Board Recognitions Page ContentBoard Recognition ArchiveRecent 2022 2021 20202019201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007 2022 Board Recognitions Date: 10/18/2022Red Ribbon Week is the oldest drug prevention program in the nation, commemorating the tragic death of DEA Agent Kiki Camarena who was murdered by drug traffickers in Mexico City, andWhereas, hundreds of Lee County students participate in Red Ribbon Week events in their schools led by their extraordinary teachers and principals; andWhereas, for every dollar spent on prevention, seven dollars are saved in treatment according to United States Government Surveys, andWhereas, Drug Free Lee has a dedicated Board of Directors and Advisory Council committed to its mission “to reduce substance abuse in Lee County by raising awareness of prevention resources through collaboration, education and inspiration, andWhereas, prevention is working in Lee County, with alcohol use among teens dropping 15% in the past ten years, 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, 2022 will mark the beginning of the expansion of the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Evidence Based Prevention Program throughout Lee County, andWhereas, this year’s theme of Red Ribbon Week is “Celebrate Life, Live Drug Free!”NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims October 23-31, 2022 as RED RIBBON WEEK in Lee County and asked all residents to join us in our mission to keep kids drug-free. Navigating service systems such as healthcare, housing and behavioral health can be overwhelming for Lee County individuals and families; andWhereas, Case Managers fill vital roles in the collaborative process to assess, plan, implement, coordinate, monitor and evaluate options and services to meet a client’s health and human service needs; andWhereas, over the past two years the Covid-19 pandemic affected us all, and created many challenging obstacles for human service providers and Lee County Residents; and Whereas, countless hours are spent each year by Case Managers across all government and non-profit agencies in Lee County focusing on quality of care, continuity of services and cost-effectiveness; andWhereas, it is the goal of Case Managers to assist individuals reach their optimum level of wellness and functional capability through advocacy, communication, resource management; andWhereas, Case Managers have been recognized for their dedication and compassion each year since October 1999 during National Case Management week; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby proclaim October as Case Manager Month in Lee County and urges all our citizens to join us in honoring the dedicated men and women who serve as Case Managers, assisting residents to connect to much needed resources provided by the network of human service providers. 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; and WHEREAS, Mobility Week is an ideal time for counties, cities and transportation agencies to highlight transportation achievements, benefits and new initiatives; and WHEREAS, 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; and WHEREAS, Mobility Week is consistent with LeeTran’s key priority of providing safe and convenient transportation options to Lee County citizens; and WHEREAS, 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 hereby do proclaim the week of October 21 – October 28, 2022 as MOBILITY WEEK in Lee County. Date: 9/22/2022Deaf Awareness Week is observed annually throughout the last full week of September and focuses on promoting the positive aspects of deafness, encouraging social inclusion, and raising awareness of the organizations that support those who are deaf. This event is also known as International Week of the Deaf commemorating the first congress of the World Federation of the Deaf which took place in September 1951; andWHEREAS, the deaf population of Lee County includes individuals born profoundly deaf who use American Sign Language (ASL) as a primary means of communication, as well as those with a range of hearing loss who use hearing aids, assistive listening devices, or other forms of amplifications and communication modes; andWHEREAS, our community is enriched by many cultures and languages including Deaf culture and American Sign Language; andWHEREAS, American Sign Language (ASL) is a valid linguistic means of conveying thoughts, ideas, and emotions; it is a fully operating language with its own syntax, morphology, and structure; andWHEREAS, according to the US Census (est. 7/1/2021), Lee County has a population of 787,976. It is estimated, according to Gallaudet Research Institute, Washington D.C., 1994 that 15% of the population has a hearing impairment; and WHEREAS, it is important to ensure that people who are deaf have equal access to the many benefits and opportunities available in our community; and WHEREAS, the Sally J. Pimentel Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center provides services including advocacy for communication access, consultation, Deaf culture and heritage, ASL classes and awareness, access to education and technologies information, and referrals to people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf-Blind, and their communities. