When Uncommon Friends Foundation Executive Director Arlene Roth realized they needed help with the upkeep and maintenance of the Burroughs Home, she knew BB&T-Oswald Trippe and Company’s signature volunteer effort, the Lighthouse Project, could offer assistance to her nonprofit organization.
As a result of Roth’s request, BB&T-Oswald Trippe and Company selected the Uncommon Friends Foundation’s Burroughs Home as this year’s nonprofit agency for the Lighthouse Project whose purpose is to make a positive impact on the lives of people in need. The insurance agency hopes their efforts encourage others in the community to volunteer their time and support local organizations.
The project included painting and repairing of porches, balustrades and railings; updating the landscaping and plants; washing both the interior and exterior windows on the lower floor and interior windows on the upper floors; and polishing interior floors and wood railings. As the home is a registered historic home and museum, they worked closely with the local Historic Preservation Committee.
BB&T-OTC volunteers also assisted Uncommon Friends Foundation docent volunteers with 60 Edgewood Academy fifth- and sixth- graders during a school field trip to the Burroughs Home; helped guide students on a historical tour; shared the stories of the famous people who once occupied the home; asked questions during their lunch to help students make the connection between character education and the five Uncommon Friends. The company volunteers also helped the teachers with the character education lesson, setup and handouts.
“Our history is parallel to our future. BB&T-OTC was able to share the Uncommon Friends Foundation history with the students as well as refresh the interior and exterior of the home for future leaders to experience,” said John Pollock, CIC, BB&T Insurance Services’ Florida regional insurance president. “Making a positive difference in the community as a business and individual is a common goal of our staff.”
“BB&T-Oswald Trippe and Company employees’ dedication to improving the future of Southwest Florida is never ending,” said Roth. “They embody the foundation’s passion and goal of ‘The best is yet to be!’”
BB&T associates have donated more than 200,000 hours in volunteer service and affected the lives of more than six million people as part of the BB&T Lighthouse Project, since its inception in 2009. Associates overwhelmingly voted to bring back the initiative this year. For more information about the Lighthouse Project, visit www.bbt.com/bbt/lighthouseproject/.
Built in 1901, the Burroughs Home is a registered historic property and one of the first mansions built in Fort Myers. Originally constructed in the north and transported to Fort Myers via rail and steam boat, the home was reassembled on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in what was then known as ‘millionaires row.’ The Burroughs Home is the logical location for the Uncommon Friends Foundation for a very unique reason. Of the five uncommon friends – four spent time in the Burroughs Home visiting with each other – Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and Charles Lindbergh were all guests in the home. The fifth uncommon friend was Dr. Alexis Carrel. Each of these historic men and their wives were friends of local Fort Myers real estate developer James Newton, who wrote about his friends in the book, Uncommon Friends.
The Uncommon Friends Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1993, is dedicated to lifelong character building among today’s youth and business leaders. Its mission is to promote character education in schools, business ethics in the workplace and historic preservation of the Burroughs Home and James Newton Archives. For more information, visit www.uncommonfriends.org.
BB&T-Oswald Trippe and Company provides comprehensive insurance and risk-management services to families and businesses throughout Florida. The agency offers protection from the nation’s leading insurance companies. BB&T-Oswald Trippe and Company has offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Holmes Beach, Miami, Naples, Ocala and Weston, Florida.
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