Working for community improvement: Northwest Homeowners Association forms non-profit
Water quality, property values and general quality of life issues in Northwest Cape Coral prompted the formation of a fundraising non-profit organization to address those issues and many more.
The Northwest Cape Coral Foundation has a similar mission to the Northwest Neighborhood Association, but with one key difference. The foundation will be able to raise tax-deductible donations and seek out local, state and federal grants to fund projects to enhance the quality of life in the community.
“We were never able to take donations or seek grants to serve our members, but people wanted to donate,” said NWNA president Denis Catalano. “The foundation is a totally separate entity. It’s not a membership organization, but it can apply for grants to do projects.”
The NWNA currently has 900 members and has worked closely with the City of Cape Coral on projects like the Seven Islands project, road paving and median beautification.
“I’m excited about the foundation,” said Catalano, who sits on the foundation’s governing board as a member at-large. “I support it. I think it’s a good thing for the northwest Cape. Before, we had to depend on others to do studies, but now the foundation can get it done through an independent agent with grant funding.”
Renee Marazon is a recently retired resident in the northwest Cape who helped draw up the foundation’s 501 c 3 documents because of her background in grant writing and familiarity with non-profits up north. She also is the vice president of the foundation’s board, serving beside president Deborah Coaker, secretary Ken Weiss, treasurer Doug Kidd, and members at-large John Bashaw, Bill Swartzwelder and Catalano.
“We are registered with the state of Florida as a non-profit,” said Marazon. “We will be partnering with the local colleges and universities as we focus on our estuaries, wetlands, bike trails, kayak launches, mangrove protection to enhance the quality of life in Northwest Cape.”
The foundation set up an online survey to see what issues the residents see as important in order to set priorities for the board. The survey established water quality as the overwhelming top priority.
“Water quality was the big one, along with the environment,” said Marazon. “There are so many grants out there. They are untapped sources of money for communities. It’s my passion to help my community. You can’t do projects all the time with taxpayer money.”
For more information on the foundation or to donate visit the website www.nwccfoundation.org