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim September 19-25, 2022, as: DEAF AWARENESS WEEK in Lee County and urge our citizens to commend its observance. South Fort Myers Youth Baseball plays regular season and All Star games at Lee County’s Rutenberg Park and had several significant milestone achievements in 2022; andWHEREAS, the final four teams in the annual Majors County Tournament were the South Fort Myers Youth Baseball Twins, Orioles, A’s and Royals, with the South Fort Myers Twins defeating the South Fort Myers Orioles in the championship game; andWHEREAS, the 10-year-old All Stars advanced to the State Tournament and won four games before losing in the semifinals to the eventual State Champions, the Okeeheelee Baseball Association. This extended South Fort Myer’s streak of advancing to at least one state tournament every year for twenty consecutive years; andWHEREAS, the 12-year-old All Stars advanced to their State Tournament, marking South Fort Myer’s 40th appearance in state tournaments in the last twenty years; andWHEREAS, the 11-year-old All Stars participated in the 2022 Cal Ripkin World Series in Jensen Beach, Florida; having their run ended by a loss to Puerto Rico in early August. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby congratulate the South Fort Myers Youth Baseball teams for their 2022 milestones, 20 years of accomplishments and their participation in the 2022 World Series. Substance use disorders have far-reaching, destructive effects on the nation and our state; andWHEREAS, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a surge in drug use and overdose deaths in the United States; andWHEREAS, drug overdose deaths are an urgent public health problem in the United States and Florida, exacerbated by increased illicit uses of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid known to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine; andWHEREAS, in addition to the dangers of opioids and stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamines, deceptive lacing of fentanyl with other drugs is occurring at an alarming rate; andWHEREAS, it is incumbent upon judges and court staff, particularly those serving the problem-solving courts and family courts, to understand the nature of addiction, its effects on the brain, the incidence of substance use disorders, trends affecting drug use and overdoses, treatment needs and options, court best practices, and resources for addiction recovery as well as overdose reversal; and WHEREAS, the need for collaboration and continued development of partnerships between the justice system and other stakeholders is vital; and WHEREAS, Chief Justice Carlos G. Muñiz called upon judicial officers and court staff members across the state to increase their efforts to understand the effects of opioid use disorder and stimulant use disorder throughout the judicial system and in the cases before them. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim September 2022 shall be known within the county as a month of awareness, training, and action regarding opioids, stimulants and treatment for related substance use disorders. We recognize the value of our problem-solving courts within our judicial circuit as well as our partner agencies engaged in these collaborative efforts. We also call upon the community to increase their efforts to understand the effects of opioid use disorder and stimulant use disorder. 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; and WHEREAS, 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; 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; 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 does hereby proclaim September 22, 2022, as: FALLS PREVENTION AWARENESS DAY in Lee County and urge our citizens to commend its observance. John E. Manning served as Lee County’s District 1 Commissioner for more than 22 years. Before that, he served for four years on the Cape Coral City Council; andWhereas, Commissioner Manning dutifully and faithfully served his Cape Coral district’s constituents as well as all residents of Lee County. After being appointed to the Board in 1988 by Governor Bob Martinez, Commissioner Manning won reelection three times and ran unopposed in 1996. In 2010, Commissioner Manning was reappointed to the Board and served until 2020; andWhereas, Commissioner Manning was a much-needed voice for Lee County at the state level. He was active in the Florida Association of Counties, of which he served as president in 1997-98, and was appointed to numerous local and state boards and task forces; andWhereas, Commissioner Manning helped usher the County through a period of tremendous growth and helped lay the foundation of public works projects needed to sustain that growth. One of the projects he was most proud of was the completion of the Midpoint Bridge and Corridor, which was completed in 1997 and links the centers of Cape Coral and Fort Myers; andWhereas, The Lee Board of County Commissioners wishes to name the Lee County Government Center located at 1039 S.E. 9th Place, Cape Coral, in memory of Commissioner Manning, who passed away July 28, 2022.