FORT MYERS, Fla.
- Aug. 5, 2019
-- The Rotary Club believes every child deserves a place to play. That's why members of the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties to build a new community park at Majorca Palms in the Tice area of Fort Myers. About two dozen Rotarians spent the morning of Saturday, July 20 laying down sod and installing new playground equipment to benefit 175 children and 150 families in the neighborhood.
The park is the first of its kind for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. It represents the fruits of a monthslong effort between Vince Modarelli, Habitat for Humanity's local vice president of community outreach, and Tracie Bagans, the immediate past president of Rotary Club of Fort Myers South, to raise funds and secure volunteers.
"This challenge turned out to be easily overcome as three other Rotary Clubs in the area, Fort Myers, Sanibel-Captiva and Fort Myers Sunrise, agreed to join our effort," Bagans said. "Rotary District 6960 also provided matching grant funds that completed our fundraising goal of $30,000."
Habitat for Humanity purchased the 22-acre Majorca Palms development from a private developer in 2013 to address the desperate need for affordable housing in Tice. Funding for the park came from Keurig, Dr. Pepper and KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that promotes safe and engaging places for outdoor play. Still, additional funding from Rotary was necessary to cover expenses associated with the playground's completion.
"Being able to play outside contributes to both the physical and mental health of the children, not to mention enhancing the social aspects of the neighborhood,"
said Kerri Goldsmith, the current president of Rotary Club of Fort Myers South. "One of Rotary's areas of focus is child and maternal health. This project ties in perfectly with that mission."
Learn about all the ways the Rotary Club helps the community at rotarysouth.org