Mazda Heroes Awarded Special-Edition Miatas on Good Morning America
The Mazda Heroes program was meant to honor people who stepped up and helped their communities during the pandemic. Now, three extraordinary nominees have been awarded their very own Mazda MX-5 Miata 100th Anniversary Edition models, presented on national TV.
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Three hometown heroes
Mazda Heroes nominees Starr Thompson, Jennifer Williams, and Leandro Pessoa, were under the impression that they were merely finalists when they appeared on Good Morning America.
Each Mazda Hero gave back to their community in a unique way. Leandro Pessoa lent a helping hand by taking daily trips to stock up his local zero-contact food pantry, noting that every time he visited, the food had been emptied out. He spent up to $200 per week to help keep his community fed, paid via his own unemployment checks.
Jennifer Williams, a special education teacher, made door-to-door contactcless school supply deliveries for her students. On top of that, she used at-home learning as a way to teach her students essential daily skills, including housekeeping and cooking. And when her students fell behind in their art lessons, she took it upon herself to develop a specialized hands-on program to help them keep learning.
Starr Thomspon is a coach and former college football player. He’s dedicated himself to being a positive force in his community, mentoring young people, leading children’s storytimes, and coaching teen athletes. “You never know what beacon of light could be just the spark somebody needs to propel them in the right direction,” Thompson explained. His friends agree, stating that Thompson’s kindness and generosity have been a much-needed force for good in an uncertain world.
After having their stories featured on Good Morning America, the three nominees learned the truth. Host Ginger Zee announced, “I know that we told you that you were finalists, but guess what? You are actually winners of a Mazda 100th Special Anniversary car!”
More Mazda Heroes
The three featured Mazda Heroes are just a few of the 50 winners that will be announced throughout the month of December. Another winner, Jason Erdreich, drove home in a special-edition Miata for producing over 12,000 pieces of PPE by setting up a home factory using 3D printers.
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Mazda North America President Jeff Guyton expressed his pride in the program and the many inspirational Mazda Heroes. “We hope through Mazda’s acknowledgment of their efforts, they’ll feel empowered to continue to give back to those around them.”
Kimiko Kidd is a native Daytonian. She graduated from Wright State University with degrees in environmental science and sociology. She loves her trusty old Honda Civic, but dreams of owning a 1974 Ford Falcon XB with a custom paint job and a vintage Kawasaki Z1000. In her free time, Kimiko can be found watercolor-painting, baking muffins, collecting rocks, playing old-school Nintendo games, writing her novel, sewing stuffed animals, and cosplaying as her favorite Mad Max characters. See more articles by Kimiko.