Board Recognitions Page ContentBoard Recognition ArchiveRecent20202019201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007 2020 Board Recognitions Date: 9/15/2020Florida has the highest percent of citizens age 65 and older in the United States; andWHEREAS, one fourth of people 65 and older will fall each year; andWHEREAS, one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury; andWHEREAS, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among people 65 and older in Florida; andWHEREAS, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries among Florida’s older population, accounting for 58 percent of the fatal traumatic brain injuries among older adults; and WHEREAS, falls can lead to depression, loss of mobility, and loss of functional independence; andWHEREAS, in 2019 the average hospitalization charge for an unintentional fall among Florida residents ages 65 and older was $42,852; andWHEREAS, the financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and is estimated to reach $101 billion nationally by 2030; andWHEREAS, injuries from falls are a preventable community health problem; andWHEREAS, evidence-based programs reduce falls by utilizing strategies such as exercise programs, balance screenings, medication management, vision improvement, reduction of home hazards, and fall prevention education; and WHEREAS, the Lee County Trauma Services District and the non-profit organization “Step Smart” are partnering to provide awareness, education, and a multidisciplinary approach to preventing falls throughout Southwest Florida; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim September 22, 2020 as “Falls Prevention Awareness Day” in Lee County and urge our citizens to commend its observance. National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the Hispanic community and the recognition began in 1968 as Hispanics Heritage Week under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was enacted into federal law on August 17, 1988, calling upon the United States to observe this time with ceremonies, activities, and programs; andWHEREAS, Hispanics represent 21 countries, diverse in history and culture who come seeking freedom and opportunity and make incredible contributions in the public and private sectors; and WHEREAS, National Hispanic Heritage Month, is a time to honor the invaluable ways Hispanics contribute to our common goals - this year’s theme, A History Serving Our Nation reminds us that over 1.5 million Hispanic American men and women have served our great country in the Armed Forces with bravery, honor and courage; andWHEREAS, Hispanics have enhanced and shaped our national character with traditions that reflect their communities, along with a deep sense of faith, family, and community; andWHEREAS, Lee County residents celebrate this rich and diverse culture and recognize the important role of Hispanics in creating and building our future.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims September 15 – October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month in Lee County and urges all citizens to enjoy the local programs and activities being offered throughout the county. Date: 6/16/2020The 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 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, as well as historic sites make communities attractive and desirable places to live, work, play and visit; andWHEREAS, Lee County Parks and Recreation activities and leisure experiences provide opportunities for young people to live, grow, and develop into contributing members of society; 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 2020 as: PARKS & RECREATION MONTH in Lee County and urges all citizens to visit the parks, especially on the weekend of July 25th and 26th, 2020 when all parking fees will be waived at Lee County regional parks and boat ramps and admission will be free at the county pools. Date: 5/19/2020In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation’s communities; and WHEREAS, access to quality emergency care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury; andWHEREAS, emergency medical services is a vital public service and the brave men and women who serve on these teams are prepared to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and WHEREAS, this has never been more true than during the recent COVID-19 public health emergency, when the citizens of Lee County watched each and every EMS member work in heroic ways to save lives while putting their own health at risk; andWHEREAS, EMS Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line”.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, proclaims the week of May 17- 23, 2020 as NATIONAL EMS WEEK in Lee County and encourages all citizens to show their appreciation towards the many emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and staff who dedicate themselves to protecting our community. Date: 5/5/2020Over 3 million registered nurses in the United States comprise our nation’s largest health care profession; andWhereas, nurses constitute the largest group of employed healthcare professionals at Lee Health, Southwest Florida’s largest employer, and make up a large percentage of Florida Department of Health in Lee County employees; and Whereas, the depth and breadth of the registered nursing profession is meeting the different and emerging healthcare needs of the American population in a wide range of settings; andWhereas, professional nursing has been demonstrated to be an indispensable component in the safety and quality of care of hospitalized patients; andWhereas, this has never been more true than during the recent COVID-19 public health emergency, when the citizens of Lee County watched each and every healthcare employee work in heroic ways to save lives while putting their own health at risk.