Eighth Annual “Love Your Neighbor” Raises $285,000 for The Heights Foundation and The Heights Center

heights160126vm-7406 (800x533)“Love Your Neighbor”, an annual event benefiting The Heights Foundation, raised $285,000 for School Success programs for at-risk kids in Harlem Heights. Additionally, a $10,000 pledge from FineMark Bank and an anonymous pledge of $100,000 for new Harlem Heights Community Charter School were made that evening. The event was held at the Gulf Harbour home of Sonja and Stephan Burkard. The VIP Pre Party was held at the home of Cheryl and Dave Copham.

heights160126vm-7281 (800x533)Norman Love Confections and Mark Loren Designs helped create this signature event and have supported it since the inception. Guests enjoyed an assortment of culinary creations from popular local restaurants and chefs including Black Salt Catering, Blu Sushi, Chef Andy Hyde, Cru, SS Hookers, Three Fishermen and The Timbers. Opici Family Distributing and Republic National Distributing Company sponsored beverages and The Lighthouse Resort & Tiki Bar greeted each guest with a glass of champagne. VIP guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres from Crave Culinaire and wines from Benovia Winery. Auctioneer Rick Gallo conducted the live auction that included a VIP experience to an upcoming AC/DC concert, one-of-a-kind earrings by Mark Loren Designs, a dinner for 10 at the Iona-McGregor Firehouse and an eight-course dinner for 20 by chefs Gloria Jordan and Andy Hyde.

heights160126vm-7376 (800x692)NBC-2 Anchor Kellie Burns emceed the event. Sponsors include The Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, The Fernandez Family Foundation, Connie & Ed Lizak, Stroemer & Company, Dinah Bloomhall, Coleen & Michael Frye Re/Max Realty Group, Owen Ames Kimball, Pamela Templeton Unlimited, Ada’s Natural Foods, Chico’s, Jaguar-Land Rover of Fort Myers, Caroline & Bill Bloomhall, Cheryl & Dave Copham, Dorothy & Ron Fitzgerald, Linda & Owen Glantz, Elaine & Fred Hawkins, Li-Su & Sam Javedan, Kathy and Matthew Marinello, Kathy & Victor Mayeron, Sharyn & Gary Morgan, Vicki & Richard Pitbladdo, Andie & Don Vogt, Maria & Wayne Wiles, Vee Yerrid and Buzz Waid and Cliff & Georganne Williams.

heights160126vm-7330 (800x533)“The Gulf Harbour community has been so supportive of The Heights Foundation and embraced their neighbors in the Harlem Heights community,” said Kathryn Kelly, President and CEO of The Heights Foundation. “Our mission is to build strong, self-sufficient families and education is the key to their success. The monies raised will support our School Success program that includes academic tutoring, after school and summer camp programs, scholarship and college access assistance, school supplies, and tuition support. Each program is geared to meet the specific needs of children and young adults who seek to further their education.”

For more information about the Heights Center and The Heights Foundation visit www.heightsfoundation.org or call (239) 482-7706.

About the Heights Foundation and the Heights Center
The Heights Foundation works to build self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. The mission is to support education and wellness, promote family and community development, and provide the benefits of enrichment and the arts. The Heights Center, supported by The Heights Foundation, is a place for Education, Opportunity, and Enrichment.
Harlem Heights was originally settled as a rural agricultural community. Approximately 780 children live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments. Demographically, the population is approximately 70% Hispanic, 20% African-American, and 8% Caucasian. The poverty rate for children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, with family income 40% below the county average. Families are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers, and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood.