the best of HOMETOWN HEROES florida is ten chapters of uplifting and heartwarming stories about people of all ages and backgrounds who are changing their communities, their state, and the world through their unique personalities and their desire to help others.
"WOW! became our keyword for this book. After we interviewed each of these extraordinary people, we would get in the car, look at each other and just say WOW!" Thomas Routzong & Steven Skelley
"The authors tell remarkable stories." Gary Roen / Midwest Book Review
THE HOMETOWN HEROES
Patrick D Smith - An Author Remembered
Patrick D Smith has been called Florida ’s greatest author. He has been nominated for multiple Pulitzer and Nobel prizes. People have asked that his books be read to them on their death bed. He once spent several years masquerading as a migrant worker in order to learn how they are often abused and mistreated. His fictional novels set in Florida’s history are world famous.
Ed Schick - The Hamlet Quoting, Motorcycle Riding Hope For The Hopeless – Ed Shick was raised in a broken home. He often found himself homeless and sleeping on the beach for weeks at a time. He tested as mentally challenged. Ed found he wasn’t mentally challenged. He earned a college degree and went on to open shelters to house and educate the homeless and hopeless.
Hazel Haley - From Too Ugly To Live To A Beautiful Soul
Hazel Haley thought she was born too ugly to live. She eventually found her place in the world as a high school teacher. She was so loved by her school and students that they wouldn’t let her retire….until she reached age 90! Hazel is a firecracker who has been sought out by Oprah and the Tonight Show.
Rafael Ortega - A Law Officer Condemned To Die, Reborn To Serve – Bronx born Rafael Ortega served the Pompano Beach area as a deputy for over 20 years until he contracted hepatitis A, B & C while arresting a criminal. With just days to live, Rafael promised God that he would serve the Latino community with what was left of his life. Rafael miraculously lived and the police officer became a peace offerer.
Dolly Hand - Home Is Where Your Heart Is – Dolly Hand is a wealthy socialite who should fit in perfectly with her Palm Beach friends. Instead, she uses her finances and influence to help the poorest of the poor as she chooses to live among them in one of the most disadvantaged cities in the state.
Kathy Catino - From Broken and Beaten To A Shining Beacon
Kathy Catino married the wrong man. She was beaten, isolated, and locked in a closet for days. She escaped. Kathy turned her nightmare into an opportunity to help other battered women and children. She opened and operated nationally acclaimed shelters in St Pete and Naples and is credited with saving the lives of tens of thousands of women and children.
Dr. Russell Barber - Teacher Of Tolerance
Barbara Walters. Tom Brokaw, The Dahli Lama. Billy Graham. Barry Manilow. Mother Teresa. These are the people who Russell Barber calls friends. Russell is a 3-time Emmy award winning journalist and college professor who has dedicated his life to creating dialogue between people of faith….all faiths.
Choctawhatchee High School - Coming Together To Change The Future
The word " Choctawhatchee " means "to come together." 2nd grade teacher Jenifer Bafundo and high school teacher Linda Evanchyk came together with an idea to change the lives of thousands of students. They paired successful high schoolers with disadvantaged second graders as pen pals and mentors. The interaction between children who would otherwise never have met has changed the lives of every
Zion D'jatar & Dr. Erroll Findlater - Breaking The Cycle Of Generational Poverty
Zion D’Jatar is a former high school principal named for the African word for lion. Dr. Errol Findlater is a successful surgeon. They have both chosen to move their families to a community where the majority of residents live in poverty. They have teamed up to teach kids to succeed in school and in life.
Jack Nelson - Access To Success
World Record Swimmer and Gold Medal Winning Olympic Coach. These are just two of Jack Nelson’s many amazing accomplishments. Jack’s mother only reached the third grade. His father reached the fourth grade. Jack was considered too short and stocky to be a swimmer by many of his competitors. They even made fun of him....until he blew them out of the water and set world records. Jack has taught thousands of children to swim and thousands more about drowning prevention while teaching them all that no goal is unreachable and that character is as important as winning.
Steven Skelley is a member of AANR.
For more information, visit http://sunnyharborpublishing.org/HometownHeroesFlorida.php
(Available in USA, only)