Former shuttle astronaut Scott stresses service at Brevard Rescue Mission event


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Former shuttle astronaut Winston Scott, right, spoke at Brevard Rescue Mission’s second annual partner event Nov. 5 at Lexus of Melbourne. With him are Glen Outlaw, left, who provided the homeless shelter its first 12-unit apartment complex at low cost, and founder and CEO Stacia Glavas. Photo by Mike Gaffey

Former shuttle astronaut Winston Scott says everyone has a task to do to help others.

He was the keynote speaker at the Brevard Rescue Mission’s second annual partner event Nov. 5 at Lexus of Melbourne in Viera, which drew about 100 in attendance.

“Sometimes the task is just providing a hand up for a young unwed mother and helping her get on her feet,” Scott said. “Sometimes the task might be to teach young men how to conduct themselves, how to shake hands and look people in the eye and tie a bow tie and give them a sense of self-esteem that men need.”

Scott, a retired U.S. Navy captain who spent 24 days in orbit as a mission specialist aboard Endeavour in 1996 and launched on Columbia in 1997, currently is a senior vice president for external relations and economic development at Florida Institute of Technology. He praised the efforts of the faith-based nonprofit, which provides resources to help homeless mothers with children become self-sufficient.

“I know how important their work is,” said Scott, whose wife, Marilyn, is on the Brevard Rescue Mission’s board of directors.

Scott stressed the importance of spiritual faith, saying a higher power helped lead him to become an astronaut by sending people into his life who helped him achieve that lofty goal. The Miami native was a music major at Florida State when he was inspired to study engineering. Upon graduation, Scott enlisted in the Navy, where he accumulated more than 5,000 flight hours in more than 20 different aircraft. He was accepted into NASA’s astronaut program in 1992.

“Our Creator has something planned for us and he will always find a way to make it happen,” Scott said.

The event was a way to thank major donors who give $100 a month or more, Brevard Rescue Mission founder and CEO Stacia Glavas said.

“We don’t accept government money,” Glavas said. “We’re all privately funded. So this is really, really important for us to thank these people who make it possible.”

Scott closed his speech by saying that spaceflight gave him a new perspective on life.

“I’m one of those type-A people, I’m impatient,” Scott said. “But I’ve tried to learn that most of the things we worry about and sweat down here are little piddly things that don’t really have a whole lot of significance. So I’ve tried and learned to be very patient and tried to look at things in a bigger picture and global perspective and not to sweat the little things. Because life is really short. Life is precious. The Earth is very small and very fragile. And we’re a tiny speck in a larger universe. The Earth is our home and we need to take care of it.”

For more information about Brevard Rescue Mission, call 321-480-9100 or go to brevardrescuemission.org