Frances Pew Hayes fulfilled many roles throughout her life. She was not only a wife and mother, but also a woman with diverse interests. So often these interests led her to discover needs within the community, which she then set out to meet. She spent a lifetime enhancing the lives of individuals and communities through charitable gifts and personal involvement.
Her philanthropic nature was part of a family tradition. Her parents served as role models for Frances throughout her childhood. Her father, the CEO and chairman of the board of Sun Oil, taught her the important qualities of leadership. Her mother, Helen, demonstrated generosity through her various social service commitments.
Frances learned at an early age that philanthropy was more than making a donation. She was initiated into public service by volunteering at the Women’s Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when she was 11 years old. She honed her executive skills through her leadership roles at the Holmquist Girls School. Becoming a wife and the mother of six children did not hinder Frances’ commitment to her community. She followed her mother’s example by involving her own children in her charitable endeavors at the Women’s Hospital, Jefferson Hospital and the Ardmor YMCA.
Frances and her husband, Norman Hayes, relocated to Southwest Florida in 1973. Naples and Collier County then became the recipients of her generosity. Her dedication and benevolence have touched over 35 charitable organizations in Collier County. Her interest in children led Frances to Youth Haven, where she created a solid foundation by providing capital for three cottages on their campus. Education, older adults and the environment have also benefited from Frances’ philanthropic pursuits. The Collier County Education Foundation, Moorings Park and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida have all been recipients of her time and charity. Patrons of the arts will recognize Frances’ name prominently linked to the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts. The Frances Pew Hayes Hall fulfilled a dream for a world-class orchestra in Southwest Florida. Conversely, Frannie’s Teddy Bear Museum provided a whimsical experience for young and old, while offering meaningful volunteer opportunities for active retirees. Her private collection served as a unique entertainment and educational opportunity.
Frances Pew Hayes’ passion for fulfilling both needs and dreams throughout our community was widely known. And her willingness to take on endeavors that others would not was legendary. Her distinctive brand of philanthropy enriched the lives of all who knew her. For these reasons and many others, Frances Pew Hayes was honored as the Hodges University Humanitarian of the Year in 2002.
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