Five Adopt-A-Club sponsors partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County to host festive holiday parties and surprise local youth with toys and gifts.

GL Homes, Hertz, FineMark National Bank & Trust, Ocean Church and Suncoast Credit Union provided over 200 children and teens with a memorable experience of a festive holiday party that included gifts, hot cocoa, sweets, music and photos with Santa Claus.

“Our Adopt-A-Club events offered local businesses an opportunity to spend time interacting with our amazing youth in a fun, holiday atmosphere, as well as see what we do with them daily,” said Denise Gergley, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County. “Because so many families are struggling this year, these sponsors created over-the-top holiday parties to make sure each member had a Christmas gift and a good time.”

Hertz, which sponsored Boys & Girls Clubs’ 2022 Back2School Bash and donated a custom passenger van, hosted members of the North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts School Club for a party at the rental car company’s corporate headquarters in Estero. There, children and teens enjoyed a holiday party featuring Christmas crafts, tasty treats and had their photos taken with Santa in front of a custom Christmas-themed vehicle. Hertz employees donated and wrapped toys, games and gifts off the club’s wish list so each child could bring home a present.

“Hertz is thrilled to be an Adopt-A-Club sponsor this year and host a fun holiday party for members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County,” said Lauren Luster, senior director of communications at Hertz. “Our employees are extremely passionate about giving back and supporting our partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Southwest Florida and in the thousands of communities we serve.”

GL Homes, a custom Florida homebuilder, hosted a holiday party in addition to serving as presenting sponsor for Boys & Girls Clubs’ annual Holiday Gift Drive. Over a five-week period this fall, GL Homes, along with support from local businesses and Southwest Florida residents, donated more than 1,200 toys, board games, dolls, stuffed animals, electronics, sporting goods and gift cards. On Dec. 9, parents of club members visited the Park Meadows Community Club for the second annual Christmas Toy Giveaway, browsing a selection of items before choosing gifts for their children. Then on Dec. 14, GL Homes hosted a holiday party at the Renaissance Preserve Neighborhood Club in Fort Myers, where 60 children not only received gifts of their own, but also had opportunities to choose gifts for their parents or guardians. The goal was to allow children to experience the pride in giving as well as receiving during this holiday season. Two GL Homes employees even made special appearances as Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“For many of these children and teens in Lee County, this may be the only gift they receive this holiday season,” said Sarah Alsofrom, senior director of community relations for GL Homes. “It’s been a tough year for families, so GL Homes is going all-out to give these kids happy Christmas memories. Our spirit of giving is in overdrive.”

Members at all our locations received equally festive parties and gifts to take home thanks to FineMark, which hosted the Pueblo Bonita Neighborhood Club; Ocean Church, which hosted a joint party for Lehigh Acres Community Club and Varsity Lakes Middle School Club; and Suncoast Credit Union, which provided a party for members of the Park Meadows Community Club.

“We want to say thank you to all of our sponsors,” said Julie Todaro, vice president of resource development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County. “Through their generosity, many children received the gifts of kindness and joy this holiday season.”

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County

Established in 1974, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County serve children and teens through school-based, neighborhood and community club locations. The nonprofit’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. After-school and summer programs focus on five core areas: education and career, service and leadership, health and wellness, the arts, and sports and recreation. For more information, please visit BGClee.org or call 239-334-1886.