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Cape Coral property owned by Lee County and known as Lee County Government Center shall henceforth and forever be known as the: Lee County Government Center – John E. Manning BuildingTo recognize and honor Commissioner Manning’s service to Cape Coral and all of Lee County. FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that all legal steps necessary to record this action shall be taken immediately by Lee County Government. MOREOVER, the Facilities Construction & Management Department is hereby authorized and directed to provide appropriate signage for the LEE COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER – JOHN E. MANNING BUILDING for all to remember Commissioner Manning’s dedication to service. Date: 8/19/2022Whereas, Daniel Wayne Homes, a family-owned, award-winning custom home builder based in Fort Myers, is celebrating its 30th anniversary; andWhereas, Daniel Wayne Homes has acquired a reputation for building exceptional and sought-after neighborhoods and communities in Lee County, such as Hammock Creek, Coconut Creek, Caloosa Creek, and Horse Creek, as well as fine custom homes honoring Old Florida style with designs that have received the Lee Building Industry Association’s Parade of Homes Awards in such categories as “Best Kitchen,” “Best Overall Design,” “Most Energy-Efficient Home,” and “Best Landscaping;” andWhereas, Daniel Wayne Homes has helped more than 750 residents call Southwest Florida their home with a pledge of honoring the environment and upholding family values, they have created relationships based on candid, professional, personalized, and honest communication through every step of construction; andWhereas, Daniel Wayne Homes was founded and is still led by long-time Fort Myers resident Daniel Dodrill, who has combined innovative designs, expert management, and excellent relationships to create one of the premier custom home builders in Southwest Florida, and who is philanthropically involved, giving back to his community and beyond as a result.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby congratulate Daniel Wayne Homes on its 30th anniversary and recognizes the home builder’s achievements and contributions to the community. Tre Boston and Iris de Hoyos, through the Tre Boston Beyond Belief Foundation have shown extraordinary support of Lee County’s Drug Free Kids; and Whereas: Tre Boston travels each year to Drug House Odyssey Family Night to support this 30 year event and it’s Underage Drinking Prevention Message; andWhereas: Tre Boston takes time to tape motivational messages during annual observances of Red Ribbon Week and Drug Facts Week; andWhereas: Tre Boston, through the D1 Training Center supports healthy kids through free events to the Boys and Girls Clubs and other agencies serving Lee County’s most vulnerable population; and Whereas: The Beyond Belief Foundation supports Lee County families through holiday events, gift cards and a free football camp; andWhereas: Iris de Hoyos and Tre Boston will receive the Hanley Foundation Prevention Superhero Award at the Annual Meeting of Drug Free Lee on August 24, 2022 at the Cape Coral Police Department NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida that we do hereby recognize Tre Boston and Iris de Hoyos for all that they do to support local youth and their families in Lee County. Date: 6/21/2022The Florida Everblades hockey team hoisted their second ECHL Kelly Cup in franchise history after securing a 4-1 series victory over the Toledo Walleye on June 11, 2022; andWhereas, Everblades fans across the state and the Southwest Florida community at-large supported and cheered on the team to a regular season record of 42-20-10 and an overall playoff record of 16-3-1, as well as setting a Hertz Arena record for attendance with 7,674 fans during Game Five; and Whereas, Everblades’ goaltender Cam Johnson was named the Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player, with 36 saves in the final game Johnson concluded a spectacular postseason with his 15th win in 18 appearances; andWhereas, head coach Brad Ralph not only won his first Kelly Cup as a head coach, but extended his ECHL record for playoff victories as a head coach to 63, and also equaled the league’s all-time mark with 108 all-time postseason games as a head coach; andWhereas, this championship season will forever be a part of Lee County sports history and we recognize the time, dedication, and commitment that has been put in by players, coaches, the front office, and the entire organization;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida wishes to congratulate the 2022 Kelly Cup champion Florida Everblades on their dominant performance and make it known publicly that their hard work and commitment to the sport of hockey and our community has had a positive impact on the lives of their fans and our citizens. The National Recreation & Parks Association has declared July as National Parks & Recreation Month; andWHEREAS, Lee County Parks & 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, preserves, 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 & 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 2022 as: PARKS & RECREATION MONTH in Lee County and urges all citizens to visit the parks, especially on the weekend of July 30 and 31, 2022 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: 6/8/2022The Island Coast High School Baseball Team captured the Florida High School State Athletic Association’s 4-A State Championship, bringing this prestigious title to the Lee County Community; andWHEREAS, the entire student body and Gator community enthusiastically encouraged the team and its coaches to compile a season win/loss record of 24-7; andWHEREAS, Head Coach Clint Montgomery, Athletic Director Michael Dubbelde and Principal Dr. Michelle Cort rallied the team to win the State Championship game in extra innings on May 24, 2022; andWHEREAS, the dedicated coaches, parents and fans of the Island Coast Gators also should be recognized for the time and commitment to excellence that allowed these young men and coaches to perform like champions; andWHEREAS, this championship season will be part of Lee County sports