The East Lee County Chamber of Commerce holds Award Gala 2021 | News, Sports, Jobs

An evening of steak dinner and crystal stars highlighted the East Lee County Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards gala on Saturday at the Plantation Golf and Country Club, which celebrated the 58th anniversary of the chambers and teachers and officials for their contributions to the community during last year Pandemic honored. The gala also recognized the success of the Chamber as it works to create a post-pandemic future as a presence in Southwest Florida.

What began as a sprawling Lucky Lee Cattle Ranch in the 1950s has now grown into a viable civic, social, and economic gateway to the region’s future, officials said.

“This year’s award” said Michael Welch, Chamber Chairman of the Board, will take the “Shape of a crystal star.”

“That’s every teacher here” Which said “a crystal star.”

Approximately 130 people attended the 19th annual gala, which included a silent auction, dinner, entertainment, and award ceremonies that honored the area’s teachers and others such as firefighters, MPs, community, ward and chamber members who contributed to the Have contributed to the realization of the gala theme. “The future is here.”

“The future is here” said Nancy Williamson, gala chairperson. “We’re so over the whole COVID thing.”

“We are ready to start over and move forward.” She said.

During his presentation, Welch said the teachers were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their students, schools, and the community. What stood out during their nomination process, Welch said, was the recurrence of words such as inspiration, guidance, wisdom, friendship, and love.

“We noticed that our teachers, officials (and others) were all practicing what is called the little way.” Welch said, based on the practice of the nun from the late 19th century, St. Therese of Lisieux.

“The little way” Which said “Is that the value of life does not depend on our place. It depends on how we shape this life in this place. “

At the gala, the 14 teachers and their respective schools demonstrated the breadth, depth and academic reach of education in East Lee County, be it Harnes Marsh Elementary, Lehigh Senior High School, Donna J. Beasley Technical Academy or Veterans Park Academy for the arts.

“I love my students” said Samantha Stafford, elementary school teacher at Harnes Marsh.

“I am very honored that you would choose our school and support our students.” She said. “After all, it takes a village to raise a child, and we need all the love we can get.”

The organization formerly known as the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1962 and became a nonprofit in 1980. Almost two years ago, the name and logo were changed to accommodate regional growth, with about 200 members as it expanded into the Gateway community and more of East Fort Myers, officials said.

“What makes a great Chamber of Commerce is to be more involved with the community, the people.” said Robert Lambert, a Donna J. Beasley Technical Academy instructor and former chamber member.

“The business is doing well. It makes money, but you have to bring people together. “ he said. “People make community. People do business. The people are where they are. “

To reflect the change and growth of the areas, the chamber installed three new board members at the gala: Cecil Pendergrass, Commissioner for Lee County, Burt Saunders, Commissioner for Collier, and Ruth Anglickis, community leader and pioneer in the development of Lehigh Acres. The three were chosen on the basis of their knowledge and expertise to carry out the chambers’ mission “To promote and promote the economic, civic, and social growth of East Lee County.”

“I hope everyone here will join an I Care program tonight.” said Anglickis, President of Landex Resorts International. “I’m interested in East Lee County. I take care of the schools and the children and the community. I’m interested in the people who make Lehigh a place where a handshake is a lasting friendship. “

Honored are:

TEACHER OF THE YEAR

1st TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Samantha Stafford

Harnes Marsh Elementary School

2021

2. TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Robert Lambert

Donna J. Beasley Technical Academy

2021

3rd TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Erin Roberts

Sunshine Elementary School

2021

4. TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Brian Adams

Harnes Marsh Middle School

2021

5th TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Arthur Phillips

East Lee High School

2021

6th TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Miguel Cintron

Lehigh Senior High School

2021

7. TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Laura Robinson

Alva school

2021

8. TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Maria Fein

Lehigh Acres Middle School

2021

9. TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Christine Coleman

Mirror Lakes Elementary School

2021

10. TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Karyna Sandin

Lehigh Acres Elementary School

2021

11th TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Debby McLemore

Tortuga Preserve Elementary School

2021

12. TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Melissa Zeiher

G. Weber Hipps Elementary School

2021

13 TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Anselmo Solorzano

Varsity Lakes Middle School

2021

14th TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Deborah Henry

Veterans Park Academy for the Arts

2021

15. CRIMINAL BIRD OFFICER OF THE YEAR

Deputy Alexandria Davis

Lee County Sheriff’s Office

2021

16. FIREMAN OF THE YEAR

Javier Bermudez

Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District

2021

17. EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE PRICE

Larry Arfmann

Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District

2021

18. MEMBER OF THE YEAR

Michael Jacobs

Go Small Biz / LegalSheild

2021

19. CHAIRMAN’S AWARD

Susan Kostyk

Insurance agency Kostyk

2021

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