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Kiwanis Club names four Hometown Heroes

June 14, 2017
Special to THE CITIZEN ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Kiwanis Club of Lehigh Acres recently recognized the year's Hometown Heroes.

The club hosted its Annual Community Scholarship and Awards Banquet on June 9 at Christ United Methodist Church, at 1430 Homestead Road N. Each spring, the organization names three Hometown Heroes based off of nominations submitted from the public; this year, two people shared one award.

The 2017 Hometown Heroes are:

Article Photos

Kiwanis Club of Lehigh Acres President Richard St. Dennis, left, with Mel Toadvine, one of the 2017 Hometown Heroes.

- Mel Toadvine: Recently retired, Mel Toadvine was the editor of Lehigh Acres Citizen for many years and an integral part of the community. He would appear at any newsworthy event to be sure the public was kept abreast of what was happening - or about to happen - in Lehigh Acres. With exuberance, experience and a huge smile, he covered everything from a Lehigh Community Services fundraiser and Community Council of Lehigh Acres meetings, to an awards dinner and the Lehigh Spring Festival - you name it, Mel was there. You could see him all over town when he was working full-time, and as he became a part-time employee, he still covered front page news to the utmost. With retirement, he and his wife choose to stay in Lehigh, where he supported the community and always kept the good news of the fast-growing community on the front burner.

- Feroza Yassen Appadoo and Ayme Pappas: Feroza Yassen Pappadoo and Ayme Pappas coached Sunshine Elementary School's Odyssey of the Mind Team, taking the students from local champs to the state championship, then on to the World Odyssey of the Mind Competition in Michigan, where they placed 13th against 894 other teams. With the coaching of Pappadoo and Pappas, the students were given scenarios of problems to solve creatively. They apply their creativity to solve problems ranging from building mechanical devices, to presenting their interpretation of literary classics. They have to use resources available to them or find ways to get resources to come up with a solution, then present it using a budget up to $125 while maintaining an account of spending. The teams are judged on their creativity, including the use of costumes and humor, and teamwork. The students must write a script and be able to perform before the judges; Pappadoo and Pappas helped the team connect with a local high school robotics club, so it could learn how to create and program a robot for its skit. The coaches arranged fundraisers, coordinated travel and recruited chaperones, even donating their own money. They stirred the confidence in the students to a skill level beyond most elementary students.

- Mary Meador: Mary Meador, a math teacher at Lehigh Middle School, is a voluntary income tax assistant coordinator at Lehigh Community Services, which offers a program sponsored by the United Way and IRS. For the past six years, Meador has been leading a team of volunteers - recruited from Florida Gulf Coast University, Suncoast Credit Union, and local banks and businesses - in preparing taxes at no cost to customers who earn no more than $60,000 annually. She is so enthusiast about the volunteer work that she posts a phone number on her car so people know who to call to make an appointment to get the free service. This is an example of another super teacher, giving her extra time to others. In the past three years, Meador and her team have had over $1 million returned to Lehigh residents. She is a wife, mother of two adult children and a grandmother to a toddler.



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