June Gelbart set up the June Baumgardner Gelbart Foundation as a trust, to be activated upon her death. The foundation began operation in 2003 following the death of June.
June Baumgardner Gelbart
June Baumgardner Gelbart was both a strong business executive and a caring, committed and proud Jew involved in community and philanthropic efforts. She was a sensitive person who always wanted to do the right thing.
June was born in New York City and moved to Clearwater, Florida in 1957. She and her husband, Richard Baumgardner, ran the world famous Kapok Tree Restaurant in Clearwater and after his death June served as CEO of the public company that owned several Kapok Tree restaurants. The company, under her leadership, gave the land to the City of Clearwater for the Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts, of which Ruth Eckerd Hall is a part, in Richard’s memory. June sold the company, retired and became a part-time resident of Melbourne, Australia, the home of her second husband, Ben Gelbart.
Many institutions benefited from the support, participation and commitment of June during her lifetime, including Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties (Lion of Judah), Hadassah (life member), Menorah Manor, Florida Holocaust Museum, U.S. Holocaust Museum, Congregation Beth Shalom, Temple B’nai Israel (Clearwater), Pinellas County Jewish Day School and Golda Meir/Kent Jewish Center. She was also a life member of the Miniature Art Society of Florida and a supporter of the Florida Orchestra.
The caring and generosity of June Baumgardner Gelbart continues on through this foundation she established.