Child Care of Southwest Florida was on the receiving end of a “pay it forward” donation involving a generous local developer and a government agency.
At this fall’s Law and Order Ball, hosted by the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South, Creighton Construction & Development Founder and CEO Dan Creighton pledged a $125,000 donation to be split equally among five local law enforcement agencies: police departments in Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Sanibel, as well as the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Lee County Port Authority. The only caveat was that the donation must be spent on charitable causes within the community.
In prior years, Creighton invited Law and Order Ball honorees and their spouses on an out-of-town trip, but instead sought an opportunity to help local organizations that are making a difference in Lee County.
“When you get great people doing great things, you want to add longevity to it,” Creighton said. “But those great programs need fuel, and money is that fuel to add longevity.”
The Lee County Port Authority has an established relationship with the Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center, one of six high-quality early learning centers operated by Child Care of Southwest Florida.
“This was the first charity that came to mind,” said Port Authority Chief Shawn Chamberlain. “They have a variety of different needs here, so we felt like it was the right place for the donation to have a great impact.”
Child Care of Southwest Florida serves many children from lower-income families in Lee and Hendry counties. Given that the donation came from a law enforcement agency, Child Care of Southwest Florida CEO Chris Hansen said the $25,000 grant will be used to enhance security at the Messina Children’s Center, as well as provide scholarship assistance for hardworking families.
“Dan is a remarkably talented businessman, but he also truly understands the critical needs of our community,” Hansen said. “His donation at the Law and Order Ball was significant in both the dollar amount and its potential impact, and we’re grateful that the Port Authority again has stepped forward to help the Messina Children’s Center.”
In addition to his support for local law enforcement agencies, Creighton has donated funds to the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County, SWFL Children’s Charities and many other charitable organizations.
About Child Care of Southwest Florida
Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. (CCSWFL) is a nonprofit early childhood education provider with six learning centers in Lee and Hendry counties that serve more than 500 children from 6 weeks to 8 years old. Each center is accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Learning Leaders and is recognized as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program through the Florida Department of Children and Families. All six CCSWFL locations have five-star ratings through the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. CCSWFL follows the nationally recognized, research-based Creative Curriculum, with a goal of creating safe, nurturing learning environments that develop young minds, support families, strengthen the community and secure the future. Through its participation in the USDA’s Child Food Care Program, each child has access to a healthy, nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks. Sponsor, volunteer and donation opportunities are available. For more information, please visit ccswfl.org.