Pat and Bill Barton Named Honorary Co-chairs for Live Life in Color! 2016 Gala

Pat and Bill Barton Named Honorary Co-chairs for Live Life in Color! 2016 Gala

Pat and Bill Barton have been named honorary co-chairs for the David Lawrence Centers and Foundation’s 2016 Live Life in Color! Gala set for January 23, 2016 at the Naples Botanical Garden.

Live Life in Color! will feature nationally known performance artist, entertainer and speaker Michael Israel who pairs his renowned paint performance with heart-pounding live music that captivates his audience. This interactive event leaves onlookers feeling exhilarated and fulfilled. His art will be auctioned off after the dinner in support of the David Lawrence Centers .

The Bartons have lived in Naples since 1965. After a 40-year career in civil engineering, Bill retired as Chairman and CEO of WilsonMiller, Inc. (now Stantec, Inc.) a company he helped grow throughout the state of Florida. During that time, they have witnessed the extraordinary, fast paced growth of Collier County.

This power couple has spent the last 50 years serving our community in a variety of leadership and volunteer capacities to help manage that growth and expansion in the areas economic development, education, healthcare, republican politics, at-risk youth, juvenile justice, health and human services, healthcare, conservation and much more.

The Barton’s first became involved with the David Lawrence Centers in the 1970’s, when they became concerned about the growing incidence of adolescent drug use in our community and the lack of services available. The couple is one of action, and together they spent the next thirty years leading drug prevention and education activities at the local, state and national level including serving as founding members of the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth in the 80’s where they personally solicited First Lady Nancy Reagan to participate in America’s adolescent drug abuse issues, resulting in her “Just say no” program. Pat most recently served a legislative appointment with the Florida Substance Abuse & Mental Health Corporation Board.

Locally Pat immediately got involved with the David Lawrence Centers where over the years she served six years on the Board of Directors, three years on the David Lawrence Foundation Board of Trustees, and four years as the Auxiliary President which managed the volunteers who staffed the Foundation’s Encore Resale Shop a role she also held for many years.

The Barton’s have received many state and local awards including the coveted Naples Daily News Collier County Outstanding Citizen Award, Bill in 1979 and Pat in 1985.

Pat shares, “We’ve seen miracles occur in the redirecting of people’s lives and those of their families and loved ones. While there have been great strides in removing the stigma and mythology related to these diseases, there still remains a lack of public understanding and acceptance that substance use in some cases is a precursor of mental health issues/illness and our work is not done.”

Honored and humbled to now be named honorary co-chairs of the Live Life in Color! gala, the couple is excited to continue their philanthropic and civic involvement by getting to work to help the Foundation’s current fundraising efforts.

Pat adds, “I have visited nearly every mental health center and treatment program in the state of Florida and the David Lawrence Centers has been consistently among the best.  A major reason for this is their ability to raise funds locally to supplement the anemic state funding (curently 49th in the United States).  This is due to the rigorous work of the David Lawrence Foundation and our founder Polly Keller who we are proud to work alongside in this latest endeavor.”

Proceeds from the Live Life in Color! Gala will benefit the mission, operations and expansion of the David Lawrence Center’s innovative, comprehensive prevention, intervention and treatment services for the one in four local children and adults who experience behavioral, emotional, psychological and substance use challenges.

For sponsorship opportunities or to reserve a ticket click here contact Jennifer Denike at 239.304.3505.

Dec 01, 2015 | Blog

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