The Uncommon Friends Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of character development, business ethics, and historic preservation. Established in 1993 in Fort Myers, Florida, the foundation aims to continue the legacy of the Uncommon Friends, a group of 20th-century visionaries that included Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Charles Lindbergh. In carrying on the adventurous spirit, positive values, and purpose-driven outlook of the original fellowship, the Uncommon Friends Foundation focuses its historic initiatives on the Burroughs Home and the James Newton Archives housed within it.
James Newton, a Fort Myers Beach author and businessman, enjoyed lasting comradery with the extraordinary men whom he referred to as his “Uncommon Friends.” To honor this legacy, the Uncommon Friends Foundation recently established the Walk of Friendship at the Burroughs Home. Composed of personally dedicated paving stones, the walkway will eventually lead to the Gaile McBride Pavilion, a venue that will host meetings, events, and character education classes sponsored by the organization.
The first paving stone on the Walk of Friendship is dedicated to Bernese B. Davis, a friend of Thomas and Mina Edison and one of the organization’s founding board members. Donors may purchase one engraved paving stone for $300 or two for $500, and they may choose to honor individuals or organizations. All proceeds will benefit the foundation’s future character-building and ethics education programs at the new pavilion.