Florida tax, accounting and business consulting firm Myers, Brettholtz & Company chose the three finalists for its inaugural UNITE (Uniting Nonprofits In Teaming for Excellence) Award, established by the firm and supported by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties.

The finalists for UNITE, a regional award recognizing successful nonprofit collaborative models across the five-county area that exemplify excellence and community impact are: the Bob Janes Triage Center/Low Demand Shelter, Families First: Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida Inc. and Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. and Southwest Florida Addiction Services/Lee Mental Health Merger.

The goal of the award, for which the first winner of the $25,000 prize will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 14, is to provide information to the nonprofit community about successful collaborative models and share best practices for these collaborations.

The winner will be announced at the annual Myers, Brettholtz & Company full-day nonprofit seminar in Fort Myers. Each of the runners up will receive $2,500 courtesy of a private individual wishing to reward the other finalists for their community dedication.

“Each of the 27 entries we received [was] inspiring,” stated Lori Sampson-Wilson, principal of Myers, Brettholtz. “It clearly shows that our regional nonprofits are working together to achieve positive collaborative results.”  

The Bob Janes Triage Center/Low Demand Shelter is a collaboration with the Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners, law enforcement, Lee Memorial Health System, SalusCare, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the United Way.

Families First, a community-based early intervention/prevention program for young families coping with violence and abuse, is a collaboration of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida, Inc. and Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc.

“Our collaborative with Child Care of Southwest Florida and the Children's Network has enabled us to keep children out of the child welfare system and strengthen the family unit,” stated Jill Turner, founder and CEO of CACSWFL. “We have all learned how to create a new program and grow it while staying true to our original mission. The three agencies play well together.”
The merger between the area's leading agencies for mental health and substance abuse disorders, Southwest Florida Addiction Services and SalusCare, created a nonprofit to provide for more patient care and easier registration for treatment.

“The SalusCare team is excited to have our efforts to improve critically needed services recognized and we are equally excited by the new ways we have of serving individuals and families in need as we celebrate our first six months of operations as a new company,” stated Kevin Lewis, president and chief executive officer of SalusCare.

For more information on the UNITE Award and eligibility requirements, visit Myers, Brettholtz & Company’s website at www.mbcopa.com, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s website at www.floridacommunity.com or the United Way’s website at www.unitedwaylee.org.