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Cape non-profits honored at ENPYs

By Staff | Oct 20, 2017

Nearly 200 of the area’s charitable heavyweights gathered at the Crowne Plaza Bell Tower Wednesday for the inaugural Excellence in Nonprofit Performance Yearly Awards.

The ENPYs, presented by the Cape Coral Community Foundation, was created to honor the efforts of top non-profit companies, executives and volunteers.

“We thought it would be good to recognize some of the unsung heroes of Southwest Florida, those who work in the non-profits, but go unrecognized,” said Michael Chatman, executive director of the foundation. “We wanted to do something special for them and express our appreciation. In the quietness of their heart, they want to be appreciated.”

Chatman, along with news anchor Krista Fogelsong of ABC-7, handed out the awards in nine categories, for which more than 80 organizations were nominated.

The winners were:

Non-profit Organization of the Year: Community Cooperative

Non-Profit Rising Organization of the Year: Valerie’s House

Nonprofit Executive of the Year: Samira Beckwith, Hope Healthcare

Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year: Dean Piccirillo, Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce

Nonprofit Employee of the Year: Megan Feeney, Goodwill Industries of SWFL

Nonprofit Volunteer of the Year: Ingrid Fuller, Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida

Nonprofit Business Partner of the Year: Smart Companies

Michel Doherty Community Impact Award: Jeanne Sweeney

Paul Sanborn Service Above Self Award: James Gravedoni

Brian Rist, president of Smart Companies, said he thought it was great when the Foundation approached them about the idea.

“I had no expectation of being a finalist. It was very rewarding to be named in the end,” Rist said. “To be part of this group that helps others, that’s what it’s all about. When you see these people, it’s the core group that goes out to help others. It’s humbling.”

Angela Melvin, of Valerie’s House, an organization devoted to helping children and families work through grief following the death of a loved one, said she never expected a company that started just the beginning of last year would find itself as the rising star of the local nonprofits.

“It’s an award I will always remember because it’s about what we’ve been able to accomplish on the last two years in the community. It’s fun and exciting because there’s so much more ahead of us,” Melvin said. “We got a lot of help from the community to give children a place to go.”

Beckwith said it was an honor to win because it let people know more about what their organizations do, and that when an individual wins, the whole team wins.

“It’s a wonderful way to show appreciation for our staff and volunteers because they are our organization,” Beckwith said. “The foundation did a great job for an inaugural event. It was a lovely afternoon and it’s important to showcase the way people in the community work together.”