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Finger Lakes Chapter Honoring Real Heroes

Red Cross Flag

The American Red Cross, Finger Lakes Chapter, will honor several people for extraordinary courage at its annual Real Heroes Breakfast on Friday, March 10 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 provides direct financial assistance to families impacted by fire and other local disasters in Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates Counties. 

Tickets are $50 per person. To purchase tickets, or for more information, call the Finger Lakes Chapter at (607) 936-3766 

2017 Real Heroes: 

Animal Rescue - Elaine Walker 

Elaine Walker has made it a priority to ensure that pets have a safe spot to stay during disasters. Her mobile “F.E.R. Waggin” is able to travel to impacted areas to house pets in time of need. 

Blood Donor - Peter Reif 

Peter Reif donated blood for the first time in 1987. At last count, he has donated 146 pints, or more than 18 gallons, of blood. Each donated pint can save up to three lives. 

Fire Rescue - Glenn Davis 

Glenn Davis has served Avoca Hose Company No. 1 for more than 50 years, including several years as chief and currently as treasurer. He has also been a village board member and mayor, and now donates his time to The Ramp Guys.  

Good Samaritan (Adult) - Terry Rhodes 

Terry Rhodes performed CPR on a man who collapsed. He called 9-1-1 and continued CPR until first responders arrived. 

Good Samaritan (Youth) - Center Street Elementary School 

Students at Center Street Elementary School teamed up with the American Red Cross to offer a helping hand during a blood drive. As part of their “Pint Size Heroes” initiative, the students helped distribute snacks and water to blood donors. 

Law Enforcement - Sgt. Vincent Fanzo and Kristopher Kester 

While on a security tour, Steuben County Corrections Officer Kristopher Kester noticed an unresponsive inmate lying on the floor. Sgt. Vincent Fanzo responded to Kester’s call for assistance. They administered CPR to restore the inmate’s pulse, and then applied oxygen until an ambulance crew arrived. 

Lifeline - Scott Flora and Jared VanKouwenberg 

Scott Flora and Jared VanKouwenberg assisted a seriously injured man whose car had plunged into Lake Ontario. They removed the man from the icy shoreline, and placed him into a warm vehicle and covered him until help arrived. 

Military - Sherry and Kent Skeens 

Their son U.S. Army Spec. Ryan Jayne was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan. In his memory, Sherry and Kent, along other members of the Skeens family, created “Ryan’s Christmas Family” to provide gifts to families in need. 

Workplace Safety - James Barlow, Danny Dean and Steve Wilkinson 

The employees of Gunlocke provided CPR and administered an AED to help revive a coworker who was in distresses. Following the incident, they inspired other employees to become certified in CPR/AED. They also convinced Gunlocke to invest in additional AEDs.