Florida Governor Rick Scott honors Salvation Army volunteers

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By Jessica Geib –

Two Salvation Army volunteers have been honored by Florida Gov. Rick Scott with Volunteer Florida’s Champion of Service Award. The awards were presented to Gene Kelley and Steve Rocca during a meeting at the Florida Cabinet led by Scott and Volunteer Florida Chief Executive Officer Vivian Myrtetus.  

The Champion of Service Award was established in 2013 by Volunteer Florida to honor individuals and groups for their outstanding efforts in volunteerism and service.

Kelley, a volunteer with the Tallahassee Corps since 1985, deployed to Texas following Hurricane Harvey and upon return, stepped up to serve his own community after Hurricane Irma.

“Gene is the heart and soul of what The Salvation Army embodies—servant leadership and a willingness to think outside the box to help meet community needs,” said his corps officer, Lt. Ryan Meo.

A volunteer with the Orlando Area Command, Rocca, was also presented with the Champion of Service award in October. Following the Pulse Nightclub shooting tragedy, Rocca, who was the Advisory Board Chair at the time, discovered his passion for serving on a canteen.

“Deployed to both Houston during Hurricane Harvey and multiple locations in Florida during Hurricane Irma, we can always count on Steve to tell the story of the good work of The Salvation Army,” said Major Ted Morris, Orlando Area Commander.

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