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Congratulations to the 2016 Northwest Iowa Heroes of the Heartland

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The American Red Cross of North and Western Iowa, along with title sponsor, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City, congratulate the 2016 Heroes of the Heartland. These outstanding citizens have demonstrated courage, compassion and unselfish character in the eyes of their neighbors and communities. 

The Heroes of the Heartland celebration was held at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City on Thursday, April 14. Heroes of the Heartland also celebrated 100 years of American Red Cross service in Iowa, and featured a timeline with Red Cross historical artifacts and a look back at a century of service from World War I to present day. 

Georgia Diavastes: Georgia Diavastes is 90-years-old and spends most of her days helping others. She spends up to five hours a day crocheting little purses for children at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, a pediatric orthopedic hospital. The bags are to be hung from the walkers so that the children can carry things when they use them. Georgia spares no expense on yarn or buttons so that the children will have something pretty.  She also helps the local community. She recently bought flannel sheet sets to donate to Sioux City warming shelters. The sheet sets were too big for the bunk beds, so she cut them to size and hemming them by hand. Georgia doesn't want attention for the good work she does--it is just the way she has always lived her life. As she has gotten older, it has become more physically and financially difficult to help others, but she won't quit because she considers herself such a lucky person. 

Randy Burnight: Randy Burnight founded Up From the Earth on February 1, 2014. The organization works to make sure people in need have access to fresh produce. Up from the Earth encourages home gardeners to "grow an extra row" and facilitates the gathering and distribution of excess fruits and veggies to those in need through existing food pantries. To date, over a dozen Sioux City churches have stepped up to close the gap between garden and table. Up From The Earth placed more than 6,000 pounds of fresh produce into the local food pantry system in its inaugural year.

Robert Klassen, Randy Colshan, Daniel Garcia: On September 25th, 2015, Larry Hare was driving a combine along county road D-38, west of Anthon, when the machine rolled into a ditch and caught on fire. Hare was stuck inside. Randy Colshan was driving by and saw the flames and stopped. He was able to flag down Robert Klassen and Daniel Garcia, and the three-men pulled Hare from the upside-down combine. 

Heroes of the Heartland is the primary fundraiser for the Red Cross of North and Western Iowa.

The Red Cross would like to thank title sponsor, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City, and Centennial Media Partner, KTIV, for their support of Heroes of the Heartland. 

The work of the Red Cross is made possible by the generosity of the American public. You can help people affected by disasters big and small by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables us to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters. You can donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

American Red Cross in Iowa Celebrating a Century of Service in 2016

The Red Cross in Iowa will be celebrating its Century of service through a variety of events and campaigns that honor the contributions of the Red Cross and its volunteers and build the foundation for another 100 years of service in Iowa. The Red Cross would like to thank Nationwide for stepping up to ensure a sustainable, long-term future for Red Cross service in Iowa by committing its support as a Centennial Partner. Find out more at

To see photos from the 2016 Northwest Iowa Heroes of the Heartland, click here