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NFM Civic Association: North Fort Myers Community Night – Play ball!
June 27, 2018

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Another new project from your North Fort Myers Civic Association, a North Fort Myers Community Night with the Fort Myers Miracle, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m., Century Links Sports Complex. Association President Doug Dailey discussed this with the powers that be and arranged a night of baseball AND fundraising for the Civic Association.

So, how does the Association raise money for civic projects at a baseball game?

Well, tickets for a starter.

The NFM Civic Association tickets will be sold to the public at $10. Tickets would be available to it at $7.50, the additional $2.50 going to the Civic Association. General admission can get $7.50 tickets from the Miracle at the game. And we figured out how to sell them early. Vouchers that can be traded in for tickets will be made available.

Let's talk logistics (I like to use big words every once in a while so folks think I'm smarter than I am).

Bruce and Darleen from All-American Printing (thank you both) offered their business as a physical location to pick up Ticket Vouchers for the event. So, what are these vouchers? Well, to sell as many tickets in advance of the game as possible (actual tickets are not available until the day of the game) All-American will create Ticket Vouchers for sale and sell them at their location. The Voucher would be presented at the gate in exchange for an actual ticket. All-American also offered to create and place a banner in the front of their business on Bayshore Road, advertising the Community Night. They'll donate the banner to the Civic Association.

So, please buy Ticket Vouchers, come to the game, and sit with us in a special section of the Park.

We do have an enticement.

All-American volunteered to supply goodie bags and will add some goodies to it. The Association will also go, hat in hand, to other local businesses/restaurants seeking contributions to fill it. It will be handed out at the front gate prior to the game for those who purchased advance tickets. So, the extra $2.50 may very well turn out to be a great investment! Please go to our website, www.NFMCicic.com for more information.

And, the Miracle agreed to let the Association conduct a 50/50 fundraiser from our patrons as well. Those tickets are being printed as we speak! At worst, a bunch of North Fort Myers' friends and neighbors get together and have a great time at a baseball game. Not such a bad thing. And more likely, we will also raise money to fund future events (think Wiffle Ball Tournament) and charitable activities (scholarships). You might actually come home with 50/50 money!

Our tax exempt status is moving along, with only a slight hiccup. The original Articles of Incorporation from 2000 were located through Sunbiz (Florida Secretary of State). Tax exempt status hinges on definition of an entity's "purpose." (Yes, another law lesson coming up). Well, the original Articles did use the words "community pride" and "betterment of North Fort Myers" but apparently were too vague or sketchy for the IRS 18 years ago. So, we've amended the Articles based on the Internal Revenue Code, adding language that further describes activities and including, "combatting community deterioration" and "lessening the burdens of government." With input from Board members, and further review of IRS Rulings, I modified the language consistent with the NFM Civic Association's planned activities and 501(c)(3) requirements.

Last but not least, the Lee County Arts Center, under the direction of Maryanne Howard, has settled on July 28, for its inaugural Art Walk at Hancock Square. The LCAC got permission from the owner for the event. Site plans and proof of event insurance were submitted to the County and like magic, we have a county permit. Vendors are signing up, food trucks will be there, and the LCAC looks forward to seeing you all. We call this virtually abandoned shopping center "ground zero." It has been the focus of redevelopment discussion but sadly no action. The LCAC hopes drawing attention to it will invigorate community focus and more than discussion. The County and owner can partner to make the area the beginnings of expansive redevelopment, taking advantage of the mixed use overlay, already approved by Lee County. Imagine a portion of the parking lot as a tiled plaza, restaurants with outdoor eating, boutique shops, as well as residential and business towers in place of an empty supermarket. Folks could work in the repurposed Square, live there, and shop at its stores or make the easy trip across the bridge to downtown Fort Myers. Well, a guy can dream can't he? Stay tuned though. This may not be just my dream.

Next meeting: July 10 at 6:30 p.m. 2000 N Recreation Way, North Fort Myers.

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