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Quite a year for the civic association

January 2, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Compared from the beginning of the year to the end, the North Fort Myers Civic Association is almost unrecognizable.

That was thanks to one man who revamped organization around, allowing it to believe it can do things bigger and better, and make a real imprint on the community.

Doug Dailey became president in February and has put his style of leadership into the organization, even if he hasn't yet brought more members to the meetings the second Tuesday of every month.

"We've been busy trying to get things organized the way we want it. We've had a very successful year. We've done a lot in a little time," Dailey said. "We have rebranded. And in 2019 we're going to expand on what we've been doing."

Dailey made the civic association what some consider the community's organization, advocating for topics most concerning to the area. He also found ways to raise money for the group, with a night out at the ballpark, and some big events planned for 2019.

Dailey became a member of the civic association in 2017 on the day an idea was floated to change the name of North Fort Myers.

He joined the board, ran for president and won, making a changed the culture his first priority.

He challenged the board to aim higher and the mixture of the old guard and new blood got together and became more involved in community issues.

"The board consists of people who have lived here for a very long time. Three-fourths of the board is like that and we wanted to bring more attention to the past, get more involved in the high school and things that have made us what we are today," Dailey said. "We have become more involved in the mom-and-pop businesses and it's drawn up out membership.

Dailey, meanwhile, decided that the civic association needed help from other organizations to get the community together. He formed the North Fort Myers Community Coalition with the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary.

They got involved together with the Ellsworth Heating & Cooling Christmas in July event and had a hand in the Community Christmas, which was one of the biggest events is date.

"Our goals are to better North Fort Myers, so why not bring those factions together and really make change by working together. We've known each other for many years, so it was a common idea to come together on bettering our community," Dailey said. "It's really going to take off, I think."

Most important, he came up with the idea of starting a Wiffle Ball tournament in February as a way to celebrate the start of Spring Training.

There will also be another North Fort Myers Community Night with the Fort Myers Miracle in April, which was a success in August.

Dailey would also like to have an officer installation luncheon apart from the annual town hall meeting, which will include a state of the area address and recognition of people who have made a difference in the area.

"There are a lot of people who help this community, and it's our duty as a civic association to bring notice to these people because they have done a lot," Dailey said.

Dailey would also like to start a membership drive to bring in new people, especially young people, get more people involved and fill the seats a little more on Tuesday nights. He would also like to get the civic association its 501 c 3 designation so it can fundraise.

"When we leave here, we will hand it over to our kids, and what a better way to get those kids in high school and want to get involved to get involved," Dailey said. "In 50 years it will be theirs so let's give them a voice now."



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