LUNCH HONORS UNSUNG HEROES OF THE ISLAND CHAIN

February 2 was a day to honor the volunteers and nonprofit organizations that make the communities of the Florida Keys the special place they are.

Whether it’s animal welfare, insurance price protection, at-risk kids or environmental stewardship, there’s an organization dedicated to it in the island chain.

The Community Foundation of the Florida Keys generously honors volunteers nominated by local nonprofits with a lunch and award ceremony at the Key West Marriott Beachside Resort.

The packed event featured bloody Marys, mimosas and a cash bar, along with photo opportunities and plenty of networking. 

More than 100 nonprofits throughout the Keys nominated one of their crucial volunteers for the title of Unsung Hero.

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.