Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
November 12, 2017 5:00 p.m.
National American Indian Heritage Month – November 2017
The National Congress of American Indians was established in 1944 to secure and preserve American Indian sovereign rights under treaties and agreements with the United States, to protect American Indian traditional, cultural, and religious rights, to seek appropriate, equitable, and beneficial services and programs for American Indian people and governments, and to promote the common welfare and to enhance the quality of life of American Indians.
Native American Awareness Week began in 1976 and recognition was expanded by Congress and approved by President George Bush in August1990, designating the month of November as “National American Indian Heritage Month.”
American Indian representative Nadine D’Ardenne accepted a proclamation from the city declaring November as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Fernandina Beach Mayor Robin Lentz urged all citizens to observe the month with appropriate ceremonies, programs and activities in recognition of the contributions American Indians have made to enhance the freedom, prosperity, and greatness of America today. Their customs and traditions are respected and celebrated as part of a rich legacy throughout the United States.
In accepting the proclamation Dr. D’Ardenne, a psychologist who recently spent time on Indian reservations in New Mexico, thanked the city and said that the proclamation serves as an acknowledgment of both the role of American Indians in the nation’s history as well as recognition of many injustices that they have suffered. She said that she hoped that Americans would be mindful of American Indian heritage during the Thanksgiving season.
Trees for America’s Troops, Inc.
Trees for America’s Troops, Inc. is a local, all volunteer organization, steadfastly committed to ensuring every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman serving in harm’s, way knows they are loved, appreciated, respected and have not been forgotten during the holidays. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Bargeron founded the organization in 2011 to honor the sacrifice and memory of their son, U.S. Army Specialist Kelly Mixon, who lost his life in action while serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Since 2011 Trees for America’s Troops, Inc. has been providing U.S. military troops on deployment with decorated Christmas trees and essential items to help them overcome the drudgery and hardships of faraway duty.
Mayor Robin Lentz presented a proclamation declaring the city’s appreciation to this organization and the nation’s warriors to Judi Mixon-Brown, President of the organization. In accepting the proclamation on behalf of the organization and the family, Mixon-Brown explained the work done year round to support the effort. She said that last year organization’s 96 volunteers had collected and shipped 1,500 pounds of decorated Christmas trees and practical gifts to overseas troops. She welcomed additional contributions and cash to help defray shipping costs. For additional information, visit their website http://treesforamericastroops.org .
Petanque Amelia Island Open
Mayor Robin Lentz delivered a proclamation declaring the city’s sincere thanks to Philippe Boets for his many contributions to the community and proclaimed him the Official Ambassador of the: “Pétanque Amelia Island Open.” Lentz said the City of Fernandina Beach is honored to host the 8 Annual Pétanque Amelia Island Open this year. It is the largest Pétanque event in the Americas, and it takes place each year at the foot of Centre Street in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach. She added that local introduction to Pétanque would not have been possible without the tireless efforts and endless enthusiasm of the tournament’s founder, Mr. Philippe Boets, a Belgian who arrived in Fernandina Beach via Jamaica and Miami in 2009. “Mr. Boets carried his love of Pétanque to Fernandina Beach and subsequently brought the world to enjoy our charming island,” she said.
Boets accepted the proclamation, praising city workers for continued assistance in establishing the tournament and preparing the site. He said, “Without the help of the city, we would not be able to pull this off each year.” He also thanked his club president Jimmy Weinser and members of Amelia Island Boules, saying the petanque club was like “Facebook without a screen.” He also thanked the Tourist Development Council for taking over the tournament this year.
In this year’s Pétanque Amelia Island Open, 600 participants will visit Amelia Island from eighteen countries, twenty-four states, four continents, and from as far away as Mongolia and New Zealand. Boets said that as many as 70 percent are returning players.