Current and former mayors establish nonprofit for Ormond Beach

By: 
Oct. 6, 2012

A nonprofit foundation has been established by the current and former Ormond Beach mayors to help residents in ways the government can't.

BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER

There’s a limit to what government can do to help the people in Ormond Beach. The space in between will be the focus of a new nonprofit, which was established, in part, by current Mayor Ed Kelley.

Kelley and former Ormond Beach mayors Dave Hood, Carl Persis and Fred Costello, along with local businessman Chuck Strasser, have formed the Ormond Beach Community Foundation.

The idea for a foundation came about from each mayor’s experience in office, dealing with how to beautify the city, but not always being able to help residents with small things.

“(We) can put up trees,” Kelley said. “But can’t help a widow change a window.”

The early conversations between Kelley, Hood, Persis and Costello started over a year ago, Kelley said. But he said a chance conversation with Strasser helped push the project along.

Kelley and Strasser talked about Ormond Beach residents going to other countries or states as part of mission trips. Kelley said they wondered why people don’t stay in Ormond Beach and do the same work.

“Why do people want to go elsewhere to help when there are people right here struggling?” Kelley said. “You have someone whose paint is peeling off their walls, but they can’t afford to fix it.”

Kelley said the group will work with area churches, charities and businesses to encourage residents to help in their own communities.

The foundation, which was certified by the state of Florida as a 501(c)(3) on Aug. 30, is still in its infancy, Kelley said, adding that they haven't decided on projects yet.

“We’re open to any type of (project),” Kelley said. “It’s about helping out and filling in the holes.”

Kelley said the foundation is considering a project to help students get computers and to provide low cost Internet access.