Community Foundation News

Welcome New Board Members

LAKELAND, Fla. (July 24, 2018) – Terry Simmers, President/CEO of the GiveWell Community Foundation announces that five new board members have joined the community foundation’s board of directors: Wesley Barnett, Jean Bostick, Kimberly Elmhorst, Tom Oldt, and Renee Pobjecky. A native of Lakeland, Wesley Barnett is a managing partner with Treetop Software. After graduating from All Saints Academy in 2004, he went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree from Wake Forest University's Calloway School of Business and his Master of Business Administration from UCLA Anderson. Wesley is involved in a wide-ranging collection of activities throughout Polk County and the State of Florida, including start-up investments and real estate development. He is also deeply committed to improving the community through philanthropic endeavors, most recently assisting with the annual United Way campaign, serving on the board of The Children’s Movement, and as a founding member of Bonnet Springs Park. Wesley currently resides in Winter Haven with his wife, Ashley Bell, and daughter, Raleigh. Jean Bostick is a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management with a background in finance and curriculum development. She holds a degree in Business and Economics from the University of Florida and Master of Business Administration in Financial Analysis from... Read On »

Angela Baragona joins Community Foundation as Controller

GiveWell Community Foundation is proud to announce and welcome Angela Baragona, CPA as the organization’s Controller. She comes to the Community Foundation with 35 years of experience in accounting. Baragona is resident of Winter Haven, and she holds a Bachelor’s in Accounting from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA and Master’s in Accounting from Louisiana … Read On »

GiveWell Community Foundation elects new board members and officers

At the final board meeting of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the GiveWell Community Foundation’s board of directors appointed a new slate of officers and five new board members. “The board of directors is the backbone of our Community Foundation,” said Terry Simmers, President/CEO of the GiveWell Community Foundation. “We are very fortunate to have such … Read On »

Givewell Community Foundation aids local nonprofits with Hurricane Irma recovery funding

Thanks to generous, caring donors in our community and beyond, GiveWell Community Foundation was able to assist with medium- to long-term disaster recovery efforts through the Hurricane Irma Relief Fund. After the storm, the Community Foundation worked with local nonprofit organizations, government offices, and school personnel to assess our community’s greatest long-term needs. It was … Read On »

Announcing Empower Polk Grant Awards

We are excited to announce that the GiveWell Community Foundation has recently awarded $105,000 through a new grant program called “Empower Polk.” The goal of this new program is to empower local nonprofits, meeting needs that will help them fulfill their mission and support our community more effectively. Support for core operations and business infrastructure … Read On »

Impact Polk 2017: YMCA of West Central Florida’s “Kindergarten Learn to Swim”

The YMCA of West Central Florida’s “Kindergarten Learn to Swim” program is a two-week, interactive water safety and education program, incorporating personal water safety, awareness in and around water, and swimming skills. The program’s goal is to teach every kindergartner how to stay safe in and around water and how to swim independently. The first … Read On »

Impact Polk 2017: County Government Discovery Day

BARTOW – On February 8 and 9, students from Lawton Chiles Middle School had the opportunity to travel to the county seat in Bartow for an exploration of the political process in Polk County. The “County Government Discovery Day” was made possible by a partnership with the Polk County History Center and the Polk County … Read On »

Let’s Talk: Tax Reform

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” is expected to be signed by President Trump before the end of the year. Like many Americans, we have been following this tax reform bill very closely, staying informed on how it will affect our fundholders and local nonprofit organizations. Political opinions aside, … Read On »

Holiday Office Hours

Friday, December 22 – Open 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday, December 25 – Closed Tuesday, December 26 – Closed Wednesday, December 27 – Open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Thursday, December 28 – Open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Friday, December 29 – Open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday, January 1 – Closed … Read On »

Impact Polk 2017: Young Life’s “Every Kid, Everywhere, For Eternity”

Impact Polk grant through the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation In the difficult adolescent years, Young Life comes alongside teens offering hope, encouragement, and for many, light in a dark place. Young Life introduces kids to a faith-based community of adults who will mentor them and be a steady force in … Read On »