ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — We've seen so many heroes throughout the year.
And they’ve been highlighted weekly on Spectrum Bay News 9.
Starting with Kaycee Soltysiak, our Health Hero of 2020.
What You Need To Know
- BN9 Heroes of the Year
- Click on the link above to watch highlights of the award winners
- Want to nominate an Everyday Hero? Click here
Soltysiak opened a Tampa Pharmacy-Clinic, in honor of her dad who died in 2004, providing free HIV and STD testing and treatment and free prescriptions for those who can’t afford to pay.
Our Young Hero Award went to St. Petersburg’s Ian Navalas whose attention to battle bots turned into battling Covid in the early days of the pandemic using a 3D printer. This 15-year old built and delivered masks to nurses, doctors and all first responders.
Lauren Kolodner and Nichole Aguero were named 2020’s Public Service heroes. They founded “Against All Odds,” which provides women transitioning back into the community after stays in jail or other institutions with clothing and other basics.
They met while both were in recovery in a treatment center about eight years ago. And both have walked a mile in the shoes of the women they now help.
Hero Volunteer honors went to Toni Coleman.
A Bradenton business owner, Coleman has been a volunteer mentor to sixth, seventh and eighth graders at "AMI kids manatee". To her, these kids are like her own and she says she is driven by the love she has for them.
Our Education Hero honors went to Hillsborough teacher Gloria Brooks who founded the Tampa Bay Monarch Project which provides way stations for beautiful and critically important to our environment monarch butterflies, creating butterfly gardens, as well as teaching about them.
Each year our viewers select their “Viewers Choice” from a field of four and for 2020 they picked Lakeland’s Melynda Rinker whose home smells especially wonderful on Fridays. That’s the day she bakes bread, 50 loaves and more, and offers it free of charge to all who would enjoy them.
And we wrapped things up with the naming our Hero of the Year with high honors going to Brandon Evans who began “Project 100” whose mission is to promote, produce and provide support to create productive citizens of the community.
Along with mentoring young kids, Evans organizes street cleaning in his Tampa neighborhood and provides for the homeless population and more.
Our congratulations to all our wonderful 2020 Everyday Heroes.