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Gomer earns Tabor Award

By Staff | Nov 7, 2013

David W. Gomer is not a man who likes to brag about his accomplishments.

That is probably why he made the perfect recipient of the 2013 Tabor Award, which was given to him Wednesday during the Cape Coral Community Foundation’s 40th annual celebration at the Westin Cape Coral at Marina Village.

It is also why the many in attendance, including past recipients of the award, said such an honor was long overdue.

The Tabor Award is given annually to the city’s outstanding philanthropist, but it’s more than that, according to Beth Sanger, executive director of the CCCF.

“It’s truly about people with the undying love for this community, who give their, time, talent and treasures,” Sander said. “David has stayed true to this organization.”

He also was among the founding fathers of the CCCF, an organization that has put $2.5 million back into the community in grants, scholarships and community projects, with an endowment of more than $8.5 million with 40 named contributors.

“Getting it started when we were young and in a community that had a lot of growth, it had potential,” Gomer said. “It took a long time to get there, but we’ve done a great job over the years. It’s providing a lot of input into the community.”

Elmer Tabor, the man for whom the award is named, said Gomer is the embodiment for what the award is about and that he served as a mentor to him and that the award could have easily been named the Gomer Award.

“There are a lot of people behind the scenes who are trying to make positive things happen and not looking for the accolades,” Elmer Tabor said. “The previous award winners don’t talk about that, they want to see positive things happen. They stay behind the scenes, but they’re the movers and shakers.”

Listening to Gomer, you would think he wasn’t worthy at all judging by the humility.

“I don’t like to brag about what I’ve done. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” Gomer said, who moved to Cape Coral from Minnesota in 1966 and is the only living member of the founding board. “It’s a great honor. I just like to do things for the community. I’m happy to be honored and continue to do my part.”

Among the highlights, besides the CCCF, include being president and CEO of Cape Coral Bank and Trust from 1966 to 1981, a director, president and CEO of Community National Bank from 1985 to 1991 and Cape Coral National Bank from 1994 to 2002.

It was in that capacity that Gomer, along with fellow Tabor recipient Paul Sanborn, helped put the city on the map by providing the money needed to help grow the city.

Gomer is also the managing partner of various real estate companies, and was recently re-elected to serve as a trustee of LCEC.

Yet, one more piece of evidence of his work is his son, Brian, who will become the chairman of the CCCF board of directors next year.

Watching his father win the award was a source of pride, since he learned everything about philanthropy from him.

“It’s great to be here and share the experience with him. It’s hard to believe what it was 40 years ago and see what it’s become today,” Brian said. “He taught by example. He did a lot in the community and involved the family in that. If he did it, we did it. It becomes an experience of what you’re supposed to do.”