2022 Citizen of the Year and 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award

Since 1987 the Citizens for Ponce Inlet Organization has selected, honored, and acknowledged a resident of Ponce Inlet or a Ponce Inlet employee for both the Citizen of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Awards. 

The award is to acknowledge those individuals involved in volunteer work who have made an outstanding contribution to our community.


2022 Citizen of the Year – John Mark Oebbecke

Mark joined the Ponce Inlet Lions Club in 2015 where, over the years, he became a Director and Vice President. For the last three years, he has been the director of their annual fundraising golf tournament. This year, along with his wife Pat, the tournament raised over $12,000 and is their largest fund-raising event. Soon after moving to Ponce Inlet, he volunteered at the lighthouse as a lighthouse keeper for about a year and a half. In doing so, Mark enjoyed learning about the history of Ponce Inlet and the impact volunteer citizens have made on this small community over the years.

Mark was a prior director and is now the Vice President of the Ponce Inlet Community Center. Working with the other volunteer board members, significant improvements have been made to the appearance of the center. This includes the installation of new ceiling tiles, new flower beds, and, thanks to the town’s funding, new restrooms and numerous other improvements. He is also currently responsible for securing rentals for the center that generate revenues to assist in covering the center’s operational costs.As a member and current secretary of the Ponce Inlet Veterans Memorial Association, he assists with the annual Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies.

Mark joined the Ponce Inlet Lions Club in 2015 where, over the years, he became a Director and Vice President. For the last three years, he has been the director of their annual fundraising golf tournament. This year, along with his wife Pat, the tournament raised over $12,000 and is their largest fund-raising event. Soon after moving to Ponce Inlet, he volunteered at the lighthouse as a lighthouse keeper for about a year and a half. In doing so, Mark enjoyed learning about the history of Ponce Inlet and the impact volunteer citizens have made on this small community over the years.

Mark was a prior director and is now the Vice President of the Ponce Inlet Community Center. Working with the other volunteer board members, significant improvements have been made to the appearance of the center. This includes the installation of new ceiling tiles, new flower beds, and, thanks to the town’s funding, new restrooms and numerous other improvements. He is also currently responsible for securing rentals for the center that generate revenues to assist in covering the center’s operational costs.As a member and current secretary of the Ponce Inlet Veterans Memorial Association, he assists with the annual Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies.

Most recently, he worked with other association members to transfer day-to-day maintenance of the memorial to the Town. If all that isn’t enough to recognize Mark’s volunteer work, he is currently a member of the Town’s Essential Services Board and serves as the Town’s representative on the Volusia County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. The committee reviews all proposals, projects, and regulations related to pedestrian and bicycle activities. Mark is and has always been willing to help other Ponce Inlet organizations with any of their special events, and our town is fortunate to have such an adaptable and capable citizen volunteer.

In addition to his duties in Ponce Inlet, Mark had also found time to work as an editor of voice recordings at the Braille and Talking Book Library in Daytona Beach, which provides audio tapes for the visually impaired—a natural fit with the Lions. Along with his wife, Pat Morris, he is responsible for the food pantry at Longstreet Elementary School, which provides assistance for families struggling with food insecurities and is a 5th grade science teacher’s helper and mentor for 5th grade academically struggling students.Mark doesn’t want his name on the marquee out front of the community center to call attention to himself. He would rather have others acknowledged with the space available. He also knows there is so much more he wants to do to help keep Ponce Inlet the wonderful place he chose to call home.


2022 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner – Tara Lamb

Tara Lamb has lived in Ponce Inlet since 1996 and has been actively involved in this community since 2001. Below is a list of some of her accomplishments over the years.• 2001 to 2005 – Served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for the Friends of the Marine Science Center.• 2002 to present – Tara has been on the Executive Board of Directors at our Lighthouse and currently serves as the President a very high honor.
• 2007 – When Tara was Vice President of the Davis House Historic Preservation, Inc. she wrote the Echo Grant totaling $223,000 for the restoration project at 143 Beach Street, our Town Museum.• 2008 – Tara created for the Davis House Historic Preservation the Historic Biking and Walking Brochure for display at the Town Museum, the Lighthouse, the Speedway, and the Daytona Chamber of Commerce.• 2009 to 2010 – Tara implemented the Longstreet Point of Light Garden for 4th grade students at Longstreet Elementary to restore the historic garden used by the light keepers at the Lighthouse.• 2010 – Tara received the “In Recognition of Organizational Achievement” award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation of the Davis House for Historic Preservation for the restoration of 143 Beach Street.

