For the past seven years, Goodwill has held its annual Festival of Trees at the Art Center. The event, which draws thousands of people each year, has created a strong partnership between the Art Center and the organization.
“It brings the community in and allows community partnerships to foster and grow,” says Devon Morreale, assistant director of the Art Center. “We really benefit from the extra exposure, and we love to see the tons of visitors that come each year.”
The Art Center was originally built in 1933 as a post office, and its neoclassical revival architecture is unique to Southwest Florida. The facility was converted into a Federal courthouse in the 1960’s, but had sat dormant for fifteen before it began its third life as a center for the arts.
Art Center Executive Director Jim Griffith has been leading an intensive building restoration project since leasing the facility in 2003.
In addition to the Festival of Trees, Goodwill and the Art Center also partner in another way. For more than two years, the Art Center has utilized Goodwill Services for its floor cleaning and janitorial services.
“Community partnerships are our life blood,” says Morreale. “As nonprofits, it’s very important to maintain these strong partnerships. They’re how we sustain ourselves.”
Other winners include Breakthrough Employer Darden Restaurant’s LongHorn Steakhouse, Breakthrough Achiever Jean Edmond, and Breakthrough Graduate Daniel Rosenfeld. Goodwill will also be celebrating volunteer of the year Renee Ludwig, as well as showing a preview of the future Goodwill Opportunity Center.
The event, sponsored by SunTrust Bank, will take place at 11:30 a.m. at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers. Tickets to the Goodwill Breakthrough Awards Luncheon are just $50 per person or $750 for a table sponsorship. To RSVP for the event, or if you are interested in sponsorship, please call Madison at (239)995-2106 x2213 or email MadisonMitchell@
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida provides programs and services for people with disabilities and disadvantages in Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry and Glades counties. Revenue generated by Goodwill’s 27 Southwest Florida Retail & Donation Centers is used to support these programs. For more information about Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, visit the agency’s website at http://www.goodwillswfl.org.