On May 15th, the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio celebrated the 15th Annual Real Heroes Awards Event.
The event, held at the beautiful Bertram Inn in Aurora, raised over $22,000 for the services and programs of the Red Cross in Northeast Ohio.
The 2014 Honorees include:
David Irland was recognized for using his First Aid knowledge to save a choking child.
During a lunch period last spring, David Irland, a teacher, noticed one of his kindergarten students not acting quite right. Within seconds, David could tell the boy was choking. Quickly and quietly, he knelt behind the boy and performed an abdominal thrust which dislodged a very large bite of sandwich. He took the kindergartener to the school nurse and they were back in the lunchroom within 15 minutes.
Now a first grader, the boy only remembers that his head slumped over and Mr. Irland came up and gave him a big hug.
Chance Singer was recognized for rescuing a family from an early morning house fire.
Chance Singer was driving home from work around midnight when he and his passengers spotted the roof of a house consumed by fire. Noticing a car in the driveway, Chance pulled over and ran to the house to alert the residents. After banging on various doors and windows, he had to run back to his car to recover from the smoke. When he returned for one more attempt, he heard a dog barking. He watched as the family ran out of the burning door. The oldest son had been woken by Chance’s pounding and had pressed his family into action. With the home engulfed in flames, Chance got them across the street to safety.
Chief Seth Riewaldt was recognized for 35 years of altruistic commitment to the Aurora Community and for creating the Community Enhancement Team (CET) and K-9 unit.
Chief Riewaldt will retire in June with 35 years of service to the community of Aurora. He worked his way through the ranks, first as a dispatcher and then as an officer, and was appointed Aurora’s Police Chief in 2003. In his tenure, he has increased the size of the force and assembled funding for the city’s Police K-9 unit. In an effort to enhance the department’s response in the community the Chief created the Community Enhancement Team (CET), which is a division of three officers assigned to address concerns of residents and business owners. He initiated the school resource officer program with the local district, which has grown from one officer to two.
Bart Alcorn was recognized for creating Clay Eddy Fields Kiwanis Park and developing employment programs for area adults with disabilities.
When his daughter was young, he saw a need for more athletic fields in the area. Bart, co-owner of Eddy Fruit Farm, started his own non-profit and began raising funds to create the Clay Eddy Fields Kiwanis Park. The park grew to include baseball and soccer fields which are open to all local teams. It is now the home to the Special Olympics Softball Tournament.
Through the Special Olympics, Bart has become a proud supporter of adults with disabilities. He is taking on a new project that will tie the family business to the community members he has come to know and love. “The Green House Project” will provide fresh vegetables through Eddy Fruit Farm to the community at large all year round and will create jobs for adults with disabilities.
Andrew Wawrin was recognized for inspiring community members to donate over 500 pints of blood to help more than 1500 recipients through the annual Christopher Wawrin Blood Drive.
When his son, Christopher, passed away due to a violent act in December of 1997, Andy Wawrin wanted to observe his birthday in a way that would continue to honor his legacy. Each year he hosts a blood drive on the weekend of Christopher’s birthday. Christopher, who had been a regular blood donor, had received over 100 units of blood while fighting for his life.
In the past 16 years, the family has inspired nearly 500 people to come and donate blood and helping 1500 patients in local hospitals to receive the lifesaving treatments they need.
Zoe Burch was recognized for reporting the threat of school violence.
Zoe was in an online chat room during her second year at Kent State University when she noticed a violent threat towards a high school in Pennsylvania. She reported the threat to Kent State Police which led to involvement from Pennsylvania authorities and the FBl. The threat was confirmed and the suspect was arrested thanks to Zoe’s quick actions.
Dr. Judah Friedman was recognized for going above and beyond to assist his patients when they need it the most.
Dr. Judah Friedman loves the science behind medicine, but his passion is allowing his patients to finalize their lives without their focus being on doctors and hospitals. Dr. Friedman visits his patients at various hospitals as a friend, he takes their prescriptions to them so their time is spent with family not driving to pharmacies. He will also continue his care as his patient’s transition to hospice and provide his personal cell phone number to be contacted anytime, day or night, even if it’s just to talk. Dr. Friedman goes above and beyond to make sure his patients are focusing on the truly important people in their lives.
Portage County community hero, A. Ray Dalton of PartsSource, was awarded the Robinson Memorial Paragon Award for his contributions to improve Portage County and the world around him.