The Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Broward voted on Tuesday, November 28, to approve $1.9 million to support four capital projects through the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund.
The grants reach all corners of Broward County and will positively impact four different populations. Habitat for Humanity Broward will receive $1 million, Flamingo Gardens will receive $500,000, ARC Broward will receive $250,000, and the Navy League of the United States, Fort Lauderdale Council will receive $150,000.
Each of the exciting projects will bear Mary N. Porter’s name and serve to commemorate Porter’s commitment to creating a better community for all in Broward County. The organizations receiving the grants must match those dollars provided from Porter’s Fund with new donations, encouraging broader community engagement and investment in these transformational projects.
The Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund is one of several Funds created at the Foundation by the late Porter. A longtime philanthropist and visionary who lived much of her adult life in Broward, Porter died in 2009 at age 98. She inherited much of her money from her father, a doctor from Pottstown, Pa., who made his fortune by investing early in a neighbor's business, Mrs. Smith's Pies.
When it came time to set up her estate plan, Porter knew the Foundation would become her “eyes and ears” to make sure her philanthropy remains relevant and continues to have a positive impact on our community for generations to come. Porter’s $43 million gift represents the largest endowment at the Community Foundation of Broward.
“These four organizations have great vision, strong leadership, and a track record of making a difference in our community,” said Linda Carter, President/CEO of the Community Foundation of Broward. “We truly believe in these projects and their power to transform lives to create a better Broward, which was Mary’s vision.”
Porter’s Legacy Fund is specifically designed to support capital projects including new construction, renovations, and other major capital initiatives to help nonprofits expand and enhance service in Broward Country. Awarded every four years, the grants were last distributed in 2013 with a combined $1.65 million going to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Urban League of Broward County, and the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.
This year, more than 20 Broward nonprofits submitted applications seeking support from Porter’s Fund at the Foundation. Projects being funded as part of the 2017 Porter Legacy Fund grant cycle are:
Habitat for Humanity of Broward: $1,000,000
Habitat for Humanity will use the Porter funding to help transform a 9.1 acre underdeveloped tract of land in Pompano Beach into a thriving 77-home community. Homes in the neighborhood will be built, financed and owned by low income homebuyers. The grant aims to help struggling families move forward on the path to economic independence. In addition to the new homes, twenty-five existing homes will be renovated as part of the project. The Community Foundation of Broward has a strong history working with Habitat and provided the grant funding to lay the foundation for the first Habitat for Humanity home in Broward County in 1986. Thirty-one years later, the Foundation is helping lay the foundation for an entire community.
Flamingo Gardens: $500,000
Flamingo Gardens, a Broward landmark located in Davie, will utilize its grant to create a new welcome center to improve service and provide education about the natural and cultural heritage of South Florida and the Everglades. The welcome center will include first class visitor facilities and improved exhibit and classroom space. The project will dramatically impact the attraction’s more than 150,000 annual visitors and over 32,000 area students who take part in yearly visits to study ecology and animal welfare.
Arc Broward: $250,000
Located in Sunrise, Arc Broward will receive $250,000 to build out and equip an 8,000 square foot culinary teaching space to expand its already successful culinary training program for people with special needs. The new space will include teaching kitchens, classrooms, and lecture and demo areas allowing Arc to increase its capacity to 200 students per year. The project addresses economic independence and post-secondary education in an effort to help students gain fulltime employment and reduce or eliminate the need for government assistance.
Navy League of the United States, Fort Lauderdale Council: $150,000
The Navy League of the United States, Fort Lauderdale Council will receive $150,000 to help the Navy League’s Sea Cadet Program construct a new 4,700 square foot building to offer additional training spaces and improve ADA accessibility. The Sea Cadet Program focuses on youth leadership development that promotes interest and skill in naval disciplines while instilling strong moral character and life skills through leadership and technical programs. With a 100% track record of student graduation, the Navy League has seen great success in providing critical life and soft skills training to youth in areas such as maritime firefighting, construction brigade, seamanship and navigation, and water rescue.
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