Board Recognitions Page ContentBoard Recognition ArchiveRecent 2022 2021 20202019201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007 2018 Board Recognitions Date: 12/4/20184-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 December 4, 2018, as 4-H WEEK in Lee County. We as citizens of this community, recognize the worldwide problems of violence against women occurs even here in Lee County, Florida; and Whereas, 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; andWhereas, 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; andWhereas, 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; andWhereas, we applaud the efforts of individuals and organizations such as the Zonta Club of Fort Myers, the Zonta Club of Naples, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva, and the Zonta Club of Bonita Springs-Estero, and the Zonta Club of Cape Coral to raise awareness, stimulate discussion, and advocate for local solutions that will curb violence against women; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim that during the 16 Days of Activism starting November 25, 2018, 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: 11/6/201811-6-18 American Water Works Association Presentation - Best Tasting Drinking Water There are an estimated 2,957 people who are homeless in Lee County. The annual census of persons who are homeless completed in January 2018 indicated that of the sampling, 28% were chronic homeless, 3.8% were veterans, 38.2% reported having a disabling condition and among the 471 sampled were 48 families with 78 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 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 during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month 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. 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 BY THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida that we do hereby proclaim the month of November 2018 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 public/private nonprofit service entities. Amelia Davies has served on the Board of Directors of the Lee County Homeless Coalition since its inception in 2008; andWHEREAS, Amelia Davies has served as both Treasurer and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Lee County Homeless Coalition; andWHEREAS, Amelia Davies has been instrumental in bringing awareness to the community by advocating for persons who are homeless; andWHEREAS, Amelia Davies has given her time and talent to help the citizens of Lee County; andWHEREAS, Amelia Davies will continue to advocate for individuals and families in Lee County who are experiencing homelessness.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby recognize Amelia Davies for her years of service to the Lee County, Florida community. Date: 10/16/201810-16-18 Length of Service Awards Alcohol use by Lee County teens has decreased 21.4% in the past 10 years; andWhereas, tobacco use by Lee County teens has decreased 17.2% in the past ten years; andWhereas, use of prescription pain relievers has decreased 7.1% in the past ten years; and Whereas, this shows that Lee County students are making good choices about alcohol and drugs, and that their parents are talking to them about alcohol and drugs; andWhereas, for every dollar spent on prevention, seven dollars are saved in treatment according to United States Government Surveys; andWhereas, families in Lee County show an extraordinary commitment to prevention and the health and wellness of their children as demonstrated by their participation in prevention programs like Red Ribbon Week and Drug House Odyssey; and Whereas, hundreds of Lee County students participate in Red Ribbon Week events in their schools led by their extraordinary teachers and principals; andWhereas, this year’s theme of Red Ribbon Week is “Life is Your Journey – Travel Drug Free”; and Whereas, the Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida and the School District of Lee County will celebrate National Red Ribbon Week on October 18, 2018, at a ceremony honoring Lee County’s Drug-Free kids.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim October 23-31, 2018 as Red Ribbon Week in Lee County. Date: 10/2/2018The white cane serves as a mobility tool and widely recognized symbol of independence for those who are visually impaired; and WHEREAS, by act of 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 individuals with blindness and vision impairment and makes provisions for their access to and crossings of roads and intersections in Florida Statute 316.1301; 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 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 that October 15, 2018, shall be known, designated and set aside as White Cane Safety Day in Lee County and invites its citizens to celebrate the freedom and independence of persons with blindness and vision impairment and furthermore urges motorists to be aware of community members with blindness and vision impairment. The Estero Island Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, was founded forty five years ago on October 11, 1973; and Whereas, the three fold mission of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, founded on October 11, 1893, remains Historic Preservation, Education, and Patriotism; and Whereas, 248 chapter members provide more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service to our local communities each