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Caught in the Act of Kindness - November 2023

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


Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. ~Helen Keller

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Jay Allen performing at the concert

The Charity Pros’ Hurricane Heroes All-Star Concert raised $60,000, presenting $20,000 each to Music aLIVE SWFL, Lewis P. Tabarrini Children's Music Outreach Foundation and “Megan’s Wish” program. Southwest Florida Hurricane Heroes honored were Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno; Fort Myers Beach Mayor Dan Allers; Ed and Kim Ryan of Beach Talk Radio; Pastors Shawn and Mallie Critser from Beach Baptist Church; and Doug Miller and Amy Eldridge of FK Your Diet. Special recognition was made to Florida Senator Jay Collins for his efforts with Operation BBQ Relief.

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Collier Community Foundation committed at least $1.6 million to raise several homes to mitigate damage from future hurricanes in Everglades City. Additionally, CCF provided a $32,500 grant to Charity for Change, a $30,000 grant to Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, a $25,000 grant to Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance and a $15,000 grant to Immokalee Foundation’s Child Literacy Program.

Immokalee Fair Housing Construction Drone Shot

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Elementary school students participate in The Immokalee Readers Literacy Program

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Sue Bookbinder donated $1 million to Lighthouse of Collier to continue to foster independence and enhance the quality of life for the blind, visually impaired and their caregivers.

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Better Together’s ‘A Night of a Million Dreams’ Gala raised $569,896 to support its mission of strengthening families and preventing the need for foster care.

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Karen Pulte, event’s Title Sponsor, and kids

Boys & Girls Club of Collier County’s FORE the KIDS golf event raised nearly $260,000 to support its mission to empower all young people.

Emily James; Linda Cleveland; Jean Ann Lynch; professional auctioneer Shannon Livingston;

Emily James; Linda Cleveland; Jean Ann Lynch; professional auctioneer Shannon Livingston; and emcee Lois Thome Photo Credit: Anthony Zollo

At a Baby Basics Fashion Show luncheon, Emily James painted and donated the painting shown in photo to be auctioned; Linda Cleveland bought the painting; Shannon Livingston volunteered her services as the professional auctioneer; and Lois Thome of WINK TV volunteered her time to emcee the event. Jean Ann Lynch is the founder of Baby Basics and has invested more than three decades to fulfilling its mission.

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Golfers at dinner after the Autumn Classic

Golisano Children’s Hospital Fashion Show raised $130,000 for its PICU, which cares for critically ill and injured children from birth to 21 years old. The Autumn Classic Golf Tournament raised nearly $75,000 for the hospital’s pediatric neurosurgery program.

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Krissy Yanes and Carolyn Staley-Penix

The American Red Cross granted nearly $200,000 to NAMI Collier County to expand its free children’s program, Health Under Guided Systems (HUGS).

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The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation awarded a $130,000 grant to Better Together and a $45,000 grant to Leadership Collier Foundation.

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Reception and auction items

Pace Center for Girls, Lee’s Faces of Pace Gala raised $174,580 to continue its work in creating brighter futures for girls and young women.

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STARability Foundation raised more than $100,000 at its Annual Run, Walk & Roll 5K to expand the organization’s programs and services for people with developmental disabilities.

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KeyBank Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) for its Out-of-School Time Initiative.

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Microsoft Career Panel for Immokalee Foundation students

Microsoft awarded a grant for a two-year pilot program of a collaboration named TechSpark Immokalee with The Immokalee Foundation, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and the Collier County Industrial Development Authority to ensure digital skills training for Immokalee students.

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Trevor Walsh and Julia Surow

Bonita Senior Center gala raised $95,000 to help seniors in southern Lee County live independently.

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Heads or Tails game finalists

The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples’ Backyard Bash raised nearly $78,000, which will enable 520 families to experience the museum throughout the year, taking advantage of member benefits.

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The Tommy Bohanon Foundation provided $50,000 in sports grants to five local programs: Mariner High School Athletics Program, North Fort Myers High School Athletics Program, Dunbar High School Athletics Program, Pathways to Opportunity Program, Riverdale High School Athletics and Island Coast High School Athletics.

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PBS Contractors’ Russell's Barbecue raised $38,000 for Avow and their mission to create peace of mind by providing compassionate care and support to those who need them.

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June Falcone Raffle 10 Winner

Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida’s (PASWFL) fundraising event raised more than $37,000, directly benefiting more than 7,000 members of our local community diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in Collier County and southern Lee County

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Bonita Springs YMCA Charity Golf Tournament raised $28,000 for its programs and scholarships.

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Pulte Family Charitable Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to Baker Senior Center Naples to expand its “Choice” Food Pantry program.

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Andrew Hill Investment Advisors, Inc. awarded $5,000 grants to The Immokalee Foundation and Trinity Life Foundation Inc. in conjunction with National Philanthropy Day.

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Bonnie McPhetres of Women of the Moose and Jessica Stanfield of A.N.A's Friends

Women of the Moose Chapter 1582 made the first donation of $450 to Southwest Florida’s recently rebranded nonprofit organization, A.N.A.’s Friends, formerly known as the Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit.

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Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) was recognized as Harry Chapin Food Bank’s October 2023 Donor of the Month.

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STARability participants Dago Romero and Alexis Kypriotes with the Winfield Street Coffee team

STARability Foundation presented its STAR Award to Winfield Street Coffee.

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Staff and campers tie-dye their camp shirts

Avow Kids provided Camp MendingHeart for 20 children ages 7 to 17 to process grief at Riverside Retreat in Labelle.

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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