Board Recognitions Page ContentBoard Recognition ArchiveRecent 2022 2021 20202019201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007 2014 Board Recognitions Date: 12/16/2014Chairman's Award presented to Chris Heidrick. United Way presentation by United Way President Clifford Smith. Date: 11/18/2014In 1887 a group of influential Fort Myers Cattlemen pressed the Florida Legislature for a new county, and on May 2, 1887 a bill was passed creating Lee County; and Whereas, five years later, Lee County awarded a contract to T.M. Park for $3,640 to build a frame courthouse on part of the homestead of Charles and Jane Hendry, on the two acre site bounded by what are now Main, Broadway, Second and Monroe Streets; and Whereas, the frame courthouse was completed in December of 1894 and served its citizens well for 20 years before being torn down and replaced, the lumber from the demolition was ultimately used to construct Lee County’s first hospital, Lee Memorial; and Whereas, a signed and numbered lithograph of the original Lee County Courthouse has been offered as a donation from Dr. Geri McArdle; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby gratefully receive from Dr. McArdle this valued piece of Lee County history to be displayed for the benefit of the public. Florida's education system is a vital part of the well-being of our state, providing education for people of all ages; andWHEREAS, at the heart of our education system are the educators, who are devoted to sharing their knowledge with students; andWHEREAS, Florida is home to many retired educators who have spent much of their lives giving their time, energy, and best efforts to our students; andWHEREAS, it is fitting that we celebrate and recognize Florida's retired educators for their dedication to empowering students and strengthening our local and statewide communities;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 November 17, 2014, as Retired Educators Day in Lee County. The News-Press, celebrating 130 years of service, continues to be anindustry leader in Southwest Florida, from breaking news to in-depthand investigative reporting, stirring photos, videos and nowcomprehensive digital products; andWhereas, The News-Press is a primary brand of choice for the vanouscommunities it serves, demonstrating its commitment to readersthroughout Southwest Florida each day; andWhereas, through a depression, two World Wars, an assassination of a belovedPresident, through Hurricanes Donna, Charley and Wilma, anunthinkable tragedy on 9/11, three Boston Red Sox and one MinnesotaTwins World Series titles just in Lee County, The News-Press hasnever missed a day of delivery in 130 years; andWhereas, The News-Press has been a cornerstone of integrity for the region,always maintaining the highest levels of journalism in uncoveringscandals and telling stories of goodwill, giving and heroism; andWhereas, The News-Press has been a community leader, annually hosting eventsthat showcase the economy, education, the People of the Year, andother key events shaping the look and character of Southwest Florida;andWhereas, The News-Press, as one of the largest manufacturers in Lee County,has added to the fabric and vitality of the economy, employingthousands of people through its 130 years in advertising, theinformation center, production, circulation, human resources,accounting and marketing.THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED, The News-Press remains dedicated toserving its readers and advertisers through print and its various digitalplatforms at the highest level for the next 130 years. Date: 11/4/2014There are an estimated 2,970 homeless people in Lee County. The homeless count completed in January 2014 indicated a 2.7% increase in the total homeless population. Of the sampling, 26% were chronic homeless, 14% were veterans, 56% reported having a disabling condition and 7% were families with children; 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 Lee County Homeless Coalition will sponsor the “Homeless Challenge” as an educational tool providing awareness to those who participate. The Challenge will take place during the week of November 15 to 23. During one event participants will live on the streets as a person experiencing homelessness. This Challenge will provide a life-altering experience with the power to effect change. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim the week of November 15 through 23, 2014 as: “NATIONAL HUNGER and HOMELESSNESS AWARENESS WEEK” in Lee County and recognize that this is a week 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. Pride and Patriotism, founded in 2003 by Dr. Elinor Scricca, is a program that was born out of an advocacy for the arts and love of country with an overall mission of Youth Celebrating the Arts and Honoring our Veterans which together present a pride of our students artistic talents in a patriotic theme with the presence of our veterans who afforded the students the opportunity to do so in a free country; andWhereas, Pride and Patriotism has reached thousands of students and the Lee County community who have attended enthusiastically and regularly, the goal being to have as many students as possible attend to hear and see the patriotic message; andWhereas, the first performance took place in November of 2003 at the Barbara B. Mann Hall before an audience of approximately 800 persons, and has continued to grow on an annual basis with audiences exceeding 1,600 in 2011 and 2012; and Whereas, in 2011 Pride and Patriotism became Pride and Patriotism of Lee County inviting county charter schools to join with the Lee County School District effectively opening the event to all students K – 12, in addition, the Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra has been a very important component since 2003 along with numerous Lee County veterans organizations; andWhereas, this is a great time for schools, families, residents and visitors to come together and reflect on our great country while honoring our veterans and recognizing students talents. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby recognize Pride and Patriotism of Lee County for their efforts involving hundreds of students, teachers, veterans and community members and urges Lee County residents to take part in the celebration. Duly executed this 4th day of November 2014. Date: 10/21/201410-21-14 Length of Service Awards Date: 10/7/2014The Lee County Library System, established by the BOCC on September 23, 1964, has reached a significant historical milestone as it commemorates the 50th anniversary of the system; and Whereas, the Lee County Library System enables individuals to make informed decisions by promoting unrestricted access to information about countless topics and serving as community centers for lifelong learning to help people lead longer, more productive and fulfilling lives; andWhereas, the Lee County Library System provides the links to electronic networks and other resources making possible better and more easily accessible information for library users; andWhereas, the Lee County Library System offers storytime and summer reading programs to encourage children to begin a habit of reading that will serve to benefit their personal and professional lives; andWhereas, the Lee County Library System, in anticipation of future needs, begins the next chapter of exceptional library and customer service by embracing new technologies, creating flexible spaces and engaging in the provision of connections between the community, its people and resources. