Board Recognitions Page ContentBoard Recognition Archive Recent20232022 2021 20202019201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007 2021 Board Recognitions Date: 12/7/2021Nations Association Charities, Inc. is celebrating its 43rd year in service to Lee County residents; andWHEREAS, the Association has continuously provided a host of social services to those in the greatest need in our area since 1978, including emergency food boxes, vouchers to enable clients to purchase perishable food, hundreds of traditional hot holiday meals on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas for the homeless and members of disadvantaged families; andWHEREAS, the Association provides other programs and services including free furniture giveaways for victims of disasters or families in crisis, job readiness and placement services for the unemployed or underemployed, recreation activities for youths and many more services; andWHEREAS, the Association accomplishes all of this with a small staff by utilizing approximately 144 volunteers who donate some 7,000 hours annually; andWHEREAS, in 1990, the Association was named the 276th Point of Light organization by President George Bush, an honor bestowed only on 1,000 organizations around the country; andWHEREAS, the Association also received honorable mention in the “Congressional Record” twice, in 1990 and 2003; andWHEREAS, the Association remains on the frontline, making a real difference in the lives of many Lee County families and individuals every single day.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim December 7, 2021 as: NATIONS ASSOCIATION CHARITIES DAYin Lee County and encourages all Lee County residents to recognize and support the efforts of the Nations Association Charities, Inc. First responders, active and retired military, and health workers in Lee County are vital to the community’s health and safety; andWHEREAS, Lee County’s existing health and safety agencies are the key to a prosperous future; andWHEREAS, throughout this past year, these brave men and women have faced incredible challenges and have showed tremendous fortitude and resolve in their response to the Covid-19 pandemic; andWHEREAS, Lee County’s agencies and veterans help sustain our quality of life; andWHEREAS, awareness of the contributions made by these first responders, active and retired military, and health care workers are essential to maintaining good community health and safety.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida salutes our existing first responders, active and retired military, and health care workers.BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Board does herebyproclaim the night of December 17, 2021 at the Culligan City of Palms Classic Tournament as: FIRST RESPONDERS NIGHT in Lee County and appreciates their outstanding contributions to the community. Date: 11/16/2021November 17th through 24th 2021 is National Farm-City Week, a time set aside to recognize and honor the country’s agriculturalists and to strengthen the bond between urban and rural citizens; andWHEREAS, in Southwest Florida’s five-county region including Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties… the agricultural and natural resources industries contribute over $8 billion annually to SW Florida’s economy; andWHEREAS, the region’s farmers, growers, and ranchers have been good stewards of the land for several generations and their land contributes immensely to the region’s water recharge and wildlife habitat; andWHEREAS, dollars generated in the rural agricultural areas of Southwest Florida are spent in the urban cities adding to the total prosperity of our region; andWHEREAS, 2021 marks the 66th year of the National Farm-City Partnership.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims November 17-24, 2021 as FARM-CITY WEEK in Lee County and encourages citizens to pause and recognize the important impact that our local farmers, farmworkers, growers, and ranchers make to our regional economy, our food supply and our society. Jennifer Galloway has served as the Executive Director for the Gulf Coast Humane Society since 2012; andWHEREAS, her compassion, hard work and dedication for animals came from incredible role models like her grandmother and her father; andWHEREAS, prior to becoming the Executive Director, Jennifer was always active in the community, serving on multiple boards and working with local governments on legislation changes to enhance protections for animals; andWHEREAS, during her tenure and under her leadership, the organization has proven to be a leader in animal welfare in the region, with programs like Second Chance Pals and the Second Chance Fund; andWHEREAS, under Jennifer’s guidance, much needed enhancements and improvements have been made to the facility and more so, adoptions have increased year after year; andWHEREAS, the Gulf Coast Humane Society now has a strong foundation to continue to flourish in the community as a result of her work over the last ten years, and it is my honor to recognize Jennifer for her service and dedication.