The bookends of life are by children hoping for time to pass quickly and wishing to grow up and seniors looking back and wishing time had passed more slowly. How fitting in June, as school is ending for children and Americans were reflecting on the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day invasion that changed the course of history, the Dyer Difference Award Committee chose to honor Hibiscus Children's Center and Southeast Florida Honor Flight with the June Dyer Difference Awards in Indian River and St. Lucie Counties respectively.
Hibiscus Children's Center focuses on providing a safe place for abused, neglected, and abandoned children throughout the Treasure Coast, including Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties. In addition to providing safe and secure housing for children from birth to age 17, Hibiscus Children's Center also coordinates a variety of programs to help the teenage residents increase life skills and assist with making wise choices upon leaving the shelters. For children who have experienced many obstacles in life, the rush to grow up is tempered by caring adult supervision and an opportunity to learn to make good life choices.
In St. Lucie County, the Dyer Difference Award Committee chose to recognize Southeast Florida Honor Flight, a completely non-profit organization which honors America's veterans for their sacrifice and service. Initially created to fly World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the nation's capitol and the memorial created in their honor, the program has grown to include Korean War veterans as well. Because of the number of veterans who retire on the Treasure Coast, each of the four annual flights is packed full and has an extensive waiting list of veterans. For the veterans, the trip is a way to slow down the passage of time“ if only for a day, to provide an opportunity to experience the gratitude and respect of an entire nation. Most veterans count their Honor Flight Mission as one of the top three days in their lives, ranking only slightly behind their weddings and the births of their children.
Since relocating to the area in 2008, each month, Dyer Chevrolet staff members at Dyer Chevrolet Fort Pierce and Dyer Chevrolet Mazda Subaru in Vero Beach meet to review the applications which have been submitted in their respective counties and select one non-profit organization to receive that month's recognition and a $3,000 award in each county. For the Dyer family and the members of the Dyer staff, the award and the $6,000 in donations between the two 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.