FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2014) – The Bonita Springs Community Fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation has named John Warfield the 2014 Love of Bonita Award recipient.

The award, given annually, honors a Bonita Springs resident who exemplifies the goal of helping to build a stronger community.

Warfield served our country in the Air Force in Korea and had a highly successful career in the automotive industry in Frederick, Maryland. During his distinguished career, he served as president of a family-owned Ford dealership, president of the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, chairman of the Sanitary Commission, a member of the Maryland Transportation Commission, trustee of Hood College and director of Farmers and Mechanics National Bank.

Once Warfield moved to Bonita Springs in 1991, he became actively involved in the community by becoming a member of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Presidents Club and serving on the board of the Bonita Springs Speakers Assembly as well as the Advisory Board to the Bonita Springs Community Fund. Warfield also served as councilman for the City of Bonita Springs from 2000 to 2004. Other organizations in which Warfield has been actively involved include the Guadalupe Family Center, the United Way of Lee County, Rotary Club, the Literacy Council, Florida Gulf Coast University, the Philharmonic Center for the Arts and the Art Center of Bonita Springs. In 2011, the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce named Warfield Citizen of the Year.

“Since retiring to Bonita Springs in 1991, John has been a pillar in the Bonita Springs community,” said Debi Braendle, a Bonita Springs business owner and past chair of the Bonita Springs Community Fund Advisory Board. “His time spent volunteering and supporting the various charitable organizations in Bonita has made significant improvements in our community. John’s contributions to the betterment of Bonita Springs as city councilman can be seen throughout the community.”

Love of Bonita Award recipients are chosen based on the following criteria: They consistently choose to use their time, energy and/or financial resources to make a difference in the lives of people living within the Bonita Springs community; they actively encourage and perform community service to help improve the quality of life in the Bonita Springs area; and they enthusiastically promote empowerment, self-sufficiency and positive change in others, either as volunteers or as employees of community organizations.

Warfield will be honored during a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by a dinner and program at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort located at 5001 Coconut Road in Bonita Springs.

Reservations for the event can be made by calling the SWFLCF’s office at 239-274-5900 by Wednesday, March 5. Tickets are $100 per person.

Past Love of Bonita Award recipients include David Short, Ira Hawk, the late Pat Lord, Richard “Dick” Miller, Jacqueline “Jacke” McCurdy, Donna Roberts, David and Sarah Zimmerman, Audrey Georges, Marjorie Rubacky, Hank Hochstetler, Don Thomson and Ray Faubion, Jr.

The Bonita Springs Community Fund was established in 1997 to promote philanthropy and enhance the spirit and quality of life for all citizens in the greater Bonita Springs area, now and for generations to come through stewardship of permanently endowed funds. The BSCF has provided nearly $500,000 in competitive grants in the areas in human services and education.

Founded in 1976, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation supports the communities of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry counties and also acts as the regional convener and leader with firsthand knowledge of community needs. With assets of more than $75 million, the SWFLCF has provided more than $57 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. During its 2013 fiscal year, the SWFLCF granted more than $4 million to more than 100 different organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services.

For more information or to reserve space at the 2014 Love of Bonita celebration, call the SWFLCF at 239-274-5900.