Child care workers, board members and community supporters gathered Nov. 13 at the Joseph H. Messina Children's Center to celebrate a year of accomplishment and success for Child Care of Southwest Florida.
Chief Executive Officer Beth Lobdell thanked donors and supporters for helping to provide early childhood education at the non-profit agency's six child care centers in Lee and Hendry counties.
Children from the Joseph H. Messina Children's Center in Fort Myers sang and danced for the audience, while parent Julie Kurszewski described how the agency came to her rescue when she faced 16 surgeries for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and had no one to care for 18-month-old daughter, Layla.
PHOTO SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN
The new officers of Child Care of Southwest Florida: John Miller, secretary; Dale Korzec, vice-chair; Jack Eisenga, of Lehigh Acres, treasurer; and Karen Miller, chair.
Through a scholarship offered by Child Care of Southwest Florida, she was able to start on her many surgeries, knowing that her daughter would be cared for during her recovery.
"Without your donations, I don't know where I would be right now," Kurszewski said. "I know for a fact I wouldn't have been able to get my hip and knee replacements, and I'd still be in a lot of pain and possibly unable to walk."
Appreciation also was expressed to former Board Chair Dale Korzec, of Lehigh Acres, and former Vice-Chair Scott Robertson for their years of service to Child Care of Southwest Florida.
Officers to serve for the coming year are: Karen Miller, of HSA Engineers & Scientists in Fort Myers, chairman; Dale Korzec, of BB&T Bank, vice-chairman; John Miller of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, secretary; and Lehigh resident Jack Eisenga, controller of HealthPark Florida in Fort Myers, treasurer.
During 2011-12 year, Child Care of Southwest Florida:
- Served 500 children in child care early learning centers;
- Operated six child care early learning centers, all of which are accredited by the National Accrediting Council;
- Conducted training for 1,200 early childhood teachers;
- Employed 105 people;
- Administered the federal food program in 160 child care homes and 92 child care early learning centers in 14 counties from Indian River on Florida's east coast to Collier County on the west coast.
Child Care of Southwest Florida is a private non-profit organization that provides high quality child care for children from infancy through age 8 at its six centers throughout Lee and Hendry counties.
In addition, the agency provides training for early childhood educators and administers the federal food program for child care early learning centers and family child care homes.
For more information, call (239) 278-1002 in Fort Myers or visit: www.ccswfl.org.