• 2012 to 2017 – Tara served as the Chairperson of the Accession Committee of Ponce Inlet.• 2014 to 2017 – Tara participated with Longstreet students in the Ponce Inlet Christmas parades.• 2001 to the present – Tara has assisted with many of the Children’s Programs in Town.

In addition to the many volunteer activities above, Tara began teaching at Longstreet Elementary School over 20 years ago and has helped to educate most of the children from Ponce Inlet over those years.Tara comments to her friends “ I don’t know why I am receiving this Lifetime Achievement Award, I believe I still have a lot of years left to volunteer and much more to give to our wonderful town”.


2022 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner – Alan Deke DiCostanzo

Deke moved to Ponce Inlet in 1994 with his wife, Janice. He commuted to Maitland and traveled nationally for his job through March 1999. Deke credits Janice with initiating his volunteer work in Ponce Inlet. He got his start by assisting with her volunteer projects whenever he could. Although reluctant to join various clubs at the time, after retirement, Deke offered his help whenever it was needed.Along with his wife, they both became heavily involved in a variety of activities in town.

Deke has always been seen quite happily working in the kitchen or on the grill for the Lions Club, the Ponce Inlet Veterans Memorial Association, and the Ponce Inlet Community Center fund raisers. Similarly, he has enjoyed selling tickets, especially 50/50 at various events. Deke says, “I am honored by this Citizens for Ponce Inlet Lifetime Achievement but I don’t really understand why I deserve it. I feel like I’ve been doing low-level volunteer work for a long time and have always been enthusiastic about it. I am unlikely to say ‘no’ when asked for help.

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS:

YearRecipient #1Recipient #2
2020Peter Finch
2019Joe DiCarlo
2018Judy DiCarlo
2017Gary Smith
2016Mary Hoss
2015Liz Finch
2014Wini Irvin
2013Jerry McHughEllen Pagliarulo
2012Don HamptonJudy Huggins
2011Bill DauksisDiane Smith
2010Kristi DrumhellerAlan Redinger
2009Faye McHughVic McClellan
2008Margi RichardJim Irvin
2007Tami LewisMary Lou Hinson
2006Jim HinsonMarlene Heiden
2005Mary Ann RedingerGene Hynds
2004Joe GrassoTony Raia
2003Robert GregoryDonna Gunn
2002Marge BogertCharles Spitzfaden
2001Al WeedmanSteve Williams
2000Susie HageyKathryn Truswell
1999Darlene NicholsBill Hibbert
1998Hazel DauksisWalt Bogert
1997Shirley HibbertJames Utter
1996Barbara DavisAnn Caneer
1995Gretchen ZaleTom Kean
1994Sherry UtterVivian Girolami
1993Barbara LundeEarl Davis
1992Carolyn DiemickeEdwina Knox
1991Ayers DaviesWilda Hampton
1990Ruth PetrovCarolyn Sprague
1989Kay DaviesTony Girolami
1988Wanda DellacasaMeyer Sussman
1987Constance HunterBob Burns

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNERS:

YearRecipient #1Recipient #2Recipient #3Recipient # 4Recipient #5Recipient #6
2020Edson GrahamSherry Utter
2019Robyn HurdMary Hoss
2017Jim HinsonMary Lou HinsonCarolyn Diemicke
2016Ewina KnoxWilda HamptonCarolyn SpragueHazel DauksisBill HibbertShirley Hibbert
2014Gladys DavisEarl Davis
2010Constance Hunter
2004Tony Girolami
2002Ayers DaviesKay Davies