Skip to main content
Your Town
Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 1 year ago

Ormond Beach hero pilot turns 100

See what else is going on in Your Town...
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

Ormond Beach resident Guy Eby, the former pilot who saved 182 lives aboard American Airlines Flight 182 on Thanksgiving eve in 1975, turned 100 years old on Friday, Nov. 9. 

Eby prevented a catastrophe that day by successfully avoiding a collision with an incoming plane. Since that day, he's been Sarasota resident Burt Herman's hero — so much so that he was inspired to write a book about Eby's heroism titled, "'Eby' Master of the Moment" shortly after meeting Eby for the first time in 2017.

On Thursday, Nov. 8, Eby celebrated his birthday with Herman, who was also celebrating his 87th birthday. Twelve passengers and one

flight attendant from Flight 182, along with 40 other guests, were able to attend Eby and Herman's party at the Halifax River Yacht Club. Eby's step-daughter, Ormond Beach resident Penney Peirce, organized the party.

For Herman, it was surreal to see a group of the passengers and the rest of Herman's family, all who have never met Eby before, coming to celebrate Eby's birthday. They gave him hugs 43 years in the making. 

Eby has blessed them with over 15,000 days of life, and counting, since 1975, Herman said. That extra time has been meaningful, he added, as the passengers were able to see their life through. 

"It was the best birthday I've ever had, by far," Herman said. "Nothing can compare."

CBS's Decades channel will air a special telling the story of  Eby's heroism on November 26, 2018, which is the 43rd anniversary of Flight 182. It will be available online in the days after it airs.

Artist's creations on display at The Casements

Ormond Beach mixed-media artist Ron Berkheimer's work is currently on display in The Casements' dining room, and will remain on exhibition until Nov. 20.

Berkheimer began his art career by building and selling miniature model car displays, he told the Ormond Beach Observer in 2017. His displays have since expanded into what they are today, each taking him about four to five hours to complete. He scours flea markets and auctions to find the perfect items to place on each display. 

Since his collection has been on exhibition, it has been viewed by many, including those who voted last week, as The Casements was a voting precinct.

"Apparently, lots of voters got a special treat," Berkheimer wrote in a letter to the Observer.

Publix Packs the Pantry

Continuing its efforts to fight childhood hunger, the Provision Packs Program has partnered with four local Publix stores for its second Pack the Pantry event, to be held on Sunday, Nov. 18.

Provision Packs started at Pathways Elementary and has grown to service six schools thanks to volunteers and community support. During the event, those interested in helping "pack the pantry," can buy one Provision Pack's top 10 foods list and donate it at check-out. 

During the first Publix Packs the Pantry event, held from Jan. 28 to Feb. 2, Provision Packs collected 2.5 tons of food. It helped the program pack meals for two weeks for over 230 children. Volunteers for the upcoming event are also needed. For more information, visit

Temple Beth-El School hosts sock drive

In October, students at the Temple Beth-El School in Ormond Beach wanted to help foster kids in the local community by hosting Socktober, with the hopes to prove that small acts of kindness can make a difference in their lives.

The sock drive collected over 800 pairs of socks. 

SHS student designs Riverfest Poster

Seabreeze High School Senior Caroline Diefendorf won Ormond MainStreet's poster contest, and her original art will be featured on the Riverfest Seafood Festival's poster and T-shirts. 

Ormond MainStreet Executive Director Julia Truilo said in an email that Diefendorf heard about the contest through her art teacher. Ormond MainStreet was looking for "mermaid-inspired"

artwork, and Diefendorf delivered, adding an Ormond Beach touch to her piece by including the dolphin fountain at City Hall. 

Diefendorf will receive a $100 prize and an opportunity to do a solo show of her work this spring at the Ormond MainStreet office on East Granada Boulevard. She will be attending Flagler College next year to study graphic design.

Ormond Beach is now a Purple Heart City

The city of Ormond Beach has joined the national Purple Heart Trail as it became a Purple Heart City on Monday, Nov. 5, after a proclamation read by Mayor Bill Partington. 

Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Volusia County Chapter 316 and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1048 attended the City Commission meeting in recognition of the initiative. Senior Vice Commander Rod Phillips handed a special pin to the mayor and commissioners for their support. 


Related Stories