Angels among us: Woman’s Club initiates much-needed relief fund

April 3, 2020
By Marcy Shortuse

STAFF REPORT – The Boca Grande Woman’s Club announced today it will establish a $250,000 Emergency Relief Fund to provide immediate relief for the economic hardships incurred due to the shuttering of businesses and all economic and social activity in order to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.  
“Funds will be available to individuals and families as well as small business owners, employees, and independent contractors working primarily in Boca Grande to meet immediate needs such as rent payments, utility bills, car payments, or personal food and medical needs,” stated Club President Vicky Winterer.  “The Woman’s Club is in a strong position to provide assistance to those who will suffer during this difficult time.”
The Woman’s Club has established a task force of community leaders to review the requests and funds will be allocated upon receipt of a short statement of need. Statements may be submitted to a member of the task force, mailed to the BGWC Emergency Relief Fund, P.O. Box 65, Boca Grande, Florida 33921 or emailed to Request for Funding forms are also available on the Club’s website at    
All requests for funding will remain confidential.  
Members of the task force were selected based on their historical and broad knowledge of the local business and residential community. Serving on the task force will be Rev. Jerome Carosella, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church; Dr. Raymond James, Boca Grande Health Clinic; Mary O’Bannon, a past president of the Boca Grande Woman’s Club, community leader and year-round resident; Bayne Stevenson, past chairman of many community organizations and Emily Wise, owner of Hudson’s Grocery Store.  
Donations to the BGWC Emergency Relief Fund may be sent to BGWC, P.O. Box 65, Boca Grande, Florida 33921 or via the Club’s website at Please mark donations “For Emergency Relief Fund”. All donations are tax deductible.  All support will be greatly appreciated.  
“It is not possible to know how long we will be in our present situation,” said President Winterer. “The Woman’s Club wants the people who provide invaluable services to our community to know we are here, ready to help.”  
The announcement was made in conjunction with the annual awarding of grants to various organizations on the island through the BGWC Community Grant Program. Some requests for funding were delayed until the fall to help meet this more immediate need. The Woman’s Club Executive Board also approved nearly $350,000 in funding for scholarships and community grants at their meeting on Monday.