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2013 Ottumwa Heroes of the Heartland Announced

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The American Red Cross serving Greater Iowa is excited to announce the 2013 Ottumwa Area Heroes of the Heartland. These six individuals are ordinary people doing extraordinary things; they help us when the need is most critical.

The 2013 Heroes of the Heartland are:

Ruth Seim, Ottumwa – Ruth has been a dedicated music educator for decades. She has devoted hours to young people in her community. Ruth plays piano at music contests and for churches and choirs. Ruth is lovingly referred to as “Mother Superior” to many teachers and staff in Ottumwa.

Desirae Payne aka “Dizzy the Clown,” Ottumwa – Dizzy has been an inspiration to hundreds of children in southeast Iowa. She visits sick children at Ottumwa Regional Health Care Center several times a week. Dizzy has made life a little better for sick or injured children.

Thomas R. Shafer, Ottumwa – Tom is a dedicated community servant. He has been an active member of the local Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity, Ottumwa Kiwanis and American Homefinding. Tom is a strong supporter of education spending hours in classrooms with students, and by thousands of dollars to student scholarships and charities.

Myles D. Sauer and Becky Smith, Ottumwa – Myles and Becky were two of the first people on the scene of a plane crash near Ottumwa Regional Airport. Myles helped pull the pilot out of the plane and Becky performed CPR until EMTs arrived. Myles and Becky acted without fear for their own lives.

Don “Moose” Kirchner, Cedar – Don is a Vietnam veteran who works with fellow vets who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and addiction. He is also chaplain for the Patriot Guard Riders, a group that conducts flag lines at funerals.

Each year the American Red Cross honors Iowans who have performed a heroic act. Heroes of the Heartland not only recognizes these heroes but also raises funds to help ensure that the American Red Cross will be prepared and best equipped to help people with food, shelter and comfort during emergencies.

The 2013 honorees will be celebrated at the Heroes of the Heartland, Friday, May 3, 2013, from 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. at the Bridgeview Center in Ottumwa.