The Heights Foundation Receives Gift from Kleist Foundation

The Harlem Heights Cultural Arts and Community Center sits unfinished. But, a gift of $250,000 from The Kleist Foundation will bring the building one step closer to completion

Online PR News – 23-February-2011 – – Fort Myers, Florida (February 17, 2011) — The Harlem Heights Cultural Arts and Community Center sits unfinished. But, a gift of $250,000 from The Kleist Foundation will bring the building one step closer to completion. When construction began on the Center in 2009, the plan was to finish the building quickly and put it into use, serving the Harlem Heights community, but the effects of a sluggish economy changed that plan. As funding dried up, construction slowed.
When complete, the Center will serve as a beacon for Harlem Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods, a place for instruction and performances in the cultural arts, as well as a safe place where children can spend their after school hours and parents can continue their education. That’s the dream.
The Kleist Foundation has been involved with the Heights Foundation since its establishment. Speaking for the family, Kathy Kleist said, “We want to see the building finished. It is a spectacular building and one that is truly needed. As a Foundation, we believe that it is necessary for children to have a safe place to study and for their parents to have a place to access computers and work on completing their education. This center will provide that. This building has wonderful areas provide services to children – there will be computers and art classrooms, as well as a kitchen to provide hot meals. We feel strongly that this needs to be finished an serving the community.”
“The Kleist family, through their Foundation, has been supportive of this project since it began,” said Kathryn Kelly, Executive Director of The Heights Foundation. “This generous donation will allow us to move closer to our goal of completing and furnishing The Center.”
For more information about how to get involved, call 482-7706, or visit the foundation online at

About Harlem Heights and The Heights Foundation
Located off Gladiolus Drive and bordered by Summerlin Road and McGregor Blvd., approximately 1,200 children live within the boundaries of Harlem Heights. Most of the residents are economically challenged and many are unemployed. According to the 2000 census, over one-third (36%) live below the Federal poverty level, a rate that is 100% greater than the Lee County average. The Heights Foundation is a grassroots organization that works to break the cycle of poverty in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. The Foundation’s mission is to promote family and community development, support education and wellness, and provide the benefits of the cultural and expressive arts. The Foundation is working to build a cultural arts and community center in Harlem Heights.
Kathryn Kelly, Executive Director, The Heights Foundation
(239)482-7706 or email

Contact Information
Andrea McKiddie