When Art and Bev Cherry, Naples residents since 2004, witnessed the David Lawrence Foundation’s impact on the community, they didn’t think twice about becoming involved. The foundation provides financial help for the David Lawrence Center, which offers mental health, behavioral health and substance-abuse services.
“Bev and I spent a day over there at David Lawrence and saw the environment and the critical care that is being provided, particularly for children. Our family has always done a lot with kids,” Art says. “It was really emotional, and difficult to see the emotions of the children with behavioral health problems. That kind of ripped our hearts out. So, we’ve been involved ever since.”
Since 2007, Art and Bev have been significant financial contributors to the foundation. They have also provided in-kind donations for the auction at its annual fundraising gala.
In 2011, the couple served as honorary co-chairs of the gala, and they continue to serve on the gala committee. Art is currently chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, member of the center’s board of directors, chair of the development committee and member of the executive committee.
“The most important thing we’re providing, besides money, is time and knowledge,” he says. “For example, when we chaired the gala in 2011, we designed the live auction process, selected the venue and a few other things.”
The couple also continues to work behind the scenes, determined to sustain the organization’s momentum, which has a ripple effect in the community.
“David Lawrence Center medical staff also works in support of other organizations, such as Youth Haven and The Shelter for Abused Women & Children. They work with patients both inside these organizations as well as at the David Lawrence Center.” Art says. “Our feelings have always been that the children are the ones who, if they need help, it’s our responsibility to help them.”