Construction on Cultural Arts and Community Center will Resume in Early July
(Fort Myers – June 22, 2012) Local Philanthropists Cheryl and Dave Copham and Georganne and Cliff Williams each made a $50,000 donation to the building fund for The Heights Foundation’s Cultural Arts and Community Center. The gift is one of several recent donations that finish the capital campaign to complete construction of the $5.7 million building. Construction will resume in early July. When complete, The Heights Center will be a place for all residents of Harlem Heights to gather and grow. Education, opportunity, health and wellness, and access to the arts will create pathways for self-sufficiency and community development.
“The Heights Foundation is near to us in proximity and dear to our hearts,” said Georganne Williams. “The Heights Foundation has enabled residents to empower themselves to improve their lives. We are inspired by their mission and we encourage our neighbors to support The Heights Foundation.”
“We’ve had interest in positive development there over the years, said Dave Copham. “ In fact traveling down Gladiolus it is particularly obvious the improvement in at least the visual aspect. Houses are neat and in good condition. I think the school rates as one of the best in the area. We have insignificant amount of crime and trouble in the area which speaks well to the community and the people who live there. “
“The Heights Center is the residents’ dream come true. The building is in the center of their community where families can meet, where children can receive tutoring and after school care, where adults can receive education, job training, health advocacy, social services and more,” according to Founder and Executive Director Kathryn Kelly.
“The Cophams and Williams believe that the children in Harlem Heights are valued. Programs of The Heights Foundation create a network of care and support that helps families create deep and long lasting change. Because of the support of generous donors like the Cophams and Williams, we will resume construction of the building in early July,” said Kelly.
About the Heights Foundation
The Heights Foundation is a 501(c)3 grassroots organization that works to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. The Foundation’s mission is to promote family and community development, support education, health and wellness, and provide the benefits of enrichment, expressive and cultural arts.
Harlem Heights was originally settled as a rural agricultural community. Approximately 1,200 children live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments. Demographically, the population is approximately 55% Hispanic, 36% African-American, and 9% Caucasian. The poverty rate for children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, with family income 40% below the county average. Families are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers, and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood.