Mayor Teri Johnston and the Key West City Commission proclaimed October 21, 2022, Be Like Mike Day in conjunction with United Way of Collier and the Keys' project honoring the late "Mangrove" Mike Forster.
Forster was a dedicated citizen of the Keys, stepping up and helping the community from one end to the other during disasters. He was a business owner and a former Islamorada council member. He was a sitting county commissioner when he passed away.
But Mangrove Mike was much more. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he personally served food to communities up and down the Keys, dishing up hot meals to Key West residents and others in need in Monroe County. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, he reached out and provided meals to the people hard hit by the storm.
"Forster worked tirelessly to protect and improve his community in any way he could," reads the proclamation, "organizing food giveaways, hosting MARC clients for dinner and a dance at Mangrove Mikes, preparing lunches for the Boys and Girls Club for their annual trip to Miami, and through unwavering support for law enforcement and veterans."
Forster believed strongly in the idea of paying it forward, and United Way's project focuses on performing random acts of kindness. Kicking off on October 17, 2022, the non-profit is encouraging the community to reach out in a number of ways. Meaningful Monday is a chance to "give back to Keys kids." The following days include being kind to the ocean, helping our furry friends, and thanking veterans and law enforcement.
The final day, October 21, 2022, is Forster's birthday. On this day, United Way and the City of Key West encourage the community to "feed the Keys" by donating non-perishable food items to local food banks.