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Governor Ron DeSantis

SW Florida Community Foundations Receive Funds from Ron DeSantis to Help After Hurricane Ian

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Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis presented the three area community foundations with a check for $125,000 each in a special ceremony in Matlacha to assist in their shared goal of rebuilding Southwest Florida after Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian left behind massive devastation in the tri-county area. 100,000 homes were impacted across the region. In Collier County, 27,434 members of households have registered with FEMA for assistance; Charlotte has had over 52,000 members of households also register with FEMA for assistance. The three foundations have collectively provided their communities with over $6 million in immediate direct financial assistance, resources, and nonprofit funding.

Foundation CEOs Eileen Connolly-Keesler of the Collier Community Foundation, Sarah Owen of Collaboratory, and Ashley Maher of the Charlotte Community Foundation were present at the event along with Board Chairs Jim Morey, Dr. Aysegul Timur, and Kim Savasuk to accept the checks and be recognized for their hurricane relief plans by the governor, DEO Secretary Dane Eagle and state Senate President-Designate Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples.

“We are thrilled to accept this check from Governor DeSantis and honored that the State of Florida recognizes our collective efforts to rebuild and restore Southwest Florida,” said Connolly-Keesler on Thursday. “In Collier County, we will focus on low-income developments with the greatest need. Our plan is to rebuild homes and elevate them with dirt fill, making them less susceptible to future storms. These generous funds from the governor will go a long way in helping us reach our goals.”

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“This unprecedented, collective donation came as a result of working collaboratively to raise vital funds for the immediate and long-term needs of the communities we serve,” said Owen. “There’s a long road ahead of us, and Collaboratory is committed to the strongest recovery possible for Southwest Florida, supporting community organizations in rebuilding a more resilient region.”

“Governor DeSantis’ efforts highlight the state of Florida’s continued dedication to its citizens, especially those affected by natural disasters. These funds will go a long way in helping our local community recover from Hurricane Ian and help us rebuild,” said Maher. “The lessons learned from previous hurricanes show us just how vital the direct injection of resources can be when managed efficiently at the state and local level. Our community will recover more quickly because of this. We are honored to be a recipient and to once again have the opportunity to stand alongside our partners in Collier and Lee to show collaboration strengthens our resiliency in Southwest Florida.”

This gift is especially significant as it arrives during National Community Foundation week, created in 1989 by then President George H.W. Bush, which recognizes the important work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative and innovative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

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  • Florida Daily

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