Hundreds take pledge to give at Southwest Florida Community Foundation Annual Meeting
Event coincided with National Philanthropy Day and Community Foundation
The week also coincided with Community Foundation Week Nov. 12 to 18, a week aimed at showing foundation’s critical roles in supporting thriving local communities.
“Community foundations invest in our communities to impact lives, solve problems and improve futures,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the SWFLCF. “We are overwhelmed that so many stepped up to our call and theme of ‘give differently’ and plan to make a real difference in our community.”
Modeled after many of the nation’s billionaires including Bill and Melinda Gates’ and Warren Buffet’s move in 2010 to pledge at least half of their net work to charity during their lifetimes or upon death, Owen called on attendees to make their own pledge to give something back to the Southwest Florida community.
“While many of us don’t think of ourselves as philanthropists or even wealthy, let alone billionaires, the fact is that there are ways we can all give that will help others in our community without affecting our current income or charitable commitments,” Owen said. “Taking the pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract. It does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations. We are inspired by the example set by millions of Americans who give generously and often at great personal sacrifice to make the world a better place.”
During the event, local CPA Gene Solomon was presented with the 2012 John W. Sheppard Award. The award is given annually to an outstanding individual who has given selfless dedication to humanity and made significant contributions to the SWFLCF. He joined the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Board in 1982 and has served on many committees as well as vice president and president of the foundation’s board. He currently serves as a senior advisor. Past recipients include John Sheppard, David Lucas, Peter Kleist, Arnold Sarlo, Frank Bireley, Jim Nathan, Sam Galloway, Jr., Tom Smoot, David G. Robinson and Bill Frey.
The SWFLCF is celebrating its 36th year of supporting the communities of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry counties by connecting donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $64 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $52 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. During its 2012 fiscal year, the SWFLCF granted more than $3 million to more than 100 different organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts and human services.
A Year in Review by Dawn-Marie Driscoll, Chair of the Board
Presented at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Annual Meeting, November 15, 2012, Harborside Event Center, Fort Myers, FL
Tonight, I would like to review some of the things the Foundation has accomplished in the past year:
Annual Meeting Photos