Inspiring People: Philanthropist Jennifer McCurry contributes to Naples Zoo, cancer research

Reporter: Lindsey Sablan Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Jennifer McCurry

A local philanthropist is providing places for families to enjoy and raising money to cure cancer.

Jennifer McCurry, recently recognized by WINK’s partners at Gulfshore Life Magazine as one of the Women of the Year, believes kindness and empathy are keys to success.

“I think you can get things done in this world with being kind,” McCurry said.

She considers herself a mother first

“I look at my kids and I see what could be,” McCurry said. “I want my kids to know that I got involved. I did something outside myself.”

“Something” could refer to to the Naples Zoo Gala, which McCurry chairs, and which last year brought in $1.3 million. This is invaluable to the zoo, since it is privately funded.

McCurry is also very involved with the American Cancer Society.

“It’s such a horrible disease,” McCurry said. “It affects so many people. I hope that we get a cure someday.”

She also makes it a mission to attend other events and donate where she can. This year, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of many such events, but McCurry turned a challenge into an opportunity, reaching out to donors to thank them, and to reflect.

“This was a year of gratitude,” McCurry said. “Let’s just take a pause and see what your funds, your support has done.”

And the funds and support she’s spent years generating are paying off. McCurry says giving back doesn’t have to be a large donation; getting a membership someplace, like the zoo, can help the organization and yourself.

“I owe it to my community,” McCurry said.

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