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida that we do hereby recognize JENNIFER GALLOWAY and offer our sincerest appreciation for her tireless advocacy and all that she has done for our animals in Lee County and Southwest Florida. Commissioner Pendergrass recognized Angel, a Waste Pro employee. Date: 11/2/2021This year, there were an estimated 2,789 people who experienced homelessness in Lee County; the 2021 annual homeless census sampled 394 homeless persons and indicated 14.5% were chronically homeless, 29% reported disabling conditions and 30 were families with 65 children; andWHEREAS, the primary causes of homelessness include poverty, a lack of affordable housing for extremely low-income individuals, access to adequate health care and often involve issues of domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental illness; andWHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused increased financial and housing instability throughout Lee County; 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 and bring public awareness to the needs of the homeless; andWHEREAS, the Lee County Homeless Coalition will sponsor several activities during “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month” to promote awareness in the community and to encourage support for homeless assistance service providers.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims the month of November 2021 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. Date: 10/19/2021October 1, 2021 is National Manufacturing Day, an effective way to highlight the importance of the manufacturing sector in our nation's economy and to draw attention to the many rewarding, high-skilled, high-paying manufacturing careers available within our local community; andWHEREAS, the Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association of Florida (SRMA), representing nearly 1,100 manufacturing facilities in our region, producing a diverse array of products, providing employment for approximately 13,000 citizens at an average annual wage of $55,000. The SRMA works with our educators to increase awareness of these career opportunities and to support school programs that provide the educational pathways to obtain them; andWHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners commends and supports this important cause and the organizations involved.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims October 2021 as: Manufacturing Awareness Month in Lee County and urge all citizens to join in recognizing the value of our manufacturers and the importance they serve in our county, state, and the nation. The Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida has led substance abuse prevention efforts in Lee County since 1989, andWHEREAS, alcohol use by Lee County teens has decreased 10.5% in the past 10 years; andWHEREAS, Lee County teens have also shown substantial decrease in use of marijuana and prescription drugs, andWHEREAS, 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; andWHEREAS, hundreds of Lee County students participate in Red Ribbon Week events in their schools led by their extraordinary teachers and principals.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaim October 23-31, 2021 as RED RIBBON WEEK.Duly executed this 19th day of October 2021. Mobility Week is a cooperative effort by the Florida Department of Transportation and its partner agencies to promote awareness of safe multimodal transportation choices by hosting an annual collection of outreach events; andWHEREAS, Mobility Week is an ideal time for counties, cities and transportation agencies to highlight transportation achievements, benefits and new initiatives; andWHEREAS, Mobility Week is also an opportunity for individuals to explore the various transportation choices available to them and think about how multimodal transportation reduces traffic congestion, benefits the environment and improves community health; andWHEREAS, Mobility Week is consistent with LeeTran’s key priority of providing safe and convenient transportation options to Lee County citizens; andWHEREAS, Lee County Board of County Commissioners and Lee County Transit support Mobility Week by participating in transportation awareness campaigns focused on transit safety and other transit benefits.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaim the week of October 29 through November 5, 2021 as: MOBILITY WEEK.Duly executed this 19th day of October 2021. Date: 10/5/2021911 Anniversary Flag Presentation by SWFL 10-13 Club Date: 9/21/2021South Fort Myers Youth Baseball plays regular season and All Star games at Rutenberg Park, a Lee County facility; and WHEREAS, South Fort Myers Youth Baseball formed four All Star teams: 9 year olds, 10 year olds, 11 year olds, and 12 year olds at conclusion of regular seasons; andWHEREAS, all four teams advanced to the Florida State Tournaments in July in Palm Beach Gardens and South Fort Myers Youth Baseball was the only league in Florida to qualify all four age group teams to State Tournaments; andWHEREAS, the South Fort Myers 9 year old All Stars played in the Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth World Series in August in Stuart, Florida. There, they defeated the Regional Champions from New Jersey and Virginia; andWHEREAS, championship was won by Florence, Alabama coached by a former Minnesota Twins player Josh Willingham who spent three spring trainings at the Lee County Sports Complex.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida would like to congratulate the South Fort Myers All Stars on their participation in the 2021 WORLD SERIES. Florida 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; andWHEREAS, falls can lead to depression, loss of mobility, and loss of functional independence; andWHEREAS, in 2020 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; and WHEREAS, 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; andWHEREAS, 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.