Everyday Hero: Help us choose the 2016 Hero of the Year

By Audrea Huff, Senior Digital Media Producer
Last Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017, 10:51 AM EST
VIEWER POLL

Who do you think deserves the 2016 Everyday Hero Viewers' Choice award?

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This poll is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those internet users who have chosen to participate.

There are heroes who walk among us who quietly work to make Central Florida a better place — but they don't wear a cape.

These heroes selflessly donate their time, money or expertise to lift others in our community — with no expectation of anything in return.

In a special segment on News 13 and MyNews13.com each Monday, we shine a light on these Everyday Heroes who are making a difference with their actions, words or beliefs.

Then, as a way of saying "thank you," we recognize these Central Floridians and present a Viewers' Choice Hero of the Year at an annual Salute to Everyday Heroes luncheon.

This is where you come in.

This year, we have four nominees for Viewers' Choice Hero of the Year, and we need your help choosing the winner.

The nominees come from all walks of life — a salon owner, a teenager, a home improvement store employee and retiree.

Read and watch our past segments on our 2016 Hero of the Year nominees:

Michael Collins: To honor fallen police officers, Eagle Scout Michael Collins decided to raise money to erect a statue at the new Orlando Police Department headquarters on Orange Blossom Trail. The statue would cost $45,000. In the first month, he'd already raised $3,000.

Gail Benson: Oviedo salon owner Gail Benson has given hundreds of women battling cancer a few moments of joy by providing free beauty treatments — at one point covering much of the costs out of her own pocket. She also held a benefit fundraiser for the national nonprofit Wigs and Wishes.

Chris Lopez: When a West Melbourne family bought a faulty go-kart for their autistic teen, Chris Lopez and his coworkers at a local Home Depot stepped up, going above and beyond just a quick tune-up.

Barbara Mandigo: The days aren't long enough for all the things on 101-year-old Barbara Mandigo's plate. At her Altoona retirement community, among other things, she cuts apart old coats, shoes and discarded clothing — and sews them into teddy bears for kids with serious illnesses at Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis.

Other awards we'll present at the luncheon include:

  • Young Hero of the Year
  • Volunteer Hero of the Year
  • Education Hero of the Year
  • Public Service Hero of the Year
  • Health Advocate Hero of the Year

Tell us which Everyday Hero you think deserves the Hero of the Year by voting in our poll.* The poll is open for voting until March 3.

Then, tune to News 13 on April 1 to watch our Salute to Everyday Heroes special.

*News 13 reserves the right to make the final selection in Viewers' Choice voting.