Monday, April 3, 2017

Oh, What a Night! Colorado Springs Hometown Heroes Dinner

Music from Spinphony Strings, a string quartet from Denver, set the tone as more than 400 people packed the Rocky Mountain Ball Room at the Broadmoor Hotel and Conference Center in Colorado Springs for the annual Colorado Springs Hometown Heroes Dinner. Joe Cole, News Director for Fox21, served as the Master of Ceremonies.

“This is our favorite event of the year and one of our biggest fund raisers,” Said Tom Gonzalez, Executive Director for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado. “Where else can you have this atmosphere of heroism, compassion, patriotism and hope?”

The Hometown Heroes Dinner is a fund raiser for the Southeastern Colorado Chapter of the Red Cross and proceeds go to the local disaster relief efforts. The event also provides a time to celebrate wonderful people and organizations that make our community great. Each year, in the fall, the opportunity opens for the community to nominate people and organizations for recognition as a hometown hero. Those nominations are then vetted by a hero selection committee that is given the difficult task of selecting recipients.

The evening began with the presentation of the colors and dinner was served. Each award recipient received a medal, certificate and a copy of Award presentation of medals to our local heroes. Hero awards followed and each recipient received an engraved medal and certificate commemorating the award and a basket of Girl Scout Cookies from GS Troop 4624.  

The highlight for the evening came with the presentation of the Humanitarian Award. The 2017 recipient for this prestigious award was Stephen Schuck who was recognized for his humanitarian work that has improved the community and the lives of fellow citizens. Shuck has been a positive force in the Colorado Springs community for many years and his impact has been felt across the region. Photo by Richard Firth/American Red Cross

Bo Hutchinson and Cameron Halverson received the First Responder Award. They are members of the Colorado Springs Fire Department and were selected for their response to the active shooter incident of November 2015. Photo by Richard Firth/American Red Cross. 

Arron Albin was presented with the Adult Hero Award for his response to a home fire that resulted in saving the lives of his in-laws, Ken and Donna Holexa. Photo by Richard Firth/American Red Cross

Michael Hagiwara, a nurse at Penrose hospital was presented with the Adult Hero Award for his heroic effort that saved lives during the active shooter incident in November of 2015.    Photo by Richard Firth/American Red Cross

The Community Service Award went to Tim Mitros, A dedicated civil servant who has been the face of the City while working with people affected by wildfires, mudslides and floods. Photo by Richard Firth/American Red Cross

Operation TBI Freedom, a nonprofit that works with military personnel affected by traumatic brain injury received the Community Partner Hero award for their dedication and service to our nation’s military. Photo by Richard Firth/American Red Cross

Wayne Frasier received the Adult Hero Award for his response to a home fire. Wayne saw a home on fire and quickly rushed in to rescue an elderly person that was not aware that he was in danger. Photo by Richard Firth/American Red Cross

For the Military Hero Award, 1SG Lance Anderson was recognized for his valiant efforts to save people from a plane crash in Afghanistan. Photo by Walter Palmer/American Red Cross

The Animal Hero Award went to Lucca, a certified therapy dog, along with his owner Joan Carney. Lucca has visited hospitals, homeless shelters, airports and more to support people who need a little special attention. Photo by Richard Firth/American Red Cross

Awards and recognition were also given to the 2017 Media Sponsors, The Gazette and Fox21 News. Both sponsors provided outstanding support to the Hometown Heroes Dinner by writing and broadcasting stories of our hometown heroes. There was also a round of applause for our community sponsors like Phil Long Automotive Group who served as the Title Sponsor for the 2017 Hometown Heroes Dinner.

Other sponsors included:
Ent Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, BKD LLP, Weidner Apartment Homes, USAA, Kaiser Permanente, Ball, COBank, PCL, The Anshutz Foundation, Wester Union, Wells Fargo, 1st Bank and El Pomar Foundation. 

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