You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

American Red Cross Honors Southern Tier's Real Heroes

American Red Cross Honors Southern Tier's Real Heroes
The Real Heroes Breakfast celebrated the Red Cross mission of alleviating human suffering by recognizing people who helped others in need.

The American Red Cross honored several residents of the Southern Tier for their heroic actions during the past year at the Fourth Annual Real Heroes Breakfast Thursday morning at the Holiday Inn Arena in Binghamton.

Hosted by the Southern Tier Chapter, the Real Heroes Breakfast celebrated the Red Cross mission of alleviating human suffering by recognizing people who helped others in need. More than 300 people attended the breakfast.

This year’s Real Heroes included: a seventh-grader who rescued his family from their burning home; a firefighter and EMT who donate countless hours for their communities; a New York Army National Guard unit that helped thousands of people after Superstorm Sandy; two deputy sheriffs who saved lives; two people who prevented a co-worker and an elementary student from choking; an instructor who teaches others how to save lives; a blood donor who has donated nearly 350 pints of blood; and a 5-year-old Dutch Shepard that saved a life.

Superstorm Sandy hero Jay Price, pictured above, was the guest speaker. Price, a teacher, football coach and volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Manasquan, N.J., helped saved about 80 people from their flooded homes in Manasquan on the day Sandy devastated the East Coast last fall.

Auchinachie was the premier sponsor of the 2013 Real Heroes Breakfast. Other award sponsors were: Ad Elements, BAE Systems, Clear Channel Media, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Fox 40 WICZ, Lockheed Martin MS2, Mirabito Energy Products, NBT Bank, New York Central Mutual Insurance, Press & Sun Bulletin, Sentry Alarms, Tioga Downs Casino, and Time Warner Cable.

Here’s the list of the awards and honorees:

  • Adult Good Samaritan Award: Becky Yacano. Yacano, the Supervisor of Respiratory Therapy at UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital, performed the Heimlich maneuver to prevent a co-worker from choking in the hospital cafeteria this past November.
  • Animal Rescue Award: Aevar. Aevar, a 5-year-old Dutch Shepard, and his handler, Deputy Leon Brown of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, located an elderly woman who was lost in a remote, heavily-wooded area last July in the Town of Fenton.
  • Blood Donor Award: Earl Westerlund. Westerlund, of Binghamton, has been donating whole blood, platelets and white blood cells since the mid-1970s, and during that time he has saved numerous lives by donating nearly 350 pints of blood.
  • Educator Award: Nancy Millen. Millen, the Elementary Guidance Counselor at Margaretville Central School, used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge food from a student who was choking during their “Lunch Time” group in January.
  • Fire Rescue Award: Dan Gavin. Gavin is a longtime member of the Owego Volunteer Fire Department who continues to answer the call when his community is in need despite losing his father in a fire in 2003 and nearly losing his life while trying to save Captain Matthew Porcari, who died in a fire in January in Newark Valley.
  • Good Neighbor Award: Deputy Daniel Thomas. Deputy Thomas, of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, provided immediate medical attention to an elderly man with Parkinson’s disease who collapsed into Thomas’ arms at a CVS pharmacy in February in the Town of Chenango.
  • Industrial Safety Award: Michelle Day. Day, who works at The Raymond Corp. in Greene, is a certified EMT and American Red Cross first-aid instructor who provides training for her co-workers and emergency squads and is a first responder in her workplace.
  • Law Enforcement Award: Deputy Daniel Balmer. Deputy Balmer, of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, rescued a man who was pinned underneath his vehicle and helped him receive needed medical attention last July in the Town of Dickinson.
  • Medical Award: Robin Shaver. Shaver, an EMT and the Squad Chief for Berkshire Emergency Medical Services, is a school bus driver who spends most of her nights and weekends responding to emergencies for the 6,700 residents in Newark Valley, Berkshire and Richford.
  • Military Award: 204th Engineer Battalion. When Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast in late October, the 204th Engineer Battalion of the New York Army National Guard was called into New York City and Westchester County to help residents whose homes were destroyed by the devastating storm.
  • Youth Good Samaritan Award: Demetrius Colvin. Colvin, a seventh-grade student at East Middle School in Binghamton, awoke to a houseful of smoke on Dec. 10 and proceeded to warn his entire family, carry his 2-year-old sister to safety, and rescue his 8-year-old cousin who had run in the direction of the fire.
  • Proceeds from the Real Heroes Breakfast benefit the Southern Tier Chapter. From July 2012 through March, the chapter provided nearly $48,000 to 297 people from 88 families who were affected by disasters; provided 122 emergency communications and nearly $7,000 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.