Board Recognitions Page Content 2016 Board Recognitions Date: 12/20/2016Founded in 1972, the mission of Special Olympics Florida is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities who wish to participate; andWHEREAS, participation in these events provides continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community; andWHEREAS, the ultimate objective of Special Olympics Lee County and Special Olympics Florida is to help people with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society by offering them a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports training and competition and by increasing the public’s awareness of the capabilities and needs; andWHEREAS, Coaches James McCaughan, Susan Mellentine, Perry Misso, Michael Mischitelli, Jackie Osborne, and Mark Melancon trained Lee County athletes with Special Olympics-Lee County to compete in County, Area and State Games in various sports events throughout the year.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby recognize these Coaches and Lee County Special Olympians for their desire to compete, dedication and winning spirit. Date: 12/6/2016We, as citizens of this community, recognize the worldwide problem of violence against women occurs even here in Lee County; andWhereas, violence against women is traumatic to the body, mind and spirit and can prevent people from being fully active participants at home and in the world; and Whereas, violence against women costs the nation billions of dollars annually in medical expenses, police and court costs, shelters and foster care, sick leave, absenteeism and non productivity; and Whereas, in spite of some progress, we need only to look at our newspapers or watch a television newscast to see the unfortunate truth that violence against women has not yet been eliminated here in Lee County or around the world; and Whereas, we support efforts of individuals and join organizations, such as the Zonta Club of Fort Myers, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva, and the Zonta Club of Bonita Springs, to raise awareness, stimulate discussion, and advocate for local solutions that will curb violence against women; and Whereas, these local people join thousands of others from around the world to assert that the right of women and men to be free of violence is a fundamental human right.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim that on November 25, 2016, and during the 16 Days of Activism all citizens are urged to support work to end violence against women and to eliminate the detrimental consequences it has on the well-being of our community. Date: 11/15/201650 years ago, the community surrounding Estero Bay recognized a need to sustain a healthy marine ecosystem to maintain economic stability and establish conservation efforts to guarantee quality of life standards for the future; andWhereas, due to this effort Estero Bay was designated Florida’s first off-shore preserve in 1966 by the Outdoor Recreation Development Council under the auspices of Governor C. Ferris Bryant, who saw the need to purchase public lands for future use by the state, saying that it was important to do it now, before the need arose-or it became critical; andWhereas, Estero Bay is the first Aquatic Preserve which encompasses 11,000 acres of sovereign submerged lands from the Fort Myers Beach Sky Bridge to Bonita Beach Road; andWhereas, 41 Aquatic Preserve have been designated by the Legislature to be maintained in their essentially natural conditions for the enjoyment of the public and future generations with the passing of the Aquatic Preserve Act in 1975; and Whereas, Estero Bay continues to support a diversity of plant and animal life which encourages many uses of the bay such as; boating, fishing - commercial and sport, water skiing, wildlife viewing and photography; andWhereas, sea grasses and mangroves that dominate the shallow waters trap sediment, stabilize the shoreline, provide habitat, and serve as a nesting or roosting areas for many species of birds; andWhereas, we now celebrate the accomplishment of others 50 years ago with the intentions of living up to their examples and protect the valuable ecosystems that surrounds us.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby continue to support the environmental stewardship role undertaken in the past, and commits to future support of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve with the support of the visitors and residents of Lee County. Date: 11/1/20164-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills; and Whereas, the Lee County 4-H Youth Development Program exists to develop young people, ages 5 through 18, and has served young people in our state since 1909; andWhereas, the 4-H Program has molded itself to meet the needs of our citizens by focusing on developing rural, suburban and urban youth and, through the Florida Cooperative Extension, teaches youth by utilizing the research and knowledge base of our state’s land grant institutions, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida; andWhereas, through “learning by doing” experiences, young people in the 4-H Program practice life skills with the guidance of caring adult volunteer mentors and Cooperative Extension faculty and staff; andWhereas, 4-H provides Lee County youth the opportunities to develop positive relationships, competencies and attitudes that will assist them in making positive choices for their lives, thereby effectively preparing them to meet the challenges of becoming productive citizens.