Citizens of the Year: Mike Pastore, advocate for Daytona's homeless & Tamara Spuzzillo who quit smoking in June

Mike Pastore, Daytoma homelress advocate HeadlineSurfe.copm Male Citizen of theYear / Headline Surfer®
Tamara Szabo Spuzillo of Port Orange, Citizen of the Year / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® / 
Mike Pastore of Daytona Beach and Tamara Szabo Spuzillo of Port Orange are the internet newspaper's citizens of the year. Below, homeless citizens sleep outside the Volusia County Tag Office to the disdain of city officials and merchants alike. And Pastore is seen as a conduit to the problem though he says he's just doing the Lord's work. And Spuzillo has now gone more than half a year without smoking.

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 Citizens of the Year.

Homeless in Daytona congregate at the tasg office / Headline Surfer®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.

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area in Central Florida, via Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards in print & digital mediums. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's pursuing a Master of Arts degree in New Media/Journalism (graduation in March 2018). Frederick earned his BA in Political Science/Public Admin. (concentration in Writing) from Central Connecticut State University, in 1984, where he recieved the President's Citation for "academic excellence & outstanding campus/community service." Prior to myriad duties as publisher/award-winning journalist of Headline Surfer, 2008-present; Frederick was city hall reporter for the Palatka (FL) Daily News, 2007-2008; city editor of the Taunton (MA) Daily Gazette, 2005-2006; cops & courts/legal affairs writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, 1996-2004; and cops & courts reporter for the Rockland (NY) Journal-News/Gannett Suburban Newspapers, 1989-1996.