Passion for philanthropy: Shelly Stayer with Naples Shelter for Abused Women & Children

Shelly Stayer Chair of Mending Broken Hearts with Hope 2012, Chair of Gentle'men Against Domestic Violence events for the Naples Shetler for Abused Women and Children.

Shelly Stayer Chair of Mending Broken Hearts with Hope 2012, Chair of Gentle'men Against Domestic Violence events for the Naples Shetler for Abused Women and Children.

Shelly Stayer

Chair of Mending Broken Hearts with Hope luncheon Ralph and Shelly Stayer are Co-Chairs of the Gentle’men Against Domestic Violence annual men’s event: A Tailgate at Old Collier.

Organization: The Naples Shelter for Abused Women & Children

Why did you decide to become involved with The Shelter?

We moved here three seasons ago and I was involved with Domestic Abuse shelters back in Wisconsin.

What do you love about their work/mission?

This Shelter in Naples is the finest example of how a shelter should be run. The shelter here is “world class” at helping save souls and saving lives. This should be the template for the whole nation on how to set up and run a wonderful shelter for abused women and children. I’m so very proud to be helping with whatever I can. Nothing I help with in the fundraising area could ever even hold up to the work that the employees at the shelter are doing on a daily basis. This is the finest trained staff in the nation.

Why are you chairing these events for The Shelter?

I was a little hesitant at first when they asked me to be the chair of the largest population fundraiser in Naples. I said “I just got here and I don’t know that many people.” What I soon learned is that this organization between their board and their trustees and their guild have the most amazing network system anywhere. People are so loyal to this charity it is so amazing to watch how people rally around the shelter and its fundraisers. The chairpersons that have come before me have done such an amazing job at building this event up to what it is today. It too, like anything else, started with 100 people attending and then one day 250 then 500 and of course now my goal for this year is to hit the 1,000 people mark. If it can be done in Naples, the shelter volunteers and staff will make it happen. I call the team that I work with my “A” team. We work on this event every day together and I must say it has been a real pleasure for me to meet so many wonderful people and to learn so much about our Naples shelter. It is a ton of work but I truly enjoy every single moment working with everyone.

I invented the new Gentle’men Against Domestic Violence event after I did the math and found there were about 60 men in the room at the ladies luncheon. I thought how wonderful of them to attend but why don’t we give them their own event? I have had so much fun working on this with my husband Ralph Stayer. This is going to be a very neat evening at Old Collier. We still have room for more men to join. It’s “wear your favorite sports jersey” event. The whole lawn area of the country club will be staged to resemble a real tailgate area like, let’s say, at Lambeau Field. Of course because we are from Wisconsin I must say Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. It’s an evening for men to learn about domestic violence and talk about awareness. John Jordan will speak on the issue. The rest of the evening will be filled with music, brats and beer in a relaxed setting. I just felt there was a “void” in the community when it came to a men’s event for the shelter. I really listened to the men and they were saying “we will come to your luncheon, but what about our own event?” So, I created one just for them.

Why is non-profit/charity work important to you?

I know I spend 70 percent of my time on non-profit work. I tell my young friends who are mothers, now is the time to raise your kids and be the best mother you can be, when they are gone then you can volunteer and do non-profit work. My children are all gone and I love to stay busy. My husband and I are very involved in volunteering with non-profits both here and in Wisconsin. We feel really good about giving back as God has blessed us in so many ways we feel it is extremely important to help make a difference however we can whether it is time treasures or talent. We use what God gave us to try to help as many people and non-profits as we can. We do not have a favorite.

Tell us a little bit about your passions in life.

I am passionate about business. I love to start up new businesses and run them day to day with the marketing, PR and advertising so I would say I’m addicted to business. My family always comes first. I loved being a stay at home mom and now I love serving God and others every day.

Share anything else about yourself you would like.

I am the owner of Grace and Shelly’s Cupcake shop on US 41 and 5th Avenue and will soon be opening a location in the Mercato. I created a purple cupcake called the Shelter Cake where 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the Shelter for Abused Women and Children.

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