BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A longtime Bay County community leader who lost his battle to cancer last year, is being honored for his dedication to one of the many organizations he supported.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida posthumously awarded A.J. Bacon with the Michael Robidoux Hero Award.

Staff presented it to his wife, Ivy Bacon, who currently serves on the Bay County Advisory Board for the non-profit.

Michael Robidoux was a Big Brother for the organization who died in 2018 after saving two young children from dangerous surf at Navarre Beach.

In 2019, the non-profit decided to honor his legacy by establishing the Michael Robidoux Hero Award. It’s presented annually to a mentor who exemplifies the passion for serving others as Michael did.

A.J. Bacon was matched with his Little Brother, Danterius, in 2011. After Danterius graduated, Bacon continued to stay in touch and be there for him.

Staff at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida said Bacon was a father figure to Danterius and taught him many life lessons.

“A.J. was truly a warrior for Big Brothers, Big Sisters,” said Match Specialist, Leanne Gaudet. “Not only was he just an amazing mentor to his little brother, Danterius, he also was such an advocate for Big Brothers, Big Sisters.”

Gaudet said Bacon went to Tallahassee to speak to lawmakers about the importance of funding for the non-profit, and was consistently at most of the agency’s events.

Bacon also served on the Bay County Advisory Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida alongside his wife, Ivy.