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims September 22nd as: FALLS PREVENTION AWARENESS DAY in Lee County and urge our citizens to commend its observance. September is nationally recognized as Blood Cancer Awareness month; andWHEREAS, there are more than 140 different types of blood cancers and more than 1.3 million Americans are living with or in remission from a blood cancer; andWHEREAS, blood cancer is cancer that begins in blood-forming tissue, like bone marrow, or in the cells of the immune system and affects the production and function of blood cells. The cancerous cells can travel throughout the body and spread to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, spinal fluid and other organs; andWHEREAS, the three most common types of blood cancers are leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. In Moffitt Cancer Center’s 15-county catchment area, multiple myeloma is experienced at higher rates in the African American/Black population contributing to disparities in cancer outcomes; andWHEREAS, of the 15 counties that makes up Moffitt Cancer Center’s catchment area, Lee County residents and their families are impacted by blood cancers; andWHEREAS, Moffitt Cancer Center has a Malignant Hematology Program comprised of a team of leading experts specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of various blood cancers and autoimmune disorders including the rarest blood-based liquid tumors and autoimmune abnormalities, and offer on-site lab work processing to provide patients with prompt and accurate diagnoses; andWHEREAS, Moffitt Cancer Center has one of the more advanced and specialized malignant hematology programs in the U.S., accepts physician referrals nationwide for patients who are seeking a confirmed diagnosis and patients with suspected hematologic conditions; andWHEREAS, Moffitt Cancer Center is committed to conducting research, community outreach and education, removing the barriers to access to care and screening, and creating bidirectional communication between Moffitt Cancer Center and communities served to address cancers and improve the health of Florida residents.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim the month of September 2021 as National Blood Cancer Awareness Month to bring public awareness to the severity of this disease in communities and to encourage participation in voluntary activities to support education programs and the funding of research programs to find a cure. Date: 9/7/2021Edward L. Kimball has been a driving influence in making the Fort Myers Shores, Tice, Olga and Alva communities a better place to work and live through his many hours of community service until his sad passing on June 27, 2021; andWHEREAS, his strongest attribute was his vision of what the Fort Myers Shores, Tice, Olga and Alva communities could become, and through his leadership and countless hours of personal effort proved that any obstacles could be overcome; and WHEREAS, Ed was a proud member of the Fort Myers Shores Fire Protection & Rescue Service District Board of Fire Commissioners since 2008 and during his tenure as a Fire Commissioner, he was awarded the District’s highest honor, The Walter “Pete” Gee Award for Excellence; andWHEREAS, he was also awarded the Fort Myers Shores Fire Protection & Rescue Service District Citizen of the Year prior to joining the Fire Board of Commissioners. WHEREAS, Ed, a friend to all whom he met, never lost sight of the importance of family, both formal and extended whom he loved and mentored, and Ed could always be depended on when someone in the community had a need. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby recognize and honor Edward L. Kimball for his inspirational legacy and for his demonstrated love of his community. Lee County Government employees are known throughout Southwest Florida for their professionalism, honesty, work ethic, experience; andWHEREAS, throughout the past year employees in every department faced incredible challenges and showed tremendous fortitude and resolve in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from the initial testing rollout to the distribution of vaccines, as well as the creation of a completely new assistance program – LeeCares – all while conducting the normal day-to-day operations of the county; andWHEREAS, the efforts of our employees helped keep Lee County businesses open and assisted families in need receive critical resources through the LeeCares programs such as Individual, Business and Childcare Assistance, PPE Distribution, Food Security and Human Services Grant Programs; andWHEREAS, employees embraced the spirit of collaboration and innovation by either taking on Emergency Role (E-Role) assignments or by taking on additional responsibilities to keep Lee County operating smoothly while colleagues were assigned elsewhere; andWHEREAS, on June 28, 1894 Congress passed an act establishing that the first Monday in September would henceforth be known and observed as Labor Day to honor workers and celebrate their accomplishments.