2014 Heroes

Hero Stories


Blood-Giving Hero

John Templin of Greenfield Center, NY has been a Red Cross blood donor for more than 40 years. He has donated 96 units of blood in his lifetime – making him a “12-gallon donor” – and he plans to have given 100 total units by the end of 2014. Considering that every blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives, John is on the verge of having saved approximately 300 lives over the last four decades. John says his motto is “Another day, another opportunity to be of service”. He has instilled that spirit of service in those around him, encouraging family, friends, and even strangers to donate blood like he does. For his selfless commitment to giving the “gift of life”, John Templin is a 2014 Blood-Giving Hero.


Emergency Relief Heroes

John D’Alessandro of Waterford, NY is a volunteer firefighter with the Halfmoon-Waterford Fire District 1. He joined the department with his teenage son about five years ago, and has since become one their top responders – going on more than 300 calls each year. John has assisted in many life-saving efforts, from performing CPR, to putting out fires, to assisting victims of motor vehicle accidents. His daughter, Caitlin, describes her dad as a superhero: “I have seen him break down walls, jump through windows and run into burning buildings without a second thought.” For his tremendous courage in the face of countless emergencies, John D’Alessandro is a 2014 Emergency Relief Hero.

Tylor Sherman

Tylor Sherman of Schuylerville, NY was spending the night at a friend’s house last fall when a fire broke out unexpectedly. Nearly everyone escaped the burning building, but his friend’s uncle, Gary O’Donnell, was asleep inside. When 16-year old Tylor saw that Gary’s bedroom was about to burst into flames, he broke through a window and climbed inside in an effort to wake and rescue him. Tylor pulled Gary across the burning room and out the window to safety. Although he suffered serious burns, Gary’s life was saved thanks to Tylor’s courageous actions. For his bravery in the midst of great danger, Tylor Sherman is a 2014 Emergency Relief Hero.

Riley Baughn

Life-Saving Heroes

Riley Baughn of Saranac, NY was eating lunch at Saranac High School last December when he realized that a fellow student appeared to be choking in the cafeteria. When he asked his classmate if he could breathe, the student frantically shook his head no. 16-year old Riley immediately began to perform abdominal thrusts on the student to try to force out whatever might be blocking his airway. When this did not work, a cafeteria aide attempted to sit the student down, but Riley knew that he needed to continue trying to help. He did more abdominal thrusts, and finally, a piece of apple flew out of the student’s mouth. For his determination to save a fellow student, Riley Baughn is a 2014 Life-Saving Hero.


Max Cerosky of Bolton Landing, NY was swimming near his grandmother’s house in Lake George on a Monday afternoon when he heard a neighbor calling for help. 82-year-old George Gates had lost his footing and slipped underwater in the midst of an apparent medical emergency. His friend, Louise Davidson, had pulled George’s head above the water but couldn’t get him fully to safety. 16-year-old Max rushed over to pull George’s unconscious body out of the water and began trying to resuscitate him. By the time the paramedics arrived, George had regained consciousness and was able to say “thank you” to his rescuers. For his strength and courage in the middle of a crisis, Max Cerosky is a 2014 Life-Saving Hero.

Linda Plante

Linda Plante Robinson of Glens Falls, NY is a registered Red Cross volunteer with more than a decade of experience serving on national disaster responses. She always expected that she might someday use her life-saving training on a disaster assignment, but in fact, her expertise helped save the life of a local performer in a summer showing of “The Last of the Mohicans” right here in Lake George. During the intermission of a 2pm matinee, Linda noticed that actor Alan Angelo was exhibiting signs of a medical emergency, which she eventually determined to be a heart attack. Linda tended to Alan and directed others at the show to call for help and guide the incoming ambulance to Alan’s location. For her quick response and care under pressure, Linda Plante Robinson is a 2014 Life-Saving Hero.

Gabriel Slaybaugh

Gabriel Slaybaugh of Latham, NY was getting ready for school on a February morning when his father, Jeremy, suffered a sudden epileptic seizure. Somehow Gabriel, at just 10 years old, knew exactly what to do. He called 911 while his mother ensured that Jeremy did not injure himself during the seizure. The paramedics who responded to Gabriel’s call told his parents that he performed marvelously – remaining calm, giving all of the appropriate information to the 911 operator, and not hanging up until he was given the okay to do so. For his bravery and maturity during a very frightening experience, Gabriel Slaybaugh is a 2014 Life-Saving Hero.

Victoria Acres Equine Facility

Military Hero

Victoria Acres Equine Facility in Altamont, NY aims to empower children and adults alike through the use of equine-assisted activities. One of Victoria Acres’ programs in particular is designed to help current military members and veterans cope with traumas they may be suffering after military service and deployment. They have also partnered with the American Red Cross to offer special activities for children of military families. Victoria Acres provides these and other programs to offer a complex and exciting means of therapy, which produces tangible physical, psychological, cognitive, social and educational benefits to their clients. For their commitment to serving members of the military and providing powerful therapeutic resources, Victoria Acres Equine Facility is a 2014 Military Hero.