Hero of the Year – Kailey Murphy (Madison, WI)While in high school, Kailey became inspired to volunteer with the Red Cross. She took the initiative to discuss her options with her guidance counselor to see if she could graduate early in order in volunteer. Kailey successfully completed classes early, overloaded her schedule, and had the opportunity to spend most of her final high school semester volunteering. During Kailey’s time with the Red Cross, she has responded to local fires and has been deployed during disasters. Kailey is a service-oriented individual that responds to others with friendliness, warmth, and compassion.
Emergency Response Hero – Cody Doucette (Cambria, WI)Cody Doucette is the Fire Chief for the Village of Cambria. Cody has spent several years ensuring his team of volunteer firefighters are well-trained and prepared in the event of an emergency. On May 31, 2017, Cody and his dedicated team responded to the tragic Didion Mill explosion. Cody displayed amazing leadership and bravery to ensure procedures were followed, resources were utilized effectively, and his team was fully supported. The community is grateful for Cody’s expertise and leadership, as well as all of those that supported the community of Cambria.
Adult Good Samaritan – Derek van Veldhuisen (Janesville, WI)Derek is a retired school teacher and joined the American Red Cross volunteer team when he retired. He has volunteered his time by being a Disaster Action Team member in the community and he has been deployed multiple times. By utilizing the skills that he has learned through the Red Cross and through his youth expertise, he combined Red Cross skills and his passion for youth to create a unique experience at a shelter. While in North Carolina on a deployment and volunteering in a shelter, he took the initiative to engage the youth that stayed there through quality interactions, and fun, learning activities that the children thoroughly enjoyed!
Community Hero- Melissa Boudreau (New Lisbon, WI)Melissa has made a huge impact on the community of New Lisbon. While she serves as a role model for the students that attend Generations Dance Academy, she is also a role model to many others. Melissa has a dedication to helping others, not only in the community, but throughout the nation. Melissa has organized multiple fundraisers and collection drives benefitting local food pantries, nursing homes, schools, and even supporting Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts. Melissa is a kind and generous individual that truly enjoys supporting her community.
From the Heart Hero - Markayle Schears (Madison, WI)Markayle is a full-time college student that spends her free time helping others. Markayle is a key supporter of the community through her volunteer involvement with American Red Cross Blood Services. She has completed multiple shifts and helps the Red Cross by transporting life-saving blood from donation sites to hospitals. By dedicating her time, Markayle has helped provide much needed blood to countless patients.
Youth Good Samaritan - Ian Brown (Stoddard, WI)Ian is a student at La Crosse Central High School and a member of the La Crosse Police Explorers program. Due to his CPR and first aid training skills that he learned while in the Police Explorers program, Ian could respond calmly and quickly when his friend started choking at lunch on March 23, 2017. Ian was fully prepared to respond in this type of situation and thanks to his training, he was able to save his friend’s life!
Military Hero - Richard Hasse (Portage, WI)Rich works closely with local Veterans daily. He demonstrates empathy, compassion, and assists all Veterans without judgement or discrimination. Rich has gone above and beyond to support Veterans and their families. He spent countless hours tracking down a Veteran to return his long-lost watch, and he even has taken the time to locate widows that were not claiming benefits. Rich truly has a strong commitment to supporting Veterans and their families.