NFM Civic Association: Much accomplished in 2018
Well, this is my last column for 2018. I will be back after the 1st. I’ll begin wishing all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Stay safe and enjoy friends and family and all the groups you may be associated with. If you have time, please visit those who are alone or otherwise shut in. Several community groups can connect you with those in need of company.
A great year for the North Fort Myers Civic Association. In February we elected a new President, Doug Dailey. I have to say that it has been a pleasure and honor serving on the Association Board with Doug as its President. He is dedicated, appreciative, hard-working, and most importantly leads by example.
So what did the Association do in 2018?
The most important accomplishment is the coalition that was formed through the initiative of Doug. The Association, North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, and the North Fort Myers Rotary will be working together on events. In 2018 three air-conditioners that were donated were given away to needy families. And on Dec. 15, the Christmas tree lighting at the Recreation Center became a coalition Christmas Day beginning with Santa and a whole host of vendors providing Christmas related articles as well as Christmas gifts for purchase.
We initiated the first Community Night at the Miracle baseball game. At the event we raised about $600 for the Association and had a lot of fun. It will be repeated April 20. More to come on that upcoming event. I can tell you that the Miracle will have the NFM Community Night as a listed and featured night on their website this year thus making it easier for us to obtain ticket sales. The different ticketing procedure for 2019 eliminates the need for vouchers.
The Association moved forward to change the tax exempt designation to a 501(c)(3) in order that donationsbe tax-deductible.
That application is pending.
Candidates’ night at one of our monthly meetings allowed the community to interact with potential officeholders and hear presentations, aiding them to make the important voting decisions. We also had the Superintendent of the Lee County School District, Dr. Greg Adkins speak about the School District’s funding, expansion, and many vocational programs. We will continue to have speakers in 2019. Any suggestions in that regard are welcome.
A Wiffleball Tournament subcommittee was formed, meeting Saturday mornings at the Moody River Grill, to move the Tournament forward. The results of their energies will be seen in February and discussed in my next column.
The North Fort Myers Civic Association was represented by Danny and Debbie Ballard at the Horizon Village Home Show in October. The Association was able to hand out membership applications and inform those at the event of the Association’s potential. This is continues our efforts to establish relations with the mobile home parks and housing communities of North Fort Myers. We met with the Tara Woods directors in 2018 as well and learned of their concerns about the absence of bus routes north of the Shell Factory. Many folks live north and have no bus service. This is of special concern to elders who are denied Passport Service, small van transport (arranged 24 hours prior to the travel need – doctor, etc.) Danny Ballard spoke with Lee Trans and Brian Hamman. Hopefully this need will be addressed.
The Fall Festival for 2018 was a successful venture for the North Fort Myers Civic Association. The NFM Recreation staff was impressed with the Civic Association’s turnout and that the NFM Civic Association Tent was a big hit at the event. Special Thanks to Board member Dora for chairing the committee and doing a great job leading up to and at the event.
We all have a new governor and some new members in the State legislature. Congratulations to Spencer Roach, now representing State House District 79, replacing Matt Caldwell. Hopefully we’ll see some bipartisan action addressing concerns of North Fort Myers as well as the State of Florida. These include the blue-green algae blooms and red tide blooms, need for expanded health care, and criminal justice/prison reform to reduce the cost of incarcerating nonviolent criminals for long periods of time.
Even more local, possibly our County Commissioners will take some action to clean up Hancock Bridge Square. Currently it is an empty eyesore and should be used at its full potential as a multi-use overlay environment (residential, retail and commercial) capacity, turned into a city center attraction. And possibly, the boat ramp on the north side of Edison Bridge (with surrounding restaurants and a small park) might move forward. We applaud the Commissioners for the new library and swimming pool.
Hope to see you Jan. 8 at our next meeting, 2000 N. Recreation Park Way, at 6:30 p.m.