The Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation was formed in the fall of 2010. The Pilot Club of Fort Myers Beach was part of Pilot International, founded in 1921 as a service organization, composed of business and professional women who shared a common trait, the desire to help people in need and to make the world a better place to live. The new Community Foundation (a 501 ( c) (3) organization) continues to draw on Pilot traditions of friendship and service to the community as the mission of the newly formed club.
In April of 2010, after almost 25 years as the Pilot Club of Fort Myers Beach, it was decided to turn in the charter, and form a new 501c3 organization. The new club, Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation, was relieved from the overhead and regulations that were too stringent to keep people interested and active in leadership of Pilot. Reorganization occurred over the summer, with the new club officially opening in October 2010 with the installation of officers.
The first major community event of that season was coordinating, in conjunction with Keep Lee County Beautiful (KLCB), the annual marine cleanup program “Monofilament Madness” in November. The Pilot club had coordinated beach cleanup programs for the previous 25 years, and these activities continue to be a priority for the new club. In the fall of 2010 Keep Lee county Beautiful honored the FMBCF at a luncheon at the Fiddlesticks Country Club for their continued work and donations in making these become annual events.
Other involvement in the community includes working with the Beach Elementary School. Monthly, club members work with kindergarteners in a Butterfly Garden project. A scholarship program has also been developed, with several scholarships being awarded annually for post high-school education, and a separate program for elementary school children for summer camps, etc. We have also contributed to Renee's Closet, which provides clothing, supplies and other items to students in need.
Other beach organizations are supported with cash donations, such as The Beach Library, the Mound House, Friends of Matanzas Preserve, FMB Elementary PTO, Bikers Against Child Abuse, Fort Myers Beach Fire Department, St. Vincent DePaul, Laces for Love, Beds for Kids, Beach Baptist Food Market and Helping Hands Ministry, and other worthy causes.
Fund raisers over the years have included dinner auctions, casino nights, yard sales, and luncheons. One of our most popular events is the Annual Spring Luncheon and Fashion show in March. It is always a sell-out event. We also hold an annual "beach ball" in Janary--it is a themed event, so always a fun community event.
Club meetings are held the third Wednesday of the month, October through May. The dinner meeting begins at 5:30 PM. Service AND friendship are both important aspects of this organization. Several social events for members and their husbands or significant other occur.
MISSION STATEMENT: The Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation is a local organization dedicated to working cooperatively to improve the quality of life in Fort Myers Beach and surrounding communities.