Hundreds of Ave Maria Residents Rally to Support Hurricane Ian Disaster Victims

NAPLES, FL., – October 12, 2022 – Residents, businesses and Ave Maria University students recently expressed how fortunate they are to be living in Ave Maria, Florida following devastating Hurricane Ian.  While Hurricane Ian ripped through Collier and Lee counties, the eastern Collier County master planned community Ave Maria reported only minor landscape damage. The Ave Maria community took swift action to give back to neighboring Southwest Florida communities hit hard by the hurricane.

Although a great deal of devastation has rattled many in Southwest Florida, a small town’s efforts have created big impacts. The Thursday after Hurricane Ian hit land, Ave Maria residents Kimberly Alexandra and Paula Azcarraga-Moran took to social media connecting on a popular Ave Maria resident Facebook group asking community members for help. They requested spare water or toiletries for those directly affected from the storm. Strangers to each other then, they would’ve never thought they would collaborate to form a huge donation and supplies drive for those in Fort Myers and beyond.

“I am proud to be part of this town where everyone is genuinely there for each other and will not hesitate in helping someone. Even though Ave Maria was not directly affected, this hasn’t prevented countless people in helping greater Southwest Florida,” says Ms. Alexandra. “I have never been prouder to live somewhere.”

There was an overwhelming response from the Ave Maria community; hundreds of residents have dropped off supplies to Alexandra’s home. “Are we ready for this kind of volume?” Ms. Alexandra asked herself, with the answer “No, but let’s do it!” These ladies spearheaded a giving initiative and organized trips to the most devastated areas in Southwest Florida, first-hand helping those who are unable to drive to receive supplies and hot meals. Students joined their trips by helping deliver supplies and removing debris. Ms. Alexandra’s word spread even farther about their relief efforts; the Homestead Fire Rescue knocked on Alexandra’s front door with dozens of blankets.

This relief effort has continued to grow, with Ave Maria businesses and youth groups fundraising and helping with relief efforts. The Ave Maria Teens Club (Los Adolescentes de Ave Maria) organized bake sales, and “Bags of Love” for affected communities. They are also planning “Paints of Love” to collect money to purchase more necessities for those in need, along with cleaning and delivering meals to affected neighborhoods. The residents are proud to show the community that “Ave Cares.” “I’m not surprised by the outpouring of generosity of our residents. Ave Maria has long been a community of tightly knit residents who look out for each other and for others,” said Erica Fish, marketing and social media specialist for Ave Maria.

During the past two category 4 hurricanes, Ian and Irma, the master planned community only saw minimal landscape damage, a testament to the solid planning and construction of this hometown. Ave Maria Utility Company, which services all of Ave Maria, was able to continue to provide safe drinking water and wastewater services during and after both storms.

ABOUT & DIRECTIONS

Ave Maria has been named a Top 16 Master Planned Community in the United States, 2015-2022 Community of the Year and the Top Selling Single-Family Home Community in Southwest Florida. Ave Maria is a self-sustaining town including shopping and dining, employment opportunities, parks and recreation, and is zoned for all A-rated Collier County public schools.  At its build out, the town will include up to 11,000 residences, and 1.8 million square feet of retail, office, and business park uses in its 4,000 acres.  Ave Maria is located at the intersection of Oil Well and Camp Keais Roads in Eastern Collier County.  The main entrance, on Oil Well just west of Camp Keais, leads to the Town Center. Take I-75, exit 111, follow the signs east to Ave Maria, approximately 25 minutes.

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