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Nonprofit group helps finance initiatives to better community

Nonprofit group helps finance initiatives to better community

A group of Santa Rosa County women saw needs in their community. They realized that collectively they could make things happen.

Each of them made a commitment and said, "will do."

Wei Ueberschaer is president of Gulf Breeze Will Do.

"Women members who pool our membership dues in order to fund grants that go back into our local community," Wei said.

The Gulf Breeze Will Do organization is recruiting more women to join their ranks. They're a grassroots organization on a focused, grassroots mission.

Wei said their only goal is to financially support viable plans to make their community better.

"We also do not limit it to 501(c)(3)s," Wei said. "It's to any group or individual that has an initiative or project that will benefit the 32561, 32563 area."

Those individuals and groups can submit funding requests twice a year; in the spring and in the fall. The members of Will Do review the grant applications and then the ladies vote.

Wei explains that the vote comes with their financial pledge.

"It is $250 annual membership. We're also excited because we want to encourage our younger women in the community to participate so we have a discounted membership of $150 if you're 28 or younger."

In just four funding cycles, the group has supported 21 projects, awarding a total of over $115,000. They bought a night vision camera for the Midway Fire District's rescue boat.

Thanks to Will Do, Gulf Breeze Middle and High schools have new band instruments. Woodlawn Beach Middle School received almost $10,000 to help with the University of West Florida's impact study on the invasive lionfish.

That's a teacher's dream come true; just ask Amy Cozart of Woodlawn Beach Middle School.

"They funded all of the equipment that we have so I have a fully, like, college genetics lab in this middle school right here; which is absolutely incredible," Cozart explained.

Wei said these ladies can hang their hats for a lot of good things in the community.

"We've been able to fund automatic external defibrillators for the city of Gulf Breeze Police Department so now every patrol car has an AED," Wei said. "I'm just so proud that the women of this community have taken upon themselves and made it their responsibility to be sure that worthy projects are funded and actually come to fruition."

And there's an open invitation for other women who are ready to join in and say, Will Do.

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.

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