A spirit of adventure, a sense of purpose and a commitment to positive values and unending personal growth are the building blocks of the Uncommon Friends Foundation Inc. These noble personality traits were exhibited by some of the greatest men of the 20th century – Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel and Charles Lindbergh – and were elaborated on by author Jim Newton, who dubbed this band of visionaries his “Uncommon Friends.”
The Foundation’s passion and goal is to see that the arresting qualities of these historic and bold men continue to be embraced today and for the generations to come. As Jim Newton proclaimed,”The best is yet to be!” This is the Uncommon Friends Foundation.
The Uncommon Friends Foundation inspires future leaders toward excellence of character, a spirit of innovation, and a sense of purpose.
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Celebrating and teaching positive human qualities … qualities that lead to productive lives and a thriving society
Each year, a Business Ethics Award goes to an outstanding business in Lee and surrounding counties that exhibits a commit-ment to business ethics at all levels of the organization, among its industry peers, and within its community.
In 2008, the UFF moved into the historic 1901 Burroughs Home, owned by the City of Fort Myers and undertook the management and operation of this significant historic resource. Under the direction of the property manager, the home and gardens were restored to their former glory. After years of deferred maintenance and sporadic staffing, the grand home opened for tours and special events.
The Foundation’s scholarship program has awarded almost 500 scholarships to students in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry Counties who have a financial need, the potential to succeed, and demonstrate a spirit of adventure, a sense of purpose, a commitment to unending personal improvement, and a commitment to help others. The scholarship program was initially funded by a donation from Mrs. Berne Davis, who continued to support the scholarship fund until her passing. The scholarship fund continues to be funded by contributions from other generous members of the community.
Uncommon Evening is the Foundation’s annual signature event that raises funds to support its efforts year round in character education, business ethics, student scholarships, and historic preservation of the property. The event features scholarship awards, honors for teachers who champion character education in our schools, and finishes with the announcement of the winner of our Business Ethics Award that goes to a local business that has demonstrated high ethical standards in the workplace. It is one of the grandest events of the season and is held at the outdoor Gale McBride Pavilion on the riverfront grounds of the Burroughs Home and Gardens located at 2505 First Street in the historic Fort Myers River District.
Our Gale McBride Pavilion and the majestic Burroughs Home & Gardens overlooking the Caloosahatchee River are available for guided tours and may be rented for public and private events to help support our philanthropic mission. Lush, manicured gardens stretch out to the sparkling water, framed by the changing colors of nature to create the perfect backdrop for weddings and celebrations, elegant parties, business conferences, workshops and other events. The pavilion’s neutral color palette gives party planners incredible flexibility to choose colors and furnishings to set the mood. Let us help you craft your next special event.
Every Christmas the Fort Myers Woman’s Community Club decorates both the historic Burroughs and Langford-Kingston homes at 2505 and 2500 First Street in miles of ribbon, garland and lights to recreate the sparkle and richness of traditional holiday décor. For about three weeks, the homes personify the spirit of Christmases past. Step back in time to tour the homes as they might have been in the early 1900’s when the Burroughs home was first built. The FMWCC members and volunteers work for months every year planning and preparing decorations as their special gift of love to the community.