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims September 7th as: LEE COUNTY EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION DAY in Lee County to commemorate how well they serve the citizens of Lee County and the impact they have on our community each and every day. Date: 8/17/2021Mrs. Janet Bartos, a tireless advocate for families and individuals who suffer from homelessness, has served the Southwest Florida community for 14 years as leader of the Lee County Homeless Coalition; andWHEREAS, through diligent effort she brought together many different community organizations to secure homes and resources for residents in Lee County; andWHEREAS, her work to advocate and bring quality and accessible services to one of Southwest Florida’s most underserved populations has brought new hope to many families; andWHEREAS, Mrs. Bartos’s manner of treating each person she contacts with dignity, compassion, and respect has served to bridge the gap between those suffering from homelessness, their families, and the larger community; andWHEREAS, Mrs. Bartos has been sought out to speak on the topic of homelessness by her peers in Lee County and throughout the state of Florida; andWHEREAS, she is retiring from her leadership role as Executive Director of the Lee County Homeless Coalition.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby recognize Mrs. Janet Bartos for her hard work, dedication, and vision and offer our grateful appreciation for her outstanding commitment to the people of Lee County and Southwest Florida. Date: 8/3/2021On August 4, 1790, the oldest continuous seagoing service of this Nation was formed by the first Congress authorizing Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton to construct ten vessels; andWHEREAS, the United States Coast Guard was originally organized as "a fleet of cutters" to stop illegal smuggling from the sea and collect revenue due on goods coming to the young Nation. Later called the Revenue Cutter Service, this small organization combined with the Life Saving Service in 1915 and assumed its now famous name—the United States Coast Guard; andWHEREAS, today, this Nation relies heavily on the readiness of the Coast Guard's active duty, reserve, and civilian employees and the voluntary contribution of the 40,000 members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary contributions to our Nation in the areas of national defense, maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, aids to navigation, merchant marine safety, environmental protection, ports and waterway safety, and boating safety have become a benchmark by which professional maritime excellence is judged; andWHEREAS, in recognition of its efforts to rescue victims, protect our environment, and defend this Nation, as the Coast Guard has done in every major conflict in which the United States has been involved. This proclamation designating August 4, 2021 as "Coast Guard Day” is issued.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim August 4, 2021, as Coast Guard Day in recognition of the profound importance of the missions and responsibilities entrusted to the Coast Guard. I invite all to observe this day in an appropriate manner. The Southwest Florida track and field community suffered a tragic loss with the recent passing of Dunbar High School track and field coach Guy Thomas; andWhereas, Guy Thomas’ impact on the world of track and field began when he joined the faculty at Dunbar High School in 2010 as an Exceptional Student Education teacher and Coach, with a vision of turning Dunbar High School into a mecca of track and field excellence; andWhereas, Coach Thomas created an all-around team by merging with Cross Country to create a system that developed runners in all events and embedded in his athletes the desire to expand their limits to become outstanding runners in all categories. This created an overall team that saw the boys cross country team qualify for the State FHSAA championships for three consecutive years and the overall track and field team having numerous state and national championships including record breaking hurdle performances; andWhereas, Coach Thomas was completely committed to his student athletes and ensured they were always in a position to excel in their sport, and use their talents to succeed in getting to the next level in college. Coach Thomas didn’t limit his excellence to just track and field, he also made sure that he shared his knowledge of running with athletes in other sports to help them achieve their goals as well; andWhereas, Coach Guy Thomas has created the premiere track and field program in Southwest Florida, has worked with world class sprinters like Noah Lyles, and is one of the most respected track and field coaches in the United States.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims August 3rd asGUY THOMAS DAY in Lee County to commemorate his life and to recognize the incredibly positive impact he has had on our community. Date: 6/15/2021The 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 2021 as: PARKS & RECREATION MONTH in Lee County and urges all citizens to visit the parks, especially on the weekend of July 24th and 25th, 2021 when all parking fees will be waived at Lee County regional parks and boat ramps and admission will be free at the county pools. The Florida SouthWestern State Softball Team captured the NJCAA National Championship, bringing this prestigious title to the Lee County and Southwest Florida Community; andWHEREAS, despite the challenges our student-athletes have faced during this school year, the students, staff, and fans of FSW helped the team push through to a 49-4 record; andWHEREAS, Head Coach Robert Iamurri led his team to the NJCAA National Championship on May 29, 2021; andWHEREAS, the dedicated coaches, parents and fans of the Buccaneers also should be recognized for the time and commitment to excellence that allowed these young women and coaches to perform like champions; andWHEREAS, this championship season will be part of Lee County and Southwest Florida sports history forever.