The American Red Cross Northwestern Pennsylvania Chapter celebrated its centennial year when it presented three Hero Awards during the annual Hero Awards Reception held at the Ambassador Banquet and Conference Center on Peach Street in Erie on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.
The evening featured a musical military tribute by the Erie Playhouse performers, an awards presentation, a reception, and a buffet. Lou Baxter, JET-24, FOX-66, and YourErie.com News Director, served as Emcee for the event.
This year marks 100 years of Red Cross service in the local community, and the Red Cross used the opportunity to pay tribute to those whose generous contributions of time and talent have enabled them to fulfill the Red Cross mission. Other centennial celebrations will be occurring throughout the year.
The night also featured the presentation of three Hero Awards to individuals and corporations whose commitment to community serves an inspiration to us all.
The 2017 Corporate Hero Award was presented to GE Transportation for their support of Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts and the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which have helped the Red Cross to build a safer and more resilient community.
Erie Fire Department Chief Guy Santone received the Community Hero Award for his leadership in providing community resources, training, education, and safety programs that benefit all members of the area.
The highlight of the evening, though, was the presentation of the Metcalf Award, which is given to volunteers who have demonstrated extraordinary effort in their service to the Red Cross. This year, the husband and wife team of Jerry and Chris DeRosa were presented with this honor for their extreme dedication and commitment to helping people in the community who have been impacted by disasters big and small. From responding to local disasters whenever they occur, to educating our students and adults on the importance of preparedness, to training and mentoring new volunteers, the DeRosas are always ready to answer the call to serve.