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby commemorate this milestone, we invite Lee County citizens and visitors to participate in the many enriching programs and events planned in honor of the Library System’s 50th anniversary and urges everyone to visit the Lee County Library System libraries and learn all about this unique and indispensable institution. Lee County experienced explosive growth throughout the 1980s and faced a dilemma regarding how to handle the increasing amounts of solid waste being generated by the larger population since the only disposal facility in the area was a privately owned landfill that was rapidly approaching capacity; and Whereas, the Board of County Commissioners made a policy decision that the citizens of Lee County should own their own solid waste processing and disposal facilities and retain the value of the materials collected; andWhereas, in 1994, the Waste-to-Energy plant opened and Lee County began producing clean, renewable electricity from the waste stream – benefiting residents with stable waste disposal rates over the past two decades; andWhereas, Lee County’s twenty-year partnership with plant operator Covanta Lee Incorporated is a model for a successful public-private partnership serving the people of Lee County; andWhereas, Lee County’s progressive approach to waste management and dedication to deriving real value from recovered resources helps preserve the beautiful environment of Southwest Florida for current and future generations.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby take great pleasure in congratulating the employees of the Lee County Solid Waste Department and Covanta Lee Incorporated for twenty years of dedicated implementation of Board directed service to the citizen’s of Lee County. Lee County owns and operates Lakes Regional Park in Lee County, Florida; and Whereas, the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation, a non-profit organization, was established April 13, 2004, and has partnered with Lee County Parks and Recreation; and Whereas, the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation has recently celebrated ten years protecting, preserving, and promoting Lakes Regional Park; andWhereas, promoting the ongoing community awareness, recognition, education, support and preservation of Lakes Regional Park; and Whereas, enhancing the parks, environmental aesthetics, wildlife habitat and recreational amenities for the community for many years to come; andWhereas, the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation has enriched Lakes Regional Park with many projects including an expansion of the Botanic Garden, including the Community Garden, installation of a two-level wildlife viewing scope and colorful bird identification signage as well as other amenities; and Whereas, the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation, has assisted the county in the successful implementation of the Lakes Regional Park Master Plan by providing donations and services. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida hereby recognizes the 10th anniversary of the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation and extends our sincere gratitude for their commitment to Lakes Regional Park. Women represent 64 percent of all low-literate adults globally and national estimates indicate that about 14 percent of the general public struggle with illiteracy which correlates directly with earning potential and poverty. Research shows at-risk and disadvantaged children have heard up to 30 million fewer words than their peers from higher income families; and WHEREAS, according to the US Census, 21.2 percent of Lee County residents speak a language other than English at home. That means nearly 138,000 residents are non-native English speakers. These moms and dads, children and family members encounter obstacles to learning in schools, performing in their jobs, getting promotions, or reaching their personal goals; and WHEREAS, the need for a highly literate citizenry increases as Southwest Florida moves toward an increasingly technological and competitive future; and WHEREAS, families experience literacy issues that impact their lives, their ability to work productively, and their full participation as citizens and residents of Southwest Florida; and WHEREAS, Literacy Council Gulf Coast, Inc. is a non-profit agency that has served Southwest Florida for 25 years. The mission of Literacy Council Gulf Coast is to assist adults and children to acquire the literacy skills necessary to improve their quality of life; andWHEREAS, literacy is the key that unlocks an individual’s ability to learn and without literacy skills people are unable to reach their learning potential; andWHEREAS, the Council is the largest non-governmental, non-profit literacy organization in the United States, according to ProLiteracy, serving students and families in Lee, Hendry, and Collier Counties. Nearly 800 volunteers served over 4000 children, mothers, and families during the 2013-2014 school year; andWHEREAS, 99 percent of adult students surveyed indicated that they reached their individual literacy goals through the work of the Council. One hundred percent of children who have graduated from the Carol DeJoy Moms and Tots® Family Literacy program have started school at or above school grade level.