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim the week of November 7, 2016, as 4-H WEEK in Lee County. There are an estimated 2,300 homeless in Lee County; andWhereas, the primary cause of homelessness is poverty and the lack of housing that is affordable to very low income people, further complicated by domestic violence, substance abuse and mental illness; andWhereas, the mission of the Lee County Homeless Coalition is to advocate, educate, and promote awareness of issues and obstacles facing homeless individuals in Lee County through community collaboration, planning and implementing solutions; andWhereas, the month of November is designated as Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month to educate the public and bring awareness to the needs of the homeless; andWhereas, the Lee County Homeless Coalition will sponsor several events to promote awareness in the community; and to encourage support for homeless assistance service providers; andWhereas, the Lee County Homeless Coalition will sponsor the “Homeless Challenge- Walk a Mile in their Shoes” as an educational program providing awareness to those who participate. The Challenge will take place on November 12th. During this event participants will become familiar with the social services network and methods of everyday survival for those who live on the streets. This Challenge will provide an experience that has the power to effect change. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim the month of November 2016 as: “HUNGER and HOMELESSNESS AWARENESS MONTH” in Lee County and recognize that this is a month of special importance and encourages all citizens to recognize that many people do not have housing and need support from citizens, and private/public nonprofit service entities. 11-1-16 Presentation to the Board from Lee Building Industry Association Date: 10/18/201610-18-16 Length of Service Awards Date: 10/4/2016The white cane serves as a mobility tool and widely recognized symbol of independence for those who are visually impaired; and Whereas, by act of the U.S. Congress, the President authorized, beginning in 1964, the annual proclamation of October 15th as National White Cane Safety Day; and Whereas, state law acknowledges the freedom and independence of the visually impaired and makes provisions for their access to, and the crossing of, roads and intersections; and Whereas, individuals with visual impairments are active, contributing members of society who create and join in opportunities within our communities and county; and Whereas, the Board of County Commissioners acknowledges White Cane Safety Day as a time for reflection on the meaning of the white cane and in recognition of those who carry it;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim October 15, 2016 as WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY in Lee County and invites its citizens to celebrate the freedom and independence of the visually impaired and furthermore urges motorists to be aware of visually impaired community members. Date: 9/20/2016Behavioral health is an essential part of health and one’s overall wellness; andWhereas, prevention of mental and/or substance use disorders works, treatment is effective, and people recover in Lee County, in Florida, and around the nation; andWhereas, preventing and overcoming mental and/or substance abuse disorders is essential in achieving healthy lifestyles, both physically and emotionally; andWhereas, we must encourage relatives and friends of people with substance abuse and/or mental disorders to implement preventative measures, recognize signs of a problem, and guide those in need to appropriate treatment and recovery support services; andWhereas, 129 people die each day in our country from drug overdoses; and Whereas, to help more people achieve and sustain long-term recovery, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida invite all residents of Lee County to participate in National Recovery Month; andWhereas, National Recovery Month will be celebrated in Lee County, Florida on September 20, 2016 at Gwendolyn’s Café in cooperation with Street Chicks in Recovery and Hope by Song.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim the month of September as NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH in Lee County and calls upon its citizens to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies to support this year’s Recovery Month, Join the Voices of Recovery; Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery! Date: 9/6/2016The Lee Memorial Health System began serving the Fort Myers community on October 3, 1916, with its first hospital, Lee County Hospital, built with $300 set aside by a group of community leaders and donated lumber from a dismantled courthouse; andWhereas, Lee Memorial Health System is one of the region's largest employers, with more than 11,000 dedicated employees, including 300 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, and is supported by 4,500 