Mission and History

The John’s Island Foundation provides grant funding for capital needs to nonprofit agencies that serve residents in Indian River County.  Agencies eligible for funding are those that serve people in need and whose programs are directed toward meeting needs or assisting with issues related to food, shelter, disabilities, health, aging, abuse or children’s education.

John's Island service area map
Our Service Area

Our Story

In 1999, a group of John’s Island members met around Ellie McCabe’s dining room table to address a need in Indian River County. While local organizations in town were funding program and service needs, nonprofit agencies had nowhere to turn for bricks and mortar and capital improvements. With the help of local attorney John Moore, the John’s Island Foundation was formed. The Foundation established by-laws that set the groundwork for the future: to raise funds from the John’s Island community to make capital grants to agencies serving those in need in Indian River County. Ellie McCabe became the Foundation’s first president, serving a three-year term from 1999-2002.

John's Island Foundation founder Eleonora W. McCabe
Eleonora W. McCabe
(1934 - 2021)
John's Island Foundation Original (1999-2000) board members Jay McNamara, Caroline Ervin, and Martin “Marty” Gibson
Original (1999-2000) board members Jay McNamara, Caroline Ervin, and Martin “Marty” Gibson

To initially fund the Foundation, 20 selected potential donors were contacted personally and asked to donate $5,000 each, and an appeal went out to the greater John’s Island community. By the end of fiscal year 2000, a total of $427,831 had been raised, and $278,270 in grants were awarded to 22 agencies. The largest grants went to Gifford Youth Activity Center (now Gifford Youth Achievement Center) for a new classroom and Habitat for Humanity for renovations to a townhouse. The John’s Island Foundation was on its way!

At a 2019 event marking our 20th Anniversary, we honored Ellie by making a special grant to support counseling and mental health assistance for children and families at the Gifford Youth Achievement Center, one of the first charities funded by the John’s Island Foundation.


Fast forward to 2021, and the Foundation is fortunate to have the continued support of the John’s Island community, with over 500 donors to date. Thanks to the outpouring of generosity from our community, the John’s Island Foundation has invested over $14 million in capital grants in Indian River County over these twenty-one years.

Past Presidents

John's Island Foundation 2020 Board Members Emily Sherwood with past presidents. From left to right: Sam Hayes, Dennis Longwell, Dan Somers, Hubert (Mark) Earle, Ken Wessel
From left to right: Sam Hayes, Dennis Longwell, Emily Sherwood Dan Somers, Hubert (Mark) Earle, Ken Wessel
1999-2002: Eleonora W. McCabe
2002-2004: Samuel B. Hayes III
2004-2006: William G. Kagler
2006-2008: Dennis C. Longwell
2008-2010: By Fauver
2010-2013: Daniel E. Somers
2013-2015: Hubert P. Earle, Jr.
2015-2017: James J. Johnson
2017-2019: Kenneth L. Wessel
2019-2021: Emily Sherwood

Charitable Gifts

Yes, we (I) would like to support your effort. Enclosed is a check payable to John’s Island Foundation.

Personal Check – Can be mailed to: 75 Remittance Drive Dept #92072 Chicago, IL 60675-2072

Securities – Contact Diana Brennan by phone at 772.234.0992 for bank transfer information.

John’s Island Club Account – Please use the form below:

* You will receive a confirmation email that includes the details of this form to keep or print for your records. Thank you for your support!

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