Naples Daily News – April 23, 2015, NAPLES, Fla. – When Dottie Gerrity came to Naples in 1997, one of the first things she wanted to do was to learn more about her new community.Then, she wanted to find the best way to help it.
Greater Naples Leadership helped Gerrity hit goal No. 1. She was in Class 2 in 1998.
“It was one of the best things that happened to me,” says Gerrity. “I found out so much I never knew and made some wonderful friends.”
The next step was finding the right way to give something back to her new home. Enter the Community Foundation. Gerrity started working with the group in 1999 and has been involved with them ever since.
The group was founded in 1985 by William Oberhelman, a retired businessman from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Donald T. Franke, a well-known Naples attorney, who combined resources and raised $300,000 to fund the fledgling organization’s permanent charitable endowment.
Today the Community Foundation oversees more than 500 funds and manages $93 million in assets. It provides support for donors, grants for nonprofits and plenty of thorough follow up to make sure the money is being spent where it should be.
For Gerrity, there is a lot to love about the Community Foundation, and the fact that it helps such a wide range of nonprofits is chief among them.
“It also really does represent the community,” she said. “It’s diverse, and it’s still becoming a force.”
Gerrity has worked with a number of groups recently, but her latest passion is First Book-Collier County, which gives books to take home to students in prekindergarten through second grade.
“We have given over 600,000 books,” Gerrity said.
EIGHT QUESTIONS WITH DOTTIE GERRITY
Where and when were you happiest?
“I am almost always happy, so my answer would be “in the moment.”
Which word or phrase do you most overuse?
What was your most embarrassing/worst job?
“Hardest job: cleaning a construction site daily. Very hard work!”
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be?
What is your favorite invention?
“Inventions that have enabled the easy removal of contaminants from raw water that provide purification for drinking.”
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
“I attended college and received my B.A. while raising four children.”
Who is your real-life hero?
What is your biggest pet peeve?
“Rude and inconsiderate behavior — the lack of kind, thoughtful and considerate behavior.”