Red Cross to recognize citizens of Portage County for bravery

Erica Crist

Citizens of Portage County who committed extraordinary acts of courage and kindness in 2006 will be honored at the American Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast next weekend.

“We don’t want their acts of heroism to go to nothing,” said Gregory Freeman, financial development officer and safety counsel manager of the Portage County American Red Cross. “When you find someone who looks beyond themselves to save a life or help somebody else, it’s worth recognizing and noting.”

Freeman said the Red Cross chose Carol Cartwright, president emeritus of Kent State, to serve as honorary chairwoman because she is a great leader and one of the most outreaching people in Portage County.

Cartwright said she encourages people to attend the breakfast because the county thrives on having a large group of people who are interested in giving back and participating in the life of the communities.

“This is a way to acknowledge and honor people who have given back in a heroic and selfless way,” she said. “It’s great to put a spotlight on people who go the extra mile in our community.”

Cartwright added there are plenty of things people can do on a daily basis to make Portage County a better place.

“It might be as simple as greeting people with a cheery hello, because you never know who is having a bad day and if you reach out positively it could brighten their day,” she said. “Or, it could be as simple as looking in on a neighbor, making a phone call to someone who is living alone, or volunteering at a local library or school.”

Vincent Duffy, WKSU program director who will serve as master of ceremonies, said whether an act is big or small it still takes courage.

“Oftentimes when people think of heroes they think of people they see in the movies, and this is a good reminder that there are heroic acts we can do on a daily basis,” he said. “We are no less a hero to those people we help than a superhero is to someone on TV.”

The eighth annual Real Heroes Breakfast will be held 10 a.m. March 3 at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine conference center.

Proceeds from the Real Heroes Breakfast are used to support disaster relief services in Portage County. Last year’s breakfast raised the most money in the event’s history, more than $46,000.

The cost to attend the awards ceremony is $20 and the deadline for reservations is today. Tickets can be charged by phone at (330) 296-9991 or purchased from the office at 609 W. Main St., Ravenna.

Provided by Gregory Freeman

American Red Cross of Portage County Heroes:

– Nate Mahovich of Akron and Ron Pierce of Mogadore are being recognized for their efforts during water rescue efforts while fishing at Wingfoot Lake.

– Matthew Svoboda of Ravenna and Andrew McClung of Brimfield will be honored for assisting Svoboda’s brother, Christopher, at the scene of an automobile accident.

– Joe Vickers of Kent will receive an award for aiding a victim of a bee sting who was having a severe allergic reaction.

– Cathy Delair of Ravenna will be recognized for her dedicated work with the oncology department at Robinson Memorial Hospital.

– Kristin Benjamin of Kent will be honored for her efforts in saving the life of a truck driver who overturned his rig in an accident.

– Lisa Sicuro, 9, of Kent will be honored for saving the life of her mother, Loretta, who suffered a severe reaction to medication.

– David Lewis of Trumbull County will be honored for aiding at the scene of an auto accident where he subsequently suffered serious injury during his efforts.

– Bob and Pam Danner of Streetsboro will be recognized for their dedication to the community and leading efforts to better the lives of others.

– Barbara Brady will receive an award for her efforts in awakening residents of the Prospect House in Ravenna during a recent fire.

Contact public affairs reporter Erica Crist at [email protected].