year honoring God, Home and Country "In Service to America"; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida recognizes and commends Estero Island Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution for forty five successful years of chapter growth and community service in support of historic preservation, education and patriotism; and FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT congratulations be given to the Estero Island Chapter, National Society Daughters of theAmerican Revolution and its members for contributions made over the past forty five years to ensure the chapter’s continued growth and thereby improve the lives of many Lee County citizens. The month of October has been recognized as Family History Month in the United States of America since 2001; andWHEREAS, the study of family history is one of the most popular explorations for people nationwide and in Lee County; and the Fort Myers Regional Library provides access, through its databases and genealogical collection of reference materials on family history; andWHEREAS, today, with millions of individuals researching the histories of their families, the Lee County Genealogical Society encourages individuals of all ages and ethnicities to collect, preserve and perpetuate genealogical and historical records; andWHEREAS, the Lee County Genealogical Society sponsors year-round events including workshops and classes on how to conduct family history research; andWHEREAS, the Lee County Genealogical Society invites individuals, families, and local organizations, including communities, societies, libraries and archives to celebrate Family History Month; and WHEREAS, family history is very important to our family, our community and the world. "If you don't know where you came from, you don't know where you are going".NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim the month of October 2018 as Family History Month in Lee County and urges all of its residents to recognize the importance by celebrating their families’ heritage. Date: 9/18/2018Hurricane Irma posed a significant and dangerous threat to the citizens of Lehigh Acres in Lee County, Florida, and specifically Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District, as well as their real and personal property; and WHEREAS, the Chairman of the Board, Michael J. Welch, had called an Emergency Meeting on September 7, 2017, in order to execute the District’s plan for hurricane preparedness and recovery, together with the District Board of Commissioners and employees he answered the call of the community’s needs with infrastructure and human needs during the crisis; andWHEREAS, Michael J. Welch graciously volunteered his time and expertise to actively coordinate and lead the District through this terrible event, providing his invaluable insights and perspective; and setting an example of servant leadership; andWHEREAS, his work ethic, consistency and old school approach to taking care of the citizens, has solidified him as a respectable and trustworthy representative of the people.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby recognize Commissioner Michael J. Welch for his hard work, dedication, and service and offer our appreciation for his outstanding commitment to the people of Lehigh Acres and Lee County. Date: 9/4/2018The Constitution of the United States of America, the guardian of our liberties, embodies the principles of limited government in a Republic dedicated to rule by law; and WHEREAS: September 17, 2018, marks the two hundred thirty first anniversary of the framing of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention; and WHEREAS: it is fitting and proper to accord official recognition to this magnificent document and its memorable anniversary, and to the patriotic celebrations which will commemorate it; and WHEREAS: Public Law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President of the United States of America designating September 17th through the 23rd as Constitution Week; andWHEREAS: the Lee County Legislative Delegation is hereby thanked for its continued support, allegiance to, and recognition of the ideals embraced by the United States Constitution; andNOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim the week of September 17th through 23rd, 2018, as CONSTITUTION WEEK in Lee County and asks our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties. September is Hunger Action Month nationwide, with Thursday, September 13, 2018 designated as Hunger Action Day; andWHEREAS, Hunger Action Month is a hunger awareness campaign started by the Feeding America network of food banks, which includes the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida; and WHEREAS, Lee County is one of five Southwest Florida counties the Harry Chapin Food Bank serves; andWHEREAS, Lee County has about 87,840 people who are food insecure, which means they may not know where their next meal is coming from, according to Feeding America’s 2018 Map the Meal Gap study; andWHEREAS, about 26,930 of those 87,840 people are children; andWHEREAS, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 11 million pounds of food in Lee County alone in the last fiscal year, and a total of 24 million pounds in its five-county service area; and WHEREAS, the Harry Chapin Food Bank provides food to more than 150 nonprofit agencies throughout Southwest Florida and through its mobile pantry program, called