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The Ave Herald

Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


Myra Daniels Donating $3 Million to WGCU

Longtime arts supporter Myra Daniels has found a new project to support following Ave Maria University's decision last fall to scale back plans for the performing arts center she hoped to spearhead at the school.

The Fort Myers News-Press reports that Mrs. Daniels is donating $3 million to WGCU Public Media to support its Fund Our Future Initiative. It is the largest single gift ever made to WGCU, which operates a public radio and television station from the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University.

Mrs. Daniels, who founded the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts -- now Artis Naples -- became captivated with AMU and the town of Ave Maria after several visits to the town and campus, and the university announced in February, 2014, that she would be spearheading a project to build a 1,250-seat performing arts center on campus. She bought two homes in Ave Maria and moved into one of them after selling her house in Naples.

Less than two years later, however, AMU told her they were scaling back plans for the center. She put her houses in Ave Maria on the market, moved out of Ave Maria and told the Ave Herald, "There's nothing for me to do there."

"Anyone who knows Myra knows that she is just an unwavering supporter of the arts," FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw said. "This is very consistent with what she values, and obviously, she thought we were an appropriate vehicle for her to make that very generous gift."

There will be a ceremony June 15 to formally recognize the donation.

"I was blown away with the idea of bringing the arts to hundreds of thousands of viewers in Southwest Florida," Mrs. Daniels said. "WGCU is truly Southwest Florida's largest stage."

Click here for the full story from the Fort Myers News-Press 

Click here for Ave Herald story from November, 2014, AMU Reshapes Plans for Performing Arts Venue; Myra Daniels No Longer Involved



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