Community Cooperative names Stefanie Ink-Edwards New Director of Development

Posted in: Press Releases

stefanieinkedwardsFort Myers, FL (Oct. 24, 2014) -- Stefanie Ink-Edwards has joined Community Cooperative as the new Director of Development. Prior to joining Community Cooperative, Stefanie served as a Financial Advisor at Alliance Financial Group for six years. A dedicated community advocate, she serves multiple local non-profits in various board and volunteer capacities helping to garner support and advocate for their missions. She and her husband, Dustin, founded the South Florida Mud Run which was created to benefit local non-profits.

"Stefanie is very dedicated to her community and is a passionate advocate for those who are less fortunate in our community. She could not be a better fit for our organization and we are very excited to have her join our team", says Tracey Galloway, CEO.

Ink–Edwards will lead the fundraising and donor relations initiatives for Community Cooperative in an effort to enhance streams of revenue and resources for the agency.

Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Cafés and Marketplace and Meals on Wheels programs. Community Cooperative offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its Social & Education Resource Centers and oversees emergency mobile food pantries as well as Healthy School Pantries and Food Literacy in Preschool (FLIP) through its Growing Health Kids Programs.

A proud United Way partner, Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in close partnership with, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The School District of Lee County as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups, churches, businesses and community support organizations.

Galloway Captiva Tri Raises $25,000 to fight Childhood Hunger

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tracey  checkFORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept. 22, 2014) – It was more than a great weekend of swimming, biking and running, but also of competition, volunteerism and giving back to the community. The 4th Annual Galloway Captiva Triathlon for charity was held on Saturday, Sept. 13 and Sunday, Sept. 14th at the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva. This year's event raised over $ 25,000 for Community Cooperative and its Healthy School Pantry & Backpack Program, which provides emergency food for more than 1,500 local children and their families each school year.

"The success of this event is due to the outstanding coordinated efforts of the event planning team of Ken and Kate Gooderham and Angie Ferguson as well as our volunteers, sponsors and, of course, the race participants", said Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative. "Every year this event outpaces our expectations and we couldn't be more pleased with this year's results".

"Having a great charity to support helps people get and stay involved -- and getting to see that support help the community really inspires us and our athletes", said Ken Gooderham of Gooderham & Associates and Southwest Florida Events.

More than 850 adults and 225 children competed in the triathlon, with some 65 volunteers working the two-day event, handing out 100 trophies and plaques to both winners and sponsors.

Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Café and Marketplace and Home Delivered Meals programs. Community Cooperative offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its United Way Resource Houses, oversees an emergency mobile food pantry and supplies school pantries and weekend backpacks full of food to more than 1,500 children and their families each school year.

Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades, Harry Chapin Food Bank and various community foundations as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups including The School District of Lee County and numerous churches, businesses and community support organizations.

Tickets On Sale for the 9th Annual Becoming Cosmopolitan

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finemarkFORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept. 11, 2014) – Tickets are now on sale for the 9th Annual Becoming Cosmopolitan event, which benefits women and children's programming at Community Cooperative. The event will again offer unique auction items including family vacations to Walt Disney World and Sea World, fabulous Diamond Jewelry, "Staycation Vacations", the ultimate Sports Lovers' trip to watch the Boston Red Sox on Fenway's Green Monster, as well as a "Key to the Closet" raffle where one lucky lady will win over $5000 worth of goodies!

"We are so excited with how this year's event is coming together, says Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative. "It's going to be a wonderful night of fun and friendship in support of those less fortunate in our community."

The event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Sidney and Berne Davis Arts Center located at 2301 First Street in downtown Fort Myers. Tickets for the event are $ 125 each and are available for purchase at www.ccmileecounty.com, including a special "Girlfriends Package" which includes four General Admission tickets for $400.

For the third consecutive year, FineMark National Bank & Trust has signed on as the presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors include: The Diamond District, AFCO Insurance Premium Finance, All About Closets Inc., BB&T-OTC, Caloosa Tent & Rental, Clive Daniel, The Diamond District, Florida Weekly, FPL, Ralph Garramone, MD, FACS, Sam Galloway Lincoln, Grandeur Magazine, Gulfshore Life Magazine, Norman Love Confections, The News-Press Media Group, Pay It Forward Realty, and Physician's Primary Care.

Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Café and Marketplace and Home Delivered Meals programs. Community Cooperative offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its United Way Resource Houses, oversees an emergency mobile food pantry and supplies school pantries and weekend backpacks full of food to more than 1,500 children and their families each school year.

Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades, Harry Chapin Food Bank and various community foundations as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups including The School District of Lee County and numerous churches, businesses and community support organizations.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 239-332-7687 or purchase tickets online now!

Becoming Cosmopolitan Event to be held October 16th at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center

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becoming-cosmo-web-button

Sponsorships now available for women's event benefiting the agency's Women & Children's Programming.