Fulfill; andNOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim that September be designated as Hunger Action Month in Lee County and urges citizens to continue to volunteer, advocate and donate to help end hunger in our community. Date: 8/21/201808-21-18 Length of Service Awards Date: 6/19/2018MANGO 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 2018 MANGO MANIA Tropical Fruit Festival being celebrated July 14-15, 2018. The National Recreation & Parks Association has declared July as National Parks & 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 spaces provide a welcome respitefrom our fast paced, high tech lifestyles while protecting and preserving our natural environment; andWhereas, parks, playgrounds, nature trails, open spaces, community and cultural centers, as well as 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 2018 as PARKS & RECREATION MONTH in Lee County and urges all citizens to visit the parks, especially on the weekend of July 28th and 29th 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. Date: 5/15/2018The Fort Myers High School Girls Basketball Team won the 2018 Florida High School Athletic Association Girls Basketball State Championships in Class 7A. The Fort Myers Green Wave Girls are currently ranked 41st in the nation and 2nd in the State of Florida; andWhereas, the Green Wave community has encouraged and supported the team and its coaches to compile a 14 game winning streak to reach the state finals, winning a state title for the third straight year; andWhereas, Head Coach Chadrick Terrell, Athletic Director Cameron Yearsley and Principal David LaRosa rallied the team to win the State Championship game on March 3, 2018; andWhereas, the dedicated coaches, parents and fans of the Fort Myers Green Wave also should be recognized for the time and commitment to excellence that allowed these young women and coaches to perform like champions; andWhereas, this 2018 championship season will be part of Lee County sports history forever;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, wishes to congratulate the 2017/2018 Fort Myers High School Girls Basketball Team and the Fort Myers Green Wave for their commitment to sports, education and their pride in the community. Furthermore, the Board would also like to recognize the school administrators, faculty and staff of Fort Myers High School for helping to bring this Florida High School State Championship to Lee County. 05-15-18 Length of Service Awards Date: 5/1/2018United Way formed as an organization in 1957 to be a grassroots, volunteer driven, neighbor helping neighbor movement that solves community problems and continues with that same philosophy today; andWHEREAS, United Way 211 is a program that provides free information and referral services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in English or Spanish; andWHEREAS, United Way’s partnerships with agencies and local governments helped mobilize the movement of people, services, equipment and supplies before and after Hurricane Irma impacted Lee County on September 10, 2017; andWHEREAS, United Way 211 made direct calls to more than 1,200 people with special needs to arrange transportation to get them to the shelters; andWHEREAS, United Way 211 worked out of the County Emergency Operations Center for 19 straight days before and after Hurricane Irma and took over 40,000 calls from citizens and visitors in the month of September alone; andWHEREAS, United Way worked with the County Emergency Operations Center and the network of agencies to coordinate and set-up 8 Points of Distribution and more than 20 feeding sites to provide emergency food, water, ice and medical supplies; andWHEREAS, the United Way Volunteer Center recruited and mobilized hundreds of volunteers to help with various opportunities ranging from debris cleanup to kitchen help at the shelters and continues to help lead Long-Term Recovery Efforts today;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby recognize United Way in Lee County and urges citizens to acknowledge United Way staff, volunteers and programs for their valuable impact on our communities. The National Association of Letter Carriers will conduct its 26th annual national food drive on Saturday, May 12, 2018. The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the country’s largest single-day food drive, provides residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need in the community; and WHEREAS, letter carriers are requesting that customers leave non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, peanut butter, rice or cereal, next to their mailboxes before their regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 12, 2018; and WHEREAS, local letter carriers will collect the food donations as they deliver mail along their postal routes; andWHEREAS, the collected food donations will go to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida to be packed, sorted, and distributed to more than 150 local 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 12, 2018 as LETTER CARRIERS’ NATIONAL FOOD DRIVE DAY in Lee County and urges citizens to support our local letter carriers in their food drive to help alleviate hunger in our community. Trauma Awareness 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 5 and 46 every year; with someone in Florida being traumatically injured every 12 minutes; enough to fill Germain Arena 6 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 2017 more