Great Kids held its third annual Hero Fest, honoring extraordinary people who strengthen our community. Students shared hero stories, original artwork, and dance throughout the evening’s event. Honored guests included Mayor of Ormond Beach, Bill Partington; Veterinarian of Granada Animal Hospital, Dr. Wolfe; Kids Rock the Nation Founder, Anthony Wild; Authors and Ormond Beach Historians, Alice and Ron Howell; Environmental Discovery Center Cordinator, Annie Evert; Tomoka State Park event coordinator, Aggie Armstrong, FPL engineer and lineman, Mr. Porter and Mr. Manis; and Florida Master Naturalist, Ms. Joan Tague. An art gallery featured artwork created by many of our talented artists. Following the event, a reception for all families and our community was held in the church lobby. Special thanks to our event sponsors - First United Methodist Church, Daytona Auto Mall, Daytona International Speedway, Angell & Phelps, Buffalo Wild Wings, DB Pickles, Duva Sawko, Hilton Garden Inn, Learning Outsource Group, Microflex, Sam’s Club, and Waste Pro. We are especially grateful to our everyday heroes for investing in the well-being of our children – our volunteers, families, board of directors, community partners and Volusia County Schools.

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Ms. Tague is the bird expert of Ormond Beach! She teaches children and adults all about birds. We were surprised to learn that there are so many kinds of birds living right here in Florida! Ms. Tague shared photos and interesting details about birds such as the flamingo, the Scrub Jay, brown pelican, white pelican, American crow, Fish crow, heron, egret, the sanderlings and the bald eagle. Ms. Tague has studied birds for 30 years, and she's always reading books to learn more about them. She carries a guide book so she can identify birds who may resemble other birds. We are so thankful to have our own bird genius right here in our town! 

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Dr. Wolfe, the veterinarian at Granada Animal Hospital has been making a difference for lots of animals in our community for a long time. Dr. Wolfe taught us that it's important to have our pets spayed or neutered because it helps keep animals out of Animal Shelters. We understand that it is a big responsibility to take care of pets. We need to make time to play with our pets and give them exercise, baths, clean their teeth and ears, and give them heartworm medicine. Dr. Wolfe has helped nearly 60,000 animals since she began her practice at Granada Animal Hospital in 2013. We are huge fans of Dr. Wolfe and Granada Animal Hospital! 

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Mayor Partington serves the citizens of Ormond Beach. He has to prioritize our needs and balance the interests of many people in our community. During his term as mayor, he has improved our community. One special project was the building of Andy Romano Park, which added 200 parking spaces near the beach, and a place for families to have picnics and where kids play on the splash pad. Another project was the creation of Central Park where citizens go fishing, canoeing, play tennis and basketball. Mayor Partington spends time on things that are most important, listens to other people's ideas, and works with a team to solve problems. We are grateful for the Mayor's leadership!

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So much work goes on behind the scenes at FPL. Mr. Porter, an FPL engineer makes sure that all of our homes and businesses have electricity. Mr. Manis, an FPL lineman shared his tools and equipment and demonstrated how he uses his computer to quickly and efficiently restore electricity. We especially liked visiting his office, which is actually his bucket truck. We are thankful for FPL and all the workers who make sure that electricity runs smoothly in 4 million homes across the state of Florida.

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