The Women’s Legacy Fund (WLF) of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation held its 5th annual fall luncheon on October 28 at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Myers with over one hundred guests in attendance.
From the moment that guests began to arrive at the venue, there was a feeling of solidarity and purpose. WLF Steering Committee chair Gay Thompson worked tirelessly with other WLF leaders, WLF volunteers, and Community Foundation staff to make this year's fall luncheon extra special.
After a delicious lunch and warm welcome speeches, a grant of $10,000 was awarded to representatives of a joint venture of the Salvation Army, the United Way of Lee County, and Lee Memorial Health System for the new United Way House located in North Fort Myers. The Salvation Army is the lead agency for the venture in North Fort Myers, providing case management through their medical social services program and linking to several existing homeless and low-income outreach efforts in North Fort Myers. The grant enables the Salvation Army to hire a part-time Lead Social Services Worker to run the social services arm of the clinic, provide the primary case management, and coordinate other service providers. This new United Way House opened in September of 2011. It is the second United Way House to offer medical services of the Lee Physician’s Group to low income and uninsured/ under-insured children, families, and individuals.
After the grant award, special guest speaker Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Molloy was introduced and he expertly educated attendees about the growing problem of human trafficking, which has become the second largest crime in the world, and which is, unfortunately, alive and well here in Southwest Florida. Molloy talked candidly about his role in prosecuting this crime, and encouraged those in the audience to assist local victim advocacy groups in exposing it. Unless the victims speak up, Molloy said, he can't put the "bad guys" behind bars, so helping victims to bring their cases to the courts is essential.
After Molloy's speech, the next highlight of the luncheon was the WLF Angel presentation. A WLF Angel is a special designation bestowed upon mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, grandchildren, friends, community leaders and community volunteers either living or deceased, who have had a special impact on the lives of those around them. A woman can be designated as a WLF Angel through a minimum contribution of $1,000 in their name to the WLF endowment.
Several new WLF Angels were honored at this year's event, including a few surprises: Alexandra Bremner, Eunice Bremner, Rusty Brown, Pat Limegrover, and Carolyn Rogers. You can read the bios of the special angels HERE.
Southwest Florida Community Foundation's (SWFLCF) new President and CEO, Sarah Owen, was also introduced at the event, which was held on the first day of her employment with SWFLCF.
Overall, it was an exciting afternoon that saw renewed energy and support for the Women's Legacy Fund as it continues to focus on its mission of improving the quality of life in Southwest Florida through a woman’s perspective.