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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 3 months ago

Pace Center for Girls thanks Rep. Tom Leek for 'Believing In Girls'

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by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

Florida Rep. Tom Leek was presented with an award from the Pace Center for Girls on Wednesday, Dec. 5, in recognition of his support through legislative initiatives that benefit young women and girls.

The Pace Believing in Girls award is given to legislators across the state each year. Executive Director Georgia McCurdy said in her written remarks that Leek has been a "longtime supporter of Pace Volusia, including sponsorship of our major fundraiser of the year: our annual Believing In Girls breakfast." Leek has also co-sponsored legislation to fight against human trafficking in the 2019 session, as well as took on a legislative initiative to modify the path to a high school diploma and promote career opportunities for students. He also helped secure funding for Pace Centers across the state. 

The Pace Center for Girls leadership team. Photo by Jarleene Almenas

Also, here are current board of directors for Pace;

  • Caryn Baker, realtor with Realty Pros Assured
  • Linda Bradley, director of UCF Daytona Beach campus
  • Dr. Audrey A. Butler, ambassador at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Rashanda Denson, program manager and internship coordinator at Bethune Cookman University
  • Lauren Dye, marketing director at AdventHealth Palm Coast
  • Karen Eastman, manager in communications and wellness at Florida Health Care Plans
  • Karen Ervin, enterprise risk director for Fifth Third Bank
  • Maryam Ghyabi, CEO of Ghyabi Consulting and Management
  • Vickie Henson, external affairs for Florida Power and Light
  • Michelle Leek, owner of Leek Educational Services
  • Erin Wynn Masters, certified financial planner at Ameriprise Financial
  • Jessica Scott, vice president of employee benefits at Brown and Brown Insurance
  • Joyce Shanahan, city manager of Ormond Beach
  • Jamie Strickland, branch vice president at Vystar Credit Union
  • Libby Vescovi, banking center manager vice president for Seacoast Bank
  • Matthew Welch, attorney at Cobb Cole

Rotary keeps up contributions to OBE

The Rotary Club of Downtown Ormond Beach recently donated $800 to Ormond Beach Elementary to aid with its after school programs.

Francesca Knutson, Shannon Hay, Brandon Perry and Joyce Pepin. Courtesy photo

OBE Principal Shannon Hay and third grade teacher Francesca Knutson paid the club a visit to thank members for their help and update them about what is going on at the school, according to a press release. The Rotary Club currently helps tend to the school gardens, conducts a Reading Buddies program, tutors students, performs outdoor maintenance and helps with the Student Advisory council. 

Reading scores for students participating in Reading Buddies have increased, Shannon told the club, according to the press release. To learn more, visit

Leo Club collects toys

Shelby Puzziferro, Aisling Coarr, and Isabel Martinez. Courtesy photo

The Seabreeze High School Leo Club, along with members of the Ormond Beach Lions Club, collect toys for Shands Children's Hospital in Gainesville every year. 

The toys are brought to the club's annual Christmas party, according to a press release. There, they are assembled and packed for delivery to the children. 

Holidays around the world

The Great Kids Learning Center pays tribute to holiday traditions worldwide at annual Christmas show. Courtesy photo

The Great Kids Learning Center held its annual Christmas program at Tomoka United Methodist Church on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

The students performed "Everywhere, it's Christmas," and shared the customs of worldwide Christmas celebrations, according to a press release.

The Great Kids Learning Center pays tribute to holiday traditions worldwide at annual Christmas show. Courtesy photo


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