Portage County Red Cross to honor local heros

Katie Alberti

To show local heroes how much their courage and dedication means to those they have helped, the Red Cross of Portage County is now accepting hero nominations for its Seventh Annual Real Heroes Breakfast.

The organization is seeking real heroes to honor and celebrate their courage, kindness and unselfish local heroism, said Joelle Tedford, director of marketing and public relations for the American Red Cross of Portage County. Robinson Memorial Hospital will also be participating in the event.

After leaving Akron General Medical Center with two other students last December, senior nursing majors Heather Mason and Heather Hollowniczky stopped at a car accident on Interstate 76. The students stayed and helped the injured people until emergency services arrived, Mason said.

“Our basic assessment skills came easy,” Hollowniczky said. “Everything happened so fast, I didn’t have time to think about it. I just did what I could do.”

Nominated by Tracey Carlson, their clinical instructor for that semester, the four students received awards at the Real Heroes Breakfast last year.

Although the four students helped those in desperate need, Tedford said other types of heroism can be included in nominations as well.

“Another example of the type of local heroism the American Red Cross is searching for includes acts of kindness or personal initiatives that make our community a better place,” Tedford said.

The breakfast will take place from 10 a.m. to noon March 4 at the NEOUCOM Conference Center. The Red Cross will accept applications until Jan. 4.

For the person to be eligible, Tedford said he or she must live or work in Portage County, and the heroic event must have taken place in 2005.

Although the four students had mixed feelings about being honored, Mason said they realized how their actions had affected others.

“The breakfast made me feel thankful that I knew what to do, and it made me feel good that our efforts were recognized,” Mason said. “It was never for the attention, and we actually were not happy about the recognition at first, but then we realized that our efforts were appreciated. It was nice.”

Hero nomination forms are available by contacting the Red Cross of Portage County at (330) 296-9991 or by visiting its Web site at portageoh.redcross.org.

Contact social services reporter Katie Alberti at [email protected].