For the last 15 years or so, Stephen Wint has been a major part of the East Bay Community, volunteering with the East Bay Buccaneers Youth Football and Cheerleading program and the East Bay High School Indians football program.
“He had a huge heart for the kids and a bigger heart to serve. His passing was very tough on the community because he was so loved and respected,” said East Bay Head Coach Frank LaRosa. “Steve was a great guy— not just for our football program, but also for our school and community.”
Wint was a volunteer with the East Bay High School Booster Club, as well as a volunteer coach and director of concessions. He volunteered for the East Bay Buccaneers Youth Football and Cheerleading program when his son, Stephen, and his daughter, Shealynn, were a part of it, and he began helping out at East Bay High School when Shealynn started school there. He continued to be a big part of the football program, even after his kids graduated and went to college.
According to the East Bay head cheerleading coach and longtime friend of Wint, Tracy Howard, who spoke at his funeral, he had a servant heart and always wanted to help people when he was needed.
“There wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for the community, our organization and for the kids involved in our organization,” said Howard. “He never said no to volunteering for anything, and he committed himself to the program even after his kids graduated and moved on.”
Jo Ann Vildibill, who was a friend of Wint’s and worked with him in the concession stand, said that his funeral was attended by over 200 people and was standing room only. Wint, 56, has left behind his wife, Vicky; mother, Vinnet; three children and several siblings; as well as two grandchildren.
“His death is a great loss for our community,” said Vildibill. “People were drawn to him and his example.”
According to Vildibill, Wint had dreams of upgrading the outdated and rundown concession stand at the high school in which he worked. He had already started raising money and getting volunteers to help with the remodel.
November 1 was the first football game played at home since Wint’s passing. The team had decals with his name on the back of their helmets to honor him, and the program celebrated him throughout the game.
“Selfless, hardworking and caring are all words Steve lived by,” said LaRosa.
Wint’s family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the East Bay High School Athletic Booster Club and East Bay Buccaneers football and cheerleading. Donations can be made at this Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/donate/374128406801972/.
In addition, checks payable to East Bay High School Athletic Booster Club (EBHSABC) may be sent to the school at 7710 Old Big Bend Rd., Gibsonton, FL 33534. All donations will go toward upgrading the concession stand.