Founded in 1999, The Board of Directors, comprised of the Simmons family, seeks to honor and follow the examples set by the founders of the foundation.
The Board of Directors meets quarterly. The Foundation accepts applications on an on-going basis.
Board of Directors
Sandra Simmons - Founding board member (1941-2018)
E. George Simmons Jr. (1936-2018)
About the Founders
Mabel Simmons 1917-2000
Mabel Claprood Simmons was a well-known figure in the Ruskin community. An Ohio native, she spent her professional life in the Floral business and was at one time, the largest flower producer in the state of Florida. She served on the Florida Flower Association Board of Directors for 24 years and was the first woman president. Mabel served as chairman of the American Floral Endowment and was an active member of its Board of Directors for 12 years. She was also a member of the Agribusiness Institute of Florida and in 1998 was inducted in the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Mrs. Simmons was active in the Ruskin Woman's Club, the Ruskin Historical Trust, the Ruskin Chamber of Commerce and Ruskin Elementary PTA. In 1996 to honor her late husband, Ellsworth G. Simmons, she founded the Mabel and Ellsworth Simmons Charitable Foundation, Inc. Mrs Simmons' philanthropic endeavors also include: The Simmons Endowed Professorship in Allergy and Immunology at the University of South Florida, the Ellsworth G.Simmons Scholarship Fund at East Bay High School and the Mabel and Ellsworth Simmons House at Joshua House, a home for abandoned and abused children.
Ellsworth G. Simmons Sr. 1915-1996
Ellsworth Simmons was a respected government and civic leader. He served on the Hillsborough County School Board for seven years. He was a County Commissioner for 21 years, 18 as Chairman of the Board. He helped transform Hillsborough County into a major urban center. Through his leadership and guidance new institutions - the University of South Florida - and new communities - Sun City Center - were created in Hillsborough County. He was a central figure in the construction of Tampa International Airport, the founding of University Community Hospital and the expansion of the Hillsborough County Health Department.
Mr. Simmons lived his entire life within a 12 mile radius of where he was born. He was dedicated to his family, his community and to public service. One of his goals was "to contribute back to the community and my fellow man as they have contributed to me so generously throughout my life."
The South Shore community have ample reminders of their distinguished citizen:
E.G. Simmons Field, East Bay High School, Riverview
Simmons Loop Road, Riverview
Simmons Lake, Sun City Center
E.G. Simmons County Park, Ruskin