Pleased to Support St. Francis Manor

Site Review Team, evaluating St. Francis Manor

JI member Dennis Longwell has proved that you can go home again. Formerly a board member of the JI Foundation where he served as Grant Review Chair and ultimately President from 2006-2008, Dennis has recently returned as a Site Review Team Captain, evaluating Striving for Success (providing laptops for a Gifford Middle School after school program) and St. Francis Manor (offering affordable, efficiency apartments for low-income seniors who are able to live independently). The St. Francis grant will help the center to build 18 new housing units, so critically needed because “the availability of such housing in our county is very limited, with long waiting lists before openings actually occur,” according to Dennis.

“We are so pleased to support St. Francis Manor, as it provides a pleasant setting and congenial social environment for financially needy older folks who might otherwise be living in their cars or in sub-par living accommodations.” Dennis Longwell  Read More

Generous Donors Filled the Ballroom

Thank you to our many generous donors who filled the John’s Island Golf Club ballroom on January 29th for our annual JI Foundation donor reception! As over 300 guests enjoyed cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres, Foundation President Ken Wessel explained the vital role the Foundation plays in supporting the capital needs of Indian River County agencies serving the disadvantaged. Guests also viewed an inspirational video about the Foundation’s support of the Wabasso School which is meeting the needs of special education students who are learning to live independently.

click here to see more photos

“We’re very proud as a Foundation to support the Wabasso School. It’s a place where you’re able to see the students transitioning into the world and it’s gratifying to know that we played a small part in this effort!” Ken Wessel, JI Foundation President

Our site review teams are wrapping up visits to 23 agencies who have made grant applications of almost $800,000 to the Foundation. Site team captain Dennis Longwell reported on a recent trip to St. Francis Manor, which seeks funding to complete an 18-room expansion that will offer modern, safe and secure housing for low-income seniors who are primarily dependent on Social Security income. Longwell observed, “The availability of such housing in our county is very limited with long waiting lists before openings actually occur.”  Read More

Our donors are an essential part of the JI Village!

It takes a village to provide caring philanthropy to meet the capital needs of agencies serving the disadvantaged in Indian River County. This year, the John’s Island Foundation is blessed to have a village comprised of nine site captains and 35 team members. These teams are currently visiting 23 local, nonprofit agencies to review grant requests totaling almost $800,000.

Back left to right: Angelia Perry, Cayla Atkins, Delvin Cotton, Jasmine Davis, Julie Parker, Lisa Holmes

Julie Parker, a member of the JI community since 2008, wasted no time putting her business background to work. A site review team member since 2010, she has captained teams since 2012 while also serving as a Foundation board member. This year she and her team will evaluate grant applications from Feed the Lambs, which needs laptops for its tutoring program; Salvation Army, which seeks to purchase a new cooler and freezer; and Gifford Youth Achievement Center, which requires new hurricane-proof windows.

“One of my biggest rewards on the site visits is meeting so many heroic community leaders who are making sure on a daily basis that kids and families don’t fall through the cracks,” said Julie. “John’s Island is a beautiful place to live, but it has been both eye-opening and heartwarming for me visit these inspirational agencies that are helping the many less fortunate people in our county.”

Julie’s advice to others who are seeking to make a difference in the community? “You will be moved by the human experience…and you will get hooked like I did!” Read More

18 years of philanthropy

JIF Foundation board members attended the new classroom dedication at the Wabasso School.

As we celebrate our 18th year of philanthropy, The John’s Island Foundation is thankful for the many generous donors who make it possible for us to achieve our mission of making grants for the capital needs of nonprofit agencies serving the disadvantaged in Indian River County.  Nine site review teams made up of 36 John’s Island members have already begun visiting agencies and evaluating our grant requests, so we are off and running!

