BURLINGTON >> The American Red Cross is once again honoring local residents by celebrating "everyday people" and the heroic things they do in our community. The Everyday Heroes Awards are celebrations all over the country at which the Red Cross honors people who personify the Red Cross Mission of service and help in local communities. To herald "March is Red Cross Month," Vermont will honor local heroes at the 2016 Everyday Heroes Awards on March 10, 2016 in South Burlington, Vermont.
Everyday heroes are all around us – the good Samaritan who intervenes when someone is in an accident, or the watchful neighbor seeing a need in a community. These awards shine light on selflessness of heart and heroism of character. Maria Devlin, CEO for the American Red Cross in New Hampshire and Vermont says, "The Red Cross sees a perfect fit in honoring people who've gone the extra mile on behalf of someone else, or have risked their lives for the sake of another. This selflessness embodies the work that Red Cross volunteers around the world do every single day."
The 2016 Everyday Heroes Award winners to be honored on March 10th are as follows:
Tracey Fowler noticed the need for adoptive care for handicapped pets, so Tracy decided to take matters into her own hands. She has made accommodations in her home, her work schedule and her lifestyle to be able to adopt handicapped dogs - most recently a disabled dog from Montana. She now cares for 4 handicapped dogs that may have been put down had it not been for her selflessness.
• Bruce Parmenter began donating blood at the age of 17, and 15 years ago he became a dedicated platelet donor. To date, Bruce's lifetime donations add up to over 113 gallons of blood and platelets. In addition to his time spent donating, he has worked to secure free Public Service Announcements and radio interviews to promote blood drives throughout northwestern Vermont in partnership with his employer (95 Triple X and WVMT). Bruce has worked tirelessly to secure sponsors for Red Cross blood drives and is a tremendous ambassador for blood donations. His efforts ensure the Red Cross is able to replenish the blood supply.
• Ann Delaney had an immediate reaction after seeing a Facebook post about a 2-year-old boy that needed a kidney transplant. Not knowing the family personally, she contacted the boy's mother directly to see how she could help. After getting tested and finding out that she was a match, Ann traveled to Boston with the boy's family for the kidney transplant procedure. Thanks to Ann's bravery and selflessness, the little boy is in great health.
• When hair stylist and owner of the salon Studio 210 in Bennington Lori Congdon learned that there were dozens of gently used wigs at the Southern Vermont Cancer Center she took it upon herself to clean, style, package and fit over 160 wigs for women going through cancer treatment free of charge. In addition, she partners with the American Cancer Society to provide new wigs to patients and leads a free class called Look Good Feel Better that teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Lori lends her skills and expertise selflessly to help cancer patients cope during their greatest life challenges.
• When Bryan Smith came home from Afghanistan 5 years ago he had a very difficult time adjusting to everyday life. Luckily, Blue Star Mothers, a non-partisan organization of mothers with children who have served in the military, provided Bryan with Mazie, a service dog who, in her small way, has changed his life. With Mazie at his side for comfort, he can now go to crowded places and not feel nervous or angry. Mazie also helps him stay calm when he is struggling with PTSD. Mazie is not just a dog to Bryan; she's his hero.
• Chris Fanning, a contractor from Starksboro, got a service call on November 4 , around 10:30 a.m. When he arrived he saw smoke billowing from Marie O'Connor's home. After wrenching open the front door he found Marie stuck in her motorized wheelchair unable to get out. Fanning got down low and was able to pull Marie out of the house. A few moments later, there was an explosion and the entire house became engulfed in flames. The house was a total loss, but thanks to Fanning, Marie is lucky to be alive.
• Barry Martin was swimming at the Quechee Covered Bridge when he saw someone jump from the bridge into the water. The man came up once, but then sank to the bottom. Barry dove twice to find him and pulled him out of the water The victim wasn't breathing so Barry, in chest high water, supported the swimmer while others performed CPR. When the EMTs arrived Barry was told that without his help the young man wouldn't have survived.
The 2016 Everyday Heroes Awards will be presented on Thursday, March 10 at Double Tree by Hilton Burlington at 1117 Williston Road, South Burlington, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Breakfast and registration begin at 7 a.m.
Ticket Price: Single ticket for $25, or a table of 8 tickets for $175.
Includes: admittance to the event and breakfast.
Purchase tickets http://www.redcross.org/local/nhvt/everyday-heroes-vt.