Boca Grande Residents Plan to Build a Village In Devastated Haiti

COCONUT CREEK, Fla.(Feb. 2, 2010) – A passionate group plans to build a brand new village in Pierre Payan, Haiti, just two hours north of the devastated capital, Port-au-Prince. This group is made up of about two dozen Boca Grande residents, an island located on the west coast of Florida, mid-way between Sarasota and Ft. Myers.  The village in Haiti will consist of 80 concrete homes, a water treatment facility, a community center and a vocational school.

The chairpersons, Ben and Louise Scott, formed a preliminary committee with neighbors from Boca Grande just a few months ago. Ben’s good friend Tom Lorden co-chaired a committee in Illinois where locals banded together to build the Rockford Friendship Village in Prolonge, Haiti. That community is made up of 100 homes, several water wells, a community center and sanitation facilities. It was built with money raised from Rockford residents.

Scott and Lorden want to do the same and build The Boca Grande Friendship Village with help from their community. The village will be a major component of Food For The Poor’s long-term rebuilding and revitalizing effort in Haiti.

After the earthquake, Food For The Poor, which has been in Haiti for more than 24 years, immediately responded by sending more than 1,200 tons of emergency relief (water, food, medical supplies, tents) to the country. To date, the organization has sent more than 3,100 tons of relief.

After Jan. 12, the Scotts say they knew the dire need in Haiti intensified, and the interest in the community intensified with more neighbors who felt compelled to join their mission. 

“When we first learned about Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, my wife, Louise, and I thought of different ways we could make a difference for the children, and for families in that country,” said Ben Scott. “We decided the best way was to get our entire community involved. We have very generous people living on this island, and their hearts are in the right place.”

The Boca Grande Friendship Village will provide approximately 240 people with safe housing, agriculture, including 500 avocado, mango and citrus trees, animal husbandry and a community chicken farm, a community center and a solar charging system for electricity throughout the village.  

The committee’s first fundraising event will be on Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at 6 p.m. at the historic Power House Boca Bay Pass Club. Everyone residing on Boca Grande is invited to attend the cocktail reception and informational presentation, which will be given by Food For The Poor’s Executive Director, Angel Aloma.

The Boca Grande Friendship Village Chairpersons are Ben and Louise Scott, and the committee members are Rev. Jerome Carosella, George and Lois Castrucci, Patricia Chapman, Ray and Iliene Corcoran, Charley and Florita Field, Jack and Donna Harms, Stephen and Susan Jensen, Tom and Nancy Lorden, Ed and Nora Lee Reefe, Vince and Judy Shaw, Bruce and Barbara Stirling, and David and Mary Jo Wilson. For more information about the event, and to RSVP please call (954) 427.2222, ext. 6646, and visit

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit

Aimee Vignola
Public Relations
(954) 427.2222 x 6079