Champions of leadership and community service


Community Foundation to honor Dr. Bethune, Petrock


A tribute to Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune will take place in October by the Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation, a division of United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties postponed its 2020 annual Herbert M. Davidson Memorial Award banquet with a declaration that it would recognize and celebrate both its 2020 honoree and its 2021 honoree at the 2021 edition of the event.

The event is now scheduled for Friday, Oct. 29 at the Hard Rock Hotel. Its honorees are community and business leader Joe Petrock and educator and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of Bethune -Cookman University and a civil rights leader.

“After postponing last year’s event, it is particularly rewarding to announce our honorees,” said Preston Root, chairman of the Community Foundation Board of Directors and the 2016 recipient of the award.

“Dr. Bethune was our community’s first champion, and her legacy is part of America’s history. What an honor for all of us to celebrate her incredible spirit at our event. And today, Joe Petrock embodies the meaning of our award: By every measure, he is a hero of our community.”

Top community honor

The award is named in honor of the late Herbert M. Davidson, former publisher of the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Davidson was a community leader, a business leader, a journalism pioneer, a civil rights leader, a patron of the arts and a philanthropist.

“This award honors our most dedicated and visionary community leaders,” said Greg Sullivan, chairman-elect of the Community Foundation Board of Directors. “Their work not only helps define our community as a warm and inviting place to live and work, but it inspires those who follow to selfless community service. This award is considered by many to be the region’s highest honor for community service.

Celebrating local icon

Dr. Bethune is known internationally as an educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and a women’s and civil rights activist. She was influential in community development locally and worked closely with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt on domestic and international issues.

This summer, her leadership and legacy will be celebrated when a statue of her likeness will be placed in Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol Building.

“I have no doubt that Dr. Bethune would be humbled by this honor,” said Dr. LaBrent Chrite, president of Bethune-Cookman. “We celebrate her life of service and accomplishment and we carry the torch she handed us with a commitment to build on her legacy.”

Petrock’s contributions

Petrock is the executive director of the Halifax Health Foundation and has served as a member of the boards of directors or chaired many organizations including the Daytona Regional Chamber, United Way, Volusia Manufacturers Association, Daytona State College Board of Trustees, FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools and many more.

In addition to his service to so many vital organizations, Petrock has been honored with dozens of awards for his community service.

Among the organizations recognizing him are the Civic League of the Halifax Area, the United Way, the March of Dimes, Boy Scouts of America, Junior Achievement and the National Association of Community Leaders.

Past honorees

The Herbert M. Davidson Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service was created by the Community Foundation in 1992 to honor individuals who have offered exceptional levels of service to the community. Past honorees include:

1992, John C. (Jay) Adams

1993, Bill France, Jr.

1994, Hyatt and Cici Brown

1995, Susan Root and the Root Family

1996, Tippen Davidson and the Davidson Family

1997, Thomas W. Staed

1998, Lady Lloyd, Robert Lloyd, William Lloyd and the Lloyd Family

1999, Ambassador E. William Crotty

2000, Rev. Hal Marchman

2001, Richard C. Brown

2002, Jimmy Huger

2003, Glenn Ritchey

2004, Oswald Bronson

2005, John Graham

2006, Larry Kelly

2007, Ed Lacey

2008, Jim Foster

2009, Bert Reames

2011, Forough Hosseini

2012, Blaine Lansberry

2013, John P. Johnson

2014, Dave Freer

2015, Mori Hosseini

2016, Preston Root

2017, John Mica

2018, Lesa France Kennedy

2019, Nancy and Lowell Lohman



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