Collier Community Foundation Asks Local Women to be ‘One in a Million’

Posted on May 18, 2015

Naples, FL – Did you know that of all charitable foundation giving, only 7.5 percent of funds raised in the last 15 years have been devoted toward the benefit of women and girls?


ECK Talis


According to the Community Foundation of Collier County, while funding for women and girls is increasing at a faster rate than foundation giving as a whole, actual awareness that translates into giving must be intensified.  Enter the Women’s Initiative Network Endowment Fund, established by the Community Foundation with the goal of raising $1 million by the end of the year, according to Foundation President Eileen Connolly-Keesler.

The Foundation recently held a networking session with over 30 prominent women of Collier County, featuring the breath-taking backdrop of the Talis Park “Sinatra” Model Home built by McGarvey Custom Homes and designed by noted local designer Clive Daniel. The event was organized by prominent local realtor Aileen Kennedy of Premiere Plus Realty.  At the event, women (and men) in attendance were asked to become ‘one in a million’ by Keesler.  “The goal is to have 1,000 women donate $1,000 to help the Women’s Initiative Network meet its endowment fund goal by the end of the year,” Keesler said.

Several damning statistics brought the room to gasps of horror.

According to Keesler, 66% of children in Collier County are eligible for free and reduced lunch. There was also a dramatic increase in number of female-headed households in poverty from 2010-13, with a small drop-off in 2014. The Shelter for Abused Women served 2500 victims of domestic violence last year. She also revealed that Collier County had a higher teen birth rate than the Florida average in 2014, and slightly lower than the US with 43.9 per 1000 births.

According to Kennedy, the Endowment fund has already reached over half a million and the hope is to reach the million-dollar mark by the end of 2015 in order to have a perpetuating helping women and girls in need right in Collier County.

For those interested in donating, visit or contact director of donor services Ann Hughes at

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