Rusty Brown, Dawn-Marie Driscoll and Sarah Owen

FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 28, 2014) – As part of the national Council on Foundations’ Centennial Celebration, the officers and trustees of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation took a look back on its 38-year journey during its annual Legacy Society reception held at the foundation’s headquarters last week. A physical timeline spanning the years since the foundation’s establishment was displayed between the guests’ tables. The history of community foundations began in Cleveland in 1914.

Local actress and author Rusty Brown presented the history of the SWFLCF in a look back on its history and growth, chronicling the accomplishments made in the last 38 years, while SWFLCF President and CEO Sarah Owen presented a look ahead to the next 100 years and what the foundation hopes to endeavor.

A “Wish Wall” for the next 100 years is posted in the Community Hub at the SWFLCF’s office to keep the celebration alive. Community friends and supporters are invited to stop in and post their wishes for the future on the wall.

Legacy Society members include any individual who has established an endowed fund or informed the SWFLCF that, upon his or her passing, an endowed fund will be established. Being a member of the SWFLCF Legacy Society provides opportunities for meeting other supporters of the community foundation and developing new friendships.

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 about the SWFLCF, call 239-274-5900 or visit

Tom and Ann Smoot

Susan Bennett, Howie Leland, Bob Shrader, Shirley Gerstenberger and Ron Penn

Sarah Owen and Jacqueline Ehlers

Nip Wilson and Jean Gilman

Mary Eller, John Sheppard and Aline Flynn

Madeleine Taeni and Betty Bireley

Jerry and Sharon Miller

Carolyn Rogers with Marjorie and David Casper

Bill and Lorraine Frey