The First Lady’s Medal is Inspired by Floridians
Making a Positive Impact in Their Communities
First Lady Casey DeSantis today awarded the “First Lady’s Medal for Courage, Commitment, and Service” to Northwest Florida residents for their selfless contributions to their communities following Hurricane Michael. First Lady DeSantis presented the medals to Washington County Resident Angel Belcher and Bay County Residents Rachal Smoker and Shelly Summers.
“The Governor and I witnessed the destruction left in Hurricane Michael’s wake firsthand, but as devastating as the storm was, there are some pretty amazing people who have brought hope to their neighbors in need,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “I’m proud to present the First Lady’s Medal for Courage, Commitment, and Service to Angel Belcher, Rachal Smoker and Shelly Summers for their selfless contributions to their communities. Governor DeSantis and I thank them on behalf of our entire state.”
Tina “Angel” Belcher (Washington County)
Angel Belcher is known in her community as Ms. Angel. She has lived in Chipley her whole life and is a member of Fifth United Holiness Church. Since Hurricane Michael hit Northwest Florida, she has been cooking meals, helping clean up homes and delivering care packages. To-date, she has helped more than a thousand people. While she receives donations, the assistance she provides often comes at her own expense.
Rachal Smoker (Bay County)
Rachal Smoker is a full-time volunteer with Bay District Schools. Like many others, Rachal and her family evacuated during Hurricane Michael and when she returned, she immediately sprang into action and founded the non-profit Rachal’s Recovery Relief, Inc. Her group has donated clothes, diapers, shoes, food, toys and classroom supplies. She is also a member of Michael’s Angels, a group of moms who came up to Tallahassee to rally the Legislature to support relief efforts in Northwest Florida.
Shelly Summers (Bay County)
Shelly Summers and her husband Sam own a five-acre property. Post landfall, several families lived in tents in a church parking lot. Eventually, the lot was cleared, and these families had no place to go. Shelly opened her property and her home to these families. Shelly offers a home-cooked meal each night in return for help feeding her nearly 100 pet rabbits and for good conversation and company.