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Civic cancels, postpones events in wake of pandemic

Candidate forums, Fall Festival, Thanksgiving meal for first responders among activities that will not be held

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Sep 16, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact the efforts of the North Fort Myers Civic Association, with several major events either cancelled or delayed.

With their meetings being held at the offices of the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce at the Shell Factory for the foreseeable future, the organization has had to make some difficult decisions in deference to pandemic-related restrictions on gatherings.

The joint candidate forum that was to have been hosted by the civic association and the Chamber was cancelled after one of the main organizers got COVID-19 and an in-person forum, discussed as a preference, was impossible under these conditions.

The Fall Festival also was cancelled. The traditional festival at the community park had already been scrapped, and the civic association was looking at the possibility of holding its own at a private location.

Due to the threat of COVID contagion, and the thought that nobody would want to attend due to that threat, the civic association may consider doing something for Easter instead.

Also cancelled was the serving of Thanksgiving dinners to first responders. According to vice president Danny Ballard, the dinners were greatly appreciated by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Even the Wiffle Ball Bash could be pushed back.

President Doug Dailey said that he hopes they can hold the civic association’s biggest fundraiser held in March or April.

In other business, the Civic Association decided to strengthen its bond with the other two members of the North Fort Myers Coalition, the Chamber and Rotary.

The coalition seemed to be stuck in the conceptual stage as a result of the pandemic, Dailey said.

The civic association voted to become a member of the Chamber to hopefully foster a better bond.

All three organizations plan to come together for the Leaders & Legends Scholarship Program, using their various strengths to hopefully make it a success.

Chamber President John Gardner said the challenge they have had has been getting candidates to who to give those scholarships although Rotary has been great at getting the word out.

The program could become something of a clearinghouse for North Fort Myers students and it will allow the coalition to pick from the same pool of students.

Cape Coral kids who attend North Fort Myers High School are eligible, as are north kids who attend schools outside the area.

The North Fort Myers Civic Association meets the second Tuesday of every month except December. The next civic association meeting will be on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Office, 2787 N. Tamiami Trail.