volunteers and auxilians; andWhereas, since opening its first hospital a century ago, Lee Memorial Health System remains the bedrock of the community by offering acute care, emergency care, rehabilitative and diagnostic services, health and wellness education, community outreach, and advocacy programs throughout its five-county region; andWhereas, many well known Lee County citizens, such as Commissioner Frank Mann, were born at the original Lee Memorial Hospital; andWhereas, due to the dedication of its employees, volunteers, and supporters, Lee Memorial Health System has received many awards and recognitions, including the Healthgrades 2015 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, given only to the top five percent of the more than 4,500 hospitals evaluated nationwide, for its outstanding clinical performance, and continues to offer quality service with a passion for improving the overall health of its community and nationwide as it celebrates 100 years of caring for its residents.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida congratulates Lee Memorial Health System on its centennial anniversary on October 3, 2016, and recognizes the contributions to the community, and that residents are encouraged to celebrate and recognize the hardwork and contribution of its board of directors, physicians, nurses, employees, volunteers, auxilians, and donors to the success of Lee Memorial Health System. Date: 8/16/2016The issue of peace embraces the deepest hopes of all people and remains humanity's guiding inspiration; andWhereas, in 1981 the United Nations proclaimed the International Day of Peace be "devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and people"; andWhereas, the United Nations expanded the observance of the International Day of Peace in 2001 to include the call for a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, and invited all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the day; andWhereas, there is growing support within our county for the observance of the International Day of Peace, which affirms a vision of our world at peace, and fosters cooperation between individuals, organizations, and nations; andWhereas, global crises impels all citizens to work toward converting humanity's noblest aspirations for world peace into the practical reality of a culture of peace for future generations.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida that we do hereby recognize the International Day of Peace, and urge our citizens to attend the Ninth Annual Peace Day in the Park on Sunday, September 18, 2016, and encourage all to join in a day of observance throughout Lee County bringing public awareness to the need for peace in our homes, our schools and in our community. 08-16-16 Length of Service Awards Date: 6/21/2016The National Recreation & Parks Association has declared July as National Parks & Recreation Month; and Whereas, Lee County Parks and Recreation touches the lives of individuals, families, groups, and the entire community, positively impacting upon the social , economic, and environmental quality of our county; and Whereas, parks, greenways, and open spaces provide a welcome respite from our fast paced, high tech lifestyles while protecting and preserving our natural environment; and Whereas, parks, playgrounds, nature trails, open spaces, community and cultural centers, as well as historic sites make communities attractive and desirable places to live, work, play and visit; andWhereas, Lee County Parks and Recreation activities, and leisure experiences provide opportunities for young people to live, grow, and develop into contributing members of society; andWhereas, parks and recreation agencies provide outlets for physical activities, socialization and stress reducing experiences;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim July 2016 as: PARKS & RECREATION MONTH in Lee County and urges all citizens to visit the parks, especially on the weekend of July 30th and 31st when parking fees will be waived at Lee County regional parks and boat ramps and admission will be free at the county pools. Trauma Center Appreciation Month is designed to raise regional attention to trauma and what must be done to reduce the devastating impact of traumatic injuries; andWhereas, trauma is the leading cause of death for all Floridians between the ages of 1 and 46 every year; with someone in Florida being traumatically injured every 12 minutes; enough to fill Germain Arena six times; andWhereas, motor vehicle crashes and falls resulting in blunt force trauma make up more than 76% of all trauma cases treated in our trauma district area each year; and Whereas, in 2015 more than 2,349 residents and visitors within the Lee County Trauma Services District area were treated at the Trauma Center at Lee Memorial Hospital; andWhereas, national studies show that patient mortality is reduced by 15 – 20% when the patient is treated for traumatic injuries in a trauma center rather than in a non-trauma center; andWhereas, there are more than 1.2 million residents in the Lee County Trauma Services District comprised of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties; serviced by the only trauma center on the Florida Gulf Coast between Tampa and Miami; and Whereas, recognition of our Lee County Trauma Services District is due for its accomplishments and contributions to improve public welfare by providing quality trauma care for all residents and visitors; injury prevention outreach, education, and research; disaster preparedness and response; and demonstrating that an effective trauma center saves the lives of our residents and visitors.