One of our most heartwarming projects has been our recent support of the Wabasso School, a special education center serving students aged 5-22 that helps children and young adults reach their maximum potential for independent living and academic achievement.  In 2016, we provided funds for Wabasso to purchase ipads with communication applications enabling non-verbal students to communicate during class time and outside school. In 2017, we were delighted to fund the renovation of a classroom that now successfully functions as a model house, designed to prepare the students for independent living – complete with a working kitchen, laundry, bathroom, bedroom and living room.  Several JI Foundation board members recently attended the dedication of this new space, where we were treated to a delicious breakfast prepared and served by the students as well as a student-guided tour of the new classroom.  We were thrilled to see first-hand how we are making such a difference in the lives of these children!

We could not serve our community without your support…thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Annual Donor Reception
All current donors are invited to our Annual Donor Reception, Monday January 29
th, at 6pm in the Golf Club.  The reception is totally underwritten by our generous sponsors: The Hill Group, John’s Island Real Estate, The Law Offices of John E. Moore III, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi of Melbourne, Northern Trust and Vero Insurance. 

We Want to Express Our Thanks and Gratitude

As we enter the holiday season, all of us here at the John’s Island Foundation want to express our thanks and gratitude to our many generous donors who have supported the needy in our community while creating lasting change for the future.

On November 8, Emily and Ned Sherwood opened their home to host a special Foundation reception, sponsored by Northern Trust, for Leadership Circle donors (those whose gifts were $5,000 or more).

On January 29, the Annual Donor Reception will be held at the Golf Club starting at 6 pm.  The reception is funded by our generous sponsors to date: The Hill Group, John’s Island Real Estate, The Law Offices of John E. Moore, III, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Audi of Melbourne and Vero Insurance.  All current donors (those who have contributed between 6/1/16 and 12/31/17) will be invited to attend.

Over the past year, contributions enabled the Foundation to donate over $869,000 to fund capital needs for over 20 agencies in our Indian River community.  An example of one such agency is the Economic Opportunities Council to which we provided over $21,000 for new computers for a Head Start classroom.

Please consider joining one of our site review teams in the coming year.  In the past, members have found it to be a great way to learn about and address the needs and challenges existing in our local community while sharing their financial, analytical and other skill sets with the Foundation. Thank you for your support of the John’s Island Foundation.

Wabasso School R.E.A.L. Lab

The R.E.A.L. Lab at Wabasso School, which was funded by a grant from the John’s Island Foundation, was officially dedicated during a ceremony at the school November 14, 2017.

Directly Funding Long-term Capital Needs

A Head Start student at the Economic Opportunities Council learns from a computer funded by John’s Island Foundation.

We create lasting change. The John’s Island Foundation changes the lives of our neighbors in Indian River County by directly funding the long-term capital needs of over 20 deserving agencies in our community. Last year, we provided computer programs for seniors with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, equipped preschool classrooms with SMART boards, supplied housing for veterans, and so much more.

We make an impact. Thanks to the generous support of John’s Island residents, we donated over $750,000 last year for the capital needs of nonprofit organizations. Since our inception in 1999, the Foundation has contributed $9.9 million to our community.

We rely on you to help us in our mission. The John’s Island Foundation is fortunate to have a unique model that does not rely on fundraisers or events. We raise funds solely through your donations. Please consider supporting the Foundation to the extent possible. We have a Leadership Circle that gives special recognition to donors who have shown extraordinary generosity over the previous 12 months:

Leadership Circle Platinum- $15,000 or more
Leadership Circle Gold – $10,000 or more
Leadership Circle Silver – $5,000 or more

The Foundation recognizes Leadership Circle members in its Annual Report and celebrates this elite group at an exclusive cocktail party.

We value our leadership. The John’s Island Foundation is pleased to announce its officers for the 2017-2018 season. Each of these board members brings substantial experience and proven commitment to the Executive Committee.

Ken Wessel, President
Carole Parks, Secretary
Jim Poole, Vice President
Emily Sherwood, Development & Marketing Chair
Steve Anderson, Treasurer
Jay Anglada, Grant Review Chair

Along with board members Pat Brier, Don Kittell, Bill Sayler, Jim Smith, and Steve Trooboff, the Foundation looks forward to another outstanding year of commitment to the community, with an abundance of gratitude to the retiring officers for their hard work and accomplishments over the past three years.