What happens when a company launches a statewide contest to honor everyday heroes going above and beyond to help others, but all four finalists have amazing stories of strength and compassion?
Well, in this case, you award all four of them with the grand prize!
We were honored and excited to recognize four Florida residents as heroes through our second annual “CGI Heroes: Celebrating Strength” initiative. This statewide initiative launched in April and concluded this week with all four finalists receiving a $6,000 cash prize.
Tori Mason, Janet Woods, Bethany Keime, and Drew Rogers were all recognized for their commitment to assisting others. After a statewide voting contest and an overwhelming response, all four were honored as winners.
“We were astounded by the stories of our hero finalists and thrilled with the response by their communities to vote for them for the grand prize,” said Bob Keller, President of the Southeast Business Unit for PGT Innovations. “These are four people who are making a tremendous difference in their communities by demonstrating strength and compassion. When our team read their stories and saw the incredible support they each received through the voting, we were compelled to award all four of them with the grand prize. They are bringing hope to others and passionately serving the community. Their actions inspired us, and we hope they inspire others.”
Tori Mason – A Law Enforcement Officer’s True Calling
Tori Mason is a school resource officer with the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Office in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach region. The law enforcement officer is passionate about helping kids and serving others. Mason is a single mom who dedicates her time to serving on the Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, instructs at the Teen Driver Challenge Program, and recently launched a fellowship of Christian Police Officers. Mason is known for going above and beyond to assist students at whichever school she is assigned to and creating safe learning environments and positive interactions between herself and students.
Janet Woods – Serving Those Who Sacrificed It All
Janet Woods is a dedicated volunteer with 9463 Foundation and South Florida Rest, organizations that support first responders in Florida. Woods has been making personalized quilts and hand-delivering them to families of fallen officers in conjunction with the 9463 Foundation as a volunteer for close to ten years. A retired legal secretary, Woods moved to Florida ten years ago and has since been volunteering at 9643 Foundation, as well as with South Florida Rest (aka Canteen), an organization that hydrates firefighters and police officers while on call at emergency scenes. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Woods has also made more than 9,300 masks with patriotic or specific meaningful fabrics and donated them to police and fire agencies, hospitals, and others all over the country.
Bethany Keime – A Heart Warrior Dedicated to Protecting Others
Bethany Keime is a self-proclaimed heart warrior from Cutler Bay. At 17 years of age, the Florida native was a senior in high school with a promising dance career and her whole life in front of her when she was diagnosed with the number one killer on school campuses and leading killer of student-athletes: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Keime’s life changed forever when she fatefully learned that hers would be a lifetime of medication, testing, and treatments, including having a defibrillator implanted into her chest. Seven years later, Keime came to terms with the diagnosis and decided to do something positive about it. She launched the HeartCharged Instagram page to spread awareness, built her own website, and created her own 501C-3 nonprofit, HeartCharged.
Drew Rogers – Guiding The Youth To A Better Tomorrow
Drew Rogers is the Operations Fire Chief at Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR) in Ocala. A firefighter for 20 years, Rogers has made it his mission to inspire and mentor others who may be headed down the wrong path. He’s been instrumental in operating the mentorship program at MCFR; he secured funding and support to build a 7,000-square-foot gym to help cadets stay fit to pass their physical ability tests and for his crew to stay mentally and physically fit, and he works tirelessly with students at the fire career academy to help them find a career path they can stay on for life.
On June 9, our PGT Innovations executives, Jeff Jackson, Bob Keller, and Debbie LaPinska, awarded each hero with the grand prize of $6,000.
Giving back to the community has always been part of the company culture here at CGI Windows & Doors. That philosophy fueled the launch of the inaugural CGI Heroes contest in 2020 and its expansion to a statewide contest in 2021. We are excited for what’s to come and inspired to see so many community heroes across the state of Florida stepping up to serve others.