By Melissa Higens Barry
While growing up in a small town in Idaho, my parents were my role models for volunteering and serving in the community. I inherited the love of service from them. Fundraise for the local Kiwanis Club, roadside clean ups, weed fields for food pantries, just to name a few.
As a mother of 6 children, I volunteered my time in the past with PTSO, running the local soccer club, coordinating the yearly Easter Egg Hunt, and serving on the Planning and Zoning Committee.
When my family moved to Florida, I wanted to help where I could make a difference. As Executive Director of the Lehigh Acres Senior Center, I connected with many community stakeholders and established community connections to get even more involved in the Lehigh Acres, starting by serving on the Lehigh Community Services Board of Directors. As a member of the Lehigh Acres General Women’s Club I am supporting their mission to raise funds for local scholarships. I am recording secretary for the Lehigh Acres Architectural, Planning, & Zoning Review Board and learn firsthand about new developments in Lehigh Acres. I also serve on Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition. Along with that, I support groups and programs some of these include the Rotary, Lehigh Community Neighborhood Watch, Boy Scouts, Lehigh Senior Center, Kiwanis, Harry Chapin’s Senior Boxes, Dr. Ella Piper’s Senior Companion program, and East Lee County Chamber of Commerce events.
My special interest is with the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District. By partnering with them during my time at the Lehigh Senior Center, we were able to offer fire extinguisher classes, CPR class, fire station tours, dispatch and Lee County Emergency Center tour, and educational presentations for the Seniors. Vital educational information to save lives. And great connections with Fire personal on all levels.
Since 2018, I attend the Board Meetings of the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District. When I have questions, I find the answers by asking the right people. This is how I built up my extensive knowledge about the Fire District in the last two years.
What I have discovered during the last two years is that there are alternatives and better ways to do certain things and handle certain issues. With the backing of my children, family, friends and community stakeholders, who all encourage me to run, I decided to be a candidate, because I know I can make a difference.
Approved by Melissa Higens Barry for Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District, Seat 1