Phil & Bunny Finney: Central Florida Humanitarians
By Anne Straub, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living // October 24, 2014
ABOVE VIDEO: The Finneys family have devoted the past 35 years to numerous nonprofit organizations, always with an eye toward making an investment in the future.
Couple Have Devoted Past 35 Years To Serving Numerous Nonprofit Organizations
CENTRAL FLORIDA, USA – Bunny Finney has devoted the past 35 years to numerous nonprofit organizations, always with an eye toward making an investment in the future.
One major beneficiary of her efforts has been organizations that help children, particularly during early childhood.
“It just makes sense. If you build children well, you have better results,” Finney said.
To that end, she worked to bring an arm of the national Healthy Families program to Brevard County, and stayed to serve on the advisory committee.
Healthy Families Brevard screens expectant mothers for risk factors that would indicate potential abuse or neglect.
If warranted, the program begins voluntary home visits to educate parents and connect them to services they might need.
Healthy Families might help a parent work toward a graduate equivalency degree, for example, or help identify developmental delays in a child.
“It’s like having an aunt who’s an old sage,” Finney said.
“Healthy Families can move them away from the risk of the child being hurt inadvertently.”
Finney also values the payoff that investment in the arts offers the community. She recently finished a seven-year stint on the board of the Brevard Cultural Alliance, and will stay on as director emeritus.
Many people underestimate the impact of the arts. “People think of a painting or a ballet,” she said.
“It’s so much more than that, particularly in tough times.”
In fact, a thriving arts community can heighten economic development opportunities.
“When companies look to relocate, one thing they look for is a vibrant arts and cultural community,” she said.
One example of the payoff is the benefit that Titusville is enjoying, now in its second year of the Art & Algorithms digital arts festival. In addition to attracting people to view the exhibits, the event has highlighted various available locations in the downtown area.
The effort is one of many ongoing opportunities to enjoy culture in Brevard, a county that offers more sophistication and breadth than is evident at first blush, Finney said.
FINNEYS ARE FIRST FAMILY OF MERRITT ISLAND
Also an active volunteer, Phil Finney has focused his energy on the Merritt Island Breakfast Rotary Club. Finney has served as president multiple times, working on a variety of causes.
For example, the organization presents each third grader on Merritt Island with a student dictionary every year. In the spring, the group visits the schools as part of a nationwide drowning prevention program.
Finney is particularly proud of that effort: The program began as an isolated effort in Nebraska, and the Merritt Island Breakfast Rotary Club was the first to adopt it and start its spread nationwide.
The group also sponsors a student of the month at Edgewood Junior Senior High School, and selects one for a $1,000 scholarship at the end of the year.
The couple, owner of Finney Properties, has two sons and two grandchildren.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN ALUMNI
ABOUT THE 2014 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS
The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
This year, more than 30 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.
This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by M.H. Williams Construction, Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, Clear Choice Health Care, First Choice Medical Group, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, Florida Pain Institute, Sangiv Patel, DDS, PA, Brevard Geriatrics, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine and SpaceCoastDaily.com
BELOW MAP: The 2014 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards will take place Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, located at 200 Rialto Place in Melbourne, Florida.