FMB Community Foundation Gala

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Peace, Love, Joy on January 31

Slightly over a half-century ago, Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang in the song, “Woodstock,” about that year’s epic rock-n-roll festival extravaganza that promoted Peace, Love & Joy: “We’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden!” To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation, its members want you to get back to the DiamondHead Resort & Spa for its annual Fundraising Gala on Friday, January 31, at 6 p.m.

“While the Woodstock Music Festival did not care much about money, ultimately becoming a free show, we do,” laughed FMB Community Foundation President Sheryl Bowman, who explained that tickets are $100-per-person. “We may be all about peace and love and joy, but for the FMB Community Foundation to stay relevant, we need your financial support during our two annual fundraisers. In addition to the Gala, we host as well a Luncheon near the end of each March at the South Beach Grille that includes a Fashion Show, so while that one is geared toward the ladies, the Gala is for men and women, young and old alike, so just as with Woodstock, we hope to attract them all!”

When contemplating Gala concepts several months ago, “we wanted something that would be light and fun and entertaining, but not with a same-old, same-old; been-there, done-that theme,” Sheryl recalled. “While brainstorming, someone mentioned that the 50th anniversary of Woodstock was occurring, and all of our collective lightbulbs came on. We encourage everyone to dress in your 1960s finest, or just casual if you prefer, but unlike the real Woodstock, wearing some type of clothing is mandatory!”

Sheryl encourages everyone to purchase their tickets as soon as possible! “We technically already sold out the Gala, but then the DiamondHead staff explained to us that they could add five more tables, so that is what is left for availability. To buy tickets, contact Bobbi Kemp at 724-272-4910, Jan Fleming at 937-344-2974, or see our link at www.fortmyersbeachcf.com.”

The food for the evening will feature takeoffs on the Woodstock theme, continued Sheryl, “including dishes named after the various artists who entertained there, like the ‘Sly & The Family Stone Sliders Station!’ While we will all sit down for the salad portion, the remainder of the food will be at food stations. There is a cash bar, two live auction prizes that are a secret but truly fabulous, and 50/50 raffles every half-hour or thereabouts, so that as many people as possible can go home with some pocket change. Our entertainer for the evening is the incredible Jo List, who embodies peace, love and rock-n-roll music, with a voice for the ages, so we are thrilled to have her on-board to encapsulate the spirit of the Woodstock generation!”

Pilot International to FMB Foundation

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The FMB Community Foundation Gala poster reflects the “Woodstock” flavor of the event.

Even though the FMB Community Foundation is celebrating just its 10th anniversary, it is in reality much closer to the 50th anniversary year of Woodstock than it initially appears. “We actually started out as a branch of the Pilot International organization,” Sheryl recollected, “and were members of that group for our first 25 years, but there were a lot of requirements to Pilot International, including things like paying monthly fees and a bunch of other rules and regulations, so several of the ladies in the group back in 2010 decided that it was time to branch off on our own, so the funds that we raised on Fort Myers Beach would stay on Fort Myers Beach and the immediate area, and that was the birth of the FMB Community Foundation.”

The Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to working cooperatively to improve the quality of life on Fort Myers Beach. “We raise funds to benefit various 501c3 Non-Profit organizations,” Sheryl said. “The FMB Community Foundation receives Letters of Request for moneys from those on the island and the surrounding region, where they explain to us their needs and monetary requirements, and we meet and quite often are able to help them.”

In addition to Non-Profits, much of the dollars go for educational purposes, Sheryl related, “but not just to traditional high school and college students but to non-traditional ones, such as young adults and even older folks who want to continue their education, but have a hard time finishing school because they have families to raise or full-time jobs that take up a great deal of their time. With so many people on Fort Myers Beach in the Tourism and Hospitality industries, it would be great to receive requests from some of those who may want to manage a hotel or resort, as we have a fantastic Resort & Hospitality degree program here in Southwest Florida at Florida Gulf Coast University!”

Benefit Those In Need

If you would like to become an FMB Community Foundation member, “we meet 7 times a year, from October through April, with one additional session to usher in our new Board members,” explained Sheryl. “Our dinner meetings are on the third Wednesday of those months at the Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club at 175 Sterling Avenue at 6 p.m. We encourage anyone who has an interest to attend one of those sessions, and if you would like to join us, you can find membership information on our website or contact Jan Fleming, who is our Membership Chair, at 937-344-2974.”

Sheryl encourages everyone to attend the Woodstock Gala to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation. “To me, the best part of our annual Gala is that we all come together for an evening to connect together as a group and as a community, to meet the needs of Fort Myers Beach as one. Many people on our island are going through challenging times, through a multitude of individual situations and conditions, and that is what Fort Myers Beach residents do best – come together to invest together to benefit those in need.”

 

Captions:

  1. The Kemps and Shamps enjoyed the 2018 FMB Community Foundation Gala in style! Photo by Sarah List.

 

  1. The FMB Community Foundation Gala poster reflects the “Woodstock” flavor of the event.