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby recognize the team, coaches, parents, school administrators, faculty and entire student body of Florida SouthWestern for helping to bring this prestigious National Championship to Lee County. Date: 6/2/2021Whereas, the Fort Myers High School Girls Softball Team captured the Florida High School State Athletic Association's 5-A State Championship, bringing this prestigious title to the Lee County Community; andWhereas, despite the challenges our students have faced during this school year, the entire student body and Green Wave community enthusiastically encouraged the team and its coaches to compile a season win/loss record of 20-6-1; andWhereas, Head Coach Johnny Manetta, Athletic Director Steven Cato and Principal Robert Butz rallied the team to win the StateChampionship game on May 21, 2021; 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; and Whereas, this 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 2020/2021 Fort Myers High School Girls Softball Team and the Fort Myers Green Wave for their commitment to the sport of softball, education and their pride in the community. Furthermore, the Board would also like to recognize the team, coaches, parents, school administrators, faculty and entire student body of Fort Myers High School for helping to bring this prestigious State Championship to Lee County. Date: 4/20/2021National 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 vehicles will correspondingly decrease greenhouse gas emissions in Lee County; andWHEREAS, Lee County has an interest in encouraging the use of bicycles, increasing education and awareness of bicycle safety; andWHEREAS, since 1998, Lee County has invested millions of dollars to construct bicycle facilities and currently maintains approximately 614 miles of these facilities; andWHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a Complete Streets Resolution on November 10, 2009.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim May 2021 to be Bike Month, with Wednesday, May 5, 2021 as Bike-to-School Day and the week of May 17-21, 2021 as Bike-to-Work Week, and Friday, May 21, 2021 as Bike-to-Work Day in Lee County. Date: 4/6/2021April is International Autism Acceptance Month, a time when our nation reflects on the unique skills individuals with autism spectrum disorder share with our community; andWHEREAS, Family Initiative is instrumental in serving children and adolescents on the autism spectrum through support programs, clinical services, education, and advocacy. This work is done in collaboration with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Children and Families, and the Agency for Health Care Administration; andWHEREAS, Family Initiative proudly offers these services throughout Southwest Florida with the support of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee Counties; andWHEREAS, Family Initiative reports serving over 700 unique and families throughout Southwest Florida each year and continues to grow to meet the needs of the autism community; andWHEREAS, it is critical that we provide individuals on the autism spectrum access to the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential and assist them in being successful in all environments; andWHEREAS, each year in April Family Initiative hosts several county wide events to recognize and support individuals on the autism spectrum throughout our community, along with the invaluable business, philanthropic, and community stakeholders who support our mission.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim April 2021 as Autism Acceptance Month in Lee County. The Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida is a non-profit agency that provides services to children who have been abused or neglected including medical exams, forensic interviews, prevention, advocacy, and therapeutic treatment for child victims and parents; andWHEREAS, child abuse and neglect results in significant trauma to the child, family and society as it causes children to suffer resulting in impairment of physical, intellectual and emotional functioning and well-being or even death; andWHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risks for children in all circumstances, as families and communities have become isolated and face diminished resources; andWHEREAS, through a national effort, Lee County community members are encouraged to join together to raise awareness throughout the month of April for the children who are victim to abuse and neglect; andWHEREAS, this effort will give abused and neglected children in our community, and around the country, a chance for a safe and positive future.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim the month of April 2021 as: CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH in Lee County and urges all citizens to join the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida in the national effort to raise awareness and help prevent child abuse and neglect. Date: 3/2/2021The American Red Cross fulfills a unique and vital role in our community, providing help and hope, in the face of emergencies and disaster, and is a true reflection of the humanitarian and volunteer spirit of the American people; andWHEREAS, for over seventy-eight years, United States Presidents have called upon people to support the American Red Cross and its humanitarian mission. