LARC’s (Lee Association of Remarkable Citizens) inaugural fundraiser benefiting The Lori Carroll-Collins Scholarship Fund raised $214,000.
The event was held at Misty Morning Barn at Clutch Farms. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment on the lawn that culminated with a butterfly release honoring Lori. Celebrated local chefs Mike and Karen Gavala of G3 Catering and Gloria Jordan of La Trattoria Cafe Napoli created a five-course dinner. Sixth-generation winemaker Clay Mauritson, founder and owner of Mauritson Wines in Healdsburg, California, paired his family-crafted wines with each course. Renowned chocolatier Norman Love of Norman Love Confections provided handcrafted desserts. Kellie Burns of NBC-2 emceed the event, and Scott Robertson of Scott Robertson Auctioneers was the auctioneer. The presenting sponsor was Springhill Suites by Marriott, Estero. The entertainment sponsors were Richard and Vicki Pitbladdo, and the signature drink sponsor was Keylime Bistro, Captiva Island.
Her family established the Lori Carroll-Collins Scholarship Fund in memory of Carroll-Collins. A resident of Fort Myers for 35 years, she cared deeply for her community and people in need and led her life by example when it came to generosity and philanthropy. The fund will help bridge financial gaps and allow individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to access innovative services offered by LARC.
“We could not be more thrilled with the outpouring of generosity and love shown for Lori,” said Marc Collins, Lori’s husband. “We are so thankful for everyone that made this event a success, and we look forward to growing it in the future so we can help more people with disabilities live happy and fulfilling lives.”
“The Lori Carroll-Collins Scholarship will carry her legacy forward for generations to come. It will light the way for people of all abilities by allowing individuals with disabilities and economic limitations access to services designed to help them reach their full potential,” said Angela Katz, LARC’s interim executive director. “In Lee County, there are more 500 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities on the state waiting list for services due to Florida’s lack of funding. Lori’s scholarship fund offers hope to those seeking to maximize their independence and employment success who may have no other means to get the support they need to be successful.”
For more information about the Lori Carroll-Collins scholarship at LARC, visit www.larcleecounty.org, call Angela Katz at (239) 334-6285 x 210, or email [email protected].
Photos by Mila Bridger