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims May 6, 2020 through May 12, 2020 as NATIONAL NURSES WEEK in Lee County and encourage all citizens to show their appreciation towards the many healthcare workers who dedicate themselves to enhancing the standards of care in our community for the benefit of all our citizens and visitors. Date: 3/3/2020March 12, 2020, marks the 108th anniversary of Girl Scouts of the USA, founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia; andWHEREAS, throughout its long and distinguished history, Girl Scouting has inspired millions of girls and women with the highest ideals of character, conduct, and patriotism; andWHEREAS, through Girl Scouting, girls gain courage, confidence and character, and make their local communities and the world a better place; andWHEREAS, more than 2.5 million current Girl Scout members nationwide will be celebrating 108 years of this American tradition, with nearly 50 million women who are former Girl Scouts and living proof of the impact of this amazing Movement; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby applaud the commitment Girl Scouting has made to America’s girls and proudly proclaim the week of March 8-14, 2020 as Girl Scout Week. James Madison the father of our federal Constitution, wrote that “consent of the governed” requires that the people be able to “arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives;” andWhereas, every citizen in our participatory democracy has an inherent right to access government meetings and public records; and Whereas, an open and accessible government is vital to establishing and maintaining the people’s trust and confidence in their government and in the government’s ability to effectively serve its citizens; andWhereas, the protection of every person’s right of access to public records and government meetings is a high priority of both the Board of County Commissioners and the Lee County Clerk of Court; andWhereas, the Office of the Lee County Clerk of Court and the Board of County Commissioners is committed to openness and transparency in all aspects of its operations and seeks to set a standard in this regard.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims March 15, 2020 through March 21, 2020 as SUNSHINE WEEK in Lee County to commemorate the anniversary of James Madison’s birth and encourages all citizens to visit Leeclerk.org to learn more about accessing public records and visit the Historical Document Library to learn Lee County’s history. Date: 2/18/202002-04-20 Length of Service Awards Samuel “Sammy” Benjamin Watkins IV was born in Fort Myers, Florida on June 14, 1993 and attended South Fort Myers High School where he was a varsity athlete in football, basketball and track & field. He became the all-time leading receiver in the history of Lee County and led an undefeated South Fort Myers team into the 3A state semifinals; andWHEREAS, In 2010 Sammy committed to attend Clemson University where he was an AP first-team All-American his freshman year, becoming only the fourth ever true freshman to do so. In his sophomore year he accumulated 708 yards, 58 receptions, and three touchdowns and as a junior he was the MVP of the 2014 Orange Bowl after setting a record with 16 receptions for 227 yards; andWHEREAS, In 2014 Sammy Watkins was drafted in the first round as the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, his favorite childhood team and set a new rookie record in both receptions and receiving yards. During his tenure with the Buffalo Bills, Sammy was listed as one of the Top 100 Players of 2016; andWHEREAS, On February 2nd 2020, Sammy Watkins became a Super Bowl champion by helping the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the San Francisco 49ers with five catches for 98 yards including a critical 38-yard grab to set up the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims February 18th as SAMMY WATKINS DAY in Lee County to commemorate his recent accomplishments and the Board of County Commissioners thank him for his positive impact on our community. Lee County welcomes the defending American League Central Champion Minnesota Twins and their fans back for their 30th 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 28th Spring Training season in Lee County, and the ninth at JetBlue Park; andWHEREAS, Lee County is incredibly proud of the partnership with both teams, and welcomes 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. Examples of this community support include the Red Sox awarding a $5,000 scholarship to one student at all 13 public high schools. The Twins have hosted over a decade of free youth baseball clinics with its coaches and players that have reached more than 5,000 participants. Since Hurricane Irma hit Southwest Florida in 2017, both teams are actively engaged with local first responders and active/retired military personnel at their ballparks to show appreciation for everything those men and women do in our communities and for our nation; andWHEREAS, The 2020 Spring Training season will mark the seventh year of competition between the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox to win the “Chairman’s Cup”, with the Twins most recently edging out the Red Sox four-games-to-three to capture the 2019 Cup;NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT The Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim its full support for both the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins organizations, and we send our most sincere best wishes for success in the upcoming 2020 baseball season. Date: 1/21/2020ArtFest Fort Myers debuted in February 2001, has been held annually the first weekend of February, will celebrate its 20th Anniversary the weekend of January 31, through February 2, 2020 and has become Southwest Florida’s largest weekend event and premier art festival; andWhereas, ArtFest Fort Myers attracts over 95,000 visitors annually to the Fort Myers River District reaching across all social boundaries to inspire diversity, fellowship, and economic activity; and Whereas, ArtFest Fort Myers annually provides a venue for 200+ artists to pursue their success as small business owners; andWhereas, ArtFest Fort Myers supports art education in Lee County Schools and after school programs on a year-round basis; andWhereas, ArtFest Fort Myers has expanded to include Publix Run To The Arts, a 5K bringing together the best life has to offer: health & fitness, and arts & culture. This recent expansion also includes We Are Overflowing, an exhibit to inspire Rethinking Waste and Recycling through the messaging of art.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims January 31, 2020 through February 02, 2020 as ARTFEST FORT MYERS DAYS in Lee County and encourage all citizens to show their appreciation towards the many artists and organizations who dedicate themselves to enhancing the quality of life in our community for the benefit of all our citizens and visitors.