than 2,456 Florida residents and visitors in 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 Sarasota and Miami; and Whereas, recognition is due for our Lee County Trauma Services District 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 extend greetings and best wishes to those observing Trauma Awareness Month during the month of May 2018. Date: 4/17/2018Girl Scouts is recognized as a national leader in providing the best leadership development experience in the world for girls; and WHEREAS, in Girl Scouts, girls develop their leadership potential through activities that enable them to discover their values, skills, and the world around them, connecting with others in a multicultural environment; and WHEREAS, Girl Scouts offers hands-on, girl-led, girl-centered learning in STEM, the outdoors, and entrepreneurship, and abundant opportunities to develop invaluable life skills, helping all girls take the lead early and often; andWHEREAS, Girl Scouts was founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low whose life mission was to build girls of courage, confidence, and character and through her legacy continues to have an extraordinary influence on the lives of millions of girls across the country; andWHEREAS, through the dedication, time, and talent of volunteers of different backgrounds, abilities, and areas of expertise, the Girl Scout Program is delivered to nearly 6,000 girls in grades K-12 throughout 10 counties across Southwest Florida served by the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Council; andWHEREAS, today, more than 59 million American women are Girl Scout alumnae and 2.6 million girls and adult volunteers are active members;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby applaud the Girl Scout Movement and Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida and their volunteers and recognizes today as Girl Scout Day in Lee County. The State of Florida is dedicated to improving air quality, reducing traffic congestion, promoting health and physical fitness, and reducing energy consumption; and WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Transportation, District One, through its Commuter Services Program, contributes to these state goals by reducing traffic congestion and lowering greenhouse gas emissions throughout the region, by promoting the use of alternative commute modes; andWHEREAS, Lee County Government and Lee County Transit, LeeTran, are promoting “Try Transit Day” on April 20, to raise awareness of our destinations and routes in Lee County; andWHEREAS, LeeTran will offer free rides on “Try Transit Day” on April 20, on all LeeTran fixed routes to encourage residents and visitors to use public transit;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim April 20, 2018 to be: REGIONAL TRY TRANSIT DAY in Lee County and encourages residents and visitors to try alternative forms of transportation to work, school, shopping, or play. Date: 4/3/2018Southeastern Guide Dog School, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was established in 1982 and is headquartered in Palmetto, Florida; and WHEREAS, the mission of the Southeastern Guide Dog School is to create and nurture a partnership between the visually impaired individual and a guide dog, facilitating life’s journey with mobility, independence and dignity; andWHEREAS, the program also provides assistance for our veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other debilitating challenges, providing comfort and unconditional support for our heroes; andWHEREAS, today, we celebrate the school’s Fourth Annual Walkathon in Lee County, which takes place on April 14, 2018, at JetBlue Park; and WHEREAS, we continue to educate and promote awareness for our beloved animals and those individuals most in need; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby recognize the Fourth Annual Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathon in Fort Myers. 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 bicycle facilities and now maintains approximately 891 miles of these facilities; 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 9, 2018 as Bike-to-School Day and the week of May 14-18, 2018 as Bike-to-Work Week, and Friday, May 18, 2018 as Bike-to-Work Day;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim May 2018 to be Bike Month, with Wednesday, May 9, 2018 as Bike-to-School Day and the week of May 14-18, 2018 as Bike-to-Work Week and Friday, May 18, 2018 as Bike-to-Work Day in Lee County. Libraries are not just about what they have for people, but what they do for and with people; andWHEREAS, libraries have long served as trusted and treasured institutions, and library workers and librarians fuel efforts to better their communities, campuses and schools; andWHEREAS, librarians continue to lead the way in leveling the playing field for all who seek information and access to technologies; andWHEREAS, libraries and librarians look beyond their traditional roles and provide transformative opportunities for education, employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment and engagement, as well new services that connect closely with patrons’ needs; andWHEREAS, libraries lead in working with diverse communities, including people of color, immigrants and people with disabilities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds and promote inclusion and diversity; andWHEREAS, libraries, librarians, library workers and