Breakfast ceremony held at the Global Center for Health Innovation
By Jim McIntyre, American Red Cross
March 13, 2020- Nine people and one Labradoodle were honored at the 2020 Greater Cleveland Hero Awards breakfast on Thursday, March 12, at the Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland. And Ronn Richard, the President and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation was recognized at the Community Leader Award winner.
Read more about the Hero honorees, and the events that led to the recognition below:
- Sixteen-year-old Elise Kilmer of Burton was in her room with her Labradoodle Saige last November, when suddenly, Saige began to bark continuously. When Elise opened her door, Saige bounded down the stairs to the kitchen. Elise followed, and found her grandmother lying on the floor unresponsive. Elise recalled her American Red Cross training, and applied it during this critical situation. First, she called 9-1-1. Then, she checked for a pulse and began performing CPR, continuing until medical personnel arrived. Her grandmother credits Elise with saving her life. Elise is also a Red Cross-trained lifeguard. She was also presented with a Certificate of Merit, the highest award the American Red Cross offers to someone who used their Red Cross training to save a life. Watch Elise’s story here.
- Cleveland Heights Police Officer Josh Robertson, the first to arrive at the scene of a home fire in July, was told by a distressed mother that her 6-year-old son was trapped inside. Disregarding the heavy smoke inside the home, and without the benefit of any protective clothing or equipment, Robertson pushed his way into the home and crawled on the floor in an effort to find the boy. He couldn’t see the child, but he heard the sound of moaning and followed it until he felt the boy, grabbing him by his clothes and dragging the child to safety, despite being overcome by smoke. He and the child survived. Watch Josh’s story here.
- Sandra Patrick of KeyBank has played a crucial role in helping meet the demand for blood, which is vital to the survival of hospital patients undergoing surgery, cancer treatment and other medical conditions. Patrick has organized blood drives at two KeyBank office locations for more than 10 years, and she has been instrumental in increasing sponsorship and participation. She is currently the point of contact with the Red Cross for 12 different blood drives, and recently expanded the drives to include other building tenants. Beyond her management of blood drives, Patrick has also recruited other KeyBank employees to help with Sound the Alarm, the Red Cross initiative to save lives by installing free smoke alarms. Watch Sandra’s story here.
- On the morning of Thursday, Sept. 19, a Jack Casino surveillance team member was working when he went into full cardiac arrest. Within a minute, coworker Charles Fuller called for assistance and began administering CPR. Less than a minute later, security training instructor Jacqueline Duthie arrived to assist, and within a minute of that, security manager Hassan Ali arrived with an AED. It was the first time he had been called to use the lifesaving device since receiving CPR/AED training four years earlier. Fuller, Duthie and Ali continued to provide medical attention until paramedics arrived. The stricken coworker survived, and doctors confirmed that without the immediate lifesaving response, the outcome most likely would have been much different. Watch Charles, Jacqueline and Hassan’s story here.
- Amanda Berry endured one of the most horrific experiences imaginable, being held captive for 10 years after being kidnapped at age 16. But she never lost hope, and 10 years later, she and her toddler daughter escaped their prison, and helped lead two other female captives to freedom as well. Since that time, Berry has dedicated her life to raising her daughter, and to help find missing persons who may be experiencing the same horrors she did. She appears on Fox 8 News, looking into a camera, describing those who have gone missing, and asking viewers for help finding them. Berry is not a trained broadcaster or news reporter, but she fearlessly puts herself out there to help others, because she genuinely cares about them, even though they are strangers. She knows they all have family members who are awaiting their return—just as her family members did. Despite her traumatic past, Berry is making the most of her present, and is looking forward to a bright future for herself, her daughter and others she may have a role in helping return home. Watch Amanda’s story here.
- Nine-year-old Troy Cavadas of Columbia Station was watching his dad try to burn a tree stump with kerosene outside their home in early November when fuel splashed on them both, setting their clothes on fire. Troy had just learned how to stop, drop and roll at school less than a month earlier. He didn’t panic and was able to put the flames out on his clothing. He then yelled, “Roll, Daddy, roll, roll!” But the fire kept growing. Troy then grabbed a garden hose and soaked his dad with water until the flames went out. Firefighters call Troy a hero.
- Part two of this hero story involves the firefighter who taught Troy the fire safety skills that helped save him and his dad. Columbia Township volunteer firefighter Brett Wilson visited Troy’s school just one week before the 23-year-old firefighter lost his life trying to help two people involved in a car crash. Wilson was electrocuted after coming into contact with a downed power line. Troy’s father, Jed, credits Wilson with saving his life. Brett’s parents, Barb and Gary Wilson, accepted the award on behalf of their hero son. Watch Troy and Brett’s story here.
Ronn Richard’s Community Leader Award was presented by Regional Red Cross CEO Mike Parks, and Chris Mapes, President and CEO of Lincoln Electric and Chairman of the Red Cross of Greater Cleveland.
The event was hosted by long-time Cleveland television journalist Denise Dufala.
To nominate a hero for the next Hero Awards, complete the online form.
Visit our Flickr page to view more photos from the 2020 Greater Cleveland Chapter Heroes and Community Leader Award.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer