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Roxie Jerde, President and CEO, Community Foundation of Sarasota County

“Legacies do not leave something for people—they create something in people.”

Presented by Community Foundation of Sarasota County September 27, 2021

Roxie Jerde, President and CEO, with a portrait of Jo Bowen Nobbe

Women of the past have impacted our present and are shaping our community’s future. Through philanthropy, the legacies of many women of influence continue to entrust the next generation with care, service, and timeless values— including the most valuable one of all: hope. 

At the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, we hold dearly the trust each of our donors has put in us to carry on their charitable giving during and beyond their lifetimes. For more than 40 years, visionaries like Leila Gompertz, Sarah Greer Mayer, Jo Bowen Nobbe and many more have looked to us to carry forward their commitments to build a better future for all.

From food and nutrition to youth services, these women have left an enduring impact on the causes closest to their hearts. 

For Sarah Greer Mayer, this meant advancing social justice, increasing literacy and helping the disadvantaged. The fund bearing her name continues to empower nonprofits to help our most vulnerable residents and will do so in perpetuity.

Guided by her belief in the power of education, Jo Bowen Nobbe bequeathed the largest gift ever received by the Community Foundation at the time to create opportunities for all students, for all time. 

In her lifetime, Leila Gompertz saw the visions of these two women flourish as a founding donor and later Board Chair at the Community Foundation. Her 18 years of service for our foundation are marked by her heartfelt support for human services organizations and building our community’s culture of philanthropy.

We are proud to steward the legacies of these and so many other women who selflessly strengthen this place we call home. Their spirits live on through the people, organizations and places they have touched—and will reach—thanks to their endless generosity. After all, legacies do not leave something for people—they create something in people. It’s up to us to realize that potential, together.

About Us

  • Since 1995, the Sarah Greer Mayer Fund has awarded 136 grants totaling more than $2 million for local nonprofit organizations, including All Faiths Food Bank and UnidosNow.
  • Nearly 700 nonprofit programs have been touched by Jo Bowen Nobbe’s generosity.
  • The Allen Wirtz Nobbe and Jo Bowen Nobbe Scholarship Fund has awarded $3.2 million in scholarships, empowering over 1,100 students across Sarasota County to realize and achieve their educational dreams.
  • In 2004, Leila Gompertz bestowed $2 million to help construct a permanent office location for the Community Foundation along Fruitville Road, where it remains to this day.
  • 350 generous individuals and families have joined the Legacy Society, selecting the Community Foundation of Sarasota County as their trusted partner for charitable giving in perpetuity. 

Community Foundation of Sarasota County
2635 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237
(941) 955-3000