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American Red Cross is looking for heroic local community members

Firefighters with Red Cross Volunteer
10th Annual Real Heroes Breakfast will highlight ordinary people who’ve demonstrated extraordinary compassion.

Two teenagers saved a man’s life while traveling overseas; a doctor traveled to Nepal to perform life-changing cataract surgeries; a father saved a woman’s life and honors his son’s legacy: these heroic community members were among those honored by American Red Cross at last year’s Real Heroes Breakfast. Now the American Red Cross, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties, is seeking new heroes to honor at the 10th annual breakfast on Thursday, April 18, from 7:15 to 8:45 a.m. The event is also the major annual fundraiser that benefits the local Red Cross chapter and supports essential Red Cross services. It will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park.

The Red Cross wants to know about anyone in Sonoma, Mendocino or Lake Counties, who has shown an extraordinary gift for human compassion since January, 2012. Nomination forms, which must be received by February 8, are available or by calling (707) 577-7627.

There are 10 categories of nominations: Animal, Education, Environment, Heroic Deed, Humanitarian Youth, Humanitarian Adult, Law Enforcement, Medical, Military and Professional Rescue. The Real Heroes Selection Committee, comprised of community leaders, will review nominations.

Emcee for the event is KZST radio personality and producer Debbie Abrams. Honorary Chair is Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas.

The Selection Committee Chair is Dr. Frank Chong, President, Santa Rosa Junior College. Other Sonoma County Committee members are Vince Albano, Chief Executive Officer, Mary’s Pizza Shack; Travis Collier, Lieutenant Commander, United States Coast Guard; Tom Eakin, General Manager, Peter Michael Winery; Chris Smith, Columnist , Press Democrat; Maria Sundeen, Marketing Coordinator, American AgCredit. Mendocino County Committee member is Jitu Ishwar, Owner, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriot, and Lake County Committee member is Siri Nelson, Chief Administrative Officer, Sutter Lakeside Hospital.

Heroic acts must be ongoing or have occurred between January 1, 2012 and February 8, 2013. Heroes for all categories must live in, or heroic acts must have taken place in, Sonoma, Mendocino or Lake Counties.

Companies interested in sponsorship are encouraged to contact Ashley Fehrmann, Chief Development Officer for the Red Cross, at (707) 577-7627 or

To find out about becoming a sponsor, attending the event, or donating to support the Red Cross and the breakfast, interested parties can visit or call (707) 577-7627. There is no set donation amount for guests. They are encouraged to support the work of the American Red Cross in Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties by donating at least $132, or one dollar for every year the Red Cross has served the American people.

Photo credit: Talia Frenkel, American Red Cross