The American Red Cross honored several Mohawk Valley residents for their heroic actions during the past year at the 14th annual Real Heroes Breakfast on June 4 at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre in Utica.
Hosted by the Mohawk Valley Chapter, the Real Heroes Breakfast celebrated the Red Cross mission of alleviating human suffering by honoring people from throughout Oneida, Herkimer and Otsego counties who performed heroic acts to help others in need.
More than 300 people attended the event to honor an impressive group of heroes that included Oneida County Water Rescue members who aided victims of Superstorm Sandy, the 911 dispatch team that worked on the frantic day of the Herkimer shootings, and a 9-year-old boy who ran through snow for help when his house was on fire.
“We love this event because we can honor great people who do great things for others, right here at home,” Jennifer Balog, Community Chapter Executive for the Mohawk Valley Chapter, told the crowd during the breakfast. “And with the help of you, our ticket buyers and sponsors, we can celebrate their bravery in a public setting. And rest assured that with your support, funds will be available throughout the year for the Red Cross to provide emergency services to people who have lost everything.”
The major sponsors of the Mohawk Valley Chapter Real Heroes Breakfast were Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Carbone Auto Group. The Real Hero award sponsors were: GPO Federal Credit Union, International Wire, National Grid, NBT Bank, New York Central Mutual Insurance, NYSTEC, Remington and Rome Strip Steel. Media sponsorship was provided by the Utica Observer-Dispatch and WKTV News Channel 2.
WKTV produced the videos of the heroes that were shown during the event, and WKTV Station Manager and News Director Steve McMurray served as the MC.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr., and his wife, Eleanor, were the honorary chairs of the Real Heroes Breakfast. Jill Schrader, of Ilion, shared an inspiring story about her son, Will, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at nine months old. Will’s treatment involved receiving blood from the American Red Cross, and Jill said Will is doing well and excited about his beloved Boston Bruins in the hockey playoffs.
Proceeds from the Real Heroes Breakfast benefit the Mohawk Valley Chapter. From July through April, the Mohawk Valley Chapter provided nearly $70,000 to 349 people from 130 families who were affected by disasters; provided 95 emergency communications and more than $4,400 in financial assistance to members of the Armed Forces and their families; and trained thousands of individuals in CPR, First Aid and other health and safety courses.
Here’s the list of awards and honorees: