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Celebration of Philanthropy recognizing honorees who show dedication to Collier community

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Posted at 6:48 AM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 07:32:04-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — A few hard-working individuals are being recognized for their work.

It’s through the Celebration of Philanthropy, which took a hiatus due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. But now, it’s back and better than ever.

"It’s an important recognition, I think, and alert to the community as to what can be done.”

Philanthropy is a word that may not be tossed around very often. In Collier County, a celebration of those local efforts took a back seat for the last two years.

"We said you know it’s been two years now and we really want to recognize people who are appropriate," says Thomas McCann, former Chairman of the Collier Community Foundation Board. "There are some, especially during this time of want that we had during Covid, and some special people like the nurses from NCH.”

Nurses like Blanca Hernandez.

"It’s something that we don’t expect, it’s not expected," says Hernandez. "We became nurses to take care of patients. We don’t expect gratitude.”

Blanca and her fellow nurses at NCH are being honored at this year’s Celebration of Philanthropy event. As she puts it, a great honor and achievement something that doesn’t come expected. For her, nursing was a field that inspired her at an early age thanks to her aunt.

“I just always saw her come home happy and I thought I want to do what she does," said Hernandez. "That’s what inspired me to become a nurse. How I ended up on this unit is just everything and every little bit of chance. I’ve been in pediatrics, I’ve been with adult medicine, and it’s just been a wonderful experience everywhere I go.”

Other philanthropic efforts through Collier County are being recognized at this year’s event. And with the last two years of the pandemic still fresh, it’s exactly what’s needed right now.

"It reminds people why we’re here," said McCann. "How important philanthropy is and what it does for Collier County. How there are people who are in great need- that there are people of great wealth and people of great need in the county.”

"That’s an extra incentive," says Hernandez. "That brings us more joy with what we do every day already.”

The Celebration of Philanthropy will be taking place Friday at 11:30 a.m. You can find more information online right here.