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim June 2016 as Trauma Center Appreciation Month in Lee County and acknowledges the vital role that the Trauma Center at Lee Memorial Hospital plays in our community. MANGO MANIA Tropical Fruit Festival was originated by the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce and held at the catholic church on Pine Island in July 1995; andWhereas, establishing the festival was an effort to help the growers on Pine Island sell their fruit and plants during harvest time when the location of Pine Island was known by very few people; andWhereas, the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce decided not to hold the festival for the next two years due to the fact there was no suitable site on the island. By popular request of Pine Islanders, the MANGO MANIA Tropical Fruit Festival was reinstated in 1998 utilizing the facilities of the KOA Campground in St. James City; andWhereas, the festival is used as fundraisers by the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, M.O.T.I. and Calusa Land Trust to enable them to make contributions to Pine Island Elementary School, scholarship programs, F.I.S.H. and other charities; andWhereas, MANGO MANIA was such a success that by 2001 it had outgrown the KOA facilities, and since there were no other suitable locations on the island, the decision was made to move the festival to the German-American Club to allow for continued growth that saw more than 10,000 attendees last year.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby extend their best wishes for a successful 2016 MANGO MANIA Tropical Fruit Festival being celebrated July 16-17, 2016. Date: 5/17/2016Ann Arnall has dedicated her entire professional life to serving Lee County and helping to make it an even more caring, supportive community; andWHEREAS, she has energetically served Lee County Human Services for 26 productive years and provided exemplary leadership of that department since 2009; andWHEREAS, she was part of the team that founded Lee County's Mental Health Court; andWHEREAS, Ann was instrumental in beginning the Crisis Intervention Team training for local law enforcement officers; andWHEREAS, she played a key role in the establishment of the Bob Janes Triage Center and Low Demand Shelter, which has been recognized as a national leader in providing alternative resources to individuals with mental health issues; easing demand on law enforcement resources and local acute care facilities; andWHEREAS, Ann has many times over earned the opportunity for a happy and healthy retirement; andWHEREAS, she has announced her plans to take advantage of that retirement opportunity June 1st of this year;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby convey our appreciation for her service and outstanding contributions to Lee County and wants to thank Ann Arnall for her hard work and commitment to our community.Duly executed this 17th day of May, 2016. Safe Kids Lee/Collier Counties Coalition recognizes that swimming, both indoors and outdoors, can contribute to good physical and mental health;and WHEREAS, the popularity of swimming and other water-related recreational activities spur the need for ongoing water safety education to prevent drowning and water-related injuries; andWHEREAS, water safety tips include teaching children to swim and learn basic water safety skills as early as possible, appointing a designated watcher to monitor children near water, not leaving unattended toys in or near water, providing a phone by the pool or open water, providing CPR instructions by the pool, keeping a first-aid kit nearby, providing appropriate equipment, barriers, alarms and covers to delay or prevent access to pools or spas, providing a ring buoy or other floatable rescue device nearby, and wearing a life jacket when an inexperienced swimmer and when boating; andWHEREAS, Lee County residents and visitors can take the swimmer pledge to never swim alone, never play or swim near drains or suction fittings, always dive feet first, and obey safety rules at pools and other recreational water facilities; andWHEREAS, collaboration among families and alliances among local, county, state agencies, first responders, faith-based, non-profit and business organizations promotes effective water safety awareness programs, and raising community awareness aids long-term prevention; andNOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, would like to recognize May 2016 as WATER SAFETY MONTH in Lee County and in doing so extend our support to this lifesaving effort initiated by Safe Kids Lee/Collier Counties Coalition community partners. