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EFSC's Dr. Erin Baird Honored as Brevard Volunteer of the Year

November 6, 2019 - Florida Today named Dr. Erin Baird its Volunteer of the Year on Tuesday night for her selfless work with students at Eastern Florida State College and others in Brevard County.

Florida Today Volunteer Recognition Award Winners
Florida Today Volunteer Recognition Award honorees: Brian Curtin, BRPH Companies; Dr. Erin Baird, Asst. Dir., EFSC Center for Service Learning & Civic Engagement; Rear Admiral (Ret.) Jim Hart, Space Coast Honor Flight; and Pastor Jarvis Wash, REAL Church of Cocoa.

Baird, the Assistant Director of the college’s Service Learning and Civic Engagement program, received the award during the newspaper’s 28th annual Volunteer Recognition Awards.

About 250 people attended the ceremony at the Simpkins Fine Arts Center on the Cocoa Campus.

Other recipients were Pastor Jarvis Wash as Citizen of the Year; Space Coast Honor Flight as Organization of the Year; and BRPH Companies, Business of the Year.

Baird was cited for her work in leading young people in community service through EFSC’s Rotaract Club, which is part of Rotary International.

She donates hundreds of hours of her time each year to efforts ranging from being a Big Sister and Cocoa High's Project Graduation to packing food, lagoon cleanup and encouraging a sustainable diet, Florida Today said.

“It’s humbling to be recognized with so many amazing people, and while volunteering has always been a huge part of who I am, I am grateful the college has provided me with an opportunity to make service my profession,” said Baird.

“I am inspired every day by the students who make volunteering a priority despite their challenges, and I am so lucky to be able to serve alongside them. This award is very much their award too.”

Three adults: Barbara, Erin and Mac Baird
Dr. Erin Baird with her parents Barbara and Mac Baird. Barbara Baird was a finalist in the 1990s for the same award won by her daughter this year.

Twelve individuals, organizations and businesses were saluted as finalists for contributing in countless ways to the well-being of others, said Mara Bellaby, Florida Today executive editor.

"The people, businesses and organizations being honored tonight put community first," said Bellaby.

"Our finalists reach out to make connections, they put in time and effort and money to improve lives. They care deeply. Their passion is contagious. They are the brightest examples of who we can be in Brevard."

Other honorees cited were Merritt Island residents Bryan and Judy Roub as recipients of the third annual Bjorg and Bjornar Hermansen Legacy Award.

"I'm so honored to be among all these people," Baird said, whose mother, Barbara Baird, was a finalist for the same award in the 1990s.

"Honestly, I'm just lucky — it's the students who serve with me who inspire me every day."