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby recognize September 8th, as INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY in Lee County and urges fellow citizens to learn more about the importance of literacy and encourage the its advancement in our region through the support and volunteerism to improve our community and region. Imagen Semanal Newspaper, under the guidance of Luis Bravo and Roxana Roca, is recognized as a media leader in Southwest Florida who have focused on keeping the Hispanic community informed about issues that impact their lives, while providing news and information of local, national and of an international aspect; and Whereas, Imagen Semanal Newspaper, continues to cover and report on topics of particular interest to the growing Hispanic Community in Southwest Florida, such as: business, employment, politics, immigration, education, sports, health & beauty, housing, and entertainment; andWhereas, Imagen Semanal Newspaper, has cultivated strong working relationships with many local community agencies and other community focused organizations, to help promote the needs of those they serve and give voice to members of the growing Hispanic community in Southwest Florida that otherwise would never be heard; and Whereas, Imagen Semanal Newspaper, under the parent company Imagen Media Florida Corp, is the leading Spanish language print media member, representing the Hispanic Community in Southwest Florida for four years; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month recognizing Imagen Semanal Newspaper for its essential role in our community. Date: 9/2/2014In 1862 President Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, also known as the Land Grant Act, donating to states tens of thousands of acres of public land to sell and invest the proceeds in an endowment fund that would provide support for colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts known as land-grant universities; and WHEREAS, Florida’s land-grant universities were established under the Morrill Act which consists of the University of Florida and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University; andWHEREAS, the Smith-Lever act of 1914 established the Cooperative Extension Service, a partnership between federal, state and county governments, to connect the research and information gathered by the land-grant universities with the general public through educational programs; and WHEREAS, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, administered by the University of Florida, has helped millions of Floridians by converting their agricultural research and discoveries into practical knowledge that is used every day; andWHEREAS, at the University of Florida, Extension is located at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), along with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station and is called UF/IFAS Extension; andWHEREAS, Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences and is responsible for coordinating activities and events of mutual benefit with UF/IFAS; andWHEREAS, educational opportunities offered to the public by the Cooperative Extension Service include programs such as Distance Diagnostic & Identification System, Fishing for Success, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Urban Pond Management, Florida Master Gardener, Florida Master Naturalist, Florida Wildlife Extension, Green Communities, Integrated Pest Management, Pesticide Certification, Plant and Animal Production, Florida Small Farms, Florida Money Mentor, Florida Saves, Community Development, Youth and Family Nutrition, Strengthening Florida Families, and Florida 4-H; andWHEREAS, the Lee County Extension Service educates the public on issues such as sustainable agriculture, competitiveness in markets, horticulture, natural resource conservation, energy conservation, invasive species management, fertilizers and pesticides use, food safety, child and family development, consumer credit counseling, and youth development. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, hereby recognizes the 100th Anniversary of the Cooperative Extensive Service and encourages the citizens of Lee County to support and participate in their local extension office educational programs to increase their knowledge of agriculture, human and natural resources, and real life issues affecting their communities.Duly executed this 2nd day of September 2014. Date: 8/19/20148-19-14 Length of Service Awards WATCH D.O.G.S. is the father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering, inspired by one dad’s desire to increase male involvement in his children’s school; and Whereas, WATCH D.O.G.S. was created in 1998 at George Elementary in Springdale, Arkansas; andWhereas, studies by the U.S. Department of Education have demonstrated that a positive adult male role model will have a uniquely positive impact on the development and educational success of a child; andWhereas, each school year thousands of men volunteer to work at least one day in their child’s school through the WATCH D.O.G.S. program; and Whereas, these men work alongside of teachers and administrators to help wherever needed to provide a safe and healthy educational environment by coaching, mentoring, eating lunch, tutoring, or chaperoning events; and Whereas, Gulf Elementary would like to recognize one of these outstanding male role models, let it be known that Mr. Bob Guillery, A.K.A. “The Top Dog”, an Iona-McGregor Fire Fighter, exemplifies the ideal WATCH DOG, donating many hours of his time to ensure the success of this program; andWhereas, this August 2014 marks the first anniversary that these men, under the guidance of Mr. Guillery, have made a positive impact emotionally and educationally on all the children at Gulf Elementary by making positive connections early in their lives increases the likelihood of them making good choices as they grow older in life.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby recognize Gulf Elementary School’s WATCH D.O.G.S. program and Mr. Bob Guillery for his commitment to this program and its impact on our children, their future, and our community. Date: 8/5/201408-05-14 Recognizing 4-H Winners After 8 years of dedicated and effective professional guidance as the Director of Public Policy for the Realtor Association of the Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Stephanie Keyes will be retiring this month; andWHEREAS, Stephanie Keyes is well known throughout Southwest Florida as an expert in governmental affairs and coordination with private sector industries; andWHEREAS, Stephanie Keyes is well known for her truthful candor in all her dealings, and has never hesitated to “Tell it like it is”; andWHEREAS, all the years of her public and private contributions toward the betterment of Lee County total 36; andWHEREAS, in her spare time, Stephanie helped organize the important Tiger Bay Club of Lee County; andWHEREAS, Stephanie Keyes was one of the first graduates, in 1987, of the valuable “Leadership Lee County” program; andWHEREAS, Stephanie has obtained numerous certifications recognizing her leadership abilities in many areas, including strategic planning, customer service, and team building; andWHEREAS, Steph’s dedication, enthusiasm, and smiling face, will be sorely missed around the courthouse.