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Chamber looks to build Lehigh Community during annual awards gala

January 16, 2019
By JUSTIN MARTIN ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

A night of drinks and dancing awaits as the Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce will honor community members, teachers, and emergency personnel during its annual awards gala on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The chamber is looking to increase the focus on Lehigh as a community this year according to the chairwoman of the galga Susan Kostyk. Jazz will be the theme for the 27th annual celebration, and rather than bring in outside musicians as they have in the past, Kostyk said that the gala will feature performing arts students from the community's high schools.

"What we wanted to do is rather than go outside we wanted to bring in the students to make it more of a community event so people get to see more about what the chamber is about," said Kostyk. "It's about supporting the businesses, the schools, all the people who go above and beyond. "

In addition to the student performances, a live DJ will be on hand to keep the jazz playing and the dance floor full. An hour of cocktails and appetizers will be offered both on the outside patio and inside the Heritage Palms Country Club, where the event will take place, before the full service dinner that guests will receive as part of their ticket. Black tie attire is requested and attendees are encouraged to wear their dancing shoes.

Along with the drinks dinner and dancing, guests will be able to participate in silent auctions and raffles. The chamber is still accepting donations and sponsorships for the event which, in addition to tickets, will net business owners custom-made gift baskets. Gold tier donors will be recognized for sponsoring one of the 13 teacher of the year recipients during the event.

Clay Miller of NBC2 will host the awards which, in addition to naming a teacher of the year from each of Lehigh's 13 area schools, will also present awards to local law enforcement, firefighters, emergency personnel, and chamber members

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"We want to make it more Lehigh friendly so that people not only come out and support the chamber, but support the people who live and work here," said Kotstk. "We want everyone to come, it's not just for the chamber no, it's for everyone."

The gala will be held on Jan. 26 at 10420 Washingtonia Palm Way in Fort Myers and will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 and can be reserved by calling 239-369-3322 by Jan. 18.



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