Jodie Barns, Leah Thrift, and Karen Ryan

Shining a light on the power of teamwork

In the fall of 2023, Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) recognized a need for increased community involvement in the Lee County area. To bring that realization to life, the cooperative created its Power of Us program, where each month, LCEC employees engage in community service projects. In October, LCEC chose to provide volunteer services to Gulf Coast Village, a senior living community in Cape Coral, and on March 20, LCEC arrived bright and early, ready to make the community look like new again.

“We’ve been working over the past several months to set this up and come up with projects,” said Diana Nicol, life enrichment coordinator at Gulf Coast Village. Nicol collaborated with LCEC to organize the service day and identify areas of need within the community’s exterior.

Gulf Coast Village, a not-for-profit and Cape Coral’s only continuing care retirement community (CCRC), opened its doors in 1989. From independent living and assisted living to memory support and skilled nursing, Gulf Coast Village is home to seniors requiring all levels of health care needs. The community also offers short-term care for seniors recovering from an injury, illness or recent surgery. Gulf Coast Village has made its mark on Cape Coral locals through its high-quality health care services, collection of resort-style amenities and services, and maintenance-free lifestyle, and since its inception 35 years ago, Gulf Coast Village has grown tremendously to meet the needs of its current and incoming residents.

One major addition to the community’s campus includes Palmview, Gulf Coast Village’s memory support and assisted living residences, which is where LCEC focused their efforts on the service day. Palmview opened its doors to just over 50 seniors in need of more intensive health services in 2017 and has blossomed ever since. Now, having doubled its occupancy with over 100 seniors calling Palmview home, Palmview offers its residents high-quality care, with guaranteed independence. Gulf Coast Village and Palmview have become a safe haven for countless seniors of all walks of life and are a valuable resource to the Cape Coral community.

At the service event, LCEC employees came together to spruce up the exterior of Palmview. A team of 12 volunteers split into groups and lent a hand with golf cart cleaning, pressure washing the walkways, washing windows and deep cleaning the benches outside of the community. Each activity taken on by the cooperative helped to restore the beauty of the senior community. To thank LCEC for their volunteer work, Gulf Coast Village treated the LCEC team to a snack set-up inside of the community featuring breakfast pastries and beverages.

“It’s near and dear to everyone’s heart, being able to provide that service,” said Taylor Wilson, member programs specialist at LCEC.

The LCEC team was happy to provide their services to create a clean and comfortable outdoor environment for the community’s residents to enjoy throughout the Spring season. Gulf Coast Village and LCEC hope to maintain the strength of their partnership year-round through more hands-on activities at the senior living community.