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, wishes Stephanie a long, healthy, happy, peaceful, and well deserved retirement, and sincerely hopes she will not be totally absent from government activities here in Lee County. Date: 6/17/2014MANGO 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 2014 MANGO MANIA Tropical Fruit Festival being celebrated July 19-20, 2014. The National Recreation and Parks Association has declared July as National Parks and Recreation Month; andWhereas, 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; andWhereas, parks, greenways, and open space provide a welcome respite from our fast paced, high tech lifestyles while protecting and preserving our natural environment; andWhereas, parks, playgrounds, nature trails, open spaces, community and cultural centers, and historic sites make a community 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; and Whereas, 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 2014 as: PARKS and RECREATION MONTH in Lee County and urges all citizens to visit the parks, especially on the weekend of July 26th and 27th when all parking fees will be waived at Lee County regional parks and boat ramps. There will also be free admission at the county pools. Lee County seniors are valued members of society and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that they live safe lives; andWHEREAS, abuse of older people is a tragedy inflicted against vulnerable seniors, and is an ever-increasing problem that crosses all socio-economic boundaries in today’s society; andWHEREAS, combating abuse of older people will help improve the quality of life for all seniors across this state and will allow seniors to continue to live as independently as possible, adding to their lives and vibrancy; andWHEREAS, seniors should be treated with respect and dignity to enable them to continue to serve as leaders, mentors, volunteers, and important and active members of society; andWHEREAS, we are all responsible for building safer communities for Florida’s seniors; WHEREAS, the welfare of seniors is in the best interest of all citizens and further adds to the well-being of our communities; WHEREAS, LEAPP, Lee Elder Abuse Prevention Partnership is a coalition among Lee County human service providers and agencies to create community partnerships that effectively promote the awareness of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation and provide services, advocacy and support for older adults; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby commend the LEE ELDER ABUSE PREVENTION PARTNERSHIP and all who fight to protect our beloved but often vulnerable senior citizens, as we observe June 15, 2014 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Lee County. Date: 6/3/2014NBC2 Meteorologist Jim Reif has passed from this life, on Monday, April 7 2014; and Whereas, ten years ago on August 13, 2004, Southwest Florida was threatened by Hurricane Charley and Jim Reif was there to help guide residents, we hereby recognize how right it is, since Jim was there for the residents of Lee County; and Whereas, Jim Reif through his years of commitment to bettering his own knowledge of how hurricanes behave, was able to forecast the turn of the storm toward our residents, giving the time to prepare; andWhereas, Jim’s actions unarguably saved lives that day and his active engagement with the National Hurricane Center helped change some of the ways storms are forecast and residents are warned when storms are approaching; and Whereas, it is appropriate to pause in recognition and gratitude of one so concerned about the safety of our residents; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, on behalf of all community loving citizens of our beloved county, does hereby proclaim Wednesday, August 13th 2014, the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Charley as JIM REIF DAY in Lee County and encourage all of our citizens to pause in reflection of one of its fellow citizens who cared so deeply for the special place we are privileged to call home. Florida SouthWestern State College has served Southwest Florida for over 50 years, with the first permanent campus located in Lee County, Florida; andWhereas, Florida SouthWestern State College continues as the longest serving institution of public higher education in Southwest Florida; andWhereas, Florida SouthWestern State College graduates can be found across our community, contributing with great impact to our region’s vibrant economy; andWhereas, Florida SouthWestern State College will return to the field intercollegiate athletic teams known as the “Buccaneers”, providing numerous opportunities for students and for the local economy; andWhereas, Florida SouthWestern State College continues to serve as a center for academic, cultural and historical heritage for Lee County; andNOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim that July 1st, 2014 be designated as Florida SouthWestern State College Day in Lee County. Date: 5/20/20145-20-14 Florida Urban Forestry Council Presentation Public works services provided in our community are an integral part of our citizens’ everyday lives; andWhereas, the support of an understanding and informed citizenry is vital to the efficient operation of public works systems and programs such as water, sewers, streets and highways, public buildings, and solid waste collection; and Whereas, the health, safety, and comfort of this community greatly depends on these facilities and services; andWhereas, the quality and effectiveness of these facilities, as well as their planning, design, and construction, is vitally dependent upon the efforts and skill of public works officials; andWhereas, the efficiency of the qualified and dedicated personnel who staff public works departments is materially influenced by the people’s attitude and understanding of the importance of the work they perform.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim the week of May 18th to May 24th, 2014, as NATIONAL PUBLIC WORKS WEEK in Lee County, and calls upon all citizens and civic organizations to acquaint themselves with the issues involved in providing our public works and to recognize the contributions which public works officials make every day to our health, safety, comfort and quality of life. Emergency medical services 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 emergency physicians, emergency nurses, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, first responders, educators, administrators 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 18-24, 2014, as EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES WEEK with the theme, EMS: Dedicated. For Life, I encourage the community to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities. Date: 5/6/2014The letter carriers are conducting their annual food drive on May 10th, 2014; andWhereas, on that day, mail carriers are requesting that citizens leave non-perishable food by their mailbox; andWhereas, the food will be collected, and in our community it will be distributed by the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida; andWhereas, the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida will distribute the food to over 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 May 10, 2014 as LETTER CARRIERS NATIONAL FOOD DRIVE DAY in Lee County and urges our citizens to participate in this worthy cause. 