FORT MYERS, Fla. (July 26, 2014) – Community Cooperative has announced that the 9th annual Becoming Cosmopolitan event will take place Thursday, Oct. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. This year's event will take place at The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in the Fort Myers River District.

"We are so excited to be hosting the event at one of the most beautiful buildings in Fort Myers. We will be utilizing multiple spaces of the newly renovated Art Center which will serve as a beautiful backdrop for the Becoming Cosmopolitan event." said Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative. "This year's event will feature fine cuisine, signature cocktails, a boutique marketplace, and gaming tables while keeping the lounge theme but with lots of new twists including a 'Key to the Closet' Raffle which will give one lucky lady more than $5,000 in fabulous gifts! We are really taking this event to a whole new level."

"What could be better than a night out on the town with your girlfriends," said Galloway. "Add in great cuisine, cocktails, and fabulous shopping, all in support of a great cause, and you've got what Becoming Cosmopolitan is all about!"

This traditionally women-only evening features glamorous shopping with local vendors, gourmet cuisine and cocktails, sinfully delicious desserts, a silent auction, exciting raffles, great music and an after party all in celebration of the cosmopolitan lifestyle in Southwest Florida. Over 300 local women attended last fall's Becoming Cosmopolitan event.

"Each year we have been able to make this event bigger and better than ever," said Katie Haas, Director of Florida Operations for the Boston Red Sox and Community Cooperative Board Member. "The monies raised will go a remarkably long way in helping Community Cooperative assist the growing number of women and children who are in need of food, shelter, and other social services."

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Sponsorships are now available and range from $1,000 to $10,000. Donations for the event's silent and live auctions are also being accepted. Tickets will go on sale in mid-August.

Community Cooperative is an innovative nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through its Community Café and Marketplace and Home Delivered Meals programs. Community Cooperative offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through its United Way Resource Houses, oversees an emergency mobile food pantry and supplies school pantries and weekend backpacks full of food to more than 1,500 children and their families each school year.

Community Cooperative serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades, Harry Chapin Food Bank and various community foundations as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups including The School District of Lee County and numerous churches, businesses and community support organizations.

For more information, call (239) 332-7687, ext. 6

Meals On Wheels Stand-Out Volunteer, Marilyn Lowe, Nominated for National Award

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Facebook Contest Voting Open Monday, July 28 through Wednesday, August 13.

VOTE FOR MARILYN HERE!!

american-volunteer-logoFort Myers, FL, July 28, 2014 – Community Cooperative announced today Marilyn Lowe has been nominated for the Meals On Wheels Association of America's American Volunteer Contest. The Meals on Wheels program whose volunteer receives the most votes through the Association's Facebook app will receive $1,000 and a fully-produced video to promote the great work they're doing in the community.

Supporters can vote for Marilyn at www.facebook.com/mowaa from Monday, July 28 through Wednesday, August 13. Prizes will be awarded to the top three vote-getters, as well as to the entry chosen for the Association's Staff Pick.

"The American Volunteer Contest was designed to recognize volunteers as the backbone of Meals on Wheels," said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of the Meals On Wheels Association of America. "It's our dedicated army of two million volunteers that delivers not only one million meals a day nationwide, but also the friendly smile and safety check that enable seniors to remain independent in their own homes."

The 2014 American Volunteer winners will be honored at the 2014 Meals On Wheels Annual Conference and Expo August 26-28 in Scottsdale, AZ.

About Community Cooperative Meals On Wheels:

Community Cooperative Meals On Wheels is a member of the Meals On Wheels Association of America. Over 900 homebound seniors, people with disabilities, or those struggling with serious illness are provided meals each year by this program. These individuals live in Lee County, Florida and are not able to shop for or prepare their own food. A team of approximately 300 Meals On Wheels volunteers help package and deliver hot, nutritious meals directly to the front door of our clients providing both nutrition and a friendly safety check five days a week with extra meals for the weekend. The program provides not only food but also connections to additional services that help keep clients living happy and independently in their own homes.

About Meals On Wheels Association of America

The Meals On Wheels Association of America is the only national organization and network dedicated solely to ending senior hunger in America. The Association is the oldest and largest organization composed of and representing local, community-based Senior Nutrition Programs in all 50 states and U.S. territories. More than 5,000 local Meals On Wheels Programs leverage a dedicated army of two million volunteers who day-in and day-out create an efficient and caring way to help America's seniors. For more information, or to locate a local Meals on Wheels program, visit mowaa.org.

COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE PLANS “HIGH HANDS FOR HUNGER”

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poker tournament web graphicFORT MYERS, FL – (July 25, 2014) – Community Cooperative is announcing a "Charity No Limit Texas Hold 'Em Tournament Series" to be held at three unique locations in Fort Myers. The series, called "High Hands for Hunger" will benefit Community Cooperative, in assisting those in need in our community and allow us to make an impact with the children, families and individuals who are faced with homelessness and hunger every day.

