FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 24, 2014) – “Love and Faith in Bonita” was the theme of the 2014 Love of Bonita celebration, held on March 12 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, as the Bonita Springs Community Fund, a fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, presented a $20,000 check to the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs in support of its new performing arts center’s programs for the youth and adults of Bonita.
During the event, longtime Bonita Springs resident John Warfield was honored as the 2014 Love of Bonita Award recipient. Warfield, whose wife Maggie passed away in January, had requested donations be made to the Center for the Arts in memoriam. These two passions collided in an evening celebrating love and a young girl named Faith.
A video on Faith Ferretti and her reliance on the Center was presented to highlight how the organization has changed her life, while she and other students of the Center’s performing arts program entertained the attendees with music after the program. Warfield took a front-row seat and, at moments, even sang along.
The Love of Bonita Award, given annually, honors a Bonita Springs resident who exemplifies the goal of helping to build a stronger community.
Warfield moved to Bonita Springs in 1991 and quickly got 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 BSCF. Warfield also served as councilman for the City of Bonita Springs from 2000 to 2004. Other organizations in which he has been 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.
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.
“If there ever was a person who exemplifies this award, it is John Warfield,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the SWFLCF. “He works passionately for his community and for the good of his neighbors.”
The 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.
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.
For more information about the event or participating organizations, call the SWFLCF at 239-274-7736.
Carolyn Rogers, Monique Ward and Sarah Owen
Ira Hawk and Jean Lonegran
John Warfield and Katie Schroeder
Katie Schroeder, John Warfield, Bob Wydock, Jackie Hauserman, Hank Hochstetler, Jo Ann Hochstetler, Arden McCurdy
Shelley Anderson and Nancy Ross
Tommy and Kristine Duke
West McCann and Rusty Whitley