Skip Navigation LinksHome > Phyllis Seaman

We did it! $1 million+ campaign
By Phyllis Seaman
Drum roll please!
I am writing this article on January 2 and am overjoyed to be able to post the banner above announcing that we achieved our $1 million goal for our 2013 Federation Campaign. What a milestone!
Many of your responded to our last-minute email blast counting down the last 48 hours of the campaign. Thank you all for putting us over the top. In the next couple of days we will continue to receive checks dated 12/31/13 which will take us even higher, but our total as of today is $1,006,250!
During the year, many of you responded to my requests to consider increases of 10-20% or more on your gifts to Federation. Some of you even doubled your gifts, and we had many new and return donors. Our Annual Campaign is based on your campaign contributions, tribute donations, Friends of the Federation Star subscriptions, and WCA and MCA memberships.
I believe that the success of this campaign was due to a renewed faith in our economy, the strong stock and real estate markets, and the Federation’s stewardship of your campaign dollars.
My thanks go to the Federation board members for reaching out to donors, and all the committees that worked hard to achieve all that we accomplished in 2013 for our community, nationally, Israel and overseas. We have a lot to be proud of.
Here are some of the allocations of your donor dollars:
$313,950 was distributed locally for youth programs and youth education, humanitarian and social services, cultural programs and adult education, and unmet needs in our community. We have increased our support for programs concerning our youth. This was a unanimous board decision, that supporting our youth was supporting our Jewish future. These allocations were given to:
• Youth Programs & Youth Education – grants to our local synagogues in support of scholarships for religious school, preschool and day camp. We also made a direct grant to Hillel at Florida State University for their new Hillel House. All totaled we gave $48,150.
• Humanitarian & Social Services – Jewish Family & Community Services received our commitment of $240,000 for the coming year.
• Cultural Programs & Adult Education – This area of support covers our annual grant to the Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida, plus our support of the Jewish Congregations of Marco Island’s Jewish Film Festival and Cultural Series programs. All totaled we gave $19,000.
• Unmet needs – for emergencies and natural disaster relief efforts, plus new and innovative initiatives in our community. We granted a total of $6,800 in support of Typhoon Haiyan Relief, the Greater Naples YMCA disaster recovery efforts, and for “Check It Out: Let’s Stop Bullying,” a project of the Collier County Schools, which you will be hearing more about later.
Israel and overseas humanitarian and social services received $126,600 for a variety of needs in Israel and Eastern Europe.
We could not do all that we do without your generosity and support.
Now we direct our focus on the 2014 Campaign – no rest for the weary.
With the great response in 2013, I am confident that 2014 will be even bigger and better. We have some wonderful events and programs in the coming months.
Now we can think BIGGER and more generous. I would like to see us reach $1.5 million – we are a community that can and should be able to do this easily. We have already received several gifts earmarked for our 2014 Federation Campaign.
We kicked off our 2014 Campaign with our Major Gifts & Lion of Judah Cocktail Dinner held at the home of Bobbie and Jack Myers on January 13. We were honored to welcome Michael Siegal, Chairman of the Board of The Jewish Federations of North America as our guest speaker. Michael is the immediate past chairman of the board of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. Michael and his wife Anita are part-time residents in Bonita Springs.
We also welcomed three new and one returning Lions of Judah to our pride, bringing our membership to 37 – pretty impressive for our small but growing Jewish community. If any of you women are interested in becoming a Lion of Judah or moving your Lion gift here from another community, please call me or the Federation office at 239.263.4205.
• Our 2014 Community Celebration Event on Saturday, February 8, honoring Rosalee and Jerry Bogo, will be a memorable and beautiful fun-filled evening.
• The Evy Lipp People of the Book Event will be held on Wednesday, February 19, featuring Bruce Feiler, journalist and author of Walking the Bible.
If you have not made your reservations yet, please do so immediately.
• Returning this year is a Women’s Division Luncheon Event, chaired by Nancy Greenberg and Carolyn Roth. Hold the date of Friday, April 11 at Grey Oaks Country Club.