Health First Fundraiser Michael Seeley Has One Eye on Foundation, the Other on Space

By  //  September 20, 2021

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Seeley's image of SpaceX launch in May 2020 published in Nat Geo "2020 Photos of the Year"

MICHAEL SEELEY atop the Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building – a preferred bird’s eye perch for him and his cameras. By day, Michael is president of the Health First Foundation. Its sole mission is to raise money so that the hospital can continue to provide care to Brevard and surrounding counties, and regardless of anyone’s ability to pay.

Michael Seeley’s rocket launch photographs have been published in National Geographic, and “liked” by SpaceX’s Elon Musk on Twitter.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Health First’s Michael Seeley and the entrepreneur Elon Musk don’t share a whole lot in common, but in April both had their sights on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, engine blazing before a brilliant full moon.

Only Michael pushed a picture of it out on Twitter. Mr. Musk saw it and promptly liked it.

By day, Michael is president of the Health First Foundation. Its sole mission is to raise money so that the hospital can continue to provide care to Brevard and surrounding counties, and regardless of anyone’s ability to pay.

By night – and just as often by day – he may be perched atop a building with a bird’s eye view of Kennedy Space Center. His superb eye and skill have caught the attention of National Geographic, where he’s a contributor.

His photograph of the SpaceX Crew Dragon launch in May 2020 was published in the magazine’s “2020 Photos of the Year” issue: CLICK HERE to see it for yourself.

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His first photograph for the publisher appeared in the November 2016 issue. It was also a SpaceX launch captured that summer – only the second time SpaceX had landed a booster at Cape Canaveral.

“I tell people all the time that I’ll never forget those sonic booms, and hearing the words ‘The Falcon has landed’ over the webcast was incredible.”

Michael recently reposted photos from a 2019 Falcon Heavy launch when two boosters landed at Cape Canaveral. That Musk “liked” them may have contributed to its 3.5 million views.

“We’re witnessing history here, and the beauty around us is endless and incredible, which is why I’m a constant advocate for the Space Coast,” Michael says. “Every photo I publish I see as a love letter to Brevard County.”

Michael recently reposted photos from a 2019 Falcon Heavy launch when two boosters landed at Cape Canaveral. That Elon Musk, above, “liked” them may have contributed to its 3.5 million views.

As Foundation President, Michael works to support services at Health First, including the Heart Center, Trauma Center and Emergency Departments at Health First’s hospitals, and specialized programs for cancer, diabetes and other conditions.

All of this helps Health First accomplish its mission of improving wellness and health in Brevard. Michael and his team get to see firsthand the need in the community.

By raising and giving over $180 million, and besides partners such as Brevard Health Alliance, Brevard Public Schools, the Boys & Girls Club and others, Health First has been able to provide uncompensated care regardless of someone’s ability to pay.

His community work and photography probably come together best at Melbourne City Hall. There, four big panoramic photos of sunsets over Lake Washington decorate the water department.

“We have the good fortune to live on the Space Coast and to be part of that history; it’s just a way of life here,” Michael said. “It still boggles my mind that traffic doesn’t come to a complete stop every time there’s a launch.”

To learn more about the Health First Foundation, visit HFgive.org. To scroll through Michael Seeley’s work, follow him on Twitter, @Mike_Seeley.

HEALTH FIRST’S MICHAEL SEELEY photographed this SpaceX Falcon Heavy with three rocket boosters in 2019. The event was a huge success in the young history of the private space enterprise. Afterward, SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted “Great shot.” (Michael Seeley image)
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