Guest Column: 20 Years of North Fort Myers Civic Pride
As we are at the midpoint of 2020, this year has not turned out to be what many of us could or would have expected or even imagined to this point. It has been a year full of trials, tribulations, and hardship amongst our country and our community. We have all endured these hardships collectively, in our own way, affecting each and everyone of us in how we conduct our own day to day lives. However, as a community, we stand strong and we will once again rise to overcome these temporary obstacles that are currently challenging us all.
Today more than ever the word “Civic” defines the good in who we are as a community and as a country. The word civic is derived from the latin term “civicus” which mean’s Townsman. People of all walks of life and of all origins, have been coming together for centuries in Civic Duty to stand up for the good of their community and of their country.
Twenty years ago, a group of North Fort Myers civic minded individuals, created a Civic Association to stand up for the good of their community. On March 29, 2000, Articles of Incorporation where filed with the State of Florida, and the North Fort Myers Civic Association was officially born. The initial officers for the North Fort Myers Civic Association were Meyer “Marty” Tisherman (President), Arnold Martin (Vice-President) along with Board Members Julie Flake, Harry Keller, Karen Landis, Lisa Barker, Stan Kay, Bruce Beckman ,and Betty Blanchette.
During the next 20 years, the North Fort Myers Civic Association would add new members, circulate new board of directors and officers, continue to advocate for the interests of North Fort Myers, host Town Hall meetings, Candidate Forums, Hurricane Preparedness Seminars, Fundraising Events, Community Luncheons, Community Forums, become instrumental in the planning and development of the North Fort Myers Recreation Center, and new North Fort Myers Library, and the list goes on. The North Fort Myers Civic Association would become the strong and respected community advocate it is today, thanks to the dedication and service to community from all members of the North Fort Myers Civic Association past and present.
The North Fort Myers Civic Association would continue to grow and prosper under the leadership of past presidents Marty Tisherman, Cheryl Diamond, Greg Makepeace, and Mike Land. Cheryl Diamond would become the association’s first female president. Cheryl created the Presidents Club during her tenure, in which she brought together the presidents of all other North Fort Myers service groups for dialogue and open communication in working together for the betterment of our community. Greg Makepeace was named Lee County’s Person of the Year in 2012 and was awarded Lee County Government’s prestigious Paulette Burton award by the Lee County Commission for his outstanding community civic service. Mike Land would work endless hours in advocating for the Renaissance project for our community. These Civic Association Presidents would help form and mold a path for future boards and members to follow.
A key civic member of note during the first 20 years would be Linda Yorde. Linda took the reins in advocating for the new North Fort Myers Library. Without Linda’s tireless efforts, its easy to say we may not have a new library here today. Also, the late Tom Cronin, who gave selflessly for the overall good of our community thru his charitable work and giving’s. Pam Cronin continues the work of both her and Tom by still generously giving back to our community to this day. Former North Fort Myers Honorary Mayors John Gardner (current Chamber of Commerce President), and Al Giacalone, are also instrumental members in moving the North Fort Myers Civic Association forward to this date. These are just a few of the many that have dedicated their time and efforts for the betterment of our community.
The North Fort Myers Civic Association is now stronger than it has ever been. Even through these times of uncertainty, the North Fort Myers Civic Association stands tall and proud in advocating for a better community.
We, as a community, will come through these difficult times. The North Fort Myers Civic Association will continue to be here as a voice for our community for the next 20 years and beyond.
To all of the original members who formed the North Fort Myers Civic Association, and to all of those that served and remain serving on the board of directors, to all of our members during our first 20 years, we say Thank You for caring about our community the way you have and the way you do. The North Fort Myers Civic Association was given a strong foundation from the start, and we today are proud to carry on the work that was started 20 years ago in civic duty to our community.
North Fort Myers