ELC Environmental Ed Champion Lifetime Achievement Awards to Alma Lee Loy, Robert F. McCabe

news release

The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) recognizes the significant accomplishments of Alma Lee Loy and Bob McCabe by honoring their commitment to the environment, their work for the betterment of the natural world as well as for making a significant impact on the lives of others in our community with an ELC Environmental Education Champion Lifetime Achievement Award.

 On November 18 at 3:30 p.m., these two community and ELC heroes will be honored for their incredible efforts. The family of Alma Lee Loy and Bob McCabe will be accepting these ELC Environmental Education Champion Lifetime Achievement Awards in their honor. This award ceremony can be viewed live on the Environmental Learning Center’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/discoverelc/

Alma Lee Loy

 Alma Lee Loy was nicknamed the ‘First Lady of Vero Beach’ due to her tireless commitment to the people, businesses, nonprofits and quality of life for residents of Indian River County. Alma Lee was born in her beloved Vero Beach and lived here her entire life. It is said that the three most important things to her were family, church, and schools.  She was humble, hard-working and honest; an icon with a gift for making people feel special and inspired.

Among many other accomplishments too numerous to list, she was a successful business woman, a noted philanthropic leader, the first female elected chair of the Indian River County Commission (she served on the commission for twelve years), was the first female president of the VB/IRC Chamber of Commerce, was recognized in 1995 with the establishment of the Chamber’s “Alma Lee Loy Community Service Award”, and was the founding co-chair of the Environmental Learning Center. 

It is fitting that Alma Lee Loy, a true pillar of our community, receive this lifetime achievement award from the ELC. She played a key role in the launching of the ELC more than 30 years ago, demonstrated a lifelong commitment to our environment and has made a positive impact on the lives of countless others and our natural resources by helping establish this premier environmental education organization in the region.

Robert F. McCabe

 Bob called himself, ‘SOB’ – Sweet Old Bob, which was a very accurate description of him. He found joy in making people smile and loved making new friends.  He was a successful banker who involved himself in mergers, acquisitions, underwriting, and venture capitalism. He met his wife Ellie in 1984 and moved to Vero Beach shortly after that. 

Bob and Ellie supported many charities in the region through the Robert F. and Eleonora W. McCabe Foundation that eventually became a donor-advised fund within the Indian River Community Foundation. Bob served on many non-profit boards including being a long-time member of the Environmental Learning Center Foundation where he contributed generously.

The ELC is honored to bestow this lifetime achievement award to Bob for his commitment to the ELC and its foundation. Through his efforts, he strengthened the ELC as a champion for environmental education. 

Each family will be presented with a unique handmade mangrove wall art award (made from recycled metal), as well as a dedicated engraved boardwalk plank (a composite made from recycled plastic) as a part of the TLC for the ELC program to revitalize the campus. More information on TLC for the ELC: https://www.discoverelc.org/tlc-for-elc

The Environmental Learning Center is a 64-acre 501(c)(3) not-for-profit environmental education and nature center. Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower all people to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being. The ELC is located in Vero Beach at the western base of the Wabasso Bridge and is open seven days a week to serve the community through field trips, camps, year-round programs for youth and adults, nature art displays and more. ELC’s campus includes a 1,500 gallon aquarium and touch tank, butterfly garden, native plant garden, children’s play areas, miles of boardwalks & trails, as well as watersports and pontoon boat eco-ventures that help increase access to nature for people of all ages.

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