TALLAHASSEE, Fla., April 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Collins Center received a $1 million donation Thursday from its founding trustee, Charles Zwick. The gift was announced at a reception and fundraiser that drew close to 100 people to The Grove, Florida Governor LeRoy Collins' historic home.
"The Collins Center is a respected and trusted nonpartisan, even-handed organization," said Zwick. "I am proud to make this contribution to help ensure their work can continue."
Mr. Zwick is the retired chairman of the Southeast Banking Corporation and served on the board of The RAND Corporation for 27 years. An economist, Mr. Zwick served as President Johnson's Budget Director. He also participated in a study of military compensation for President Jimmy Carter.
"The Collins Center is humbled to receive this generous donation from Charlie," Collins Center President Rod Petrey said. "He was the Collins Center's founding chairman in 1988 and set an example of principled leadership that we all strive to achieve."
The reception presented an opportunity to feature The Grove, which was built in the 1820s by Territorial Governor Richard Keith Call. Call's great-granddaughter, Mary Call Darby, married LeRoy Collins before he became governor and the couple purchased the property in 1942. It is now owned by the state of Florida and the state's Division of Historical Resources is restoring the home and its grounds for use as a public center for civic education and leadership.
"The Grove has been a very special place to me for all of these years," said Petrey, who first visited The Grove as a high school student.
Named after Gov. LeRoy Collins, the nonprofit Collins Center is independent, nonpartisan and dedicated to advancing the understanding of important public policy issues. In addition to traditional "think tank" programs that provide studies and analyses of key issues impacting our state, the Collins Center also turns these ideas and studies into concrete action. For information, visit www.CollinsCenter.org.