Twenty-five years ago a nonprofit foundation was established to support Adventist Hospital in Punta Gorda, the Adventist Foundation. It focused on raising funds to support health and education.
In 1995 the hospital was sold and became the Charlotte Regional Medical Center with the Foundation becoming a separate organization, Charlotte County Foundation. One of the founding members and the first Chairman of the Board, Leo Wotitsky, whose family roots in Charlotte County trace back to approximately 1887, along with another founder, Vernon Peeples, who had family connections here back to 1825, and was Chairman and President of the Board from 2003 to 2006, had shared visions for the progress of the Foundation.
In 2004, post-Hurricane Charley and after a strategic planning workshop with our Leadership, Board and invited members of the community, a plan took shape with stronger focus and attention to the philanthropic needs of Charlotte County.
With the new clarity came a new name, Charlotte Community Foundation, that was more indicative of its reinvented role as a foundation serving the whole community. The Foundation has its roots in helping others but with a new vision and mission statement and broader direction it would now focus on more than health and education. One of the new goals that had been stated by Vernon Peeples was, “to make a greater impact on more peoples’ lives,”.
Through our daily goal of “connecting people who care with causes that matter”, we continually strive to enhance the quality of life in Charlotte County. We feel that our Founders and those former Board members would be and are pleased that we have remained true to their vision of improving the community by advocating for philanthropy, serving our Donors and supporting other nonprofit organizations. Our enduring history, as it weaves its story of assisting those most in need, is one that must continue to honor their ideals.
From our initial focus on health and education issues, the Foundation now serves a variety of community needs.
Day-to-day Foundation operations are guided by an Executive Director with oversight from a volunteer Board of Directors. Our board members are chosen for their strong ties to the community and their local knowledge of the needs of Charlotte County and its residents. Under this guidance, the Charlotte Community Foundation has set a course that strives to encourage public and private philanthropy and support projects that offer unique solutions to community needs so that we may enhance and improve the quality of life for all of our residents.