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B.J. Gerald selected Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year

By Staff | Feb 16, 2011

The Lee County Board of County Commissioners has selected B.J. Gerald as the recipient of the Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award for 2010. The board made the announcement at its meeting on Tuesday.

Gerald works with Lee County Domestic Animal Services, Sierra Club, Alva Inc., CROW, Lee County Parks and Caloosa Riders. She is also an active member of numerous environmental groups to help protect the environment.

The runners up were also acknowledged at the board meeting. They included Sanibel resident Darla Letourneau and Deborah Sebastian of Lehigh Acres.

Letourneau, who helped launch BikeWalkLee, is a community activist who took part in the Complete Streets Implementation Working Group, an active public participant in Community Sustainability Advisory Committee as well as the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

In addition, Letourneau, has been active with a number of community-focused organizations since moving to the island in 2000. She is a part president of Zonta’s Sanibel-Captiva chapter and the Sanibel Bicycle Club, has been an advocate for the Southwest Florida Addication Services (SWFAS), a docent for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and a member of the City of Sanibel’s Stewardship Committee.

Also nominated for the award was Sebastian, a member of the Lehigh Acres Community Policing Subcommittee, Community Watch Coordinators and Keep Lehigh Acres Beautiful Committee.

The Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award was created in 1991 in honor of Mrs. Burton, who died tragically in an automobile accident. Burton a longtime Sanibel resident and government watchdog, spent many years serving as a voice of the people to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners as well as playing an active role in island politics.

In the 20-year history of the award, Robbie Roepstorff is the lone Sanibel resident to have the honor bestowed upon them, receiving the honor in 2008.