The History of the Fort Myers Area, Florida, Alumnae Club
In 1970, the Southwest Florida Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi (Eta Province) was formed. The first President, Kim Thompson wrote to Pi Beta Phi's Central Office and obtained the charter. The Fort Myers Area, Alumnae Club was originally called Southwest Florida Alumnae Club because it included members who lived in many locations throughout the area, which included Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Lehigh, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and others.
Originally the club’s membership included alumnae in the Naples area; however, the separate Naples, Florida, Alumnae Club was formed one year later. Southwest Florida Alumnae Club did celebrate Founders’ Day with the Naples, Florida, Alumnae Club and the Port Charlotte pocket. Those joint celebrations lasted many years until the clubs grew too large and chose to hold separate events.
In earlier years, the club had a number of potluck dinners and dinner dances which involved the members’ spouses as well. From 1979 to 1980, Southwest Florida Alumnae Club Pi Phis started Alumnae Panhellenic of Lee County. To do so, every Pi Phi invited a guest from another sorority. Pi Phi Ida Jane Sharpe was the first President.
The 1980s were a tough time for the club; there were very few members. However, in the 1990s, more Pi Phis moved to the area and the club again grew in membership. Then, in 1992, the club contributed a square for the friendship quilt put together and displayed at the National Convention in Orlando. The design, appropriately, was a palm tree. For the following Convention, the club made cardigans which were sold. This was before Pi Phi Express.
In 1994 through 1995, founding club member Susan Kyle became Province President. Susan served as statewide Recruitment Chairman in 1993-94 and was succeeded in that post by another club member, Angela Clark. In 2011, Bettie Crawford, twin sister of club member Bobbie Nack, was an alumnae honor initiate at the Orlando Convention.
In 2014, a vote was taken and the club’s name was officially changed to Fort Myers Area, Florida, Alumnae Club, in hopes that new Pi Phis to the area would find us through social media. In 2015, club member Susan Kyle was recognized nationally as the Evelyn Peters Kyle Angel Award winner. Also in 2015, the club celebrated its 45th Anniversary with a Cookie Shine held at an area golf club. In 2016, club member Bobbie Nack was installed at Alumnae Panhellenic of Lee County President. She is the second Pi Phi to hold this position since its founding.
The Fort Myers Area, Florida, Alumnae Club made blankets and then donated them on behalf of the club for Project Linus. Books and pajamas were collected and donated for The Pajama Project, connecting foster children with their own new books and clothes. In 2014, club members started making dinner and bringing books to the families at Ronald McDonald House of Southwest Florida, which they have continued to do today. Another philanthropic event that the club has participated in since 2008 is volunteering as Literacy Buddies through the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. Then in 2016, the Fort Myers Area, Florida, Alumnae Club received a Fraternity Day of Service Grant for the Early Learning Coalition- Literacy Buddy Program.
Awards and Club Recognition
Evelyn Peter Kyle Angel Award
- Shirley Christlieb and Bobbie Nack, authored the Alumnae Renewal Ceremony and presented at the 2001 Denver Convention