Venue: Hilton 31 Ocean Ballroom

    The Neptune Festival invites you to celebrate excellence at Neptune's Final Toast in honor of our Hometown Heroes. Local heroes will be honored during Boardwalk Weekend at a Sunday breakfast by the sea.
    If you would like to attend, please call the Neptune Festival office at (757) 498-0215 by September 21st for more information.  $25.00/Adult, $15/Children under 12
    Many of those who have chosen to live in our community have also chosen to make their professions in ways that provide valuable and critically needed services to all of us.  They do this every day - quietly, efficiently and effectively. The Neptune Festival has established a program to recognize these organizations each year through representatives chosen by their organizations leaders.
    They are the defenders of our community and our country, our soldiers and police officers, sailors and firefighters, marines, airmen, emergency medical service volunteers and coast guardsmen, and they are those who teach our children.  What they do for us all is epic in the truest sense - they are our hometown heroes.


    Neptune Festival 2015 Hometown Heroes


    Yeoman (YO-man) Third Class Cecilia Henry | United States Coast Guard

    Petty Officer Henry is a native of Fond-du-Lac, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin prior to enlisting in the Coast Guard. She is presently stationed at the Fifth Coast Guard District, Portsmouth, Virginia, providing administrative assistance. She has served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin in drug interdiction operations throughout the Caribbean. Petty Officer Henry is part of the Coast Guard Personnel Accountability and Assessment System and serves as President of the Coast Guardsmen for Responsible Decisions, mentoring and serving as a positive example for her shipmates. She and her wife Jessica live in Portsmouth with their dogs Bayzer and Roo.


    Sergeant Andrew Hoverson | United States Marine Corps 

    Originally from the Queen City of Cincinnati, Ohio, Sergeant Hoverson enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2008 as a machine gunner. He has been forward deployed with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines and also to Afghanistan with Regimental Combat Team 5. Presently he is the Close Quarters Battle Instructor for Marine Corps Security Force Regiment and Chief Instructor for the Recapture Tactics Team and Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams. His plans include returning to Park City, Utah and continuing his undergraduate studies in finance at Penn State University.


    Technical Sergeant Maurice B. Caton, III | United States Air Force

    Technical Sergeant Caton is a true son of the "Big Apple", born and raised in Queens, New York. As both a Quality Assurance Evaluator and Intelligence Analyst, he has served tours in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, and currently is stationed at Langley Air Force Base. His performance has earned him both official commendations and high praise as a military professional and an active member of his community. Tech Sergeant Caton regularly volunteers, including time spent with disabled veterans at the VA Hospital in Hampton.  He and his wife are the proud parents of two sons, and twin daughters.


    Sergeant First Class Bobbie L. Gabaree | United States Army

    Sergeant First Class Gabaree (gab-ah-REE) is a proud Texan, born and raised in Ingleside. By trade an Aircraft Powerplant Repair specialist, she presently serves as a Senior Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) Platoon Sergeant at Fort Eustis. She has always been a very active part of her community, and regularly shares her time and talents as a volunteer, in circumstances ranging from Habitat for Humanity to Emergency Relief efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Currently residing at Fort Eustis with her husband, Jeramie, four children and two dogs, Sergeant Gabaree "relaxes" by playing intramural soccer, riding her bicycle, and running in races from 5Ks to Marathons.


    Yeoman First Class Stephanie Young | United States Navy

    Petty Officer Young graduated from Dover High School, Delaware in 2003 and enlisted in the Navy in 2004. As an Administrative Supervisor, her tours have include Kunia (koo-KNEE-yah), Hawaii, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, the guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. She is currently assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group, Detachment Little Creek. Petty Officer Young is an active community volunteer, sharing her professional excellence with Meals on Wheels and the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival.


    Emergency Medical Technician Thomas Harp | Virginia Beach Emergency Medical Services

    Mr. Harp is an Emergency Medical Technician of long-standing with Virginia Beach EMS. He began his volunteer career with EMS in 1986 and has dedicated countless hours of selfless service since, including volunteer service with the Virginia Beach Fire Department. "Tom" has responded to any number of community needs, including Hurricane Isabelle, numberless Special Events, and supervising EMS Stations 14 and 8. Not surprisingly, recognition for his dedication and skills include Act of Service, Chief Commendation for Outstanding Services and the Bruce Edwards Tidewater EMS Outstanding Administrator of the Year.


    Master Firefighter Doug Hale | Virginia Beach Fire Department

    Born in Harlan, Kentucky, Master Firefighter Hale moved to Virginia Beach in 1990, and has been a firefighter with Virginia Beach for nine (9) years. He is currently assigned to "The Bull Pen", Company 18, located in Green Run. In addition to being a firefighter and paramedic, Doug is a CPR instructor, International Trauma Life Support Instructor and Field Training Officer for new EMS providers. In his off-duty hours, he is a volunteer proctor for Virginia Beach EMS BLS (Basic Life Support) Academies.


    Master Police Officer Frank Filippone | Virginia Beach Police Department

    Master Police Officer Filippone is a nine-year veteran of the Virginia Beach Police Department and has built a well-deserved reputation not only for law enforcement, but for compassion. His professional history includes a laundry list of instances where he went well beyond enforcing statutes to recognizing and assisting (often on his own volition) circumstances behind the event. In so doing, he's developed a highly valuable rapport with many, when the alternative would be a life wasted. Not surprisingly, he has earned the respect and accolades from his peers, the Chief of Police and - most importantly - the public and the community he serves.


    Brad Ward - Teacher of the Year | Virginia Beach Public Schools

    Born in Tennessee, Mr. Ward grew up in Virginia Beach as the son of a Navy family. He's a graduate of Kempsville High School and Liberty University. Mr. Ward has taught for 15 years, 11 of them in Virginia Beach, currently teaching 5th Grade at Rosemont Forest Elementary School. VB School Superintendent Spence said of him: “Bradley Ward is a remarkable teacher who allows his students to explore and make meaning of the world around them. In his classroom you can find students building bridges, constructing catapults or digging in the dirt for artifacts." Mr. Ward is the current Teacher of the Year in Virginia Beach and has also been named the Air Force Association STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Teacher of the Year. 


    2015 Guest Speaker


    Admiral Phil Davidson

    Adm. Phil Davidson is from St. Louis, Missouri. He is a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He assumed command of U.S. Fleet Forces Command/Naval Forces U.S. Northern Command on December 19, 2014. A surface warfare officer, he has deployed across the globe in frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers. In his most recent assignment, he was the commander, U.S. 6th Fleet and the commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, while simultaneously serving as the deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa.

    His previous command assignments include command of Carrier Strike Group 8/Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and USS Taylor (FFG 50). Ashore, Davidson has served in fleet, interagency and joint tours as a flag officer; he was previously the director, Maritime Operations, U. S. Fleet Forces Command, the senior military advisor to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) at the State Department, and the deputy director for Strategy and Policy in the Joint Staff/J-5.

    He served earlier in his career in policy, strategy and operations billets on multiple tours with the U.S. Pacific Fleet staff, the Navy staff and the Joint Staff, and as the Navys military aide to the vice president of the United States. Davidson is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval War College. He has a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics. His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat "V," a Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State, and other personal, service, unit and campaign awards.






    Beach Ford