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Finger Lakes Chapter Honoring Real Heroes

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The American Red Cross will honor several people for extraordinary courage at its annual Real Heroes Breakfast on Friday, March 9 at 7:30 a.m. at Wings of Eagles Discovery Center in Horseheads. 

The Real Heroes Breakfast celebrates the Red Cross mission of alleviating human suffering by recognizing people from throughout the region who have performed heroic acts during times of crisis. The heroes include first responders as well as ordinary citizens who performed life-saving acts. 

Proceeds from the Real Heroes Breakfast benefit the Red Cross, which provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The Finger Lakes Chapter serves communities in Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates Counties.

Last year, volunteers responded to 81 local disaster incidents, most of them home fires, assisting 107 families; installed 477 free smoke alarms as part of the Home Fire Campaign; trained 6,121 people in first aid, CPR and water safety skills; reconnected 192 military families via emergency communication services; and collected 15,138 blood donations from volunteer donors. 

2018 Real Heroes: 

Blood Donor-Services: - David Dillon 

As a regular blood donor, Dillon has donated 20 gallons of blood over the years. More specifically, he has donated blood at least 160 times with the potential to help save the lives of 480 people. 

Education - Kyle Adams

Adams attended the Pillowcase Project, an American Red Cross initiative that teaches coping skills as well as tips and tools to help prepare for an emergency. He used the knowledge he learned to help his family safely escape from a home fire. 

Fire Rescue – Campbell Fire Department 

When a State Trooper’s vehicle was hit from behind while he was performing a routine traffic stop, members of the Campbell Fire Department extricated him from the vehicle. The rescue operation was a team effort involving firefighters, paramedics and police officers. 

Good Neighbor- Barbara Cleveland 

Cleveland learned CPR at the age of 18 while enrolled in nursing school. She entered a store to observe that a clerk had collapsed. Cleveland started performing CPR, eventually aided by another nurse as well as State Trooper Jeffrey Shiposh who administered an AED 

Good Samaritan (Youth) - Cullen McWhorter

McWhorter, a Notre Dame varsity basketball player and volunteer firefighter, performed CPR on a man who collapsed in the school prior to a game. He and JV Coach Max Young resuscitated the victim and treated him until first responders arrived. 

Good Samaritan (Adult)- Candace Thompson 

Thompson is a retired American Red Cross employee who trained community members in CPR, first aid and the Heimlich Maneuver. While at home, she heard her husband in distress in the kitchen and went to find that he was choking. She used abdominal thrusts to dislodge food from his throat. 

Law Enforcement – Jeffery B. Shiposh 

Trooper Shiposh heard the fire department being dispatched to a store in the village of Wellsburg. Since he was nearby, Trooper Shiposh responded and came upon the scene of an unresponsive employee laying on the floor. Patron Barbara Cleveland had started performing CPR, and Trooper Shiposh attached an AED delivering two shocks before the clerk regained consciousness. 

Lifeline – John and Nancy Gilbride 

The Gilbrides were sailing on Seneca Lake when they heard cries for help and spotted a young girl struggling to tread water. They tossed her a life ring and pulled her onto the boat. The 11-year-old girl had been boating with her uncle and cousin when she jumped in the lake for the swim. The boat drifted away, leaving her stranded. 

Medical – Max Young 

Notre Dame was scheduled to play Thomas A. Edison in a boys basketball game at Notre Dame High School. Before the game, a man suffered a heart attack, collapsing in the school hallway. Young, who is Notre Dame’s JV coach, joined varsity player Cullen McWhorter in using CPR and an AED to save his life. 

Military - Dawn Smith

Smith is a U.S. Army veteran who now serves as Program Manager for the Care and Transition Department at the Bath VA. In her professional role, she ensures that enrolled veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have smooth transitions into the VA health care system and receive the care they need and deserve. As a community volunteer, Dawn organizes numerous outreach and welcome home events for returning service members.