TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – During today’s meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman recognized two deserving Champions of Service: Charles “Skip” Cramer, a longtime volunteer with the American Red Cross of Northeast Florida, and Michael “Mikey” Attardi, Jr., who volunteered to serve families and individuals impacted by Super Storm Sandy.
Charles “Skip” Cramer, a retired Navy Captain, served as CEO of the American Red Cross of Northeast Florida for ten years before becoming a volunteer. With a strong interest in military families and veterans, Mr. Cramer furthers the Red Cross mission to provide comfort and care to members of the Armed Forces.
Governor Scott said, “I am proud to honor Skip Cramer today with the Champion of Service Award. He has served the American Red Cross of Northeast Florida as both its CEO and as a volunteer, making him a truly exceptional public servant. Skip’s reputation as a volunteer who gets things done for his community is unmatched and this recognition is well-deserved.”
Chester Spellman, CEO of Volunteer Florida, said, “During his nearly 2,500 hours of volunteer service, Skip Cramer has mentored countless local volunteers, who in turn become the next generation of volunteers and public service staff. The mission of the American Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. As an experienced, insightful, and humble volunteer, Skip Cramer is the living embodiment of this powerful commitment to community.”
Michael “Mikey” Attardi, Jr., is a 12-year-old student at Lake Whitney Elementary School in Windermere. In the wake of Super Storm Sandy in 2012, Mikey worked for almost two weeks to collect clothes, food, water, and other essential items to assist victims of the storm. Thanks to these efforts and generous donations from Floridians, 16 large boxes of supplies were filled and shipped to Long Branch Middle School in New Jersey, arriving a week before Thanksgiving. The supplies helped 200 people who were sheltering at the middle school because they could not go home.
Governor Scott said, “It is an honor to recognize Michael Attardi with the Champion of Service Award for his service and dedication to families in Florida and across the country. He not only suggested and planned this act of volunteerism, but delivered in a meaningful way to our friends in New Jersey. With hurricane season quickly approaching, Mikey’s actions serve as a reminder of the power of volunteerism to make a difference.”
“We are proud of the Floridians who donated goods to the victims of Super Storm Sandy and we are grateful for Mikey’s efforts to collect and deliver those goods to families in need,” said Spellman. “Volunteers and donations are vital to disaster response and recovery.”
Volunteer Florida is the lead agency for Emergency Support Function (ESF) 15 for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, coordinating volunteers and donations during disasters and emergencies. To learn more about Volunteer Florida’s role in emergency response, click here.
The Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Award honors individuals and groups for their outstanding volunteer efforts. For more information about the Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Awards, click here.
Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, was established in 1994 by the Florida Legislature to administer grants under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. The Commission grants funds to Florida AmeriCorps and National Service programs; coordinates volunteers and donations in a disaster; and inspires all Floridians to serve their communities. For more information, visit: www.volunteerflorida.org.