General, News

STARability Receives Transformative $5 Million Leadership Gift from Tom Golisano

STARability Foundation proudly announces a groundbreaking $5 million leadership gift from Tom Golisano toward STARability’s permanent future home. This transformative support will elevate STARability’s mission to empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through vocational training, continuing education, teamwork, social engagement, and community involvement and pave the way for expanded programs, addressing the increased demand for support and services in Collier County.

“This generous gift from Tom Golisano is a monumental step forward for STARability and our community,” said Karen Govern, CEO of STARability Foundation. “It brings us one step closer to breaking down barriers and providing greater inclusive opportunities for growth, learning and social connections in a supportive environment where every individual can thrive.”

The announcement follows STARability’s recent acquisition of a five-acre parcel, including an existing 42,000-square-foot, two-story building located at 2655 Northbrook Drive, Naples, FL 34119. The new campus coupled with the leadership gift from Tom Golisano, marks a transformative moment for STARability, positioning the organization for expanded services and growth.

Tom Golisano said, “I am pleased to be able to provide this gift to help STARability create a new and much-needed center where individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities can gather, learn, and express themselves and access integrated services, therapies, and other support in a fully inclusive environment. This center, and STARability’s expansion of programs will transform the lives of countless individuals for years to come.”

The location will serve as STARability’s future permanent center, facilitating a range of wraparound services and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Southwest Florida. Property development plans are underway, and details on the timeline will be released at a later date.

“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Golisano for believing in our mission and future plans and coming alongside us to help open the doors to many more in need,” added Govern. “We believe our new campus will become a model center, not just locally, but regionally and nationally.”

STARability has grown exponentially in seven years, now serving over 360 participants with a team of 41 staff and over 200 volunteers. The organization offers pioneering programs, including the Trailblazer Academy, employment services, and a variety of educational classes and recreational activities. In 2022-23, STARability provided over 30,000 experiences for its STAR participants.

This leadership gift from Tom Golisano will enable STARability to accommodate its growing community, expand programs, and more than double the number of people served, leaving a lasting impression for generations to come.