Dyer Difference Award Helps Support Blue Star Families and Youth Sailing

The Youth Sailing Foundation believes that sailing is an adventure for a lifetime and works hard all year long to help provide Indian River County youth with educational, recreational, and competitive opportunities to enjoy the sport and learn the life skills which accompany it. Every year, 130 children who might not otherwise be exposed to sailing are introduced to the sport and have the opportunity to build confidence, discipline, responsibility, and leadership while learning to rig and pilot their own sailboats on the beautiful Indian River Lagoon. It provides many of the involved youth an opportunity to enjoy the waterways which are close to home but often feel out of reach for children who live in our beautiful, coastal community. The March Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County helps support the mission of the Youth Sailing Foundation and its upcoming Rock the Boat Benefit Gala.


Vero Beach Film Festival 

                                  Dyer Difference Award Assists Firefighters

Some of the bravest people in the world are the ones who willingly rush into a burning building to help save lives and put out fires. In Indian River County, more than 250 individuals make up the firefighting community, and in addition to the respect and gratitude of the community, there is also a way to support them and their families during crisis situations. The Indian River Firefighters Benevolent Association is a non-profit 501 [c] 3 charity organization was established in 2012 with the objective to support the health, safety and welfare of Indian River Firefighting Community. The benevolent provides financial, physical and emotional assistance to over 250 members and their families in times of need. In addition, the Association also donates to and supports various charities throughout Indian River County County through fundraisers and activities including the upcoming Firefighters for Clean Water Fishing Tournament, slated for June 16th and 17th, which aids in the restoration of local waterways. The Dyer Difference Award in Indian River County this month helps to support the firefighters and their efforts to maintain clean and healthy waterways in our community.


 From left to right: Diana Ciemko, Mary Wood, Snow (dog), John Dyer, Tatiana Dyer, Cookie Pankiewicz. Ted Pankiewicz, Sr.,Ted Pankiewicz, Jr., Handsome (dog), Helena Voss, Cheryl Diedolf, Cheryl and Jim Wilson

Indian River Firefighters Benevolent Association

                                    Dyer Diference Honors Compassion and Service 

When we’re not feeling well, we can’t possibly do our best at work or in school. And while most of us don’t think twice about scheduling a doctor’s appointment or making a stop at an urgent care facility for proper diagnosis and treatment to help put us on the path to recovery and a return to productivity, it’s not that simple for those who have no insurance. For them, visiting a doctor or scheduling a preventive diagnostic test often means the difference between making the rent payment or feeding the family. In Vero Beach, the We Care program coordinates diagnostics, medical care, and treatment for hundreds of qualified patients who are uninsured.  We Care coordinates volunteers to provide diagnostic testing and/or specialty medical treatment, including cardiology, dermatology, neurology, general surgery, oncology, and more. More than 300 individuals have received assistance through this program and its generous volunteer donors and providers. During the month known for love and caring, the Dyer Difference Award Committee has chosen to recognize the compassionate care being offered in Indian River County.

 Baby Girl Horse Rescue and Veteran Therapy Ranch. 

                                Dyer Difference Award Helps veterans and Animals!

In Indian River County, the Dyer Difference Award recognizes and supports the mission and efforts of Baby Girl Horse Rescue and Veteran Therapy Ranch. A large animal rescue an sanctuary with a wonderful therapy component for veterans suffering from PTSD, Baby Girl serves several hundred veterans locally every year. In addition to the recognition for the work being done at Baby Girl Horse Rescue and Veteran Therapy Ranch, the April Dyer Difference Award will help ensure that all the therapy animals are well-fed and cared for.

 Dyer Subaru Manager Brandon Reynolds, Dr. Jonathan Braue and Lauren Kelley-Braue PA, General Manager Jonathan Hardie ,Jennifer Jones, Tatiana and Will Dyer.

                                  Paws  Honored with Dyer Difference Award

Jessica Pankiewicz was just 32 when she succumbed to complications of Devic’s, an autoimmune disease. An animal lover who had a heart for helping others, Pankiewicz’s legacy lives on through For the Love of Paws, an organization formed in 2014 in honor of her. For the Love of Paws helps provide senior citizens peace of mind when they are no longer able to care for their beloved pet companions. The organization works hard to foster, adopt, or provide sanctuary for pets on its five-acre farm in Fellsmere. Additionally, For the Love of Paws also distributes more than 14,000 pounds of pet food each month to
food pantries to ensure that pets don’t go hungry when times for their two-legged family members are ‘ruff.’ Best of all, For the Love of Paws also provides veterinary care for senior citizens on low or fixed incomes and free spay and neutering of seniors’ and veterans’ pets. The organization’s Fur Real Pet Companion program has given patients in 32 memory care facilities a chance to share the unconditional love provided by a pet, too. The January Dyer Difference Award recognizes the love and dedication of For the Love of Paws with its own equivalent to a tail wag and scratch behind the ear.


                                           Dyer Difference Award Supports Film Fest!

It’s, “Lights. Camera. Action” in Indian River County as the curtain rises on the annual Vero Beach Film Festival. The annual event which celebrated independent filmmaking, helps to enrich the community culturally, and its growing popularity are helping the area to become a destination for independent filmmakers (and fans) everywhere. Each year, over 1,000 individuals come to sample the latest films, served by over 100 volunteers, and sharing hundreds of films including comedies, dramas, documentaries, and shorts to helping to raise funds to support other local nonprofit organizations and the good work they do. When the direction yelled, “Action!” this year, the Dyer Difference Award was presented to the Vero Beach Film Festival, and the crowd cheered in enthusiastic support.

 Empowering our communities, accelerating the future. 

Indian River County Award Recipients 2023



Sales Manager Ken Novander presents the Dyer Difference Award to Vero Beach Film Festival’s Executive Director David Yakir and board member Gary Mastro as Service Manager Ben Williams looks on.

For The Love of Paws !

We Care

LtR: Baby Girl Horse Rescue President of Cow Sanctuary Division Cindy Miller Dyal, receives the Dyer Difference Award from General Manager, Jonathan Hardie, Will and Tatiana Dyer. Also representing Baby Girl were Emily Domagtoy, President, and volunteers Mary Kay Lantz,  Pat Petersen, and Ashley Nicole, Volunteer. Unable to make the shoot was CEO Van DeMars.

Youth Sailing Foundation

Left to Right: Sales Manager Ken Novander, General Manager Jonathan Hardie, Youth Sailing Foundation’s Stu Keiller, Finance Manager Chris Amos


L t R  Kevin Dolan, Nick Rains, Brad Eskew, Shannon Kinnett, Jonathan Hardie, Wayne Borchardt.