By Wayne Allen
The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross honored local heroes Thursday with their 17th annual Heroes Breakfast.
“We are honored to recognize these 10 great heroes, who have gone above and beyond in our local communities,” said Debbie Smith, community executive of the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The heroes honored at this year’s event included the Portsmouth Fire Department. The department was presented with this year’s Fire/Preparedness Hero award. Bert Sherman, a volunteer at SOMC Hospice was presented with this year’s Senior Hero Award. Stacy Hall was presented with this year’s Fundraising Hero Award. Tim Jones was presented the Jackson County Volunteer Hero Award. Linda Slone was presented with the Pike County Volunteer Hero Award. This year’s Scioto County Hero Award was presented to the Portsmouth Area Ladies, Inc (PALS). Compass Community Health and the Portsmouth Police Department were presented with the Blood Hero Award. Living with a Cause was presented with the Community Hero Award. This year’s Rescue Hero Award was presented to members of the Nile Township Volunteer Fire Department.
The Marcia Sanderlin Hero Award is given 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.
Local Realtor Neal Hatcher was presented this year’s Marcia Sanderlin Hero Award. Hatcher has been a Realtor since 1964, and opened this own firm Neal Hatcher Real Estate in 1970. Neal believes in giving back to his community. He is an active local supporter of many non-profits and civic groups. In 2015, Neal won the prestigious ‘Dancing with Our Stars’ mirror ball trophy for raising over $102,000 for the local Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.
In June, Neal and his wife Vicky received the David Pollak Community Spirit Award from the Greater Cincinnati Region of the American Red Cross. The award is given out annually to a company or individual who has provided long-term dedicated service and important expertise to the Red Cross.
The local chapter of the Red Cross provides many services to the communities it serves. From July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, there were 170 blood drives held by the chapter resulting in the collection of 4,610 units of blood. The chapter responded to 165 local disasters and helped 550 individuals and families with emergency food, shelter and supplies.
The chapter installed 178 smoke detectors in homes throughout several counties. The Ohio River Chapter provided emergency connections for 51 military families. The Red Cross has a worldwide network that reaches service members to communicate a birth, death, or illness. The Red Cross provided an avenue for 67 people to learn lifesaving skills through First Aid, SPR and AED classes.
The Ohio River Chapter of the American Red Cross’s coverage area includes Adams, Brown, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike and Scioto counties. For more information about the work of the Red Cross visit them at 1801 Robinson Ave, Portsmouth or call 740-354-3293 or find them on Facebook.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT