Members of the Greater Lehigh Chamber of Commerce listened to a spirited speech given by Ruth Ann Anglickis when she said all the people in Lehigh must come together in "One Voice" to create a better Lehigh Acres.
Also Officers of the Month were honored, a Volunteer of the month was honored and a Member of the Month received special recognition.
"We do not have our fair share of development and growth, and we sometimes think we never will get it, so why even try. However, we are 1/3 the land mass of Lee County and we are more than 15 percent of Lee County's population.
Ruth Ann Anglickis, a member of One Voice for Lehigh, delivers a spirited speech last week before the Greater Lehigh Chamber of Commerce.
"We provide a lot of tax dollars to Lee County that we do not see returned to our community for improvements. Many of our tax dollars go to incorporated cities in Lee County and a lot of our school taxes are never returned as they go to other areas of the state for schools in counties who do not raise enough tax dollars," Anglickis said.
She urged members to attend the meeting where the Lehigh Acres Redevelopment Plan is being finalized. The date for the meeting is April 14 starting at 9:30 a.m. and it is being held at the Veterans Park Recreational Center.
"Get involved in the plan to see where we could be going if everyone gets on the train to come "One Voice" and continue "Community Action Forums."
She noted that the county has spent more than a half million dollars helping to develop a plan that will jumpstart future development in Lehigh.
Anglickis said there is a lot at stake if the leadership in Lehigh stays "fragmented, apathetic, or individualized."
"There is a lot at stake if we don't become One Voice and become educated in the process of how we can help make this plan a reality," she said.
"We can sit back and continue our status-quo, or we can find ways to rededicate ourselves to create a new vision and a new mission, in order to make what we want to change by working together," she said.
Her full speech can be found in today's Lehigh Acres Citizen on Page 5.
The monthly luncheon of the Chamber is held on the last Tuesday of each month at the Microtel Inn & Suites. In addition to Chamber members, others in the community are invited to attend. But you should call the Chamber to make reservations. The cost of the luncheon is $12 for members and $15 for non-members.
Meanwhile, Gary Bright, the Chamber's executive director, called three officers to the podium for the recognition of two local sheriff's deputies.
Deputy Robert Margrander and Deputy James Campbell were given plaques honoring them for excellent police work in February.
Lt. James Loethen, second in command at the Bravo Station on Homestead Rd., said that on Feb. 29, deputies responded to a report of a male who was shot with an assault rifle at 702 Leeland Heights Blvd. in Lehigh. The 18-year-old male victim was on the ground in the front yard. As they rushed to the scene, deputies were told that the 17-year-old male suspect was armed with an K-47 assault rifle and was hiding inside the home at that address. Margrander and Campbell were riding together and they were first to arrive on the scene.
Loethen said the two deputies positioned themselves in the best tactical position possible to extract the victim and begin urgent lifesaving efforts.. The victim was dragged to safety and both deputies immediately began cardio pulmonary resuscitation in an attempt to save the mortally wounded victim's life
"Unfortunately, for the young victim, and even younger suspect, their valiant efforts were in vain and the victim died from the single gunshot wound that he had sustained.
Loethen said it is common knowledge that deputies face life threatening situation as they rush to someone's aid, the risks they face are not always apparent as in the case of a traffic stop or an approach to a residence. More often than not, the threat is unknown; it comes out of nowhere and tragedy strikes.
"In this case, Deputies Margrander and Campbell acted with distinguished bravery and selflessness, when they intentionally put themselves in harm's way in the face of a murderer armed with an AK-47 assault rifle in an effort to protect and rescue an injured victim.
"For Deputy Margrander and Deputy Campbell to act with such uncommon valor is highly commendable," Loethen said.
The Chamber's Member of the Month was Amie Dampier of Frank's Roofing & Spraying Inc. She was honored for her time and services to the Chamber for various functions and taking the time to serve on committees. She has participated in several events of the Chamber before she took on this year's challenge: chairperson for the Chamber's Leads Group.
Ann Pursel, who has volunteered for the Chamber for almost two decades, was honored for her service.
"Ann has been one of our cherished Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce volunteers. Her extensive knowledge about Lehigh Acres and the business community makes Ann a well appreciated resource for visitors and guests at the Welcome Center on the corner of Alabama and Homestead roads, the Lehigh Towne Center," said Chamber president Gary Bright.
"Ann is one of the most caring persons you can meet. She is very reliable, friendly and dedicated to her Chamber, which makes her very appreciated and loved by the Chamber staff," Bright said.