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; and Whereas, A bicycle is recognized as a vehicle and is a viable means of transportation for many types of trips and destinations; and Whereas, National health organizations, environmental agencies, and physical fitness activists believe increased bicycling to be of national interest for health purposes; and Whereas, 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 450 miles of bicycle facilities as part of roadway improvements and retrofitting of existing roadways; and Whereas, The Board of County Commissioners adopted a Complete Streets Resolution on November 10, 2009; and Whereas, The month of May is being promoted by the League of American Bicyclists as National Bike Month, with Wednesday, May 7, 2014 as Bike-to-School Day, and the week of May 12-16, 2014 as Bike-to-Work Week, and Friday, May 16, 2014 as Bike-to-Work Day; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby declare May 2014 to be Bike Month, with Wednesday, May 7, 2014 as Bike-to-School Day, and the week of May 12-16 as Bike-to-Work Week, and with Friday, May 16, 2014 as Bike-to-Work Day in Lee County. Date: 4/15/2014Dr. Judith Hartner graduated from Medical School in 1973 from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, she went on to the Indian Hospital in Phoenix, Arizonaassisting on the Indian Reservation where she found her passion in Public Health; andWhereas, in the late 70’s Dr. Hartner obtained her Public Health Degree from the University of Hawaii while working at the neighborhood Health Center. She then, for the next several years, went on to devote herself to working with underserved patients coming into the United States from the Pacific Basin which brought her back to Arizona, where she lead in one of five nationwide projects studying diabetes; andWhereas, in the 1980’s Dr. Hartner went into family practice where she was than promoted to Assistant Director for Community Health Services and in charge of Public Health Nursing, child abuse prevention and several other Public Health programs before moving to Lee County Florida in 1992 when she assumed the position of Director of Health for the Lee County Health Department where Dr. Hartner focused on mothers and children as well as chronic disease prevention; andWhereas, over the last twenty years as an advocate for rural health, Dr. Hartner lent her expertise to various committees, agencies and organizations; andWhereas, as Director of Public Health, Dr. Hartner was instrumental in getting fluoride into the Lee County Public Utilities Water System, as well as developing the Healthy WorkPlace program which ultimately lead to providing employers with a healthier workforce; andWhereas, always recognizing the value and power of higher education, Dr. Hartner helped to develop a cooperative community partnership with local educational institutions and most recently accomplished, due to her collaborative efforts, a program called “Healthy Lee”; a program working in conjunction with the Florida Department of Health in Lee County and Lee Memorial Hospital to rally the business community promoting the concept of wellness in the workplace; andWhereas, Dr. Judith Hartner has recently been nominated for the 2014 Annual Florida Outstanding Woman in Public Health Award; andWhereas, Dr. Hartner is threatening to retire soon from her highly productive career as Director of Lee County Health Department; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby recognize Dr. Judith Hartner for her many years of dedicated service and her tremendous contribution to the overall betterment of Lee County. The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution was organized and established on April 30, 1889; andWhereas, through patriotic, historical, and educational activities, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution perpetuates the memory of the Patriots of the American Revolutionary War who achieved the independence of the United States; andWhereas, the activities of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution are designed to inspire the descendants of the Patriots of the American Revolution and the people of the United States with respect and reverence for the principles of government that were established by those Patriots; and Whereas, during the past 125 years more than 180,000 members have joined the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, including 16 Presidents of the United States, Senators, Members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, generals, admirals, ambassadors, veterans, serving members of the armed forces, small businessmen, doctors, lawyers, ministers, professors, school teachers, farmers, accounts, other elected officials, and members of every profession and calling, all of whom have had a deep affection for America its heritage and institutions; andWhereas, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2014; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim April 30, 2014 as Sons Of The American Revolution Day in Lee County and we call upon all citizens of Lee County to observe this day by celebrating the contributions made by the Sons of the American Revolution with appropriate ceremonies and activities. 4-15-14 Length of Service Awards Date: 4/1/2014Our kids are our most precious treasures, and whether they become a pilot, firefighter, a marine biologist or nurse, we want all children to reach their potential; andWhereas, every year, 9,000 kids in the U.S. are lost to preventable injuries; andWhereas, injuries from car crashes, drownings, fires, bike accidents and the like are the No. 1 killer of kids in our country; andWhereas, we can change this, there are simple things every parent and caregiver can do to protect their kids, and Safe Kids Lee/Collier Counties works every day in Southwest Florida to prevent these tragedies from happening.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby extend their best wishes to Safe Kids Lee/Collier Counties and does hereby proclaim April 12, 2014 to be named “Safe Kids Day” in Lee County. The purpose of the nomination-based Together We Mean Community program is to recognize those employees who have gone above and beyond their assigned duties to make an outstanding contribution to the Lee County community; andWhereas, the employee selected as the Together We Mean Community award recipient for 1st Quarter is George Schutte, a driver who has been employed with Solid Waste since August of 2012; andWhereas, on Thursday, October 24, 2013, while departing from the Lee/Hendry County landfill, George witnessed a one-car accident involving a citizen that flipped their vehicle while attempting to avoid a pack of wild boars on Church Road; andWhereas, after immediately dialing 911, George assisted the citizen out of their vehicle and stayed with them while waiting for emergency responders to arrive; andWhereas, this single act of compassion clearly represents George’s outstanding commitment to provide exemplary service to the citizens and visitors of Lee County on a daily basis. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby recognize and praise George Schutte, and congratulate him as the selected employee for the Together We Mean Community program for 1st Quarter, 2013/2014. Date: 3/18/2014Mrs. Thelma Jeanette Hamilton was born to Ulyses Simpson Bacon and Viola Kendrick Bacon on January 15, 1931 in Fort Myers, Florida, andWhereas, Mrs. Hamilton graduated from Dunbar High School, a member of the cheerleading squad, Class of 1949, and attended two years at South Carolina State as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., andWhereas, Mrs. Hamilton married Dr. Edwin Harvey Hamilton, and together they had five children: Judith Romise Copeland Hamilton, Edwin Harvey Hamilton Jr., Terolyn Patrice Watson, Eric Dewight Watson, and Kimberly Teresa Watson, andWhereas, Mrs. Hamilton was grandmother to JaCinta Sade’ Thomas, Edwin Harvey Watson, Kendall Lenard Watson, Jaylin Copeland, Darius Daconte’ Copeland, Aaliyah Dione’ Riggins, Kimise Akhari Loggins, and great-grandmother to Armoni Romise Copeland, andWhereas, Mrs. Hamilton was a member of Friendship Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Bing, as well as a clinic assistant at Fort Myers High School – her life mission to help and serve others and to serve God, andWhereas, Mrs. Hamilton leaves a legacy that will be remembered for years to come as a lover of students and an encouragement to others, with a heart full of love and a spirit of community.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby celebrate Thelma Jeanette Hamilton’s life and her legacy of service to the citizens of Lee County. March 12, 2014, marked the 102nd anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, which began in 1912 when Savannah, GA native Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low gathered 18 girls to provide them the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually; andWHEREAS, the award winning Girl Scout Leadership Program helps girls discover themselves and their values, connect with others, and take action to make the world a better place; andWHEREAS, core programs around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), environmental stewardship, healthy living, financial literacy, and global citizenship help girls develop a solid foundation in leadership; andWHEREAS, the Girl Scout Cookie program, the largest girl run business in the world, empowers girls through the development of five essential skills: goal setting, money management, people skills, decision making and business ethics; and WHEREAS, through the dedication, time, and talent of volunteers of different backgrounds, abilities, and areas of expertise, the Girl Scout Program is delivered to nearly 10,000 girls in grades K-12 throughout 10 counties across Southwest Florida served by the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Council; andWHEREAS, in Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, a girl belongs to a sisterhood of friends, dedicated to fun, discovery, exploration and taking action in her world, and where all girls are inspired and welcomed to make a difference and that together, girls can change the world. These are today’s Girl Scouts;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim this Girl Scout Week and applauds the Girl Scouts of the United States of America and our local council, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida for their years of leadership and expertise as the voice for and of girls. Rabbi Solomon Agin has been an ordained Rabbi for nearly five decades; andWHEREAS, he has been active in serving others through the ministry as Rabbi in the pulpit in Upstate New York, Fort Myers and St. Louis, Missouri; andWHEREAS, Rabbi Agin has served as a certified chaplain with the Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center in Fort Myers, St. Lukes Medical Center and St. Johns Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis and currently serves as a consulting Jewish Chaplain to the TideWell Hospice in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties; andWHEREAS, he currently serves as President and Chairman of the Board of 21st Century C.A.R.E.; andWHEREAS, Rabbi Agin is also serving as Interfaith Community Liaison for Dignity Memorials; andWHEREAS, he continues to serve as Rabbi at Temple Shalom Congregation in Port Charlotte, Florida; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby recognize Rabbi Solomon Agin, and honors his many accomplishments and efforts both in our community and beyond Lee County and on this milestone in his ministry we encourage all sectors of our community to recognize and support the efforts of Rabbi Agin. surveyors and mappers are counted among the founding leaders of our country and were instrumental in the formation of the layout of property boundaries in the United States which have provided our citizens the enjoyment of property ownership; and WHEREAS, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other former Presidents of the United States, served their fellow colonists as surveyors; andWHEREAS, the citizens of Florida recognize the valuable contributions of the surveying and mapping profession to history, development, and quality of life in Florida and the United States of America and make important decisions based on the knowledge and expertise of licensed surveyors and mappers; andWHEREAS, the surveying and mapping profession requires special education, training, the knowledge of mathematics, the related physical and applied sciences, and requirements of law for evidence; and WHEREAS, surveyors and mappers are uniquely qualified and licensed to determine and describe land and water boundaries for the management of natural resources and protection of private and public property rights; andWHEREAS, The continual advancements in instrumentation have required the surveyor and mapper not only to be able to understand and implement the methods of the past, but also to learn and employ modern technology in finding solutions to meet the challenges of the future;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, in conjunction with National Surveyors Week, does hereby proclaim the week of March 16-22, 2014 as FLORIDA SURVEYORS & MAPPERS WEEK in Lee County and recognizes the many contributions and the ongoing dedication of surveyors and mappers to the citizens of Florida and the United States. 