The series of three tournaments will be held on August 23, 2014 at the City Pier at Fort Myers River District; November 8, 2014 at the Sam Galloway Lincoln dealership; and January 31, 2015 at Brodeur Carvell, at the Bell Tower Shops. The exclusive "High Rollers Tournament" will be held in April 2015 and will include the winners of each preliminary tournament competing with other players.

REGISTER HERE!!

"Hunger is just the entry point to the people we serve," says Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative. "We use our resources to take a holistic approach and solve some of the other challenges in our client's life. Our model allows us to provide a coordinated approach to putting people on a path to economic prosperity."

Bell Tower Shops is the presenting sponsor for the tournament series and we are currently selling Player Tournament Passes for a $ 125 donation, which includes a seat at one of the tournament, hosted hors d'eouves, top-shelf bar, beer and wine.

Since its creation in 1984, Community Cooperative has been providing emergency food outreach and resources to communities across Lee County. Community Cooperative serves the greater Lee County area, including Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Pine Island. Community Cooperative works in partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee, Harry Chapin Food Bank and regional community foundations as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups including The School District of Lee County and numerous churches, businesses and community support organizations.

“Summer Drive for Hunger” Contributions Needed To Benefit Community Cooperative

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banner2014FORT MYERS, FL – (July 11, 2014) – Community Cooperative has partnered again with Sam Galloway Ford to ease the strain of summer with the third annual "Summer Drive for Hunger." The goal is to collect 25,000 pounds of food and raise $ 25,000 to support the hungry families in our community.

"For some families, school being out means a certain kind of freedom. For the families we serve, it means just the opposite, "says Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative. "The summer months can be the cruelest season for families who can't rely on the schools to feed their hungry children."

The statistics are stark. More than 70 percent of Lee County students qualify for free/reduced breakfast and lunch during the school year. One out of every six of our neighbors is food insecure and cannot depend on consistent meals.

The "Summer Drive for Hunger" has been underway since June 1. Current food donations are running dangerously low. Sam Galloway Ford has generously committed to donate $1 for every pound of food dropped off at the Fort Myers dealership through the end of July. Each person who donates food will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win $ 5,000.

"We have tremendous partners including Harry Chapin Food Bank and United Way agencies to help us feed those in need," added Galloway. "We will stock and staff multiple mobile feed pantries this summer, which will travel to some of the most isolated areas in the county. We will also provide more food at our Community Markets (food pantries) and Community Cafés in Fort Myers and Cape Coral."

Please help a child smile this summer by donating to fight hunger and help keep our pantry shelves full of food. For more information, call 239-332-7687 or www.ccmileecounty.com.

About Community Cooperative - Since its creation in 1984, Community Cooperative has been providing emergency food outreach and resources to communities across Lee County. Community Cooperative serves the greater Lee County area, including Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Pine Island and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee, Harry Chapin Food Bank and regional community foundations as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups including The School District of Lee County and numerous churches, businesses and community support organizations.

Sixth Annual “DRIVE OUT HOMELESSNESS” Charity Golf Tournament

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golfFORT MYERS, FL – (June 17, 2014) – The Sixth Annual "Drive Out Homelessness" Charity Golf Tournament has been set for Saturday, June 28, 2014 at Colonial Golf and Country Club. The 8am Shotgun Start will benefit The Lee County Homeless Coalition and Community Cooperative.

"We have various levels of sponsorships still available," said Roger Mercado, Jr., Division Director of Social Services and Education for Community Cooperative. "We are also signing up players for the tournament: Teams of four for $ 400 and individual players for $100," added Mercado. "Proceeds from the tournament will benefit both organizations, whose collaborative mission is to end Homelessness in Lee County. "

"There is still a need for sponsors for this event," said Janet Bartos, executive director of the Lee County Homeless Coalition. "This event provides an opportunity for our community to pull together to help our fellow residents who are faced with homelessness. Both the Lee County Homeless Coalition and Community Cooperative are local agencies and the profits remain in our community and allow us to make an impact with the children, families and individuals who are faced with homelessness every day."

The tournament features numerous prizes and contest, including 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, 50/50 raffle, longest drive and closest to the pin. For more information, or to register, please go to LeeHomelessGolf.Eventbrite.com or call Janet Bartos at 239-322-6600.

About Community Cooperative - Since its creation in 1984, Community Cooperative has been providing emergency food outreach and resources to communities across Lee County. Community Cooperative serves the greater Lee County area, including Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Pine Island and Fort Myers Beach. Community Cooperative works in partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee, Harry Chapin Food Bank and regional community foundations as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups including The School District of Lee County and numerous churches, businesses and community support organizations.

About The Lee County Homeless Coalition - The Lee County Homeless Coalition is a non-profit organization comprised of community and faith-based service providers, local businesses, people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, and other advocates committed to ending homelessness. The Coalition's mission is to advocate, educate and promote awareness of issues and obstacles facing homeless individuals in Lee County through community collaboration, planning, and implementing solutions.