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Nine Rio Hondo Hometown Heroes Honored

9 Honored at Rio Hondo Hometown Heroes Awards Ceremony
These are people who came to the aid of others with no thought to their own safety.

Eight and 10-year olds who saved the lives of others.

Good Samaritans who jumped in to help without regard to their own safety.

People trained in emergency preparedness who saved loved ones.

These are the people honored with Hometown Heroes Awards by the American Red Cross’ Rio Hondo Chapter at a gala ceremony, Sept. 24 at the Rio Hondo Event Center.

Each year the Red Cross honors individuals who demonstrate selfless acts of courage and humanitarian service, people whose extraordinary acts exemplify the American Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

“These are people who came to the aid of others with no thought to their own safety,” said Margaret Arbini Madonna, CEO of the Greater Long Beach/Rio Hondo Chapter.

This year nine individuals were honored. They are:

  • Alberto Del Real and Maria Isabel Haro, who helped an 80 year-old woman in need of CPR
  • Eight-year-old Giovanni Galluzzo, who rescued his three-year-old friend from drowning in a swimming pool
  • Lawrence J. Sanchez, a UPS driver who helped save a woman from a burning vehicle
  • Joshua Schoenberger, whose quick thinking and training helped save the life of his own father
  • Maria Ayala, whose community activism in Bell Gardens has set an example for many others on how to better the lives of residents in her neighborhood
  • Michael Vargas, for whom the saying ‘being in the right place at the right time’ meant he was ready when it came time to save a drowning woman
  • Ten-year-old Niccolo Owens’ prescience of mind helped save her family from their burning home
  • Rick Rodriguez, Sr., whose dedication to helping veterans has made him a national icon.
  • Hometown Heroes live, work or go to school in one of the nine cities served by the Rio Hondo Chapter of the American Red Cross. Their heroic act must have occurred outside of the normal course and scope of the person's usual and customary work, and their deed must have been a single incident and not part of the general response to a disaster or catastrophic event.