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a vital public service; andWHEREAS, the members of Emergency Medical Services teams are ready to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week; andWHEREAS, access to quality emergency care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury; andWHEREAS, the Emergency Medical Services system consists of first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, educators, administrators, emergency nurses, emergency physicians, and others; andWHEREAS, the members of Emergency Medical Services teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills; andWHEREAS, it is appropriate to recognize the value and the accomplishments of emergency medical services providers by designating Emergency Medical Services Week; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim the week of May 15-21, 2016 as EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES WEEK with the theme, EMS Strong: Called to Care, and encourages the community to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities. Duly executed this 17th day of May 2016. Date: 5/3/2016The Lee County Board of County Commissioners recognizes the importance of tourism as the leading industry of Lee County, generating nearly $3 billion in economic impact annually; andWhereas, with more than 100 barrier and coastal islands adjacent to Lee County, the area is home to 50 miles of beaches renowned for offering some of the best shell collecting in the United States; andWhereas, research shows that shell collecting ranks near the top of favorite activities for the approximately three million annual visitors to Lee County; andWhereas, many visitors’ enthusiasm for shelling turns into passion as the success of a vacation is often judged by the number of shells collected; andWhereas, Lee County’s shell collecting was the inspiration for a best-selling book, “Gift from the Sea,” written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh in 1955, based on her many visits to the area; andWhereas, Lee County delights visitors with some 400 species of multi-colored seashells, from the commonplace scallop and clam to exotic tulips, olives, fragile paper fig shells and the rarest of them all, the brown speckled junonia – considered a “once in a lifetime” find; andWhereas, Lee County has the distinction of being home to the only museum in the United States solely devoted to shells and the mollusks that make them, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum; andWhereas, famed movie and TV actor, Raymond Burr (acclaimed parts in Perry Mason, Ironside, Godzilla, among others), a frequent visitor to Sanibel Island and an avid shell collector, was instrumental in the launch of the shell museum in 1995. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby designate June 20, 2016, as National Seashell Day and encourages all residents and visitors to enjoy a walk on the beach to collectuninhabited shells (ones without animals or mollusks). Many Lee County residents own bicycles and surveys indicate that the majority of Southwest Florida drivers ride a bicycle at least once a year and over one-third ride a bicycle at least once a month; andWhereas, a bicycle is recognized as a vehicle and is a viable means of transportation for many types of trips and destinations; andWhereas, national health organizations, environmental agencies, and physical fitness activists believe increased bicycling to be of national interest for health purposes; andWhereas, an increase in the use of bicycles in place of motor vehicle use will correspondingly decrease greenhouse gas emissions in Lee County; and Whereas, Lee County has an interest in encouraging the use of bicycles, increasing education and awareness of bicycle safety; and Whereas, since 1998, Lee County has invested millions of dollars to construct approximately 751 miles of bicycle facilities as part of roadway improvements and retrofitting of existing roadways; andWhereas, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a Complete Streets Resolution on November 10, 2009; andWhereas, the month of May is being promoted by the League of American Bicyclists as National Bike Month, with Wednesday, May 4, 2016 as Bike-to-School Day, May 8, 2016 as CycloFemme, the week of May 16-20, 2016 as Bike-to-Work Week, and Friday, May 20, 2016 as Bike-to-Work Day.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby declare May 2016 to be Bike Month, with Wednesday, May 4, 2016 as Bike-to-School Day, May 8, 2016 as CycloFemme, the week of May 16-20, 2016 as Bike-to-Work Week, and Friday, May 20, 2016 as Bike-to-Work Day in Lee County. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the United States; andWhereas, among the states, Florida has the fourth largest population, the third highest incidence of bladder cancer, and the second highest rate of bladder cancer deaths in the country; andWhereas, bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and the tenth most common cancer in women; and Whereas, men have a 1 in 26 chance and women have a 1 in 90 chance of being diagnosed with bladder cancer in their lifetime; andWhereas, this year in the United States, approximately 75,000 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed and nearly 16,000 people will die from the disease; and Whereas, bladder cancer occurs in more women annually than cervical cancer; and Whereas, women often have a delayed diagnosis due to bladder cancer being mistaken for common gynecological problems; andWhereas, although bladder cancer can occur at any age, a high percentage of people suffering from the disease are over the age of 55; andWhereas, even though bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the United States, it ranks twenty-second in research money received; and Whereas, due to a recurrence rate of 50 to 80 percent, bladder cancer is one of the most expensive cancers to treat.