Garrett Bell, Community Volunteer

Garrett Bell grew up in Gainesville and hasn’t missed a UF Gator Growl since kindergarten. She went to college in Tallahassee, “at that other school.” When she came home with a degree in interior design, her mom said, “You’ve got to give back to the community. Why don’t you start by joining the Junior League?” So Garrett did, and the rest is history.

Not only did she serve as president of the Junior League — and she remains a member 29 years later — Garrett also served as president of the J.J. Finley and Westwood PTAs, and continues to volunteer at both schools even though her daughters no longer attend either. She is currently very active in the Academic and Athletic Booster Clubs at Gainesville High School (GHS). In addition, Garrett has served on the Danscompany of Gainesville’s board of directors for the past six years and is currently president.

Writes her friend Kelley Kostamo: “While I am sure that leading any non-profit group in this economy is challenging, Garrett has risen to the challenge, raising even more money, arranging trades for services, securing advertising and publicity and getting the dance moms and dads of more than 100 dancers to all move in the same direction for the good of the Danscompany! She is a consensus builder, great collaborator and visionary for the future of our group. She has encouraged dancers to do more community service, has donated collected toys and food from the Danscompany shows/rehearsals to their partner school, Rawlings Elementary. While she volunteers on the side to do this job, I firmly believe that she is contributing at least 20 hours of service most weeks.”

Since 2007, Garrett has worked for the University of Florida Athletic Association’s Gator Boosters in the Major Gifts Program. She is married to real estate appraiser Eddie Bell and they are the parents of Haley, 18, a University of Florida freshman, and Emilee, 15, a sophomore at GHS. Their family has a long history of volunteering together. In addition, the Bells love to fish, and every summer they go on a fishing trip to the Bahamas with a huge group of friends.

Garrett breathes life and energy into our community through her passion for volunteering. She is a perfect example of a volunteer who works tirelessly with love for many causes.