During a meeting of the Florida Cabinet today, Governor Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida Chief Executive Officer Vivian Myrtetus awarded 12-year-olds Chase Hartman and Vance Tomasi with the Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Award, Florida’s official statewide volunteer recognition.
Governor Scott said, “At such a young age, Chase and Vance have devoted their time to giving back and making a difference in their community. Their incredible work to deliver books to students across the state makes them worthy recipients of the Champion of Service Award today.”
Volunteer Florida CEO Vivian Myrtetus said, “Volunteer Florida is honored to give this award to Chase and Vance for their outstanding work in collecting and distributing thousands of books to those in need throughout the state. It’s inspiring to see their commitment and dedication to helping others at only 12 years old.”
About the Champion of Service Recipients
Chase Hartman and Vance Tomasi are two 12 -year-old boys from Tampa, Florida, who created “read. repeat.,” an organization that collects gently used books from companies and individuals and distributes them to those in need. So far, they have collected more than 40,000 books of all kinds. Their most impactful deliveries have been to 10 local Title 1 schools in Florida where they donated a total of 13,000 books, including Sheehy Elementary School, which suffered from a flood and lost classroom libraries, and Lee Elementary School, which burned down days after Hurricane Irma moved through Tampa. Under the leadership of Chase and Vance, “read. repeat.” makes monthly donations to the James Haley Veterans’ Hospital, with more than 3,000 books donated so far.