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim the month of May 2016 as Bladder Cancer Awareness Month in Lee County. Date: 4/19/2016The letter carriers are conducting their annual food drive on Saturday, May 14, 2016; and Whereas, on that day, mail carriers are requesting that citizens leave non-perishable food by their mailbox; andWhereas, the food will be collected and distributed in our community by the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida; andWhereas, the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida will distribute the food to more than 150 agencies that feed people in need.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim Saturday, May 14, 2016, as: LETTER CARRIERS’ NATIONAL FOOD DRIVE DAY in Lee County and urges our citizens to participate in this worthy cause. 4-19-16 Length of Service Awards Date: 4/5/2016One of the most meaningful gifts that a human being can bestow upon another is the gift of life; andWHEREAS, more than 28,000 Americans receive a lifesaving organ transplant every year; andWHEREAS, a new patient is added to the national patient waiting list for an organ transplant every 10 minutes; andWHEREAS, over 121,000 men, women and children are currently on the national waiting list for organ transplantation, of which nearly 1100 are in the West and Southwest Florida area; andWHEREAS, an average of 21 people die every day awaiting an organ transplant that does not come in time; andWHEREAS, one organ, tissue and eye donor can save or enhance the lives of as many as 60 people; andWHEREAS, everyone is a potential organ, eye and tissue donor and can register their wish to save lives through organ and tissue donation at www.DonateLifeFlorida.org or on their driver license.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim the month of April 2016 as: DONATE LIFE MONTH in Lee County and encourages all Lee County residents to consider giving life through organ donation and to sign up on Florida's organ and tissue donor registry by visiting www.DonateLifeFlorida.org or when renewing your driver license or state identification card. Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., Esquire was born in Fort Myers on June 20, 1920; and on June 20, 2016 he will celebrate his 96th birthday; andWhereas, Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., graduated from the University of Florida Law School in January 1950; andWhereas, Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., was admitted to the Florida Bar in February 1950; and was President of the Lee County Bar Association in 1963; andWhereas, Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., served honorably in the Florida House of Representatives from 1952 – 1960, with special distinction as Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; andWhereas, Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., served honorably in combat as a member of the US Army Air Corps during WWII flying both P-47’s and PBY’s, rescuing downed pilots in the Pacific; Earning both US Army Air Corps and US Navy Wings, while in the service of this Country as a Pilot and Officer; andWhereas, Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., is an avid outdoorsman and hunter; Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., Esquire served as a high ranking officer and director in the Fort Myers Rod & Gun Club for the entire duration of the Fort Myers Rod & Gun Club’s existence; andWhereas, Carroll Ruth Sheppard Duncan, daughter of Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., is presently serving as a County Commissioner in Dorchester County, South Carolina; and following in her father’s footsteps, is a Candidate for the South Carolina Legislature; andWhereas, it is entirely fitting that Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., Esquire is recognized for this lifetime of contributions to his community, his state, and to the Unites States of America.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, thanks Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., Esquire for his exemplary service to his fellow citizens over his entire lifetime, and pauses to commend him for his never ceasing demonstration to his fellowman as to what great citizenship is all about, and furthermore, does hereby proclaim April 5, 2016, as Walter O. Sheppard, Jr., Esquire Day in Lee County, and encourages all citizens to join the celebration of the fact that we have been blessed by his presence here for these last 95+ years. Date: 3/15/2016Presentation of Healthy Weight Community Champion Award to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners Date: 3/1/201603-01-16 Paulette Burton Award The young people of Lee County, Florida are tomorrow's leaders; andWHEREAS, many such young people need professional youth services to help them reach their full potential; andWHEREAS, there are five Boys & Girls Club