Mayor Rahm Emanuel commended local heroes who were honored by the Greater Chicago Region of the American Red Cross as part of the organization’s annual Heroes Breakfast April 30. Two awards were presented to City of Chicago standouts from the Chicago Police Department and City Council.
A total of 17 officers from the Chicago Police Department 5th District were honored with the Law Enforcement Award. The tactical team responded in October to reports of a knife-wielding man at a home on the city’s South Side. The suspect lunged at Sgt. James Cascone with two large butcher knives. Sgt. Love came to his aid, while the other officers on scene managed the rest of the incident.
Alderman James Balcer of the 11th Ward was honored with the Military Award. A former U.S. Marine Corp member Balcer fought for legislation that would allow fire departments in the city of Chicago to transport veterans to VA hospitals. He recently chaired a hearing on suicide prevention as a tragic number of 20 vets a day are taking their own life.
This year’s honorees were also recognized for pulling survivors from a fiery highway car crash to recruiting a steady stream of blood donors for children with sickle cell disease at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. They continue efforts to battle human trafficking and also bring holiday cheer to children at Chicago Public Schools.
“As Mayor and on behalf of the City of Chicago, I am pleased to welcome all of those gathered for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago’s Annual Heroes Breakfast,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Founded in 1881 in the nation’s capital, the American Red Cross maintains a tradition of service, aid, and uplift that fortifies American society. Today, Red Cross is comprised of a nationwide network of over 650 chapters and 36 blood services regions that have seen countless communities through wide-ranging incidents and natural disasters. The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago mobilizes residents throughout Illinois and Northwest Indiana serving more than 9 million people. As an esteemed chapter of Red Cross, American Red Cross of Greater Chicago works in diverse communities as well as with numerous civic and business entities to ensure ever-increasing advocacy and assistance that saves all lives, offers international humanitarian aid, and supports our troops along with military families.
The Annual Heroes Breakfast honors courageous individuals in and around Chicagoland who have demonstrated acts of heroism and selflessness. From saving lives to lifting spirits to providing hope to changing futures, all of this year’s honorees have empowered individuals and entire communities with advocacy, compassion, and fearlessness. I am especially proud to congratulate Sergeant James Cascone and Sergeant Dawn Love and all of the officers in the 5th District Chicago Police Department, and Alderman James Balcer of the City Council of the City of Chicago recognized with the Law Enforcement Hero and Military Hero Awards, respectively.
As long as I’ve known Alderman Balcer, he has worked tirelessly to support and encourage veterans and their families. His distinguished service to our country during the Vietnam War has been recognized with a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts, and now he continues to serve the residents of the 11th Ward and beyond in the City of Chicago. The unwavering dedication of Alderman Balcer and Sergeants Cascone and Love alongside all the other honorees is a testament to the spirit of our greater community and inspires us all. I commend this year’s award recipients alongside the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago for enduring work that builds community and broadens culture.
I hope you have a truly enjoyable event and submit my best wishes for much continued success.”
For a complete list of award recipients and their video biographies: