“These recipients exemplify what individuals, businesses, and nonprofits are doing every day to change the future of our Keys community,” says Ron Burd, CFFK Chair. “Partners in Paradise celebrates local giving, community service, and the tremendous and generous work being done throughout the entire Keys.”
Dennis Beaver and Bert Whitt
Through their tremendous contributions, these two exemplary businessmen, community leaders, philanthropists, volunteers and humanitarians have been changing lives in the Florida Keys. For years, Dennis and Bert painstakingly collected and catalogued Tennessee Williams artifacts and opened an important educational and historical exhibit of their collection. Last year, they merged the museum with the Key West Art and Historical Society to further the great playwright’s legacy in the Keys. Dennis and Bert continue to be active in the museum and the community, and as members of CFFK’s Legacy Society, their planned gifts will impact the future of the Keys for generations to come.
Community Service Award
One of the nonprofits leading the way in actively addressing the critical need for affordable housing for Keys residents, Habitat for Humanity of Key West and Lower Florida Keys exemplifies utilizing hundreds of volunteers to meet the needs of the community. They have been diligently working on affordable housing for decades. Post-Hurricane Irma they have completed and sold 10 affordable new homes to low-income working families on Big Coppitt Key, completed major hurricane home repairs in the hard-hit Lower Keys, and added affordable rental units, bringing the total of rental units to 28 in addition to the 45 affordable homes owned by Habitat partner families. This outstanding nonprofit is not only bringing people together to build homes and communities, it is also providing hope and inspiration.
One of the highest rated hotels in the Florida Keys, Marriott Beachside is a caring and generous corporate community partner working to improve quality of life for Keys residents and visitors. Through its innovative guest donor program, one dollar from every guest staying at the resort throughout the year is donated for programs to benefit our Keys’ unique culture, beautiful environment and much more. The business partnership program, which has benefitted CFFK and numerous nonprofit groups, is now a model for other visitor-related businesses to support our nonprofits and improve our island paradise for the future.