organizations in Lee County, Florida in North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Bonita Springs, and two (2) the City of Fort Myers - providing services to more than 1500 young people annually; andWHEREAS, Boys & Girls Clubs are places where great futures start; they are at the forefront of efforts in academic success, healthy lifestyles, and good character and citizenship; andWHEREAS, Boys & Girls Club organizations in our community help ensure that our young people make healthy, responsible, productive choices, offering them a safe and supportive place to go and providing them with quality programs; andWHEREAS, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County, Florida will celebrate National Boys & Girls Club Week, 2016 along with some 1,140 Clubs and more than 4 million young people nationwide;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim March 20th through March 26th 2016 as BOYS & GIRLS CLUB WEEK in Lee County, Florida and calls on all citizens to join with us in recognizing and commending the Boys & Girls Club organizations in our county for providing comprehensive, effective services to the young people in our communities. March is Women's History Month in the United States, a time when our nation reflects on the valuable contributions women make to our society; andWHEREAS, the young women of Florida are considered to be tomorrow's leaders; andWHEREAS, it is very important that we provide young women access to the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential; andWHEREAS, the PACE Center for Girls is instrumental in helping promote a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy, in collaboration with Florida's Department of Children and Families, Department of Education, and Department of Juvenile Justice; andWHEREAS, women are dynamic invaluable contributors to society; and WHEREAS, March 22nd is the eighth annual Grande Dames Tea, and PACE Center for Girls of Lee County will be honoring three local women for their lifelong impact in business, philanthropy and community engagement, and promoting awareness of the services provided by PACE Center for Girls of Lee County;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim that March 2016 shall be known, designated, and set aside as Believing in Girls Month in Lee County and urges all residents to engage in the Grande Dames Tea to honor the female spirit and promote the potential of all girls and women. Date: 2/16/2016Lee County welcomes the Boston Red Sox and their fans back to their 24th Spring Training in our community and the fifth season at JetBlue Park; andWhereas, JetBlue Park at Fenway South opened in 2012 and sits on 106 acres, and features close to 10,000 seats with the same field dimensions as Fenway Park. The entire facility has become a Lee County jewel as it is able to host Red Sox Spring Training games, the FHSAA State Baseball Finals, dozens of amateur baseball tournaments and daily youth soccer events, in addition to many other events that the Red Sox host on their adjacent property; andWhereas, we are now in the fifth year of a 30-year lease agreement with the ballclub, thereby guaranteeing that Lee County will be the Spring Training home of the Red Sox through at least 2041; andWhereas, Lee County recognizes and thanks the Red Sox for helping to raise millions of dollars for our community not-for-profits. The Red Sox have announced that beginning this year, they have created a scholarship fund that will give a $5,000 scholarship to one student at all 13 public high schools in Lee County; andWhereas, the Boston Red Sox’s popularity and ongoing excellence has brought the world’s media attention and hundreds of thousands of fans to Lee County, which in turn generates a significant impact for our tourism industry. Whereas, the 2016 Spring Training season will mark the third year of competition between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins to win the “Chairman’s Cup”;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida – along with Lee County’s Parks & Recreation Department, Visitor & Convention Bureau, Sports Development Office, Facilities Construction & Management Department – does hereby proclaim its full support for the Boston Red Sox organization and we send our most sincere best wishes for success in the upcoming 2016 baseball season. Lee County welcomes the Minnesota Twins and their families back to the 26th Spring Training at the newly renovated CenturyLink Sports Complex and Hammond Stadium; andWhereas, Lee County Government officially welcomed the Twins into Hammond Stadium in 1991, and in 2015 completed a $48 million renovation of the facility that includes improvements to the Major League Clubhouse and training areas, expanded and upgraded concourses throughout the stadium, improved concession services, restroom renovations, premium seating improvements, additional shade options for fans, skybox relocation and renovations and a new retail store; andWhereas, the completion of the renovation triggered a new 30-year lease agreement with the ballclub, thereby guaranteeing that Lee County will have a 50-year cumulative partnership with the Twins organization; andWhereas, the Twins are beneficial community partners with many local not-for-profits and youth