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Civic’s first ‘community night’ event at the ballpark deemed a success
August 8, 2018

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It was the first really big fundraiser the North Fort Myers Civic Association has conducted under its new leadership; North Fort Myers Community Night at the Fort Myers Miracle game on Saturday at the Century Link Sports Complex.

The results were so promising that the president of the organization said he and the Miracle would get together again to do another one, likely early in the season.

Even though it was put together in a little over a month, the civic association raised around $650, while those who came for the reduced-price tickets enjoyed a night at the ballpark even though the game started an hour late due to rain.

The civic association sold tickets in advance of the event as well as the day of. It also sold 50/50 raffle tickets and membership in the organization, as well as promoted other events, such as the Wiffle Ball tournament to be held in February, perhaps with the help of the Miracle.

Doug Dailey, president of the organization, threw out the first pitch and North Fort Myers residents got a special section along the third-base line to enjoy the game in which the Miracle called themselves the Grouper, which they have previously this season.

"It was a very successful night for the North Fort Myers Civic Association. We got some great exposure and possibly some new memberships," Dailey said. "We made a lot of new friends we didn't know we had. Hopefully, we can make this an annual event."

Vice President Rudy Berndlmaier said he was hoping for a slugfest. Instead he got a pitcher's duel that was scoreless until the bottom of the ninth, when Mark Contreras sent everyone home on a walk-off home run to end it.

Dailey said in the next few weeks, he and the team will get together to plan another North Fort Myers Community Night for the 2019 season, possibly in April or May when the weather is a little bit better.

Danny Ballard, another Civic vice-president, said it was a great showing by the civic association, given the time of the year and the threatening weather.

"With the Grouper winning in the bottom of the ninth makes it fantastic. We raised decent money even though the weather made people stay away," Ballard said. "It was a fantastic night and we look forward to doing this again this April."

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