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to proclaim March as Red Cross Month in 1943. Since that time, every president has issued proclamations designating March as Red Cross Month; and WHEREAS, the American Red Cross has been helping people for one hundred and forty years, responding to disasters and assisting members of the military, teaching lifesaving skills, and providing comfort and support; andWHEREAS, nationally, the American Red Cross responds to an average sixty-thousand disasters every year. The organization provides a link between those in the military and their families; andWHEREAS, we applaud the mission of the American Red Cross to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies, and our community depends on the American Red Cross, which relies on volunteers and the generosity of the public to perform its mission.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims the month of March as AMERICAN RED CROSS MONTH in Lee County and encourages all citizens to support the work of service and relief organizations that help support 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, the young women of Florida are considered to be tomorrow’s leaders; andWHEREAS, it is very important that we provide young women access to the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential; andWHEREAS, the PACE Center for Girls is instrumental in helping promote a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy, in collaboration with Florida’s Department of Children and Families, Department of Education, and Department of Juvenile Justice; andWHEREAS, 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, women are dynamic invaluable contributors to society; and WHEREAS, February 6, 2017 marked the tenth anniversary of PACE Center for Girls providing services in Lee County; andWHEREAS, March 11th is the twelfth anniversary of the Grande Dames Tea, and PACE Center for Girls of Lee County will be honoring three local women for their lifelong impact in business, philanthropy and community engagement, and promoting awareness of the services provided by PACE Center for Girls of Lee County.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim that March 2021 shall be known, designated and set aside as Believing in Girls' Month in Lee County and urges all residents to engage in the Grande Dames Tea to honor the female spirit and promote the potential of all girls and women. Kevin B. Lewis has dedicated his entire professional career to improving the lives of children and adults; andWHEREAS, Kevin has actively served as the Executive Director of LARC, Inc. and previously Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Florida Addiction Services, and SalusCare; and WHEREAS, Kevin has been a strong leader on both the local and state levels in advocating for funding and services as well as serving on local non-profits to include past president of the Rotary Club of Fort Myers, President of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, Chairman of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida, and Board member of United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties, Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, and De LaSalle Academy; andWHEREAS, Kevin’s work has led to recognition including the 2007 Paulette Burton Lee County Citizen of the Year, the Trailblazer of the Year from The News Press Media Group in 2013, a National Points of Light Award in 2014, the Liberty Bell Award from the Lee County Bar Association and the Distinguished Layperson Award for the Lee County Medical Society both in 2015; andWHEREAS, Kevin has impacted thousands of lives through his work helping individuals suffering with substance abuse achieve sobriety and ensuring that the remarkable citizens of LARC enjoy their best quality of life; andWHEREAS, Kevin has announced his plan to retire on March 5 of this year.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby convey our appreciation for his leadership, service and outstanding contributions to Lee County and wants to thank Kevin Lewis for his 38 years of hard work, dedication and unwavering commitment to our community. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living; andWHEREAS, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists have degrees in nutrition, dietetics, public health or a related field from well-respected, accredited colleges and universities, completed an internship and passed an examination; and WHEREAS, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes; andWHEREAS, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice; andWHEREAS, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaims March 10, 2021 Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day in Lee County, FL and encourages all citizens to recognize the contributions of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and express appreciation for their commitment to promoting science-based nutrition in the hope of achieving optimum health for both today and tomorrow. Date: 2/16/2021Engineers 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 21 through February 27, 2021, be designated as ENGINEERS WEEK in Lee County.