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Community Foundation awards over $100,000 in grants

By Staff | Nov 11, 2015

CHUCK BALLARO Mandy Carter (far left) and Joy Mahler (far right) from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, Board Treasurer Keith Veres and Executive Director Beth Sanger.

The Cape Coral Community Foundation recently handed out more than $100,000 in grant funds to multiple area organizations to help support the local community.

The foundation hosted its annual grants presentation on Thursday at the Palmetto Pine Country Club. Sponsored by IBERIABANK, the event was attended by approximately 150 community supporters, the foundation’s donors and board of directors, as well as the non-profit agencies named as the recipients.

“This is our once-a-year celebration,” Beth Sanger, executive director of the foundation, said.

This year, the foundation awarded $125,000 in grant monies to a total of 25 groups.

“The total that we’ve given out this year with grants, scholarships and community projects – we’ve given out a total of $450,000,” she said.

The mission of the foundation is to support the public well-being and improve the quality of life in the greater Cape Coral community through the stewardship of permanently endowed and gifted funds.

Last year, the foundation handed out about $110,000 to around 23 organizations.

“We try to give about the same,” Sanger said.

Since its inception in 1973, it has awarded an estimated $3.5 million.

Sanger reported that this year’s largest grant – at $10,000 – went to the Cultural Park Theatre.

“To allow them to expand an outside deck for the patrons,” she said.

The foundation also helped support the Salvation Army and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“We always focus a lot on feeding families, so we’ve given to the Community Cooperative for their mobile food pantry and the Cape Coral Caring Center,” Sanger said.

Even the Gulf Coast Humane Society benefitted this year.

“We’ve established a new fund at the foundation to help with the building of the new animal shelter in Cape Coral,” she said. “And, certainly, anyone can contribute to that fund.”

During the event, a special presentation was held for the Invest in America’s Veterans Foundation, which received $5,000. The group is working on a project near the Veterans Affairs Clinic in the city.

“They’re trying to build a Patriotic Park. It’s going to be, basically, a compound for veterans,” Sanger said, adding that it will consist of a mess hall, affordable housing, entertainment areas and more.

“We’re trying to help raise awareness,” she said.

Though some of the beneficiaries of the foundation’s grants may have offices located outside of the Cape, the funding that they receive must be used to provide services to or help support the city.

“All of our grant dollars help the residents of Cape Coral,” Sanger said.

The process takes about six weeks. Agencies must apply, then a committee of community volunteers review the applications and conduct site visits. Recommendations are then presented to the board.

“We received 26 grant applications,” she said of this year. “We were able to fully fund all the grant requests, except for one that didn’t meet the criteria.”

The public is welcome to donate to any of the organizations supported by the Cape Coral Community Foundation by stopping by the office or y visiting the website at: www.capecoralcf.org.

“This is why the Cape Coral Community Foundation exists,” Sanger said, “so that we can help donors in the community support all of these worthwhile non-profits.”

For more information, contact (239) 542-5594.

The Cape Coral Community Foundation is at 1405 S.E. 47th St., Unit 2.

The Cape Coral Community Foundation recently handed out more than $100,000 in grant funds to multiple area organizations to help support the local community. The foundation hosted its annual grants presentation on Thursday at the Palmetto Pine Country Club. Sponsored by IBERIABANK, the event was attended by approximately 150 community supporters, the foundation's donors and board of directors, as well as the non-profit agencies named as the recipients. “This is our once-a-year celebration,” Beth Sanger, executive director of the foundation, said.