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Local organizations invest in the future

By Staff | May 26, 2021

One year after the COVID-19 pandemic put a kibosh on most end-of-the-school year celebrations, ceremonies and events, things are back to near-normal for recognition programs hosted by area organizations.

The Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral Education Committee held its 29th Annual Excellence in Education Awards last Tuesday, the Mayor’s Scholarship Committee is set to hold its annual awards program on June 3, with other such events also in the queue.

Both recognize kids in West Zone schools, including those here in North Fort Myers.

It’s good to see, and it’s our neighboring communities pulling together at their historic best.

From countless parent-teacher and booster organizations to annual recognition and scholarship programs that require a year-round effort, area residents and business and community leaders raise money and organize events to benefit and recognize outstanding students and educators alike.

The Breeze is grateful to have had a role again this year in two of these outstanding community-sponsored education recognition programs.

The Excellence in Education Awards, held May 11 at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, “recognizes one educator and one student from each participating school in the West Zone for their achievements, positive attitude and contributions to their school community.”

The program also provides scholarships to each of the senior high school recipients, as well as one need-based scholarship through an application process.

This year, the Chamber also awarded a scholarship on behalf of the Cynthia Gallagher Memorial Scholarship Fund to a graduate student from the Junior Leadership Class of 2020.

Ms. Gallagher was among the program’s founders and one of its most-staunch supporters.

The Chamber awarded a total of $11,000 in scholarships this year alone.

It is a great program and a year-long labor of love by the Education Committee and its volunteers who also raise money to help fund this event as well as an annual Principal’s Breakfast.

The Cape Coral Mayors Scholarship Fund program will be held June 3, also at the Yacht Club this year.

Recurring $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to 10 deserving seniors, thanks to the efforts of the organization which has awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships recognizing citizenship, scholarship and leadership since its founding in 1982.

We congratulate all of the honorees of both programs who, through academic achievement, school and community involvement, volunteerism and just plain hard work and dedication — especially by the educators recognized — have earned the honors bestowed.

We also thank the volunteers and sponsors who make these programs and others like them possible. They are numerous and we are privileged to be among them:

• Awards of Excellence:

In addition to The Breeze Newspapers, other sponsors this year included the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation – Culliton Family, Boost Creative, Nova Southeastern University – Fort Myers Campus, Cape Coral Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #33, Arthur Printing, The Lee County Tax Collector, Key West Express, Celadon Recovery Campus and Chris-Tel Construction.

• Mayors Scholarship program:

Diamond Sponsor

Gunterberg Charitable Foundation

Platinum Sponsor

Cape Coral Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 33

Gold Sponsors

Waste Pro

Zemel Family Trust


Cape Coral Kiwanis Foundation

Cape Coral General Employee Union (IUPAT)

Silver Sponsors

Anna Tolles

Cape Coral Breeze

Cape Coral R/Seahawks Flying Club

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.

Nor-Tech Boats


Patron Sponsors


Lee Health

Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce

Brazos Pilots Assoc.

Tom Hayden

Patrick DeRosa

Media Sponsor


Supporters of the Fund


Mid-Pointe Bingo


When it comes to supporting our own, when it comes to investing in our community’s future, our local organizations and business are there.


The efforts of all of these community organizations and others like them, and all the volunteers of which they are comprised are commendable as they recognize ­– and reward — hard work, talent and yes, ambition, the key ingredients to future success.

Once again, we thank you.

— Neighbor editorial