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North Civic rebrands, reschedules

May 17, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers Civic Association had a lot on its plate during its monthly last week.

Members changed the time of the meeting, voted to entirely rebrand the organization, scrapped one of its yearly meetings and set in motion the possibility of a "think big" fundraiser that someday might lead to a foundation being created to fund scholarships.

This kind of activity has become routine under Doug Dailey's leadership, and slowly, attendance for meetings has gone up.

The changes kicked off before the meeting when board members Danny and Debbie Ballard showed up wearing a new association shirt that reflected North Fort Myers more than the ones board members have been wearing.

The new shirt is red instead of pine green, with the Shell Factory arch and an eagle flying across it, with the organization name in front, as opposed to a palm tree and sunset.

Danny Ballard said it would be a great fund raiser and the shirt would truly represent the area as opposed to the green version.

Members and Dailey said they were impressed with the prototypes, though some were concerned about the arch, as they said it seemed more like a commercial advertisement than the landmark the area is known for.

Members voted for it, with a modification to make the eagle bigger and a "grandfather clause" for older members to keep their green shirts, if they wish.

The civic association also modified its schedule, moving its meetings from 7 to 9 p.m. to 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. beginning in June. This will end the practice of cramming and hasty decisions before the rec center closes.

It will also scrap the December meeting, but will replace it with the North Fort Myers Community Coalition tree lighting ceremony.

The civic association has been doing this for several years, with mixed results. Dailey said if they got a bigger tree and got the other civic groups involved, it could become a huge event.

The coalition, which has set up meetings the first Monday of the month, has discussed the possibility of adopting a road together. The civic association has adopted Old 41 from Littleton to the bridge, which it has regularly cleaned every year.

"We want to do one project at a time and see how it works. It would be nice to see 100 people clean that road," Dailey said.

In other business, the candidate forums to be co-sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce have been set for July 24 for the primaries and Sept. 25 for the general elections.

Al Giacalone, who has organized the event, said he plans to invite all the candidates for the event at the rec center. The only change will be the meet-and-greets will be in the forum room and not the hallways.

Also, perhaps the most significant part of the event, was when Dailey gave the board a packet to look at for a fund raising event he has in mind - a Wiffle Ball tournament.

Dailey said such events have raised great amounts of money, with one such put on in Vermont that raises more than a half-million dollars and is played in a replica of Fenway Park.

"We can sit here and throw ideas around and not come up with anything. This idea can net us between $10,000 and $15,000," said Dailey, who started the Florida Weiner Dog Derby nearly a decade ago which has proven successful statewide.

The packet will be further discussed next month once the board has had a chance to look at it. Dailey's ultimate goal is to start a foundation so they can give scholarships and people can give tax-deductible donations, which they can't currently.



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