organizations, and just celebrated a decade of hosting free youth baseball clinics with its coaches and players in partnership with Lee County Parks & Recreation that have reached more than 5,000 participants; and Whereas, the 2016 Spring Training season will mark the third year of competition between the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox to win the newly re-branded “Chairman’s Cup”;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida – along with Lee County’s Parks & Recreation Department, Visitor & Convention Bureau, Sports Development Office, and Facilities Construction & Management department – does hereby proclaim its full support for the Minnesota Twins organization, and we send our most sincere best wishes for success in the upcoming 2016 baseball season. Date: 2/2/2016Engineers help to design, construct and maintain the public and private infrastructure and facilities that contribute to the quality of life of all of the residents of Lee County; andWhereas, maintaining the quality of life in Lee County during periods of both substantial growth and these uncertain economic times depends in part on engineers developing innovative, creative and highly efficient solutions to a myriad of technical problems; andWhereas, above all else in the practice of their profession, engineers hold paramount, the health, safety and welfare of all persons; andWhereas, through the celebration of Engineers Week each year, the Calusa Chapter of the Florida Engineering Society is dedicated to developing and sustaining a dynamic engineering profession by ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce and by raising the public’s understanding and appreciation of engineering contributions to society; andWhereas, this Board wishes to recognize and honor all engineers who live and work in Lee County and who practice the profession of engineering in an honorable, responsible, and competent manner and those students who have chosen to be educated in the field of engineering.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing Engineers Week, February 21-27, 2016. Date: 1/19/20161-19-16 Length of Service Awards Scott Tuttle has dedicated more than 30 years of service to Lee County and to the citizens of Southwest Florida; and Whereas, Scott’s career with the county began in 1985, when he joined EMS as an Emergency Medical Technician; andWhereas, Scott worked hard and pursued his education to progress through the ranks of Paramedic, Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Chief of Training, Deputy Chief of Operations, and EMS Chief; andWhereas, Scott currently holds the position of Deputy Director of Public Safety; and Whereas, Scott is recognized throughout Southwest Florida for his valuable contribution to the Emergency Medical Service and Public Safety fields; andWhereas, He has worked hard to share and instill the core values of Lee County Emergency Medical Service with his employees; andWhereas, His can-do attitude, sense of humor and passion for the community have affected everyone he has come in contact with; and Whereas, Scott will be missed, but we know he is looking forward to his upcoming long-distance bike trips, fishing, and finding new ways to engage our community.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida hereby conveys our grateful appreciation to Scott Tuttle for his hard work, outstanding service and contributions to Lee County and thanks Scott for his commitment to the public safety of our community. January 2016 has been designated as National Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month by the Federal Government; and Whereas, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and community organizations founded one of the first human trafficking task forces in the country in 2005 which continues to be actively involved in the fight against modern day slavery through the Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking Coalition and the U.S. Attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force; andWhereas, the State of Florida is recognized as one of three states with the highest incidence of human trafficking and also as one of the states which is doing the most to combat this crime in terms of legislation and victims treated. In March, 2015, Southwest Florida was the site of what has been called “The largest sex trafficking arrest in the history of Florida”; andWhereas, federal, state and local law enforcement and local organizations such as the Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking Coalition, Abuse Counseling Treatment, Catholic Charities, Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships, Hodges University and Lee Memorial Health System are working collaboratively to build awareness through community and educational events, prevention programs for youth and trainings for businesses and medical facilities; andWhereas, a Coalition community event “Slave Free Southwest Florida” will be held in Veterans Park, Lehigh Acres on January 30, 2016 from 11 am to 2 pm to educate the public through art, music, theatre and family activities. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim the month of January, 2016 as Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month in Lee County, Florida.