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Civic & Community Corner: Volunteer for vacancy on Civic Association Board

October 26, 2016
By Mike Land , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers Civic Association met, as usual, the second Tuesday of the month, Oct. 11, from 7 to 9 P.M.

Guest speakers were Tessa LeSage and Sarah Owens of The Community Foundation of Southwest Florida, Inc., who explained the program of coordinating charitable giving over the last forty years. I just love their slogan "Givin' while you're livin' so you're knowin' where it's goin.'"

Sarah is CEO and distributed copies of their newsletter and then detailed the many things they do in addition to funneling funds, such as their concierge service and helping organizations, hopefully including the Civic Association, in non-political and beneficial projects. Tessa is in charge of "sustainability" and explained its many facets and functions. Both organizations left with a better understanding of the projects and beneficial workings of the other and hopefully we will be able to team up and do something "for the betterment of North Fort Myers" which is what the Civic Association is all about.

Our 12-member Board of Directors currently has one vacancy resulting from a director accepting a job out of town and moving. The term of office expires in February, 2018 and it's an opportunity to help make North Fort Myers a better place in which to live or work. Contact me. Go to our website, to see all the things we do. The best way to make a difference is to be on our Board of Directors!

In other business, the Civic Association:

Brainstormed for a Fundraiser during the winter months, but nothing was decided yet. If you have a good idea for a fundraiser, contact me. My contact info is at the end of this article.

Finalized plans for its annual Community Holiday Tree Lighting and Caroling event to be held in front of The NFM Recreation Center on Friday, Dec.16, at 6 p.m. The caroling is led, for the third straight year, by Graham Milligan, ably assisted by his wife Jayne and his buddy, Dan DeWitt, whose tenor voice blends beautifully with Graham's rich baritone. The public is invited and encouraged to attend - the more voices the merrier! This will be immediately followed by a Civic Association social - a Dutch Treat dinner at a North Fort Myers restaurant for the Civic Association members and guests. Anyone interested in attending, including members of the public, please contact me. This double-header of holiday spirit will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Finalized its participation in the Fall Festival on 10/21 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Community Park, behind the Library on the football field, a Lee County Project under the supervision of Dana Kassler, Director, Parks and Recreation.

As always the Civic Association manned (and womaned) a tent at the event, passed out candy and conducted some games for the kids who dressed up for Halloween and tricked and treated in safe surroundings. Our "bean bag toss" game was the hit of the event, with a row of kids patiently waiting on line for their turn. Their skill at this game was so awesome, that we ran out of candy prizes (skittles was preferred over chocolate and nuts). Our contingent of helpers included Vice Presidents, Rudy Berndlmaier and Larry Murphy, Gregg and Bonnie Makepeace, and a team of four wonder women from Sabal Springs, Dora Miller, Jeannette Rusiniak, Maryanne Howard and Carole Martin, who are already plotting how to decorate the tent and make our participation better. Nice work, Ladies!

The North Fort Myers Design Review Panel met jointly with The NFM Community Planning Panel on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Rec Center. They heard an interesting presentation on "HISTORIC PRESERVATION" by Sharon Jenkins-Owen , AICP and Lee County's Principal Planner ably assisted by Peter Blackwell, AICP. She explained that there are historic designations issued by county, state and federal agencies and that as a general rule a building must be at least 50 years old and have some special significance, historically, architecturally or otherwise. Such a designation has advantages such as funding, exclusion from demolition, and others. The speaker singled out some buildings in North Fort Myers such as the Shell Factory and clusters of Coral Cottages along the river and on Cypress Street in Cabana City. In other business, Carla Curtis, an officer at Wells Fargo Bank, Pine Island Road branch, was appointed to fill a vacancy on both Panels and will be Secretary of the Panels.

As to the status of our proposed $13 million dollar library, here's what's new: DeAngelis-Diamond Construction Company of Naples was confirmed as the Construction Manager . Also, Frank Barrett, the very capable Chair of the LIBRARY TASK FORCE, has returned from his annual summer retreat, and is back at his helm. Look for things to pick up under his active leadership.

We are contemplating doing another Business 41 Cleanup again this year, where we clean up the debris, candy and cigarette wrappers, abandoned tires and bikes, mattresses and whatever from both sides of that road from the Bridge to Littleton Road. We usually do it on a Saturday morning in December or January. If you have any suggestions as to when to do it, or if you would like to volunteer to help, please reach out to me.


Contact me at 239-823-3631 or if you have some event, project or idea that you would like in this column, or with any comments or questions. Visit



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