Top Row: Marlene Hofer (PRBSG Board), Jan Stephens (Director of Operations, CCF), Cate Peterson (PRBSG Board), John Wright (PRBSG & CCF Board)
Middle Row: Ashley Maher (Director of Marketing & Development, CCF), Robin Vasquez (CCF Board), Shelli Green (PRBSG Board), Dr. Robert Peterson (CCF Board), Tami Sender (CEO, CCF), Jill McCrory (CCF Board)
Front Row: Roger Tetrault (PRBSG), Rev. Bill Klossner (PRBSG Board President), Mary Bryski (CCF Board Chair), Marilyn Smith-Mooney (PRBSG)

The Charlotte Community Foundation announced today that a $20,000 donation has been made to the Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens, Inc. The donation will help facilitate Phase 1 development of the Garden’s amenities through the installation of unique botanical photographic art. This donation was made possible through the Marion & Leroy Pope Jr. Legacy Fund managed by the Charlotte Community Foundation.

“Marion and Lee Pope were actively involved in the community. Marion particularly enjoyed the beauty of the flowers and gardens throughout Charlotte County,” said Mary Byrski, Foundation Board Chair. “It was Marion’s wish upon her death to leave a portion of her and her late husband Lee (a/k/a Leroy) Pope’s estate to a project in the community that would allow local residents and visitors to enjoy the flora and fauna of the area as Marion did during her lifetime. This botanical art installation will honor Marion’s desire to give back to Charlotte County and pay tribute to Marion’s love of gardens in perpetuity.”

The Pope Legacy Fund at the Foundation will provide five Laurie Tennent botanical photographic portraits throughout the Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens. Each subject image is a specimen of a botanical found inside the Gardens. The artist will set up an onsite studio and shoot macrophotography to develop the portraits. Tennet is one of the first guest artists whose pieces will be part of the permanent collection at the Gardens.

“The Charlotte Community Foundation is delighted to be able to support this project honoring Marion Pope’s wish to help beautify our community and provide a permanent gift to its residents,” stated Tami Sender, Foundation CEO. “The Foundation works closely with our donors to develop distinctive and meaningful ways they can leave a lasting legacy.”

“The Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens is gratified by Marion & Leroy Pope Jr’s generous gift,” commented Bill Klossner, Gardens President. “We appreciate that the Charlotte Community Foundation recognized a need and was able to address it with donor funds that will enhance the quality of life for Charlotte County residents and visitors.”

Donors can establish a Legacy Fund through an Estate Gift along with a Letter of Direction listing various fields of interest for the charitable gifts to be distributed. For more information or to discuss your estate gift plans, please contact Tami Sender, Charlotte Community Foundation, 941-637-0077.

Charlotte Community Foundation, Inc. As the Center for Philanthropy in Charlotte County, the Foundation focuses exclusively on the needs of Charlotte County. Providing more than $825,000 in 2016 alone, the Foundation provides personalized donor services to assist individuals in establishing tax advantageous charitable funds which provide distributions, grants and other resources to support nonprofits in Charlotte County. The Foundation’s mission is connecting people who care with causes that matter. Call 941-637-0077 for more information.

The Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens will be one of Florida’s most breathtaking garden parks, featuring diverse botanicals and artistic beauty as it opens to the public in October. The sculptures from world artists are unique, fun and whimsical, yet fit in nicely into a botanical setting. The Gardens are located at 5800 Riverside Drive, east of Punta Gorda and I-75. Learn more at or like us on Facebook at Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens.