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Fifth Annual Salute to Everyday Heroes Ceremony Honors "BCC" Alumnus Howard Gentry


Orlando’s Spectrum News 13 announced its “2017 Hero of the Year,” along with winners in the categories of Education, Health Advocate, Volunteer, Young Hero, Viewer’s Choice and Public Service at the Fifth Annual Salute to Everyday Heroes at the Sheraton in Maitland, Florida. The Salute to Everyday Heroes ceremony celebrated heroes who were featured throughout 2017 on News 13.

Alumnus Howard Tate "Flute" Gentry was recognized as the Education Hero for founding Young Blacks in Action (YBA), an organization he formed 38 years ago to assist underprivileged youth in the Washington Shores, Lake Mann Homes, Murchison Terrace, Richmond Heights, Carver Shores and Malibu neighborhoods in Orlando, Florida. 

Gentry attended BCC, where he participated the Marching Men of Cookman Band, which lead to his desire to volunteer his time and talent in training students in the discipline of marching drill precision. Affectionately known as “Flute,” he brought youth together in the parking lot of the Washington Shores Shopping Center after school to practice drills. 

Gentry’s service to the community has been recognized nationwide. He was honored by BET Network with the Shine-A-Light Community Service Award. He has also been acknowledged by the Tom Joyner Morning Show Real Fathers, Real Men segment. Gentry won the City of Orlando’s Community Service Volunteer of the Year Award, Jones High School Alumni Historical Society Community Service Award, City of Orlando Police Department Citizenship Award and was named the 2011 Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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