education and outreach programs serving SWFL children, and help sustain and enhance its nationally recognized professional theatre offerings.

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Sealy & Company contributed $20,125 to Collaboratory in Fort Myers as a result of an initiative called “Source Deals, Serve Others,” where funds are given to a cause of a JLL commercial real estate broker’s choice. The donation was made on behalf of Brad Berzins, SIOR, managing director for JLL, and John Dunphy, CCIM, SIOR, senior managing director for JLL.

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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