Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Birth of Team Punta Gorda - Fifteen Years Ago This Month

From Florida Weekly archive June 1, 2005
In November 2004, it started as an idea by local business people and civic-minded citizens wanting to help rebuild their city.   At a time when city and county officials were overwhelmed, struggling to provide normal services, they jumped in to form a citizen-based organization to help plan the recovery and eventual renaissance of a City that many had adopted as their new home town or had families who had lived here for generations.  

TEAM Punta Gorda under the early leadership of Roger Kress (pictured (center left) above being presented a check from Vernon Peeples (center right) of the Charlotte Community Foundation at the time), a local businessman, quickly grew to 1400 members and raised $25,000 within a few months.  With a matching grant from the Charlotte Community Foundation, a world-renowned urban planner, Jaime Corea, was hired to design a new Punta Gorda.  After many public planning sessions organized by TEAM, a vision emerged documented in the Citizens Master Plan which has been used over the past fifteen years to guide the resurgence of the City.  

Today, while the mission has changed from recovery to community development, TEAM Punta Gorda's tradition of community involvement and collaboration is still at its core.  Included in its many achievements, TEAM can be credited for initiating the founding of the Punta Gorda History Center.

TEAM will be honored this December 7 at the PGHC's Southern Supper.

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