A week before the red carpet was rolled out for the 3rd Annual Law and Order Ball, Rotary Club of Fort Myers South had already sold out the event. The Sept. 17 gala, the first black tie affair to be held at Germain Arena, transformed the arena into an elegant backdrop for this significant event honoring local law enforcement. The fundraiser benefits the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South Foundation and Lee County enforcement youth programs and underwrites the purchase of life-saving tactical trauma kits for officers’ use in the field. Southwest Florida’s finest were celebrated, including the five finalists for the Officer of the Year Award.
At the wildly successful event, which drew more than 600 local dignitaries, law enforcement representatives, business owners and residents, Sergeant James Matthew Chitwood of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office was named Office of the Year. He received a custom ring from Mark Loren Designs, a recognition plaque, a brand new Glock pistol, and many other gifts. He has been with LCSO for the past two decades and is currently the supervisor of the East District Criminal Investigations Unit. Chitwood also volunteers his time with the Gateway flag football league where he teaches his team sportsmanship, patriotism, and teamwork.
The event also recognized four very special finalists, chosen in a rigorous blind judging process from a vast field of deserving officers in the Southwest Florida community: Master Sergeant Jon Kulko, Cape Coral Police Department; Officer Cassie McHale, Fort Myers Police Department; Detective Michael Cahill, Lee County Sheriff’s Office; and Deputy Sheriff First Class Jarrod Cantrell, Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Rotary of Fort Myers South introduced a new targeted fundraising initiative called Fund-A-Need for this year’s Law and Order Ball. The objective was to equip law enforcement units with tactical trauma kits to facilitate the stabilization of trauma victims in the field. Coinciding with FEMA’s nationwide “Stop the Bleed” initiative, the Fund-A-Need initiative raised over $50,000, offering more personnel the best chance to save a life when mere minutes matter.
Rotary Club of Fort Myers South Foundation established the Law and Order Ball to recognize and celebrate public safety’s finest officers, who proudly represent our local law enforcement agencies. It is the foundation’s belief that selecting an “Officer of the Year” from the agency submissions serves to promote public trust and support for the officers and the law enforcement agencies involved.
In addition to ticket sales, auction bids and Fund-A-Need, Rotary Club of Fort Myers South owes the success of this year’s record-shattering Law and Order Ball to its generous sponsors: Creighton Construction & Development – Title Sponsor; LeeSar; Survival Armor; NBC-2; The News-Press Media Group; CTN 10; Edison National Bank; Enterprise Holdings; Armor Correctional Health; Beasley Media Group; the Galloway Family of Dealerships; Tech-Tronics; CONRIC PR & Marketing; The Eventful Company; Mark Loren Designs; Rapid Print; Siesta Pebble; Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, PA; Eye Centers of Florida; Wilbur Smith Law Firm; Gulf Coast Coin and Jewelry; Gendron Funeral and Cremation Services Inc.; Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner; CFS Roofing; Home-Tech; Red Roof Inns; Aubuchon Team of Companies; Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits; Fort Myers Police Department; Lee County Sheriff’s Office; HBKS Wealth Advisors; Old Sparky Productions, Inc.; UAStar Photo Booth; Florida Gulf Coast University; Maureen Grabowski; Card Systems, E-Guarded Security; Platinum PEO Resources; Suncoast Credit Union; Coca-Cola; Ruth Messmer Florist; Interior Plant Scapes; EnSite; Coastal Beverages; Coca-Cola Beverages Florida; and Costco.
Rotary Club of Fort Myers South
Rotary Club of Fort Myers South has more than 140 members who are among the 1.3 million Rotarians worldwide. Service Above Self is the motto of Rotary International, which has contributed more than $1.2 billion and tens of thousands of volunteer hours toward polio eradication in addition to projects such as water quality, world peace and literacy. Meetings are held each Monday at 12:00 PM at the Crowne Plaza, 13051 Bell Tower Drive. For more information, visit www.rotarysouth.org.