Our History


George Washington noted that America’s great experiment in Democracy depended upon the education of our youth, the future guardians of our liberties.

The wisdom of our sages and blood of our American heroes culminate in the words of Ronald Regan, who echoed Washington’s sentiments, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”


January 18, 2010

KEEP THE SPIRIT OF ’45 ALIVE National Spokespersons Hugh O’Brian and Edith Shain officially announce the start of the 2010 Spirit of ’45 campaign,

August 10, 2010

111th US Congress passed a concurrent resolution making the 2nd Sunday in August, Keep the Spirit of 45 Alive day.

August 12, 2010

Lois Bolin, Bernadette Lapeggeli and Michael While started the first Breakfast – 1st Annual Naples Spirit of 45 took place.


  1. Greatest Generation Breakfast (80 in attendance)
  2. Taps Across America on the Naples Pier. (Started by Lois Bolin)

February 2011

Lois Bolin was invited to go the 1st annual Spirit of 45 National’s Leadership Conference in Baton Rouge, LA.

August 2011


  • Rosie the Riveter Launch (June)
  • Greatest Generation Breakfast 2nd Saturday
    101 yrs. Old Rev Honored Guests came in limousine
  • Pinchers Crab Shack Saturday
  • Taps Across America Naples Pier

September 2011

Veterans Oral History Project – Lois Bolin brought down a trainer from the Library of Congress to talk of how to collect stories –

November 2011

WWII Speech Contest (November) Naples Toastmasters 11/11/11
Naples Airport

August 2012

Botanical Gardens Friday (Music & BBQ)

  • Greatest Generation Breakfast Saturday
    Maps of WWII – Banners to sign
  • Honorary Chairs: Earl Hodges & DR. Franklyn Johnson
    American Spirit Award Peter Thomas
    Surprise guest, Peter’s Producer from Forensic Files
  • Taps Across America
    History Fair Awards: Hodges Heritage Award One More Hill Award

Veterans History Project Training
Aug 24 the FL Rep for the LOC’s VHP came to Naples to conduct training for 15 individuals. Lois Bolin and Matt Romary conducted 12 oral histories within 2 month and entered them into the LOC in order to get the attention directed towards Naples Training of conducting oral histories.

November 2012

Collier County launches Veterans History Project at the Naples Hilton
Honored Guest Producers of Honor Flight the Movie. Lois met them in 2012 at the SO 45 National Leadership Conference in San Diego and suggested they enter film competitions after seeing their documentary. They did not want to do so until they official launch of Aug 14th.  anThe next film festival wasNaples FL. In November 2012- they were featured at the NIFF.

EX DIR of Library of Congress – VHP flew in for the ceremony, as did Director
Of Spirit of 45

Maps of WWII – Banners for Veterans to sign – given to Museum of Military Memorabilia

December 2012

Honor Flight the Movie Cambier Park Pearl Harbor Day

August 2013

Greatest Generation Breakfast Saturday

Attended by Governor Scott, who stayed to have photographs taken with WWII veterans

Legislative Delegates: Hudson, Passidomo, Richter attended
All guests received a free photo from photo booth

Peter Thomas History Fund – established at the Holocaust Museum of SWFL 2013. Proceeds from SO 45 go towards the transportation expenses for students going to Tallahassee, the state competition and National History Day.

CCPS to require 8th grand students to participate in Florida History Fair, which was rescinded by the Teacher’s Union. (Bargaining chip)

October 2013-15

Lois coordinated Charity Row for the Naples Stonecrab Festival under the Gordon River Underpass- where Veterans groups were represented – (Lois Co-founder of festival) Naples Spirit of 45, Veterans History Project, Collier County Honor Flight and Hodges University/ America Legion, Vote in Honor of a Veteran, PAWS Assistance

WWII names shared with the new Collier County Honor Flight

May 2014

Reg Buxton, Chair
Great Britain General Consul came to Naples for VICTORY FLORIDA reception

August 2015

VICTORY FLORIDA (Matt Hudson) Resolution- honoring 70th Anniversary of ending of WWII & promotion of Florida’s WWII Heritage Trail

September 2015

SWFL Veterans Alliance, Inc (501c3 est.)

Reg Buxton, Diane van Parys, Wayne Smith, Lois Bolin
Honorary: Peter Thomas*, Pappy Wagner, Michele Doherty
Advisory Board: TBA

December 2015


February 2016

National Spirit of 45 Conference in San Jose- Bolin appointed Fl Chair

May 2016 

Jerry Yellin visits SWFL to promote Spirit of 45




Rosie the Riveter Day established at Faith Lutheran Church with Rosie’s Roses

Gold Star Mothers of SWFL host Greatest Generation Registration and loaves of love for Operation Christmas Spirit


1st Annual Rosie the Riveter Day Lunch

NEW LOCATION- St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church-Pulte Life Center

Launch of Florida WWII Heritage Trail Map