supporters across America are celebrating National Library Week; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim the week of April 8-14, 2018 as National Library Week and encourages all residents to visit the library this week, explore what’s new at your library, and engage with your librarian. Date: 3/20/201803-20-18 Paulette Burton Awards 03-20-18 Length of Service Date: 3/6/2018There are thousands of children and adults in Lee County who have intellectual and developmental disabilities; andWhereas, the Lee Association for Remarkable Citizens, known as LARC, has been advocating for and serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Lee County since March 12, 1954, and will celebrate 64 years of service on March 12, 2018; and Whereas, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities frequently require specialized services, treatment and support for extended periods of their lives, and due to improved care their lifespans often exceed that of their parents and caregivers; andWhereas, the support provided by family members, caregivers, friends, professionals and concerned citizens enable individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate more freely in education, employment, and community living; andWhereas, this month we join with LARC to recognize and support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their right to achieve the universally desired goals of self-fulfillment, purposeful engagement and inclusion in their communities so that they may reach their fullest potential;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim the March 2018 as INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH in Lee County and recognizes the many achievements made by these citizens and their potential to achieve to continue to grow and contribute as remarkable members of our community. 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, 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; and WHEREAS, PACE Center for Girls, Lee County, reports a 95% success rate of keeping girls out of the criminal justice system and improving the academic success of 96% of students; andWHEREAS, March 13, 2018, is the tenth anniversary of the Grande Dames Tea, and PACE Center for Girls of Lee County will be honoring four 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 March 2018 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: 2/20/2018Lee County welcomes the Minnesota Twins and their fans backfor their 28th Spring Training season at the recently renovated CenturyLink Sports Complex and Hammond Stadium; and Lee County welcomes the Boston Red Sox and their fans back to their 26th Spring Training season in Lee County, and the seventh at JetBlue Park; and Whereas, Lee County is incredibly proud that both teams made post-season appearances in 2017, and with the extremely harsh winter weather being experienced this year in both Minneapolis and Boston, we welcome fans to enjoy our warm tropical destination and help these two teams kick off a new season of hope and expectation of being crowned World Series Champion; andWhereas, the Red Sox and Twins are exemplary community partners, aligning themselves with many local not-for-profits and youth organizations, and with this year the two clubs going above and beyond and united after Hurricane Irma with each organization pledging $100,000 to assist with disaster relief and recovery in the Lee County area. Additionally, each team is honoring first responders and critical volunteers this spring training; and Whereas, the 2018 Spring Training season will mark the fifth year of competition between the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox to win the “Chairman’s Cup” with the Twins defending the 2017 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 both the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox organizations, and we send our most sincere best wishes for success in the upcoming 2018 baseball season. Engineers help to design, construct, and maintain the infrastructure and facilities that contribute to the quality of life of all the residents of Lee County; andWHEREAS, maintaining the quality of life in Lee County during periods of substantial growth and uncertain economic times depends on engineers developing innovative, creative, and high-quality solutions to technical problems; and WHEREAS, engineers, above all else in the practice of their profession, hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public; andWHEREAS, through the celebration of Engineers Week each year, the Florida Engineering Society and its Calusa Chapter are dedicated to sustaining and growing a dynamic engineering profession by ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce and raising public understanding and appreciation of engineering contributions to society; andWHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners wishes to recognize and honor those individuals who live and work in Lee County and who practice the profession of engineering in an honorable, responsible, ethical, and competent manner; and to recognize and honor those students who have chosen to be educated to follow a career path in the field of engineering.