history forever, as Island Coast became the first Lee County public school to ever win a state title in baseball;NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida wishes to congratulate the 2021/2022 Island Coast High School Baseball Team and all Island Coast Gators for their commitment to the sport of baseball, 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 Island Coast High School for helping to bring this prestigious State Championship to Lee County. Date: 6/7/2022The Calendar Girls are an award winning and not for profit charitable dance team consisting of women age 50 and older; andWHEREAS, The Calendar Girls, having created the dance team in 2006, love to dance and spread the joy of dancing for other non-profit organizations, nursing homes, parades and banquets; andWHEREAS, The Calendar Girls through their performances are able to reach out to the community in a way that brings smiles and fun into often very quiet days; andWHEREAS, The Calendar Girls have recently performed at the Fort Myers Film Festival following the premier of their documentary Calendar Girls; andWHEREAS, The Calendar Girls primary charity is sponsoring Southeastern Guide Dogs for local veterans; andWHEREAS, The Calendar Girls have sponsored 26 Southeastern Guide Dogs for veterans including Guide Dog number 26 “Blaine” named for beloved local Navy veteran Blaine Elmer.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida hereby recognizes THE CALENDAR GIRLS for all the work that they do for our community. Date: 5/17/2022Students from Dunbar Middle School and Allen Park Elementary School recently won and placed second in the 2022 State of Florida Odyssey of the Mind Competition and are headed to represent the State of Florida and the United States at the Odyssey of the Mind World Championships; andWhereas, through their extraordinary efforts, these dynamic teams, IMAG A comprised of Vienna Busch, Victoria Busch, Peyton Sidwell, Delia Smith, Addisyn Nadwodny & Richelle Britto and IMAG B comprised of Charleigh Busch, Emelia Edwards, Nathan Harder, Dhanya Jean-Baptise, Surj Harkonsoon & Gaille Jean-Baptise spent many months preparing; andWhereas, they competed in this international educational program that provides creative problem solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics; they achieved this task and more through their commitment and countless hours of practice; and Whereas, the Lee County Commissioners are pleased to publicly commend these exceptional students, their parents and school for their fine efforts; andNOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim and congratulate the “IMAG Team A & B and wish them luck at the Odyssey of the Mind World Championships in at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa in May”. The Lee Board of County Commissioners acquired Southern Ambulance Service in 1972, creating the Lee County Ambulance Service, a County-operated service; andWHEREAS, Lee County Ambulance served the community with four ambulances and 12 employees until becoming Lee County Emergency Medical Services in 1975; andWHEREAS, Lee County EMS provides basic and advanced life support medical care and transport, by both ground and air ambulance, to the residents and visitors of Lee County; andWHEREAS, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Lee County EMS; andWHEREAS, EMS now operates 43 ground ambulances with eight EMS supervisors, and the LeeFlight air medical program each day to serve the community; andWHEREAS, National EMS Week is May 15 to May 21, 2022, and the theme of EMS Week 2022 is “EMS: Rising to the Challenge”; andWHEREAS, in addition to celebrating the 50th anniversary, the women and men of Lee County EMS have worked tirelessly these last two years, andWHEREAS, Lee County EMS Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians resuscitated 104 victims of cardiac arrest and delivered 17 babies in 2021 alone; andWHEREAS, the Lee County EMS team responded to a record 95,869 emergency incidents in 2021.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida recognizes the outstanding efforts of Lee County Emergency Medical Servicesand wishes to make it known publicly that their work in service to our community is recognized and appreciated by the residents and visitors of Lee County. Date: 5/3/2022May is National Trauma Awareness month, established by Congress and signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to raise attention to the devastating impact traumatic injury has on individuals, families and communities; and Whereas, trauma is the leading cause of death for all Floridians between the ages of 1 and 44; with someone in Florida being traumatically injured every 12 minutes; enough injuries to fill Hertz Arena 6 times each year; andWhereas, motor vehicle crashes and falls resulting in blunt force trauma make up more than 75% of all trauma cases treated in the Trauma Services District each year; and Whereas, in 2021 more than 3,338 southwest Florida residents and visitors were cared for in the Lee County Trauma Services District and national studies show that trauma mortality is reduced by 15 – 20% when a severely injured patient is treated for injuries in a Trauma Center; andWhereas, over 1.2 million people reside 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, for the last 28 years the Lee County Trauma Services District has provided optimal care to injured patients in the five county region; and from 2000-2021 has treated 51,440Whereas, today we recognize the Lee County Trauma Services