2016 Vermont Hero Award Recipients

Red Cross Hero Barry Martin

Barry Martin

Barry Martin was swimming at the Quechee Covered Bridge when he saw someone jump from the bridge into the water. The man came up once, but then sank to the bottom. Barry dove twice to find him and pulled him out of the water The victim wasn’t breathing so Barry, in chest high water, supported the swimmer while others performed CPR. When the EMTs arrived Barry was told that without his help the young man wouldn’t have survived.

Red Cross Hero Chris Fanning

Chris Fanning

Chris Fanning, a contractor from Starksboro, got a service call on November 4th 2015, around 10:30am. When he arrived he saw smoke billowing from Marie O’Connor’s home. After wrenching open the front door he found Marie stuck in her motorized wheelchair unable to get out. Fanning got down low and was able to pull Marie out of the house. A few moments later, there was an explosion and the entire house became engulfed in flames. The house was a total loss, but thanks to Fanning, Marie is lucky to be alive.

Red Cross Hero Mazie


When Bryan Smith came home from Afghanistan 5 years ago he had a very difficult time adjusting to everyday life. Luckily, Blue Star Mothers, a non-partisan organization of mothers with children who have served in the military, provided Bryan with Mazie, a service dog who, in her small way, has changed his life. With Mazie at his side for comfort, he can now go to crowded places and not feel nervous or angry. Mazie also helps him stay calm when he is struggling with PTSD. Mazie is not just a dog to Bryan; she’s his hero.

Red Cross Hero Lori Congdon

Lori Congdon

When hair stylist and owner of the salon Studio 210 in Bennington, VT, Lori Congdon learned that there were dozens of gently used wigs at the Southern Vermont Cancer Center she took it upon herself to clean, style, package and fit over 160 wigs for women going through cancer treatment free of charge. In addition, she partners with the American Cancer Society to provide new wigs to patients and leads a free class called Look Good Feel Better that teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Lori lends her skills and expertise selflessly to help cancer patients cope during their greatest life challenges.

Red Cross Hero Ann Delaney

Ann Delaney

Ann Delaney had an immediate reaction after seeing a Facebook post about a 2-year-old boy that needed a kidney transplant. Not knowing the family personally, she contacted the boy’s mother directly to see how she could help. After getting tested and finding out that she was a match, Ann traveled to Boston with the boy’s family for the kidney transplant procedure. Thanks to Ann’s bravery and selflessness, the little boy is in great health.

Red Cross Hero Bruce Parmenter

Bruce Parmenter

Bruce Parmenter began donating blood at the age of 17, and 15 years ago he became a dedicated platelet donor. To date, Bruce’s lifetime donations add up to over 113 gallons of blood and platelets. In addition to his time spent donating, he has worked to secure free Public Service Announcements and radio interviews to promote blood drives throughout northwestern Vermont in partnership with his employer (95 Triple X and WVMT). Bruce has worked tirelessly to secure sponsors for Red Cross blood drives and is a tremendous ambassador for blood donations. His efforts ensure the Red Cross is able to replenish the blood supply needed in Vermont.

Red Cross Hero Tracey Fowler

Tracey Fowler

Tracey Fowler noticed the need for adoptive care for handicapped pets, so Tracy decided to take matters into her own hands. She has made accommodations in her home, her work schedule and her lifestyle to be able to adopt handicapped dogs - most recently a disabled dog from Montana. She now cares for 4 handicapped dogs that may have been put down had it not been for her selflessness.