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FORT MYERS, Fla. (December 8, 2020) – Beginning in 1915 with a gathering of children from the local community, Dr. Ella Mae Piper and her mother, Sarah Williams started a Christmas tradition that has endured uninterrupted for 106 years. Volunteers, local businesses, and sponsors continue to make this Christmas morning event possible for children in the local community.
Suncoast Credit Union is the presenting sponsor of this year’s event. Cindy Helton, Executive Director of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, shares: “Suncoast Credit Union takes great pride in making a positive impact on the communities we serve. Our support demonstrates our passion for the families, schools, and organizations that make up the fabric of the community. The Dr. Piper Center has been a vital resource to children and seniors in the Fort Myers area and beyond for over 100 years, and we are honored to help them further their mission.”
Dedicated volunteers lead this effort year after year. Chairwoman Shavon Chester shares: “This year, more than ever, the many volunteers and staff at the Piper Center will bring much needed smiles to the faces of the Dunbar Community in our ongoing effort to honor the legacy of Dr. Piper.” Chester is leading the committee of volunteers in preparation for a safe and joyous Christmas Day for all families who look to the Dr. Piper Center to provide their holiday gifts, including entrance into a raffle to win bicycles donated by Gavin’s Ace Hardware.
Local businesses play an instrumental role in collecting toys: Health Park Care and Rehabilitation Center, Glass Designs (two locations), Trilogy Home Care, MidWestOne Bank, Discovery Village at the Forum, Brookdale Senior Living (three locations), Amy McGarry Law Office, Glass Design (two locations), Ella Mae’s Diner in the Luminary Hotel, Home Instead, Mitchell Dentistry, PetSmart (two locations), Around the Clock Fitness (three locations), and Stu’s Motorcycles. Toys can be donated at any of these locations or dropped off at the Dr. Piper Center.
For more information about the Dr. Piper Center, visit the website at or call (239) 332-5346.
About the Dr. Piper Center:
The Dr. Piper Center seeks to enhance the social and economic well-being of older individuals who reside in Southwest Florida and make a positive impact in the lives of frail elderly, at risk youth, special needs children and our communities. Supported programs include Senior Companion, Senior Employment, Foster Grandparents, Faith in Action, and the Annual Christmas Party.

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