District commitment to providing sustainable access to quality trauma care, to improve the local quality of life and protect the public welfare through its acute care services and injury prevention education for all residents and visitors to the five county regions: and Whereas, we recognize all of the dedicated first responders and medical professionals who serve the injured patients in our community; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, designates the month of May, 2022 as “Trauma Awareness Month” to encourage all residents and visitors to be mindful, think safety first, and encourage participation in injury prevention education to improve the health and safety of our community. One of the oldest Rotary Clubs in America, the Lakeland Rotary Club wished to expand the “service above self” mission of Rotary to more parts of Florida, particularly southwest Florida; andWhereas; the Lakeland Club itself was chartered only a few years after the first ever Rotary Club in Chicago, Illinois had been founded on February 23, 1905, through the efforts of Paul Harris; andWhereas; being sponsored by the Lakeland Club, the Rotary Club of Fort Myers was founded on April 1, 1922 as part of the rapidly growing organization of service clubs, with Mr. Ora E. Chapin serving as charter president; andWhereas; the Rotary Club of Fort Myers is the largest Rotary Club in Southwest Florida; and Whereas; the Rotary Club of Fort Myers, through sponsorship of new clubs in the area, has become the parent and grandparent of 30 additional clubs, thus providing enormous additional service to an even much larger region; andWhereas; over two thousand men and women from Lee County have been members of the club, and through that membership provided extensive unselfish and unpaid service to the community; andWhereas; though originally formed as an organization for men only, in 1993 Ruth Messmer became the first female member of the club through the sponsorship of then club president Franklin Mann, thus doubling the opportunity for both membership and community service; and Whereas; female leadership helped the club advance with the first female president being Gay Thompson and many others followed; and Whereas; over 2.5 million dollars have been raised and spent on worthwhile projects by the Rotary Club of Fort Myers, for the entire community, and uncountable thousands of hours of volunteer labor has been expended by the club members for the betterment of the community. Whereas; numerous business leaders, public officials including legislators, mayors, judges and county commissioners, have been proud to be known as members of the Rotary Club of Fort Myers; and Whereas; it is fitting and appropriate to recognize the 100th anniversary of this superb service organization.Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does proudly take observance of this landmark occasion, and does officially say thank you for your many achievements for the betterment of mankind and our local community, and offers a very happy club anniversary to all members, past and present, and further, does hereby wish the Rotary Club of Fort Myers continued success in the years ahead. Date: 4/19/2022April 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 800 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 numerous 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 2022 as Autism Acceptance Month in Lee County. National Bike Month has been celebrated since 1956 and was established to showcase the many benefits of bicycling; andWHEREAS, Florida is ideally suited for residents and visitors to cycle, with an average of 237 sunny days per year along with many scenic locations available to riders; andWHEREAS, Lee County has invested substantial funds in developing bicycle facilities and currently maintains approximately 797 miles of on- and off-road paths, lanes, and trails; andWHEREAS, Bicyclists from all over the globe visit Lee County to enjoy the extensive cycling facilities thus having a positive impact on Lee County’s economy and tourism industry; and WHEREAS, National health organizations and physical fitness activists promote increased bicycling as a way to improve health, quality of life, and boost community spirit; andWHEREAS, An increase in the use of bicycles in place of motor vehicles has a positive environmental impact by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing pollution in Lee County; and WHEREAS, Lee County encourages bicycle safety education for bicyclists and motorists including the rules of the road and benefits of wearing helmets to ensure the safety and well-being of all; and WHEREAS, The Board of County Commissioners adopted a Complete Streets Resolution on November 10, 2009 to integrate bicycling, walking, and public transit with the county’s transportation program.NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, does hereby declare May 2022 to be Bike Month in Lee County and encourages residents and visitors to participate in the following events throughout the month:• Ride a Bike Day - Sunday, May 1 • Bike to School Day - Wednesday, May 4• Bike to Work Week - May 16-22 • Bike to Work Day - Friday, May 20 April has been designated as National Fair Housing Month commemorating the 54th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act; andWhereas, Fair Housing laws provide the opportunity for all citizens to reside in decent and safe housing, free from discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability; andWhereas, Lee County is committed to a community open to all its citizens, and seeks to ensure that all residents are aware of and educated about fair housing laws.