Naples. The Philharmonic Center for the Arts. Myra Daniels. It doesn’t matter in which order these words are spoken it is hard to mention one without the other two popping up. Naples is where Myra lives, works and plays. Her achievement with the Arts is legendary, she and a few hundred of her best friends put Naples on the culture map. But I did say that Naples is where Myra works and she has not completed that aspect of her life. Myra is now the proud Chair of The Salvation Army Capital Campaign whose expressed purpose is to build a youth center. At a stage in life which entitles her to leisurely days, long lunches and a travel schedule, she is now on a new mission to continue her service to the Naples community. A consistent theme throughout her life has been to nurture the next generation and this current project fits that bill.
It has long been recognized that there are over 10,000 K-12 “latchkey children” in our community. Latchkey children are those that need afterschool care and support which is currently unavailable to them. A youth center will provide a safe haven with exposure to positive role models, new leisure skills and educational opportunities. This new undertaking will be dynamic and life changing for those who attend. In true Myra fashion she has organized a campaign cabinet, an advisory board and a league to help accomplish this community project. Sharing her excitement over this important children’s project, her commitment to Naples youth becomes contagious.
What may surprise many people is the fact that Myra’s affinity for helping children is not new and most of her interventions have been behind the scenes. She has identified young talent who were underfunded and arranged for private music lessons. She encouraged children to reach their full artistic potential by providing musical instruments that were unaffordable to them. Myra has served as a mentor to struggling students by coaching academic perfection and then paving the way to attend the university of their choice. By taking these silent but powerful steps, she has assured not only their individual success but enabled them to shine as a contributing member of our community. Myra is an example of what’s best about Naples, not for what she did do or could do but for what she is activity doing. We are pleased to acknowledge her in this month’s Winners Circle Naples Style, cheers!