BY OLIVIA CAMERON – Boca Grande resident Cappy Powell is the newest member of the Johann Fust Community Library program committee. From NCAA legislation service to community contribution, Cappy continues to carry out her passions.
After spending her childhood in Richmond, Virginia, Cappy studied political science at the Mary Baldwin University. She then went on to Virginia Commonwealth University to earn her Master of Business Administration degree in urban and regional planning.
At a wedding in Richmond, Cappy met her soon-to-be husband, Peter.
“I caught his eye from across the room and he followed me around the rest of the weekend,” said Cappy.
Their first date was at the Presidential debate with Ronald Reagan in 1984. The couple married the next year on the first day of the world series between the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals.
“When Peter asked me to leave Virginia and move to the middle of the country, he promised me a beach house,” said Cappy. “He also promised me another world series, both of which he delivered.”
After moving to Kansas City with Peter, Cappy found her place in the workforce.
The following seven years she worked alongside the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Cappy became legislative assistant and staff liaison to Division II schools and the Division Steering Committee of the NCAA Council and to the President’s Commission. She was originally hired to take on one task but became a jack of all trades.
“The department was looking for someone to organize interpretations from a large notebook,” said Cappy.
When she took the position, her role expanded as she had taken on several responsibilities she was grateful for.
“The job was great. I took on those roles until the day I left,” she said.
She enjoyed her long list of “to-dos,” and appreciated a few Final Four tickets for the family.
“I even met President Stanley Ikenberry of the University of Illinois who would later become my neighbor. Small world,” said Cappy.
Her time with the NCAA had fallen short when raising their two sons, Robert and Henry, became a round-the-clock job. Cappy continued to work in Kansas City on a volunteer basis while attending a book club 34 years in the making.
In 1994, Peter delivered on his promise and the two bought a place in Boca Grande. The seasonal pair became Florida residents five years ago and feel there’s no better place to be quarantined.
“I enjoy everything about Boca Grande. Because of Peter’s involvement in RPP, I’ve enjoyed having friends in the theatre. We have friends from all over the country. We are fortunate to be here,” said Cappy.
As of April 1, Cappy is on the Johann Fust Community Library board, and she is looking forward to her fresh start on the program committee.
“I am just thrilled to be on the board: The library is a very special part of the island,” she said.
As part of the Boca Grande Woman’s Club, Cappy is proud to help organize the Gala in January. The importance of the Gala surrounds funding for island scholarships and organization grants.
She has found it challenging discussing next year’s Gala plans with virus boundaries and unknowns. There are high hopes that the fundraiser will continue to provide to those in need.
Cappy is impressed by the speakers and the work put into the community by the members of the Woman’s Club, and she is happy to be in her second consecutive year of membership.
Between pickleball, golf, and dips in the Gulf of Mexico, Cappy has found another niche – as a book club member. Their lighthearted name, the “Ladies of Literature,” found traction two years ago. Despite having socially distanced discussions, they’ve been closer than ever.
“Since we’ve been meeting every week now, we’ve gotten to know each other more,” said Cappy.
The book club now has 13 members, and Cappy prides the group with studying a wide variety of genres. In the upcoming weeks, they are set to discuss “Lady in Waiting” by Anne Glenconner, “The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus,” a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell, and “Year of Wonders” by Geraldine Brooks.
Cappy has found bliss in books. The club discussions and recommendations have opened her eyes to books she’s never heard about. She relishes in the variety so much that she can’t even put a finger on her favorite study.
Cappy also has fond memories of her son Robert’s wedding in February on the island, and the busy week that led up to it. The Sunday before the wedding, the family attended the Super Bowl in Miami to see the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the San Francisco 49ers. Later in the week, the wedding and celebration were held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and The Gasparilla Inn & Club.
After unfortunately losing a family member eight years ago, Cappy and her brother are passionate supporters of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Together they believe that if the organization can help at least one person, the support is all worth it. Her brother now serves as a board member for the Kansas City chapter.
Cappy has always seen the island as a place for her family to gather each year. “Boca Grande is my happy place,” she said.