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim that the week of February 18 through February 24, 2018, be designated as ENGINEERS WEEK in Lee County. The Tobacco-Free Lee Coalition, in partnership with Lee County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT), stand up for the health of Lee County citizens; andWhereas, constant exposure to tobacco juices in smokeless tobacco products can cause oral cancers, which can form within just five years of regular use; andWhereas, smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing chemicals; andWhereas, smokeless tobacco users have a 60 percent higher rate of pancreatic, stomach, and esophageal cancers; and Whereas, smokeless tobacco products have been linked to bacterial infections which may lead to coronary artery disease; and Whereas, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that high school athletes use smokeless tobacco at nearly twice the rate of non-athletes; andWhereas, smokeless tobacco use among athletes increased more than 11% from 2001-2013, even as smoking rates dropped significantly; andWhereas, in 2017 major league baseball has banned rookie players from using smokeless tobacco, eventually eliminating smokeless tobacco from major league baseball.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim the week of February 18-24, 2018, as Through With Chew Week, and in doing so, urges citizens to make publicly known the dangers of smokeless tobacco use and encourages smokeless tobacco users to demonstrate to themselves, their friends, and their families that they can quit. Date: 1/16/2018January 2018 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 U.S. Attorney’s Southwest Florida 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, the Lee County School District and Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships are collaborating on programs in the middle and high schools to teach children about the dangers of trafficking and how to protect themselves; andWhereas, the U.S. Attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force, Abuse Counseling Treatment, Catholic Charities, Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships, Children’s Advocacy Center, FGCU, Hodges University, Keiser University and Lee Health are working collaboratively to build awareness through community and educational events and trainings, prevention programs for youth, businesses and medical facilities; andWhereas, on January 20, 2018, Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships and the City of Fort Myers will conduct a “Prevention Power” family event at the Dr. Ann Murphy Knight Stars Complex, to promote prevention and awareness of human trafficking.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby designate the month of January 2018 as Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month in Lee County. Priority Marketing, a full-service, award-winning marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing agency, is celebrating 25 years serving Lee County businesses with expert marketing service to support their business goals and the overall economic success of the community; andWHEREAS, Fort Myers native Teri Hansen, APR, company president and creative director of Priority Marketing, founded the company in 1992, the company has grown from a sole proprietorship to the area’s largest full-service marketing firm with more than 30 employees, serving a diverse array of businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and individuals with comprehensive marketing services; andWHEREAS, giving back to the community is a “priority” at Priority Marketing, and the company has donated an estimated $2 million for in-kind services providing quality professional PR and marketing services to philanthropic organizations; andWHEREAS, over 25 years, Priority Marketing has positively impacted the Lee County economy by creating jobs, recruiting employees to the area, encouraging innovation and industry competition, reflecting diversity and growing and mentoring young professionals. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby congratulate Priority Marketing on its 25th Anniversary and recognizes its outstanding contributions to the community. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Shell Point Retirement Community, which has a proud history of serving the senior population of Southwest Florida as a nonprofit ministry of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, dedicated to God and the care of His people; and Whereas, Shell Point Retirement Community has earned prestigious national attention and numerous awards, bringing positive recognition to Lee County and to the senior living industry, of which Shell Point has become a recognized leader, setting an example of quality and excellence for others to follow; and Whereas, Shell Point delivers a vibrant lifestyle combined with outstanding health care services to more than 2,400 current residents who enjoy fulfilling opportunities for volunteer service and numerous recreational and social pursuits; and Whereas, Shell Point is a major job provider in Lee County by providing purposeful employment to more than 1,000 dedicated employees; and Whereas, Shell Point has shown a commitment over the past five decades to conserving, enhancing, and protecting the natural resources of its beautiful location along the Caloosahatchee River; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby convey our sincere congratulations to Shell Point Retirement Community in recognition of the organization’s 50 years of leadership in the senior living industry, its commitment to our community, and its unwavering, dedicated service to its residents and employees since 1968.