Tragically, first responders and veterans are killed in the line of duty and their families and friends are left to cope with the tragic loss. SWFL Heroes Foundation provides these at-need individuals with the resources necessary to rebuild their lives. Our organization’s passion and drive, along with the support from our local communities through fundraising and donations, allows us to provide support for our local Heroes. Thank you for joining us along on our journey and for providing financial support through your generous contributions.
Michael Thompson is a native Floridian who grew up on Lake Okeechobee in Belle Glade, FL. and has called S.W. Florida home since 2001. Michael is a resident of the Alva community and enjoys raising his daughter in paradise.
Michael is the Founder of the S.W. Florida Heroes Foundation, Inc., and has been an advocate for Law Enforcement, Firefighters/EMS & Veterans his entire career. Michael is currently a Fire Commissioner in the Alva Fire Control & Rescue Services District.
Michael is very active in Non-Profit work as he continues his work on the Board at the East Lee County Chamber of Commerce & the Lehigh Community Services. His passion to help and assist others began as a child and continues to this day. Michael is also the Broker/Owner of Sunrise Realty Network, Inc.
Ashlynn Super is a native to the Southwest Florida area and is a recent Florida Gulf Coast University graduate. Ashlynn has a special interest in assisting with programs in relation to first responders and veterans as many of her close family members have served on the front lines. Ashlynn works in Communications, specifically in the municipal construction industry and is continuing her education as a graduate student working to obtain her Master’s degree in Business Administration.
Cecil L Pendergrass, son of Margie and C.L. Pendergrass, is a lifelong resident of Fort Myers. He and his wife, Jodi, have been married for 30 years and have had the privilege of raising their two children in Lee County.
Cecil proudly devotes his life to public service. He began serving our community in 1984 when he was sworn in as a City of Fort Myers Law Enforcement Officer. During this time his focus was to improve the quality of life for those he encountered. He served as Vice-Chairperson for six years on the Department of Justice Weed and Seed Board, which provided grant money to local non-profit organizations for the betterment of area youth. Cecil’s success throughout his law enforcement career is attributed to his unwavering work ethic and unique ability to bring together the desires of the community with City and County resources. He faithfully served for 25 years, retiring with over 30 awards of distinction. Following retirement, he transitioned into the wealth management field as vice president of Private Asset Management Group, LLC, an independent financial asset firm that helps clients establish, pursue and maintain short- and long-term financial objectives.
Cecil was elected to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners District 2 seat in November 2012. In a vote of confidence from his colleagues, he was unanimously sworn in as Chairman of the board at his first meeting. He also took on the responsibility as chair of the Board of Port Commissioners during his first year.
In his role as county commissioner, he serves on multiple boards and advisories. He currently serves on the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and is the commission’s liaison to the Public Safety Coordinating Council, the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, and as Treasurer on the Transportation Expressway Authority Management of Florida (TEAMFL). Additionally, he serves on the
Lee Health System Trauma Advisory Committee, Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free SWFL Advisory Council, and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Foundation Board. Cecil also previously served on the Commission on Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation.
Cecil was named 2013 Elected Official of the Year by the News-Press in recognition of his exemplary work on the Lee County Commission. He earned his County Commissioner Certification (CCC) from Florida Association of Counties (FAC) followed by his Advanced County Commissioner (ACC) Certification. On August 26, 2014, Cecil was re-elected for a second term with overwhelming support.
Cecil appreciates the importance of preserving and protecting the Florida ecosystem while promoting responsible growth to stimulate the local economy. He is committed to protecting our community by safeguarding our area’s natural resources by actively advocating for water quality projects and the Conservation 20/20 Lands program, improving our roadways for safe and timely travel, controlling spending, creating a business-friendly environment to stimulate job growth, and maintaining a safe/secure public safety program.
On November 6, 2018, with overwhelming support from the voters, he was re-elected to serve another four years. He is honored and privileged to serve the citizens of Lee County.
My name is Eli Mendes I am the owner of Tropic Trailer w/ locations in Fort Myers & Marianna, FL. I am thrilled to be a Director with the S.W. Florida Heroes Foundation as throughout the years I have always tried to thank my customers and give back to our community.
Over the past few years it has been very important to me to be able to donate bicycles to children at Christmas that otherwise would not be able to receive one. The first year we donated 130 bicycles. The second year I was overwhelmed with the amount of support from the S.W. Florida Heroes Foundation & friends and community partners that wanted to help us reach another goal and we were able to donate over 325 bicycles! I look forward to continuing to build upon our early success with our friends and community partners with this fundraiser and help more and more children right here in S.W. Florida!