BELLE GLADE, Fla. — For nearly eight decades, Clover Coffie has been a prominent figure in Belle Glade.
"It's a good place to live," said Coffie, while sitting outside his home.
Coffie is a long-time business owner and property owner. He's seen the impacts of the pandemic on his community, and when the Covid-19 vaccine was being rolled out he wanted to be one of the first in line.
"We thought it was necessary for our family," Coffie said.
But the city of Belle Glade has one of the lowest percentages of people who are fully vaccinated in all of Palm Beach County.
"It's a challenge for us, but I'm confident we'll get through it," said the city's mayor, Steve Wilson.
The mayor's family has been hit especially hard by the virus. Last week, WPTV reported the mayor's wife, Lisa Wilson, lost six family members in three weeks time. All of them were unvaccinated.
For months, the mayor says he's been working to dispell myths, rumors and concerns about the Covid vaccine.
"We can't sit back, this is blood on our hands when people die here and that's the responsibility of leaders of this community to step up," Wilson said.
The Vice Mayor, Mary Wilkerson, has also been persistent helping lead that effort.
"As small as this communtiy is, if your family member died it affects all of us," Wilkerson said.
On Monday night, the city commission voted to start offering city residents $100 gift cards to entice more people to get the vaccine.
"We have to do all we can to save a life," Wilkerson said.
The city was offering $25, but that didnt help much. Now, the hope is the extra money will encourage more people to step up.
"Help yourself, other people, help your family, and help your community," Coffie said.
The gift cards will be handed out this Saturday, September 25 at a city-wide vaccination event. It will be held from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. at the Belle Glade Loading Ramp. If you receive your second shot, you will also receive a $25 gift card.