“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” These words from famed American literature professor Joseph Campbell ring one hundred percent true for the American Gold Star Mothers of Indian River County, Inc., recipients of the October Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County. The group of mothers whose children have died will in the military service, as a result of that service, or who are still missing in action, strive to keep the memory of their sons and daughters alive by working to help veterans, those currently serving in the military and their families and communities. Their efforts help support and assist a number of efforts in Indian River County and impact 14,000 veterans and their families.
Though the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the group is presenting its annual Walk-a-Thon for Military Suicide Awareness, this year’s “Do 22 and Challenge and Virtual Walk” could help raise awareness and assist even more veterans than ever before. From November 1st through November 14th, individuals can participate and help the American Gold Star Mothers of Indian River County, Inc., benefit Dogs for Life, which trains service dogs for veterans, Next Generation Veterans of Indian River County, and the Mental Health Association of Indian River County. The October Dyer Difference Award recognizes and honors the new organization and its efforts.
Honoring heroes and first responders in a similar fashion was on the mind of the Dyer Difference Award Selection Committee in St. Lucie County, too. The Hundred Club of St. Lucie County was created expressly to quietly and humbly serve St. Lucie County’s public safety first responders and their families by providing direct financial help for spouses and dependents of law enforcement officers and firefighters who have lost their lives or become disabled in the line of duty. Created in 1987 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to support first responders, the organization has been a source of support and comfort for families of first responder from all St. Lucie County agencies, including the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, the Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce Police Departments, St. Lucie County Fire District, Florida Highway Patrol of St. Lucie County and others. The premise of the Hundred Club is to honor first responders and let them know they are not alone. The Dyer staff family one hundred percent supports the mission and recognizes the organization with its October award.
The Dyer Difference Award is all about celebrating the beauty and kindness in our midst. For the Dyer family and the members of the Dyer staff, the award and the $6,000 in donations made monthly between the St. Lucie and Indian River Counties are all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it’s an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you’d like to nominate a non-profit organization for the Dyer Difference Award, please visit www.dyerdifference.org or find Dyer Difference on Facebook.