On Thursday, February 2, 2012 the Punta Gorda Police Department’s “Do the Right Thing” program will honor five students for their good deeds. Awards will be presented to the following students at a ceremony in the City of Punta Gorda Council Chambers at 3:00 p.m.

Amber Hendricks is a fifth grade student at Sallie Jones Elementary School. Amber is being recognized for her honesty. Amber was at a football game at Charlotte High School and she found a wallet that belonged to someone named Meagan however, she could not read the entire last name. Because there was $5.00 in the wallet Amber insisted on finding the owner. After much leg work her goal was accomplished. This was not the first time Amber has done this. On a trip 2 yrs ago she found a credit card and was relentless in her efforts to find the owner. After two days the credit card company notified the owner and his card was returned. The owner did not know the card was missing and was so happy to get it back mailed her 20.00 as a reward.

D”Andre Hicks, a seventh grader at the Punta Gorda Middle School, is also being recognized for his honesty; D’Andre found some money at school and gave it to his counselor. He stated that he found it and wanted to turn it in, in case someone lost it. His counselor was very impressed with his honesty and concern for others and nominated him for the Do the Right Thing Award.

Lauran Jones, a seventh grader at Murdock Middle School, is being recognized for her concern for others. Lauran has graciously worked with a student assisting them in one of her classes as a volunteer interpreter. Lauran has worked with another student who does not speak fluent English and is teaching her while still completing her own work. Basically, Lauran has been a support to one of our non-English speaking students, and she volunteered for the job eagerly and without hesitation. She deserves this award because she definitely “Did the Right Thing”.

Jonathan Kirdy, a sixth grader at Punta Gorda Middle School, is being recognized for his desire to help other young people. Jonathan is a very special, amazing, and caring young man. He always steps up to help anyone in need. One of his favorite sports is Basketball. When asked if he would help coach the Charlotte County Special Olympics Basketball team, he didn’t hesitate to say yes. This commitment is a sacrifice of almost all of his Sundays from November through January. It takes patience and compassion to coach the special needs athlete. He demonstrates each trait with maturity and understanding.

The final student being recognized is Cheyenne Reamer, an eighth grade student at Murdock Middle School. Cheyenne became suspicious of two male classmates so she followed them to the school restroom. After they left she had a male student check the restroom and noticed it was on fire. Cheyenne blocked the door, preventing other students from entering, until a teacher arrived. She then ran and retrieved a fire extinguisher and had the secretary pull the fire alarm. Her statement to the State Fire Marshall led to the arrest of two fellow classmates for arson. Her actions are being recognized for going above and beyond what is expected of a middle school student. Her actions prevented anyone from being injured, minimized the damage to the school and resulted in the arrest of the suspects.

The purpose of the “Do the Right Thing” program is to recognize the positive actions among local youth. The Punta Gorda Police Department is pleased with the decisions made by many of our area youth and wants their deeds to be known by the community at large. The media is encouraged to attend this rewarding event.