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims the month of April 2022 as FAIR HOUSING MONTH in Lee County call upon all citizens to recognize that compliance with the U.S. Fair Housing Laws is the equitable way to guarantee fair housing practices for all citizens. 04-19-22 Keep Lee County Beautiful Presentation Priority Marketing, an award-winning full-service marketing, advertising, public relations, website development and digital advertising agency based in Fort Myers, is celebrating 30 years of service to Lee County businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies; andWhereas, Strategic marketing fuels business growth by increasing brand awareness, driving sales and developing loyal customers, and also helps nonprofits enhance their image, generate donations and attract volunteers; andWhereas, Priority Marketing has been the impetus behind thousands of success stories, thus contributing to the region’s economic growth and vitality; andWhereas, Priority Marketing President and Senior Creative Director Teri Hansen, APR, a Lee County native, founded the company in 1992 as a sole proprietorship and now is the region’s largest firm with 48 full-time marketing professionals whose areas of expertise include public relations, graphic design, brand development, social media and email marketing, media planning, web solutions, event planning, video production, digital advertising and more; andWhereas, Giving back to the community is a core value, Priority Marketing has provided more than $3.5 million in discounted and pro bono services to local nonprofits in addition to employees regularly giving their time and resources to charitable causes.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby congratulate Priority Marketing on its 30th anniversary and recognize the firm’s achievements and Teri Hansen’s outstanding contributions to the community. The State of Florida is dedicated to improving air quality, reducing traffic congestion, promoting health and physical fitness, and reducing energy consumption; andWhereas, 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, nearby Collier, Manatee and Sarasota County transit systems will also recognize “Try Transit Day” in unison with Lee County on April 23; andWhereas, Lee County Government and Lee County Transit, LeeTran, are promoting “Try Transit Day” on April 23, to raise awareness of the many benefits of public transit including environmental, safety and economic impacts, while promoting accessibility to popular destinations in Lee CountyWhereas, LeeTran will offer free rides on “Try Transit Day” on April 23, on all LeeTran fixed routes.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims April 23rd as REGIONAL TRY TRANSIT DAY in Lee County and encourage residents and visitors to give public transit a try. Date: 4/5/2022Greater Pine Island includes Pine Island - the largest island on Florida’s west coast - and the islands of Little Pine Island and Matlacha, in Lee County. Pine Island has been settled continuously dating back to the Calusa Indians who created one of their most important settlements here, and;Whereas, today, Greater Pine Island includes Bokeelia, Pineland, Pine Island Center, St. James City, Matlacha and Matlacha Isles, and a diverse population of commercial fishing families that have been in the area for generations, new resident retirees, working families with children, anglers, artists and artisans. Numerous protected areas provide a haven for important flora and fauna, including endangered and protected species like manatees and dolphins, gopher tortoises and bald eagles, pelicans and eastern indigo snakes, ospreys and tarpon, and;Whereas, the commonality and legacy of Greater Pine Island’s residents is their independent-minded nature and desire to live in a peaceful and tranquil setting among slash pines, mangrove forest shorelines and healthy aquatic preserves, and;Whereas, the Greater Pine Island Civic Association was incorporated in 1957, borne from the desire of Greater Pine Island residents and business owners to be advocates for the health, safety and quality of life in the Greater Pine Island area, and;Whereas, since the Association’s creation, its members and leaders - including Anna Stober, Barbara Dubin, Drs. Gene and Ellie Boyd, Phil Buchanan, Noel Andress, Bill Spikowski, Cathy Hendrickson, Roger Wood, Kathy Malone, and many, many others too numerous to name - have been advocates for the protection of the unique coastal-rural character of Pine Island and its enclaves, and;Whereas, through the Greater Pine Island Civic Association, community leaders worked with Lee County to develop the Greater Pine Island Community Plan, as a growth management guide to maintain the island’s unique natural resources and character, and to ensure that island residents and visitors have a reasonable opportunity to evacuate when a hurricane strike is imminent, and; Whereas, the Greater Pine Island Civic Association has performed significant community service for the citizens of Greater Pine Island by advocating for improvements to water quality, traffic congestion, roadway safety and overdevelopment that help to maintain a desirable, livable community that promotes smart growth and preserves sensitive natural areas, and;Whereas, 2022 marks the 65th anniversary of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association,NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida wishes to recognize and applaud the Greater Pine Island Civic Association and its members on the occasion of the Association’s 65th Anniversary and proclaims April 5, 2022, as “Greater Pine Island Civic Association Day.” 