By Tina Nicholson
Our cherished Naples is known throughout the world for its beauty, sophistication and philanthropy. My husband Jack and I experienced this personally while living in Spain and traveling to many areas of the world. We met people who vacationed in or lived in Naples part time. We had heard there were many communities in Florida offering waterfront properties, challenging golf courses, water sports, great restaurants and community activities. What makes Naples so different?
Naples can lay claim to all of the above but our town is special throughout the world for another reason. Many thought that they would retire to Naples but instead chose involvement in charities such as the most recent entry, the Naples Youth Center Project of the Salvation Army. The Latchkey League was formed to launch and support this project and in record time has attracted over 300 volunteers. For this group it’s all about the kids.
Naples is extraordinary and has grown into a distinctive destination for art enthusiasts throughout S.W. Florida. The total dedication of early visionaries, like Myra Janco Daniels, combined with community leaders and their philanthropic endeavors put us on the map. Focused and driven these selfless individuals combined with the business community transformed Naples. The Philharmonic Center for the Arts, the Naples Philharmonic and the Baker Museum, are the “gems” with worldwide recognition.
Naples is also home to many other performing art and cultural centers including Opera Naples, artisans, galleries, historians, world affair experts, visiting professors, authors, poets, foreign ambassadors and other dignitaries. The list is endless and the implication is boundless.
The possibility of this was achievable by the extreme generosity of the beautiful people of Naples. Those who gave year after year to ensure that this “gem” never lost its magnificence are held in high esteem by our entire community. Some gave with considerable sums and many others with what they could afford. Time, talent or treasure everyone has at least one of these gifts and all are necessary to ensure that the bright shining star that is Naples will not fade for future generations.
We are all so fortunate to live in this majestic place. Naples is a community that belongs to all of us, and is here to be savored.
Particularly in the month of December when we focus on the needs of others, we can demonstrate gratitude for our own comfortable life by finding a need and filling it.
Kindness by word or action and participation in local charities is what sets this community apart. No gift is too large and no act is too small to continue the legacy of this community.
Naples is beautiful because of beautiful people, just like you.