Duval County

Local man with ties to Van Zant family paying it forward in honor of late wife

JACKONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville man is working to ‘pay it forward’ in honor of his late wife, the daughter of Johnny Van Zant-- big-time musician in the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band.

Lindsay Van Zant was best known for her big smile and even bigger heart.

“Even when things were bad, hearing her laugh and seeing her smile would light up a room,” Brandon Poiencot, her husband, said.

Lindsay was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She fought but passed away 13 months later. Her last request before her death was not to mourn her passing, but to do something kind for others instead."To do what we could to help people who are going through similar things, whether it’s cancer or anything," Poiencot said. “Because, you never know what kind of battles people are fighting.”

This is not the first lost the family has had. In 1977, famous lead singer, Ronnie Van Zant and two other band members were killed in a plane crash in Mississippi.

Despite the family’s heartache, they started the ‘Pay it Forward’ campaign.

They perform random acts of kindness on September 12--Lindsay’s birthday.

Poiencot wants this campaign to spread. So, he’s asking people to do small acts of kindness and use the hashtag #PayItForwardLVZ so they can track how far the campaign goes.

He suggests people:

  • Buy gift cards and give to a stranger
  • Donate food to a local animal shelter
  • Donate PPE or supplies to a local long-term care facility
  • Leave a kind note for a friend
  • You can also donate to Home Grown Kindness, a non-profit started in her honor: http://stmichaelssoldiers.org/home-grown-kindness/

“With all the uncertainty, with everything, people being quarantined, people being out of work -- especially all the political unrest, social unrest, I think this might be very important for us to be out there doing this,” Poiencot said.