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2013 Heroes Breakfast

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Each year, the U.S. President designates March as Red Cross month. The American Red Cross of New Hampshire celebrated Red Cross Month by honoring our 2013 Distinguished Heroes who hold true to the values inherent in the mission and programs of the American Red Cross.

Meet our heroes:

Gino Otero & Jaqueal Holmes

otero and homes nh heroes

On their way home from football practice last August, Gino Otero and Jaqueal Holmes were shocked to see a large fire beginning to engulf a multi-unit residence on Jaqueal’s street in Manchester. The fire department had yet to arrive.

The two teenagers did not hesitate to spring into action. Gino and Jaqueal ran into the burning building and began knocking on doors to alert residents. They came upon a man confined to a wheel chair and carried him out to safety. After bringing him out they went back into the building to make sure that all the residents were out. When the firefighters arrived, they helped to run hoses to a fire hydrant.

Although Manchester Fire Chief James Burkush admits that he would never condone someone running into a burning building, he thinks that there may have been some casualties had Gino and Jaqueal not reacted so quickly. “Doing what they did resulted in lives being saved that day,” he said. Thanks to the bravery of Gino and Jaqueal, all of the residents made it to safety.

To view their story on video, click here for Gino Otero & Jaqueal Holmes

Patty Driscoll

patty driscoll nh

Five month old Collin Meaney was napping at Educare Daycare last November when caregiver Patty Driscoll checked on him and noticed that his color wasn’t right. Fortunately for Collin, Patty and her co-workers were trained in CPR by the American Red Cross, and they reacted quickly and calmly.

As Patty’s co-worker ran to notify the owner, who called 911, Patty immediately gave Collin rescue breaths and placed him on the floor. He was still unresponsive, so Patty continued with the breaths; eventually Collin stuck out his tongue and started to move. The doctors assessed that Patty might have saved Collin from a possible case of SIDS.

Patty has been working at Educare for twenty years, and though she is trained in CPR, she has never had to use it. “I don’t think you think about it, you just do it,” Patty said. “Training and instinct just kicked in.”

The state requires that only a certain number of daycare workers be certified in CPR, but owner Janice Aubin requires every single staff person to be certified. That is her requirement, and in Collin’s case, it paid off.

Patty said she tries not to have favorites in the infant room, but that she feels a special connection with Collin. “I’m not positive, but I think he has a special twinkle in his eye when he sees me.”

To view her story on video, click here for Patty Driscol

Chief Michael P. Maloney

chief maloney nh

Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was well-respected and loved by all in the law enforcement community as well as his local community of Greenland, NH. His career in law enforcement spanned 26 years, starting in Rye in 1984 and becoming chief of police in Greenland in 2000.

Michael was dedicated to police work, and was a leader who demonstrated that service and commitment to the community is at the very core of daily police work. He was never one to “lead by sitting at his desk.” Mike carried the same weight as every other officer, and would never ask someone to do something that he wouldn’t do. The camaraderie in Greenland was one of family and friends.

There was one last thing Michael Maloney needed to attend to before stepping down as police chief, a task he would not leave to others. Chief Maloney was just eight days from retirement on April 12, 2012, when he and a team of law enforcement officers delivered a search warrant to a home in Greenland. The routine assignment quickly turned serious when the resident fired shots as officers forced their way into the home. Four officers were hit and Chief Maloney put himself in harm’s way in order to assist the injured. Chief Maloney paid the ultimate price while protecting his colleagues and the public in his final moments.

To view his story on video, click here for Chief Maloney

John Washburn

john washburn nh hero

When a neighborhood Boy Scout came knocking on his door in 1976 to recruit blood

drive participants, John Washburn had no idea that it would be the start of regular blood donations that would span over three decades. John found that giving blood was relatively painless and easy and he was inspired by the fact that he was filling a crucial need.

John’s blood, platelet and plasma donations have helped hundreds of people over the last thirty-five years – people he will never meet. John would schedule his appointments up to a year ahead of time, and would donate approximately once a month, twelve months out of the year. His appointments were always a priority in his life, there were few things that would cause him to miss one. Not only did John donate as much as he possibly could, he participated in donor events to help recruit new donors.

The American Red Cross is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, collecting and processing more than 40 percent of the blood supply and distributing it to some 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. The unwavering dedication of donors such as John is what allows the Red Cross to fulfill its mission of saving lives. Thank you, John!

To view his story on video, click here for John Washburn

Molly Mendola and Andrew Myers

molly and andrew nh heroes

When a group of swimmers got caught in a rip current at Hampton Beach, there were two teenagers who didn’t think twice about running into the frigid ocean to help. Molly Mendola and Andrew Myers were with fellow Milford High School seniors at Hampton Beach last spring when they heard panicked screaming that someone was drowning. It was pre-season, so no lifeguards were on duty. Fortunately for the swimmers in trouble, Molly and Andrew had

both received their Red Cross Lifeguard certification.

While Molly tended to a woman about 20 feet from shore, Andrew swam out farther to a man who was beginning to lose consciousness. The rip tide was incredibly strong, but because of their training, both Andrew and Molly knew to make their way back to shore in a diagonal line.

Their story is proof that you never know when a situation may present itself where being trained in life saving techniques may make the difference between a happy ending and a tragic one. Thanks to Molly and Andrew, the swimmers in the water that day were able to return safely to their families that night.

To view their story on video, click here for Molly & Andrew

Jon “Chief” Worrall

nh heroes jon worral

Jon "Chief" Worrall is a veteran of the Army, Navy and NH Air National Guard with 28 years of service to his country. He was forced to retire due to grave injuries sustained while deployed in Iraq, including a traumatic brain injury.

While he will never fully recover, Jon found it tremendously helpful and healing to spend time at his camp in the North Country of New Hampshire. He began inviting fellow wounded warriors to spend a few days with him, and it was clear that the activities presented there - such as fishing, boating and hiking -- were instrumental in providing relief from the effects of TBI and PTSD.

Together with fellow veteran Jerry Goeden, Jon made the decision to permanently share his retirement camp with other wounded veterans, naming it Wounded Warriors at 45 North, or the "Northern Goat Locker." Jon tirelessly spreads the word of his mission in order to raise funds so that the retreat can be offered to veterans free of charge. Jon has turned his own personal misfortune into an opportunity to help others -- he truly embodies the meaning of service to his fellow comrades.

To view his story on video, click here for Jon “Chief” Worrall

Video Slide Show

Watch this video slide show from the 2013 New Hampshire Heroes Breakfast and celebrate the courageous acts of your local heroes all over again.

Special Thank You to Our 2013 Heroes Breakfast Sponsors

Title Sponsor

Unitil Corporation

Hero Award Sponsors

AutoFair Group
BAE Systems
Exeter Hospital
Liberty Mutual Group
Portsmouth Regional Hospital

Breakfast Sponsors

Bellwether Community Credit Union
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester
Fairchild Semiconductors
Highland Hardwoods
Hometown Oil
Kaley Foundation
Local Government Center
Northeast Delta Dental
Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C.
StingRay Optics, LLC

Community Sponsors

Lincoln Financial Group
Optima Bank
St. Joseph Hospital


Bank of New Hampshire
Davis and Towle Insurance Group
Hampshire Hills Sports and Fitness Club
Nathan Wechsler and co.
New London Hospital
Ricci Lumber

In-Kind Sponsors

Edify Multimedia
Speedy Printing
Wendy Rollins Photography
97.5 WOKQ

Media Sponsor

105.5 JYY