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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 1 week ago

Lions Club honors its student-athlete of the month for November

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by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

The Ormond Beach Lions club has selected Alexandra Nelson as its student-athlete of the month for November. 

Nelson is co-captain of the 2020 Seabreeze High School volleyball team and her flag football team was district champion in 2019, according to an announcement by the club. Nelson is also the co-president of her school's student government association and has a 4.45 cumulative GPA. She is in receipt of the Cambridge AICE Diploma. 

Once in college, Nelson plans to major in biomedical engineering or chemical engineering.

Stetson student wins $5,000 in inventor's competition

Ormond Beach resident and Stetson University School of Business Administration senior Bryson Pritchard is the 2020 Collegiate Inventors Competition's undergraduate runner-up winner, receiving a $5,000 prize for pitching his Dyad Syringe invention.

Bryson Pritchard is the 2020 Collegiate Inventors Competition's undergraduate runner-up winner. Courtesy photo

Pritchard competed in the virtual event against students from John Hopkins, Rice and Tulane universities, according to a press release. Pritchard is a critical care technician at Halifax Health Medical Center's intensive care unit in Daytona Beach. He came up with the idea for his invention after responding to a patient in cardiac arrest four years ago. 

The Dyad Syringe is a two-compartment syringe where the rear is pre-filled with saline and the front is empty, allowing for healthcare professionals to administer a specific dosage of medication to a patient before attaching the syringe to a Luer lock on an intravenous line, the press release states. 

Pritchard will use his winnings to pay legal fees for contracts with companies, as well as for additional research and development prior to the licensing rights of the patent and administrative fees. 

COA president to retire

Sarah Gurtis, president and CEO of the Council on Aging of Volusia County, has announced she will retire on March 31, 2021. 

Gurtis has been at the helm of the COA since 2015 and guided the organization through a restructuring and recovery effort following Hurricane Irma in 2017 when the COA headquarters were destroyed, according to a press release. Since the first COVID-19 outbreak in the spring, COA has maintained its staff in place and has absorbed substantial growth because of increased service needs for the local elderly community. 

Sarah Gurtis, president and CEO of the Council on Aging of Volusia County, has announced she will in March. Courtesy photo

Chief Operating Officer Eveline Kraljic and Chief Financial Officer Terri Karol will succeed Gurtis as co-executive directors, effective April 1, 2021. 

Prior to joining the COA, Gurtis spent 20 years with SunTrust Banks. She later joined the Daytona International Speedway in 1996 as the general manager of Daytona USA, now known as the Daytona 500 Experience. Then in 1999 she joined the full-time staff of Camp Boggy Creek.

Volusia County Schools honors FBH

Founder of Food Brings Hope Forough Hosseini was recently honored by the Volusia County School Board for her support of public education and nurturing of underprivileged students, according to a press release. 

Volusia County School Board Chair Ida Wright and Vice Chair Linda Cuthbert present the recognition to Forough Hosseini. Courtesy photo

Hosseini, whose three daughters attended Volusia County Schools, thanked School Board members and Volusia County Schools Superintendent Carmen Balgobin for the honor and for their support of Food Brings Hope’s programs. 

“I think you all agree that no child of ours should go to bed hungry," Hosseini said. "And no child of ours should be sleeping in a car, We can’t change the world. I don’t think we can change the United States. But we can change Volusia County.”

Hosseini founded FBH in 2007 with 27 students at Hinson Middle School, where her daughters were students at the time. Today, the nonprofit organization serves more than 1,700 students at 30 schools in Volusia and Flagler counties. 

Contest winners

Two middle school students from St. Brendan the Navigator Catholic School were recently named winners of separate fine arts contests.

According to a press release, sixth grader Riley claimed first place honors in the poetry division of the 22nd-annual "Try Prayer! It Works!" contest sponsored by the Family Rosary. This competition is open to Catholic students nationwide. This year's theme centered on "Mary, the Mother of Families." Riley received a $100 prize for her entry. 

Additionally, seventh grader Santino won first place in the local and district levels of the Lion's Club International Peace Poster contest, which focused this year on "Peace Through Service." His art piece will now advance to the state level competition. 

St. Brendan Principal Philip Gorrasi said he is proud of the students’ accomplishments in the press release. 

Santino's winning art piece. Courtesy photo

“In these days of the pandemic, it has become necessary to look for the good and for the beautiful,” Gorrasi said. “Both of our students, Riley in poetry and Santino in art have given us a glimpse into what beauty there is in this world. Reliance on the Blessed Mother and prayer and the great desire for peace are very important to these youngsters and in turn to all of us. Our school has certainly learned much rom the example of these two students and we are richer because of them. We are proud of their great accomplishments!"

Golden ticket winners

The Ormond Beach Police Department recently began its Willy Wonka-themed scavenger hunt, and each week, the department will release riddles on its Facebook page that will lead to a city park or building where a child can find a golden ticket.

Madison Lonnecker found one of OBPD's golden tickets at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum gardens. Courtesy photo

OBPD will be doing this initiative for children under 15 years old until Dec. 1. Once a ticket is found, the child is invited to the police department to get a prize.The most recent winners were Madison Lonnecker and Zosia Russo. Lonnecker found her ticket in the Ormond Memorial Art Museum gardens and picked up a smart watch at the police station. Russo found her ticket at the South Ormond Neighborhood Center and got a karaoke machine. 

Zosia Russo found one of OBPD's golden tickets at the South Ormond Neighborhood Center. Courtesy photo


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