Local Heroes recognized

Ponte Vedra Beach Rotary presents annual awards


The Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach and The Ponte Vedra Recorder recognized seven local residents for their contributions to the community last week at the 32nd Annual Local Heroes Awards. 

Held Thursday, May 23, at Marsh Landing Country Club, this year’s event honored residents whose service to the community includes restoring local beaches, picking up trash, providing health care to the working uninsured, supporting school literacy programs and even saving a life.

Local Heroes Committee Chair Steve Crosby noted that the awards were started in 1993 by Rotarians Vic DiGenti and Chuck Day in partnership with The Ponte Vedra Recorder in order to recognize the “unsung heroes” who give back to the community and reflect the spirit of the Rotary Club’s motto, “Service Above Self.”

The “Local Heroes” Honorees of 2024 include:

Lori Moffett, Beth Angelo and Elaine Ashourian: The trio was honored for leading the charge to restore the community’s beaches after back-to-back hurricanes led to significant erosion and reduction of the beach. In addition to creating a nonprofit to raise funds for critical studies and evaluations, they created a separate advocacy organization that led to millions in federal funding being allocated to restore the beach.

Elizabeth Joshi: Shortly after moving to Ponte Vedra Beach, Joshi became concerned with the amount of litter along A1A. Frustrated by the response she received from government agencies, she began personally picking up trash each week and expanded her efforts by forming the Ponte Vedra Litter Crew. The group now has more than 40 members who volunteer their time to keep Ponte Vedra Beach beautiful.

Carol Grysko: After working as a nurse at the same hospital for 40 years, one would think Carol Grysko would be enjoying a well-earned retirement. She chooses, however, to share her skills and talents at Volunteers in Medicine, a Jacksonville nonprofit that provides medical care to working individuals who lack health insurance. 

Max Gurowski:  A local hero in the most literal sense of the word, Nease High School Lacrosse Coach Max Gurowski was accompanying the team to a game in West Palm Beach when they witnessed a truck drive into a retention pond. After instructing the bus driver to pull over, Gurowski jumped into the pond and rescued the driver.

Charlotte Peverley: Ponte Vedra High School senior Charlotte Peverley is busy preparing to attend Duke University in the fall — but not too busy to volunteer in the community. In addition to starting the Bakery Book Exchange — which collected 3,000 books for local literacy programs — she organized a clothing drive for an orphanage in Bolivia and created Stop the Summer Slide, a program that supplies summer enrichment workbooks to local school children served by Blessings in a Backpack.

“Each of this year’s honorees is amply deserving of the term ‘Local Hero,’” Ponte Vedra Beach Rotary Club President Jennifer Logue said. “We are so blessed to have such caring, committed people in our community and it is our honor to recognize them for all they do.”