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Military connections highlighted in local man’s book

By Staff | Dec 31, 2014

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation will host a book signing for John Sheppard, whose newest release delves into Lee County’s connection to the heroes and battles of the two world wars.

“Impact Six Degrees of Separation” focuses on those living or training in Lee County and serving in World War I and World War II. Notable figures highlighted in the book include Gen. John Pershing, Col. Paul Tibbetts, Thomas Edison, Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, President Franklin Roosevelt, Col. Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford.

The cover of the book was designed by artist Ellen Sheppard, who is also the author’s wife. John Sheppard is a co-founder of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and personalized autographs on Jan. 12 from 9 to 10 a.m., at Community Foundation offices, 8771 College Parkway, Building 2, Suite 201, Fort Myers.

“So many veterans who trained here during the wars have left an indelible mark in our community and it was my honor to research the many war heroes who have ties to our area,” John Sheppard said.

Book sale proceeds will benefit nonprofits.

Sheppard was instrumental in founding the Southwest Florida Community Foundation along with J. Tom Smoot, Jr., a small group of civic leaders in 1976 and has been a trustee for many years and remains active with the Foundation. He is well-known in the community as a humanitarian who devotes his life to helping others.

Born in Lee County, Fla., he attended Fort Myers High School and the University of Florida in Gainesville to earn his undergraduate and law degrees. After graduation, Sheppard served with the U.S. Army for two years and then joined his family law firm. He retired after 37 years of private practice. Writing and publishing books has kept him busy in retirement.

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.

The Community Foundation, founded in 1976, connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $80 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $60 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves.

Last year, the foundation granted more than $2.8 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services. The Foundation granted $782,000 in nonprofit grants including more than $400,000 in regional community impact grants and additional $450,000 in scholarship grants.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call (239) 274-5900, or visit floridacommunity.com.