February 12, 2021


By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Babcock Ranch Foundation shows commitment to all in the community

Babcock Ranch Telegraph Correspondent

The Babcock Ranch Foundation is combining culture in the form of art with the culture of giving back to help make sure that children and families in need do not go hungry this holiday season.

The foundation has donated $3,850 to Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, the result of the foundation’s match of ticket sale proceeds and donations at the Babcock Ranch Art Show in November. The donation comes as the COVID-19 pandemic is raging across the country, impacting many Southwest Floridians who are caught in a cycle of sickness, job loss and hunger. “Harry Chapin Food Bank has experienced an exponential increase in demand since the pandemic began,” said Syd Kitson, chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners, developer of the town of Babcock Ranch. “The Babcock Ranch Foundation proudly supports their vision of ensuring no child, family or senior goes hungry in our community.”

Kitson & Partners is steadfast in their commitment to a company culture of philanthropy. The nonprofit foundation was established with a mission to support, enhance, and implement projects that positively impact many worthy causes in Southwest Florida. The foundation is particularly passionate about the issues that most profoundly affect at-risk children, such as hunger and homelessness.

This is not the foundation’s only initiative this holiday season. The foundation annually distributes about $30,000 among five or six different nonprofits to help families fight off hunger, said Tyler Kitson, treasurer of the foundation.

Among the list of different nonprofits, Babcock Ranch continues to support are the Ace Champion Awards, AMIkids Southwest Florida, Babcock Neighborhood School, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County, Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast.

Tyler Kitson has seen firsthand the kind of impact helping a child makes. Before the foundation was established, he was involved in several nonprofits, including serving as a Big Brother for three to four years at Big Brothers Big Sister of the Sun Coast. Being involved in that organization made him see how important it is for kids to have someone looking out for them, he said. “Whether it’s as simple as just some everyday advice, guidance on everyday challenges at school, sports, or with friends — or resources to help them find their path, whether that’s in college or career — it is truly inspiring to see how big of an impact you can make on a child just through interaction and showing that someone cares about them,” he said.

Philanthropy and the culture of giving back ties in with the town of Babcock Ranch and its focus on the concept of sustainability and responsible growth, he said.

Known as the country’s first solar-powered town, just northeast of Fort Myers, Babcock Ranch arose from the purchase of the former 91,000-acre Babcock Ranch. Kitson & Partners sold 73,000 of those acres to the state as a permanent preserve. The town is developed on about 18,000 acres. Half of the town’s footprint is set aside as greenways, parks and lakes for the town’s neighborhoods and the Founder’s Square downtown district.