CGI Windows and Doors Honors Four Florida Heroes, Kicks off Statewide Voting CampaignMay 17th, 2021 by Editor
Hialeah, Fla.-based CGI Windows and Doors, part of the PGT Innovations family of brands, recently selected four individuals from across Florida to be awarded with a $1,000 cash prize as part of its “CGI Heroes: Celebrating Strength” contest. The event recognizes Florida residents who the company believes have gone above and beyond to help others. Giving back to the community has always been part of the company culture at CGI Windows and Doors, company officials say. That philosophy fueled the launch of the inaugural CGI Heroes contest in 2020 and its expansion to a statewide contest in 2021. This year, a second round was added to the contest to select a grand prize winner from the four initial winners. The grand prize winner will receive an additional cash prize of $5,000.
Tori Mason, Janet Woods, Bethany Keime, and Drew Rogers were all nominated and selected as statewide finalists for their commitments to assisting others.
Mason is a school resource officer with the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Office in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area. Passionate about helping kids and serving others, she 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 assisting students at whatever school she is assigned to and creating safe learning environments and positive interactions between herself and students. She regularly fundraises for families in need and can often be found helping her fellow officers or community members.
Woods is a dedicated volunteer with the 9463 Foundation and South Florida Rest, organizations that support first responders in Florida. She makes personalized quilts and hand delivers them to families of fallen officers in conjunction with the 9463 Foundation, as a volunteer, and has been doing so for nearly a decade.
“I don’t think there’s a quilt I make that doesn’t have a teardrop on it,” Woods says.
A retired legal secretary, she moved to Florida ten years ago and has been volunteering at the foundation and also with South Florida Rest (aka Canteen), an organization that hydrates firefighters and police officers while on call at emergency scenes.
“We bring water, Gatorade, snacks and food to first responders who are at the scene of an accident, a fire, a SWAT call or wherever they need us,” she says.
When she’s not making quilts or helping hydrate first responders, Woods is sewing masks. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, she has made more than 9,300 masks and donated them to police and fire agencies, hospitals and others all over the country with patriotic or specific meaningful fabrics.
Keime is a self-proclaimed heart warrior from Cutler Bay, Fla. At 17, when the Florida native was a senior in high school, she was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which for her would be a lifetime of medication, testing, and treatments, including having a defibrillator implanted into her chest. Seven years later, after coming to terms with the diagnosis and decided to do something positive about it, she launched the HeartCharged Instagram page to spread awareness. She built her own website, and created her own 501C-3 nonprofit, HeartCharged, through which she conducts community heart screenings, donates defibrillators, and speaks at schools.
“We just got a law passed in Florida to get CPR and AED training for high school students, which can prevent death from sudden cardiac arrest,” Keime says. “Next year, we’re working on getting heart screenings for all kids in Florida. Many heart conditions have no recognizable symptoms. With screenings, deaths can be prevented.”
Rogers is the Operations Fire Chief at Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR) in Ocala. A firefighter for 20 years, he’s made it his mission to inspire and mentor others who may be headed down the wrong path.
“I joined the fire service from a little bit of shaky background,” Rogers says. “I wasn’t sure where I was going in life and at times, like a lot of kids, I made some bad choices, but becoming a firefighter changed my life, and I want to do that for others.”
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 with students at the fire career academy to help them find a career path they can stay on for life.
“A lot of our chiefs are great at many things – analytics, spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations. For me, the biggest thing I am good at and enjoy the most is building a culture of wellness and community to support our firefighter family in whatever ways possible,” he says.
CGI Windows and Doors accepted nominations from April 6 through April 22 and four winners were selected by a team. The grand prize winner will be selected through an online voting campaign beginning May 13 and ending on May 28. To learn more about the individual contest winners, and to vote for the grand prize winner, visit cgiwindows.com/heroes. The grand prize winner will be announced on June 1 on CGI’s social media channels.