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The Saldukas Family Foundation

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Lois Saldukas got involved with Artis—Naples quite by accident. A recently widowed woman looking to relocate to Naples from Connecticut, she went to meet a real estate agent at a bank. That bank also happened to be the temporary volunteer headquarters of this organization, just as we were beginning construction of our campus.

“I was looking to move down here, and I figured I was going to need something to fill my time,” she says. “So I became a volunteer.”

Beginning in 1989, Lois volunteered in a variety of roles. She was a greeter as people entered Hayes Hall. She worked on the Festival of Trees and other special fundraising events. And she began donating money in the late 1990s through a foundation she formed with her two sons, Steve and Anthony. The family’s connection to the organization is so strong that Steve, a local psychologist, also had his wedding here.

When the family started the foundation the rules were simple: Donate to causes that improve the quality of life and only donate to Florida charities. Over the years the organization has supported public radio, environmental causes, mental health treatment and more.  At Artis—Naples, the foundation has been a strong supporter of The Baker Museum and in particular the museum’s library. “We just felt that it was something important that needed support,” Lois says.

Lois says she’s often asked why she started a charitable foundation. She responds that she wanted to create a way to give back to the community while also getting her sons involved. With the foundation closing in on 20 years, she’s very pleased with the way everything has turned out as she prepares to turn it over entirely to her sons.



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