Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 10, 2019 12:00 p.m.

Neurofibromatosis (NF) Awareness Month – May 2019

Members of the Children’s Tumor Foundation were on hand to receive a city Proclamation from Fernandina Beach Mayor John Miller, who encouraged all citizens to participate in NF public awareness activities to help promote early diagnosis, proper management and treatment, prevention of complications, and support for research.  Over two million people world-wide are living with the genetic effects of NF and one in every 3,000 births is diagnosed with NF, but the disorder is still a relatively unknown condition that affects all people equally, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender.  The Children’s Tumor Foundation, through its information resources, youth programs, local chapter activities and national NF Clinic Network, steadfastly foster collaborative partnerships in medical science and industry to accelerate drug research and development, improve access to quality patient healthcare, and provide essential patient and family support.

Mental Health First Aid Month – May 2019

Once again the City of Fernandina Beach underlined the importance of community support for mental health awareness and treatment.  Via Proclamation, Mayor Miller encouraged citizens to learn more about mental health and substance use disorders, implement early intervention measures, recognize warning signs, intervene to prevent suicide and other traumatic events, and guide those in need to appropriate treatment and other support services.

In accepting the Proclamation, Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare Community Liaison/Mental Health First Aid Instructor Ms. Katrina Robinson-Wheeler thanked the city and encouraged audience members to consider signing up for classes that would make them better able to deal with mental health issues in families, neighborhoods and the greater community. 

National Preservation Month – May 2019

Fernandina Beach continues to demonstrate its commitment to preservation, as it grows and develops, through ongoing historic and archaeological surveys; the nomination of significant cultural structures and National Register of Historic Places; the protection of its traditional neighborhoods; the integration of historic elements with redevelopment; and the recognition, rehabilitation and restoration of historic properties.  In recognition of these efforts, Mayor Miller declared May National Preservation Month.  

(l-r) FB Main Street Board members Laura DiBella and Robert Ferreira; Restoration Foundation President Adam Kaufman; City Preservation Planner Sal Cumella; FB Main Street Executive Director Arlene Filkoff; Historic District Council Chair Mike Spino; Mayor John Miller

On behalf of the historic preservation community, Cumella thanked the commissioners and the community past and present for their commitment to retaining and restoring local historic assets, acknowledging that such commitment required significant investments of time and resources on behalf of volunteers and property owners.

Filkoff and Cumella encouraged citizens to participate in the various activities scheduled for the week, including a Preservation Tour on May 11.  

 Peace Officers Memorial Day – May 15, 2019 and National Police Week – May 12, 2019

Fernandina Beach Police Chief James Hurley accepted the Proclamation on behalf of his department.  Mayor Miller said, “It is important that all Florida citizens know and understand the unique challenges and responsibilities of their Police Department, and that members of our Police Department fully recognize their duty to serve the people by protecting life and property, by standing up against violence and disorder, and by shielding the innocent and the weak against oppression or intimidation.”  He noted that Police Chief James “Frank” Surrency was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1930, while serving the citizens of Fernandina.  Miller went on to state, “By their faithful and loyal devotion to duty, our local peace officers have established an enviable and enduring legacy of public service that is cherished by our community and is woven into the fabric of our history.”

Hurley thanked Commissioners and noted that Florida had 158 police officers killed in the line of duty this past year.  He encouraged citizens to attend the formal ceremony marking the day at the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office the next day.

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