Paul Mahung reporting…
Guest speaker at the event on Friday July 14th was Punta Gorda Mayor Fern Gutierrez.
Fern Gutierrez – Mayor, Punta Gorda
“The importance of highlighting unity in the community is what is happening here today and so on behalf of the entire Punta Gorda Town Council I would like to pay tribute to the Evelyn John Foundation who continuously have contributed to the growth and development of Punta Gorda Town. They came a couple months ago with the concept and ideas and we sat down and a year later we are here taking part in the official opening ceremony. The scope of works and plans for the cemetery is a collaborative effort so I would like to thank the Foster Family specifically the Foster Women who have been very exemplary as it relates to ensuring that this project takes place today. Again it continues to speak about the willingness to take ownership of our communities to contribute to our community and for us to work together cohesively as one. The Foster sisters had an option and they chose to come back home and work in Punta Gorda town and so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them to thank the artist who was part of the official sign, to thank the contractor Mr.John Nunez who did an excellent job, to thank the workers and the personnel who were a part of it but most of all to use the Evelyn John Foundation as an important aspect; the importance of ownership, the importance of collaborative efforts.”
Another speaker was a member of the family who financed the project Marva Skeen Foster.
Marva Skeen Foster
“365 plus days ago I vividly remember our meeting with the mayor when we presented the idea of the Evelyn John Memorial Walkway and our plans to empower, engage and enrich our community one project at a time. With the financial support from our family and some man power support from the Mayor’s office we stand with you to open the Evelyn John Memorial Walkway dedicated to our parents John and Evelyn Foster. I am honored that you have taken the time out of your busy schedule to come here today in support of this project. The Evelyn John Memorial Walkway that many of us have worked long hours to share in the excitement of this ribbon cutting ceremony, your presence is humbling as this special day. I want to thank Jays Construction for believing in our dream making it a reality, Mayor Gutierrez for her unwavering support and assistance.
Cutting of the ribbon to mark the inauguration of the walkway was done jointly by Mayor Gutierrez and Foster family members Yvonne, Marva, Karen and Frank. The construction of the walkway which spans the entire width of the cemetery was done by John E Nunez and royal palm trees on both sides were planted by Frank Foster.