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, therapy, and prevention services; andWHEREAS, one out of five children will be abused by the time they turn eighteen; andWHEREAS, child abuse and neglect results in significant trauma and may cause children to suffer serious injury resulting in impairment of physical, intellectual, and emotional functioning and well-being or even death; andWHEREAS, everyone has a role to play in helping the families in our County to be resilient and access support and with this effort give children, 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 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: 3/15/2022Forty seven years ago our nation ended military involvement in the Republic of South Vietnam, thus ending military involvement in what was then the longest war in our country’s history; andWHEREAS, we honor the men and women who survived and the 58,260 men and women who sacrificed their lives; and WHEREAS, since their return, these veterans have contributed tremendously to their communities, their state and their nation. As citizens of the great State of Florida, Lee County must never forget the pain and suffering that lingers today for the men and women who fought with honor and distinction, in the name of freedom and democracy for all; andWHEREAS, one of every three Florida veterans served in Vietnam, and Vietnam era service men and women make up the largest percentage of combat veterans living in Florida; andWHEREAS, it is never too late to pay tribute to the men and women of the great State of Florida who answered the call of duty with courage and valor; andWHEREAS, throughout this commemoration, we should strive to live up to their example by showing our Vietnam veterans, their families and all of the men and women who have served our country, the fullest respect and support of a grateful state and nation.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim March 26, 2022, as VIETNAM VETERANS DAY in commemoration of the 44th anniversary of the conclusion of the Vietnam War, in the County of Lee, in the great State of Florida. Time has not altered the duties and responsibilities of our Armed Forces personnel since the very foundation of our country was laid in 1776 and we all recognize their great sacrifices and significant contributions made to Our Nation by soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen andWhereas, for more than two hundred years, the men and women who have so proudly served - and are currently serving - as Noncommissioned Officers, Chiefs and Petty Officers have been regarded as the backbone of the Armed Forces of the United States.Whereas, the spirit and devotion to duty of a Chief is evident in the long list of recipients of the Medal of Honor and other decorations of personal valor. These Non Coms are the heart of our Armed Forces which sustain our freedom and way of life.Whereas, the duties they perform in accomplishing their mission are a necessary and permanent part of this country's defense mechanism and upon their shoulders lies the defense of this Our Great Nation.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida proclaims March 25th as LEE COUNTY CHIEF’S DAY honoring Noncommissioned and Petty Officers who serve and have served our Nation's defense objectives and to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. Date: 3/1/2022Food is the substance by which life is sustained; the type, quality, and amount of food that individuals consume each day plays a vital role in their overall health; andWHEREAS, there is a need for continuing nutrition education and a wide-scale effort to enhance healthy eating practices; and WHEREAS, National Nutrition Month is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; andWHEREAS, the campaign celebrated each year, during the month of March, focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits; andWHEREAS, the overall health and well-being of our residents is of paramount importance to Lee County and Lee Health.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida does hereby proclaim the month of March as NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH in Lee County, Florida and encourages all citizens to join the campaign and become concerned about their nutrition and the nutrition of others in the hope of achieving optimum health for both today and tomorrow. Each year the month of March is identified as Women’s History Month and is a time when our nation reflects on the valuable contributions women make to our society; andWhereas, Pace Center for Girls believes that all young women are tomorrows’ leaders full of immense potential, talent, and promise; andWhereas, Pace Center for Girls is instrumental in helping provide a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy and envisions a world where all girls and young women have power, in a just and equitable society; andWhereas, Pace Center for Girls recognizes the unique needs of young women and collaborates with the Florida’s Department of Children and Families, Department of Education, and Department of Juvenile Justice to learn and be supported by communities that believe in their value; andWhereas, Pace Center for Girls reports a 97% success rate of keeping girls out of the juvenile justice system and improving the academic