The Man Behind the Mustache: Don Miers

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The Man Behind the Mustache: Don Miers
Volunteer Spotlight

By Kimber Davis, Osceola History Magazine Spring 2014

There have been many famous mustaches throughout history.  There’s Colonel Sanders and Tom Selleck, Yosemite Sam and Salvador Dali.  Here in Osceola County, we have our own famous mustached man: the one and only Don Miers.

Long before the mustache, Don grew up in Dumont, New Jersey. At a young age, he was a hard worker – a trait he inherited from his mother.  Even though Stella Miers was a single mother, she climbed the ladder to vice president at a bank in New York.  According to Don, “She had to commute an hour to and from work every day.  Even then, she was never late and she never called in sick.”

In 1971, at the age of 18 years old, Don moved down to tropical St. Petersburg to attend college.  Maybe it was the sun and the sand, but Florida has had a hold over him ever since.  Continuing in the footsteps of his mother’s work ethic, Don became the youngest hotel manager in Howard Johnson history at the age of just 20 years old.

Then, 30 years ago, Don Miers finally began his life in Osceola County when he became the first Houston Astros employee in the county.  Since then, Don has been a part of opening many public parks and recreational facilities including the Osceola County Stadium, Austin-Tindall Regional Park, the Osceola County Softball Complex, and Osceola Heritage Park.  When asked about his career, Don says, “Some people wake up not wanting to go to work.  Well I grew up loving baseball and I love my job!  I’m living the American dream every day.”

Outside of his professional life, Don Miers has been equally as active in other areas of the community.  He has been involved with organizations such as the United Way, the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, the Children Advocacy Center, the Early Learning Coalition, Boy Scouts of America, the Osceola Education Foundation, Junior Achievement, the Osceola Center for the Arts, and many more.  He has been recognized over and over again as an outstanding citizen of Osceola County.  “Everyone should get involved to make their community a better place,” Don said.  “Not only are you helping to solve problems, but you can meet some really fantastic people along the way.”

Four years ago, Don got involved with another community organization, the Osceola County Historical Society.  His first role as W.B. Makinson at the annual fundraiser, Dine with the Departed, was a smash hit.  In fact, playing the famous hardware store owner is Don’s favorite character to re-enact for the historical society.  “Our history is important to our community.  A lot of people think that Disney started this area.  We have a lot more history than that,” Don said.

During his years volunteering at the Osceola County Historical Society, Don has become an indispensable re-enactor.  “If I have any kind of event where I need someone to really bring history to life, I know I can always count on Don,” said Kimber Davis, Program Coordinator.  “So far, he’s played a hardware owner, a mayor, and a doctor.  I can’t wait to see what we’ll come up with for him next.”

What’s on the top of Don’s list for the future of Osceola County?  “I’d like to see the county continue to grow.  I especially think eco-tourism is important.  That’s why I support the Shingle Creek Regional Park project with the Welcome Center and the new Pioneer Village,” Don said.  “I’d also like to attract more business to Osceola County.  And of course, the issue of homelessness needs to be addressed.”

When Don isn’t busy building parks or playing famous Kissimmee pioneers, he enjoys spending time with his family.  He has been married to his wife Patty for 31 years.  He has four grown sons, three granddaughters, and three grandsons.  Don also shows his support for his community by running 5K’s, complete with some creative outfits!

For thirty years now, Don Miers has been a huge asset to the community.  Here, at the Osceola County Historical Society, we’d like to take a moment to share our appreciation to him for his help in sharing our county’s story.  So if you see his famous ‘stache around town, whether he’s playing Makinson, helping manage one of our county’s fine facilities, running a 5K, or volunteering, make sure to show your appreciation to a man who is truly making history.