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Naples Pier: Local family foundation donates $1M toward reconstruction

Kendall Little | Naples Daily News

Since the historic Naples Pier was destroyed during Hurricane Ian in 2022, city leaders have been working toward redesigning and reconstructing it.

The project is costly, as city officials say the next version of the pier will cost $20 million to design and construct.

But today, the city is a million dollars closer to its goal.

A city spokesperson announced today that the Norris-Gaynor Foundation donated $1 million toward the pier’s reconstruction.

This isn’t the first time the Norris-Gaynor family has shown support for Naples.

Lester and Dellora Norris completely funded the reconstruction of Naples Pier when it was destroyed during Hurricane Donna in 1960. The couple introduced the Polynesian roof line that the pier has featured ever since. In the 1970s, the Norris family made sure the pier remained free to the public.

In 1995, Lester and Dellora’s daughter Lavern “Lal” Gaynor led a third campaign to preserve the pier’s Polynesian roof lines and keep the pier free. Gaynor also makes contributions to the city’s education system.

“The Norris-Gaynor Foundation’s generous contribution is a testament to Lal’s deep-rootedcommitment to the City of Naples,” Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann said in a Dec. 19 press release. “We are immensely grateful for their support, which will play a vital role in the reconstruction of the Pier. Lal’s legacy will live on with this donation going toward rebuilding our iconic Pier.”

The Collier Community Foundation has set up a fundraiser that’s accepting donations from the community to go toward the pier. You can find it by going to and clicking on “Make a donation,” at the top of the webpage. Scroll down until you see “Naples Pier Fund.”

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