TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Chick-fil-A Tampa Bay, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and Eventfest announced the Ashley Children’s Gasparilla Presented By Chick-Fil-A Tampa Bay 2022 Community Hero on Wednesday.

Michele Axford has been a child life specialist for AdventHealth for more than 20 years.

“Focused on providing the best care for children, she helps young patients and their families navigate the challenges of surgeries and treatments and employs atraumatic care principles in everyday practices,” a press released states.

Axford provides comfort during uncertain times for patients and families. During the holidays, she makes sure every hospitalized child gets the same costumes, candy and joy they would at home.

“YMKG and Chick-fil-A Tampa Bay are proud to recognize and support community members who create a culture of care,” said Captain Peter Lackman of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. “It’s our privilege to recognize Michele Axford for her continuous efforts to leave a lasting impact on young patients as she strives to make their hospital stay as warm and comforting as possible.”

As this year’s community here for the Children’s Parade, Axford will lead the more than 100 krewes, floats, marching bands, community groups and more down Bayshore Boulevard.

The 75th anniversary of Children’s Gasparilla will take place Jan. 22, beginning at 3:30 p.m.