Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog - Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

President’s Update for April 2012

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 13th

Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

We are just finishing up a very busy six months at Edison Ford with the grand opening of the restoration of the Edison Botanic Research Lab and recording breaking crowds for tours and programs for the period.  In fact, most  days, we used all of our available parking and any areas nearby for visitor parking and group buses.

As we complete six years as a non-profit corporation and more than a decade in our transition from management by the City of Fort Myers to the new corporation, the evidence is clear that new programs, visitor growth, and award restoration are attracting a more diverse and larger audience from all over the world.

Our local community programs are also growing, too, as we include more ways for our residents to join in special activities and exhibits.  For example, the recent Black Maria Film Festival of award winning short films attracted 150 participants who enjoyed the riverside film venue, and the annual Antique Car and Boat Show brought in a record breaking 147 cars and boats and record breaking crowds.

This month, we begin a project to celebrate the people who have contributed special talents to the Edison Ford over the years.  The project includes an oral history video program as well as an exhibit of life accomplishments.  Our first honoree will be Helen Hendry, Edison Ford Trustee, Florida Landscape Architect, and longtime area resident.  Her recent project was the completion of the new landscape median which includes the Helen Johnson (Hendry) Bougainvillea but her impact at the Edison Ford and throughout Southwest Florida is very broad and impressive.

As the school year draws to a close, I am especially proud to single out the accomplishments of our Education Department as they teach and integrate science, engineering, math and the arts in the schools and here at the Edison Ford.  They have been a leader in the county-wide STEM education program through the unique hands-on science teaching of The Wild Wizard and Edison Muckers, they won the Edison Festival of Light Parade with Lee County High Tech Central and they have grown the Homeschool Program to reach more than 120 families monthly.  As we head into our 7th Annual Inventor’s Summer Camp, I want to congratulate them, encourage them and help to provide the teaching areas and resources that are making our overall program truly unique.

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