DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Mike Pastore has created a firestorm by getting directly in involved in helping Daytona's homeless by handing out sleeping bags, transporting some to local shower and health facilities.
And in the process, the street preacher, known as "Pastor Mike," who was once homeless, finds himself in a tough spot with politicians, business owners, the cops and even some media outlets because of his advocacy and voice for the voiceless.
Tamara Szabo Spuzzillo, of Port Ornge, a paralegal for a local law firm, has done something very special, not only for her family and close friends, but also for herself. And in the process has become a true inspiration to loved ones and complete strangers alike: Spuzzillo quit smoking cold turkey on June 4 -- two days after she turned 50 years old and hasn't taken a puff since.
Pastor Mike Pastore and Tamara Szabo Spuzzillo are the male and female HeadlineSurfer.com Citizens of the Year.
Pastore and Spuzzillo will each be featured in separate profile stories on New Year's Day in a multimedia format, including a timeline chronology and bio, photos, videos, and social media reaction.
Each clearly has a unique story and both are equally important in the mission delivered to the public by virtue of their selections by the internet newspaper.
And certainly when a media outlet recognizes a person whose cause goes against the grain, there's a backlash.
There will be the critics, namely politicians who will complain that Pastore's activism is being glorified, when in the eyes, it should be condemned.
And with Spuzzillo, a nondescript person, there will be naysayers who will dismiss the recognition as trivial. But tell that to smokers whose tobacco addiction is overwhelming, and in many cases, shortening their lives needlessly.