Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise Foundation - The 9th Annual Florida Craft Brew & Wingfest




Indian River County Award Recipients 2019

Left to Right: Tatiana Dyer, Will Dyer, John Dyer, Pam O’Donnell-Florida Craft Brew and Wing Fest Sponsorship Chair, Jane Burton- Director & Rotary International Foundation Chair, Jonathan Hardie, Debbie Avery- PR Chair, RobinPelensky- President


Indian River County - Coastal Connections

 In Indian River County, the environmental organization Coastal Connections was recognized and honored for its mission to protect coastal habitats and its focus on Sea Turtle preservation, coastal cleanup, Indian River Lagoon restoration and Lionfish removal. The organization’s largest fundraising event is the Sebastian Lionfish Festival, which will be held June 23rd at Captain Hiram’s in Sebastian. Not only will participants be removing invasive lionfish, they’ll also be helping to educate the community on the negative impact of the lionfish, and serving up delicious cuisine created with the invasive sea life which threatens to ruin our fragile ecosystem. This will be the fourth time Coastal Connections has hosted the entertaining and educational event.

Left to Right: Kendra Cope, Molly Klinepeter, Alexis Peralta, Tatiana, Will and John Dyer, Jonathan Hardie, Jim Piculas, Curtis Carpenter

Dogs For Life

Famed humorist Josh Billings once said, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” We rely on our furry friends for companionship, but many dogs become vital assistants to their beloved humans, providing ears that hear smoke alarms, paws that tap a 911 button to call for emergency assistance, and legs that provide added mobility. Since, 2001, Dogs for Life Vero Beach has helped train dogs to provide valuable and life-saving service to individuals in need, particularly veterans. In addition to physical disabilities, many of our returning American heroes have to cope with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) issues and are at a high risk for mental illness, homelessness, and suicide. Providing training and a new lease on life for abandoned dogs and matching them with men and women whose lives are greatly improved by the unconditional love and assistance offered by a service dog is the goal of Dogs for Life, the recipient of July’s Indian River County Dyer Difference Award.

Indian River County - Firefighter's Indian River County Fair

Now in its 39th year, the Firefighters’ Indian River County Fair is a tradition for families throughout the Treasure Coast. Every year, up to 40,000 people flock to the Indian River Fairgrounds to enjoy rides, food shows, livestock shows and sales and a chance to celebrate small town life ‘old-school’ style. The Firefighters’ Fair provides a valuable educational experience that helps children to enhance social, cultural, and economic opportunities. The Firefighters’ Fair also helps to celebrate, preserve and promote agriculture. The Firefighters’ Indian River County Fair, held during March each year, is the perfect way for families and friends to gather, have fun, and create traditions and memories that will last a lifetime. Helping children and families made the Firefighters’ Indian River County Fair an easy choice for the selection committee for this month’s Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County.

From left to right: John Dyer, Jonathan Hardie, Wayne Howard

Indian River County Sheriff's Office 

Left to Right:John Dyer, Will Dyer, Major Eric Flowers, Deputy Jessica Ogonoski, Major Milo Thornton. Posing in front of the Subaru Ascent donated to the Indian River County Sheriff's Office by Dyer Subaru.

  Although Christmas may be the warmest time of the year, many children on the Treasure Coast are not expecting to wake up on Christmas morning to packages tied with pretty ribbons and filled with hidden treasures. The Sheriff’s Office of Indian River County meet children every single day whose holidays will be less than merry and bright, and that’s precisely why both offices implemented the Shop with a Cop program and why the Dyer Difference Award Committees at both Dyer Chevrolet in Fort Pierce and Dyer Chevrolet Mazda Subaru in Vero Beach selected the programs as recipients of the November Dyer Difference Award. 

            School Resource Officers in both counties work with students at local schools daily, developing relationships, educating, and acting as informal counselors and mentor, and they are aware of children who would benefit from the Shop with a Cop program. Thirty children will be paired with deputy sheriffs, given a $100 gift card, and will enjoy the memory of a shopping experience that will last a lifetime. In both counties, deputies report that in nearly all cases, instead of rushing to purchase a video game or toy for themselves, the children are on the hunt to find gifts to share with their siblings and parents instead of focusing only on themselves.

Indian River County - LaPorte Farms


Helping promote family and community is important to everyone at Dyer Chevrolet Mazda Subaru in Vero Beach, which is why LaPorte Farms was chosen to be honored as the June recipient of the Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County. Later in the month, on Saturday, July 27th, LaPorte Farms will be hosting its fourth annual Back to School Family Fun Day event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will receive free book bags and school supplies while supplies last, and the day’s activities include face painting, a corn bin, child fingerprinting, a kids’ workshop, and so much more. Last year, over 575 book bags were provided to students to help them start the new school year. This Family Fun Day is every kid’s dream, and it’s a chance for the whole family to enjoy a wonderful day in the country and with one another. LaPorte Farms welcomes everyone to its farm, regardless of ability, gender age or race. It also welcomes a whole bunch of critters, including ducks, parrots, donkeys, goats, llamas, a zebra, ponies, horses, rabbits, pig, turtles, and chickens and provides a safe place for them to live and play.

