VIP Winners: Who’s Your American Hero?

VIP JUDGES pose with Scarecrows in the Park Entry by Buckingham Exceptional Student School depicts 2-time American Paralympian and bronze medalist Melissa Stockwell. Who's Your American Hero?

VIP winners of the 11th annual Scarecrows in the Park competition announced 

Fort Myers, FL, October 25, 2020 – The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation and Lee County Parks & Recreation are pleased to announce the VIP winners of the 11th annual Scarecrows in the Park competition.  The theme of this year’s competition is “Who’s Your American Hero?”.

Who's Your American Hero

Who’s YOUR American Hero? Scarecrows in the Park runs through October 31st, 2020; visit the Children’s Garden at Lakes Park in Fort Myers to view the exhibit. People’s Choice voting will continue online through October 31st. Visitors to the exhibit are encouraged to cast their votes by visiting the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Use the “like” or “love” icons to cast your votes on both pages.

The VIP Judges Panel

Judges for the VIP portion of the competition included Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann, Director of Lee County Parks and Recreation Jesse Lavender, and Officer Leland Mitchell from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.  The competition opened on Saturday October 24th, in the Children’s Garden at Lakes Regional Park.

The Judges’ Favorites

VIP Judges toured the Scarecrows exhibit on Saturday afternoon and agreed on their top three favorites. In no particular order, they are: 

VIP Judges pose with entry from Harns Marsh Elementary School - ONE TEAM, ONE DREAM. Who's Your American Hero

VIP Judges L to R: Officer Leland Mitchell from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office; Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann; and Director of Lee County Parks and Recreation Jesse Lavender awarding a ribbon to Harns Marsh Elementary School’s entry, ONE TEAM, ONE DREAM

  • “One Team, One Dream” by Harns Marsh Elementary School
  • “Amelia Earhart” by Riva Del Lago Condominium Association
  • “Melissa Stockwell” by Buckingham Exceptional Student center
VIP Judges pose with entry from Riva Del Lago Condominium Association, AMELIA EARHART. Who's Your American Hero

VIP Judges pose with entry from Riva Del Lago Condominium Association, AMELIA EARHART

The VIP Judges were impressed with the positive messages conveyed by both “One Team, One Dream” and “Melissa Stockwell”, and found irresistible humor in “Amelia Earhart”.

VIP JUDGES pose with Scarecrows in the Park Entry by Buckingham Exceptional Student School depicts 2-time American Paralympian and bronze medalist Melissa Stockwell. Who's Your American Hero

VIP JUDGES pose with Scarecrows in the Park Entry by Buckingham Exceptional Student School depicts 2-time American Paralympian and bronze medalist Melissa Stockwell

“Melissa Stockwell” creates social media stir

The judges were not the only ones impressed. Later Saturday, Buckingham Exceptional School’s entry caught the attention of the real Melissa Stockwell on Instagram. Stockwell is a two-time American Paralympic triathlete, swimmer, and former US Army officer. She earned a bronze medal in the inaugural triathlon event at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Stockwell posted on her own Instagram account about the exhibit and also “liked” every single entry in the competition.

People’s Choice Voting – online this year

People’s Choice voting will continue online through October 31st. Visitors to the exhibit are encouraged to cast their votes by visiting the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Use the “like” or “love” icons to cast your votes on both pages.

Social distancing friendly outdoor recreation

The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation has organized this event as part of the Lakes Park Fall Festival for 11 years. This year’s event has been specially designed to accommodate social distancing due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Normally a major fundraiser for the benefit of Lakes Park, the “American Heroes” version of Scarecrows in the Park is more focused on providing a safe and fun outdoor recreation activity for the community to enjoy together.

About the Foundation

The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation, a nonprofit organization, assists Lee County Parks and Recreation through philanthropic and voluntary efforts to enrich Lakes Regional Park and the community’s enjoyment of this natural resource. The Foundation uses the funds they raise to help enhance the Lakes Park summer camp experience, and to make improvements to the Botanic Garden and other areas in Lakes Regional Park. Visit LakesPark.org for further information.