Older adults living or working on Sanibel and Captiva Islands will benefit from the generosity of Shady Rest Foundation, which recently established a fund through the Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI).


Dr. Jo Stecher, vice chair of Shady Rest Foundation, said, “We are so honored to be able to give a monetary gift to CFI that is going to oversee distribution of funds to older adults who are in need.”  

CFI will use the $50,000 donation, which established the Shady Rest Foundation Fund, to award grants to nonprofit organizations that serve adults 60 and older who live or work on the Islands.  


Dolly Farrell, CFI executive director, said, “The ShadyRest Foundation Fund is CFI’s first field-of-interest fund, which means the donors select an area they wish to support – in this case, the islands’ older adults.” 


The CFI Grants Committee chaired by Captiva resident Bob Wiesemann will then invite island nonprofits to apply and will select recipients, making it a great alternative to a donor-advised fund (DAF) because CFI manages all the vetting.  


“The Shady Rest Foundation Fund is one example of how CFI can help individuals and organizations fulfill their philanthropic goals, addressing emerging needs and filling gaps donors see,” Wiesemann said.


He believes the creation of this type of fund “demonstrates CFI’s capabilities in grantmaking and fund management beyond the SanCap Hurricane Recovery Fund and DAF grantmaking. Many people already have DAFs and private foundations. This is a great option to help seed innovation and fill gaps.” 


Bob Murray, chair of Shady Rest Foundation, said board members visited the islands last December and were “very impressed” with the nonprofit organizations they visited. Some of what they learned there surprised them.


“We didn’t know there were older adults on the island that needed support,” he said. “Our goal is to support elder care in various ways, with nursing care, health care, as well as to help them get out and socialize – whatever it takes to make their lives a little better.”


Dr. Stecher said the board’s visit helped the members understand that “the dignity and respect older adults require and deserve is helped when they don’t have to make a request for assistance. If the help is offered to them, hopefully, this money will make the offers go out more easily.”


She said the ultimate goal is ” to help older adults remain living in their own homes with the love and respect they deserve. We are so proud to be able to help.”


About Charitable Foundation of the Islands: (MyCFI.org)  

The mission of the Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI) is to inspire philanthropy, leadership, and collaboration for the vitality of the Island community. CFI has served the Sanibel and Captiva communities since the 1990s through the Francis Bailey Society and was officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2011. For more information, visit MyCFI.org.