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Law & Order Ball to raise money for school safety

August 23, 2018
By CJ HADDAD ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Rotary Club of Fort Myers South, also celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, has announced its "Fund-A-Need" initiative for 2018.

In conjuncture with the 2018 Law & Order Ball, the group will fundraise to bring mass casualty kits to Lee County Schools, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida SouthWestern State College and Southwest Florida International Airport.

This will be the fifth annual Law & Order Ball, and the third year "Fund-A-Need" will work along side the black-tie event.

"Fort Myers Rotary South and the Law & Order Ball strives to meet the unmet needs of our law enforcement partners. As we begin the new school year, from elementary to collegiate, there is a heightened awareness regarding safety and security," said Roger Mercado, Rotarian and event chair for the Law & Order Ball, in a prepared statement. "As Southwest Florida prepares itself for another tourist season, our airports will be packed. Through the suggestion of our partner agencies, we are trying to equip schools at all levels and our local airports with mass casualty kits to prepare ourselves for any disaster or crisis."

These kits, supplied by local healthcare provider LeeSar, will provide numerous first aid amenities to treat injuries before medical attention is available.

Some of the equipment inside will include 10 tourniquets, bandages and quick-clotting agents to help stop mass-bleeding within 1.9 seconds.

Each mass casualty kit can help up to 15 people survive potentially serious injuries under emergency circumstances.

"The Mass Casualty Kits that will be placed in the Lee County Schools will be a valuable tool for an incident where casualty care is needed. These kits, hopefully never needed, have materials inside that can save lives," said Master Sgt. Allan Kolak, spokesperson for the Cape Coral Police Department.

The goal to instate these useful tools into all schools and the airport, is to fundraise $186,000.

Captain Mike Miller of the Lee County Sheriff's Office touches on how the kits could save lives, and are a needed resource in today's day and age.

"We have to gauge for the unexpected, especially now there's been a whole lot of tragedies happening in the schools. The kits can be helpful in any emergency situation, providing help to the wounded until emergency services arrives. We can actually treat multiple people and minimize the loss of life or serious injury," he said in a written statement.

"Fund-A-Need" started in 2016, when The Rotary Club of Fort Myers South raised $60,000 for personal or car "tactical" trauma kits for law enforcement officers across Lee County to wear or have available in their cruisers.

"In 2016, we isolated the project to officers on the road and looked at arming each officer with a personal pack. This project looks to expand that concept and have larger kits to meet the needs of 10 to 20 people in need in a public space throughout all schools (in Lee County), FSW, FGCU and RSW," said Mercado.

The lion's share of fundraising dollars from the Law & Order Ball is made possible by sponsors, along with live and silent auctions at the gala event.

Twenty percent of the profit will go towards youth programs across seven different law enforcement agencies across the county.

"The remaining goes towards Fort Myers Rotary South's Charitable Giving Program where non-profits and law enforcement agencies can apply for assistance to fund a program, mission or necessary supplies," Mercado said. "In the past we have provided funding to law enforcement Explorer programs, FMPD's Benevolence Fund through their Cops and Joggers event, Big Rig Books, Junior Achievement, SalusCare and many other worthy non-profits."

"The Law & Order Ball was created to not only honor local law enforcement but to raise funds for various related needs," the event release states. "Paying tribute to Lee County law enforcement officers, the event raises funds for the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South Foundations, which provides grants to Lee County law enforcement agencies and local non-profit organizations."

The Lee County Sheriff's Office, Fort Myers Police Department, Cape Coral Police Department, Sanibel Police Department, Florida Gulf Coast University Police Department, Florida SouthWestern State College Police Department and Lee County Port Authority Police are all beneficiaries of the event.

The Law & Order Ball will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Germain Arena and is open to the public.

Registration for the celebration of local law enforcement personnel is $175 per person and $1,750 for a table of 10 guests.

If you are not able to attend, or want to show you support for local first responders, you can "Fund-A-Cop," which allows a member of the previously mentioned departments to attend the event.

'Members of the public have the ability to send an officer (of their choice or for the agencies to select) by purchasing a seat for an officer. We also offer a reduced ticket price specific to law enforcement to try to make it easier and more affordable for them to attend," Mercado said.

There will also be a special guest at the gala event, a celebrity of sorts who has depicted a law enforcement officer.

To register for the Law & Order Ball, visit

Germain Arena is at 11000 Everblades Parkway in Estero.

- Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj



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