Transformational Philanthropy Building Brevard

Community Foundation for Brevard welcomes the John and Betty Higdon Fund

The Community Foundation for Brevard has received a transformative gift of $3 million from the estate of Betty Higdon, creating the John and Betty Higdon Fund. As an endowed fund, it will provide annual grants in perpetuity to support causes and initiatives the couple were passionate about.

After moving to Merritt Island in 1961, the Higdons developed deep roots in the community over the 60 years they lived in Brevard. Betty Higdon served as a Brevard Public School teacher for 30 years, and John Higdon was an employee of Boeing where he worked on the Apollo Program. After John passed in 2014, Betty desired a way to keep their legacy alive in Brevard for generations to come.

“Betty knew the Community Foundation would ensure her gift remained true to her charitable intentions, while staying relevant and impactful to the community she loved,” said Robert J. Naberhaus III, a shareholder with Dean Mead and estate attorney for the Higdons.

Todd Starkey, senior vice president of Compass Wealth Management Group, agreed, “It was deeply meaningful to help the Higdons craft a lasting legacy supporting the causes that were near and dear to both of their hearts.”

The fund will provide annual grants to a variety of causes including animal, wildlife and environmental protection and community-based health and wellness, with a special focus on veterans, as well as contributions to the Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home.

“Through their lives and legacies, philanthropists maximize their impact with the Community Foundation for Brevard,” said Theresa Grimison, president and CEO. “The Higdons’ gift is an excellent example of that in action because of their vision, planning, and generosity, their name and intentions will forever live on, helping to address critical needs while creating positive opportunities for generations to come.”

About Community Foundation for Brevard

Since 1981 the Community Foundation for Brevard has served as a leader and resource for philanthropic individuals and organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain Brevard’s quality of life. An independent, 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation provides the expertise, network of partners, and information that empowers philanthropists to maximize their impact in addressing critical needs and building a community where everyone can thrive. For more information, call 321-752-5505 or visit