In Search of the Most Amazing Philanthropists in Lee County

Nominations are now open throughout Lee County for the Cape Coral Community Foundation’s (CCCF) philanthropy award-the Tabor Generosity Award.

Nominees may be full or part-time residents of Lee County who have demonstrated generosity through their actions as well as financial commitments.  “Philanthropy is about more than writing a check for a good cause,” says CCCF President & CEO Michael Chatman.  “It’s about fully giving of yourself, your time, talent and treasures, in a way that has meaningful impact.  We are blessed to have many true philanthropists in Lee County.”

Nominations may be submitted by an individual, a group or through self-nomination.  All nominations will require an essay of up to 300 words describing why the nominee should be elected and explaining how the nominee has demonstrated generosity. One or two letters of recommendation are also requested. Suggestions for a strong nomination:

  • Show excitement and enthusiasm for your nominee
  • Describe how their efforts have encouraged others
  • Explain how the individual serves the mission of the CCCF
  • Impact matters

The award is named after its first recipient, Elmer Tabor, who was presented this honor in 2007.  The deadline to submit nominations is close of business on Thursday, February 28th. The nomination form can be filled out online at:; for other options, feel free to call the CCCF offices at 239.542.5594.

Michael Chatman
President & CEO


Growing Our Scholarships–The Kai Fuhrmann College Scholarship Focuses on Cape Students

Kai Fuhrmann was extremely dedicated to helping area youth to achieve success in school and on the soccer field.

Our Community Foundation has at least a dozen scholarships available to students seeking higher education. Behind each scholarship is a story of passion, not only for our youth, but also for the precious gift that education can provide. Kai Fuhrmann, who passed away from cancer in 2011, embodied this spirit of giving.

Kai not only believed in the power of education, but he also put it to practice through mentoring high school students and through volunteering as a soccer coach for the Cape Coral Soccer Association. Both of Kai’s daughters, Kari and Kelly, played under his guidance.

Kai graduated from the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany as a Diploma Engineer specializing in Architecture. He relocated to Miami and became a registered Architect. In 1998, Kai, his wife and two daughters moved to Cape Coral, where he worked as a registered Architect and Certified Building Contractor as Vice President of HKS, Inc.

“When it came to education, Kai’s motto was that there is no option for failure,” recalls Kai’s wife Donna Fuhrmann. “Education always came first in our house.”

For his daughters, that meant taking homework on soccer trips, taking time to study before competing on the field. Donna is convinced that Kai was able to fight colon cancer for an unprecedented 10 years because he absolutely wanted to see his daughters finish high school and go off to college.

Both girls attended Ida Baker High School in the Cape. 27-year old Kari excelled in college, graduating from the University of Tampa with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, working as an adjunct professor at Hillsborough Community College and also working at the University of South Florida.

Kelly, now 24, played varsity soccer for all four years at Ida Baker High School and earned an academic and athletic scholarship to Wingate University in North Carolina as a result of her hard work. She is now almost finished studying for her Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

The Fuhrmann Scholarship fund awarded its first $500 scholarship in 2012, upping its generosity to give scholarships to two students in 2015 and one in 2016. One key component of the application process asks Cape Coral high school students to write an essay describing a hardship that the student has faced and how they worked to overcome the difficulty. The deadline to apply for this scholarship is April 1st.

Donations to help grow this important fund are also encouraged.

For more information and to apply for the Kai Fuhrmann scholarship, visit:

To contribute to the Kai Fuhrmann scholarship fund to help in making more scholarships possible, go to: Once on this page, click on the arrow at the far right under “Donations to Endowed Funds” and select Kai Fuhrmann College Scholarship Fund from the drop-down menu. Then enter the donation amount, your email address and any special instructions before making payment. Checks to this scholarship fund are also welcome, care of Cape Coral Community Foundation, 1405 SE 47 St., Unit 2, Cape Coral, FL 33904. Questions? Call 239.542.5594.

To see an overview of scholarships available through our Foundation, visit:

It has been a pleasure serving you with occasional posts about some of the remarkable people, projects and events that make the Cape Coral Community Foundation extraordinary.  It is inspiring and exciting to see what is possible when generous and compassionate souls unite.

With gratitude,

MerriBeth Farnham

Professional Advisors Lunch & Learn – January 12

cubeta-philipThe Cape Coral Community Foundation presents Phil Cubeta who will share his expertise in charitable giving at a Lunch & Learn hosted by Faith Presbyterian Church.

Why Charitable Gifts of Noncash Assets Should Matter to Elite Professional Advisors

Some of your clients are charitable.

Key Takeaways:

  • Successful business owners seldom hold much in cash
  • The bulk of their assets are, generally, tied up in the business, or in real estate
  • Charities almost always ask for cash. After cash, they seek public assets – assets you manage
  • The win/win is to have clients donate noncash assets as part of an overall plan for wealth transfer and business exit
  • In the process, by using the right charitable tools, you can bring your AUM up – way up

Thursday, January 12, 2017

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Faith Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall

Lunch provided

This is a free event, but we do ask that you register by calling 239-542-5594 or

Phil Cubeta is the Wallace Chair in Philanthropy at The American College of Financial Services where he directs and teaches the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) curriculum. 

Prior to joining The College, Professor Cubeta served as Chief of Staff for The Nautilus Group, a service of New York Life, providing estate, business, and philanthropic strategies to affluent clients of its member agents.