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Red Cross Announces 2013 "Brave Hearts' Honorees, Southeastern Wisconsin

Southeastern Wisconsin Red Cross, Brave Hearts Event

The annual American Red Cross Brave Hearts charity event will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at Milwaukee Fire Department Engine House #23, 2130 W. Oklahoma Ave.

This year’s event theme, the Beatles-inspired “Here Comes the Sun” celebrates the light and hope that the Red Cross and individual heroes shines onto difficult situations. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner/program begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Brave Hearts: Heroes Among Us program, presented by the American Red Cross and US Bank, recognizes and celebrates the life-saving achievements of everyday heroes; those who have prevented life-threatening situations from occurring, come to the aid of another or contributed to the safety of our community. Awards are presented to six recipients in the following categories:

Community Safety, Security & Resiliency presented by Northwestern Mutual Foundation

Mary Ochowicz-Sczesny – Founder of David’s Donors - Mary organized numerous bone marrow registry and blood drives after she learned that her son, David, had bone marrow cancer following a failed attempt to donate blood at an American Red Cross blood drive. When no donor match for a transplant was found, Mary, only a half match, began preparations to be David's donor. A mammogram led to the discovery of breast cancer. Another donor was found and Mary and David went through treatment at the same time. Mary continues the work of David’s Donors to help save lives.

Emergency Response presented by Rockwell Automation

Oak Creek Police Lieutenant Brian Murphy – Officer Murphy was the first responder to the Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting and engaged the shooter in a fire fight where he sustained a dozen bullet wounds. His courageous effort to stop the shooter prevented greater loss of life during this tragic event.

Military presented by Forest County Potawatomi Foundation

Milwaukee Police Officers Roy Horn (former Marine) & Eli Cole (former Army) – With 67 years of public service between them, Officers Horn and Cole have served our country valiantly. On one particular shift, officers Horn and Cole worked together to perform first aid on a fellow officer who was injured on-duty. Their fast reactions not only saved the life of their fellow officer but also the life of the perpetrator.

Animal Companion presented by Right Management

Amy Rowell – Founder and Director of the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center – Over the past seven years, Amy and her team at the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center have helped more than 3,000 companion animals enjoy second chances as members of permanent homes, provided free or low-cost veterinary treatment to more than 600 animals and hosted more than 500 children and adults in humane education programs. Amy has a personal connection to the Red Cross – her Grandfather and uncle are both retired firefighters and she was the victim of a house fire as a child.

Youth presented by State Farm

Abhay & Amanat Singh – Abhay (age 11) and Amanat (age 9) acted quickly at the outset of the Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting to warn others of the imminent danger and encouraged them to find a safe place to hide. Their quick thinking and actions helped save numerous lives that day.

Hero of the Year presented by US Bank

Cristal Wilson – After hearing her father frantically yell to get out of the house, Cristal (age 10) realized the first floor was on fire and had to escape from upstairs. Due to Cristal’s bravery and using knowledge she received just months before at the Fire Department’s “Survive Alive” house, she was able to lead and protect her little sister Kali (Age 3) and herself from flames and smoke. Unfortunately, one other person was unable to escape the fire that day.

Individual seats for Brave Hearts: Heroes Among Us are $75 and reserved tables are available for $1,000.To register, call Mallory Markham at 414-345-8645, email or online at or

Proceeds from the Brave Hearts event are used to help the local Red Cross prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.

The evening would not be possible without our sponsors including: Presenting Sponsor US Bank, Dinner Sponsor A.O. Smith, Reception Sponsor MillerCoors, and the Fire House Sponsors Pierce Corporation and Reliant Fire Apparatus, Inc. Our Award and Supporting Sponsors include: Northwestern Mutual Foundation, Forest County Potawatomi Foundation, State Farm, Laureate Group, Right Management, Rockwell Automation and We Energies.

The event magic would not be possible without in-kind generosity of Dynamic Events by David Caruso, The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee, TriTech Corporation, Midland Video Productions, WISN 12 Toya Washington, and Front Room Photography.

To learn more about the American Red Cross in Southeastern Wisconsin’s programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the local office at 414-342-8680, visit on the web, on twitter: @RedCrossSeWi, facebook: RedCross.SoutheastWI and our blog at

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at