The Beach Kiwanis and the Florida Kiwanis Foundation teamed up to make a $10,000 difference to the Fort Myers Beach Library Children's Center.
By making matching grants of $5,000 apiece, the two Kiwanis groups continue to make a big impact on children's causes.
"We are all about the children," said Florida Kiwanis Foundation Division 19 Trustee Hannah Telle. The grant was approved in July at the state district convention.
Beach Kiwanis members stand behind Florida Kiwanis Foundation Division 19 Trustee Hannah Telle, who presents Beach Library Director Dr. Leroy Hommerding (a Kiwanian himself) a check for $5,000 for the library’s Children’s Center. The local Kiwanis club matched the $5,000 grant for a $10,000 donation to the cause.
Beach Kiwanis Past President Bill Pearson (who was president at the time of the grant process) said he read about the grants offered by the state foundation.
"We decided to pursue it and worked with Leroy and Bruce Boyd, the Beach Kiwanis lieutenant governor," he said. "Initially, our club took on the project of helping fund the Children's Center. So, we were allocating dollars to it. Then we decided to pursue a grant."
The Children's Center will have a family area, Kid's Place, a toddler's area and a multi-purpose area. There will be an archway entry with three sand castles and a gumbo limbo tree 24 inches in diameter and 10 to 11 feet high -the height of the first floor ceiling where the Children's Center is located.
"I'm belated. The grant will fund a good part of the furniture for our toddlers," said Hommerding. "It will also help us with our interactive displays for the kids down the line, so this puts us closer to be able to do that. It compliments the whole project."
The Beach Kiwanis organization was noted as distributing close to $100,000 annually back into the community. Donations include financing swimming lessons for children at the Town Pool and presenting checks to other worthwhile children's causes like the Chapel by the Sea Bible School and Beach Elementary.