NAPLES, Fla. — The founder of Papa John’s Pizza, John Schnatter, hosted a 100-mile bike ride in Naples, donating $100,000 to local charities to aid in COVID-19 recovery.
Fox 4 spoke with local charities about the impact this donation will have on the local community.
“This donation from John couldn’t have come at a better time, it is just amazing how perfectly timed this is for The Benison Center and the community of Immokalee, ” said Frank Rincon.
Schnatter spent Saturday morning with the Naples Velo Bicyclists group.
The goal was to raise a $1,000 per mile, totaling 100 miles.
A donation of $100,000 was given to four local charities, The Community Foundation of Collier County, The Pan Florida Challenge, The Benison Center, and The American Heart Association.
“My heart goes out to everybody, especially entrepreneurs and small businesses. I started out as a small business, at least I could keep my doors open, now they don’t know if they are going to open close open close, etc. I think you have to stay resilient, ” said Schnatter.
Each charity works to aid in the health and wellness of the Naples community.
“The charities are suffering because their events have been canceled and people aren’t just donating money right now, ” said Tish Kelly.
Frank Rincon, of The Benison Center, already has a plan to utilize the new funding.
“The $20,000 that we received today is going to pay for our warehousing for approximately five months, this is going to allow us to continue to operate, ” said Rincon.
The center provides donated products to nonprofit agencies, churches, and schools throughout Southwest Florida.
“When someone donates to The Benison Center they are donating to all of our partner agencies, CCPS, RCMA, The Guadalupe center, The Immokalee Foundation,” said Rincon.
Schnatter reminding the community of better days on the horizon.
“We will get through this, this is a great nation a great people. We’ll get through it; we just have to hang together and stay positive, ” said Schnatter.