The Red Cross Pikes Peak Chapter has selected award recipients for the 2014 Pueblo Hometown Heroes Dinner. The recipients, five individuals and two organizations, will be presented with their awards at the Hometown Heroes Dinner held at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014.
Humanitarian Hero - Drew Dix, Medal of Honor Recipient
Drew Dix is usually a private person but he is very well-known in Pueblo, Colorado. He considers Pueblo his home town and is one of four Medal of Honor recipients that have earned Pueblo the title of “Home of Heroes.” Born in New York, but raised in Pueblo, he is best known for his Medal of Honor, his support for Veterans, his love for Pueblo and for co-founding the Center for American Values. Dix received the Medal of Honor from President Lyndon Johnson in 1969 for his actions during the Vietnam War. His citation reads, “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.” He was the first enlisted man in the Army Special Forces to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Drew Dix was the Co-founder and current Board Chairman of the Center for American Values.
Military Hero – Pueblo Veterans Ritual Team
Established in 1984, the Pueblo Veterans Ritual Team is one of the oldest in the Country. This group of volunteers has dedicated itself to providing a service to more than 200 veterans and their families each year. The group has 15 active members that are military veterans from all branches of the armed forces. They serve as a ceremonial guard unit that provides funeral honors for fallen comrades. They also serve as the "guardians of the colors" by displaying and escorting the national flag on ceremonial occasions at official functions and also serve in the civilian world for fallen police officers and other civil servants. The Pueblo Veterans Ritual Team members serve as ambassadors to the public, presenting a positive image of their service and our country.
Adult Hero - Dr. Rakesh K. Khosla
Dr. Khosla is the Medical Director of Concussion Consultants at Centura Health. He is well-known in Pueblo and throughout southern Colorado as an advocate for youth athletics and for the safety of youth in their athletic activities. He is a pioneer in sports medicine specializing in concussions. He has worked tirelessly to help educate parents, coaches and players about the dangers of, and how to reduce the impact of, concussions. He has been active in the Pueblo community for many years and he has supported the community through his family practice and his personal involvement in sports and other activities. He is designated as Certified IMPACT Consultant. In addition to working closely with Pueblo City Schools, his interest in sports medicine has kept him busy serving as medical staff for the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, the Colorado State Games, Colorado Special Olympics, Bambino World Series, the U.S. Olympic Committee and at Monarch Ski Area.
First Responder Hero - Jake Garcia, American Medical Response
Jake Garcia is a Nationally Registered Paramedic. He is a native of Pueblo, graduating from South High School. He has served the Pueblo community since 2006 as a Firefighter/Paramedic for Pueblo Rural Fire Department, as a Paramedic for American Medical Response and as an adjunct instructor at Pueblo Community College. He received the Paramedic of the Year award in 2012. He is highly regarded by his peers and within the community. When asked about his service to the community Jake said, “I love my job and know that every day I am making a difference in the lives of my patients.”
Community Partner Hero - Catholic Charities Diocese of Pueblo
Catholic Charities first opened its doors in 1944. They have helped more than 4,500 people in their Home Stability Program with the goal of keeping people in their homes and prevent homelessness. They have strengthened the lives of children in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters Program, which is part a larger program focused on childhood education and preparing children for elementary school. Through their Immigration Services Office they continue to serve as the only legal service in Southern Colorado that processes extreme hardship waivers for these families. They continue to serve and reunite these individuals with their families.
Youth Hero - Alyssa Sturtevant
We all have a desire to help people in need. Whether to ease their pain, lessen their burden, or just give the gift of joy. Alyssa Sturtevant, 12, is fulfilling her dream of helping others by donating her time and efforts to helping children with cancer. The fears and concerns of cancer became a reality for Alyssa when she watched her father, Matt Sturtevant, recover from cancer. At the same time, Alyssa became aware of a child in her school that was also being treated for cancer. “I remember when she asked me if there was anything she could do to help the child,” Matt Sturtevant said. “I could see in her eyes that she truly wanted to help.” Alyssa decided that the best way to help would be to raise money for the family to help with medical expenses. She decided to collect aluminum cans and to donate the proceeds to the family. Alyssa continues to donate her time and efforts to raising money for children with cancer in an effort to fulfill her desire t o make life better for people who are in need.
Community Service Hero - Jane Rawlings
Jane Rawlings has a long history of supporting the Pueblo Community and serving as an advocate for a number of community organizations. She has been actively involved in Rotary, Colorado College board of trustees and CSU-Pueblo's Foundation Board, among other community organizations. She currently serves as the vice president for the Southern Colorado Community Foundation (SCCF), a group of funds created by individuals, businesses and organizations that care deeply about the communities of southern Colorado. Jane is the fourth-generation family member to work at The Pueblo Chieftain, where she serves as assistant publisher.
The annual Pueblo Hometown Heroes Dinner honors a longstanding tradition of heroism in the community by recognizing local individuals and organizations that have made a positive difference. The 2014 Pueblo Hometown Heroes Dinner will be held Feb.13 at the Pueblo Sangre de Cristo Arts Center. Anyone interested in attending or sponsoring this event please contact Tom Gonzalez at 719-785-2701 or Thomas.firstname.lastname@example.org.