CCP presents Community Partner, Citizen Recognition, awards
Larry and Patricia Verdone and Shannon Yates have always gone well above and beyond the call when it comes to supporting the Cape Coral Police Department.
On Wednesday, at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, these three people were shown appreciation for their efforts at the department’s annual Ceremony of Recognition, which lauds the milestones and accomplishments of officers throughout the year.
Police Chief David Newlan gives the Community Partner Award, along with the Citizen Recognition Award, to any citizen or business that has assisted the police department in any significant endeavor.
“We give this award to people outside the organization who help contribute to the success of an endeavor we take on,” said Capt. Anthony Sizemore of the CCPD. “The event is just a year-end look back on what we have done.”
The Verdones, who work for Culligan in Fort Myers, and Shannon Yates chef/owner of Nevermind Awesome Bar and Eatery, were presented the award for their efforts in promoting the Department’s Do the Right Thing, the Police Athletic League and Shop with a Cop programs, even working together to help raise money for the CCPD’s charitable causes
The Verdones moved to Cape Coral four years ago and they immediately felt a connection with the community. They happened to meet a couple of police officers at Nevermind and saw community service in action.
Larry and Patricia have always helped military personnel as a way to give back to their community. Although neither of them served, they wanted to give back to their new city, and the Do the Right Thing program gave them the opportunity.
Larry Verdone said he had no idea how he was named for the award, and admitted he didn’t know how to handle the attention he’s since received. He said since his customers have given so much to them, he needed to give back.
“I don’t take compliments well for whatever reason, but I like being part of Cape Coral and giving back,” Verdone said. “I would rather do it privately. I work for a company that’s been around for 45 years and they lead by example.”
To date, they have helped raise more than $7,500 through fundraising activities. Many of these events have been held at Nevermind with the support of Yates, with the venue providing the food and the Verdones providing the money.
In addition, they collected gift certificates from businesses which were raffled off during Shop with a Cop events.
Yates was presented a plaque for his contributions to the Cape Coral Police Athletic League, which was relaunched this past year and relies on donations to register local children in sports programs. Yates serves on the board of directors, often places officers in contact with youth and their guardians, and hosts fundraisers on behalf of the organization.
“Non-profit is a big part of our business. In fact, it’s necessary. I grew up with sports here my whole life, since the early 1970s,” Yates said. “We do so much. We do it because it’s a feel-good thing, and it’s the first time I’ve been recognized for something. So, it’s extra special. Because of them, we have a safe city to work in.”
For these people, it’s about helping those who help keep the city safe and keeping the kids from straying in the wrong direction.
“We really admire the Cape Coral Police Department, and we think they’re a good partner for us,” Verdone said. “I do what’s necessary.”
“I enjoy working with the police department. I look forward to growing the PAL in the next three to five years,” Yates said. “I’m happy to be recognized in my hometown. I really appreciate it.”