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Civic names awards finalists

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Jan 6, 2021

news@breezenewspapers.com

North Fort Myers Civic Association on Saturday named the finalists for the inaugural Tom Cronin, Diamond, and Pioneer awards, with the winner to be announced during next week’s membership meeting.

Finalists for the Tom Cronin Award — “Person of the Year” — are William Barnes, of Ellsworth Heating & Cooling, Scott Friga, of Friga Tyme Construction, and John Gardner, of Lee County Insurance.

Diamond Award finalists, which recognizes a female who has made significant contributions to the community, are Lucia Bonsanto, of Powerhouse Outreach, Linda Johnson a schoolteacher and Founder of the Race for Chase, and Linda Yorde, founder of Friends of the North Fort Myers Library.

The winner of the Pioneer Award, which recognizes an individual who in the past made a significant contribution to the North Fort Myers Community, will be Ron Hoover, who was head football coach at North from 1966 to 1982.

Doug Dailey, outgoing civic association president, said they received more than 50 nominees, with all of those nominated deserving of recognition.

“The nomination committee had a hard time coming up with the final three. There were so many people who were deserving,” Dailey said. “For a first year, I was astounded to see the amount of nominations.”

Dailey said the Pioneer Award winner was a slam dunk, considering what Hoover has done for the community.

“When the nomination committee heard the name Ron Hoover, it was like ‘Well, duh,'” Dailey said. “He inspired a lot of people in this community and brought it together in the 1970s. Friday night at North High was the social gathering spot.”

North Fort Myers Civic Association created the North Fort Myers Community Service Award Program this past year to recognize those who give back to the community to help make North Fort Myers a better place.

The winners will be announced during the civic association meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center.

Hoover is expected to be at the meeting to receive his award with his family, and former NFM Red Knights players, and school personnel. Current Coach Dwayne Mack may also be in attendance at the presentation.

The group also will elect its new president and board members at the meeting, as Dailey has announced he will not run for a fourth term in office.