Florida Stories

S. Scott Vandergrift, Ocoee

(Nominated by Beth Vandergrift)
Ocoee Community Center
February 19, 2011

S. Scott Vandergrift was born in Ocoee, FL in 1940 and still lives there today. He served as City Commissioner in 1967-69, as Mayor 1973-75 and from 1992 to the present. He served in the US Navy active duty 1958-1960 (USS Waller DDE466) and reserve duty from 1956-1962.  He was a volunteer firefighter from 1955-1964; he was a lieutenant in charge of training. He established Little League in Ocoee and served this organization from 1962-1978. He has served in Lions Club, Jay Cees, Rotary Club, and Girl’s Club. He worked tirelessly for the rebuilding of the Ocoee High School, which had been closed after more than 50 years in favor of a regional “West Orange” high school. When his three children attended the school in the 1970s he was instrumental in setting up meetings and establishing improved relations during racial tensions. The new Ocoee high School was built on land for which the mayor had facilitated purchase by the county at a reduced cost. Mayor Vandergrift has worked tirelessly in his hometown to improve living conditions in low-income housing.  He has worked to improve drainage and road conditions, and was instrumental in the building a children’s park.  Following 9/11, he was instrumental in raising over $18,000 from the citizens of Ocoee and flew to New York to present the check to Mayor Giuliani’s office.  During the three hurricanes in 2004, he was out in the city checking for flooding, downed wires, and other hazards He is always accessible to citizens who call or visit any time of the day or night. He loves his hometown and would be thrilled to participate in the stitching of the 9/11 memorial flag in the place where he was born.