Since our earliest days, The Community Foundation Martin – St. Lucie has worked with local female philanthropists to create funds that are as varied as their interests and the community’s needs.
We celebrate the significant role women play in philanthropy and applaud those who are Giving While Living.
Kate’s first boss taught her a valuable lesson in philanthropy. She handled his mail, including the many requests he received for donations. He explained that, as a principal of a large investment firm, he could do more to help nonprofits by making financial contributions versus volunteering his time. From that day, Kate was motivated to work hard so she could be like him and help local charities. While her early philanthropy was on hunger-related causes, today, the fund she and her husband established at The Community Foundation is geared towards the environment. Kate was introduced to female collective giving as part of the Fort Lauderdale Junior League and she later became a founding member of Impact100 Martin. As a wealth manager, Kate saw many women who had little to no involvement in charitable giving decisions. Now, she sees what she describes as a generational change that has women more involved and leading decision-making.
Marjie is grateful to be part of a growing community of women philanthropists. She’s inspired by memories of her grandmother, whom she saw as a beautiful example of giving to the less fortunate. Together with her late husband Bud, Marjie has devoted her energy to creating solutions for urgent community needs. As the founding family of The Community Foundation, the Jordans have used their charitable giving fund to support good in our community and beyond. From hunger to health to education, their generosity has spanned more than four decades. One issue that became apparent to this accomplished maternal-child nurse was the serious gap in the care that mothers and babies were receiving. This discovery led her to start The Women’s Center, a free-standing birthing center that provided patient-centered care for women and children of the Treasure Coast for 18 years. Additionally, for several years, Marjie has been involved with organizations fighting human trafficking and helping girls who have been its victims. Marjie focuses her philanthropy on families and youth, primarily because she believes young people have the greatest need for support and encouragement.
As a young teen participating in youth groups, Judie became aware of the importance of giving time and talent. Later, she and her late husband Gary made charitable giving part of their lives, but it was the loss of their daughter Christen in 1998 that was the catalyst for giving on a different level. Guided by The Community Foundation, they created a memorial fund to honor their daughter’s creativity and passion for the arts. After the loss of another child, their son Eric, Judie and Gary created the ERIC (Elevating Residents In Crisis) Fund to acknowledge the values close to his heart -- connecting to people with empathy, kindness and understanding especially for those in need. Since she first moved to Martin County, Judie has been concerned about the underserved in our area. With the wealth in our community, she feels more safeguards should be in place.
For Jessica, philanthropy is second nature. Her maternal grandfather built a family foundation, and after taking on leadership of the family business, Premier Realty Group, she created a new charitable tradition at the firm. She personally seeded the Premier Realty Group Charitable Giving Fund and partnered with The Community Foundation. A percentage of every real estate transaction is contributed to the fund with a company match. A team of associates participate in a philanthropy committee. Guided by The Community Foundation, the Committee solicits and reviews funding requests throughout the year. Jessica’s dream is that every Realtor® adopt a formal charitable giving plan on a local level. She has also fostered an environment where volunteerism is encouraged. Countless associate volunteer hours have supported many local charities. Since its inception in 2019, the Premier Charitable Funds have granted $120,000 to 50 not-for-profit organizations serving Martin and St. Lucie Counties.
Before moving to her estate in Jensen Beach in 1945, Frances was an internationally renowned actress and singer. During World War II, she entertained the troops with her signature tune, “I’m in the Mood for Love” with Bob Hope’s USO tours. Frances was known throughout Martin County for her generosity to the community she called home. She supported local environmental causes and hosted numerous fundraising events. Before her passing in 2005, she created the Frances Langford Foundation, which provided more than $26 million in grants to 122 agencies. In 2016, the Frances Langford Foundation Trustees chose The Community Foundation to become the steward of the remaining funds. Since its establishment in 2017, the Fund has granted over $2 million to 42 not-for-profit organizations serving Martin County.
Theora (Bunny) Webb
Bunny credits her grandmother with teaching her the importance and spirit of giving when she was ten. Since then, her approach to philanthropy has evolved, but her spirit of giving remains unchanged. Bunny understands that smart, impactful philanthropy is crucial to strengthening communities, but she stresses that philanthropy isn’t simply donating money. Bunny and her late husband, Horace, practiced strategic philanthropy, combining their donations with their service on nonprofit boards. Innovative and eclectic projects capture Bunny’s interest. Today, her charitable giving is done through The Community Foundation and is concentrated on supporting the local health care system, investing in addressing health disparities among minority populations to ensure healthy babies and families and building programs that inspire and empower young girls and women.