The Gift of Education
What does a gorgeous painting of a sunset or a glistening pair of gemstone earrings have to do with education? The answer is the Naples Woman’s Club’s event, Artisan Marketplace, where over 20 talented artists and artisans will present their creations to help raise funds for college scholarships in the arts, just one of several initiatives that the NWC offers annually to provide scholarships for motivated, talented students of all ages.
Artisan Marketplace will take place on Friday and Saturday, November 3-4, at the Naples Woman’s Club at 570 Park Street. Guests will peruse collections of pottery, jewelry, art, accessories, apparel, food gifts, and much more. The net proceeds of the event will benefit NWC college scholarships for students wishing to pursue the fine arts. A silent auction packed with unique experiences, like driving a Bentley for a weekend, for instance, will help add to the scholarship fund. Admission is free and the public is welcome.
Left: Caftan by Artist Dena Lyons
Middle: : Necklace by Mary Limont, Jewelry Designer
Right: Photography by James LeSage, recipient of 2023-2024 scholarship
Later in the month, the NWC will present the Empowering Women’s Luncheon on November 17, featuring a celebration of women who overcome adversity. Net proceeds from the luncheon will fund scholarships for mature women who are seeking additional education to improve their lives. The speaker at the event will be Nancy Farren, co-founder of Providence House, a local non-profit program that gives working mothers and their children a way to transition out of homelessness, by providing fully furnished cottages and other resources to foster independence. The NWC has worked with Providence House for several years, providing furniture and household goods for the cottages; after two years of support, residents can depart, taking the furnishings with them as they restart their lives. Scholarship winners will also be present at the luncheon, sharing their stories.
In addition, the NWC has a program called Circle of Support, started in 2015 with a founding gift from a generous club member with a passion for education and students. Funds raised from members and friends have enabled the NWC, working with the Collier Community Foundation (CCF), to award over 35 college scholarships each year. Scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen college students as well as upperclassmen who have persistently pursued higher education. The NWC Education Committee coordinates these scholarships with the CCF, including two legacy scholarship funds, the Dorothy Edwards Scholarship, for students in technical fields, and the Beryl and Francis (Bud) Paulson Scholarship, for college students pursuing a career in education.
Information about the Naples Woman’s Club and our scholarship programs can be found at napleswomansclub.org. Those seeking scholarship assistance can apply for NWC scholarships by using Scholarship Connector (swflscholarships.org). Applications are reviewed by the NWC Education Committee for awards given in April of each year. One of the most inspiring events of the year is a Scholarship Reception in late spring, where scholarship winners and their families gather to celebrate with members of the NWC and town officials. There are smiles all around, for the gift of education and promise.