The Foundation’s primary mission is to provide financial support for Marco Island firefighters and their families when need arises. The Foundation has developed a cash reserve and is always working to be prepared to meet those needs. Yearly, fundraising events are scheduled to build the reserve. In 2007, the Foundation held its first fundraiser at the Island Country Club, inviting the public and members of the business community. Florida’s Assistant Governor was the guest speaker.
The attendance was gratifying, resulting in the Foundation’s initial community membership. Shortly thereafter, the Marco Community Bank ( now CIT, a Division of First Citizens Bank ) donated a signature motorcycle to be raffled as a fundraiser. The motorcycle brought a handsome price, and the Foundation’s initial cash reserve was established. Since that time, many events have contributed to the fund including the annual cruise raffle, semi-annual pancake breakfasts, fall chili cook-off, 50-50 at Stan’s Restaurant in Goodland, and donations from businesses and individuals.
BECOMING PART OF THE FIRE SERVICE FAMILY
In the eight years of its existence, the Foundation has supported many Marco Island Fire Rescue families in times of need. The Foundation came to the aid of a firefighter and his family dealing with cancer, a firefighter’s child born with a rare disease, and the son of a firefighter after a serious motorcycle accident. The Foundation was able to help them financially with expenses not covered by insurance. More importantly, the Foundation was there to support them emotionally. Foundation members know they make a difference in the lives of these families. An all-volunteer board oversees the funds entrusted to its care by those members. The board works to make sure every member is part of the family that supports the island’s Fire Rescue Department.