3-18-14 Candy Pittro Award Date: 3/4/20143-4-14 Paulette Burton Award 3-4-14 American Water Works Association Award Presentation Multiple Myeloma (or Myeloma), the second most common blood cancer worldwide, is a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow. It is called “multiple” because the cancer can occur at multiple sites; andWHEREAS, Multiple Myeloma currently affects more than 100,000 people in the United States, with an estimated 20,000 new cases diagnosed each year and 10,000 losing their battle each year; and WHEREAS, once a disease of the elderly, it is now being found in increasing numbers in people under 65; andWHEREAS, Myeloma is a rare disease there can be a delayed diagnosis, leading to delayed treatment. For this reason an increased awareness of Myeloma for clinicians and the general public will lead to earlier diagnosis allowing people to live longer; andWHEREAS, continued investment and innovation is critical to achieve early diagnosis and implement the most effective and safest treatments for Myeloma patients; andWHEREAS, although we have seen important advances in the last decade there is still no cure for Myeloma; andWHEREAS, the Board is committed to increasing awareness of Myeloma and encouraging private efforts to enhance research funding and education programs;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim the month of March 2014 as:MYELOMA AWARENESS MONTHin Lee County and encourages all residents to participate in voluntary activities to support Myeloma education and the funding of research programs to find a cure. Date: 2/18/2014Lee County welcomes the reigning World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and their fans back to their 22nd Spring Training in our community and the third season at JetBlue Park; andWhereas, JetBlue Park at Fenway South opened in 2012 and sits on 106 acres, featuring a 10,000-seat stadium and a six-field Player Development Complex. The stadium dimensions are exactly the same as Fenway Park and the facility features its own “Green Monster” wall with seating both on top of and behind the wall. In addition, the site includes six full-size soccer fields; andWhereas, we are now in the third 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 is privileged to be associated with an organization of the Boston Red Sox caliber. We recognize and place significant community value on the fact that the Red Sox have helped to raise millions of dollars for Lee County charities through their Foundation; andWhereas, the Boston Red Sox’s popularity and ongoing excellence has brought the world’s media attention and tens of thousands of fans to Lee County, which in turn generates a significant impact for our tourism industry. In fact, the Red Sox have enjoyed 151 sellouts over the last 152 games; andWhereas, the 2014 Spring Training season will mark the first year of competition between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins 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 and Recreation Department, Visitor and Convention Bureau, Sports Development Office, Facilities Services Division and Construction and Design 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 2014 baseball season. Lee County welcomes the Minnesota Twins and their families back to the 24th Spring Training at the Lee County Sports Complex and Hammond Stadium; andWhereas: Lee County Government officially welcomed the Twins into Hammond Stadium in 1991, and has worked diligently to keep the complex as modern and up-to-date as possible. In 2013, Lee County along with the Minnesota Twins, architect firm Populous and builder Manhattan, started a $48 million renovation of the facility; andWhereas: this 2014 Spring Training season marks the near completion of Phase 1 which includes a new residential development academy, renovations to the Minor League clubhouse, a new Gulf Coast League playing field, a new agility field and a 360-degree boardwalk. The addition of the new boardwalk and berm seating expands the capacity of Hammond Stadium to 9,300 spectators; andWhereas: we couldn’t be happier about our continued partnership with the Twins. We have well-established ties to the Twin Cities with a significant number of tourists visiting us each year from the Upper Midwest region. We are privileged to be associated with an organization of the Minnesota Twins caliber, and are excited to call Lee County the Spring Training home of the Minnesota Twins for at least the next 30 years; andWhereas: the 2014 Spring Training season will mark the first 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 and Recreation Department, Visitor and Convention Bureau, Sports Development Office, Facilities Services Division and Construction and Design 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 2014 baseball season. The Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee, a proactive group of citizens, submitted an application for Captiva Island to become a StormReady Community – a nationwide community preparedness program administered by the National Weather Service in Ruskin, Florida; andWhereas, the Island of Captiva in Lee County again completed all the prerequisites as a StormReady Community effectiveNovember 13th, 2013; andWhereas, several committee members presented their original plan at the 2007 Governor’s Hurricane Conference on May 17, 2007 to a large diverse audience; andWhereas, Lee County is proud to have the Island of Captiva, through the efforts of the Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee, as the first designated StormReady Community in Lee County in 2007 and renewed it in 2013.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida that we do hereby recognize and congratulate the Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee for their commitment to making their community more prepared for the many hazards we face in Southwest Florida. Engineers 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 16-22, 2014. The yellow fever epidemic that occurred in Florida during 1887-1888 brought to light the need for control of this and other diseases in Florida to prevent future epidemics; andWHEREAS, in response to this need, the Florida Legislature created the State Board of Health on February 20, 1889; andWHEREAS, the State Board of Health, now named the Florida Department of Health, has a presence in all Florida counties including Lee to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida; andWHEREAS, the efforts of the Florida Department of Health have helped create healthier living environments and a better quality of life for the residents and visitors in Lee County; andWHEREAS, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County was a leader in collaborations between public and private entities to establish the Family Health Centers of Southwest Florida, Lee County Mosquito Control, Visiting Nurse Association, Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition, Safe Kids Coalition of Lee and Collier Counties, Healthy Lee Coalition, Streets Alive of Lee County, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, Florida’s