By Wayne Allen
Eleven heroes will be honored in multiple categories at this year’s Red Cross Heroes Breakfast, scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 13.
“Each year, the American Red Cross of the Ohio River Valley presents awards to local heroes who saved lives, exemplified the Red Cross mission or made significant, positive differences in our community in the areas of emergency response, disaster preparedness and prevention,” said Debbie Smith, community executive with the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross in a released statement.
Among the heroes being honored this year is the Portsmouth Fire Department, whom will be presented with this year’s Fire/Preparedness Hero award. According to the award information, “not only do they go above and beyond responding to fires day in and day out, they also built a ramp for Jim Saddler and helped decorate Esplanade at Christmas time.”
Bert Sherman, a volunteer at SOMC Hospice, will be presented with this year’s Senior Hero Award. According to award information, “Sherman has volunteered for SOMC Hospice for 8 years. In that time he has given us more than 9,800 hours as volunteer. That translates to over $108,000 in cost savings. The unique thing with Bert is he commutes 156 miles a week to volunteer. Most people volunteer near their home, Bert drives to the Hospice Unit from Waverly three times a week. At one point, Bert was commuting 6 times a week. Bert just retired as a volunteer on May 28 2015. Bert is 92 years old. He will be 93 this fall.”
Stacy Hall will be presented with this year’s Fundraising Hero Award. According to award information, “Stacy is a team captain for the Hospice team, ALL n the FAMILY. The team raised over $6100 in 2015. Stacy has had several family members who have had Hospice services. She is extremely blessed with a terrific team that will help with whatever fundraisers thrown their way. She is also involved in fundraising for Autism, Alzheimer’s and helping her friends, Cera and Ryan Wymer raise money for their adoption journey.”
Tim Jones will be presented the Jackson County Volunteer Hero Award. According to award information, Jones runs a non-profit organization in Jackson County that provides clothing to those in need. Jones is also a member of many community organizations whose aim is to help those in need.
Linda Slone will be presented with the Pike County Volunteer Hero Award. According to award information, Slone is a past Red Cross board member and has a blood drive volunteer at Piketon High School for many years.
This year’s Scioto County Hero Award will be presented to the Portsmouth Area Ladies, Inc (PALS). According to award information PALS is, “a volunteer group of women who work to support charitable needs and organizations that will improve the quality of life in the local area, has given more than $50,000 to community causes since the group was founded in 2007.”
Compass Community Health and the Portsmouth Police Department will be presented with the Blood Hero Award. According to award information, “(A) patient’s blood work came back with a serious nature, and when patient could not be reached, police was contacted and followed up at patient’s residence to find them unresponsive and they saved her life,
Living With a Cause will be presented with the Community Hero Award. According to award information, Living With a Cause does multiple fundraisers and community events to support children in our area, and local military.
This year’s Rescue Hero Award will be presented to members of the Nile Township Volunteer Fire Department. According to award information, “On April 3, 2015, the department was dispatched to Naces Run Road. The initial dispatch stated that a vehicle had rolled over and the occupants were trapped. Upon arriving on scene it was discovered that the vehicle had not rolled, but the driver had backed down a driveway after dark and as result of the heavy rain that had occurred the driveway had washed out, and the vehicle was teetering on the edge of the driveway and in danger of dropping into the creek that was six to eight feet below the vehicle.
To complicate matters the front end of the vehicle was approximately 3 to 4 feet off the ground. This was Easter weekend and the driver and his wife were from out of town and visiting family during the holiday and unfamiliar with the area. Their family members that they were visiting were holding on to the vehicle to keep it from falling into the rushing creek below. After arriving on scene Lieutenant Kody Wellman, Firefighter Justin Journey, and Firefighter Dyan McKinley worked quickly and diligently to secure the front end of the vehicle utilizing the wench on our department’s rescue truck and assist removing the occupants who had to climb nearly vertically out of the vehicle’s driver side window. After the occupants were safely removed from the vehicle the fire personnel were able to tow the vehicle to safety.”
The Marcia Sanderlin Hero Award will also be given out during the breakfast to a Red Cross volunteer or supporter that has gone above and beyond expectations either as a volunteer or financial supporter. The recipient of this award is kept a secret until the morning of the breakfast.
The Red Cross Heroes Breakfast will occur Thursday, Aug. 13, at the Friend’s Community Center. The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. and concludes by 9:15 a.m.
Proceeds from the event help support local disaster prevention, preparation and relief, the lifesaving training of first aid, CPR/AED classes, collection and testing of blood and blood products, support to military members serving around the globe, the transportation program, and international programs provided by the American Red Cross.
Tickets for the annual event are $10 per person or $25 for patron seats and can be obtained at 1801 Robinson Ave., in Portsmouth, or by calling 740-354-3293.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT