April 4, 2014 

There were 5 Charlotte County students honored this past Thursday for doing the right thing.                                                                                                                 

Our first young lady Wendy Flores, is an eleventh student at Charlotte High School. Several months ago, while at the movie theater in Town Center Mall, Wendy saw something shiny under a seat. When she reached to pick it up she noticed it was a class ring. Upon further inspection she realized it was a fellow Tarpon’s lost class ring! She kept it over the weekend and took it to the secretary in the school office explaining why she was in possession of another students’ class ring. Class rings are very expensive and the owner didn’t know if he would ever see his ring again, but thanks to Wendy’s honesty, he was relieved and thrilled to have it returned to him. Wendy is to be commended for showing Tarpon Fundamentals of doing what’s right, doing her best and treating others how she would like to be treated. 

Our next person is Jax Mendelsohn who is in the fourth grade at Myakka Elementary School. The person nominating Jax had this to say. Jax definitely did the right thing. At our school’s holiday gift store, Jax accidently received items in his bag that did not belong to him. After he checked out, he put his purchases in his back pack. While on the bus on his way home that day from school, he looked at the items he purchased and discovered there were things in his bag that did not belong to him. As soon as he arrived home, he told his mother. The next morning the first thing Jax did when he arrived at school, was go to the front office to return the items that did not belong to him. Coincidentally, the other student’s parent had just notified the front office that they their son was missing items that he had purchased. The other parents were thrilled to find out that their son’s items were just returned. They were pleased that honesty had won out and that Jax had returned the items that he did not purchase.

Our next recipient, Sofia Triana was nominated by Battalion Chief Briggs of the Punta Gorda Fire Department. Chief Briggs wrote: I would like to nominate a young girl for the Do the Right Thing award. Her name is, Sofia Triana, she is 10 yrs. old and goes to Sallie Jones Elementary School. A few weeks ago, on a Friday night we got a call for smoke inside an apartment and fire alarms going off. We arrived on scene and were met out front by Sofia and her grandmother.  She told us in a calm but urgent manner that they had turned on the heater and smoke and ash were coming out of the registers on the walls and the fire alarms were going off. She said her Mom was still upthere on the second floor. We went upstairs and met Mom. She had the heater off now and all was ok. A slight haze of smoke was in the unit and some ash was on her desk and bedroom floor. We opened up the air handler and couldn`t see anything obvious, The heating element is behind the electrical connections. She turned the heat back on and a little more ash came out but no smoke. I advised her to leave it off and follow up with an AC company, which she did and they found a piece of cardboard inside by the heater element. We have no idea how it got there, it must have been from the installation. She told me that her daughter was so thankful for our response that she baked us cupcakes and brought them by the station the next day.

Stephanie Durance from Punta Gorda Middle School, was the next recipient. Stephanie went in to the 7th Grade House Office several months ago with $60 Dollars (Cash) that she found on the stairway going to her class. She came into the office and said, “Ms. Williamson, I found this money on the stairs on the way to my next class and I wanted to turn it in”. Stephanie earned several Eagle Bucks (Positive Behavior rewards) for this kind act but we decided she deserved so much more. We wish there were more people out in the world with Stephanie’s awesome values.  

Our Overall winner for the month of April, Lindsey Stokes, comes to us from the Port Charlotte High school.

On February 5th, 2014 while working as the School Resource Officer for Port Charlotte High School Deputy Moore met with a Port Charlotte High School student, Lindsay Stokes. Lindsey was very upset and reported that another student, who had gone home early, had been tweeting about committing suicide. Lindsay further advised that she was trying to talk the other student out of harming herself but was afraid she would follow through with her plan. As Deputy Moore contacted dispatch to have a well-being check conducted on the student, Lindsay continued to communicate with the student preventing her from harming herself until EMS could arrive. Although other students were aware of the situation, no one reported the incident. Lindsay was genuinely concerned for her classmate and exhibited amazing self-control, compassion and did not hesitate to stay after school until her classmate was located. The following day Moore spoke to the guardian of the other student, who advised that there was no question that her granddaughter would have committed suicide if it was not for the quick intervention and medical care provided from the Sheriff’s Department, EMS and local hospital. She was very grateful that another person cared enough for her granddaughter to save her life. The actions that Lindsey displayed on February 5th should be recognized. Without Lindsey’s commitment to saving this student’s life and having the confidence to report it, this incident may have had a different outcome.

We always like to hear about all of the wonderful things our youth are doing in our communities. If you know of a youth in Charlotte County doing good deeds please nominate them for a Do the Right Thing award at www.puntagordapolice.com or call the Executive Director of Do the Right Thing of Charlotte County, Corporal Tony Pribble at 941-639-4111.

Prepared by:
Tony Pribble
Executive Director – Do the Right Thing of Charlotte County