success of 100% of students; andWhereas, February 5th, 2022, marked the fifteenth anniversary of Pace Center for Girls providing services in Lee County; andNOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida hereby proclaims March 2022 as BELIEVING IN GIRLS MONTH And encourage all residents to honor the female spirit and promote the potential within all girls and women. Date: 2/15/2022Engineers 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 20 through February 26, 2022, be designated as ENGINEERS WEEK in Lee County. John passed peacefully on January 10, 2022, after a long illness and will be laid to rest in Windham NY, his second home State; andWHEREAS, in 1985, John became a full-time resident of Lee County. He and his sister Mary started a taxi business called Apple Transportation. John and Mary’s companies Apple & Majestic are partners in MBA Airport Transportation, which currently serves the Southwest Florida International Airport, Fort Myers, Florida; and WHEREAS, John's success of his business ventures and love of Lee County compelled him in his philanthropic endeavors; andWHEREAS, John shared the mission of his friend Harry Chapin that no one should go hungry in this country or the world. John joined the Board of WHY Hunger, an organization founded by Harry Chapin and Bill Ayres. John was active in their national fund raising for the cause; andWHEREAS, John became the Board President of the Lee County Food Co-op/Southwest Florida Food Bank; andWHEREAS, finding that the Co-op was too small to meet the needs of Lee County and Southwest Florida John worked tirelessly supporting fund raising and securing grants to enlarge facilities and staff to better serve this area; andWHEREAS, in 1994, he was instrumental in changing the name of the Lee County Food Co-op/Southwest Florida Food Bank to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida reflecting his shared mission. John continued to serve as Board Chair for many years and remains Chairman of the Board Emeritus; andWHEREAS, the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida is the largest hunger-relief non-profit and the only Feeding America member in Southwest Florida, serving Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida would like to take this opportunity to honor, posthumously, JOHN JOSEPH POELKER, JR. as an outstanding citizen of Lee County who as a successful businessman recognized a community need and set the example of how to “Pay it Forward” to their community. Date: 2/1/2022Southwest Florida Urban Search and Rescue was formed in June 2001 to provide specialized rescue response to incidents that involve confined space, trench, low/high angle rope, swift water, and structural collapse situations; andWHEREAS, the team is designated by the State of Florida as Florida Task Force 6 and is available to respond to search and rescue emergencies throughout the state; and WHEREAS, the task force is composed of firefighters. emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and other specialists from over a dozen different agencies within the region, including the Lee County Department of Public Safety; andWHEREAS, on June 25, 2021, the State of Florida activated Florida Task Force 6 to respond to support operations at the Champlain Towers collapse in Surfside, Florida; andWHEREAS, team members operating at the disaster site for more than a week, day and night, worked to clear rubble, search for victims, and support families impacted by the collapse; andWHEREAS, their work brought peace and closure to families in Surfside and around the world in the days following the collapse.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida recognizes the outstanding efforts of SOUTHWEST FLORIDA URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE TASK FORCE 6 and wishes to make it known publicly that their work locally and across the state is recognized by the citizens and visitors of Lee County. Date: 1/18/2022The Tommy Bohanon Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting young athletes, from ages five to eighteen, achieve their highest potential on and off the playing field; andWHEREAS, Lucia Bonsanto, also known as Mama Lu, has been working with the Living Word Ministries Church in North Fort Myers, establishing them as a Farm Share food distribution center and also providing hot meals, haircuts, and clothing for the homeless; andWHEREAS, on December 11, 2021 at the Northwest Softball Complex, the Tommy Bohanon Foundation Softball Tournament & Toy Drive raised $15,000 to purchase toys for children in Southwest Florida; andWHEREAS, on December 18, 2021 with the help of Mama Lu, the Living Word Ministries Community Center, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Tommy Bohanon Foundation was able to pass out over 23 shopping carts full of toys and bikes to children from North Fort Myers and Lee County; andWHEREAS, the 14th Annual Christmas Outreach event was another example of the tremendous teamwork that happens every day between our non-profit and business communities that gives back to our residents, and ensures that any child in need gets to enjoy a gift during the holidays.NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida recognizes the outstanding efforts of the TOMMY BOHANON FOUNDATION, MAMA LU and LIVING WORD MINISTRIES, and the LEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE in Lee County and wishes to make it known publicly that their works have had an incredibly positive impact on the lives of our citizens and their children.