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2016 Award Recipients (Stanislaus & Tuolumne)

Adult Good Samaritan Hero: Deborah Cree

Adult Good Samaritan Hero: Deborah Cree

Professional nurse and Gallo Center for the Arts volunteer usher Debbie Cree was on hand twice in separate incidents just two weeks apart. Anticipating another pleasant shift at a performance, Debbie instead found herself rushing to the aid of a guest who collapsed and provided CPR until emergency personnel arrived. Just two weeks later, a second patron was stricken; fortunately, Debbie was there again and tried valiantly, though in vain to resuscitate the victim. Despite the anguish of witnessing these two deaths, Debbie showed true compassion by seeing to the comfort of the victims’ families.


Youth Good Samaritan Hero: Dominic Barandica

Youth Good Samaritan Hero: Dominic Barandica

Gregori High School student and football player, Dominic Barandica, became concerned about undiagnosed or misdiagnosed concussions on the football field. He decided to do something to make his sport safer. Dominic found there was a software program that can be placed inside players’ helmets that monitors the severity of hits to the head. The software sends messages alerting coaches when a player needs to be called out of the game. Dominic formulated a proposal and presented it to Doctors Medical Center, which approved the $12,500 expenditure. Dominic provided statistics that proved the helmets were working to reduce injury. DMC expanded the program to include all of Modesto City high schools.


Animal Rescue Hero: “Rocky” and Deputy Wade Carr

Animal Rescue Hero: “Rocky” and Deputy Wade Carr

In January 2016, Sheriff’s Deputy Wade Carr and his K9 partner Rocky responded to a 911 call. When the suspect resisted arrest, Deputy Carr let Rocky apprehend him. Rocky took hold of the suspect’s leg and the suspect began punching Rocky in the head. He then produced a knife, stabbing Rocky several times before Deputy Carr was able to disarm the suspect. Rocky required immediate care and suturing. It was learned that the suspect was suicidal and was hoping they would shoot and kill him. The deputies and Rocky worked together to end the violent confrontation without serious injury or loss of life.


First Responder Hero: Jeremy Davis and Juan Arroyo

First Responder Hero: Jeremy Davis and Juan Arroyo

Modesto Police officers Davis and Arroyo were working the graveyard shift when a distress call came in. They arrived to find the 46-year-old man unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing. The officers quickly placed the victim on the floor and administered CPR until the man finally began breathing on his own and regained a pulse. Paramedics then transported the victim to the hospital where he recovered, thanks to the quick action of the two police officers. The most critical component of a positive outcome in a cardiac arrest is early CPR. Officers Davis and Arroyo were credited with saving the man’s life.


Workplace Hero: Stephen Rodriguez

Workplace Hero: Stephen Rodriguez

During an early morning pickup run in January 2016, a man jumped from a highway overpass right in front of Refrigerated Transport driver Steve Rodriguez in an apparent suicide attempt. Steve swerved to miss the man by inches. Not wanting other cars to hit the man, Steve positioned the truck to protect him, directing traffic away. Steve remembers thinking, “It’s not this guy’s time to go.” So he grabbed him and pulled the man onto the shoulder of the road to safety. The man recovered and the two were able to meet. “Thank you for everything you did for me,” the man said. “I really appreciate it because it has given me a second chance to realize what really is of value.”


Red Cross Hero:Nicole Buck

Red Cross Hero:Nicole Buck

In her role as a registered nurse in the Emergency Room at Doctors Medical Center, Nicole Buck provides life-saving care on a routine basis. While in McHenry Village, she heard a sound “like a bomb going off,” this turned out to be a terrible accident along Briggsmore Ave. The motorcycle rider’s leg had been torn off above the knee and he was losing blood. Nicole quickly took control and applied a tourniquet, which most likely saved the man’s life. She provided care until emergency personnel arrived. The victim survived and can look forward to a long life ahead of him, thanks to Nicole’s quick response.


Spirit of the Red Cross: Alec and Austin Butler

Spirit of the Red Cross: Alec and Austin Butler

In April, 2015 a devastating earthquake and two massive aftershocks struck Nepal. Nearly 9,000 people died and 900,000 homes were destroyed. Chaos, destruction and landslides further exacerbated the country’s already rampant poverty. Just a month prior to the April earthquakes, Austin Butler had hosted a Water Fore Life golf tournament in partnership with World Help to raise funds for the villagers in Chisapani, Nepal. The event raised $37,000, enough to build four clean water wells and two churches. This year, with Austin away at college, Alec picked up the ball to co-host the 2016 tournament which raised another $41,000 to send to Nepal for the construction of more wells, homes and churches.


American Red Cross Volunteer Hero: Wayne Johnson

American Red Cross Volunteer Hero: Wayne Johnson

Our friend and longtime member of our Red Cross Family, Wayne Johnson passed away earlier this year, leaving a big hole where his caring presence was felt in so many ways. Wayne worked on the scene at disasters, including the Rim Fire of 2013, Boles Fire in 2014, and last summer’s devastating Butte Fire. He also worked alongside his fellow volunteers installing smoke alarms, staffed First Aid booths at community events, and served food to emergency responders. As an Emergency Response Vehicle driver, Wayne witnessed but also relieved much suffering with his gentle, unfailingly optimistic spirit.


Business Hero: McDonald’s

Business Hero: McDonald’s

When the Butte Fire erupted in September 2015, Dennis Graspointner, owner and operator of McDonald’s stores in the Mother Lode, called the local Red Cross to offer support. They launched a campaign, with 100% of the proceeds from the purchase of McDonald’s pies to be donated to the Red Cross to help fire victims. The campaign was a big hit with the community and over $6,000 was raised through pie sales alone. “Customers came by just for the pies, to help their friends and neighbors who had been evacuated,” said Graspointner.


Business Hero: Burnside Body Shop

Business Hero: Burnside Body Shop

Accidents happen daily and the staff at Burnside Auto Body, an independent, family owned collision repair shop, is dedicated to making a customer’s bad situation – a car crash – turn into a positive one. Burnside employees are local and the company supports many local organizations, as well as school sports teams, services clubs and of course, the Red Cross. “Through the Red Cross, we’ve been able to meet some of the veterans who have served our country, protected our freedoms, and lived their lives to make a difference for others without being asked,” says Burnside. “We wouldn’t be the strong, free country we are without the dedication of our American service men and women.”