Gainesville Woman Given Statewide Award For Community Service

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Champion of Service Award
(From left) Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Gov. Rick Scott, Gainesville resident Carole Zegel, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater pose for a photo after Zegel received one of the two Champion of Service Awards given Tuesday. (Photo courtesy Rick Scott’s office)

A Gainesville woman was given one of two Champion of Service Awards on Tuesday by Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Chester Spellman, the CEO of Volunteer Florida.

Carole Zegel was given the recognition for her community-service work. In 1979, she helped create the Guardian ad Litem program, which advocates for the best interests of children who are believed to have been abandoned, neglected or abused, according to the organization’s website.

In 1994, she served as the first director of the family court and oversaw the Guardian ad Litem, Teen Court, and Project Payback programs.

Since 2011, she has volunteered with the PACE Center for Girls, which provides academic, career and counseling services exclusively for girls. She now serves as the organization’s chair of the board of trustees.

Since she has been with PACE, it has opened two new centers in Miami and Clay County.

“Volunteer Florida is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month and the contributions of women and girls in Florida by recognizing Carole Zegel and Taylor Richardson,” Spellman said in a news release from Scott’s office. “They demonstrate that community service and volunteerism can be a lifelong endeavor.”

Richardson, a Jacksonville middle school student, received the second award Tuesday.

Scott said in the release that “it is an honor” to give Zegel and Richardson the awards.

“We are thankful for their service as they impact the lives of countless individuals,” he said.


About Isabella Alsina

Isabella is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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