Preston Hall, fifth grade student at Lithia Springs Elementary School, was the recipient of this year’s HERO Award presented by the Zach Tucker Giving Hope through Faith Foundation.

By Sherry Tucker

Lithia Springs Elementary fifth grade class celebrated their completion of elementary school by helping many Tampa Bay area children who are battling cancer. The First Annual Zach Tucker Kickball Tournament was initiated this year as a fun way for the class to raise funds for the Giving Hope through Faith Foundation as well as learn what it takes to be recognized as a HERO.  More than $330 was raised by the class and will be used to help the families sponsored by the foundation. The funds were presented to Zach’s parents, Dirk and Sherry Tucker, during the fifth grade celebration and HERO award presentation in June.

The HERO Award is given to one fifth grade student at the end of each school year that most emulates the characteristics displayed by Zach, who was a former Lithia Springs student that courageously battled brain cancer during his third grade year in 2005-2006. The characteristics required are H- happy attitude, E –excellent student, R- respected friend and O-outstanding athlete.  There were nine nominees selected by the teachers and students.  Each of the nominees were honored at the celebration. The nominees were Emily Van Allen, Adriana Kanarek, Burke Simpson, Cameron Kozlin, Emma Cooper, Joe Chandler, Nalin Saraf, Tyler Schnelker and Preston Hall. All of the nominees were very deserving of being named the 2012 HERO, but, after much consideration, Hall was selected. Hall is a strong student, loves to play baseball and football and is known for helping many of the younger children at Lithia.

The third Annual “Make them Smile…Give them Hope” Zach Tucker Memorial 5K Race will be held on Saturday, October 27, at 8 a.m., starting at Lithia Springs Elementary School, located at 4332 Lynx Paw Trl. in  Valrico. Bring a smile and hope to families that are battling cancer by participating in this 5K, which will be run through beautiful, shaded River Hills neighborhood.  Every dollar raised will be used to encourage and support children battling cancer in the Tampa Bay area. Entry fee $25, $30 day of the event. For more information, call Sherry Tucker at 685-6773 or visit

Previous articleBloomingdale Grad Earns Wings And Trains To Become Hurricane Hunter
Next articleLocal Band Takes Show On The Road