​John Dyer and Jonathan Hardie present the Dyer Difference Award to Robyn Ammons and Laura LaPorte



Indian River County - A Soldier's Child 

It’s hard to feel like celebrating a birthday when someone very special is gone from your life, and when you’re a child, it can feel like no one really understands that or cares. Thanks to A Soldier’s Child (ASC) Foundation, children of our country’s fallen heroes are given a small ray of sunshine to help make their birthdays memorable and celebratory because others truly do care. Recently, ASC hosted a Birthday Event which included a shopping trip, gift wrapping, and a birthday party to help children of fallen freedom defenders feel the love of a caring community. To help the organization reach and serve the children of fallen heroes, the January Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County was presented to ASC’s Founder and Executive Director, Daryl Mackin.

Pictured from left to right are Jonathan Hardie (Executive Manager), Tatiana Dyer (Owner), Alan Schacht (Local Coordinator), Daryl Mackin (Founder & Executive Director), Frank Felkey (Human Resources).


 Empowering our communities, accelerating the future. 



LtoR: Ritchie Keller and Gigi, Jonathan Hardie, Barbara Gormas and Lola, Shelly Ferger, Founder – Dogs for Life, Tatiana & Will Dyer, Vanessa Bartoszewicz, Michael Stewart and Good Girl.

Indian River County - Step Up America

We all know that the children are the guardians of the future, and we want them to grow up to be
strong, independent, responsible, and caring citizens. An educational program that reinforces the
importance of citizenship through online curriculum, hands-on in-person presentations, citizenship
awards, essay contests, student ambassador training camps, and leadership training, Step Up America helps children learn about the world around them and inspires them to want to become involved. The Indian River County Program increases awareness and helps more than 18,000 youth to become more civically involved and engaged, helping to keep freedom alive and inspiring a generation to become involved, engaged, and responsive. It is these attributes which helped garner it the April Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County.

Left to Right: Jonathan Hardie, Ginie Meadows, Will Dyer, John Dyer​

 Hurricane Relief - John Dyer, Joe Karabensh, Jonathan Hardie, Jonathan Holmes, Will Dyer

 Baby Girl Horse Rescue and Veteran Therapy Ranch 

Celebrated author Herman Melville once said, “No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.” From our first glimpse of the beautiful creatures as children and throughout our lives, humans are captivated by the majesty of horses and healed by their gentle and therapeutic nature. At Baby Girl Horse Rescue and Veteran Therapy Ranch, abused, neglected and homeless horses are given a new life and help give new hope to veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Providing a quiet and confidential place for therapy and healing, Baby Girl Horse Rescue and Veteran Therapy Ranch in Indian River County helps to heal humans and horses alike, giving them an opportunity to reclaim their hope and happiness together and in their own time frame. The Dyer Difference Award Selection Committee recognizes the importance of collaboration and has long been aware of the value of horse power – be in in an engine or beneath the velvety exterior of a healthy equine.


Indian River County - United Against Poverty  

Left to Right: Tatiana Dyer, Will Dyer, Annabel Robertson (Executive Director UAP), Phillip Keeling (Development Manager UAP), Jonathan Hardie, Ken Novander

​​United Against Poverty. The organization’s mission serves over 600 individuals in poverty each day through programs which focus on crisis care, case management, transformative education, food and household subsidies, employment training and placement, personal empowerment training and active referrals to other collaborative service providers in Indian River County. The organization is known for its good work and its annual Thanksgiving Day Trop Against Poverty – a professionally timed race that attracts more than 2,000 runners, joggers, and walkers of all ages and abilities and a whole lot of spectators cheering on the trotters. This year, the event will be punctuated by an exclamation point sharing the holiday spirit of gratitude and helping celebrate the Dyer Difference.


 Will and Tatiana Dyer Emily Domagtoy, Van DeMars, John Dyer, Jonathan Harding and Angela Moabed.

Missionary Flights Inc

We’ve all seen the photos and news footage of the utter devastation Hurricane Dorian wreaked upon our neighbors and friends in the Bahamas. Because so many of us think of the Bahamas as our own backyard playground and friendly neighbor, we all wanted to help rebuild this magical paradise which harbors so many memories for the people of the Treasure Coast.

the Dyer Difference Award Committee in Indian River County decided unanimously that the Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County in September would be utilized to help fund relief efforts. In St. Lucie County, the October Dyer Difference Award has been earmarked for Bahamas relief. Additionally, both Dyer Chevrolet Mazda Subaru dealership in Vero Beach and Dyer Chevrolet, Fort Pierce have been collecting supplies to be distributed through Missionary Flights International to those most affected by the storm.




Indian River County - Indian River County Sheriff's Department

On Wednesday, March 6th, the Indian River Sheriff’s Office will host its 25th annual Florida Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches Fundraiser BBQ. Proceeds from the event will help prevent juvenile delinquency and develop lawful, productive citizens through a broad range of family-centered activities. Some middle school children in Indian River County will be able to attend the week-long Project Harmony program, a leadership retreat aimed at reducing violence, racial tensions and negative behavior. For 61 years the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches have been working to encourage positive relationships with law enforcement officers and build stronger communities.

From left to right: Steve Wallen, Deputy Teddy Floyd, Sheriff Deryl Loar, Angela Moabed, Ben Williams, Captain Milo Thornton