Festival of ideas brings innovators together for a better future

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Laura Bush, keynote speaker at NaplesNEXT. (Credit: WINK News)
Laura Bush, keynote speaker at NaplesNEXT. (Credit: WINK News)

The former first lady Laura Bush was the keynote speaker at the NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival in Naples Tuesday.

Bush spoke about the importance of education and human rights.

“Your support makes Southwest Florida a better and healthier place to live and work and learn,” Bush said. “For that, I’m grateful.”

Bush spoke to a packed house as she encouraged those attending the festival to strive to help others.

Her speech is something Tracy Connelly, vice-president of development at Guadalupe Center, said hits close to home for his mission.

“The benefit that we get is really raising the awareness with the community about the importance of education and access,” Connelly said.

The positive message Bush shared got to businessperson Bill Farley. He vows to look for more ways to give back.

“I was motivated to do more,” said Farley, owner of Farley Industries. “The Bush’s, they’re incredible. It’s a legacy they’ve created from generation to generation.”

David Hoffman has put his time and money into the Naples community, too. He helps an organization that positively impacts the lives of kids in the community. After hearing of all these big ideas, he sees more potential to improve the area develop.

“Think about patriotism and the country at a time where we are a little divided and things like this bring the country together,” Hoffman said. “Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican or views are aligned, this whole conference brought people together.”

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