drowning prevention program, and first child passenger safety seat training program for certifying technicians in Southwest Florida that continue to serve residents today; and WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County led collaborations between public and private entities to establish the Tobacco Free Lee Coalition, tobacco free public housing, an education alternate to suspension for student tobacco rule violators in public schools, and a ban on e-cigarettes in public schools that continue to serve residents today; and WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County led collaborations between Lee County Solid Waste and all fire districts in Lee County to establish the national model for a Sharps Disposal Program; andWHEREAS, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County provides vital services to improve the health of women and children through WIC and Healthy Start; andWHEREAS, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County has led Immunizations for children and adults through epidemic and pandemic, and continues to promote Immunizations for vaccine preventable diseases; andWHEREAS, the dedicated public health professionals who work for the Florida Department of Health in Lee County continue to serve the needs of our community by providing health services, monitoring and responding to emerging health threats, and promoting healthy choices for all who live, work, and play in Lee County;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby recognize the 125th Anniversary of Florida Public Health, and ask that all residents join us in extending our sincere gratitude to the staff, past and present, of the Florida Department of Health in Lee County for their commitment to the people of our communities during these one hundred and twenty-five years. Date: 2/4/2014Congenital Heart Defects are the most common malformations affecting approximately 40,000 infants annually nationwide; andWHEREAS, over a million families across America are facing the challenges and hardships of raising children with Congenital Heart Defects; andWHEREAS, some Congenital Heart Defects are not diagnosed until months or years after birth; andWHEREAS, approximately 100 to 200 deaths are due to unrecognized heart disease in newborns each year; andWHEREAS, undiagnosed Congenital Heart conditions cause many cases of sudden cardiac death in young athletes; andWHEREAS, despite these statistics, newborns and young athletes are not routinely screened for Congenital Heart Defects; andWHEREAS, a disproportionately small amount of funding is available for Congenital Heart Defect research and support; andWHEREAS, in the state of Florida over 2,000 births are effected with Congenital Heart Defects annually; andWHEREAS, Lee County is estimated at 70 to 100 births effected annually with Congenital Heart Defect; andWHEREAS, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week provides an opportunity for families whose lives have been affected to celebrate life and to remember loved ones lost, to honor dedicated health professionals, and to meet others and know they are not alone; andNOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim February 7-14, 2014, to be Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week in Lee County and encourages all citizens to increase awareness, education, and services for Congenital Heart Defects which each year affect thousands of babies in Florida. the Design-Build Institute of America promotes the value of design-build project delivery and teaches the effective integration of design and construction services; andWHEREAS, the Design-Build Institute of America annually recognizes people and projects where design-build methodology has proven as an effective form of project delivery; andWHEREAS, Design-build achieves the best value while meeting schedule, cost and quality goals; and WHEREAS, the North Lee County Water Treatment Plant Expansion Project received the Design-Build Institute of America’s 2013 National Project of the Year Award in the Water/Wastewater Category for these achievements; andWHEREAS, the schedule to expand the North Lee County Water Treatment Plant from 5 MGD to 10 MGD was vital to meeting the demand for a clean and sustainable potable water resource for Lee County Utilities customers; andWHEREAS, the North Lee County Water Treatment Plant expansion was completed on schedule and $1.6 million under budget; andWHEREAS, we hereby recognize the success and contributions of all the hard working Lee County Utilities’ employees and the Project’s Design-Build Team in achieving this award acknowledging the success of this important project;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby take great pleasure in congratulating Lee County Utilities and the Project Design-Build Team, and conveying our appreciation for their dedicated contribution to Lee County. Date: 1/21/20141-21-14 Length Of Service Awards Date: 1/7/2014The CREW Land and Water Trust is a private, non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of the water resources and natural communities in and around the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW); and Whereas, the Crew Trust has been coordinating land acquisitions, land management, and public use of this 60,000-acre watershed in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission for 25 years; andWhereas, the CREW is the largest intact watershed in southwest Florida, straddling Lee and Collier Counties; andWhereas, CREW’s majestic 5,000-acre sawgrass marsh is the headwaters for the entire watershed – which includes the National Audubon Society’s famous Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary – located south of the marsh; andWhereas, this unique watershed provides southwest Floridians aquifer recharge for our drinking water, natural flood protection, water purification, wildlife habitat and a beautiful space for public recreation; andWhereas, the CREW Land & Water Trust provides guided walks for the public, environmental education programs for all ages, special events for members, teacher workshops, and presentations to community groups; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby declare the week of January 5-11, 2014 as CREW TRUST WEEK in Lee County and encourages all Southwest Floridians to support the CREW Trust and its mission and to show the upmost gratitude and respect on their 25 year anniversary. January 2014 has been designated as National Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month by the Federal Government; andWhereas, 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; 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 Riverside Park, Bonita Springs on January 18, 2014 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, 2014, as Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month in Lee County.