There's a lot going on with the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, including the launch of the new Gold Star Employee Awards and plans for a 'Redneck Labor Day Party' to be held at the German American Club on Pine Island Road.
The choice to have the event there, said chamber officials, is to accommodate what they believe will be a huge family-oriented party.
On the Gold Star Employee Awards, "Exceptional employees in the North Fort Myers area will soon have something to show for their good works," said Dick Collins of the Chamber in a prepared statement. "The new North Fort Myers Chamber Gold Star Employee Awards are an opportunity for members to recognize special qualities or efforts by their business's employees. This includes things like longevity, employee best practices, exceptional customer service skills, creativity, loyalty, leadership, team building, and positive attitude."
"It's like the Publishers Clearing House Patrol coming to your door," said Chamber Executive Director Chris Jackson.
Employees selected to receive the Gold Star Award get a surprise visit at work from a delegation of the North Fort Myers Chamber, complete with balloons, a collection of gifts and goodies from local member businesses (including the boss), and a North Fort Myers Chamber Gold Star Employee Award Certificate, he said.
"Employees can be nominated online at our website," Jackson said. Their company must be part of the chamber.
The new family festival, to be held Labor Day, Sept. 3, will be a fund raiser for the chamber.
There will be food, music, prizes, and "good natured foolishness' according to the organizers.
Among the activities, there will be a Hot Rod and Classic Car show, an Arts & Crafts Fair, local business exhibits, lots of kids activities including "the Balloon Guy", bounce houses and games, a variety of food vendors, a beer garden, prizes, raffles and more.
Featured on stage will be The Skeeterland Band, playing Bluegrass music, along with other musical acts.
"Look for a sort of mini-Olympics on the down-low," said Collins.
For more details, see a full story on the event in next week's edition of The Neighbor.
Sheriff Scott speaks
to Chamber on crime trends
On Wednesday, May 16, Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott led the Lee County Sheriff's Office Memorial Service in observance of officers that have lost their lives in the line of duty, as part of National Peace Officers week.
He then later addressed the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce on crime trends in the area.
"Florida leads the nation in officers killed in the line of duty," Scott said. "It used to be traffic crashes," he said of officers hurt and even killed. "That was because they are constantly driving 24/7. Now it is assault on officers."
In other trends, especially in Lee County, he said, "More prescription drug abuse is at an all-time high. 50 percent of drug overdose deaths are not from heroin or what you would think" they are now from prescription drugs.
"There is also a spike in domestic violence which I believe is from the state of the economy."
He also said he encourages Neighborhood Watches, despite all the controversy with the Trayvon Martin case.
Of recent crimes in the area, he said of the murder/suicide on Teesdale Drive, "A horrible tragedy."
Of the car chase that started near I-75 and ended in tragedy in Buckingham where an officer was shot and the driver of the fleeing vehicle was shot and killed, he said.the driver had "30 prior arrests."
On personal safety he said "old-fashioned is best." Like leaving lights on when you are out. "Lights are a criminal's worst enemy."
He also said, "The old-fashioned deep growl of a dog is always effective." For those who cannot have a dog, home alarms are important.
"And lock your car, even in your driveway," he said. He told a story of a man who left his truck unlocked, right in his own driveway, and went to get the mail. The man's truck was stolen in just that short of time.
For more information about the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce visit their website at nfmchamber.com or stop by the Welcome Center at the Shell Factory.
The phone number is 997-9111.